News and success stories
Stay in the loop with news of ongoing campaigns and successes in the fight against rainforest destruction.
China: the New Hotbed of Illegal Timber Trade
Over the past ten years, China has become the world’s number-one trader of illegally logged timber, according to a study published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in late 2012. At the same time, major timber consumers such as the United States, the European Union and Australia have taken timber from illegal sources off the market.
Botswana intends to protect elephants
The government of Botswana has announced plans to ban the commercial hunting of elephants and other endangered wildlife. In the past, well-heeled tourists were allowed to shoot lions, elephants and buffalo and take them home as trophies. Hunting as a sport is no longer compatible with the objective to protecting country’s wildlife, noted Botswana’s Minister of the Environment.
Australia outlaws import and sale of illegally logged timber
Australia has sent a clear signal against illegal logging by passing the Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill. With this, Australia is joining the U.S. and EU taking rigorous steps against the trade of timber logged illegally overseas.
Peru: Water Tribunal Calls for Stop to Conga Mining Project
The Latin American Water Tribunal (TLA) in Buenos Aires has called on the Peruvian government to firmly put an end to the Conga mining project. In the opinion of the tribunal, the Peruvian government and Yanacocha, the company responsible for Conga, are violating the human rights to water and a clean environment.
Open Letter to Financial Institutions on Pulp Investment
Rainforest Rescue joined sixty environmental and social organizations, including a dozen Indonesian groups, in sending an open letter to financial institutions across the globe asking for assurance that they will not invest in pulp and paper industry projects associated with deforestation and human right abuses in Indonesia.
Selous: Handover of 58,000 signatures to UNESCO
At the UNESCO office in Paris, Silvain Harmat of the organization Rainforest Rescue has delivered the petition against the alterations of the borders of the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. Afterwards, possible risks in the precedent, a potential abolition of the decision and further fields of action were discussed.
Brazil: President Again Vetoes Forest Code
International protests against Brazil’s forest code have had an impact: For the second time within six months, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff vetoed an amendment of the controversial legislation. The agribusiness lobby has been pressing Brazilian legislators to soften up the law and make more land available for industrial agriculture. Millions of hectares of rainforest are at stake.
U. S.: Court confirms record judgment against Chevron
The U. S. Supreme Court rejected an injunction against a judgment punishing Chevron for massive oil pollution of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest. A court in Ecuador had issued a ruling condemning the American oil company to pay damages to the amount of $19 billion. Chevron attempted to block enforcement of this judgment – but ultimately failed.
Sustainable Biomass: A Modern Myth - New Biofuelwatch Report
Biofuelwatch has released a new report, ‘Sustainable Biomass: A Modern Myth’. It explores the certification companies certifying biomass as sustainable, the UK government’s proposed sustainability criteria for biomass, and developer’s ‘promises’ to source sustainable biomass.
Biofuel subsidies: the EU hits the brakes
The European Union wants to limit the use of so-called biofuels, Reuters reports. This piece of news may mark the beginning of the end of a long struggle: For years we have demanded that the EU stop the production of biofuels, which harms both people and the environment. Now, it seems that a first step has been taken.
Brazil: Belo Monte construction stop
“This is a great victory, the Belo Monte dam is not a done deal. We are very happy and content.”, says Antonia Melo from the union “Rio Xingu Vivo”. A judge suspended construction of the Belo Monte dam citing evidence that the dam was violating the human and minority rights of the indigenous people living near the Xingu river.
Bioenergy has no future
A serious setback for the climate and energy politics of the German government and the EU. In their current statement a working group of more than 20 expert scientists from the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina have come to the conclusion that “in quantitative terms, bioenergy plays a minor role in the transition to renewable, sustainable energy sources in Germany at the present time and probably in the future.”.
Malagasy wood for guitars: Gibson fined
Partial success in the Gibson scandal: Gibson Guitars have agreed to pay a fine of $300,000 as well as another $50,000 to environmental organisations. The ebony which had been seized by government authorities will remain confiscated.
Sulawesi: Village wins against mining company
The people of Betaua defended their forest courageously – now, the district chief withdrew his permission for mining iron ore. Also they won in court: A planned habour will not be built. Our partner organisation JATAM supported the community with all they could – also with your donation.
Even more severe critique against Cargill
23,000 hectares of rainforest in a conservation area for orangutans were destroyed – for a palm oil plantation. The concession is held by a palm oil company which also delivers to Cargill. The corporation keeps referring to their apparently sustainable supply chain. Cargill however won´t be able to dismiss the EIA report too swiftly.
Ecuador: Justice for Sarayaku
Good news from the Kichwa of the Sarayaku region in Ecuador: After ten years they have won their legal dispute against the government. Their right to self-determination has been confirmed. Rainforest Rescue supported the Kichwa with protest actions and donations.
Peru: Demonstration in Berlin and resignation of government
Within only eight months parts of the Peruvian government resigned for the second time. The reason is once again the ongoing protests against the gold mine in Cajamarca, a region in northern Peru. Just last Friday we handed over 33.000 signatures against the conga project.
Honduras: Farmers win back their land
After a long and costly conflict, two regional courts in Trujillo and Tocoa have now decided that the plantations of the notorious Dinant company have been wrongly built on pieces of land owned by the local farmers of Bajo Aguán. The judges have ordered to vacate the plantations, so the land can be returned to the farmers.
Brazil: Protests against Belo Monte Dam declared illegal
Police forces of the Brazilian state of Pará have arrested eleven people who had participated in a protest action against the Belo Monte Dam. In advance of the environmental conference Rio+20, the activists had planned to hold a multi-day rally near Altamira in order to raise awareness of the environmental damage caused by the construction of the dam. The arrests came suddenly, and the prosecution is based on threadbare grounds.
Carribean archipelago spared from oil drilling
White coral reefs or black mineral oil? In the midst of the azure blue ocean surrounding the islands San Andrés, Providencia und Santa Catalina, mineral oil companies were planning to exploit the natural ressources of the archipelago. However, a court now decided in favour of preserving natural beauty
Biofuel: Shell backs out of indigenous territory
Ethanol fuel produced from sugar cane can make life sweeter – but only for those who sell it. The Guarani Indians in contrast had to endure tremendous suffering. Shell is now finally drawing conclusions and has promised not to source from indigenous territory anymore.
Two years fighting for the Great Serengeti
Serengeti Watch is building a strong coalition of support, advocacy, and funding for the Serengeti ecosystem, for the people living around it, as well as adjacent reserves and protected areas. Rainforest Rescue is glad to be part of this movement and we will do everything we can to defend the Serengeti.
Rights of Embera upheld against mining companies
The communities of the indigenous tribe Embera in Colombia rejected a mining project and their wish was confirmed by the constitutional court. Rio Tinto, Sunward and MMC are not allowed to develop the mine on their territory. The presence of mining companies here had led to the militarisation of the area and to human rights abuses.
Tripa: Orangutan forest is spared of palm oil plantation
Thanks to international pressure on the Indonesian government, the concession of the palm oil company PT Kallista Alam has been revoked. The area has once again been declared part of an official nature reserve. Rainforest Rescue collected 45,239 signatures and presented them to Indonesian authorities. But the struggle for the orangutans in Tripa continues
Statement on the Barro Blanco dam project in the rainforest of Panama
The response of the German Investment and Development Company (DEG) to our “Dam action alert: Please help the Ngobe protect their rainforest” campaign was disappointing. The reply relies on superficial data that does not reflect the realities of the Tabasará region. We will continue to call on the DEG to stop the financing of the dam immediately.
Paul Watson released on bail
A wave of protest swept over the office of Minister of Justice Leutheuser-Schnarrenberger following the arrest of Paul Watson in Germany on May 14, 2012. 37,425 people took part in the Rainforest Rescue signature campaign alone, demanding the release of Paul Watson and the cessation of extradition proceedings to Costa Rica.
Tripa: Ministries of Environment and Forestry start investigations
Finally, field investigations into the crimes of the palm oil industry on Sumatra have begun. After months of inaction allowing the destruction of the Tripa Peat Swamps, at least some officials seem to have finally woken up. However, it's action, not words that is needed now to save the Tripa Peat Swamps and the Sumatran orangutans.
Mega-mining project stopped in Chile
David beat Goliath – and in Chile the indigenous peasant's community Diaguita Los Huascoaltinos has successfully prevented the contamination of their soils and waters by mining corporation Goldcorp. The Supreme Court's decision to stop mining plans strengthens the minority and environmental rights in Chile.
Brazil: Controversial forest law endangers Amazon
The Brazilian parliament adopted a controversial amendment to the Forest law. This decision is a disastrous signal for global environmental protection only two months before the United Nations Rio+20 environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro. At this stage, only President Dilma Rousseff can stop the “logger law” with her veto.
Ray of hope for orangutans – official investigations start in Tripa
It is a case of deliberate and systematic violation of indonesian law: the land clearance through forest fires set by oil palm corporation PT Kallista Alam infringes the billion-dollar-deal with Norway as well as national laws, inflicting damage on one of the last orangutan refuges. Now Indonesia's Environment Ministry is pushing investigations leading to what might become a breakthrough for forest conservation.
Aceh judges refuse to rule over Tripa Case
In the case of the deforestation of the protected Tripa peat swamps, the indonesian court announced on Tuesday, 3rd of April, that it was unable to rule as the parties involved should have attempted mediation first. The conservationists who brought the case to court fear for the fate of the orangutans and have announced to appeal to the High Court.
100,000 signatures for the sea lions in Chile
The S.O.S. Sea Lions Chile campaign yesterday presented 100,000 signatures from Chilean citizens and people the world over to the Chilean government. Rainforest Rescue supported the initiative with over 40,000 signatures collected in our “Sea lions in Chile: Dying for the sake of salmon sandwiches?” protest campaign.
Tanzania loses battle over Serengeti road
Tanzania’s appeal to block a case against the construction of a “super highway” across the Serengeti National Park was dismissed on Thursday 15 March by the East African Court of Justice.
Handover of signatures against the orangutan killings
At a lobbyist event of the Malaysian palm oil industry that took place in Berlin on March 1st, 2012, we handed over nearly 36.500 signatures of people protesting against the killing of orangutans on palm oil plantations.
Kenya: The Dakatcha Forest is rescued
"Thank you for your support in the campaign. Nature Kenya is so glad to see that all our combined efforts have born fruits.", wrote Serah of the Kenyan environmental organisation Nature Kenya.
Handover of signatures in the Embassy of Sierra Leone
On January 26th, 2012, we handed over the collected signatures to diplomats of Sierra Leone.
Handover of protest signatures to the FAO
On January 21st, 2012, the protest signatures we collected during the campaign „Plantations are no forests“ were handed over to the director-general of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The press conference held during the International Green Week Berlin offered a great opportunity to talk to José Graziano da Silva.
Demonstration: "We are fed up"
With a delegation of our own we protested along with 23.000 other people against the despicable agribusiness.
Handover of signatures to Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand in France
A delegation of the French NGO ’Association Henri-Pézerat’ and CGT unionists handed over 35,000 signatures to the management board of Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand. More than 28,000 of these signatures were collected by Rainforest Rescue. In the request to Michelin we demand the immediate building freeze of a Michelin plant in Thervoy Kandigai (in Tamul Nadu, India).
Violence in Indonesia – but Unilever is indifferent to victims of palm oil business
On December 14, 2011, Unilever in Hamburg made a pledge to an indigenous Sumatran family: Unilever would ensure that its palm oil supplier, Wilmar, would rebuild the homes it destroyed and compensate the victims within 30 days. The company has not kept its promise. On the contrary – the families are still being bullied. In an open letter in cooperation with Watch Indonesia! and Robin Wood, we are now calling on Unilever CEO Paul Polman to stop buying palm oil from Wilmar.
Stop subsidising deforestation and land-grabbing for biomass and bioliquid electricity
Open letter to the UK and Scottish Governments relating to the Renewables Obligation Banding Consultation
Life in the forests – illustrated by a 13 year old girl
A love of walking in forests in her home country of the Philippines inspired the winning entry of 13-year-old Trisha Co Reyes in the 2011 International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment – watch Trisha’s painting come to life.
Illegal Logging and Trade of Madagascar's Precious Woods
This Video shows the illegal logging crisis that hit Madagascar's national parks since early 2009, and how the illegal wood is turned into luxury furniture and other goods in China, Europe and the US.