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Environmental stories from around the web, December 20, 2019

  • There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.
  • Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.
  • If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.
  • Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content.

Tropical forests

Cocoa production continues to cause deforestation in Ivory Coast (France 24).

Scientists trying to save a critically endangered tree in India faced unique challenges (The Revelator).

Nigeria has plans to restore shrinking Lake Chad, but it will cost $50 billion (EnviroNews Nigeria).

Liberia’s Forest Development Authority has partnered with an NGO for the first time to protect a forest community (FrontPageAfrica).

A species of spider that’s new to science can cause human flesh to rot with its venom (Science Times).

Disaster management of wildfires could help stave off the global heating they cause (U.N. Environment Programme).

Even as the tiger population in Nepal grows, tigers there are dying more frequently (The Revelator).

A recent camera trap survey in Laos turned up no evidence of tigers, leading scientists to conclude that the big cats are extinct in the Southeast Asian country (The Revelator).

Other news

Activists have come together to stop a pipeline that would traverse mountains and Native American land in the eastern U.S. (Biographic).

His coal company was tanking, but he continued to fund groups dedicated to climate change denial (The New York Times).

Meanwhile, rail freight companies also funded climate denialism (The Atlantic).

The ocean off of California is swiftly growing more acidic, and more quickly than other marine environments (Los Angeles Times, The New York Times).

More climate scientists are becoming advocates of action to slow the rise in global temperatures (Los Angeles Times).

Alaska is on the frontlines of climate change but remains dependent on Big Oil (The Washington Post).

The largest mining operation in world history is set to start in Namibia (The Atlantic).

The evolution of rats is bending to the effects of humans’ attempts to control them (Undark).

Indigenous groups in South Africa are getting the remains of their ancestors back (Undark).

Investment bankers are playing a role in combatting the global addiction to coal (The Atlantic).

NASA will soon be able to track rising sea levels from space (Los Angeles Times).

The results of the latest U.N. climate talks in Madrid disappointed many participants and observers (The Economist, The New York Times, The Washington Post).

Lionfish, invasive species in parts of the ocean, become more efficient predators as seas warm, worrying researchers (Hakai Magazine).

“Active management” of redwoods through burning and logging could be beneficial for the threatened trees — or not; scientists debate the best course of action (Undark).

The “shifting baseline” problem has surfaced among young people, as they have trouble pegging the sizes of wildlife populations in the past (New Scientist).

Banner image of cacao trees in Peru by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.

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