PHYS | The viability and desirability of replacing palm oil, published in Nature Sustainability, finds that despite the strong case to reduce farming of oil palm, in the short term efforts must focus on making the process more sustainable, rather than replacing it

PHYS | The viability and desirability of replacing palm oil, published in Nature Sustainability, finds that despite the strong case to reduce farming of oil palm, in the short term efforts must focus on making the process more sustainable, rather than replacing it

The viability and desirability of replacing palm oil, published in Nature Sustainability, finds that despite the strong case to reduce farming of oil palm, in the short term efforts must focus on making the process more sustainable, rather than replacing it.

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SOS | Thoughts on the palm oil industry from conservation and business experts

SOS | Thoughts on the palm oil industry from conservation and business experts

There are very important qualities to palm oil which food manufacturers think about, but consumers don’t necessarily know about. It’s extremely versatile and has a high melting point – because it’s not going to turn easily into liquid, it can be used for all sorts of things. It also hasn’t got much taste, so it doesn’t interfere with the flavour of foods.

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WEF | How to build deforestation-free supply chains: lessons from Indonesia

WEF | How to build deforestation-free supply chains: lessons from Indonesia

Having identified suppliers associated with deforestation, a minority of trailblazing companies are sending clear signals on how they will deal with non-compliant suppliers – whether suspending, excluding or engaging them to reform. A few companies such as Kelloggs, Apical and Bunge have catalogued the number, names and status of engagement for non-compliant suppliers. Monitoring by outside groups such as Mighty Earth’s Rapid Response tool can alert companies to problems within their own supply chains.

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PO | Emerging challenges for sustainable development and forest conservation in Sarawak, Borneo

PO | Emerging challenges for sustainable development and forest conservation in Sarawak, Borneo

Borneo’s forest (Fig 1) is disappearing at a rate of 0.25 Mha per year [6]. It has lost more than 18 Mha of forest since 1973 [1]. Consequently, more than 600 vertebrate and plant species are threatened with extinction risk in the region [7]. The persistent loss of forest and biodiversity has been occurring due to agriculture expansion, industrial-scale logging, oil-palm plantations, illegal hunting, and the expansion of roads and other infrastructure, such as hydroelectric dams [1, 6, 8–10]. The state of Sarawak, in Malaysian Borneo, has lost eighty percent of its primary forest over the last forty years [1].

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eL | The genome and phenome of the green alga Chloroidium sp. UTEX 3007 reveal adaptive traits for desert acclimatization

eL | The genome and phenome of the green alga Chloroidium sp. UTEX 3007 reveal adaptive traits for desert acclimatization

Nelson et al. analyzed green microalgae from different locations around the United Arab Emirates and found that one microalga, known as Chloroidium, is one of the most dominant algae in this area. This included samples from beaches, mangroves, desert oases, buildings and public fresh water sources. Chloroidium has a unique set of genes and proteins and grew particularly well in freshwater and saltwater. Rather than just harnessing sunlight, the microalgae were able to consume over 40 different varieties of carbon sources to produce energy. The microalgae also accumulated oily molecules with a similar composition to palm oil, which may help this species to survive in desert regions.

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MB | Where the logging ends in Indonesian Borneo, the forest clearing begins

MB | Where the logging ends in Indonesian Borneo, the forest clearing begins

While all forests are vulnerable to illegal activity, the study suggests that illicit forest loss is more likely once a timber concession is no longer being logged. This is partly because active timber concessions require people on the ground, who keep a lookout for encroachment, Gaveau says. In abandoned concessions, such threats often go unnoticed.

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