Rhett A. Butler: SEAL Award Winner 2020

A selection of this year’s best environmental journalism

SEAL Awards
Feb 17 · 2 min read

How much rainforest is being destroyed?

“Primary forests in the tropics are declining at an accelerating rate according to analysis of satellite data released last week by the University of Maryland (UMD) and World Resources Institute (WRI). Since 2002, the tropics lost more than 60 million hectares of primary forests, an area larger than the combined landmass of the states of California and Missouri or the island nation of Madagascar.”
Source: Mongabay (Approx. 12 minutes)

Conservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade ban

“China is the world’s largest market for wildlife products. Consumption of several rare and endangered species — for example, pangolins, rhinos, elephants, and totoaba — are considered among the biggest threats to their survival in the wild.”
Source: Mongabay (Approx. 9 minutes)

New Guinea has the most plant species of any island

“The rich cultural and biological diversity is what makes New Guinea so unique. Study co-author Tim Utteridge at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, says that helping protect it should be of prime concern.”
Source: Mongabay (Approx. 11 minutes)

Despite COVID, Amazon deforestation races higher

“The rise in Amazon deforestation predates the emergence of COVID-19. Deforestation has been trending upward in the Brazilian Amazon since 2012 but increased sharply once President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January 2019. Bolsonaro has cut environmental law enforcement budgets, granted amnesty to illegal deforesters, forced scientists and experts out of key government roles, and called for reductions in the extent of protected areas and indigenous territories.”
Source: Mongabay (Approx. 7 minutes)

Using satellites to alert an Amazonian indigenous community of coca encroachment (insider)

“Global Forest Watch’s GLAD alert system showed some change in forest cover in these floodplain forest areas, but a look at satellite imagery from Google Earth and Planet suggested that these were indicative changes in water levels and rivers’ courses rather than actual forest loss.”
Source: Mongabay (Approx. 7 minutes)

Read the SEAL Awards 2020 Environmental Journalism Award Announcement


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