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Some of the world’s poorest people are bearing the costs of tropical forest conservation

Global conservation targets should not be met at the cost of the world’s poor. The first study to evaluate a policy aiming to compensate local people for the costs of conservation has revealed that, despite good intentions, the poor have lost out.

Tropical forests are important to all of us on the planet. As well as being home for rare and fascinating biodiversity (like the lemurs of Madagascar), tropical forests lock up enormous amounts of carbon helping to stabilise our climate. However tropical forests are also home to many hundreds of thousands of people whose lives can be affected by international conservation policies.

Multilateral donors such as the World Bank have made clear commitments that those negatively impacted by their projects should be compensated. This includes those affected by conservation projects such as those intended to slow climate change by preventing tropical deforestation (a scheme known as REDD+ or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). Researchers have, for the first time, studied one such compensation scheme in depth and revealed it to be inadequate.

Publication date: 5 July 2018

Why we explored an undisturbed rainforest hidden on top of an African mountain

Atop Mount Lico in northern Mozambique is a site that few have had the pleasure of seeing – a hidden rainforest, protected by a steep circle of rock. Though the mountain was known to locals, the forest itself remained a secret until six years ago, when Professor Julian Bayliss spotted it on satellite imagery. It wasn’t until last year, however, that he revealed his discovery, at the Oxford Nature Festival.

We recently visited the 700 metre-high mountaintop rainforest in an expedition organised by Bayliss, in collaboration with Mozambique’s Natural History Museum and National Herbarium. As far as anyone knew (including the locals), we would be the first people to set foot there (spoiler: we weren’t).

This article by Simon Willcock, Lecturer in Environmental Geography, Bangor University and Phil Platts, Research Fellow, University of York was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 29 June 2018

‘Once in a lifetime’ rainforest research trip

Six days after getting married, lecturer Simon Willcock left his wife for a once in a lifetime trip to a ’lost world’- an isolated rainforest atop a large outcrop of volcanic rock in Mozambique.

A lecturer in Environmental Geography at Bangor University, since his PhD Simon has worked with a network of leading scientists whose interest include the study of remote and undisturbed rainforests.

Publication date: 19 June 2018

Bangor weightlifters bring home the gold

Bangor University students secured podium positions at the British University and College Weightlifting Championships which took place at St Mary’s University, Twickenham recently.

Publication date: 25 April 2018