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From the Amazon to the northern boreal the world’s last majestic stands of unbroken forest are under threat. The causes are clear: logging, booming cash crops like soy and palm oil, cattle ranching, urbanization, oil exploration and mining. But millions of people depend on forests for their livelihoods and forests are vast warehouses of biodiversity. Trees are also on the front line in the fight against climate change: storing carbon, pumping oxygen, regulating rainfall, moderating temperatures, purifying our air and water. People need trees and so does the planet. In a primal sense forests are us: it’s urgent we save them.

April 2016, Issue 491

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From the magazine

Each month we publish some of the best stories from New Internationalist magazine.

  • Last stand

    Last stand

    The world’s last great woodlands are fast disappearing – with untold consequences for the environment and for us. Time to stop the destruction, argues Wayne Ellwood.

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  • A burning problem

    A burning problem

    Nithin Coca reports from Indonesia on the expansion of oil palm plantations in the rainforests of Sumatra.

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  • Certified nonsense

    Certified nonsense

    Sustainable forestry may be an oxymoron. Chris Lang finds some holes in the system.

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  • Forest bathing

    Forest bathing

    Escaping the pressures of modern life in Japan. By Tina Burrett and Christopher Simons.

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  • Logging louts

    Logging louts

    Forest communities are under siege in Cambodia, says Fran Lambrick.

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  • Green machines

    Green machines

    Diana Beresford-Kroeger unveils the hidden bio-chemistry of trees.

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  • Forest facts

    Forest facts

    Facts and figures about trees and forests, from carbon control to biodiversity.

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  • Worldbeaters: Hillary Rodham Clinton

    Worldbeaters: Hillary Rodham Clinton

    Hawkish Hillary is a friend of bankers and warmongers, despite her Democratic credentials.

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  • The demoralized mind

    The demoralized mind

    John F Schumaker asks how we can treat our sick culture and make ourselves well.

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  • PISA-envy, Pearson and Starbucks-style schools

    PISA-envy, Pearson and Starbucks-style schools

    Good for corporations, but what about the pupils? Adam Unwin and John Yandell consider the impact of edu-businesses.

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  • A rightwing spiral

    A rightwing spiral

    Dominik Sipiński reports on the rise of a nationalist Poland.

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  • Mixed Media: Films

    Mixed Media: Films

    Malcolm Lewis reviews some current and future releases.

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  • Mixed Media: Music

    Mixed Media: Music

    Louise Gray reviews the pick of this month's releases.

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  • Mixed Media: Books

    Mixed Media: Books

    This month's book reviews, from Angry White People to a Girl in Exile.

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  • Net gains for politicians

    Net gains for politicians

    Steve Parry explains why politicians and the internet don't get on. PLUS: Polyp's Big Bad World cartoon.

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  • The freedom of the city

    The freedom of the city

    Trust between communities is being rebuilt, writes Ruby Diamonde.

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  • Claiming our victories

    Claiming our victories

    Don't listen to the cynics – Mark Engler thinks activists should pat themselves on the back.

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  • Country profile: Brazil

    Country profile: Brazil

    Jan Rocha on the challenges and paradoxes in one of the world's most unequal countries.

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  • A word with Shazia Mirza

    A word with Shazia Mirza

    Comedian Shazia Mirza reveals her inspirations, fears and political passions.

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For over 40 years our multi-award winning, independent magazine has been shining a light on the unjust power relations between rich and poor. Learn more »

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