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Issue 529 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

January-February 2021

The biodiversity emergency

Nature restores, but is itself in need of restoration. Due to our constant commodification of the natural world we are erasing huge chunks of its awe-inspiring variety and damaging ourselves in the process. This edition's big story amplifies some of the concerns of those who live closest to nature, while attempting to get to grips with the complex challenges involved if we want to stop biodiversity's catastrophic decline. In the words of author Lucy Jones, we can no longer view nature as 'a luxury, an extra, a garnish.'


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Machiguenga children at play in Manu’s spectacular wilderness, while their pet spider monkey explores a tree. CHARLIE JAMES/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC/ALAMY

The limits of eden

Indigenous people living in Peru’s Manu National Park have been locked out of its management. Could change be on the horizon?...
Tourists and photographers zoom in on wildlife at the Mara river during the great wildebeest migration, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. ERIC BACCEGA/ALAMY

Beyond the tourist trail

Conservationists in the Global South are seeking sustainable pathways, finds Graeme Green.
Seirian Sumner gives voice to a creature of amazing ecological value that humans usually consider a pest and the stinging scourge of summer picnics.

Why I matter

A tiny but fierce hunter explains to Seirian Sumner why humans need it around.
From left to right: Bullseye harlequin poison dart frog from the rainforest of Colombia. Dirk Ercken/Alamy; A conservationist demonstrates to a class of schoolchildren the whooping crane costume used to rear chicks. Nature and Science/Alamy; Andatu, the first Sumatran rhinoceros born in captivity in Indonesia. Reynold Sumakyu/Alamy

What it takes

Four case histories of extraordinary efforts to save threatened species. 
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is an environmental activist

‘Indigenous people respect all species’

An interview with environmental activist Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim.
A majestic Indian tiger on the prowl. India’s tiger numbers are up – to roughly 3,000 from fewer than 2,000 in 1970 – as a result of a massive conservation effort. But it has also forcibly displaced many tribal peoples, who had lived sucessfully with the animals, from their ancestral lands. PANORAMIC IMAGES/ALAMY

The case for nature

As the alarm sounds on the sixth mass extinction, Dinyar Godrej squares up to what we need to do to avert it.
The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo during their weekly demonstration to establish the fate of their disappeared children and grandchildren during the 1976-83 dictatorship. Credit: Julio Etchart/Majority World.

Country Profile: Argentina

Massive foreign debts and an impoverished population are intensifying age-old conflicts over natural resources in this...

‘I dream of opening a brewery, but is promoting alcohol wrong?’

When alcohol causes so much damage is it unethical to set up a brewery? Our Agony Uncle responds.
For the third year in a row, Finland topped the UN's World Happiness Report in 2020. Credit: Kostiolavi/Pixabay


Danny Dorling and Annika Koljonen explain how Finland has come to be so equal, peaceful and happy – and sketch out the lessons...

The alternative film review

Malcolm Lewis on the latest releases in parallel cinema: The Mole Agent (El agente topo), directed and written by Maite Alberdi...
Nour Sokhon by Myriam Boulos

Spotlight: Tse Tse Fly Middle East

Louise Gray turns her attention to the anti-slavery musical activism of Tse Tse Fly Middle East.
ILYA sets ‘Apolitical Intellectuals’ to a modern tune, as he remembers the life of the Guatemalan revolutionary poet. 

Cartoon history: Otto René Castillo

ILYA sets ‘Apolitical Intellectuals’ to a modern tune, as he remembers the life of the Guatemalan revolutionary poet. 

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