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News & Politics Podcasts

News and inspiration from nature’s frontline, featuring inspiring guests and deeper analysis of the global environmental issues explored every day by the team, from climate change to biodiversity, tropical ecology, wildlife, and more. The show airs every other week.


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News and inspiration from nature’s frontline, featuring inspiring guests and deeper analysis of the global environmental issues explored every day by the team, from climate change to biodiversity, tropical ecology, wildlife, and more. The show airs every other week.






Journalist Tom Philpott on how agriculture impacts the environment & agroecology alternatives

The American approach to food production is negatively impacting the environment and depleting natural resources like topsoil and groundwater at an alarming rate. Top agriculture author, journalist, and Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future research associate Tom Philpott highlights these problems on this episode first by discussing two regions where such impacts are acutely felt, the Central Valley of California and the Great Plains, and then explains how these problems are spreading to...


Mongabay Reports: Monarchs make a comeback

In 2022, the population of western monarch butterflies reached its highest number in decades, 335,000, according to the annual Western Monarch Count in California and Arizona, marking the second year in a row for a positive tally of the species numbers. While that count is celebrated by conservationists, they also point to the need to protect monarchs' overwintering sites in North America, which continue to suffer degradation and destruction each year. Read the popular article by Liz...


National Geographic photographer Kiliii Yuyan on Indigenous ecological knowledge

This week, National Geographic photographer Kiliii Yuyan joins the show to discuss his visits to five Indigenous communities and the value of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) for protecting the world’s biodiversity, which is the subject of his new project, "The Guardians of Life: Indigenous Stewards of Living Earth." An effort in collaboration with previous guest Gleb Raygorodetsky and with support from the National Geographic Society and the Amazon Climate Pledge, the project takes...


Mongabay Reports: Can you fund reforestation by cutting trees down?

As the world pursues reforestation on an expanding scale, a recurring question is: how do we pay for it? One emerging solution is to grow and harvest timber on the same land where reforestation is happening, as exemplified in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Another approach is to grow timber trees and natural forests on separate plots of land, with a portion of the profits from timber harvests supporting the reforestation. However, some experts worry that relying too much on timber revenues could...


Pulitzer Prize-winner Elizabeth Kolbert on humanity's 'solution problem'

Modern society is constantly crafting mega solutions to problems it has created, many of which come with even more problems, and no guarantee of solving the issue, long term. Whether it's injecting reflective aerosols into the atmosphere to combat climate change (literally turning the sky white), or gene-editing invasive species, “we seem incapable of stopping ourselves,” argues journalist and Pulitzer-prize winning author Elizabeth Kolbert. She joins the Mongabay Newscast to talk about...


Mongabay Reports: Cheetahs bring vultures back from the brink in Malawi

In a national park in southern Malawi, the reintroduction of cheetahs (and lions) is bringing four critically endangered vulture species back to the skies, after a 20-year absence: the big cats' kill sites have increased the food supply, encouraging the birds to return in a conservation 'win-win.' A project of African Parks and the Endangered Wildlife Trust begun in 2017, the team has since observed tagged vultures in parks outside Malawi, too. Read or share this popular article by Ryan...


Ecuador cloud forest protectors get Hollywood help

The Intag Valley in Ecuador is one of the world's most biodiverse places, its dense cloud forests bursting with plant and animal species. But the world's largest copper company wants to build a mine amidst its riches, so local leaders are organizing a conservation campaign: Mongabay's associate digital editor Romi Castagnino recently visited the area and joins this episode to discuss what she and staff writer Liz Kimbrough reported, and how that article sparked key support from one of...


Mongabay Reports: Protecting forests on a budget? Here's how.

It's tough to fund conservation, and deciding exactly how (and where) funding gets used is even trickier. However, researchers recently identified where and when to “get the most bang for our buck,” in a newly published study. Many of the highest-conservation-priority areas identified fall within lower-income tropical countries. While substantial international funding is likely needed to conserve and restore forests, securing Indigenous peoples' land rights could be a low-cost, and...


Are botanists disappearing just when we need them the most?

A decline in botany degree programs, paired with a growing lack of general plant awareness, has scientists concerned about society's ability to tackle existential threats like biodiversity loss and climate change, so Leeds University Ph.D. researcher Sebastian Stroud is our guest on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast. While humans depend upon plants for many critical everyday needs, our ability to identify them seems to be decreasing as fewer educational programs continue to study them....


Mongabay Reports: Amazon's tallest tree threatened by deforestation

The Paru State Forest is the world's 3rd-largest sustainable-use tropical forest reserve, and is home to a tree standing 30 stories tall. But in October of last year, its home state of Pará was the 5th-most deforested in Brazil, alarming experts and environmentalists that its giant trees (including the massive red angelim) are at risk. Listen to the popular article from Sarah Brown, Amazon’s tallest tree at risk as deforestation nears, by clicking the play button. Please invite your...


UN Biodiversity Conference an 'important step' toward conserving nature

In December, Mongabay's Montreal-based editor Latoya Abulu attended the 15th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity, where the historic Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework was signed by nearly 200 countries. While the agreement was lauded by scientists, advocates, and Indigenous leaders, others say that there are some concerning omissions from the text, and worrying inclusions of "biodiversity credits" sought by corporations. Click play to hear Latoya share details from her...


Mongabay Reports: Anteaters lead the way for species reintroductions

Reintroducing rescued anteaters from hunters in northern Argentina into the country's Iberá reserve is no small task. However, In 2007, the first pair was reintroduced by the Conservation Land Trust (now known as the Rewilding Foundation). 14 years on, the program has taken this success and used it as a framework for subsequent reintroduction of other native species. Click the play button to hear the popular Mongabay article by Oscar Bermeo Ocaña aloud: Giant anteaters lead biodiversity...


A bittersweet bioacoustics bonanza

After 6 years and nearly 160 episodes, podcast host Mike Gaworecki is putting his microphone down. The show will go on, but we will miss his expertise and command of conservation science's myriad facets! One of his favorite topics to cover on the show has been bioacoustics, the use of remote acoustic recording technology to study the behavior, distribution, and abundance of wildlife. For his final time hosting the Mongabay Newscast, Mike shares an array of his favorite bioacoustics...


Into the Wasteland, 3: Buried in Europe's Recycling

We all send our recycling somewhere for proper handling, but the operations of one such handling center in Poland makes one ask, is it being done right, or at all? The European Commission estimates that the illegal handling of such waste represents around 15-30% of the total EU waste trade, generating EUR 9.5 billion in annual revenues. So in part 3 of our investigative podcast series, the team dispatches Outriders journalist Eva Dunal to visit one such recycling facility in the pretty...


Into the Wasteland, 2: The New Narcotics

The U.K.’s Environment Agency calls waste crime — where instead of delivering recycling or rubbish for proper disposal, companies simply dump it in the countryside — “the new narcotics” because it’s so easy to make money illegally. It’s estimated that one in every five U.K. waste companies operates in this manner ('fly-tipping'), and the government seems powerless to stop it: it’s so easy to be registered as one of the government’s recommended waste haulers that even a dog can do it — and at...


Into the Wasteland: The true crime of the UK's waste mountain

The British countryside is increasingly under siege from a scourge of illegal waste dumping – polluting both water and air – but one man is bravely taking the criminals on, staking out their sites with night vision goggles, drones and more. In a three-part, 'true eco-crime' podcast series for the Mongabay Newscast, investigative environmental journalists Lucy Taylor and Dan Ashby trace this illegal 'waste trail' from their quiet English town to the nearby countryside, and as far away as...


Finned: A tale of illegal fishing and the fate of Pacific sharks

Host Mike G. speaks with Mongabay reporters whose new investigations reveal a major and illegal shark finning operation by one of China’s largest fishing fleets, and the role of a giant Japanese company, Mitsubishi, in buying that fleet’s products. Through an exhaustive interview process with deckhands who worked throughout the company’s fleet, Mongabay's Phil Jacobson and Basten Gokkon revealed that Dalian Ocean Fishing's massive operation deliberately used banned gear to target sharks...


Mongabay Reports: Lebanon's inspiring restoration success

In a nation gripped by currency depreciation, harsh economic fallout and civil unrest, the Shouf Biosphere Reserve endures as a rare conservation success story in Lebanon. Previously protected by landmines and armed guards, the region (a UNESCO biosphere reserve) forges ahead with community engagement in tree-planting projects while providing the community with food, fuel, and jobs. Click the play button to hear this popular article by Elizabeth Fitt aloud: From land mines to lifelines,...


An escape into soundscapes

Healthy ecosystems are often noisy: from reefs to grasslands and forests, these are sonically rich places, thanks to all the species defending territories, finding mates, locating prey, socializing or perhaps just enjoying their ability to add to life's rich chorus. Recording soundscapes in such places is one way to ensure we don't forget what a full array of birds, bats, bugs, and more sounds like, and it couldn't be more important, as the world witnesses a decline in many such kinds of...


Mongabay Reports: Sky Bridges for Sloth Safety

On Costa Rica's Carribbean coast, sloths are losing their habitat to houses and roads, forcing them to cross between forest patches on the ground, making them vulnerable to traffic incidents and dog attacks. However, the Sloth Conservation Foundation, created by British zoologist Rebecca Cliffe, is trying to change that by building rope bridges to allow these famously slow-moving animals to safely cross cleared patches of forest. Read the popular article written by Monica Pelliccia and...