Timber Investigation Centre
The Timber Investigation Centre is dedicated to improving the ability of civil society to monitor illegal logging & deforestation, track illegal wood through international supply chains, and use the information obtained to best effect. It has a particular focus on helping communities and activists in forested countries harness the power of consumer country laws meant to prevent illegal wood reaching end markets.
It hosts information and resources that can help communities and non-profits across the world stem supply chains that are contributing to deforestation, the loss of biodiversity, and harming the livelihoods and rights of rural communities. At its core is a guidebook, which includes advice and methods ranging from how to source and analyse satellite images to how to track ships and trucks.
Illegal Deforestation Monitor
Illegal Deforestation Monitor (IDM) monitors illegalities relating to conversion of forests for export-oriented agribusiness, the largest driver of global deforestation. It brings together news on illegal deforestation from around the world, from the Amazon to Southeast Asia, and combines it with new in-depth analysis of individual cases and expert commentary on the problem and the response of companies and governments.
By acting as a continuously updated, single source of aggregated news and analysis, IDM’s goal is to galvanise and influence global action to tackle the problem. IDM has rapidly developed a reputation as one of the best sources of information for companies, governments and activists working on forests and forest-risk commodities.
The Gecko Project
The Gecko Project is an investigative journalism initiative established by Earthsight to shine a light on the corruption driving land grabs and the destruction of tropical rainforests. It is dedicated to generating an understanding of how the complicity of government officials and private companies plays a critical role in some of the most pressing global challenges: climate change, the collapse of biodiversity, food security, and the rights of indigenous peoples and other rural communities. It aims to achieve this through the production and promotion of in-depth, high-quality and accessible journalism, underpinned by evidence.
Our first series, Indonesia for Sale, exposes some of the key figures behind Indonesia’s palm oil boom, who have gone unscrutinised until now: the district officials who have given out the licenses, and the brokers who have played a shadowy role between officials and palm oil firms. It includes three main investigative reports focusing on different scandals, each presented as a longform article, supported by short films and picture stories, and a series of articles on various policy implications of our findings.
Our year-long investigation, published in July 2017, exposed how European supermarkets are helping drive the most rapid tropical deforestation anywhere in the world. Charcoal produced from old-growth trees being clear-felled in the Paraguayan dry Chaco forests was found on sale in branches of Lidl, Aldi and Carrefour. These forests are home to jaguars, giant anteaters and the only tribe living in isolation in South America outside the Amazon. Our investigation took us from the remote forest to the top of the Paraguayan government, exposing the role of a powerful minister in the ransacking of the Chaco.
Choice Cuts received high-profile media coverage in key European markets, prompted a petition with more than 120,000 signatures, and sparked fresh attention to the crisis within Paraguay. As a result of our findings, the supermarket Carrefour has suspended sales while Lidl and Aldi have committed to investigate. The PEFC, a certification organisation whose scheme was used in a comical attempt to greenwash the role of the charcoal trade in this global environmental crisis, is also investigating.