Japanese police are investigating a possible human trafficking operation after arresting 11 Chinese construction workers at a solar power plant over visa violations and finding another 46 have fled. The case comes as Japan faceslabour shortages owing to an ageing population and political discussions are now considering legislation to allow more foreign workers.
Researchers have said that deforestation of the Amazon in March has almost tripled compared to March 2014. Imazon, a Brazilian non-profit research institution, say that 22 square miles of forest have been removed across the Amazon region in March, compared to 7.7 square miles in March 2014. Three quarters of the cleared forest was focused in Mato Grosso, where part of the Pantanal wetlands are found. These figures by Imazon differ to those of the Brazilian government who suggested that deforestation had actually fallen by 18% across the nine states forming the Amazon basin.
West Africa's biggest rainforest has won a reprieve from destruction with Liberia's government cancelling dozens of illegal logging permits, saving up to 10,000 square miles from being cleared. Earlier in the year the government had granted licences allowing companies to cut down 58 per cent of all the primary rainforest left in the country. The licences were handed out in breach of Liberia’s own law, generally to companies backed by Malaysian and Chinese investors. The case was first highlighted by Global Witness.
A new £15m forestry research centre at Birmingham University will study how climate change is affecting Britain's woodlands and examine how trees can be protected from the threat of invasive pests and diseases, such as the Chalara fraxinea virus which has caused the spread of Ash dieback across the country.