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Tips

My experience with LinkedIn as a platform for impact

In response to my recent LinkedIn post about Mongabay’s decision to deprioritize Facebook, a number of people have asked about Mongabay’s experience with LinkedIn.  We started prioritizing LinkedIn as an outreach channel in the past few months, so I’m by no means an expert and can only share our early experiences with the platform.  So […]

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Announcements Tips

10 years of Mongabay-Indonesia

Ten years ago this month, we established Mongabay-Indonesia with a goal of increasing transparency and accountability in Indonesia’s forest sector. Mongabay-Indonesia would go on to lay the groundwork for Mongabay’s global expansion.  The path to launching an Indonesian-language environmental news service was a serendipitous one. But I believed that Indonesia was an under-served market when […]

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Announcements Tips

Happy 5th birthday, Mongabay-Latam

In 2016 we formally established Mongabay Latam, a Spanish-language environmental news service that aimed to improve coverage of critical planetary issues in the most biologically diverse region of the world. Five years in, Latam has greatly exceeded our hopes and expectations. Today Latam has monthly onsite readership that regularly exceeds 600,000, a network of contributing […]

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Announcements Tips

A billion lifetime pageviews for Mongabay

Mongabay just hit 1 billion lifetime pageviews. It took almost 23 years. Here’s my key takeaway from the journey. One billion pageviews is a small number compared with platforms like YouTube and Facebook or mainstream news outlets like The New York Times, but for a niche provider of environmental news like Mongabay, the interest in our […]

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Mongabay Features

Interview with Ken Wilson

The concept of “biocultural diversity” has gained wider prominence in recent decades as academics, institutions, and practitioners have expanded cross-disciplinary work at the intersection of human culture and biological diversity. Within the conservation realm, this trend has helped raise the profile of issues like Indigenous rights and traditional knowledge, especially since the mid-2010s as many […]

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Tips

We abandoned Facebook marketing. Here’s what happened.

Meta is getting a lot of attention this week after it reported losing users for the first time in its history, resulting in its stock market valuation plunging $230 billion in a single day. As a nonprofit news organization that once relied heavily on Meta’s platforms for distribution – especially Facebook – this news isn’t […]

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Announcements

Mongabay’s 2021 Year in Review

Mongabay persevered through the many challenges of 2021, continuing to publish high quality journalism and expand our impact. We ended the year stronger than we began it. Key numbers In 2021 we published nearly 5,000 stories in six languages covering more than 110 countries. This reporting attracted 54 million users to our website, including visitors […]

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Mongabay Features

Interview with ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin

As a best-selling author, the co-founder of the award-winning Amazon Conservation Team, and an acclaimed public speaker, Mark Plotkin is one of the world’s most prominent rainforest ethnobotanists and conservationists. Plotkin has worked closely with Indigenous communities–including traditional healers or shamans–since the 1980s, first as an academic, then as a member of a large conservation […]

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Tips

How do I get my work covered on Mongabay?

“How do I get my project covered on Mongabay?”  As the founder of Mongabay, this is one of the questions I’m frequently asked. For those of you who don’t know Mongabay, we’re a non-profit conservation and environmental science news platform. The Mongabay newsroom is flooded with story ideas and pitches on a daily basis from […]

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Media appearances

BNN Bloomberg appearance

Today I spoke with Jameson Berkow at BNN Bloomberg about the impact of macroeconomic factors on tropical forests in 2022.

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Mongabay Features

What’s the outlook for tropical rainforests in 2022?

Between rising deforestation in the Amazon, new financial and political commitments to reduce deforestation, and growing interest in “nature-based solutions” like conservation and reforestation, 2021 may prove to be a fateful year for the world’s tropical rainforests. Take a look at The year in rainforests 2021, published last week, if you’d like to catch up on some […]

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Mongabay Features

What happened to rainforests in 2021?

2021 was a year where tropical forests featured more prominently in global headlines than normal thanks to rising recognition of the role they play in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss. The following is a brief look at some of the major rainforest storylines from 2021. Tropical deforestation persists at a high level Despite speculation […]

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Announcements

The year in Mongabay: 2021

It was a challenging year, but as 2021 draws to a close, I wanted to share a few highlights from Mongabay.Dip in traffic; big jump in engagementLike many news outlets, Mongabay experienced a dip in traffic relative to 2020 when lockdowns drove a surge in online activity during the first phase of the pandemic. But despite […]

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Mongabay Features

Interview with Nonette Royo

Research published in recent years has shown that Indigenous territories have experienced substantially lower rates of forest loss than non-Indigenous lands. Given that Indigenous territories account for at least 36% of the world’s “intact forests” and Indigenous Peoples and local communities (ILPC) live in or manage about half of the planet’s lands, these areas play […]

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Mongabay Features

Interview with Daniel Katz

In 1986 a 24-year-old from Ohio named Daniel Katz set out to save tropical rainforests by creating a way for consumers to directly support more eco-conscious approaches to producing products from forests. With four others, he co-founded the Rainforest Alliance to develop a global certification standard for forest products and crops, which he hoped would create a […]

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Tips

How to get journalists to cover your work

As a person who runs a conservation news outlet, I’m often asked by scientists, NGOs, community leaders, and others for tips on how to get journalists to cover their work. The quality of your work doesn’t necessarily translate to press attention: Many excellent initiatives and organizations get very little visibility. But you can increase the […]

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Tips

Lessons from 10 years of running a nonprofit environmental news organization

10 years ago this month, I founded Mongabay.org with a mission to deliver news and inspiration from Nature’s frontline. The non-profit would build on the foundation established by Mongabay.com, the website I created in 1999. When I started Mongabay.org, I had no prior experience running a non-profit, no fundraising know-how, and few connections to foundations […]

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Photos

An overhead view of California redwoods

This week I got away from my desk for an hour and captured some overhead shots from a nearby redwood forest. Below are the individual photos from the gallery

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Media appearances

Appearance on Praveen Gupta’s Diversity Blog

In November, I was interviewed for Praveen Gupta’s Diversity Blog: “Net zero without the proper standards leaves huge loopholes for environmental degradation, human rights abuses, and other harms.” Praveen Gupta (PG): How do you suggest we address the biodiversity hotspots of the world? Both in terms of containing and regenerating them? Rhett Butler (RB): I think most […]

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Media appearances

NPR’s Living on Earth appearance

Today I spoke with Bobby Bascomb on NPR’s Living on Earth about the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use.

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Mongabay Features

Glasgow Declaration: Where is forest loss declining?

On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 127 countries signed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, pledging to “halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation” by 2030. The declaration, which was accompanied by some $19.2 billion in related funding commitments, was endorsed outside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and […]

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Mongabay Features

Are forest declarations effective?

On November 2, 2021 at the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference (#COP26), 127 countries signed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use which commits them to eliminate forest loss by 2030 as part of their collective efforts to combat climate change. The declaration, which was accompanied by some $19.2 billion in related funding commitments, came seven years […]

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Mongabay Features

Interview with Cristián Samper

Between the global pandemic, the accelerating impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, and the conservation sector’s reckoning with its colonial past, 2020 and 2021 have been a tumultuous time for efforts to conserve the planet. As an organization that has extensive field operations in about 60 countries and runs a network of zoos and […]

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Media appearances

Jane Goodall’s Hopecast Podcast

A few weeks ago Jane Goodall interviewed me for her Hopecast podcast. The episode came out today: RHETT BUTLER – HOPE IS SHARING KNOWLEDGE TO EMPOWER (JANE GOODALL HOPECAST EPISODE #19). Here is the episode description: For this episode of the Hopecast, Dr. Jane Goodall meets with longtime collaborator and fellow storyteller, Rhett Butler! Rhett is the founder and […]

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Media appearances

Fireside chat with NICFI’s Andreas Dahl-Jorgensen at Planet Explore 2021

Andreas Dahl-Jorgensen of Norway’s International Climate & Forest Initiative (NICFI) joins Planet Explore 2021 to share recent progress from one of the most ambitious global forest monitoring programs, and highlights the range of users who are benefitting from access to Planet’s high-resolution Basemaps across tropical forest countries.