An unbridled push for development, including the expansion of industrial agriculture and extractive industries, is marginalizing many communities across the tropics. The problem is especially acute for indigenous and traditional communities in and around forest areas, where young men, women, and children may be exploited by companies that rely on cheap (or free) labor to work in plantations and fields, cut timber, or toil in factories. The same issues extend to the sea, where unscrupulous operators lure poor villagers with promises of opportunity to virtual enslavement on fishing vessels. Women are sold into prostitution for mining and logging camps, remote plantations, and portside entertainment.

Mongabay’s Industry & People reporting initiative focuses specifically on threats to marginalized communities from industrial and extractive sectors, including a special focus on women and children who are being exploited.

Topics may include the social and environmental impacts of gold mining, industrial fishing, logging, electronic waste, cattle ranching, and plantation agriculture, including rubber, palm oil, and cacao production — among others.

We welcome proposals from experienced journalists for reported stories. Opinion pieces will not be considered.

Mongabay will negotiate all fees and contracts on a per-story basis. Completed stories will be paid between $.10 and $.25 per word, depending on the journalist’s experience, and will be published on under an open Creative Commons license that allows for sharing and re-posting. We will also offer a bonus to journalists who proactively get their stories republished in major third-party print media outlets and on sites that draw more than 100,000 unique visitors per month. Small sums are available to help defray travel costs.

Please submit your Industry & People pitch here, along with your journalism resume. Pitches should be roughly 500 words in length. They should clearly explain the specific subject you would like to write about and your approach to covering it, describe a few potential sources, and tell whether you believe any travel funding would be necessary to complete the project.


Every day, Mongabay reporters bring you news from nature’s frontline. If you value this objective and impact-driven journalism, please consider becoming a sustaining member.

You have Successfully Subscribed!