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|Caribbean picks up the pieces after monster storm|
ROAD TOWN, BVI, 15 September 2017 (IPS) - When Hurricane Irma ripped through the British Virgin Islands claiming seven lives, injuring an unknown number of people and destroying built infrastructure as well as significantly damaging the natural environment, the ferocity of the storm shocked many of the islands’ residents, including 72-year-old Egbert Smith, who has lived through plenty of severe storms.
|Taking a chainsaw to Indonesia's illegal palm oil plantations|
LONDON, UK, 15 September 2017 (Guardian) - Armed with a chainsaw and a copy of Indonesia’s environmental laws, biologist Rudi Putra and his team of eco-warriors have been identifying and cutting down illegal palm oil plantations and recovering the lost forests of the Leuser ecosystem.
|Rebuilding tourism after Irma, an epic task for islands|
MARIGOT, Saint Martin, 14 September 2017 (AFP) - It's been over a week since hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean - but for paradise islands overwhelmingly dependent on the tourist trade, the damage is far from over.
|Sea Shepherd bring Timor-Leste police to Chinese-owned boat|
LONDON, UK, 14 September 2017 (Guardian) - The ocean activist group Sea Shepherd says it has delivered armed Timor-Leste police on to a Chinese-owned fishing vessel in a dawn raid and is detaining the vessels for the police after it was found targeting sharks.
|Outrage over forest destruction in Indonesia|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 14 September 2017 (Mongabay) - Samsung will stay away from any joint venture with a Korean-Indonesian conglomerate, Korindo, amid an NGO campaign highlighting Korindo’s rainforest destruction for palm oil in Indonesia’s Tanah Papua region.
|Move to open U.S. Atlantic coast to oil drilling|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 13 September 2017 (Mongabay) - The Trump Administration has taken steps to open up the United States’ Atlantic waters to offshore oil exploration and drilling, sparking fierce resistance up and down the coast.
|Communities struggle to save Sabah's shrinking mangroves|
TELAGA, Malaysia, 13 September 2017 (Mongabay) - A development plan establishing shrimp farms and timber plantations begun purportedly to reduce poverty in northern Sabah, Malaysia, has attracted criticism from local communities and NGOs, which say the project is ignoring communities’ land rights.
|Palm oil giant FGV will endeavor to rehabilitate peatlands in Borneo|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 13 September 2017 (Mongabay) - After a year in which it destroyed over 1,000 hectares of peat swamp forest in violation of its own sustainability policy, palm oil giant Felda Global Ventures said it would “endeavor to rehabilitate” the damaged lands in Indonesian Borneo.
|Oil spill turns Greek island bay black|
LONDON, UK, 13 September 2017 (Independent) - A Greek island is suffering from an “ecological disaster” after a tanker carrying more than 2,000 tons of crude oil sunk off the coast.
|US Virgin Islands refusing entry to non-American Irma evacuees|
NEW YORK, US, 12 September 2017 (Guardian) - The US government is turning away people trying to flee the hurricane-devastated British Virgin Islands for the nearby US Virgin Islands unless they are American citizens, refusing even those with US visitor visas.
|Barbuda is a natural disaster and a humanitarian crisis|
WASHINGTON, US, 12 September 2017 (Caribbean News Now) - Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador Sir Ronald Sanders briefed members of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) today in Washington, DC, on the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma on Barbuda, which was “decimated and destroyed”, describing the situation on the island as a natural disaster and a humanitarian crisis.
|Indigenous groups decry Tasmania off-road vehicle plan|
LONDON, UK, 12 September 2017 (Guardian) - Indigenous groups have criticised a Tasmanian government proposal to cover ancient midden sites with rubber mats to protect them from damage caused by reopening off-road vehicle tracks in the Tarkine, saying it is disrespectful and will cause further damage.
|Javan rhinos face human incursions into their last remaining habitat|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 11 September 2017 (Mongabay) - Set aside as a protected area since the Dutch colonial era, Ujung Kulon has long been a safe haven and stronghold for Javan rhinos. But conservationists say this last habitat faces a number of threats, including incursions by humans.
|Migrant sea route to Italy is world's most lethal|
LONDON, UK, 11 September 2017 (Guardian) - More than 22,500 migrants have reportedly died or disappeared globally since 2014 – more than half of them perishing while attempting to cross the Mediterranean, according to a study by the International Organisation for Migration.
|Survivors tell of utter devastation on Caribbean islands|
LONDON, UK, 10 September 2017 (Guardian) - Residents of the British Virgin Islands say they have witnessed scenes of “unbelievable” devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, and warned of widespread looting and a shortage of water and shelter for those left homeless by the storm.
|Caribbean counts the cost of deadly storm|
LONDON, UK, 8 September 2017 (BBC) - As deadly Hurricane Irma barrelled through the Caribbean this week, those places already hit are braced for a prolonged recovery. It has caused more than $10bn (£7.6bn) in damage across the Caribbean so far, disaster risk experts said on Friday.
|Delving into the heart of Principe Island's forests|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 7 September 2017 (FFI) - At least six species that have never been seen before on Príncipe Island were identified during recent field surveys undertaken by intrepid local and international botanists.
|Maine island completes conversion to 90% cleaner energy|
BANGOR, US, 7 September 2017 (BDN) - The Monhegan Plantation Power District recently celebrated the completion of a more than $1 million upgrade to a cleaner, more reliable, safer energy source in the form of diesel microturbines.
|Pacific islands can't tackle climate change alone|
APIA, Samoa, 7 September 2017 (AFP) - Climate change will hit the Pacific harder than anywhere else on Earth and the region's tiny island nations need major international aid to deal with the challenge, the World Bank has warned in a report released Thursday at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa.
|Tiny Greek island has suceeded to integrate its refugees|
LONDON, UK, 7 September 2017 (Guardian) - Recent migration waves have left refugees and asylum seekers struggling to survive. On Tilos, 50 refugees have not only been integrated but enabled. They are making a positive social and financial contribution to the island.
|Eight low-lying Pacific islands swallowed whole by rising seas|
LONDON, UK, 7 September 2017 (New Scientist) - Sea levels are currently climbing by an average of 3 millimetres per year around the world due to climate change. But they are creeping up even faster in the western Pacific, where a natural trade wind cycle has caused an extra build-up of water over the last half-century.
|Hurricane Irma causes devastation across the Caribbean|
LONDON, UK, 7 September 2017 (BBC) - Hurricane Irma has caused widespread destruction across the Caribbean, reducing buildings to rubble and leaving at least nine people dead. The small island of Barbuda is said to be "barely habitable". Officials warn that St. Martin is almost destroyed, and the death toll is likely to rise.
|The heavy toll of malnutrition in Madagascar|
LONDON, UK, 6 September 2017 (Guardian) - The children of Ambohijafy, a rural village among the green valleys and sloping hills of Madagascar’s fertile central highlands, are some of the poorest in the world, but they dream of rising above their circumstances.
|Atlantic's most powerful hurricane ever makes landfall in Caribbean|
LONDON, UK, 6 September 2017 (Guardian) - The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history has made its first landfall in the islands of the north-east Caribbean, following a path predicted to then rake Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.
|Manus Island: judge approves $70m compensation for detainees|
LONDON, UK, 6 September 2017 (Guardian) - A judge has approved a $70m compensation payout to current and former Manus Island asylum seekers and refugees over their illegal detention in dangerous conditions in what is Australia’s largest human rights class action settlement.
|The financial case against coal power in Indonesia|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 6 September 2017 (Mongabay) - Closing the gap between those who have electricity and those who do not is no easy feat, especially in an island nation like Indonesia. With over 17,000 islands - 6,000 of them inhabited - the country’s scattered Pacific geography defies construction of a national transmission grid.
|Pacific corals in worrying state|
PARIS, France, 6 September 2017 (AFP) - A survey of Pacific corals has found many severely bleached, some near-dead, according to marine researchers who warned Wednesday that global warming threatened the precious ecosystem's very survival.
|Uninhabited Lakshadweep island vanishes, says study|
KOCHI, India, 6 September 2017 (Economic Times) - One of the biodiversity-rich uninhabited islands part of Lakshadweep has vanished due to coastal erosion and another four such territories in the sea are shrinking fast, claims a new study.
|Dominica's geothermal dream about to become reality|
ROSEAU, Dominica, 6 September 2017 (IPS) - The tiny Caribbean island of Dominica has moved one step closer to its dream of constructing a geothermal plant, a project that is expected to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
|Sardinia alarmed by increase in number of migrants arriving|
ROME, Italy, 6 September 2017 (Telegraph) - The Italian holiday island of Sardinia has raised the alarm over the increasing number of migrants arriving on its shores from Algeria, in what could be a new route opening up across the Mediterranean.
|80% of Bornean orangutans live outside protected areas|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 5 September 2017 (Mongabay) - Four fifths of wild orangutans in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of Borneo, live outside national parks and other protected areas, according to a new study by the Indonesian government.
|Crowded Bangladesh revives plan to settle Rohingya on isolated island|
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 5 September 2017 (Reuters) - Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest and most crowded nations, plans to go ahead with work to develop an isolated, flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal to temporarily house tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in neighboring Myanmar.
|Pacific leaders to turn up heat on climate change|
APIA, Samoa, 4 September 2017 (AFP) - Climate change will dominate discussions when the leaders of vulnerable Pacific nations hold their annual meeting in the Samoan capital Apia this week, with global warming threatening their existence, officials say.
|Aldabra reclaims title as largest tropical island free of introduced birds|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 4 September 2017 (Nation) - Hot on the heels of January’s announcement of the successful eradication of introduced red-whiskered bulbuls and Madagascar fodies from the island of Assumption, the Seychelles Islands Foundation is delighted to follow this up with news of more invasive species success, this time from Aldabra.
|Croatia's isolated islands hope law will ease plight|
ZAGREB, Croatia, 4 September 2017 (BIRN) - Faced with such problems as an ageing population, the flight of young people, patchy healthcare and the over-dominance of tourism, the procedure is starting for the drafting of Croatia's new Law on Islands, designed to address some of these issues.
|Ships slowing in busy channel to protect endangered orcas|
SEATTLE, US, 3 September 2017 (AP) - Ships moving through a busy channel off Washington state's San Juan Island are slowing down this summer as part of a study to determine whether that can reduce noise and benefit a small, endangered population of killer whales.
|Eco ferry transport system for Croatian islands|
SIBENIK, Croatia, 2 September 2017 (TCN) - The city of Sibenik has been working on the UrbEco project for some time now aiming to connect all the islands in the Sibenik archipelago with an intermodal urban eco transport system.
|Balearic Islands to double tourist tax amid backlash|
MADRID, Spain, 1 September 2017 (Reuters) - Spain’s Balearic Islands will hike tourist taxes on visitors to the Mediterranean archipelago from 2018, with the average doubling to 3 euros per person amid growing unease among local residents over the effects of mass tourism.
|Island biogeography: Taking the long view of nature's laboratories|
WASHINGTON, US, 1 September 2017 (Science) - Ever since Darwin, natural scientists have turned to islands for inspiration and for model systems. For the past half century, they have done so largely within the paradigm established by Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson’s Theory of Island Biogeography, which provided a quantitative, dynamic framework, based upon assumptions of geographically predictable patterns of immigration, extinction, and speciation.
|Scientists uncover factors that shape sea life|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 31 August 2017 (SPX) - On its 50th anniversary, the landmark theory of island biogeography - the study of the distribution of species on islands over time - expands from land to sea with fascinating results.
|GBR plan to improve water quality ignores scientific advice|
LONDON, UK, 31 September 2017 (Guardian) - Australia’s draft plan to improve water quality on the Great Barrier Reef has ignored official government scientific advice, which was published by the Queensland and federal governments alongside the new plan this week.
|Philippine palm oil plan equals corruption and land-grabbing|
DAVAO CITY, Philippines, 31 August 2017 (Mongabay) - If the street Pedro Arnado was looking down was on the Philippine government’s roadmap for future palm oil development, critics say it would be one highly dangerous to navigate, lined with the hazards of unfair labor practices, land poverty, militarization and environmental degradation.
|Cyprus at risk of becoming a desert island|
ATHENS, Greece, 31 August 2017 (Kathimerini) - A toxic combination of decreasing rainfall, the abandonment of rural areas and an increase in water consumption over the past few decades has resulted in more than half the island of Cyprus being in immediate danger of desertification.
|Guam's forests are being slowly killed off - by a snake|
LONDON, UK, 31 August 2017 (The Conversation) - Our research adds to mounting evidence that the killing of many of the island’s bird species by an invasive species of snake is having severe knock-on effects for Guam’s trees, which rely on the birds to spread their seeds.
|New normal for the U.S. all too familiar for the Caribbean|
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, 31 August 2017 (IPS) - The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines says it hopes that the devastating loss and damage that Hurricane Harvey has wrought in Texas might inspire the government of President Donald Trump to rethink its position on climate change.
|Saving olive ridley turtles of the Indian Ocean|
LONDON, UK, 31 August 2017 (Guardian) - Richard Aspinall talks to Martin Stelfox from the Olive Ridley project about protecting one of the world’s smallest turtles from ‘ghost fishing’ in the Maldives.
|History-rich Maine island goes green|
BANGOR, US, 30 August 2017 (WLBZ) - A string of islands off of the coast of both Maine and New Hampshire is grabbing the world's attention for its nod to the past and its embrace of forward-thinking, green practices.
|Chinese poachers caught off Galapagos Islands|
LONDON, UK, 30 August 2017 (Independent) - Twenty Chinese crewmembers have been sentenced to jail and handed a £4.6m fine for illegally fishing off the Galapagos Islands, where they were caught by Ecuadorean officials with 6,600 sharks aboard.
|Traces of 6,000-year-old wine discovered in Sicilian cave|
PALERMO, Italy, 30 August 2017 (Guardian) - Researchers have discovered traces of what could be the world’s oldest wine at the bottom of terracotta jars in a cave in Sicily, showing that the fermented drink was being made and consumed in Italy more than 6,000 years ago.
|Tourists doubting value of trip to Great Barrier Reef|
LONDON, UK, 30 August 2017 (Guardian) - Overseas tourists have begun to doubt the value of a trip to the ailing Great Barrier Reef and it is getting increasingly difficult to “show people what they expect to see”, a dive operator has told a federal Senate inquiry.
|St. Lucia's PM on climate change|
CASTRIES, St Lucia, 28 August 2017 (IPS) - A Caribbean Community (CARICOM) prime minister has reiterated the call for developed countries to assist Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in their quest to combat the effects of climate change.
|Samsung under fire for partnership with forest-burning Korindo|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 25 August 2017 (Mongabay) - Ahead of the launch of its new cell phone, Samsung was handed a petition with tens of thousands of signatures asking it to end its joint venture with Korindo, a conglomerate that has cleared thousands of hectares of rainforest in Indonesia's Tanah Papua region.
|Secret life of the dodo revealed|
LONDON, UK, 24 August 2017 (BBC) - Scientists are piecing together clues about the life of the dodo, hundreds of years after the flightless bird was driven to extinction on the island of Mauritius.
|Facing disasters: lessons from a Bangladeshi island|
MELBOURNE, Australia, 24 August 2017 (The Conversation) - The death toll of Bangladesh’s brutal monsoon season keeps growing. Authorities estimate that flooding has killed at least 120 people and affected some 5 million others since mid-July.
|How Sicilian oranges are being made into clothes|
LONDON, UK, 24 August 2017 (BBC) - From fashion to energy - the rind and seeds of Sicily's most famous citrus fruit, the humble orange, are being used in a range of greener, healthier business initiatives.
|Nickelodeon abandons Philippine resort plan after backlash|
MANILA, Philippines, 23 August 2017 (AFP) - American children’s television network Nickelodeon says it has abandoned plans for a themed resort on an island known as the Philippines’ last ecological frontier following a backlash from environmentalists.
|Norfolk Island should become part of New Zealand|
LONDON, UK, 23 August 2017 (Guardian) - A former chief minister of Norfolk Island is calling on the territory to consider becoming part of New Zealand rather than Australia if it is successful in its United Nations bid for self-determination.
|Protests over geothermal development heat up in Central Java|
PURWOKERTO, Indonesia, 22 August 2017 (Mongabay) - The people of Karangtengah Village in Central Java learned in January one of their key sources of freshwater had been contaminated by debris from the development of a planned $1 billion geothermal energy plant at a nearby volcano.
|China's fishing fleet makes a move on Sandy Cay|
SYDNEY, Australia, 22 August 2017 (NCAN) - China is making a bold move on the Spratly Islands. A fishing fleet - backed by navy frigates and coast guard vessels - has surrounded the Philippines island of Pagasa/Thitu.
|Hero of Paris climate agreement dies|
LONDON, UK, 22 August 2017 (BBC) - Former Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony De Brum, who played a key role in securing the Paris climate pact has passed away aged 72.
|Kodiak Island looks at internet solutions|
KODIAK, US, 22 August 2017 (APM) - The City of Kodiak has easy access to internet compared to many other rural locations in the state, but Kodiak Island’s village communities are struggling.
|Spectacular rebirth of Belize's coral reefs threatened by tourism|
LAUGHING BIRD CAYE, Belize, 22 August 2017 (Guardian) - The gangly staghorn and fanning elkhorn corals are thriving in swimming distance of Laughing Bird Caye, a tiny Caribbean sandy islet in southern Belize, thanks to a restoration project that is yielding striking results.
|Buffalo revive local economy in remote Bay of Bengal islands|
BHOLA, Bangladesh, 22 August 2017 (IPS) - Visitors might be confused after arriving in Char Chatkimarai, a tiny island of eight square miles situated in the extreme south of Bangladesh close to the Bay of Bengal. Many might think they have just landed in an amazing part of a big national park of buffalo.
|Chile rejects iron mine to protect penguins|
LONDON, UK, 22 August 2017 (BBC) - The Chilean government has rejected plans for a billion-dollar mining project to extract iron in the northern Coquimbo region because it is close to the islands which form Chile's Humboldt Penguin Reserve.
|Environmental groups can sue to stop Okinawa expansion|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 21 August 2017 (UPI) - The expansion of the U.S. military's base in Okinawa, Japan could potentially be stifled in order to save the Okinawa dugong, an endangered species that resembles a manatee, after a U.S. court said Monday that environmental groups can sue the U.S. government for potential environmental threats in foreign countries.
|Indonesia's decision to share vessel tracking data ill-advised|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 21 August 2017 (Mongabay) - Not everyone supports the Indonesian government’s decision to publish information on the location of fishing boats in its waters, via data mapping platform Global Fishing Watch, accessible to anyone with a computer.
|16,000 Indonesian islands registered at UN|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 21 August 2017 (JP) - The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names verified 2,590 islands registered by Indonesia during the 11th United Nations Conference on Standardization of Geographical Names in New York from Aug. 7-18, an official has stated.
|Drier summers for Magdalene Islands farmers|
MONTREAL, Canada, 20 August 2017 (CBC) - The logo for the award-winning Pied-De-Vent cheese shows cows basking in the sunlight and scenery of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, on the islands' iconic grassy mounds.
|Britain's seabird colonies face catastrophe|
LONDON, UK, 20 August 2017 (Guardian) - One example of the devastating losses is found on St Kilda, one of the most significant seabird colonies in the North Atlantic. On this rocky outpost, there has been a 99% reduction in kittiwake nests since 1990.
|Solomon Islands undersea cable red-flagged|
SYDNEY, Australia, 19 August 2017 (SMH) - The undersea cable project was supposed to bring reliable internet to the Solomon Islands, the small Pacific nation where Australian military and police forces have been helping keep political stability since 2004.
|Belize moratorium on offshore oil activity|
BELMOPAN, Belize, 18 August 2017 (WWF) – The Belize government’s decision today to introduce critical legislation to establish a permanent moratorium on offshore oil activity in and around the Belize Barrier Reef has been welcomed by WWF, Oceana and other members of the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage as a landmark step forward for the World Heritage site and marine conservation globally.