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|Caribbean braces for more Covid-19 cases|
HAMILTON, Bermuda, 1 April 2020 (Royal Gazette) - The Caribbean, as well as Bermuda, is facing a new reality of social distancing and restrictions on movement as they battle their fears during the Covid-19 pandemic.
|Indonesia set to open emergency coronavirus hospital|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 1 April 2020 (Reuters) - Indonesia will by next week open a new coronavirus emergency hospital on the uninhabited island of Galang, where authorities have repurposed a former Vietnam war era refugee camp as part of efforts to rapidly augment healthcare capacities.
|Plantation director is charged with illegal logging|
AMBON, Indonesia, 1 April 2020 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry has charged a director of a plantation firm on the eastern Indonesian island of Seram with illegal logging in a dispute with an indigenous community.
|Rio Tinto accused of violating human rights in Bougainville|
LONDON, UK, 31 March 2020 (Guardian) - Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto is accused of being responsible for “multiple human rights violations” after its Panguna mine on the island of Bougainville left people with a dangerous legacy of poisoned water, polluted fields and a ruined river valley, according to a damning report from the Human Rights Law Centre.
|Climate crisis may have pushed coral reefs to tipping point|
LONDON, UK, 31 March 2020 (Guardian) - Rising ocean temperatures could have pushed the world’s tropical coral reefs over a tipping point where they are hit by bleaching on a “near-annual” basis, according to the head of a US government agency program that monitors the globe’s coral reefs.
|Why communities must be at the heart of conserving wildlife|
LONDON, UK, 31 March 2020 (The Conversation) - A little more than a year ago, the Haida Nation released the Land-Sea-People plan to manage Gwaii Haanas, off the coast of northern British Columbia, “from mountaintop to seafloor as a single, interconnected ecosystem.”
|Mining activity in Indonesia takes a hit from COVID-19 pandemic|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 31 March 2020 (Mongabay) - Mining companies in Indonesia are among those being hit by weakened demand as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the global economy. But the environmental reprieve as a result of the halt in activity may soon be shattered by an even more voracious demand for coal and other minerals once the worst of the outbreak is over, activists say.
|Report reveals 'massive plastic pollution footprint' of drinks firms|
LONDON, UK, 31 March 2020 (Guardian) - Four global drinks giants are responsible for more than half a million tonnes of plastic pollution in six developing countries (including the Philippines) each year, enough to cover 83 football pitches every day, according to a report.
|Antarctica records an unprecedented heatwave|
LONDON, UK, 31 March 2020 (Guardian) - While the world rightfully focuses on the Covid-19 pandemic, the planet is still warming. This summer’s Antarctic weather, as elsewhere in the world, was unprecedented in the observed record.
|The most remote islands in the Atlantic Ocean need protection|
PHILADELPHIA, US, 30 March 2020 (Pew) - In the remote waters of the South Atlantic Ocean lies the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, some 2,400 kilometres (1,491 miles) west of South Africa. A chain of four islands, Tristan da Cunha covers a small land area - about one-tenth the size of London - but it has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) close to three times the size of the United Kingdom: 754,000 square kilometres (291,121 square miles).
|Why Taiwan has become a problem for WHO|
LONDON, UK, 30 March 2020 (BBC) - Taiwan is seen as one of the few places in the world which has successfully stemmed the spread of the coronavirus without resorting to draconian measures.
|Scott Morrison calls the Pacific our 'family'|
LONDON, UK, 30 March 2020 (Guardian) - It is Australia’s duty – and in our national interest – to respond to the health and economic challenges caused by coronavirus in the Pacific.
|What will COVID-19 mean for the Pacific?|
CANBERRA, Australia, 30 March 2020 (ANU) - Right now, the effects of the virus are poised on the edge of sweeping into the region. It’s difficult to predict exactly what will come. But it’s helpful to break the overall issue into constituent parts and examine what each means.
|Forgotten Nazi camp on British soil revealed by archaeologists|
WASHINGTON, US, 30 March 2020 (NatGeog) - Today, the site of the former concentration camp Sylt is an overgrown patch of land hard against the rugged cliffs of Alderney, part of a British Crown Dependency in the Channel Islands. But just 75 years ago, it was a feared and heavily guarded German prison where hundreds of men suffered and died at the hands of their Nazi captors on its soil.
|Coconut farmers in Southeast Asia struggle|
GENERAL NAKAR, Philippines, 30 March 2020 (Mongabay) - Indonesia and the Philippines account for most of the world’s coconut production. But as the palm oil industry expands, helped along by generous government subsidies, coconut farmers are struggling to adapt.
|What self isolation is like when you live on Welsh islands|
CARDIFF, Wales, 30 March 2020 (WalesOnline) - It might be hard to believe right now, but for a certain group of people in Wales the last week of Government-imposed lockdown has been about the same as any other. No visitors? No food shops? For them it's been no problem.
|How Grand Cayman is standing up to coronavirus|
GRAND HARBOUR, Cayman Islands, 29 March 2020 (Forbes) - It is 9 am on a Saturday morning at Hurley’s supermarket in Grand Cayman and there is no hint of “business as usual”. Members of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service are manning the supermarket entrance, while security guards spray shoppers’ hands with antibacterial fluid.
|Pacific islands are combating COVID-19 just like the rest of us|
WASHINGTON, US, 28 March 2020 (NPR) - As COVID-19 cases in the remote Pacific climb, it turns out that even natural isolation is no match against this pandemic. In an effort to keep to the virus at bay, the authorities have put a range of policies into place from Palau to Tahiti, including travel restrictions, school closings, lockdowns and states of emergency.
|Painting a picture of an island in crisis|
MARTHA'S VINEYARD, US, 28 March 2020 (MV Times) - There are so many things that summer on the Vineyard promises us Islanders. Yes, there is the inundation of tourists with their multi-colored striped beach chairs, Thule racks, and the dreaded return of mopeds.
|A tiny island tries to shut out the virus|
NORTH HAVEN, US, 28 March 2020 (POLITICO) - The ferry to the island of North Haven, Maine, has space for a dozen or so vehicles and 220 passengers. This past Saturday afternoon, there were just three passengers: a cable operator on his way to check the island’s Internet service, and a lobsterman and his sternman returning from a supply run.
|How Madagascar shapes southern Africa's rainfall|
LONDON, UK, 27 March 2020 (CHN) - New analysis of Madagascar’s influence on the flow of air off south-east Africa will help climate scientists make more accurate forecasts of future regional rainfall.
|How the Falklands are preparing for coronavirus|
LONDON, UK, 27 March 2020 (TIME) - When it comes to riding out a pandemic, Pebble Island is a pretty safe place to be. Part of the remote Falklands archipelago in the south Atlantic, Pebble is home to just two families.
|Irish islands aren't smiling at tourists|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 27 March 2020 (Guardian) - It is a familiar trope in films and books about apocalypse: as the world totters, people flee to a small island and hunker down, hoping the remoteness will offer a haven until the threat has passed.
|This bizarre floating gadget could save seabirds lives|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 26 March 2020 (BirdLife) - Many seabirds meet their end accidentally tangled in fishing nets. In a brand new approach to this problem, the Estonian Ornithological Society is testing a device called the Looming-eyes buoy in Küdema Bay protected area, off the island of Saaremaa.
|Seychelles protects 30% of territorial waters ahead of schedule|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 26 March 2020 (SNA) - Seychelles has legally designated 30 percent of its territorial waters as marine protected areas 10 years ahead of international targets, President Danny Faure said at the signing of legal document on Thursday.
|Indonesia ends timber legality rule|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 26 March 2020 (Mongabay) - Environmental experts have warned of a resurgence in illegal logging in Indonesia after the government declared that wood exports would no longer have to comply with a stringent legality check that took a decade to put in place.
|Falklands testing ground for satellite system|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 26 March 2020 (MercoPress) - A new satellite system that could revolutionize mobile connectivity has been tested successfully, setting a new world record in the process, according to its inventor. Tyghe Spiedel is the co-founder of Lynk, a company that builds very small satellites designed to communicate with standard mobile phones.
|Let's not let COVID-19 nip the EU Green Deal in the bud|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 25 March 2020 (BirdLife) - The emergency aid we as taxpayers will be showering over the economy must flow in lockstep with the principles and values of the still essential EU Green Deal – sustainability, decarbonisation, the circular economy, equity and justice, restoration and preservation of our ecosystems – these are the enduring pillars of our survival to be strengthened as we battle the pandemic – we can and we must do both simultaneously.
|Biodiversity boon for Niue, the world's first 'dark sky nation'|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 25 March 2020 (Mongabay) - The Pacific island of Niue, one of the least-populated countries in the world, was designated the world’s first “dark sky nation” by the International Dark-Sky Association on March 7. The move provides additional protection to the country’s unique biodiversity.
|Why marine protected areas are often not where they should be|
LONDON, UK, 25 March 2020 (The Conversation) - Many parts of the world’s protected areas, in both terrestrial and marine environments, are placed in locations with no form of manageable human activity or development occurring, such as fishing or infrastructure. These places are often remote, such as in the centres of oceans.
|A historical perspective on epidemics in the Hawaiian islands|
WASHINGTON, US, 25 March 2020 (Smithsonian) - One thing Hawaiians know about is epidemics. Foreign diseases have come through here before, and they have inflicted unfathomable damage. Hence many locals have been pushing the mayors and Governor David Ige to shut down the islands completely to outside travel.
|Tuvalu making significant progress in waste management|
APIA, Samoa, 25 March 2020 (SPREP) - The Government of Tuvalu has published the second annual review of their Integrated Waste Policy and Action Plan, which reports that despite implementation challenges, there is evidence of “significant progress” in several areas, including waste management.
|Indonesia bets on seaweed as an alternative to plastic|
BALI, Indonesia, 25 March 2020 (Mongabay) - A local government initiative to revive seaweed farming off Bali comes amid growing interest in the crop’s promise to tackle environmental problems ranging from carbon emissions to plastic waste pollution.
|Chilean authorities eye controversial Cruz Grande port project|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 25 March 2020 (Mongabay) - Chile’s largest steel producer is violating the terms of its environmental permit for construction of a port near the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve and the Choros and Damas Island Marine Reserve, according to the marine conservation NGO Oceana.
|Is it time to postpone the 2020 Climate Summit?|
NEW YORK, US, 25 March 2020 (IPS) - With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the planet and the governments of both wealthy and poorer nations overwhelmed by the demands of managing a response, the scheduling of this year’s critical UN Climate Summit is suddenly in doubt.
|Scientists call for independent review of dam project|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 24 March 2020 (Mongabay) - A controversial hydropower project being built in the only known habitat of the critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan has been put on hold indefinitely over the coronavirus outbreak.
|The EU's outermost regions: strengthened partnership bears fruit|
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 23 March 2020 (EC) - The European Commission adopted a report on progress made under the 2017 Strategic Partnership with the EU's outermost regions, which strengthened the cooperation between the EU outermost regions, the respective Member States and the European Commission.
|Christmas Island discovery redraws map of life|
BRISBANE, Australia, 23 March 2020 (UQ) - The world's animal distribution map will need to be redrawn and textbooks updated, after researchers discovered the existence of 'Australian' species on Christmas Island. The finding revises the long-held understanding of the location of one of biology and geography's most significant barriers - the Wallace line.
|Mining amendments a boon for Indonesia's coal industry|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 23 March 2020 (Mongabay) - The coal industry in Indonesia, one of the world’s top exporters of the fossil fuel, has laid waste to large swaths of forest, polluted waterways, and disenfranchised local communities, observers say. Under a new deregulation bill being deliberated in parliament, things could get even worse, they warn.
|First Minister warns Scotland's islands are no-go area|
GLASGOW, UK, 23 March 2020 (The National) - Nicola Sturgeon has declared the Scottish islands a no-go area for visitors amid the coronavirus crisis, saying ferry companies have been told not to take “non-essential travellers”.
| GBR watchers anxiously await evidence of coral bleaching|
LONDON, UK, 22 March 2020 (Guardian) - The full impact of coral bleaching across the Great Barrier Reef will become clearer this week as aerial surveys of hundreds of reefs are completed in the bottom two thirds of the world’s biggest reef system.
|Fears of catastrophe as Greece puts migrant camps into lockdown|
LONDON, UK, 21 March 2020 (Guardian) - In the five Greek island “hotspots” that are sheltering about 42,000 people, one case of Covid-19 has been recorded. The affected person is a resident of the island of Lesbos. There have been no cases in the camps so far.
|COVID-19 prompts closure of Indonesian parks|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 20 March 2020 (Mongabay) - Indonesian authorities have ordered a temporary closure of dozens of national parks and conservation sites to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus that has killed thousands of people worldwide.
|Indonesian activists denounce a road being built illegally|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 20 March 2020 (Mongabay) - Conservationists and affected communities have slammed a plan to build a road through a jungle-clad mountain in Indonesia’s West Java province, citing the lack of permits and the threat of exacerbated flooding and landslides in the area.
|'No-waste' Japanese village is a peek into carbon-neutral future|
TOKYO, Japan, 20 March 2020 (Guardian) - The residents of a remote village on the Japanese island of Shikoku have spent almost two decades reusing, recycling and reducing, united behind a mission to end their dependence on incinerators and landfill as the world struggles to tackle the climate emergency and the plastic waste crisis.
|Italian hermit living alone on an island|
BUDELLI, Italy, 20 March 2020 (CNN) - For more than 30 years, Mauro Morandi has been the sole inhabitant of a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea. For the past few weeks his hermit's hut has been an aptly isolated location from which to watch the global coronavirus crisis unfold.
|How Dominica is building the world's first climate resilient nation|
ROSEAU, Dominica, 19 March 2020 (CREAD) - Hurricane Maria made landfall on the southwest coast of the Commonwealth of Dominica at 9:35 p.m. on September 18, 2017. It was a Category 5 hurricane, with 220 mph wind speed and even higher gusts. The scale of devastation left in its wake was unprecedented.
|Ireland's offshore islands go into lockdown|
CORK, Ireland, 19 March 2020 (Examiner) - Several offshore islands have gone into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic with tourists and holiday home owners being discouraged from travelling there.
|Grace gravity mission captures Greenland ice loss|
LONDON, UK, 18 March 2020 (BBC) - Greenland shed an extraordinary 600 billion tonnes of ice by the end of summer last year. This melt-driven loss would have raised global sea levels by 2.2mm, say scientists who've just published an analysis of satellite gravity measurements taken over the Arctic.
|Madagascar off pace to meet Aichi targets|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 18 March 2020 (Mongabay) - The megadiverse island nation of Madagascar isn’t doing enough to meet the Aichi targets, which means the unique biodiversity of the world’s oldest island remains as imperiled as ever.
|Civil war rivals vie for Yemen's strategic Socotra island|
WASHINGTON, US, 18 March 2020 (Al-Monitor) - Yemen’s Socotra island has become the center of a power struggle between the Yemeni government and the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC). Tensions have been running high, especially since two government battalions defected last month and joined the STC.
|Norfolk Island state of emergency declared|
DUBBO, Australia, 17 March 2020 (ABC) - A state of emergency has been declared and a 32-day travel ban imposed on Norfolk Island in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus. Locals say the travel ban, effective immediately, will see the tiny island's economy grind to a halt.
|Islands in the U.S. are barring all outsiders|
NEW YORK, US, 17 March 2020 (NYT) - Two famous island resorts in the Eastern United States are trying to seal themselves off by barring all visitors, taking the extraordinary measures in an effort to prevent the coronavirus from coming ashore.
|Trinidad and Tobago struggles to meet its biodiversity targets|
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, 17 March 2020 (IPS) - Trinidad and Tobago, like many other signatories to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, had made commitments in 2010, to achieve several biological diversity targets during the decade 2011 to 2020, commonly referred to as the Aichi targets. However, achieving most of those targets continues to be a work in progress.
|This solar-powered device aims to clean 1,000 rivers|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 16 March 2020 (Mongabay) - In October, Dutch nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup (TOC) unveiled a solar-powered river-cleaning device called the Interceptor but the prototype operating in Jakarta’s heavily polluted Cengkareng drain in February stalled after a heavy rain.
|Scientists quantify how wave power drives coastal erosion|
CAMBRIDGE, US, 16 March 2020 (MIT) - Over millions of years, Hawaiian volcanoes have formed a chain of volcanic islands stretching across the Northern Pacific, where ocean waves from every direction, stirred up by distant storms or carried in on tradewinds, have battered and shaped the islands' coastlines to varying degrees.
|Philippines quarantines island of 57 million people|
MANILA, Philippines, 16 March 2020 (Al Jazeera) - President Rodrigo Duterte has put the entire Philippine island of Luzon under an "enhanced community quarantine" until April 12 to stop the spread of coronavirus infections. Effectively a lockdown of the country's largest and most populous island, the measures affect about 57 million people.
|Coronavirus concern finally washes ashore B.C.'s remote islands|
QUADRA ISLAND, Canada, 16 March 2020 (CNO) - A wave of alarm over COVID-19 hit the shores of some of B.C.’s more isolated islands after federal and provincial authorities have announced a series of wide-ranging measures to quell the spread of the virus within the last week.
|Ancient tsunami may have struck Falkland Islands|
LONDON, UK, 16 March 2020 (BBC) - The Falkland Islands may at some point in the future face a major tsunami. Scientists have found evidence of ancient slope failures on the seafloor to the south of the British Overseas Territory.
|Maine island life in the age of coronavirus|
CHEBEAGUE ISLAND, US, 15 March 2020 (PPH) - For island selectwoman Donna Damon, the coronavirus started getting real a few days before Maine confirmed its first case. Her daughter lives in Massachusetts and had colleagues who’d potentially been exposed to the virus at a meeting of Biogen company personnel in Boston that’s been linked to most of that state’s early cases.
|Cars that eat paradise|
SYDNEY, Australia, 15 March 2020 (ABC) - The 40-kilometre road that runs the length of South Tarawa in Kiribati is surprisingly busy: it will take more than an hour to travel its length, about half the time it took before it was paved a few years ago.
|Cruise industry pressured Caribbean islands to allow tourists|
NEW YORK, US, 14 March 2020 (The Intercept) - Sam Duncombe, head of the Bahamian environmental organization reEarth, looked on with concern Thursday as island authorities debated whether to allow passengers to disembark from Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Braemar, the latest ship hit by the novel coronavirus.
|The push to elect women in Vanuatu|
PORT VILA, Vanuatu, 14 March 2020 (Guardian) - Motoralivoa Hilda Lini stands at the front door of Vanuatu’s parliament, wearing an elegant pink dress and customary pig tusks on her wrists, signifying her chiefly status.
|Averting an agricultural and ecological crisis in the Philippines|
BENGUET, Philippines, 13 March 2020 (Mongabay) - Centuries of growing highland vegetables to sustain the Philippines’ food supply has taken a toll on the farms in the Cordilleras, a mountainous region in the country’s north, which supplies 80% of vegetables in the whole archipelago.
|How clean energy boosts climate resilience for island communities|
BOULDER, USA, 12 March 2020 (Eco-Business) - After years of increasingly severe hurricane seasons in which island countries and territories in the Caribbean have lost power for weeks and even months at a time, the need for climate resilience could not be clearer. And as the Bahamas is showing, the cleanest energy sources can also be the most resilient.
|Migrants on Greek islands to be offered money to go home|
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 12 March 2020 (Guardian) - Migrants on the Greek islands are to be offered €2,000 per person to go home under a voluntary scheme launched by the European Union in an attempt to ease desperate conditions in camps.
|Indonesia's Lake Poso, an evolutionary 'gem,' threatened by dam|
LAKE POSO, Indonesia, 12 March 2020 (Mongabay) - In the aftermath of a violent communal conflict that set neighbor against neighbor around this ancient lake in the mountains of eastern Indonesia, local leaders were eager for projects that promised a brighter future.
|Protecting unique wildlife in France's overseas territories|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 11 March 2020 (BirdLife) - More than 80 percent of France’s biodiversity is located in just five overseas territories: French Guiana, Réunion Island, Martinique, Saint-Martin and Mayotte. But forestry, mining, urban sprawl, tourism and predation by invasive alien species are threatening the regions’ wildlife.
|Challenge to Tongass timber sale upheld in court|
KETCHIKAN, Alaska, 11 March 2020 (KRBD) - A federal judge has ruled in favor of green groups challenging the largest Tongass timber sale in decades. The decision keeps in place her injunction blocking the first phase of a 15-year plan to open up 23,269 acres on Prince of Wales Island to old-growth logging.
|Researchers discover dinosaur stomping ground on Skye|
LONDON, UK, 11 March 2020 (BBC) - Researchers from Edinburgh University have found dozens of fossil footprints on Skye which expand the list of dinosaurs known to have lived in the area. They say it reveals a thriving ecosystem in the Middle Jurassic period 170 million years ago.
|PepsiCo renews sustainable palm oil policy|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 11 March 2020 (Mongabay) - PepsiCo has updated its palm oil sustainability policy to require all its suppliers, not just direct ones, to commit to ending deforestation, conversion of pealands, and worker exploitation.
|The collapse of New Zealand's landmark ocean park|
LONDON, UK, 11 March 2020 (Guardian) - Tiritiri Matangi is one of the jewels of New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf. For the past 35 years the island, which is within sight of Auckland’s skyscrapers, has been a protected nature reserve.
|Activists win reprieve, for now, for Dominican coastline|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 10 March 2020 (Mongabay) - A coalition of environmentalists is fighting to prevent Spanish company Globalia from building an ecotourism resort bordering Cotubanamá National Park, one of the last remaining patches of pristine lowland rainforest in the Dominican Republic.
|Does Isle au Haut hold the answer to the future of electricity?|
ST. PAUL, US, 10 March 2020 (Ensia) - Living on an island forces one to be an innovator in ways large and small. For the 50 or so year-round residents of Isle au Haut, an island off the coast of Maine, innovation can look like using PVC pipe as a curtain rod or it can look like the future of the nation’s electrical grid.
|German fears for fishing industry|
SASSNITZ, Germany, 9 March 2020 (Guardian) - When a Danish trawler docks on the island of Rügen in the early hours of a stormy Thursday morning, the Euro-Baltic plant at Sassnitz-Mukran suddenly jolts to life.
|The fight goes on for opponents of a Philippine mine|
MANILA, Philippines, 9 March 2020 (Mongabay) - For more than two decades, anti-mining groups and indigenous communities in the southern Philippines have opposed a massive mining project there, blocking it both in the courts and on the ground.
|Papua New Guinea's infrastructure woes|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 9 March 2020 (Mongabay) - PNG's government has ambitious plans to expand its road network, aiming to build more than 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) of road in the five-year period leading up to 2022.
|Proposals for Shetland Space Centre submitted|
LONDON, UK, 9 March 2020 (BBC) - Proposals for a spaceport complex in Shetland have now been formally submitted. Shetland Space Centre wants to build a vertical launch pad facility at Unst which is Scotland's most northerly island and is seen as a good project location because of its clear airspace.
|Indonesian indigenous land defenders jailed|
MEDAN, Indonesia, 9 March 2020 (Mongabay) - A court in Indonesia has sentenced two indigenous farmers to nine months in jail in the latest legal battle over land claimed by both the community and pulp and paper company PT Toba Pulp Lestari.
|The monks who bought their own Scottish island|
LONDON, UK, 9 March 2020 (BBC) - Twenty years ago, an order of Catholic monks bought a small Orkney island where they could practise the Latin Mass. They are continuing a religious tradition which gave Papa Stronsay its name.
|Coronavirus fears knock back Pacific tourism|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 6 March 2020 (RNZ) - The Northern Marianas, a US territory in the North Pacific, is meant to be humming at this time of year. March is normally the height of the visitor season, with tens of thousands of tourists flying in from three big markets: China, South Korea and Japan.
|How Palau protects its reefs and waters|
KOROR, Palau, 6 March 2020 (Mongabay) - Palau is made up of some 400 islands: mostly underwater limestone plateaus in the south, basaltic volcanos in the middle, and limestone atolls in the north.
|The future Pacific island children want|
SYDNEY, Australia, 5 March 2020 (IPS) - For 13-year-old Karen Semens, growing up on Pohnpei - one of the four main island states in the Federated States of Micronesia, which comprises of more than 600 islands in the western Pacific Ocean - the main challenge is being a girl.
|POSCO vows zero deforestation in Papua palm oil operation|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 5 March 2020 (Mongabay) - Environmental watchdogs have welcomed a zero-deforestation pledge by South Korean trading giant POSCO International with regard to its palm oil operations in Indonesia’s Papua province, following years of razing the land.
|Lord Howe: Australia's most exclusive island?|
LONDON, UK, 5 March 2020 (BBC) - Everything about Lord Howe, a reef-rimmed tropical island 780km north-east of Sydney, is laidback – except for the fervour with which its locals protect their paradise.
|New solar system for Tokelau|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 4 March 2020 (RNZ) - Tokelau's solar energy system is set to be upgraded on each of its three atolls thus bringing almost 100 percent renewable energy to Tokelau's 1400 inhabitants.
|Coral reefs in Turks and Caicos Islands resist global bleaching event|
CHAMPAIGN, US, 4 March 2020 (SPX) - A study that relied on citizen scientists to monitor the health of corals on Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean from 2012 to 2018 found that 35 key coral species remained resilient during a 2014-17 global coral-bleaching event that harmed coral reefs around the world.
|Tragedy of the Isle of Women|
LONDON, UK, 4 March 2020 (Guardian) - Anne Helene Gjelstad was working on a photography project on the tiny Estonian island of Kihnu when one of her neighbours invited her to an old woman’s funeral to take pictures.
|Where the logging ends, the forest clearing begins|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 4 March 2020 (Mongabay) - A recent study of timber concessions in the Indonesian Bornean provinces of East and North Kalimantan found that concessions that were not actively being logged showed higher rates of deforestation than active operations.
|Power outages leave Aboriginal people on NT islands with no food|
LONDON, UK, 3 March 2020 (Guardian) - Aboriginal people living in eight small communities in Northern Territory’s Groote archipelago went without food, fuel and essential supplies for almost three days last week after a telecommunications outage left them “sick, angry, hungry and forgotten” with no support from emergency services.
|More than 80% of Indian Ocean dolphins may have been killed|
LONDON, UK, 3 March 2020 (Guardian) - Dolphin numbers in the Indian Ocean may have dropped by more than 80% in recent decades, with an estimated 4m small cetaceans caught as “by-catch” in commercial tuna fishing nets since 1950, according to a study.
|Indonesia's point man for palm oil says no more plantations in Papua|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 2 March 2020 (Mongabay) - A top Indonesian official has declared a halt to new oil palm plantations in the country’s heavily forested Papua region in favor of other, “greener,” crops, apparently contradicting his vigorous earlier defenses of the industry.
|The tiny island that's key to China's maritime ambitions|
NEW YORK, US, 1 March 2020 (Bloomberg) - Nobody would ever call Thitu Island a Pacific Ocean paradise. The second-largest of the chain of reefs, shoals and atolls in South China Sea known as the Spratly Islands, Thitu is a sunbaked 92-acre rock, dotted with scruffy trees and long-abandoned military bunkers, eking out existence just a few feet above high tide.
|Is the Pacific ready for coronavirus? |
CANBERRA, Australia, 1 March 2020 (Devex) - The Pacific Island countries have not yet seen coronavirus cases, but the vulnerability of the region to infectious diseases - highlighted recently with a measles outbreak - means country plans and responses are being implemented to prevent the virus from being imported and to deliver a rapid response if it is.