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|The unexpected benefit of traceability for small-scale fishers|
GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines, 12 November 2019 (Mongabay) - Consumers are demanding to know where the seafood they buy comes from to ensure catches are legal, sustainable and free from labor abuse. The technology to deliver that information, once out of reach for small-scale fishers, is becoming more accessible in places like the Philippines.
|Where plastic outnumbers fish by seven to one|
LONDON, UK, 12 November 2019 (BBC) - Plastic is building up in the areas of the ocean where fish feed and grow, according to research. A study found bits of plastic outnumber baby fish by seven to one in nursery waters off Hawaii.
|The ghosts of ancient hurricanes live in Caribbean blue holes|
WASHINGTON, US, 11 November 2019 (NatGeog) - South Andros Island, part of the Bahamian archipelago, is a sandy slice of paradise whose shores conceal buried geological treasures: blue holes. Hiding in the depths of these ethereal submarine sinkholes lay ancient sediment sandwiches whose layers betray the bygone passages of powerful hurricanes.
|Global trafficking threat catches up to Sri Lanka's pangolins|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 11 November 2019 (Mongabay) - Hunting for domestic meat consumption has long been the main threat to the Indian pangolin in Sri Lanka, but a new study identifies a growing threat from hunting for scales to feed demand from China.
|FSC report on palm giant Korindo lists litany of violations|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 11 November 2019 (Mongabay) - The Forest Stewardship Council has released a batch of heavily redacted reports into its probe of violations by a palm oil company operating in Indonesia, after it was earlier slapped with a cease-and-desist letter.
|How the U.S. betrayed the Marshall Islands|
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 10 November 2019 (LATimes) - Five thousand miles west of Los Angeles and 500 miles north of the equator, on a far-flung spit of white coral sand in the central Pacific, a massive, aging and weathered concrete dome bobs up and down with the tide.
|An island community grapples with its future|
OCRACOKE, US, 9 November 2019 (SF) - On any normal late-fall day, the ferries that ply the 30 miles between Swan Quarter and this barrier island might carry vacationing retirees, sports fishermen and residents enjoying mainland getaways after the busy summer tourist season.
|Volunteers hauled more than 1,000 bags of trash off Maine islands|
BANGOR, US, 9 November 2019 (BDN) - There’s a problem on Maine islands. Each year, tons of debris wash ashore. Plastic bottles, chunks of Styrofoam, busted buoys and single-use containers are carried in by the tide, turning idyllic isles into catchalls for floating trash.
|Cyprus wetlands in danger of being destroyed by climate change|
NICOSIA, Cyprus, 8 November 2019 (CM) - Cyprus wetlands are in danger of being destroyed due to climate change, with the Mediterranean region being described as the hot spot of the hotspots where rising temperature and water levels are more than dramatic.
|South Carolina resort plan for remote island|
CHARLESTON, US, 7 November 2019 (P&C) - Plans to build a luxury resort on a small, undeveloped barrier island off South Carolina’s coast could be allowable under rules for “ecotourism.”
|Indonesia re-exporting illegal waste to other countries|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 7 November 2019 (Mongabay) - A report by environmental groups says the Indonesian government is shipping containers of imported plastic waste from the U.S. to other countries instead of sending them back to the source as it claimed it would.
|Iconic Pacific bird sanctuary ravaged by plastic and death|
MIDWAY ATOLL, Hawaii, 7 November 2019 (AP) - Flying into the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Midway Atoll appears out of the vast blue Pacific as a tiny oasis of coral-fringed land with pristine white sand beaches that are teeming with life. But on the ground, there's a different scene: plastic, pollution and death.
|Island population could soar by 6,000% after appeal for residents|
GLASGOW, UK, 7 November 2019 (Herald) - The population of a small Hebridean island could soar by 6,000 per cent if applications to become its newest residents are accepted. More than 350 people lodged their interest in living on the Isle of Ulva, which is currently home to just six people.
|Save Aru campaign holds lessons for other rural communities |
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 6 November 2019 (Mongabay) - The people of Indonesia’s Aru Islands fended off a land grab that would have led to the destruction of a vast area of rainforest, through a sophisticated grassroots campaign that held power to account.
|Scientists delve into mystery of returning bluefin tuna|
LONDON, UK, 6 November 2019 (BBC) - Researchers are investigating the reappearance of bluefin tuna off Scotland. The Western Isles, where the first recorded rod-line catch of an Atlantic bluefin tuna was made in 2013, is a focus of the research.
|Bornean villagers take their fight online|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 5 November 2019 (Mongabay) - As the forests of South Kalimantan province were whittled away by extractive industries, just one district in this corner of Indonesian Borneo remained free of both mining and oil palm plantations: Central Hulu Sungai district.
|India's clever alliances with island states|
SYDNEY, Australia, 5 November 2019 (The Interpreter) - As India struggles to manage China’s economic and diplomatic influence in its immediate neighbourhood, it has recently made progress in building more robust ties with four crucial island states in the Indian Ocean: Mauritius, the Maldives, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka. What has been done – and what has worked – may well bear on Australia’s “step up” in the Pacific.
|Sea level will rise for centuries|
WASHINGTON, US, 4 November 2019 (NatGeog) - On Monday, the United States officially began the process of pulling out of the Paris Agreement, an international deal struck in 2016 that aimed to keep greenhouse gas emissions low enough to keep Earth’s climate-induced warming to under 2 degrees Celsius (3.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
|Effectiveness of Indonesian palm plantation moratorium questioned|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 4 November 2019 (Mongabay) - A year after the Indonesian government imposed a ban on issuing new licenses for oil palm plantations, the leading certification body for sustainable sourcing of the crop has criticized the policy as essentially ineffective.
|Vulnerable New York City island|
NEW YORK, US, 4 November 2019 (Reuters) - New York’s Broad Channel neighborhood is an island in more ways than one: Politically, it is a rare pocket of staunch support for President Donald Trump in a liberal city. But it is also a literal island that barely rises over the waters of Jamaica Bay.
|Restoring Jamaica's lost coral reefs|
LONDON, UK, 4 November 2019 (Guardian) - After a series of natural and manmade disasters in the 1980s and 1990s, Jamaica lost 85% of its coral reefs and fish catches hugely declined. Many scientists thought the reefs had been permanently lost but today the corals and tropical fish are slowly reappearing, thanks to the work of local ‘gardeners’.
|Puffins make poor diet choices when the chips are down|
SOUTHAMPTON, UK, 4 November 2019 (Phys.org) - A new study has shown that Britain's puffins may struggle to adapt to changes in their North Sea feeding grounds and researchers are calling for better use of marine protection areas (MPAs) to help protect the country's best known seabirds.
|Indonesia protests: Land bill at center of unrest|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 3 November 2019 (Mongabay) - In late September, international news outlets caught flak for their coverage of Indonesia’s largest mass protests since the 1998 uprising that led to the fall of the dictator Suharto.
|Fragments of oil from Brazil spill reach whale sanctuary|
SAO PAULO, Brazil, 2 November 2019 (AFP) - Fragments of oil from spills plaguing Brazil's coast for three month have reached a humpback whale sanctuary, the navy reported Saturday. The area around the small Abrolhos archipelago off the coast of northeast Bahia state has some of Brazil's richest biodiversity.
|Antarctic marine park bid fails for eighth time|
LONDON, UK, 2 November 2019 (Guardian) - Conservationists have expressed frustration that an international commission for protecting marine life in Antarctica has failed for the eighth consecutive time to create a marine park across 1 million sq km on the continent’s east.
|The Canadian islands crumbling into the sea|
ILES-DE-LA-MADELEINE, Canada, 1 November 2019 (WP) - The more than 12,000 residents of this windswept Canadian archipelago are facing a growing number of gut-wrenching choices, as extreme climate change transforms the land and water around them.
|A story of resilience on Wagina, Solomon Islands|
APIA, Samoa, 1 November 2019 (SPREP) - In 1964, young Joseph Teia said goodbye to his home in the Gilbertese islands of Kiribati, boarded a vessel and came to Solomon Islands and never returned. He was seven years old when he left.
|Greek migrant camps 'on edge of catastrophe'|
LONDON, UK, 1 November 2019 (BBC) - Thousands of people living in "abysmal" refugee camps on two Greek islands are "on the edge of catastrophe", Europe's human rights watchdog has said.
|Channel Islands largest solar panel array online at Guernsey Post|
LONDON, UK, 31 October 2019 (BBC) - The largest solar panel array in the Channel Islands has come online on the roof of the Guernsey Post headquarters. The energy generated by the array's 654 panels is expected to exceed 200,000 kW/h per year which is enough to power the post office's fleet of 82 electric vans.
BRISBANE, Australia, 31 October 2019 (UQ) - A team of University of Queensland researchers is working tirelessly to find an environmental engineering solution for a very human problem in the Solomon Islands, where the lives of entire communities are in turmoil thanks to drastic sea level rises.
|Red alert for blue planet and small island states|
ROME, Italy, 31 October 2019 (IPS) - Barely a week passes without alarming news of the most recent scientific research into the global climate crisis compounding a growing sense of urgency, particularly the impact on small island states from rising sea levels and extreme weather.
|Greece's last island paradise?|
LONDON, UK, 31 October 2019 (BBC) - The very isolation that has hindered Arkoi’s growth has saved it the fate of other, more popular Greek islands that have been spoiled by tourism.
|Chinese redevelopment of Solomon Islands Gold Ridge mine|
SYDNEY, Australia, 30 October 2019 (ABC) - Chinese companies will build and control power and port facilities, roads, rail and bridges on an island within the Solomon Islands, as part of an $825 million deal to revive an abandoned gold mine, according to new contract details.
|Indonesia's sustainable candlenut farms|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 30 October 2019 (BirdLife) - As well as being the only place other than Komodo National Park where you can find the infamous Komodo Dragon, Indonesia’s Flores Island is also famed (and named) for its flowers.
|Controversial dam gets green light to flood a Philippine protected area|
GENERAL NAKAR, Philippines, 30 October 2019 (Mongabay) - The environment department has issued an environmental compliance certificate that allows the contested Kaliwa Dam project in the Sierra Madre mountain range to go ahead, part of a wider push to secure water supplies for Manila and surrounding areas.
|Japanese tourists trial tour of Russian-held islands|
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, 30 October 2019 (JT) - Japanese tourists on Wednesday began a visit to two disputed Russian-held islands off Hokkaido, as part of joint economic activities by the Japanese and Russian governments that are intended to build trust.
|New study into climate impact on North Sea wildlife|
LONDON, UK, 30 October 2019 (BBC) - Marine Scotland Science researchers looked at what effect warming sea temperatures might have on sandeels. Sandeel larvae hatch close to the start of a "bloom" in their prey, the eggs of tiny crustaceans called copepods.
|Isle of Wight MP asks Prime Minister to deliver Island Deal|
NEWPORT, UK, 29 October 2019 (County Press) - MP Bob Seely has written to Boris Johnson asking for millions of pounds for public services, a £5 cap on patient travel to the mainland and help tackling the ferry companies' 'monopoly' on cross-Solent travel.
|Project to document climate change loss and grief in the Pacific|
BRISBANE, Australia, 29 October 2019 (UQ) - The way Pacific Island communities on the frontline of climate change are experiencing and working through loss and grief is being documented in a project that could become a ‘wake-up call’ for the rest of the world.
|A Sumatran forest community braces for battle against a planned coal mine|
PEKANBARU, Indonesia, 29 October 2019 (Mongabay) - The Pangkalan Kapas forest on the eastern coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island is central to the livelihoods of local villagers and the survival of the endangered wildlife in a nearby nature reserve. But it faces what conservationists fear is an existential threat from one of the most ubiquitous industries here: coal mining.
|Coal power plants flourish in the Philippines|
MANILA, Philippines, 28 October 2019 (Mongabay) - Coal has long been the primary power source in the Philippines, and large-scale power plants act as a safety crutch in the country’s quest for energy security.
|Indonesian court fines palm oil firm $18.5m over forest fires in 2015|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 28 October 2019 (Mongabay) - A court in Indonesia has ordered palm oil company PT Arjuna Utama Sawit to pay the equivalent of $18.6 million in fines and damages for fires on its land in Borneo in 2015, in the latest instance of a zero-tolerance enforcement approach against concession holders.
|Aran Islands Co-op Recycling Project wins top national award|
GALWAY, Ireland, 27 October 2019 (GD) - Over the last 20 years, the Aran Islands Co-op Recycling Project has successfully transformed the waste management and recycling infrastructure on the Aran Islands by eliminating three landfill sites. It also created a community-run kerbside recycling system for both dry packaging and compost.
|Why life on Scotland's islands makes us happy|
LONDON, UK, 27 October 2019 (BBC) - Scottish islands are consistently among the happiest places to live in the UK, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.
|British island 'invaded' in name of French 'king'|
LONDON, UK, 27 October 2019 (Telegraph) - A tiny British island was “invaded” in the name of a French 'king' with the group raising the Patagonian flag and painting a toilet block in their national colours.
|$20m contract to maintain Christmas Island detention centre|
LONDON, UK, 26 October 2019 (Guardian) - The Morrison government has granted a three-year $20m contract to maintain the Christmas Island detention centre, which currently houses just four people, to a company that mines phosphate in the remote Australian territory.
|Chatham Islands Airport misses out on government funding|
NELSON, New Zealand, 26 October 2019 (RNZ) - A year ago, the long awaited upgrade of New Zealand's most remote regional airport moved one step closer when the board of Chatham Island Airport Ltd signed an agreement with the Provincial Development Unit for $98,000 of funding from the Provincial Growth Fund.
|The man who accidentally bought a mafia stronghold|
CASTELDACCIA, Italy, 26 October 2019 (Guardian) - For twenty years, Sicily’s most powerful mafia bosses plotted the murders of countless policemen and politicians from a villa in the coastal resort town of Casteldaccia, known as the Miami of Sicilian mobsters, a few kilometres from Palermo.
|Brexit: Will the Falkland Islands wildlife suffer?|
LONDON, UK, 25 October 2019 (BBC) - Between 2008-2019, the EU has provided the Falkland Islands with more than £10m - including £1.5m to undertake environmental projects. But this will no longer be available once the UK leaves the EU.
|Madagascar: What makes community ecotourism succeed?|
ANJA COMMUNITY RESERVE, Madagascar, 25 October 2019 (Mongabay) - When the Anja Community Reserve opened in 2001 the organizers of this bite-size protected area along the highway knew they’d need to come up with some way to convince tourists that Anja was worth a stop.
|Pesticide poisoned French paradise islands in Caribbean|
LONDON, UK, 25 October 2019 (BBC) - The French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique thrive on their image as idyllic sun, sea and sand destinations for tourists. But few visitors are aware that these lush, tropical islands have a chronic pollution problem. A pesticide linked to cancer - chlordecone - was sprayed on banana crops on the islands for two decades and now nearly all the adult local residents have traces of it in their blood.
|An ancient island at the centre of the world|
LONDON, UK, 24 October 2019 (BBC) - Frozen in time, Lamu island was once the most important trade centre in East Africa. Now its eclectic culture faces a new threat: a massive development project.
|Indonesia's ex-fisheries minister leaves big shoes to fill|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 24 October 2019 (Mongabay) - Maritime experts have slammed the decision by Indonesia’s president to replace his experienced and internationally praised fisheries minister, Susi Pudjiastuti, with a political appointee.
|Papua New Guinea shutters polluting Chinese plant|
PORT MORESBY, PNG, 24 October 2019 (AFP) - Papua New Guinea said Thursday it had ordered the indefinite closure of a multi-billion dollar Chinese-owned nickel facility that spewed potentially toxic red slurry into the sea.
|Saving our oceans: A plea for action|
WASHINGTON, US, 24 October 2019 (The Diplomat) - This week, world leaders gather in Norway to focus on the health of our oceans at a critical time. For island nations such as the Federated States of Micronesia, threatened as never before by climate change, seriousness of purpose isn’t elective, it’s existential.
|The great demographic shift on the Dalmatian Islands|
ZAGREB, Croatia, 24 October 2019 (TCN) - Although most islands still have a negative population trend because of the reduced number of births and people leaving them to go and live elsewhere, there are examples of the exact opposite happening.
|Doubt over future of Antarctic ocean sanctuary plans|
SYDNEY, Australia, 23 October 2019 (AFP) - A push by Australia and France to create a massive ocean sanctuary in east Antarctica is in doubt as nations meet in Hobart to discuss the plans, with China and Russia opposing.
|Bangladesh safeguard the Sundarbans endangered dolphins|
KHULNA, Bangladesh, 23 October 2019 (IPS) - Israfil Boyati lives along the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal. In the past he used to catch fish in the canals and rivers of Bangladesh’s Sundarbans mangrove forest - one of the world’s largest and habitat to many endangered species, including the Bengal tigers and freshwater dolphins.
|Distinct US culture risks losing island home to climate crisis|
LONDON, UK, 23 October 2019 (Guardian) - Fiercer storms and the encroaching seas are gnawing away at the Gullah Geechee nation, a distinct cultural group that historically dwelt on a 425-mile stretch of coastline from Jacksonville, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida.
|Farne Islands seal population gathers pace|
LONDON, UK, 23 October 2019 (Guardian) - They are one of the world’s rarest seal species but on the Farne Islands, off the Northumberland coast, the population of grey seal pups has increased by 57% in five years, with 2,737 born last year.
|Danish Rubjerg lighthouse moved inland on skates|
LONDON, UK, 22 October 2019 (BBC) - For 120 years, the Rubjerg Knude lighthouse has been perched on a sand dune in the far north of Denmark's western island of Jutland, but coastal erosion from North Sea winds threatened to topple it into the sea.
|Where do all of Hawaii's recyclables go?|
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 21 October 2019 (Civil Beat) - Last year the City and County of Honolulu collected over 100,000 tons of paper, aluminum, glass and plastic for recycling. However, where those recyclables are sent is considered “confidential business information,” according to the state Department of Health.
|Activists call for stronger environmental laws in Widodo's second term|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 21 October 2019 (Mongabay) - Environmental activists in Indonesia have called on President Joko Widodo to use his second-five-year term to strengthen protections of the country’s rich natural resources, after he failed to mention the environment in his inauguration speech this week.
|Rikers Island: Tales from inside New York's notorious jail|
LONDON, UK, 20 October 2019 (BBC) - This week New York City Council voted to close Rikers Island jail, which has housed high-profile inmates including Tupac Shakur, Sid Vicious, and Mark David Chapman - the man who killed John Lennon.
|NASA map reveals a new landslide risk factor|
PASADENA, US, 19 October 2019 (JPL) - In the deadly 2018 earthquake in the Indonesian city of Palu, intense shaking changed solid ground into a landslide of flowing mud, multiplying the death toll and economic impact. A new paper shows that this disastrous effect was triggered by a previously unknown risk factor: flooding rice fields for farming.
|Australia urged to return $5bn to Timor-Leste|
LONDON, UK, 18 October 2019 (Guardian) - Australia’s negotiations with Timor-Leste should be the subject of a royal commission, and the government should return $5bn unfairly taken from the impoverished nation, a parliamentary inquiry has been told.
|Seawall in Seychelles to be rebuilt|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 18 October 2019 (SNA) - A seawall is being rebuilt in the western district of Anse Boileau to tackle flooding during high tides and heavy rain in the area, an increasing occurrence being blamed on climate change.
|Brexit concerns blowing a gale across nervy Falklands|
STANLEY, Falkland Islands, 18 October 2019 (AFP) - It may be a remote archipelago 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometres) from mainland Britain but the Falkland Islands' incredible biodiversity, as well as fishing and meat exports, are under threat from Brexit.
|Gaelic disappearing from Scottish island communities|
LONDON, UK, 18 October 2019 (Guardian) - The number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland’s island communities has plummeted in less than a decade, according to a leading Highland researcher who believes that the language is on the point of “societal collapse” across Scotland.
|Development dilemma as eastern Greenland eyes tourism boost|
KULUSUK, Denmark, 17 October 2019 (AFP) - Kayaking past blue-white icebergs drifting along near a pristine harbour, wandering around colourful houses or trekking in the snow-capped wilderness: July and August are high season for tourists in eastern Greenland.
|On the front line of climate change in India's Sundarbans|
SAGAR ISLAND, India. 17 October 2019 (Mongabay) - Saktipada Bhuinya looks out over the ocean that surrounds Sagar Island. The Indian part of the Sundarbans, the vast mangrove forest in the Bay of Bengal, consists of 102 islands, about half of them inhabited.
|Reforesting a village in Indonesia with wild coffee seeds|
CIBULAO, Indonesia, 17 October 2019 (Mongabay) - A light drizzle falls outside Kiryono’s home as he peers at the thermostat on a coffee roaster. The 39-year-old’s green robusta harvest absorbs the heat in the initial part of the process, before the beans become exothermic as the temperature rises.
|Early humans migrated to Greek Islands 200,000 years ago|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 17 October 2019 (Ancient Origins) - A team of international scientists has today published new evidence proving that the Greek island of Naxos was populated with Neanderthals and early humans 200,000 years ago, which is tens of thousands of years earlier than currently held.
|Southwest Atlantic humpback whales on recovery path|
LONDON, UK, 16 October 2019 (BBC) - It's estimated the humpbacks that frequent the southwest Atlantic once totalled perhaps 27,000 animals but this was reduced to only a few hundred by the steam-driven boats and harpoons operating out of the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia. A new study suggests the humpbacks are back close to where they were.
|For the Philippines, a warming world means stronger typhoons|
MANILA, Philippines, 16 October 2019 (Mongabay) - Global warming is expected to increase the frequency of El Niño and La Niña weather events in the Pacific, resulting in more powerful typhoons hitting the Philippines, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
|China is leasing an entire Pacific island|
SYDNEY, Australia, 16 October 2019 (NYT) - The island of Tulagi served as a strategic headquarters for Britain and then Japan when each dominated the Pacific. Before World War II, it was the capital of the Solomon Islands. During the war, its natural deepwater harbor across from Guadalcanal made it a military gem fought and died for. Now Tulagi is about to fall into Chinese hands.
|Cook Islands MPA leader fired after supporting seabed mining freeze|
AOTEAROA, New Zealand, 15 October 2019 (Mongabay) - Last month the Cook Islands government dismissed the director of the world’s biggest mixed-use marine protected area (MPA), which is called Marae Moana. Her firing came after she expressed support for a 10-year moratorium on seabed mining across the Pacific Ocean.
|A Philippine community fights a lonely battle against gold mine|
MANILA, Philippines, 15 October 2019 (Mongabay) - A tribal community in the Philippines has since July maintained a blockade of a controversial gold mine whose permit has expired but whose operator insists is allowed to continue working pending a renewal.
|The disappearing islands|
TORONTO, Canada, 15 October 2019 (CBC) - For decades, efforts have been underway to tame the effects of erosion on the Magdalen Islands, an archipelago in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. But the effects of climate change left these tiny islands vulnerable when it came to facing two powerful and unpredictable storms in less than a year.
|Demand for farmed salmon is causing an ecological disaster|
GLASGOW, UK, 15 October 2019 (Herald) - International investigators today allege that meal made from seafood illegally or unethically caught in the Gambia, Vietnam and India is ending up in fish farmed and sold in Scotland, Norway and, especially, China.
|Bougainville's 'Melanesian way' beyond the referendum|
CANBERRA, Australia, 14 October 2019 (ASPI) - Bougainville knows far better than Britain that a referendum vote to go or to stay is only the first mountain. Then the second mountain must be climbed - the negotiation to turn the outcome into a reality.