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|US Virgin Islands: What about us?|
WASHINGTON, US, 14 September 2018 (WTOP) - It can take years to recover from a major hurricane, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were struck by two Category 5 hurricanes last year, some of the most powerful storms to ever sweep through the Caribbean. So why don’t we hear about how those tiny tropical islands are recovering?
|Heartache in the San Juan Islands|
PORTLAND, US, 14 September 2018 (OMG) - The orca calf lived for only half an hour, but the mother spent 17 days carrying its body on her nose this summer, crossing the Salish Sea from the San Juan Islands into Canadian waters and back in a visceral display of animal grief that captivated whale watchers around the globe.
|Futuna rejects seabed exploration and mining|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 14 September 2018 (RNZ) - The kingdoms on the French Pacific island of Futuna have ruled out allowing any work related to seabed mining in their waters, saying their stance is final.
|Agreement reached to pursue Green Antigua and Barbuda goal|
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, 13 September 2018 (Caribbean News Now) - The clean energy provider PV Energy Limited will, jointly with the state-owned utility APUA, resume the finalisation of their joint Green Antigua and Barbuda project to bring solar renewable energy and grid-stabilising energy storage facilities for the benefit of the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
|Huge MPA to be created off northern Vancouver Island|
VANCOUVER, Canada, 13 September 2018 (TC) - Shell Canada Ltd. has given up its ocean exploration rights off northern Vancouver Island, clearing the way for the creation of Canada’s first protected marine area under the Canada Wildlife Act.
|Marianas residents to keep fighting US military plans|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 13 September 2018 (RNZ) - The US military plans to relocate as many as 5,000 Marines from Japan to Guam, and use the Northern Marianas islands of Tinian and Pagan for live-fire exercises.
|Elephant birds: Who killed the largest birds that ever lived?|
LONDON, UK, 13 September 2018 (BBC) - Prehistoric humans are under suspicion of wiping out the largest birds that ever lived after fossilised bones were discovered with telltale cut marks. According to scientists, it's evidence that the elephant birds of Madagascar were hunted and butchered for food.
|High ice and hard truth: the poets taking on climate change|
LONDON, UK, 12 September 2018 (Guardian) - Greenland poet Aka Niviana’s way of life is disappearing as her country thaws, while the subsequent meltwater threatens Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner and her fellow Marshall Islanders thousands of miles away. Their joint trip to the melting glaciers inspired a climate call to arms.
|Putin appeared to spontaneously offer Japan a peace deal|
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, 12 September 2018 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin turned to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a conference stage on Wednesday and offered to sign a peace deal to end a decades-old territorial islands dispute by the end of the year.
|UNCLOS expands to cover marine biological diversity|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 11 September 2018 (IPS) - Responding to a persistent demand by developing countries, the conservation community and science, the UN General Assembly has commenced a process for bringing the areas beyond national jurisdiction in the oceans under a global legally binding regulatory framework.
|Airport project on world's largest island sparks sovereignty row|
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 11 September 2018 (Al Jazeera) - Greenland's government has struck a deal with Denmark over funding for upgrades to three airports on the Arctic island, a project of strategic interest to a number of international players including China and the United States.
|Nations lock horns as whalers, opponents meet in Brazil|
FLORIANOPOLOS, Brazil, 10 September 2018 (AFP) - Pro- and anti-whaling nations locked horns Monday as the International Whaling Commission (IWC) began meeting in Brazil amid outrage over Japan's proposal to end a three-decade moratorium on commercial whale hunting.
|Community plant mangroves to protect livelihoods|
SUVA, Fiji, 10 September 2018 (WWF) - Torika Lewaca is one of the many fisher women here in Tavualevu village, in Tavua, on the north western side of Fiji’s Viti Levu Island, that depend on mangroves within their traditional fishing grounds, not only for their livelihoods but protection from the impacts of salt water intrusion.
|Raoul Island: Never on Sunday|
LONDON, UK, 10 September 2018 (Geographical) - When author Lydia Syson set a historical novel on a Pacific island in the remote Kermadecs, the last thing she imagined was that she’d one day see it for herself.
|Captains of island industry|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 9 September 2018 (Independent) - Fresh from a visit from the Taoiseach this week, the Aran Islands are capitalising on a recent boom in staycations with a fresh batch of cottage industries, even as islanders battle challenges with access, water supply and that old chestnut - broadband.
|Lifeline to Scotland's islands in jeopardy|
GLASGOW, UK, 9 September 2018 (Herald) - Scotland's islands are getting record numbers of visitors but the boats and port infrastructure carrying them are old, really old.
|Island leaders call on PM to abandon pipeline expansion|
EASTSOUND, US, 9 September 2018 (Islands Sounder) - In light of the Canadian government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline and stated commitment to expanding it despite a court ruling quashing the expansion permit, elected representatives from the islands in the Salish Sea, on both sides of the Canadian-United States border, have written an open letter urging Prime Minister Trudeau to abandon the expansion project.
|Four year drought forces Cuba to find ways to build resilience|
HAVANA, Cuba, 7 September 2018 (IPS) - Eastern Cuba has suffered drought since time immemorial. But the western and central regions of the island used to be almost free of the phenomenon, until the latest drought that plagued this country between 2014 and 2017.
|Leading climate negotiator warns world 'out of time' to save islands|
BANGKOK, Thailand, 7 September 2018 (AFP) - Island nations like Fiji and the Maldives are almost at the "point of no return" because of rising sea levels warned Amjad Abdulla, head negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), on the sidelines of a six-day conference in Bangkok.
|Scientists to explain seabed mineral wealth to Wallis and Futuna|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 7 September 2018 (RNZ) - A delegation of French scientists is due in Wallis and Futuna to explain to locals the significance of rare earths which are found off their islands and to chart views on the possible impact of mining these seabed minerals.
|Japan says it's time to allow sustainable whaling|
LONDON, UK, 7 September 2018 (BBC) - Commercial whaling has been effectively banned for more than 30 years but the International Whaling Committee is currently meeting in Brazil and next week will give its verdict on a proposal from Japan to end the ban.
|A year on, Caribbean islands bear scars of Hurricane Irma|
MARIGOT, Saint Martin, 6 September 2018 (AFP) - One year after devastating Hurricane Irma swept through the Caribbean, the holiday islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barts are still counting the costs of one of the most powerful storms in history.
|Alaska refuge can't protect its wildlife from climate change|
WASHINGTON, US, 6 September 2018 (NatGeog) - Clam Lagoon, a body of water on the northernmost peninsula of Adak Island, Alaska, was meant to be a wildlife haven. But a continually warming Bering Sea is putting so much stress on the food chain there that its residents can’t find enough to eat: They’re starving, experts say.
|Diaper Brigade fights a chemical crisis in Java's rivers|
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia, 6 September 2018 (Mongabay) - Dressed in a hazmat suit with boots, gloves and a mask, Prigi Arisandi waded into a river north of Yogyakarta, a city in the center of the island of Java. The toxic mess he was planning to clean up from a river that locals still rely on for their water: used diapers.
|Beach access controversy continues in the Cayman Islands|
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, 5 September 2018 (CNS) - A newly formed Public Lands Commission in the Cayman Islands has begun rolling out beach access signs across Grand Cayman as part of efforts to address issues concerning beach access.
|US urges top UN court to stay out of Chagos islands row|
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, 5 September 2018 (AFP) - The United States told the UN's top court Wednesday it had "a duty" not to take a position on a bitter dispute over the British-ruled Chagos islands, home to a strategic joint US military base.
|Australia signs declaration on Pacific climate threat|
BOE, Nauru, 5 September 2018 (ABC) - Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island nations have signed a declaration highlighting climate change as "the single greatest threat" to Pacific people, while island nations called on the United States to return to the Paris agreement.
|Huge grant from Europe to help save Pacific Ocean|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 5 September 2018 (RNZ) - Four key regional agencies have signed a deal with the European Union to help promote sustainable management and sound ocean governance in the Pacific.
|Australia relationship with Pacific on climate change dysfunctional|
KOROR, Palau, 5 September 2018 (Guardian) - Australia’s relationship with the Pacific region on the issue of climate change has been described as “dysfunctional” and “abusive” – providing aid to the region to deal with the effects of global warming but undermining attempts to halt its progress, according to a climate change representative for the Pacific nation of Palau.
|The sinking islands of the Southern US|
LONDON, UK, 5 September 2018 (BBC) - The rich traditions of the Gullah Geechee are at risk of being lost, threatened by what is arguably one of the most harrowing issues the world faces today.
|The tree that bleeds... metal?|
LONDON, UK, 5 September 2018 (BBC) - Heavy metals like nickel and zinc are usually the last thing that plants want to grow next to in high concentrations but researchers have been studying Pycnandra acuminata in particular - a tree that grows on the island of New Caledonia - and they think it may use the nickel to defend against insects.
|Will Solomon Islands abandon Taiwan?|
SYDNEY, Australia, 4 September 2018 (The Interpreter) - Over the last couple of years Taiwan has been steadily haemorrhaging diplomatic allies. Countries from Africa, Central America and the Caribbean have switched allegiance to Beijing, leaving just 17 countries maintaining formal relations with Taipei. The largest bloc of such countries is in the Pacific, comprising Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.
|China visa spat hits Pacific summit in Nauru|
YAREN, Nauru, 4 September 2018 (AFP) - A visa row between China and host nation Nauru almost derailed the Pacific's largest annual diplomatic summit, it emerged Tuesday, exposing sensitivities about Beijing's rising influence in the region.
|UN treaty would protect high seas from over exploitation|
LONDON, UK, 4 September 2018 (BBC) - The first significant steps towards legally protecting the high seas are to take place at the UN in New York. These waters, defined as the open ocean far from coastlines, are threatened by deep-sea mining, over-fishing and the patenting of marine genetic resources.
|Icelandic puffin population declining|
GRIMSEY ISLAND, Iceland, 3 September 2018 (The Star) - Puffins are in trouble. The birds have been in precipitous decline, especially since the 2000s, both in Iceland and across many of their Atlantic habitats.
|Palau shifts to high-quality green tourism|
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 3 September 2018 (RNZ) - A proposed tourism education bill in Palau will improve environmental protections and crackdown on non-compliant tour operators.
|Nauru: a nation in democratic freefall propped up by Australia|
LONDON, UK, 2 September 2018 (Guardian) - As Marise Payne stands in her colourful shirt for the obligatory photo opportunity at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru this week, she might do well to consider the high price Australia pays to prop up one of the most dysfunctional governments on the planet.
|Antigua evicts Barbudan storm victims from shelter|
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, 1 September 2018 (AFP) - Dozens of Barbudans were forcibly evicted Saturday from a shelter on neighboring Antigua, leaving them without a home almost exactly a year after powerful Hurricane Irma devastated their island.
|Saudi Arabia may dig canal to turn Qatar into an island|
LONDON, UK, 1 September 2018 (Guardian) - A Saudi official has hinted the kingdom was moving forward with a plan to dig a canal that would turn the neighbouring Qatari peninsula into an island, amid a diplomatic feud between the Gulf nations.
|The island where children have given up on life|
LONDON, UK, 1 September 2018 (BBC) - Suicide attempts and horrifying acts of self-harm are drawing fresh attention to the suffering of refugee children on Nauru, in what is being described as a "mental health crisis".
|Chinese bridge pushes Maldives deeper in debt|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 31 August 2018 (AFP) - The Maldives opposition said Friday that President Abdulla Yameen had pushed the Indian Ocean nation deeper into a Chinese "debt trap" with a new $200 million bridge opened just ahead of the country's election.
|Where young whale sharks party|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 31 August 2018 (Mongabay) - A new study used photo-identification techniques based on the sharks’ distinctive spots to discover a new hotspot for juvenile whale sharks around the tiny island of Nosy Be, in northwest Madagascar.
|Deal in sight for PNG landowners protesting Exxon-led gas project|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 31 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Traditional landholders in the Papua New Guinea highlands say they finally see signs of progress in a cycle of contentious negotiations over land rights and royalties at a massive ExxonMobil-led natural gas development.
|Bali takes on plastic pollution|
DENPASAR, Indonesia, 31 August 2018 (DW) - The sun is rising over Bali's Saba beach and dozens of people have gathered in yellow t-shits emblazoned with the words, "I am a Trash Hero." Within an hour, they have collected a dumpster's worth of waste.
|Mapping trees can help count endangered lemurs|
DURHAM, US, 31 August 2018 (ScienceDaily) - Putting a figure on the number of endangered lemurs left in the wild isn't easy, but researchers say one clue might help: the plants they rely on for food.
|Underwater tech unlocks the secrets of Bahamas Exuma Sound|
ELEUTHERA, Bahamas, 30 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Researchers at the Cape Eleuthera Institute have been mapping the deep waters at the northern end of the Bahamian archipelago for many years, but their efforts got a boost recently when they partnered with state-of-the-art research vessel M/V Alucia.
|Inside the chaotic world of whale shark tourism|
OSLOB, Philippines, 30 August 2018 (NatGeog) - In this town, near the southern tip of Cebu Island in the Philippines, whale sharks are a big draw. Tourism is booming for people who want to watch, swim with, and take photographs next to the world’s biggest fish.
|Nauru's asylum seeker tents demolished|
LONDON, UK, 29 August 2018 (Guardian) - Nauru’s government has moved asylum seekers out of the detention centre and demolished the tents ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum next week.
|Huge decline in rare seabird numbers|
LONDON, UK, 29 August 2018 (BBC) - Scotland's population of Arctic Skuas could become extinct if the decline in numbers is not halted, according to a study conducted at 33 colonies in Orkney, Shetland and Handa by the RSPB.
|Puerto Rico increases Hurricane Maria death toll to 2,975|
LONDON, UK, 29 August 2018 (BBC) - Officials in Puerto Rico now say 2,975 people died following Hurricane Maria - a devastating storm that struck the US island territory in September 2017. The revised death toll is nearly 50 times the previous estimate of 64.
|Remote islands harbour higher numbers of non-native species|
VIENNA, Austria, 28 August 2018 (Phys.org) - The effects of island remoteness from the mainland on the number of species found on islands differs strongly for non-native compared to native species. Numbers of native species on islands decrease with greater remoteness, while numbers of non-native species increase.
|Indigenous architecture saves lives in Lombok quakes|
BELEQ, Indonesia, 28 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Huge earthquakes have devastated the Indonesian island of Lombok in recent weeks killing hundreds of people. Many more lost their homes in the disaster but where houses made of concrete and brick collapsed, or were severely damaged in the quakes, traditional houses made of wood and bamboo remained standing.
|How safe drinking water in rural Vanuatu will save women time|
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 27 August 2018 (IPS) - Access to safe water for drinking and an adequate supply of water for other purposes is challenging in the rural areas of Vanuatu. A new project, that uses solar water pumping technology, will save time and energy for rural women whose task it is to collect and make water more accessible to their communities.
|Chagos Islands dispute: UK 'threatened' Mauritius|
LONDON, UK, 27 August 2018 (BBC) - The British government has been accused of threatening a close ally in an increasingly bitter diplomatic tug-of-war over the fate of a tiny, strategic archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
|Indonesia's land swap program puts communities in a bind|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 27 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Last year the inhabitants of Konbaki village in the Indonesian island province of East Nusa Tenggara filed a request to farm some 174 hectares, about 430 acres, of land in their village.
|The forest beekeepers of Zanzibar|
LONDON, UK, 27 August 2018 (BBC) - The indigenous forests of the Zanzibar archipelago have suffered because of intensive farming to produce the spices for which the islands are famous.
|Would you welcome a wolf in your back yard?|
LONDON, UK, 26 August 2018 (Observer) - Earlier this year, two unexpected guests crossed the sea to reach the largest of the Åland Islands, an archipelago of 6,700 mostly tiny isles between Sweden and Finland.
|Islands seek sustainable mobility|
ATHENS, Greece, 26 August 2018 (Kathimerini) - Several Greek island municipalities are in the process of drafting plans to promote sustainable transport and tackle the effects of a surge in the population from summer visitors.
|The battle to keep French isle McDonald's-free|
DOLUS D'OLERON, France, 24 August 2018 (Guardian) - Inside a ramshackle former holiday club on the picturesque Île d’Oléron off France’s Atlantic coast, a group of people were screen-printing old T-shirts with anti-burger slogans inspired by the student protests of May 1968.
|Bird thought extinct rediscovered in Bahamas|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 23 August 2018 (BirdLife) - The Bahama Nuthatch, an endangered bird feared to be wiped out by a storm that ripped through Grand Bahama in 2016, has been sighted for the first time in nearly two years. But with less than a handful of individuals remaining, does the bird have a future?
|Overfishing causes crisis in Philippines|
GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines, 23 August 2018 (Guardian) - Raul Gomez is an old man who fishes with five crew on a clipper in the seas known as the coral triangle, and he has spent two months now without taking enough to feed his family.
|Comoros power grab rejected by opposition|
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, 23 August 2018 (IPS) - President Azali Assoumani of the Comoros Islands is tightening his grip on power. First, he insisted on holding a referendum allowing him to extend his term of office and abolish the country’s constitutional court. Which he won.
|Chuukese defiant about independence from FSM|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 23 August 2018 (RNZ) - Efforts are continuing to have Chuuk leave the Federated States of Mircronesia (FSM) despite warnings its departure would adversely impact the island group. The FSM consists of the states of Pohnpei, Yap, Kosrae and Chuuk but around 50,000 Chuukese are scheduled to take part in a secession vote next March.
|Nicobar Islands lost 97% of mangrove cover following 2004 tsunami|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 21 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Superseding initial reports that documented 60 to 70 percent mangrove cover loss, a new study reveals that in fact 97 percent of mangrove cover in the Nicobar Islands was razed due to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
|New perspective on how lemurs got to Madagascar|
LONDON, UK, 21 August 2018 (BBC) - Scientists believe the story of how lemurs arrived on Madagascar is more complex than we thought. After looking again at the fossil evidence, they question the idea that lemurs have been evolving in isolation on the island for 50 million years.
|Komodo protesters say no to development|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 21 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Locals and activists have denounced plans to build tourism infrastructure in Indonesia’s Komodo National Park, a string of sun-kissed islands best known for their resident giant lizards.
|Plastic bag levy reduces plastic usage in Fiji|
SUVA, Fiji, 20 August 2018 (SPREP) - Fiji used approximately 70 million plastic bags in 2010. Since the introduction of the new levy in August 2017, this number has dropped by almost half, peaking at just over half a million plastic bags in January 2018.
|PM of Fiji opens the second Clean Pacific Roundtable|
SUVA, Fiji. 20 August 2018 (SPREP) - The Clean Pacific Roundtable opened today to a call from the Prime Minister of Fiji, Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, urging delegates to aim for maximum ambition in the quest for a Cleaner Pacific.
|Dayak women grapple with the impacts of oil palm plantations|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 20 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Oil palm plantations have expanded voraciously in Indonesia, increasing by 4,500 square kilometers per year from 1995 to 2015, and almost all permits issued in East Kalimantan are in blocks or grids that pay little attention to natural features, such as rivers, or the land claims of local communities.