With support from
|Mission to map the health of the Caribbean's coral reefs|
NEW YORK, US, 24 May 2018 (Oceans Deeply) - Researchers deployed the world’s most advanced Earth measurement system over the Caribbean Sea this month to chart coral reefs in unprecedented detail. The maps will be used to develop marine conservation plans in a region devastated last year by back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes.
|Socotra becomes a disaster zone|
LONDON, UK, 24 May 2018 (BBC) - The island chain of Socotra, famed for unique plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet, is coping with the aftermath of a powerful cyclone.
|Canada, Denmark seek to settle Arctic island dispute|
OTTAWA, Canada, 23 May 2018 (AFP) - Canada and Denmark announced Wednesday the creation of a task force to try to solve a longstanding territorial dispute over a tiny Arctic island that once provoked a diplomatic feud.
|Stewart Island to continue on generators|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 22 May 2018 (Southland Times) - It appears as if Stewart Island will continue to run on diesel for the forseeable future. Several reviews have taken place into how to bring renewable energy to the island, including one in 2015 which looked at options including wind, solar, hydro and even running a cable from the mainland.
|Warming waters hurt Zanzibar's women seaweed farmers |
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania, 21 May 2018 (CSM) - Zanzibar's streets are serene in the dark moments before sunrise, and an amber glow tints the beach. The tide is out, and the air is fresh. A few women head to work, toting sticks on their heads and empty sacks in their hands as they walk toward the sea.
|Lessons from Madagascar's protected area network|
NEW YORK, US, 21 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Developing countries worldwide are expanding their protected area networks, and a recent paper that examines how Madagascar greatly expanded its own protected area system over the past decade and a half may have valuable lessons for how they should proceed.
|High-stakes battle over Obama's Atlantic Ocean National Monument|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 21 May 2018 (Oceans Deeply) - Mining and drilling for oil are already banned in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, established by former president Barack Obama in 2016 as the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Within five years, too, all commercial fishing will be phased out – or, at least that was the plan.
|First baby in 12 years born on remote Brazil island|
LONDON, UK, 20 May 2018 (BBC) - A remote Brazilian island with a ban on childbirth is nonetheless celebrating the first baby born there in 12 years. Fernando de Noronha island, 370km (230 miles) from the city of Natal, has about 3,000 residents but no maternity wards.
|Island or rock? Taiwan defends its claim in South China Sea|
ITU ABA, South China Sea, 20 May 2018 (NYT) - The largest natural feature of the Spratly Islands, the hotly disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, is a forested, sun-drenched oval of land, cleaved by a single runway that gives the place the appearance of a raw coffee bean floating in bright blue water.
|Isles of Scilly observatory plan to attract astro-tourists|
LONDON, UK, 20 May 2018 (BBC) - An observatory is set to be built at a "perfect stargazing spot" which has one of the darkest skies in England. The centre on St Martin's in the Isles of Scilly aims to create a new "astro-tourism and centre of learning".
|Shipping and industry threaten the Sundarbans|
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 19 May 2018 (IPS) - Toxic chemical pollution in the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is threatening thousands of marine and forest species and has environmentalists deeply concerned about the future of this World Heritage Site.
|China lands bombers on South China Sea islands|
LONDON, UK, 19 May 2018 (Guardian) - China’s air force has landed bombers – including the long-range, nuclear strike-capable H-6K – on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise in the disputed region.
|Greening the Islands Awards|
MINORCA, Spain, 18 May 2018 (Greening the Islands) - The 4th edition of Greening the Islands Awards saw recognition for three projects from around the world - 100% Renewable Energy St. Helena; Chumbe Island Coral Park; Germany’s first LNG-Ferry MS “Helgoland”; and a special prize to the Philippine island of Borocay.
|The island fruit that caused a mutiny|
LONDON, UK, 18 May 2018 (BBC) - In French Polynesia, breadfruit is an essential part of both the islanders' diet and their culture – so much so, that its story is cemented in history.
|Antarctica tourism regulation urgent for environment|
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, 17 May 2018 (AFP) - Tourism regulation in Antarctica has become an urgent matter due to environmental threats, officials from the 53 member countries of the Antarctic Treaty warned at their annual meeting, held this week in Buenos Aires.
|PNG LNG project has failed to produce the promised benefits|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 17 May 2018 (Mongabay) - In 2008, when a consortium led by ExxonMobil was drumming up support for a $19 billion natural gas extraction and processing project in Papua New Guinea, proponents of the development predicted it would underpin the country’s economy for decades.
|The mystery of lime-green lizard blood|
BATON ROUGE, US, 17 May 2018 (SPX) - Green blood is one of the most unusual characteristics in the animal kingdom, but it's the hallmark of a group of lizards in New Guinea. Prasinohaema are green-blooded skinks, or a type of lizard.
|The river people under threat|
LONDON, UK, 16 May 2018 (BBC) - The islands of the Brahmaputra are remote, unmapped, under threat - and home to 2.5 million people.
|Greenpeace disowns paper giant over deforestation allegations|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 16 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Recent findings of deforestation by two companies with ties to the Sinar Mas Group and its pulp and paper arm, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), have led Greenpeace to end its engagement with the Indonesian conglomerate.
|In Guadeloupe, going green means going bananas|
CAPESTERRE-BELLE-EAU, Guadeloupe, 16 May 2018 (AFP) - Bananas are Guadeloupe's top agricultural export, and there is growing awareness that farming practices need to change as yields drop and damage from pesticide use rises.
|Dutch PM flies four threatened iguanas to new home|
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, 15 May 2018 (AFP) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had some unlikely companions flying home Tuesday from the Caribbean -- four lesser Antillean iguanas carrying the hopes of their endangered species with them.
|The Gough Island Restoration Programme website is live|
SANDY, UK, 15 May 2018 (RSPB) - The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Tristan da Cunha Government have developed an ambitious programme of conservation action for Gough Island in the middle of the South Atlantic.
|Worm-eating mice reveal how evolution works on islands|
CHICAGO, US, 15 May 2018 (CFM) - A team of mammalogists have discovered that four species of mice evolved from one common ancestor on Connecticut-sized Mindoro Island in the Philippines, making it the smallest known island where one kind of mammal has branched out into many more.
|UN preparing for review of Samoa Pathway |
NEW YORK, US, 15 May 2018 (IISD) - In 2019, the UNGA will hold a high-level review of progress made in addressing SIDS’ priorities through the implementation of the Samoa Pathway.
|What can small island states learn from each other?|
WASHINGTON, US, 15 May 2018 (IEG) - The World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) has produced a report with a number of interesting insights that speak to how small states can learn from each other, and how development institutions can work together more effectively to serve them.
|Sifaka lemurs listed as critically endangered amid mysterious die-off|
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 15 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Lemurs in Madagascar have been under pressure from deforestation, poaching, drought and other challenges for years. Now, in the much-visited Berenty Reserve near the island’s southern tip, one species faces a mysterious new threat.
|Timor-Leste's incredible marine life - in pictures|
LONDON, UK, 15 May 2018 (Guardian) - Situated in the heart of the ‘coral triangle’, this young nation boasts some of the most biodiverse waters in the world. As it emerges from years of unrest, it now faces the challenge of protecting its coasts, and the communities that rely on them, in the face of growing development.
| Genetically modified mozzie trial in Cayman Islands may have failed|
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, 15 May 2018 (CNS) - Documents and correspondence released to GeneWatch, a UK-based NGO, under a freedom of information request appear to show that there is no evidence that the controversial release of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay by Oxitec made any impact on the targeted pests.
|New Zealand deploys rugby diplomacy in the Pacific|
BEIJING, China, 15 May 2018 (Telegraph) - New Zealand is deploying 'rugby diplomacy' in the southern Pacific with plans to use the sport to unlock development in the region and ward off growing Chinese influence.
|Hurricanes cost Caribbean tourism more than $700m|
MIAMI, US, 14 May 2018 (AFP) - The tourism industry in the Caribbean region attracted almost one million fewer visitors after hurricanes Irma and Maria hit last year, costing it over $700 million, according to an industry study released Monday.
|Report blames coal-fired plant in Bali for pollution|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 14 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Away from the frenetic tourism development that has taken over the beaches of southern Bali, the Indonesian resort island’s northern coast remains largely rural and agrarian.
|This small island paradise is showing Africa how to beat malaria|
WASHINGTON, US, 14 May 2018 (OZY) - Hamilton Nascimento remembers missing months of school as a child when he repeatedly got sick with malaria. It used to be an unavoidable part of life in São Tomé and Príncipe, a nation of two tiny islands in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, where Nascimento grew up. But not anymore.
|Faroe Islands look to Estonia for its e-governance methods|
TALLINN, Estonia, 14 May 2018 (ERR) - After more than a decade of Estonia showboating its e-governance methods to much of the world, it is no longer novel to see far larger nations than the Faroe Islands offering ample praise for Estonia"s drive to bring its interactions between government and citizens online.
|US secret report: China 'debt trap' on Australia's doorstep|
MELBOURNE, Australia, 13 May 2018 (AFR) - Chinese loans worth hundreds of billions of dollars are saddling Australia's smaller regional neighbours with unsustainable debts and giving Beijing crucial economic leverage to gain strategic and military power, warns a new independent report written for the US State Department.
|Adriatic smart islands becoming source for new solutions|
DUBROVNIK, Croatia, 13 May 2018 (TCN) - In March 2017, representatives of a series of European islands, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, signed the Declaration on Smart Islands and a follow up event will take place on the Croatian islands of Krk and Hvar in October 2018.
|A diaspora rallies to reawaken the language of Rotuma|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 12 May 2018 (RNZ) - It's a small island of only about 2000 people partway between Fiji's main islands and Tonga, but despite its size the Fiji dependency of Rotuma has its own unique language and culture, more like that of the Polynesian islands to the east than the rest of Fiji.
|Sumatran habitat gets a partial reprieve from development|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 10 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Officials in the Indonesian province of Aceh have vowed to safeguard the last known habitat shared by tigers, orangutans, rhinos and elephants, but concerns abound that the proposed protections are limited in scope.
|Debate ensues over supermarket chain's decision to ban palm oil|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 10 May 2018 (Mongabay) - The uproar over Iceland Foods’ decision to ban palm oil from its own-label products has been loud and swift. While many applaud the move as a bold stance against deforestation and land grabbing by plantation companies, others - including some scientists and conservation groups - fear the British supermarket chain may be making things worse.
|How religious sects seized Madagascar's cinema district|
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 10 May 2018 (Guardian) - Antananarivo is home to an array of vintage picturehouses, yet none have shown a film in decades. Now they host a new breed of celebrity preacher, all just as keen to entertain – and to profit.
|3 lessons from a small innovative centre supporting big ocean states|
ORANJESTAD, Aruba, 9 May 2018 (UNDP) - I love working for islands, and not just because of their nature, people and weather. Islands are the canaries in the coal mine for how we treat our planet. They are not responsible for climate change, but bear the brunt of its impact.
|Socotra is finally dragged into Yemen's civil war|
LONDON, UK, 9 May 2018 (Independent) - Since Socotra has become the focus of an unprecedented power struggle between Yemen’s government and its supposed ally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the red, white and black of the mainland flag is no longer a given on the isolated Arabian Sea island.
|Invasive rabbits have ravaged one of the most remote islands|
WASHINGTON, US, 9 May 2018 (WP) - The Kerguelen Islands are at the end of the world. They're in the southern Indian Ocean, halfway between Madagascar and Antarctica. A few dozen researchers inhabit a lonely field station. There's no airstrip. The boat trip from Reunion Island takes 15 days. The climate is harsh, and few plants thrive in the rocky, windswept landscape.
|More evacuations from Hawaii volcano|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 9 May 2018 (RNZ) - Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has erupted out of two new vents prompting authorities to call for an immediate evacuation of residents from a second neighbourhood on the Big Island.
|Credit ratings and climate risk: a financial trap for small island states|
BERLIN, Germany, 9 May 2018 (Climate Analytics) - Small Island States face the alarming prospect that their sovereign credit ratings might be downgraded over time due to climate risks and impacts. This could land them in a type of “financial trap,” leading to challenges in managing national finances, dependence on foreign aid and increasing vulnerabilities to climate change.
|UN-sponsored World Tuna Day promotes sustainable tuna fishing |
NAIROBI, Kenya, 9 May 2018 (UNEP) - The “Coral Triangle” in the western Pacific supports large populations of tuna, fuelling the multi-billion-dollar global tuna industry. But the fish’s numbers in the region are declining at an alarming rate, primarily due to human greed, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
|Puerto Rico's reconstruction challenge|
CANOVANAS, Puerto Rico, 8 May 2018 (NBC) - Every time Miriam Medina looks at her roofless, weak, wobbly house, she’s reminded of all her failed attempts to receive aid to fix it.
|Ocean risks a wake-up call for policymakers|
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda, 8 May 2018 (IUCN) - A new report by IUCN warns of unprecedented changes occurring in the ocean and points to the pressing need for a multi-sectoral approach, with businesses, government and the insurance industry working together to address their potential impacts.
|Micronesian Scrubfowl to be saved by rat removal on Pacific island|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 8 May 2018 (BirdLife) - Kayangel Atoll is set to become the first inhabited island in the Pacific nation of Palau to be cleared of rats. As well as a healthier ecosystem for fascinating endangered birds, residents look forward to better livelihoods through increased crop yields.
|India's abandoned island of colonial horror|
WASHINGTON, US, 8 May 2018 (Smithsonian) - For decades, an obscure speck of an island - measuring less than one-third of one square mile - was the site of the brutalization of thousands of convicts and political prisoners amidst a luxurious British colonial settlement.
|Indonesian study into health risks of microplastics|
LONDON, UK, 8 May 2018 (BBC) - Indonesian scientists have launched the largest ever study into whether tiny plastic particles can affect human health. They are investigating the presence of plastic in seafood while also tracking the diets of 2,000 people.
|Investor withdraws from PNG seabed mining project|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 8 May 2018 (RNZ) - A multinational mining company, Anglo America, has withdrawn its support from the Solwara 1 seabed mining project in Papua New Guinea led by Canadian company Nautilus Minerals.
|Seychelles to gather updated information on forests|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 8 May 2018 (SNA) - The Seychelles will be embarking on a new project to provide accurate and updated information on the status of the island nation’s forests, including data on endemic and native species.
|Vanilla price rise proves chilling for ice-cream makers|
LONDON, UK, 7 May 2018 (BBC) - The vast majority of vanilla - over 75% - is grown in Madagascar and the main reason for the high price is that there was a cyclone on this tropical island last March which damaged a lot of the plantations.
|Tourism's carbon impact three times larger than estimated|
LONDON, UK, 7 May 2018 (BBC) - When measuring per capita emissions, small island destinations such as the Maldives, Cyprus and the Seychelles emerge as the leading lights. In these countries tourism is responsible for up to 80% of their annual emissions.
|Cape Verde aims for free trade zone with Atlantic islands|
LISBON, Portugal, 7 May 2018 (Reuters) - The Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde hopes to create a zone of free circulation for people and goods with the nearby Spanish Canary Islands and Portugal's Madeira and Azores, Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva said on Monday.
|The Cook Islands braces for climate change|
NAIROBI, Kenya, 7 May 2018 (UNEP) - The Cook Islands has received $3 million to help build the resilience of its residents and protect their livelihoods from disasters and climate change.
|Could leasing Zhuhai's Guishan Island help Hong Kong|
HONG KONG, 6 May 2018 (SCMP) - On a clear, cloudless day, one can peer out from the edge of Fan Lau on the southwesternmost tip of Hong Kong’s Lantau Island, and catch a glimpse of Guishan Island on the horizon.
|Hawaii becomes first US state to ban sunscreens|
LONDON, UK, 3 May 2018 (Guardian) - Coral reefs and sunshine keep tourists flocking to Hawaii but add sunscreen to that holiday mix and the result can be serious damage to the marine environment that makes the islands so attractive to visitors in the first place.
|In Brazil, an island laboratory for Atlantic Forest restoration|
ANCHIETA ISLAND, Brazil, 3 May 2018 (Mongabay) - From a distance, Anchieta Island is a mosaic of different shades of green. The lighter ones correspond to areas where ferns and a handful of broad-range species reign. In the darker patches, shrubs and trees have taken the place of the ferns.
|Crocodiles: The deadly totems of Timor-Leste|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 3 May 2018 (RNZ) - A country under siege for decades, Timor-Leste has more than its fair share of challenges as it seeks to develop, recover and move forward after decades of struggle under its occupation by Indonesia that only ended in 2001.
|ECLAC releases documentary on impacts of Irma and Maria |
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, 3 May 2018 (Caribbean News Now) - The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) sub-regional headquarters for the Caribbean has released an exclusive new documentary on the impacts of hurricanes Irma and Maria across the Caribbean.
|Revolutionary aerial mapping of coral reefs in the Caribbean|
ST CROIX, USVI, 3 May 2018 (Caribbean News Now) - The Nature Conservancy in the Caribbean and Carnegie Institution for Science have launched a groundbreaking initiative to create the first-ever high-resolution map of the shallow waters of the entire Caribbean Basin.
|China installs cruise missiles on key South China Sea outposts|
TOKYO, Japan, 3 May 2018 (JT) - China has secretly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its fortified outposts in the Spratly group of islands, a report said Wednesday, as Beijing seeks to further project power in the disputed waters.
|Lesbos to greet Greek PM's visit with protests, shutters and strikes|
ATHENS, Greece, 3 May 2018 (Guardian) - When a Greek prime minister visits a far-flung corner of the country he is traditionally welcomed with open arms, but any hope that Alexis Tsipras will be given the same reception when he arrives on Lesbos – the Aegean island long on the frontline of Europe’s migrant crisis – has been firmly dispelled.
|The tiny island with human-sized money|
LONDON, UK, 3 May 2018 (BBC) - The Micronesian island of Yap has a famously unusual currency: hundreds of giant discs of rocks scattered all over the island, many of them too heavy to move.
|Early humans in the Philippines 700,000 years ago|
PARIS, France, 2 May 2018 (AFP) - Were the early humans roaming east Asia more than half-a-million years ago clever enough to build sea-faring watercraft and curious enough to cross a vast expanse of open sea?
|New ferry from Newfoundland to St-Pierre-Miquelon |
FORTUNE, Canada, 1 May 2018 (CP) - The French islands of St-Pierre-Miquelon just off the south coast of Newfoundland – North America’s last vestige of colonial New France – have long attracted adventurous travellers seeking an unusual European experience.
|U-turn as Tories back plans to make tax havens transparent|
LONDON, UK, 1 May 2018 (Guardian) - Britain’s overseas territories will be forced to adopt public registers of company ownership at the end of the decade after the government conceded it would have to support a backbench amendment designed to stem the global flow of “dirty money”.
|Rising levels of frustration at UN climate stalemate|
LONDON, UK, 1 May 2018 (BBC) - The government of Fiji currently holds the presidency of the UN talks and has been trying to inspire greater efforts to cut greenhouse gases - they've introduced an international conversation called the Talanoa Dialogue to push countries to do more. But a UN summary of written submissions to this process reflects the frustrations.
|The Scottish island that buried America's dead|
GLASGOW, UK, 1 May 2018 (BBC) - It is the whisky-making Scottish island, world famous for its peaty single malts and warm hospitality. But the Isle of Islay, in the Inner Hebrides, is now being recognised for an almost forgotten example of huge courage and humanity.
|Development plans threaten Malaysian island|
LANGKAWI, Malaysia, 30 April 2018 (Mongabay) - The Langkawi archipelago off Malaysia’s northwest coast is made up of more than 100 islands, including the main island – the country’s third largest.
|Island lizards shift to evolutionary fast-track|
NEW YORK, US, 30 April 2018 (Scientific American) - A mile long, the Caribbean island of Redonda is a rock nub protruding up from the sea; its steep, windy cliffs dropping into the sapphire water below.
|Whale shark logs longest-recorded trans-Pacific migration|
PANAMA CITY, Panama, 30 April 2018 (SPX) - Researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute tagged a female whale shark near Coiba Island in Panama, the largest island off of the coast of Central America, and tracked it across the Pacific for more than 12,000 miles, the longest whale shark migration route ever recorded.
|Australian-backed gas project fails to deliver PNG economic boom|
SYDNEY, Australia, 29 April 2018 (Guardian) - The massive ExxonMobil-led liquid natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, backed by a $500m Australian government loan, has failed to deliver on a promised economic boom for the country a new report has found.
|Budget earmarks $500m to mitigate GBR climate change|
LONDON, UK, 28 April 2018 (Guardian) - The Turnbull government will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation in a $444m agreement to tackle crown-of-thorns starfish, reduce pollution and mitigate the impacts of climate change as well as provide $56m to expand environmental management and compliance operations.
|After a volcano erupts, bird colonies recover|
WASHINGTON, US, 26 April 2018 (SPX) - Where do seabirds go when their nesting colony is buried by a volcano? In 2008, the eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian archipelago provided a rare opportunity to track how the island's Crested and Least auklet populations responded when their nesting colony was abruptly destroyed.
|Islands comb own shores for solutions to environmental pressures|
CALVIA, Spain, 26 April 2018 (Reuters) - Island governments around the world are no longer begging for help to tackle the many problems they face - from too many tourists to devastating storms and rising seas - but are finding their own solutions and sharing them, experts say.