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|Why Britain should immediately withdraw from Mauritius Chagos Islands|
FORT COLLINS, US, 5 December 2022 (Conversation) - Britain is on the cusp of decolonising Mauritius – again. The first attempt at decolonisation took place in 1968 but went unfulfilled when London kept hold of an island group that had long been regarded as Mauritian territory: the Chagos Archipelago.
|PNG can't afford Australia and US standoff with China|
LONDON, UK, 5 December 2022 (Guardian) - The prime minister of Papua New Guinea has warned that his country will not be caught in a “standoff” between the US, Australia and China, as geopolitical tensions in the Pacific increase, warning the global powers to “keep your fights to yourselves”.
|Gaelic language has been brought back to life on Isle of Man|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 6 December 2022 (IT) - The squeals of laughter echoing from the playground sound like any other primary school in its first week back. Listen closely, though, and there’s something rare in the children’s chatter: the Manx language, an ancient tongue once feared forgotten. But thanks in part to these students at Bunscoill Ghaelgagh, a school on the Isle of Man, the language that was deeply intertwined in hundreds of years of local history is now becoming a part of the island’s future.
|France tiptoes towards next New Caledonia statute|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 6 December 2022 (RNZ) - The French interior minister Gerald Darmanin has wrapped up a week of wide-ranging talks in New Caledonia trying to advance work on a new statute for the territory. The meetings with various pro-independence parties stood out as the first top-level contact between them and Paris since last December's referendum when full sovereignty was rejected.
|Inside the Haitian capital city taken hostage by brutal gangs|
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 5 December 2022 (BBC) - In Port-au-Prince you cannot see the boundaries, but you must know where they are. Your life may depend on it. Competing gangs are carving up the Haitian capital, kidnapping, raping, and killing at will. They demarcate their territory in blood. Cross from one gang's turf to another, and you may not make it back.
|Global forum on islands to be held in Shinan|
SEOUL, Korea, 5 December 2022 (KT) - The Global Islands Cultural Diversity Forum 2022 will be held in the southwestern county of Shinan, Thursday and Friday, which will discuss how to preserve and pass on the cultural diversity of islands.
|Heron Island research shows green sea turtle gender ratios|
ROCKHAMPTON, Australia, 5 December 2022 (ABC) - There is hope Heron Island is bucking a trend of rapid feminisation in the world's green sea turtle population. New research, using drones, has found the adult mating population gender ratio is equal. This is likely because the males are returning to mate more frequently than females.
|What the Santos Federal Court loss means for the Barossa gas project|
DARWIN, Australia, 4 December 2022 (ABC) - Gas company Santos lost a landmark legal battle this week, with its appeal over the finding against its $4.7 billion Barossa gas project north of the Tiwi Islands slapped down by the Federal Court. The ruling is a major victory for traditional owners, who argued they weren't consulted about the company's plans to drill for gas and pipe it through Tiwi sea country to Darwin for export.
|World's oldest recorded tortoise prepares for 190th birthday party|
LONDON, UK, 2 December 2022 (Guardian) - If there is a party animal at large this weekend, Jonathan is it: the Seychelles giant tortoise is about to celebrate his 190th birthday with a three-day bash. Living on Saint Helena since 1882, when he arrived as a gift to the governor of the small south Atlantic island, he is no stranger to fame, having scooped awards from the Guinness World Records for being the oldest known living land animal and the oldest chelonian - an order comprising tortoises, turtles and terrapins - ever recorded.
|Native Hawaiians honor their natural and spiritual worlds|
LONDON, UK, 2 December 2022 (AP) - For many Hawaiians, lava flows are a time to honor, reflect. Glowing lava from the world’s largest volcano is a sight to behold, but for some, Mauna Loa’s eruption is a time to pray, make offerings and honor both the natural and spiritual worlds.
|EPA lauds recycling and zero waste efforts by Pacific Islands partners|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 2 December 2022 (NLR) - As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrated America Recycles Day and marked the anniversary of the agency’s national recycling strategy recently, EPA’s territorial partners in the Pacific Islands are making significant progress to improve waste reduction and recycling.
|'Earth's empty quarter': many Pacific nations now have falling populations|
SYDNEY, Australia, 30 November 2022 (Conversation) - In 1989, distinguished Australian geographer Gerard Ward wrote that the Pacific was emptying out. As people on smaller islands left to seek opportunity elsewhere, the region risked becoming Earth's empty quarter. Ward’s prediction attracted criticism for its doomsday tone. But was he right? For some countries, he may have been spot on. Populations are now falling in many of the smallest states. On tiny Pitcairn Island, with a population of fewer than 50, it is well over a decade since the last child was born.
|Role of the Falklands in the development and success of BAS|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 3 December 2022 (MercoPress) - The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) celebrated 60 years of scientific research in Antarctica as the UK’s national operator. BAS has its origins in a secret World War 2 mission, Operation Tabarin, designed to keep enemy ships out of Antarctic waters, while also collecting scientific data for the final years of the war. In 1945 the three Antarctic bases and scientific research were transferred to a new organization, the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS). Following the British Government decision to rename to British Antarctic Territory, British Antarctic Survey was born to reflect this change.
|Indonesia set to make sex outside marriage punishable by jail|
LONDON, UK, 2 December 2022 (Guardian) - Indonesia’s parliament is expected to pass a new criminal code this month that would criminalise sex outside marriage and outlaw insults against the president or state institutions, prompting alarm from human rights campaigners.
|How deep-sea mining would impact Pacific Islands|
LONDON, UK, 1 December 2022 (CDT) - A new film has revealed the scale and nature of the impacts that deep-sea mining would have on life in the Pacific Island region, from direct damage to seafloor ecosystems, to tailings waste and sediment plumes.
|Tiny gecko comes back from the brink|
LONDON, UK, 30 November 2022 (NS) - The population of Union Island geckos plummeted due to growing demand from the illegal international pet trade, but conservationists working with locals in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have helped boost its numbers.
|Vanuatu to relocate 'dozens' of villages|
PORT VILA, Vanuatu, 1 December 2022 (AFP) - Vanuatu is drawing up plans to relocate "dozens" of villages within the next two years, as they come under threat from rising seas, the Pacific nation's climate chief told AFP Thursday.
|Government recognizes Indigenous Papuans ancestral forests|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 1 December 2022 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government has recognized community claims to ancestral forests in the country’s eastern Papua region for the first time in history, a move that environmentalists say could help preserving one of most biodiverse regions on the planet.
|Work on cable car line to Indonesian volcano to begin|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 1 December 2022 (Mongabay) - Authorities on the Indonesian island of Lombok plan to begin construction this month of a controversial and long-delayed cable car project for tourists to visit Mount Rinjani, a UNESCO-listed geopark and active volcano.
|Indonesia puts 100-island archipelago up for auction|
LONDON, UK, 30 November 2022 (Guardian) - The development rights to an entire Indonesian archipelago with more than 100 tropical islands is set to be auctioned next week, sparking concerns for the environmental impact on what Sotheby’s described as “one of the most intact coral atoll ecosystems left on Earth”.
| Antarctic fur seal population is booming|
VICTORIA, Canada, 30 November 2022 (Hakai) - Starting around 2010, fur seals have been expanding from their hub centered on South Georgia island down the Antarctic Peninsula, reaching the southern side of Marguerite Bay. Their recovery has been so successful that the animals are pushing beyond their known historical range, causing “unexpected terrestrial conservation challenges” for Antarctica’s fragile vegetation, warns a recent study.
|President Widodo not liable in 2015 fires|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 28 November 2022 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s Supreme Court has ruled President Joko Widodo not liable in the disastrous fires in 2015 that devastate large swathes of rainforests and peatlands in the country, despite three previous court rulings that found the president liable for the disaster.
|Fishers in Flores Sea opt to limit harvest of sea cucumbers|
MAKASSAR, Indonesia, 28 November 2022 (Mongabay) - At the end of September, fishermen on Sapuka Island in eastern Indonesia’s Flores Sea made a surprising announcement. They would regulate their sea cucumber harvests, they declared, taking only those specimens above a certain size, and from clearly designated areas during clearly designated times of the year.
|Philippines sees a pandemic boom in child sex abuse|
MANILA, Philippines, 29 November 2022 (BBC) - Images and videos of child sexual abuse have ballooned into a billion-dollar industry in the Philippines, now the world's largest-known source of such exploitation. Grinding poverty, high-speed internet access and an ability to accept instructions in English have all kept it going.
|Vanuatu officials turn to phone books and typewriters|
PORT VILA, Vanuatu, 29 November 2022 (Guardian) - One month after a cyber-attack brought down government servers and websites in Vanuatu, frustrated officials were still using private Gmail accounts, personal laptops, pen and paper, and typewriters to run the government of the prime minister, Ishmael Kalsakau, who came into office just a few days after the crash.
|Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano erupts|
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 29 November 2022 (AP) - Waves of orange, glowing lava and smoky ash belched and sputtered Monday from the world’s largest active volcano in its first eruption in 38 years, and officials told people living on Hawaii’s Big Island to be ready in the event of a worst-case scenario.
|Mission possible: Purging pests from the subantarctic islands|
OTAGO, New Zealand, 29 November 2022 (ODT) - Clearing mammalian pests from the largest of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands could be done, an expert says – but it’d require a hugely-challenging, decade-long effort costing about $80m. Lying some 465km south of Bluff, the 46,000ha Auckland Island is the last in the group where pigs, cats and rodents still roam.
|Australia's Noah's Ark - Maria Island|
SYDNEY, Australia, 29 November 2022 (AG) - Maria Island has been referred to as a Noah’s Ark for rare animals and birds – including the Tasmanian devil. As part of the quest to save Tasmanian devils from extinction due to a facial tumour disease that was wiping out the population on the Tasmanian mainland, controlled numbers have been released on Maria Island since 2012.
|Research identifies danger areas for wandering albatrosses|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 29 November 2022 (MercoPress) - Over half of wandering albatrosses breeding on Bird Island, South Georgia, in the sub-Antarctic, encounter fishing vessels when feeding, putting them at risk of being accidentally caught or killed in fishing gear, according to new research led by British Antarctic Survey and Birdlife International.
|Is sausage the missing link in the great bait debate?|
VICTORIA, Canada, 29 November 2022 (Hakai) - Lobster and snow crab fisheries are booming, but the bait used to catch them - herring and mackerel - is not, so the search for alternative baits is on. Help may come from a squat building abutting the wharf in Nine Mile Creek, Prince Edward Island, where they manufacture a bait alternative from fish processing waste that, at least for lobsters, is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
|GBR should be placed on world heritage 'in danger' list|
LONDON, UK, 28 November 2022 (Guardian) - A UN-backed mission to the Great Barrier Reef has concluded the world’s biggest coral reef system should be placed on a list of world heritage sites in danger. The long-awaited report on the 10-day mission that took place in March said climate change was presenting a “serious challenge” to the values that saw the reef inscribed as a global wonder in 1981.
|The Fijian island being strangled by vines|
LONDON, UK, 28 November 2022 (Guardian) - In Vanua Levu, the second largest island of Fiji, every contour drips with green. The landscape is impossibly lush and verdant. But upon closer inspection, it’s evident that nearly everything is shrouded in vines.
|Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen quits|
LONDON, UK, 27 November 2022 (BBC) - Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has resigned as head of the governing Democratic Progressive Party after its poor showing in local elections. The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) won several major races on Saturday, including in the capital Taipei.
|Indigenous group pushed off island as Caribbean Sea rises|
GARDI SUGDUB, Panama, 27 November 2022 (WSJ) - From this tiny, hot and overcrowded island, some 1,200 indigenous Guna people will soon embark on a short but historic exodus. Next year, most inhabitants of Gardi Sugdub - the name means Crab Island - will leave the cluster of thatched and tin-roofed houses traversed by narrow footpaths where they have lived for more than a century, and head for the Panamanian mainland about a mile away.
|Sri Lanka university aims to be the country's first to go carbon neutral|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 26 November 2022 (Mongabay) - The small Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka may contribute only 0.03% to global carbon emission levels yet it has set an ambitious target to become carbon neutral by the year 2050. In a parallel move, the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, one of the island’s leading national universities, also aims to become carbon neutral.
|New global treaty on plastic pollution|
PUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay, 26 November 2022 (SPREP) - Over 190 countries have been tasked with creating a new internationally legally binding agreement on plastic pollution including in the marine environment. The challenge being this must be developed within a two-year period across five different sessions of the International Negotiations Committee.
|Pacific fisheries observers could return in 2023|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 26 November 2022 (RNZ) - Commercial fishing vessels in the Pacific could see regional fisheries observers returning to their decks as early as January next year. Prior to the pandemic there were around 800 regional fisheries observers on board vessels in the region.
|Makers of world's purest honey|
EASTER ISLAND, Chile, 25 November 2022 (EFE) - Isolated on an island in the middle of the southeastern Pacific Ocean, free from predators and all illnesses that decimate their population in other parts of the world, the bees of Chile’s Easter Island produce the purest honey on Earth.
|Indonesia's orangutans declining|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 25 November 2022 (Mongabay) - “Remarkably lax” and “laissez-faire” law enforcement efforts by conservation authorities in Indonesia have allowed the killing, capture and trade of scores of orangutans to persist, according to a recent study.
|As shark numbers plummet, nations seek ban on fishing gear|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 26 November 2022 (Mongabay) - The U.S. and Canada are seeking a ban in the Pacific on two fishing devices, known as wire leaders and shark lines, that have proven devastatingly effective at catching huge numbers of sharks. The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), which governs tuna fisheries in those waters, could vote on the proposal at its annual meeting next week in Vietnam.
|Record heat over Great Barrier Reef|
LONDON, UK, 25 November 2022 (Guardian) - Ocean temperatures over parts of the Great Barrier Reef have reached record levels this month, sparking fears of a second summer in a row of mass coral bleaching.
|Pacific Island countries fight to ensure future|
PARIS, France, 24 November 2022 (France24) - Although they contribute less than 0.03% of the world’s total carbon emissions, the Pacific Islands are at the front line of the climate crisis. Entire countries could be submerged under water within the next two to three decades. How are these island states fighting for their survival?
|PM Jacinda Ardern makes first Chatham Islands visit|
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 25 November 2022 (Herald) - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made her first visit to the Chatham Islands where locals spoke of the cost of living and housing “crisis” while sharing hopes for the future, including a much-vaunted hydropower station
|In graphic detail: Mining the shallow seas|
VICTORIA, Canada, 25 November 2022 (Hakai) - A recent study mapped the mineral resources off coastlines on every continent except for Antarctica, where mining is banned. Some shallow-water mining operations have been in place for decades. For example, tin dredging off the coast of Indonesia is the largest marine metal mining operation in the world.
|St. Paul island government declares emergency|
ANCHORAGE, US, 22 November 2022 (APM) - The recent closure of the Bering Sea snow crab and Bristol Bay red king crab fisheries has some of Western Alaska’s coastal towns taking a hard look at their futures, and one small island is bracing for a huge hit. The Pribilof Island of St. Paul runs on snow crab - also known as opilio crab. The community’s Trident Seafoods is one of the largest crab processing plants in the world.
|New app transforms data gathering for wildlife in PNG|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 24 November 2022 (Mongabay) - A new app, developed in-house, has made documenting biodiversity easier and more efficient for the staff of the Tenkile Conservation Alliance in Papua New Guinea. The Protected Areas Management (PAM) app allows staff to record observations while in the field, facilitating the use of photos and videos, and automatically logging other information such as location and elevation.
|Seychelles move to protect 100% of mangroves and seagrass|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 24 November 2022 (SNA) - Scientists and researchers in Seychelles have commended and described as excellent the move for 100 percent protection of the island nation's mangroves and seagrass. This move to be achieved by next year is however being seen as one with challenges, which will require full commitment from the government.
|How tide has turned on UK tidal energy|
LONDON, UK, 23 November 2022 (Guardian) - Orbital Marine, which operates what it says is the world’s most powerful turbines below a plane-like floating platform near Orkney, has secured government funding to deploy three more floating turbines next year. Nova Innovation, which operates seabed-mounted turbines off the remote Shetland Islands are doubling the size of their tidal array from three to six turbines.
|Japan's UNESCO-listed subtropical island paradise|
AMAMI OSHIMA, Japan, 23 November 2022 (CNN) - One of eight islands in the Amami archipelago, Oshima ("Big Island") offers travelers a unique experience unlike anything else they'll find in Japan. Much like its native wildlife, the archipelago's culture has been shaped by its isolated location.
|Illegal bottom trawling widespread inside Mediterranean MPAs|
LONDON, UK, 22 November 2022 (Mongabay) - The Mediterranean Sea isn’t the source of plenty it once was. It now contains some of the most ecologically degraded marine areas in the world, and has been the site of dead zones and fish stock collapses in recent decades. Populations of countless species are in decline, including sharks, seagrasses and marine mammals. The sea is “on the verge of ‘burn out,’” WWF has declared.
|New nests help African penguins beat the heat|
VICTORIA, Canada, 23 November 2022 (Hakai) - Since 1900, the African penguin population has fallen to a fraction of its former glory: a mere 48,000 birds, down from as many as three million. Fortunately, a team of researchers and conservationists seems to have hit on a solution. Over the past four years, the team has designed and deployed more than 1,500 handmade ceramic nest boxes in five penguin colonies including Bird Island, located in Algoa Bay, an area that is home to nearly half of the world’s remaining African penguins.
|The agony and the ecstasy: Pacific reflections on COP27|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 22 November 2022 (RNZ) - It was a bittersweet moment for the Pacific when the COP27 president brought down the gavel to confirm an agreement on a hard-fought deal to create a loss and damage fund. This has been hailed as a remarkable achievement for the Pacific, considering loss and damage was not even on the agenda at the start of the conference, but the developing nations' call for urgency to establish and operationalise this funding has yet to be acknowledged.
|Global summit is 'last chance' for nature|
LONDON, UK, 23 November 2022 (BBC) - Next month's UN biodiversity summit is the "best and last chance" to halt and reverse the decline of nature, the head of Natural England has said. In December nearly 200 countries will meet in Montreal, Canada, to agree a landmark deal to safeguard nature.
|Indonesia earthquake: Many schoolchildren killed as toll soars to 268|
CIANJUR, Indonesia, 22 November 2022 (BBC) - Many of those killed and injured in a major earthquake on the Indonesian island of Java were children, rescuers say, as the death toll soars to 268. The 5.6 magnitude quake struck a mountainous region on Monday, causing landslides that buried entire villages near the West Java town of Cianjur.
|Torres Strait Islands leader says region 'neglected'|
CAIRNS, Australia, 22 November 2022 (ABC) - A Torres Strait Islands leader who was part of a landmark climate change legal victory says the COP27 summit agreement and Australia's commitment to a fund for developing countries will do nothing to help his community at the "frontline" of climate change.
|Native species thrive on Curtis Island after removal of feral animals|
ROCKHAMPTON, Australia, 22 November 2022 (ABC) - To locals on Curtis Island off the central Queensland coast, it's not unusual to see wild horses roaming the beach, bushland or even through the streets of the small township of Southend. While striking to see, the horses are part of a feral animal problem on the southern Great Barrier Reef island.
|The price of paper|
VICTORIA, Canada, 22 November 2022 (Hakai) - The Crofton pulp and paper mill - one of the biggest in Canada - occupies a sprawling site carved out of the coastal Douglas fir forests on the east side of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The mill’s commanding view of the Salish Sea, which separates the island from the mainland, is filtered through a bustling industrial lens.
|Asia-Pacific tourism continues to lag after the Covid induced freeze|
KOROR, Palau, 21 November 2022 (Guardian) - Mari Kishigawa’s family have been in the tourism business for decades. In the remote Pacific country of Palau, on an even more remote archipelago, Mari runs the 11-room Carp Island Resort, a 30km boat journey from Palau’s commercial centre, Koror. The Covid-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living have battered her business.
|Tonga volcanic eruption reshaped Pacific seafloor|
LONDON, UK, 21 November 2022 (BBC) - A survey by New Zealand and UK vessels has now fully mapped the area around the Pacific volcano. It shows the seafloor was scoured and sculpted by violent debris flows out to a distance of over 80km (50 miles).
|New gadget could reduce shark bycatch by 90%|
LONDON, UK, 21 November 2022 (Guardian) - The small battery-powered device, known as SharkGuard, reduced the numbers of blue sharks accidentally caught by commercial fishing gear in a French longline tuna fishery in the Mediterranean by 91% and stingrays by 71%, according to a study in the peer-reviewed journal Current Biology.
|Invest Islands helps to reforest Lombok|
LOMBOK, Indonesia, 21 November 2022 (TDN) - Invest Islands, Lombok’s leading real estate company, is helping to restore nature and preserve the environment in Indonesia with a major tree-planting project in Lombok. Over 18,000 trees have been planted across the island in the last three years, as part of the group’s ecological, educational and development programs that improve the lives of people in Lombok.
|Heavy out-migration in the Marshall Islands|
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 21 November 2022 (RNZ) - The Marshall Islands had its highest-ever sustained out-migration over the past five years, according to a statistical report released earlier this week. A stagnant economy with few new jobs in recent years, consistently poor results in public school education, and medical care needs of a population riddled with diabetes have combined to spur out-migration to the US.
|Calls for PNG govt to make its position on deep sea mining clear|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 21 November 2022 (RNZ) - Communities in New Ireland in Papua New Guinea are calling on the PNG government to make clear its position on deep sea mining. Local communities are concerned at renewed interest in the Solwara One project to mine the seabed in the Bismarck Sea. The original project, the brainchild of a company called Nautilus, collapsed in 2018, costing PNG the millions of dollars the government had invested.
|Establishment of the Cabo Verde fisheries observer program|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 14 November 2022 (BirdLife) - In June 2022, the Mindelo School of the Sea in Cape Verde, initiated the training of a group of 14 people, women and men, mostly young university students, as part of a fisheries observer’s program that the country is just launching. With this training, the government of Cape Verde and its Ministry of the Sea have undertaken an important step towards the sustainable management of its marine resources.
| Drones survey wildlife populations in South Georgia|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 18 November 2022 (MercoPress) - Next-generation fixed-wing drones, capable of operating autonomously beyond the standard visual line of sight, are creating datasets of major wildlife populations around South Georgia for long-term monitoring to aid conservation efforts.
|NATO allies take bigger steps to counter Russian military force in the Arctic|
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 16 November 2022 (Reuters) - The world’s largest satellite ground station, on the Svalbard archipelago off Norway, is used by Western space agencies to gather vital signals from polar-orbiting satellites. This January, one of two fiber optic cables on the Arctic seabed connecting Svalbard to the mainland was severed. Norway was forced to rely on a backup link.
|Cop27 agrees 'historic loss and damage' fund|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 20 November 2022 (Guardian) - Developing countries celebrated on Sunday morning as crucial climate talks ended with a "historic" deal on their most cherished climate goal: a global fund for “loss and damage”, providing financial assistance to poor nations stricken by climate disaster. However, the deal was far from perfect, with several key elements flawed or lacking. Some countries said the commitments on limiting temperatures to 1.5C represented no progress on the Cop26 conference in Glasgow last year, and the language on phasing out fossil fuels was weak.
|New infrastructure making Puerto Rico's climate disasters worse|
LONDON, UK, 19 November 2022 (Guardian) - As an island in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is extremely vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis – but some environmentalists say the island’s government is endangering the lives of people by greenlighting construction projects in geologically vulnerable areas.
|VP Harris to visit front-line Philippine island in sea feud|
MANILA, Philippines, 20 November 2022 (AP) - Vice President Kamala Harris will underscore America’s commitment to defending treaty ally the Philippines with a visit that started Sunday and involves flying to an island province facing the disputed South China Sea, where Washington has accused China of bullying smaller claimant nations.
|How the CIA helped fight developers eyeing Sanibel Island|
ST. PETERSBURG, US, 20 November 2022 (FlaPol) - Developers have had their eyes on Sanibel Island for almost 200 years. Claiming Spanish land grants, the Florida Peninsula Land Company was organized in 1836 by a group of New Yorkers and a St. Augustinian named Lot Clark.
|What happened next to the Ukrainians defending Snake Island?|
LONDON, UK, 19 November 2022 (Guardian) - When Putin’s forces approached a tiny Black Sea outpost, demanding its Ukrainian defenders surrender or die, their expletive-laden response became a symbol of resistance. How did the men on the island live to tell the tale?
|Sulawesi nickel plant coats nearby homes in toxic dust|
BANTAENG, Indonesia, 17 November 2022 (Mongabay) - The Bantaeng Industrial Estate is a 3,000-hectare ore processing zone in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province. President Joko Widodo has banned exports of raw mineral ores to compel companies to construct smelters to produce value-added nickel. But South Sulawesi communities living alongside the smelters report health impacts from pollution generated on site. Relocation plans have yet to be enacted.
|Caribbean is taking matters into its own hands|
ATLANTA, US, 15 November 2022 (CNN) - Caribbean leaders, residents and even utility companies say they are tired of waiting for world leaders to save them. Experts and residents tell CNN that the islands are now eagerly adapting on their own through grant funding, phasing out fossil fuels and advancing clean energy across the region, to make them better prepared for the worsening impacts of the climate crisis.
|The Greek Island homes hidden from pirates|
LONDON, UK, 11 November 2022 (BBC) - Faced with the threat of invaders, Ikaria residents adopted an audacious strategy: moving their homes into the mountains so that the island would appear abandoned from the sea.
|Long-awaited Abrolhos Islands management plan 'disappointing'|
GERALDTON, Australia, 8 November 2022 (ABC) - Critics have slammed new management plans for the Abrolhos Islands, saying the Western Australian government has missed an opportunity to put the midwest on the map as a serious tourism destination. Located 60 kilometres off the coast of Geraldton, the archipelago of more than 120 islands was declared a national park in 2019.
|Ai Stratis to become the first green island in Greece|
ATHENS, Greece, 11 November 2022 (GR) - The small Greek island of Ai Stratis (Agios Efstratios) with just over two hundred inhabitants is expected to become the first island in Greece to be powered exclusively by electric and thermal energy from renewables.
|Bornholm to showcase molten salts storage technology|
LONDON, UK, 11 November 2022 (RE) - Denmark’s ‘energy island’ of Bornholm is to host what is being claimed as “game changing” molten salts-based storage technology that its developer aims to deploy as a future large-scale source of renewable heat and power.
|Coal projects in Great Barrier Reef catchments approved|
LONDON, UK, 11 November 2022 (Guardian) - At least eight coalmining projects in Great Barrier Reef catchments and floodplains have been exempted from requiring environmental impact statements by the Queensland government, with six already gaining state environmental approval.
|G20 in Bali: Trouble in paradise as leaders gather|
LONDON, UK, 14 November 2022 (BBC) - An idyllic paradise of palm trees and pineapples, sun, sand and serenity is what comes to mind when you think of Bali. But this week the Indonesian island is hosting what could well be the most strained edition of the G20, or Group of 20 nations.
|Sicily's rich olive pickings - the fruit of Italy's migrant exploitation|
LONDON, UK, 12 November 2022 (BBC) - The town of Campobello di Mazara on the Italian island of Sicily overlooks rows of olive trees blanketing verdant fields - farm trucks zoom past with crates brimming with plump green olives. But a short stroll away from this idyllic view is something much darker - a filthy makeshift encampment that resembles a refugee camp.
|How an island refused to let a legendary tree die out|
LONDON, UK, 12 November 2022 (Guardian) - A unique species on Socotra in Yemen, famed for its bright red resin and umbrella-shaped crown, has been in decline for years. Now islanders are leading efforts to save it
|Large electric aircraft could fly Scottish lifeline routes|
LONDON, UK, 9 November 2022 (BBC) - The potential of using aircraft described as being part-plane-part-airship on Scottish lifeline routes is to be explored in a new project. Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) is looking at how its Airlander 10 could carry passengers and freight around the Highlands and Islands.
|Pacific nations find hope despite pushback on loss and damage|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 10 November 2022 (RNZ) - Two days into the climate talks and Pacific Island countries have already been strong-armed into taking the short end of stick. While the inclusion of loss and damage for developing countries on the agenda for COP27 has been labelled a momentum shift, the reality for compensation and liability funding for vulnerable islands will not be realised in this meeting.
|New platform gives insight into impact of climate crisis on Pacific people|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand. 12 November 2022 (RNZ) - A new platform to give world leaders a glimpse of the realities of climate-related issues in the Pacific has been launched at COP27 in Egypt. Whatever comes out of the climate conference, as it heads into its second and final week, will have a significant impact on the way of life for Pacific peoples for years to come. This includes climate mobility for Pacific nations grappling with extreme climate-weather.
|Fears of compromise on key 1.5C global temperature issue|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 14 November 2022 (BBC) - A key target to stop climate change raising global temperatures is under threat at a UN summit. Climate change talks have been trying to limit the average rise in temperatures to 1.5C. But at talks in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheik, there are concerns that target will slip.
|Ghost farms: the mink sheds abandoned to the pandemic|
LONDON, UK, 14 November 2022 (Guardian) - The farm is quiet. Martin Merrild is sweeping leaves. Behind him is a row of 20 large sheds – all empty. Two years ago, his farm near Hjerm in West Jutland had been home to 15,000 mink, a small carnivorous mammal bred by farmers in individual cages before being skinned for its fur.
|Amazing deep sea animals found near Cocos Islands|
LONDON, UK, 14 November 2022 (Guardian) - A shipload of scientists has just returned from exploring the uncharted waters of the Indian Ocean, where they mapped giant underwater mountains and encountered a multitude of deep-sea animals decked out in twinkling lights, with velvety black skin and mouths full of needle-sharp, glassy fangs.
|Wind turbines rejection 'lost opportunity' for Stewart Island|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 13 November 2022 (Stuff) - In late November 2019, Environment Minister David Parker announced that Stewart Island had been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, “putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation”. The island was powered by diesel generators, and Parker said it was high time the island’s energy future was addressed. However, just 16-months later, in March 2021, it was announced the wind turbine project had been scrapped after agreement could not be reached on a suitable location for the turbines.
|AOSIS Chair COP27 Statement|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 16 November 2022 (AOSIS) - In the final few days of negotiations at the UN climate summit, COP27, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and other developing countries are gravely concerned with the lack of progress made on the fundamental agenda item of funding arrangements for loss and damage. The inaction of many developed countries has the potential to stall talks and land a devastating blow to the hopes of the developing world for the establishment of a loss and damage funding facility at COP27.
|Deep rift over climate cash clouds end of COP27|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 18 November 2022 (BBC) - UN climate talks head to a conclusion on Friday with nations deeply divided over cash to help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change. The idea of phasing down the use of all fossil fuels to limit the rise in temperatures is also the subject of a deep rift as the COP27 talks wind up. The Egyptian hosts are trying to broker an agreement among almost 200 countries after two weeks of negotiations. But such is the scale of division the talks may overrun into the weekend.
|Rediscovered lost pigeon 'like finding a unicorn'|
SYDNEY, Australia, 18 November 2022 (BBC) - Some 140 years after the black-naped pheasant-pigeon was last sighted by scientists, researchers have "rediscovered" the rare bird. After a month of searching, a team in September captured footage of the species deep in the forest of a tiny island off Papua New Guinea. It was a mammoth effort that involved countless interviews with locals, 20 camera traps and a run-in with pirates.
|Waste from across world found on remote British island|
LONDON, UK, 17 November 2022 (BBC) - Thousands of pieces of plastic debris from all over the world have washed up on a remote South Atlantic island, according to conservationists. Litter found on the south-western coast of Ascension Island has been traced back to countries including China, Japan and South Africa, they say.
|Fresh hope for climate talks after climate damage offer|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 18 November 2022 (BBC) - A promise from the developed world to foot more of the climate bill has raised fresh hopes of breakthrough at the UN climate summit COP27. The European Union has suggested a new fund to help poor nations deal with climate disaster. Developing nations insist they will push for the best deal on the table.
|Hackers strand Vanuatu government for over a week|
LONDON, UK, 18 November 2022 (BBC) - Vanuatu's government has been knocked offline for more than 11 days after a suspected cyber-attack on servers in the country. The hack has disabled the websites of the Pacific island's parliament, police and prime minister's office. It has also taken down the email system, intranet and online databases of schools, hospitals and other emergency services as well as all government services and departments.
|Who will pay for Indonesia's clean energy bill?|
BALI, Indonesia, 15 November 2022 (BBC) - Driving over the volcanic peaks which run through Bali, you pass scenes of natural and human-fashioned beauty that have made this "island of the gods" the jewel in Indonesia's tourist crown. As you descend to the north coast, however, there is a jarring sight. A tall, red-and-white chimney rises from a complex of grey and blue buildings, with a long conveyor belt running out to the sea. Great mounds of coal are piled on off-shore platforms and, until recently, a half-sunk barge threatened to spill its black contents into the sea.
|Kiribati seeks donors to raise islands from encroaching seas|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 18 November 2022 (Guardian) - Kiribati has a very specific and unusual demand – that its islands be physically raised up to escape the encroaching seas. The plan to dig up huge clumps of sand and rocks from the seabed and layer them upon the thin coral atolls that make up Kiribati’s sparse landmass will cost “in the billions” of dollars, said the country’s president.
|Canada rejects Arctic mine expansion project on Baffin Island|
TORONTO, Canada, 17 November 2022 (Guardian) - Canada has rejected a mine expansion project in the Arctic after years of uncertainty and fierce protest, in what community members and campaigners say is a win for the vulnerable marine ecosystem and wildlife. Baffinland Iron Mines’ planned expansion to its Mary River site would have seen it double output to 12m tonnes of iron ore. To bring the ore to market, the mine also said it needed to build a 110km railway to a port near the community of Pond Inlet as well as doubling its shipping.
|Tuvalu turns to the metaverse to guarantee islands survival|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 18 November 2022 (E&T) - Tuvalu’s foreign minister Simon Kofe has revealed the nation’s plans to build a digital twin of the country and upload it to the metaverse, an interoperable online platform that relies on augmented and virtual reality (VR) to help users interact. The announcement - made at the Cop27 climate summit - aims to preserve Tuvalu’s history and culture before the nation is submerged underwater.
|The precarious future of Sanibel Island|
NEW YORK, US, 17 November 2022 (New Yorker) - Hurricane Ian brought winds to Sanibel that exceeded a hundred and fifty miles per hour, and a storm surge of more than ten feet. The causeway crumpled at both ends. Four people on the island were killed, and more than a hundred others died elsewhere. Should the government help people rebuild, or help them leave?
|Isla de la Juventud: Cuba's remote nature paradise|
LONDON, UK, 16 November 2022 (BBC) - A pirate hideaway, a one-time US colony and a biodiverse hotspot home to endangered crocs, parrots, sharks and turtles, Cuba's Isla de la Juventud is an enigma. The Caribbean nation's largest offshore island lies 60 miles south off the mainland and is a comma-shaped arc of palm and pine trees, citrus groves and marble hills that few visitors ever see.
|How nuclear science helps island states |
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 17 November 2022 (IAEA) - Growing demands from tourism and agriculture in many island states are putting stress on limited water supplies that are under increasing pressure from climate change. This situation makes it challenging for them to secure reliable water supplies. To face the challenge, many countries are over-abstracting groundwater, which leads to a greater risk of contamination, depletion, and saltwater intrusion. Here’s where nuclear science comes into play: Isotope hydrology increases the capacity of island states to monitor and better manage their water resources.
|How the Chatham Islands overcame 150 years of misrule|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 17 November 2022 (Stuff) - In 1990 those living on Chatham Islands/Rekohu/Wharekauri faced crisis. Annexed to New Zealand by a London proclamation, the islands had experienced 150 years of New Zealand control – years of muddlement, some good intentions, financial waste, exploitation and theft and failure to deliver democratic rights and basic infrastructure. The after-effects of Rogernomics had produced a government decision to “walk away”. Such infrastructure as existed would be abandoned, with the islanders left to save themselves, or fail and leave.
|Norway will pay Indonesia $56 million for reducing emissions|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 1 November 2022 (Mongabay) - Norway has agreed to pay Indonesia $56 million in a climate agreement between the two countries, as Indonesia has succeeded in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by preserving its vast tropical rainforests.
|Pacific nuclear legacy overshadows US talks in Marshall Islands|
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 1 November 2022 (AFP) - Marshall Islands officials say they are ready to resume talks with the United States this week on renewing a long-standing economic and security deal, provided Washington addresses grievances stemming from the testing of nuclear weapons on the Pacific archipelago more than 70 years ago.
|Chatham Islands farmers forced to cull stock|
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 1 November 2022 (RNZ) - Impending dry conditions coupled with shipping issues mean farmers on the Chatham Islands are having to cull stock on-farm. Farming leader Tony Anderson has culled 300 cattle on his farm and says others have done the same.
|US marine sanctuaries celebrate 50 years of conservation|
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 1 November 2022 (HPR) - This year marks the 50th anniversary of America’s National Marine Sanctuary System. Two of the 17 federally protected masses of water are located in Hawaii - Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
|The scary Halloween costumes islanders wore 90 years ago|
LONDON, UK, 31 October 2022 (BBC) - Photographs of islanders' frightening Halloween costumes from 90 years ago have been unearthed from National Trust for Scotland's archives. T?he images were taken by American folklorist Margaret Faye Shaw on South Uist in the Western Isles in 1932. Wool and sheepskin were used to make some of the costumes and masks. I?n the Western Isles, islanders celebrated Oidhche nan Cleas - Night of Tricks.
|The Millennium Forest on St. Helena|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 2 November 2022 (Mongabay) - A two-decade reforestation project on the tropical island of St. Helena in the southern Atlantic Ocean has not only restored trees found nowhere else in the world, but has also involved nearly every member of the island community in the effort.
|UK agrees to negotiate with Mauritius over Chagos Islands|
LONDON, UK, 4 November 2022 (Guardian) - The UK has agreed to open negotiations with Mauritius over the future handover of the Chagos Islands, in a major reversal of policy following years of resistance and legal defeats in international courts.
|South Coast Marine Park should ban fishing at Salisbury Island|
ESPERANCE, Australia, 3 November 2022 (ABC) - A former abalone diver wants the architects of a new marine park to ban fishing at a white shark hot spot to stop filmmakers using bait to rile up the predators. Salisbury Island, about 85 nautical miles south-east of Esperance on WA's south coast, has held a special place in Marc Payne's heart since he first went diving there in 1998 and found it teeming with white sharks.
|Farasan Islands celebrate 1st International Biosphere Reserves Day|
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, 4 November 2022 (AN) - The Saudi National Center for Wildlife has organized a program in honor of the Farasan Islands Reserve to mark the first International Day for Biosphere Reserves. The Farasan islands, described as habitat hotspots, are located 50 kilometers offshore from Jazan and are among the largest islands in the Red Sea.
|Svalbard: The race to save the fastest-warming place on Earth|
LONGYEARBYEN, Svalbard, 27 October 2022 (BBC) - Deep inside the Arctic Circle, the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is home to the world's northernmost permanent settlement, Longyearbyen, which is estimated to be heating at six times the global average. So what is being done to save it?
|Christian monastery found off United Arab Emirates' coast|
NEW YORK, US, 3 November 2022 (AP) - An ancient Christian monastery - possibly dating as far back as the years before Islam spread across the Arabian Peninsula - has been discovered on an island off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The monastery on Siniyah Island, part of the sand-dune sheikhdom of Umm al-Quwain, sheds new light on the history of early Christianity along the shores of the Persian Gulf.
|Will CITES finally act to protect rosewood this month?|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 4 November 2022 (Mongabay) - CITES COP-19 starts in mid-November 2022 and is likely going to be a decisive meeting for the protection of species such as rosewood. Both CITES and Madagascar have banned the export of rosewood and ebony, but there appears to be no end to the illegal trade, and the fate of nearly 40,000 illegally-exported rosewood logs seized in Singapore, Kenya and Sri Lanka in 2014 is still uncertain.
|Report unveils ties between Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 4 November 2022 (Mongabay) - Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas, which has a long history of deforestation and conflicts with local Indigenous communities, secretly controls Canadian paper and packaging company Paper Excellence, which could soon become one of the biggest pulp and paper suppliers in North America, a new investigative report has alleged.
|Small island, big ocean: Niue makes its entire EEZ a marine park|
AOTEAROA, New Zealand, 3 November 2022 (Mongabay) - In April, Niue, a small island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, designated its entire exclusive economic zone - an area about the size of Vietnam - as a multiple-use marine park called Niue Nukutuluea. Forty percent of the park is a no-take marine protected area; a smaller slice is managed by local villages. And about 56% of the park is a general-use zone where commercial fishing and other activities, including possibly deep-sea mining, could take place.
|Scientists discover 'world's largest' seagrass forest|
LONDON, UK, 5 November 2022 (Guardian) - In an attempt to measure the extent of seagrass meadows in the Bahamas, researchers attached cameras and trackers to the dorsal fins of tiger sharks to give them access to hours of ocean floor footage. The data they collected revealed what the researchers say is the world’s largest known seagrass ecosystem, stretching across up to 92,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) of Caribbean seabed.
|COP27: 'Climate chaos' warning as UN summit begins|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 6 November 2022 (BBC) - The UN's climate change summit has opened in Egypt with a warning that our planet is "sending a distress signal". Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was responding to a UN report released on Sunday saying the past eight years were on track to be the warmest on record. More than 120 world leaders are due to arrive at the summit known as COP27, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
|Pacific Islands: Climate finance action a priority at COP 27|
SYDNEY, Australia, 5 November 2022 (IPS) - Today, the window of opportunity for scaled-up global climate action to prevent disastrous global warming and build resilience in the most vulnerable nations is closing fast. And a major impediment to reducing emissions and accelerating climate adaptation is both lack of financial investment and major bureaucratic hurdles to accessing those funds that are available.
|Marshall Islands confirms membership of Pacific Forum|
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 5 November 2022 (RNZ) - The Marshall Islands ended two years of being at the centre of controversy over the possible break up of the Pacific's premier regional organisation when its parliament adopted resolutions reaffirming its membership in the Pacific Islands Forum.
|China and Australia must not turn Solomon Islands into a gun state|
HONIARA, Solomon Islands, 5 November 2022 (Guardian) - My country once lived in fear of the gun. Thousands of weapons, many stolen from police armouries, fuelled the years of violence known as "the tensions", and disarming the police and population took years. Now, it seems China and Australia want to turn Solomon Islands into a gun state again.
|Brazil, Indonesia and DRC in talks to form 'Opec of rainforests'|
LONDON, UK, 5 November 2022 (Guardian) - The big three tropical rainforest nations – Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – are in talks to form a strategic alliance to coordinate on their conservation, nicknamed an “Opec for rainforests”, the Guardian understands.
|Barbados PM launches blistering attack on rich nations at Cop27|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 7 November 2022 (Guardian) - Mia Mottley, prime minister of Barbados, has criticised industrialised nations for failing the developing world on the climate crisis, in a blistering attack at the Cop27 UN climate talks. She said the prosperity – and high carbon emissions – of the rich world had been achieved at the expense of the poor in times past, and now the poor were being forced to pay again, as victims of climate breakdown that they did not cause.
|Fiji's radical plan to escape rising sea levels|
LONDON, UK, 8 November 2022 (Guardian) - In Fiji, the climate crisis means dozens of villages could soon be underwater. Relocating so many communities is an epic undertaking. But now there is a plan – and the rest of the world is watching.
|COP27: Time to pay the climate bill - vulnerable nations|
LONDON, UK, 8 November 2022 (BBC) - Leaders of countries flooded or parched due to climate change are pleading at the COP27 summit for an urgent financial lifeline from richer nations. "We will not give up... the alternative consigns us to a watery grave," Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis said.
|Negotiations to conserve Antarctic Ocean end in stalemate|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 7 November 2022 (Mongabay) - On Nov. 4, the 41st annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) closed without making significant progress toward the establishment of new marine protected areas (MPAs) and fishery regulations. The scientific community and most delegates to the meeting had urged the adoption of new protections for Southern Ocean ecosystems to buffer damage from climate change and fishing.
|France's Macron joins growing chorus calling for deep-sea mining ban|
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, 8 November 2022 (Mongabay) - French President Emmanuel Macron became the first head of state to call for a complete ban on deep-sea mining, an activity that would extract industrial quantities of minerals from the seabed in international waters in the near future.
|Deadly landslides prompt Philippine president to call for tree planting|
MINDANAO, Philippines, 9 November 2022 (Mongabay) - In the wake of deadly floods and landslides caused by Typhoon Nalgae last month, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered tree planting be included in flood control and disaster mitigation projects across the island nation.
|Mangrove forest loss is slowing toward a halt|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 8 November 2022 (Mongabay) - In December 2004, the worst tsunami in recorded history devastated the region encircling the Indian Ocean, killing more than 200,000 people in 14 countries. One year later, researchers showed that mangrove forests confer protection from the sea: They reduced the energy of the tsunami waves, protecting villages near them from major damage.
|Tensions boil in Sumatra over a palm oil promise|
WEST PASAMAN, Indonesia, 9 November 2022 (Mongabay) - In West Sumatra province, tensions in a three-decade-old land conflict spiked this year after several residents of Nagari Aia Gadang village were detained by police. The dispute centers on the community’s entitlement to a proportion of oil palm company PT Anam Koto’s concession under Indonesia’s plasma program.
|EU 'moving the goal posts' with new timber requirement|
BERLIN, Germany, 10 November 2022 (Mongabay) - Indonesian officials have slammed the European Union’s proposal of a regulation that they say negates more than a decade of progress by the Southeast Asian country to comply with EU sustainable timber rules.
|Extreme weather fuels government oppression in island nations|
LONDON, UK, 17 November 2022 (Guardian) - Island countries are more vulnerable to government oppression after natural disasters – according to new research – and there are concerns that the increased frequency of weather-related events due to the climate crisis, could see the further rise of autocracies around the world.
|The North Pole: One of Earth's last 'un-owned' lands|
LONDON, UK, 9 November 2022 (BBC) - At Hooker Island, inflatable Zodiac boats take passengers along towering glaciers near Rubini Rock to witness spectacular bird cliffs where more than 70,000 kittiwakes, ivory gulls, little auks and guillemots nest. Helicopter rides allow bird's-eye views of the packed sea ice and the remote territory of Franz Josef Land. Passengers are invited to join these aerial jaunts to grasp the true vastness of this frozen desert.
|Amid conflict and chaos, a reforestation project surges ahead in Haiti|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 10 November 2022 (Mongabay) - An important reforestation project is forging ahead in Haiti, despite the nation’s economic and political upheavals. Reforesting 50 hectares (124 acres) with native plants this year in Grand Bois National Park, the NGO Haiti National Trust (HNT) is working closely with local communities to ensure the restoration project’s long-term survival.
|Rat killers in paradise: An eradication program remakes a tropical atoll|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 10 November 2022 (Mongabay) - Like many islands around the world, Tetiaroa Atoll in French Polynesia has been overrun by rats and other invasive species that profoundly affect its terrestrial and marine ecosystems. In July, the paradisiacal 12-island atoll was declared rat-free after years of concerted efforts to wipe out the predators.
|Sardinia's mysterious beehive towers|
LONDON, UK, 18 October 2022 (BBC) - More than 7,000 Bronze Age skyscrapers once dotted this Italian island. Now, new discoveries are shining light on Sardinia's Nuragic civilisation.
|As Indonesia protects more marine areas, top priority is management|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 14 October 2022 (Mongabay) - As Indonesia aims to protect more of its seas, scientists say in a new paper that effective management of these marine areas must be the government’s top priority in a world faced with global climate change and biodiversity crises.
|Tamil refugees on Chagos Islands fear deportation|
LONDON, UK, 18 October 2022 (Guardian) - Tamil refugees seeking asylum from the British-claimed Chagos Islands face being forcibly removed to a third country under Rwanda-style plans drawn up by the UK government.
|Fish-feed industry turns to krill|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 19 October 2022 (Mongabay) - A mountain of krill meal has been packed inside a huge warehouse: divided into bags and stacked in hundreds of piles that stretch almost to the ceiling. The warehouse is near the port of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, inside the main logistics center of Aker BioMarine, a Norwegian company that accounts for about 65% of the world’s Antarctic krill production.
|Indonesia produces palm oil with less deforestation|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 18 October 2022 (Mongabay) - Sustainability commitments and greater scrutiny of supply chains is helping bring down deforestation rates associated with palm oil in Indonesia, a new analysis suggests.
|Damaged cable leaves Shetland cut off from mainland|
LONDON, UK, 20 October 2022 (BBC) - Communications to Shetland have been severely disrupted after a subsea cable was damaged. Police have declared a major incident after the south subsea cable between the islands and the mainland was cut.
|Vast marine protected area 'boosts tuna stocks'|
LONDON, UK, 21 October 2022 (BBC) - A huge marine reserve in the Pacific Ocean has led to the recovery of tuna and other migratory fish around its borders, according to a study. The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii is almost four times the size of California. Fishing is banned inside the zone, but a spillover effect has boosted tuna stocks in nearby waters, scientists have found.
|Early retirement for Indonesian coal plants could cut CO2, boost jobs|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 20 October 2022 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s plan to retire its coal-fired power plants and replace them with renewable energy by 2050 is not only feasible, but, when environmental costs are considered, will be less costly than relying on coal to power the Indonesian economy, according to a new analysis.
|Traditional travel between Torres Strait and PNG villages resumes|
CAIRNS, Australia, 21 October 2022 (ABC) - Free movement between Australia's northernmost islands and coastal villages in Papua New Guinea has resumed after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus. The Torres Strait Treaty allows inhabitants of certain islands and 13 PNG villages to move across the international border using permits, instead of visas or passports, for traditional cultural activities.
|US prison operator begins contract for Nauru offshore regime|
LONDON, UK, 23 October 2022 (Guardian) - The private prison operator now in charge of Australia’s offshore processing regime on Nauru will be paid more than three-quarters of a million dollars every day to provide “garrison and welfare services” for a little over 100 people.
|Cuba's top ballerina takes reins amid crumbling theatres|
HAVANA, Cuba, 23 October 2022 (Guardian) - Cuba’s favourite ballerina, Viengsay Valdés, will run on to the stage of the island’s National Theatre on 2 November, fairly certain it won’t collapse beneath her. Reprising the role of Giselle she first performed 25 years ago, she can’t use Havana’s more glamorous auditorium, the rococo Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso, because that is being devoured by woodworm.
|Philippines: Student 'anti-cheating' exam hats go viral|
LONDON, UK, 23 October 2022 (BBC) - Images of students wearing so-called "anti-cheating hats" during college exams have gone viral on social media in the Philippines, sparking amusement. Students at one college in Legazpi City were asked to wear headgear that would prevent them peeking at others' papers. Many responded by creating homemade contraptions out of cardboard, egg boxes and other recycled materials.
|FSC adopt a significant rule change|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 24 October 2022 (Mongabay) - Environmental activists have slammed a rule change by the Forest Stewardship Council that will allow some loggers who couldn’t qualify over the past 30 years to now be certified sustainable.
|More than 30 dead in tribal fighting on PNG's 'island of love'|
PORT MORESBY, PNG, 25 October 2022 (Guardian) - Tribal warfare on Kiriwina Island in Papua New Guinea’s east has left 32 people dead and 15 others missing, with fighting continuing. The fighting erupted on Monday between the Kulumata and Kuboma people on the island known locally as the “island of love”.
|Several beautiful new bird species found on remote Indonesian islands|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 24 October 2022 (Phys.org) - Zoologists from Trinity College Dublin, working with a research team in Indonesia, have found several new species of colorful, tropical sunbirds. The zoologists have identified a new species, the Wakatobi sunbird, which lives on the tiny Wakatobi Islands in central Indonesia.
|Mexican Pacific islands are safe havens for seabirds|
ENSENADA, Mexico, 25 October 2022 (Phys.org) - A study shows that a holistic conservation approach, including the creation of protected areas, the eradication of invasive alien species (the primary cause of biodiversity loss on islands), active restoration with social attraction techniques, and long-term monitoring, has a cumulative positive effect on seabird populations on islands in the Mexican Pacific off the Baja California Peninsula.
|Skye fossil offers clues to early evolution of lizards|
LONDON, UK, 26 October 2022 (BBC) - A tiny fossil found on Skye has provided new information on the early evolution of lizards during the time of dinosaurs, say scientists. The skeleton of Bellairsia gracilis is just 6cm (2in) long and dates from the Middle Jurassic period 166 million years ago. It is the most complete fossil lizard of this age anywhere in the world.
|Fish feed additive banned in EU found in Tasmanian salmon|
LONDON, UK, 26 October 2022 (Guardian) - A fish feed additive banned in the European Union out of concerns for health impacts in animals and humans has been found in Tasmanian salmon at concerning levels, say experts who are calling for tighter regulations.
SYDNEY, Australia, 28 October 2022 (ABC) - The Tiwi Islands lie 80 kilometres north of Darwin’s coast. There are smaller uninhabited islands but the big ones are Bathurst and Melville. There’s a population of only about 2,500 – but about one third of those people play competitive Aussie Rules – either in the inter-island comp or on the mainland. That’s the biggest community participation rate in the country.
|Phillip Island penguin numbers reach new record|
SALE, Australia, 25 October 2022 (ABC) -The Little Penguin population on Phillip Island has broken its second record in five months with experts suggesting La Niña is behind the boom. Phillip Island Nature Parks spotted 5,440 little penguins crossing Penguin Parade Beach within 50 minutes on Saturday.
|Ancient stone tools uncovered on Norfolk Island|
SYDNEY, Australia, 29 October 2022 (AG) - In a find of international significance, on Norfolk Island, 1700km north-east of Sydney, scientists from the Australian Museum and University of Sydney together with a local excavation team this week unearthed axe-like tools thought to have been fashioned by Polynesian mariners hundreds of years ago.
|On Guam there is no birdsong|
LONDON, UK, 31 October 2022 (Guardian) - The sihek, or the Guam kingfisher, is a beautiful blue-gold songbird that’s been extirpated in the wild since the 1980s. Like most of Guam’s native birds – 10 out of 12 native species – the sihek rapidly declined after the introduction of the invasive brown tree snake brought to the island after the second world war as a stowaway on military ships.
|In my house is a Tuvaluan basket|
LONDON, UK, 30 October 2022 (Guardian) - I own a basket I can never throw away. The woven basket comes from Tuvalu, an atoll nation in the South Pacific 4,000km north-east of Sydney. People from the Pacific often roll their eyes at the constant use of the epithet “tiny” to describe any Pacific island mentioned in international media, but in Tuvalu’s case, it actually does apply.
|Aid spending soared to record level in Pacific islands as COVID hit|
SYDNEY, Australia, 31 October 2022 (Reuters) - A record $3.3 billion in aid flowed to the Pacific islands in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a 33% increase on the previous year, according to a report released by the Lowy Institute think-tank on Monday. The pandemic led to border closures, confronting governments reliant on tourism with economic crisis. It also brought a shift in how aid was delivered, with more loans than grants made, and more direct funding to help deliver critical services.
|Penguin populations in new fight for survival on Macquarie Island|
HOBART, Australia, 29 October 2022 (ABC) - Humans used to harvest Macquarie Island penguins for their oil, with iron barrels - into which the birds were crammed and boiled alive - still visible on the beach. After almost being wiped out more than 100 years ago, the island's king penguin population rebounded. Researchers say despite that, surveys since 2007 show bird numbers are decreasing
|Christmas Island's red crabs scuttle from rainforest|
KARRATHA, Australia, 29 October 2022 (ABC) - This year's Christmas Island red crab migration is expected to see 65 million of the critters trek from tropical rainforests to the sandy coast, according to Parks Australia. Heavy rainfall last Saturday kicked off the species' parade throughout the island, where some roads have already been closed to give them safe passage.
|Greenland's culture shifts as Arctic heats up|
ILULISSAT, Greenland, 12 October 2022 (BBC) - Communities in northern Greenland have lived in one of the world's toughest environments for centuries. But temperatures have risen faster in the Arctic region than elsewhere on earth, and the impact of climate change is being felt on the local way of life. On the outskirts of Ilulissat, colourful apartment blocks overlook a field that's home to dozens and dozens of dogs.
|Satoshi Island cryptocurrency project|
SYDNEY, Australia, 10 October 2022 (ABC) - The origins of Satoshi Island remain a mystery. Denys Troyak - a Sydney cafe owner-turned-crypto-entrepreneur - is secretive about the "mentor" who gave him the idea. The proposal was ambitious: to turn a remote Vanuatu island into a thriving city built on cryptocurrency.
|This island territory wants a seat at the Pacific's 'top table'.|
SYDNEY, Australia, 11 October 2022 (ABC) - The government of Guam has rejected suggestions Washington is behind the United States territory's bid to join the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). Experts say the move would place the US "firmly on the inside" of debates about China and other regional matters. The PIF, which currently has 17 members, is the primary body through which Pacific nations and territories engage and make decisions at a multilateral level.
|Zanzibar swimming crabs deaths being investigated|
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, 14 October 2022 (BBC) - Zanzibar's government is investigating why thousands of dead swimming crabs have washed up on the beaches of the Tanzanian islands. The government is urging people not to worry it might be caused by pollution. Reports indicate climate change leading to an abrupt change in the temperature of the sea might be to blame.
|Pacific needs to re-evaluate its reliance on imported goods|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 17 October 2022 (RNZ) - The Covid-19 pandemic posed many challenges for Pacific Island countries but also allowed communities to return to a more traditional way of life. One of the leading researchers for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Dr Fiona Hukula said the pandemic saw our islands tapping into their ability to live off our land and sea.