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Seychelles campaign seeks reduction in balloon use
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 22 January 2020 (SNA) - The group Ocean Project Seychelles has launched a new campaign targeting the use of balloons on the beaches which pose a significant threat to marine life.



Greece migrant crisis: Islanders strike over crowded camps
ATHENS, Greece, 22 January 2020 (BBC) - Strikes and protests are being held on the Greek islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios over the government's handling of migrants arriving from Turkey.



Standard and Poor's boosts Channel Islands credit rating
LONDON, UK, 21 January 2020 (BBC) - The Channel Islands' credit rating has improved from "negative" to "stable". Credit rating agency Standard and Poor's improved its outlook for Jersey and Guernsey, citing greater stability in UK politics and clarity over Brexit.



Venetian islands revamp traditions to counter depopulation
VENICE, Italy, 21 January 2020 (AP) - The Venetian island of Burano's charms are rooted in its fishing legacy: the colorful fishermen’s cottages, the traditional butter cookies that kept fishermen going at sea and the delicate lace hand-stitched by their women.



Blasket Island: 23,000 people apply for two summer jobs
LONDON, UK, 21 January 2020 (BBC) - A couple have received over 23,000 applications for two summer vacancies on the remote Great Blasket Island, County Kerry.



Madagascar launches massive tree-planting drive
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 21 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Madagascar launched a national drive on Jan. 19 that aims to plant 60 million trees in the coming months to mark 60 years of independence, and in the hope of restoring the island’s forests.



People urgently fleeing climate crisis cannot be sent home
LONDON, UK, 20 January 2020 (BBC) - People fleeing immediate danger due to the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home, the UN has said. The landmark ruling centres on the case of Ioane Teitiota, whose home - the Pacific Island of Kiribati - is threatened by rising sea levels.



Possible evidence of 'great storm' in St Kilda's heather
LONDON, UK, 20 January 2020 (BBC) - Scientists may have found possible evidence of an impact of a "great storm" in the 1990s in the heather that grows in a remote Scottish archipelago.



How did the Guam Rail come back from extinction in the wild?
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 20 January 2020 (BirdLife) - After more than 30 years, the Guam Rail is back: breeding naturally beyond the confines of captive breeding enclosures – making it only the second bird species ever to recover from extinction in the wild.



Islands of abundant nature spoiled by ocean waste
TOKYO, Japan, 20 January 2020 (JT) - Situated in the Sea of Japan and wedged between the Kyushu region of southwestern Japan and the Korean Peninsula, Tsushima is a group of islands with a resident population of 30,000 people.



Plan to repopulate Scottish island of Ulva
LONDON, UK, 19 January 2020 (Observer) - At Scotland’s western edge, made jagged by ancient elements, a new model for living is taking shape. Ulva, a small island in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Mull, is beginning to reverse decades of population decline.



Cleanup begins after record Newfoundland snow storm
LONDON, UK, 19 January 2020 (Guardian) - Canada’s federal government will help Newfoundland on the Atlantic coast dig itself out in the wake of a massive winter blizzard that buried cars and left thousands without power.



Puerto Rico official sacked over Hurricane Maria aid warehouse
LONDON, UK, 19 January 2020 (BBC) - Puerto Rico's top emergencies manager has been sacked after video emerged of a warehouse full of supplies dating back to the devastating Hurricane Maria that hit the island in 2017.



Tuvalu inundated by waves whipped up by Cyclone Tino
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 18 January 2020 (RNZ) - Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in Tuvalu, with strong winds and giant waves churned up by Cyclone Tino causing extensive damage across the country.



New genetics study for the Northern Isles of Scotland
LONDON, UK, 18 January 2020 (BBC) - People with at least two grandparents who were born in Orkney or Shetland are being sought for a genetics study aimed at improving health.



Storms brewing: Pacific outlook for 2020
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 17 January 2020 (RNZ) - As a new decade dawns much of the Pacific is grappling with major upheavals from climate and health crises to political disruption and self-determination struggles.



Norfolk Council of Elders confident over appeal to UN
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 17 January 2020 (RNZ) - The Norfolk Council of Elders remains confident its appeal to the United Nations against Australia's take over of the island will succeed.



Bangladesh says once-submerged island ready for Rohingya
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 17 January 2020 (AP) - A Bangladeshi island regularly submerged by monsoon rains is ready to house 100,000 Rohingya refugees, but no date has been announced to relocate people from the crowded and squalid camps where they've lived for years.



Maldives desperate for funds as islands risk going under
NEW DELHI, India, 17 January 2020 (Reuters) - The tropical Maldives may lose entire islands unless it can quickly access cheap financing to fight the impact of climate change, its foreign minister said.



Biggest food brands 'failing goals to banish palm oil deforestation'
LONDON, UK, 17 January 2020 (Guardian) - Some of the world’s biggest brands are failing in their commitments to banish deforestation from their supply chains through their use of palm oil, despite making public claims to environmental sustainability, according to two reports.



Bullfighting, dancing and spending big: a wedding in the Comoros
LONDON, UK, 17 January 2020 (Guardian) - Marriage celebrations in these African islands routinely last two weeks and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. The average yearly income is $1200.



Balearic islands pass bill targeting boozy Brits abroad
BARCELONA, Spain, 17 January 2020 (Guardian) - The regional government in the Balearic islands has passed a bill aimed at clamping down on alcohol-fuelled holidays.



Australia fires: 'Apocalypse' comes to Kangaroo Island
LONDON, UK, 17 January 2020 (BBC) - Kangaroo Island in South Australia has been likened to a Noah's Ark for its unique ecology. But after fierce bushfires tore through the island this week, there are fears it may never fully recover.



Huge 'hot blob' in Pacific Ocean killed nearly a million seabirds
NEW YORK, US, 16 January 2020 (Guardian) - A million seabirds died in less than a year as a result of a giant "blob" of hot ocean, according to new research.



Vanuatu stops issuing kava export licences
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 16 January 2020 (RNZ) - The head of Vanuatu's agriculture ministry has suspended the issuing and renewal of all kava export licences, citing concerns that farmers are being ripped off by exporters.



In Seychelles, nature is prized above mass tourism
ANSE BAZARCA, Seychelles, 16 January 2020 (Phys.org) - High-end tourism, from Europe mainly, helped pull the Seychelles from the brink of financial ruin after the 2008 economic crisis. Visitor numbers almost doubled in the decade that followed, to around 360,000 in 2018, nearly four times the country's population.



Scottish tests of 'whale-friendly' fishing creels
LONDON, UK, 16 January 2020 (BBC) - Fishing gear designed to protect whales from entanglement is being trialled off Scotland's coast. The new "ropeless creels" have this main line in a container along with a buoy and these are lowered to the seabed with the creels.



South Ronaldsay's horse costumes inspire catwalk collection
LONDON, UK, 16 January 2020 (BBC) - An island tradition where girls dress as horses in elaborate costumes has inspired the latest collection from an emerging fashion designer.



Damning report into state of Papua New Guinea released
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 15 January 2020 (RNZ) - Human Rights Watch's annual report reveals rates of violence, domestic abuse, corruption and foreign debt haven't improved over the past year, where weak enforcement and a lack of accountability fostered a culture of impunity and lawlessness.



Jeffrey Epstein 'abused girls' in US Virgin Islands - lawsuit
LONDON, UK, 15 January 2020 (BBC) - Financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused girls as young as 12 on his private islands, the US Virgin Islands prosecutor has claimed.



Two Sumatran islands vanish, four more may soon sink
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 15 January 2020 (JP) - Two small islands in South Sumatra have disappeared as a result of rising sea levels driven by climate change, while four other islands are already on the brink of vanishing, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has claimed.



Risking lives to rescue horses in Philippine volcano 'no man's land'
BALETE, Philippines, 15 January 2020 (AFP) - The horses were still caked in grey ash as they stepped off the boat, lucky beneficiaries of a risky rescue mission to ground zero of the Philippines' Taal volcano eruption.



Indonesia's push to become a tourism paradise sidelines land rights
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 14 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s bid to develop new tourism hotspots beyond Bali has given rise to several conflicts with local communities over land rights.



Indonesia puts its fishers on the front line
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 14 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Indonesia is ramping up its fisheries in the waters around its northern Natuna Islands, following an incursion into the area by fishing boats and a coast guard vessel from China.



Principe's Obo snail population declines by more than 75%
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 14 January 2020 (FFI) - On the island of Príncipe a forest giant, known locally as the Obô snail, has undergone a population decline of more than 75% within the last 20 years and its range has decreased by approximately 40%, according to a recent report.



Will Germany's vanishing Hallig islands survive rising seas?
BONN, Germany, 14 January 2020 (DW) - Some five kilometers from mainland Germany, 10 patches of marshland known as the Hallig islands are at risk from rising sea levels. Regular flooding could help them survive.



Cook Islands environmentalist sets up new foundation
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 14 January 2020 (RNZ) - Prominent Cook Islands environmentalist, Jacqui Evans, has set up the Moana Foundation to help support NGOs in the country.



Predicting non-native invasions in Antarctica
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 14 January 2020 (SPX) - A new study identifies the non-native species most likely to invade the Antarctic Peninsula region over the next decade. It provides a baseline for all operators in the region to look at mitigation measures.



Ocean temperatures hit record high
LONDON, UK, 13 January 2020 (Guardian) - The heat in the world’s oceans reached a new record level in 2019, showing “irrefutable and accelerating” heating of the planet.



Hackett urged to do a deal with Vanuatu over bungy rights
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 13 January 2020 (RNZ) - AJ Hackett should negotiate with people in Vanuatu to compensate them for the successful business he has built on the back of the centuries-old tradition of land diving with vines from wooden platforms on Pentecost Island, a lawyer says.



Cyprus gas dispute: Island divided over resource control
NICOSIA, Cyprus, 13 January 2020 (Al Jazeera) - Since ExxonMobil discovered gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean sea off Cyprus, Turkey has also tried to muscle in on the energy exploration game.



Up to 100,000 sheep killed in Kangaroo Island fires
LONDON, UK, 13 January 2020 (Guardian) - Up to 100,000 sheep were killed in bushfires on Kangaroo Island and at least 25,000 more livestock perished in fires on mainland Australia, farming groups have said.



Apocalyptic scenes of wildlife devastation on Kangaroo Island
LONDON, UK, 13 January 2020 (Guardian) - Animal welfare charity Humane Society International staff have described what they say are apocalyptic scenes on fire-ravaged Kangaroo Island, in South Australia, where they have set up a base rescuing injured wildlife.



UN draft plan sets 2030 target to avert Earth's sixth mass extinction
LONDON, UK, 13 January 2020 (Guardian) - Almost a third of the world’s oceans and land should be protected by the end of the decade to stop and reverse biodiversity decline that risks the survival of humanity, according to a draft Paris-style UN agreement on nature.



Philippines volcano: Thousands evacuated as Taal spews ash
LONDON, UK, 12 January 2020 (BBC) - A volcano in the Philippines has emitted a giant plume of ash, prompting authorities to order the evacuation of some 8,000 people living nearby. The plume coming from the Taal volcano, south of the capital Manila, stretched about 1km into the sky.



Art into nature, nature into art
LONDON, UK, 12 January 2020 (Observer) - Fitting his architecture to its landscape, César Manrique turned Lanzarote into a living artwork of sun, sea and surprise.



Puerto Rico earthquakes are just the latest in a string of shocks
GUANICA, Puerto Rico, 12 January 2020 (Guardian) - A colourful and boisterous place in normal times, Guánica today presents a ghostly and deserted air, the sea breeze whistling through the ruins of the collapsed buildings that dot its streets.



Malta's ruling party elects new PM after scandal
LONDON, UK, 12 January 2020 (BBC) - Malta's governing party has elected a new leader and prime minister to replace Joseph Muscat, who resigned over the murder of a journalist.



Trapped on Lesbos: the child refugees waiting to start a new life
LONDON, UK, 11 January 2020 (Guardian) - Outside the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, a shanty town made of tarpaulin strung between olive trees is getting bigger every week. There are now 18,000 people living in this second camp, designed for just over 2,000.



Record number of elephant deaths in Sri Lanka
LONDON, UK, 11 January 2020 (BBC) - A record number of elephants - 361 - have died in Sri Lanka during 2019, environmental groups say.



Tsai Ing-wen wins second presidential term
LONDON, UK, 11 January 2020 (BBC) - Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has secured a second term after sweeping to victory in an election dominated by the island's relationship with China.



Cook Islands submarine fibreoptic cable going live in May
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 11 January 2020 (RNZ) - Residents of Rarotonga and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands are looking forward to faster cheaper internet this year with the Manatua One Polynesia fibreoptic cable scheduled to come online in May.



Historic German island is nursery for North Sea seals
HAMBURG, Germany, 11 January 2020 (Phys.org) - The birthplace of Germany's national anthem and a practice bombing range for British airmen after World War II, Helgoland island in the North Sea turns cuddly at the turn of the year as grey seals arrive to give birth.



Mapping Mayo islands on a grand scale
DUBLIN, Ireland, 11 January 2020 (RTE) - Latest figures confirm that the Wild Atlantic Way, showcasing the rugged and diverse beauty of the west of Ireland, has been a huge economic boon for the region since the brand was established in 2014.



Tortoise with species-saving sex drive returns to Galapagos
LONDON, UK, 11 January 2020 (BBC) - A giant tortoise whose legendary libido has been credited with saving his species from extinction is to return to the wild on the Galápagos Islands.



Weary Haitians approach a somber anniversary
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 10 January 2020 (NatGeog) - Haiti’s devastating January 12, 2010, earthquake claimed an estimated 316,000 lives, left 1.5 million injured and another 1.5 million homeless when it struck 15 miles southwest of the capital.



Indonesia's supreme court rules forest plantations illegal
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 10 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Environmental activists have called on the Indonesian government to swiftly crack down on plantation companies operating in protected forests, after the country’s highest court ruled such activities illegal.



The cost of fleeing climate change
NEW YORK, US, 10 January 2020 (New Yorker) - In the summer of 2015, Shelma Lamy and her infant daughter, Neslina, got on a plane in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, and flew to northwest Arkansas.



The conventional wisdom on China's island bases is wrong
WASHINGTON, US, 10 January 2020 (War on the Rocks) - The main purpose of China’s artificial islands is not to help fight a war against the United States. Beijing’s primary strategy in the South China Sea is to use civilian and paramilitary pressure to coerce its Southeast Asian neighbors into abandoning their rights.



Indonesian officials wield sharia law in defense of Sumatran rhinos
EAST LAMPUNG, Indonesia, 10 January 2020 (Mongabay) - The government of the Indonesian province of Aceh, notorious for public canings carried out under sharia law, plans to put that same strict Islamic jurisprudence to work protecting what’s thought to be the last viable population of wild Sumatran rhinos on Earth.



U.S. seeks to squeeze Cuba by further curbing flights to island
WASHINGTON, US, 10 January 2020 (Reuters) - The United States is curbing public charter flights to Cuba in a further effort to squeeze the Cuban government’s income, the U.S. State Department said on Friday, prompting an outcry from officials in Havana.



Low-lying islands at the forefront of climate change
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 10 January 2020 (CB) - In Hawaii, all levels of government have begun planning for sea level rise and other impacts of climate change. A number of important policies are under revision including building restrictions along the coast, permit conditions in areas exposed to future sea level rise flooding, and new design requirements for public infrastructure projects.



Welcome to Hawaii's 'plastic beach'
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 10 January 2020 (Guardian) - Kamilo Beach, located on Hawaii’s Big Island, has been called one of the most plastic-polluted spots on Earth.



Turks and Caicos corals face major threat
LONDON, UK, 10 January 2020 (BBC) - From the air, the turquoise hues of the Turks and Caicos Islands' vast barrier reef appear as an expanse of blistering beauty. But underneath the water's stunning surface lurks a deadly disease, silently ravaging the corals which keep its denizens alive and protect the islands' pristine coastline from storms and erosion.



Indonesia asks Japan to invest in some of its South China Sea islands
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 10 January 2020 (Reuters) - Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo on Friday asked Japan to step up investment in fisheries and energy in some of its South China Sea islands following a stand-off with China in waters that China claims in the area.



Taiwan election: How Tsai stayed one step ahead
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 10 January 2020 (BBC) - Taiwan's first female President Tsai Ing-wen is a thorn in mainland China's side and this may have worked to her advantage ahead of Saturday's general election.



Philippine fern efficiently absorbs copper and arsenic
MANILA, Philippines, 9 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Filipino scientists have discovered what might be the next big indigenous plant material for rehabilitating a mining site teeming with copper and arsenic - and it’s a largely ignored local fern.



New songbirds discovered on tiny islands
LONDON, UK, 9 January 2020 (Guardian) - Ten new songbird species and subspecies have been identified on a trio of previously under-explored Indonesian islands in the largest discovery of its kind in more than a century, according to a new study.



Inaugural Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 9 January 2020 (The Gleaner) - Since the 1960s, Jamaica has supplied Japan with high-quality Blue Mountain coffee beans, so It’s no surprise then that last January, in 2019, it was announced that in partnership with Japan, our largest coffee export market, January 9 would thenceforth be celebrated by the islands as Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day.



Puerto Rico earthquake: Two-thirds of island still without power
LONDON, UK, 9 January 2020 (BBC) - Two-thirds of Puerto Rico is still without power, and a quarter is without running water, after a series of earthquakes this week. At least one person died and 300 homes were destroyed in a 6.4-magnitude quake and 6.0 aftershock on Tuesday.



Indonesia equips forest rangers with guns
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 9 January 2020 (AFP) - Forest rangers in Indonesia's Aceh province will be equipped with guns in the battle against illegal logging, an environmental agency official said Thursday.



Kangaroo Island fire roars back as wind change intensifies threat
LONDON, UK, 9 January 2020 (Guardian) - Emergency warnings remain in place for the towns of Parndana and Vivonne Bay after a second major escalation in the Kangaroo Island bushfire.



Christmas day hail storm destroys crops in PNG Highlands
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 8 January 2020 (RNZ) - More than 3000 people in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea could soon be starving after a freak hail storm destroyed their food gardens on Christmas day.



Palm oil plantations destroying proboscis monkey habitat
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 8 January 2020 (Mongabay) - The oil palm processing industry has become the biggest threat to the iconic and endangered proboscis monkeys of Indonesian Borneo, a new study has found.



Indonesia President visits islands also claimed by China
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 8 January 2020 (AP) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday reaffirmed his country's sovereignty during a visit to a group of islands at the edge of the South China Sea that China claims as its traditional fishing area.



Marine Protected Areas: May or may not include actual protection
VICTORIA, Canada, 7 January 2020 (Hakai) - Sarah Dudas is in a race against time. Before the high tide returns, she and her fellow researchers are determined to survey the marine life clinging to the intertidal zone of Goose Island - a small island off the remote central coast of British Columbia.



How climate change threatens Iceland's iconic puffins
HEIMAEY, Iceland, 7 January 2020 (HuffPost) - Heimaey, meaning “home island,” is the only inhabited island in Iceland’s Westman Islands. It’s also home to the largest colony of Atlantic puffins in the world. 



Kangaroo Island bushfires: grave fears for unique wildlife
LONDON, UK, 7 January 2020 (Guardian) - Ecologists have grave concerns for the future of unique and endangered wildlife on Kangaroo Island where bushfires have killed thousands of koalas.



Why are so many earthquakes happening in Puerto Rico?
NEW YORK, US, 7 January 2020 (NYT) - Puerto Rico has been trembling for more than a week. An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck off the coast of the island at 4:24 a.m. local time on Tuesday, according to the United States Geological Survey. That came after a week of smaller tremors clustered in the same area offshore.



How a plant saved a Japanese island
LONDON, UK, 7 January 2020 (BBC) - For centuries, residents on a far-flung Japanese island have survived hardships by consuming a highly toxic plant. Now, this deadly delicacy is at risk of dying off.



Trashing the Islands: Tossing, forgetting no longer viable
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 6 January 2020 (HPR) - Nearly five years ago, Hawaii Public Radio reported a series of stories about the state of garbage around the islands. This week and next, we’re going back for another look in a series we’re calling “Trashing the Islands.”



Deadly conditions for Indonesian migrant crews tied to illegal fishing
KUTA, Indonesia, 6 January 2020 (Mongabay) - A recent report by the environmental group Greenpeace highlights harrowing testimonies from Indonesian migrant workers about dire conditions on board foreign distant-water fishing vessels.



Report identifies tycoons controlling site of new Indonesian capital
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 6 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Activists say they’ve identified the business tycoons who control land in the area slated for Indonesia’s new capital and who could potentially benefit from the $33.5 billion mega project.



Emergency on Japan's 'lucky island'
TOKYO, Japan, 6 January 2020 (JT) - It’s golden hour on Iki, a pristine island in southwestern Japan. A gentle breeze cools the day to a perfect 24 degrees Celsius. The roads are clean, the trees are green, a playground sits atop a grassy hill. Locals call Iki a “lucky island” because it’s rarely affected by natural disasters, yet last year Iki became the first place in Japan to declare a climate emergency.



Conservationists call for three-mile coastal fishing limit in Scotland
LONDON, UK, 6 January 2020 (Guardian) - Marine conservation campaigners have called for trawlers to be banned from fishing within three miles of Scotland’s shoreline to help depleted fish stocks and seabeds to recover.



Walrus shortage may have caused collapse of Norse Greenland
LONDON, UK, 6 January 2020 (Guardian) - The mysterious disappearance of Greenland’s medieval Norse society in the 15th century came after walruses were hunted almost to extinction, researchers have said.



Kangaroo Island fires: Farmers shoot injured sheep
LONDON, UK, 5 January 2020 (Guardian) - Farmers on Kangaroo Island were shooting fire-injured sheep on Sunday as the small community prepared for more dangerous days ahead when hot weather returns in the middle of the week.



UK could forfeit security council seat over Chagos Islands dispute
LONDON, UK, 5 January 2020 (Observer) - The UK could lose its permanent seat on the UN security council unless it resolves the future of the Chagos Islands, the archipelago in the Indian Ocean whose largest island, Diego Garcia, is a US military base.



Logging is ripping apart the Solomon Islands
MARASA, Solomon Islands, 3 January 2020 (NatGeog) - It was mid-February 2018 when villagers in the Solomon Islands community of Marasa noticed the rivers had begun to turn red.



Australia's bushfires push countless species to extinction
LONDON, UK, 3 January 2020 (Guardian) - Close to the Western River on Kangaroo Island, Pat Hodgens had set up cameras to snap the island’s rare dunnart – a tiny mouse-like marsupial that exists nowhere else on the planet. Now, after two fires ripped through the site a few days ago, those cameras – and likely many of the Kangaroo Island dunnarts – are just charred hulks.



Falklands releases socio-economic impact report
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 3 January 2020 (MercoPress) - The socio-economic impact of oil and gas development in the Falkland Islands has been the subject of a Government report. This is in anticipation of significant economic activity that will be generated by the potential development of the Sea Lion oilfield as well as planned capital projects.



Call for subsidies of northern Cook Islands' shipping
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 3 January 2020 (RNZ) - The expansion of solar energy services in the northern Cook Islands has undermined the shipping service according to a former cabinet minister. "There's no diesel to be taken across to run the power generators and so the shipping service has become less and less important."



Good news stories of community and reuse in 2019
LOPEZ ISLAND, US, 3 January 2020 (Islands' Weekly) - The “Recycle Dogs” as their logoed hardhats identify them, speak about their work as “half anger management therapy, half free gym workout.”



The German islands that regularly vanish beneath the sea
BONN, Germany, 3 January 2020 (DW) - Among the North Frisian Islands off Germany's North Sea coast is a string of tiny low-lying elevations known as Halligen, or the Hallig islands.



Fire crews battle emergency blazes on Kangaroo Island
SYDNEY, Australia, 3 January 2020 (ABC) - Fire crews in South Australia are battling two emergency-level bushfires, with one raging on Kangaroo Island that has been described as "virtually unstoppable".



The seaweed-eating sheep that belch in a good way
LONDON, UK, 3 January 2020 (BBC) - The northernmost Orkney island, North Ronaldsay, is home to just 50 people and 2,000 sheep. Since the 19th Century, when islanders built a stone wall to confine the flock to the shoreline, it has survived on seaweed alone - and it now seems that this special diet could hold the key to greener, more climate-friendly livestock farming.



Ravenous wild goats ruled this island for over a century
REDONDA, Antigua, 2 January 2020 (NatGeog) - This tiny, secluded island in the Caribbean West Indies, an imposing piece of old volcano ringed by hundred-foot cliffs, is covered with bushes and knee-high grass that can obscure some of the unusual species that call it home.



From trash to cash
PATTANI, Thailand, 2 January 2020 (Mongabay) - A university team in Thailand named “Tlejourn” has created a profitable product from discarded flip-flops. Of the 5.25 trillion pieces of trash floating in the ocean, old flip-flops are one of the most commonly found items.



Much more needs to be done to stop plastic polluters
LONDON, UK, 2 January 2020 (Guardian) - The beach at Muncar on the island of Java was revolting. The 400-yard wide, mile-long stretch of sand was feet deep in foul-smelling sauce sachets, shopping bags, nappies, bottles and bags, plastic clothes and detergent bottles.



Most of Madagascar's rainforest on pace to disappear by 2070
WASHINGTON, US, 2 January 2020 (UPI) - Nearly all of Madagascar's eastern rainforest is likely to be gone by 2070 if deforestation and global warming progresses at the current pace, according to a new study.



Environmental damage exacerbates Jakarta flooding
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 2 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Flash floods triggered by the heaviest rains ever recorded in Jakarta wreaked havoc across the Indonesian capital Jakarta and its satellite cities on the first day of the new year. Authorities have attributed much of the damage from the disaster, in which at least 19 people have died, to years of environmental degradation.



How long will a volcanic island live?
CAMBRIDGE, US, 1 January 2020 (MIT) - When a hot plume of rock rises through the Earth’s mantle to puncture the overlying crust, it can create not only a volcanic ocean island, but also a swell in the ocean floor hundreds to thousands of kilometers long.



Palau is first country to ban 'reef toxic' sun cream
LONDON, UK, 1 January 2020 (BBC) - The Pacific nation of Palau has become the first country to ban sun cream that is harmful to corals and sea life.



Concerns about Rio Tinto's Madagascar mine
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 31 December 2019 (Mongabay) - The Rio Tinto-owned QMM mine in southeast Madagascar could be polluting water sources in the region with radioactive contaminants, activists say.



Balancing short and long term interests vital for Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 31 December 2019 (Mongabay) - Sri Lanka enters 2020 at a time of political transition. With a new president in office and a parliamentary election due in the next few months, public and media focus is on near term politics.



Protests at plans for salmon farm near Lochranza, on Arran
LONDON, UK, 31 December 2019 (Guardian) - Islanders on Arran are protesting against plans to install one of the UK’s largest fish farms close to one of the island’s most treasured holiday destinations.



Isle of Eigg casts vote against arrival of a fish farm
GLASGOW, UK, 30 December 2019 (Herald) - Residents on a remote Scottish island have told MOWI fish farm bosses that they are not prepared to trade the lure of jobs for their precious marine environment.



Habitat loss drives deadly conflict in Indonesia's tiger country
PALEMBANG, Indonesia, 30 December 2019 (Mongabay) - A spate of recent tiger attacks on farmers in Indonesia’s South Sumatra province has renewed calls from experts to protect wildlife habitats from development projects that threaten to further fragment forests.



Canadian High Arctic islands were once home to rich forests
EUREKA, US, 30 December 2019 (Sci-News) - Lush green forests grew on Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg islands of the Canadian High Arctic 56 million years ago according to a new study.



Mousetraps handed out to sailors at San Clemente Island hotel
CORONADO, US, 30 December 2019 (LA Times) - A rodent infestation at naval facilities on San Clemente Island was more widespread than previously reported and, at its peak, an official on the island threatened to close a key housing facility if something wasn’t done to fix the problem, emails show.



US atomic waste dump in Marshall Islands to be investigated
LONDON, UK, 30 December 2019 (BBC) - The US Congress has demanded an investigation into a concrete dome full of nuclear waste, threatened by rising sea levels in the Marshall Islands.



Taiwan's citizens battle pro-China fake news campaigns
LONDON, UK, 30 December 2019 (Guardian) - Citizen groups in Taiwan are fighting a Russian-style influence and misinformation campaign that is believed to originate across the strait in mainland China with just weeks to go before it votes for its next president.



Samoa lifts state of emergency over measles epidemic
LONDON, UK, 29 December 2019 (BBC) - Samoa has lifted a six-week state of emergency, which was put in place amid a measles epidemic that killed 81 people and infected more than 5,600.



Secrets of Germany's 'Alcatraz' virus island revealed
BERLIN, Germany, 28 December 2019 (The Local) - On a Baltic Sea island once used by the Nazis for biological weapon research, German scientists are developing virus vaccines that could save lives.



National islands plan launched in bid to improve quality of life
GLASGOW, UK, 28 December 2019 (The National) - In a document published yesterday, the Scottish Government listed the 13 objectives, including improving public utilities such as housing, transport and digital connectivity, and boosting health and social care services.



Aldabra Atoll wins prestigious designation as protected ecosystem
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 27 December 2019 (SNA) - Seychelles’ remote Aldabra Atoll has been recognised as an outstanding marine protected area with a Blue Park designation by the Marine Conservation Institute.



Love triangle complicates efforts to breed Sumatran rhinos
EAST LAMPUNG, Indonesia. 27 December 2019 (Mongabay) - Efforts to breed the critically endangered Sumatran rhino in captivity have faced myriad challenges ranging from mysterious deaths and reproductive health problems to bureaucratic hurdles.



UK accused of 'crimes against humanity' by Mauritius
LONDON, UK, 27 December 2019 (BBC) - The UK has been accused of committing "crimes against humanity" for refusing to allow people to return to their former homes on the Chagos Islands, despite a ruling earlier this year by the United Nation's highest court.



McDonald's opens on French island after five-year legal battle
PARIS, France, 27 December 2019 (The Local) - It was the end of a five-year legal battle involving the regional authorities and the court of appeal, but on Thursday a McDonald's opened on the Ile d'Oleron, a small island just off La Rochelle in the Charente-Maritime.



Marshall Islands push for better tuna data
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 27 December 2019 (RNZ) - Despite millions of pounds of tuna transshipped through Pacific island ports, nobody has a precise count of the tonnage.



Taiwan authorities bust illegal logging ring
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 26 December 2019 (The Diplomat) - Authorities on the island have long fought forest poachers, known colloquially as “mountain rats,” who traverse the mountains searching for the coveted wood of endangered trees.



Healing bonds between Kwaio people of Solomon Islands & Australia
SYDNEY, Australia, 26 December 2019 (ABC) - A 1927 massacre of 60 Kwaio people in the Solomon Islands left a deep sense of mistrust and trauma, but a research partnership with Australia leads to reconciliation.



The island struggling to secure its future
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, 26 December 2019 (BBC) - The chairman of Puerto Rico's Medical Technology Industry Association is recalling the events of 20 September 2017, when the Caribbean island was struck by Hurricane Maria.



Philippines counts cost of deadly storm
LONDON, UK, 26 December 2019 (BBC) - Typhoon Phanfone has killed at least 13 people in the Philippines, leaving a trail of devastation through the centre of the country.



There's only one tree on Sable Island
HALIFAX, Canada, 25 December 2019 (CBC) - The scruffy, gnarled tree poking out of the dunes on Sable Island is a testament to tenacity and days before Christmas, the island's skeleton-crew staff braved the elements to decorate the lonesome pine for the holidays.



Indonesians riding the waves to beat tsunami trauma
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 24 December 2019 (AFP) - Surfboard tucked under his arm, Dery Setyawan sprints into the crashing waves. It is not just a physical challenge but an emotional one -- most of his family and friends were swept to their deaths when a tsunami hit these shores 15 years ago.