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Mission to map the health of the Caribbean's coral reefs
NEW YORK, US, 24 May 2018 (Oceans Deeply) - Researchers deployed the world’s most advanced Earth measurement system over the Caribbean Sea this month to chart coral reefs in unprecedented detail. The maps will be used to develop marine conservation plans in a region devastated last year by back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes.



King Island birds face extinction without urgent federal help
LONDON, UK, 24 May 2018 (Guardian) - Residents of King Island in Tasmania want the federal government to intervene to try to stop two bird species from going extinct.



Socotra becomes a disaster zone
LONDON, UK, 24 May 2018 (BBC) - The island chain of Socotra, famed for unique plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet, is coping with the aftermath of a powerful cyclone.



Canada, Denmark seek to settle Arctic island dispute
OTTAWA, Canada, 23 May 2018 (AFP) - Canada and Denmark announced Wednesday the creation of a task force to try to solve a longstanding territorial dispute over a tiny Arctic island that once provoked a diplomatic feud.



Stags on Rum found tangled in lost fishing gear
LONDON, UK, 23 May 2018 (BBC) - Images have been released showing red deer stags on a Scottish island with marine pollution tangled in their antlers.



Stewart Island to continue on generators
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 22 May 2018 (Southland Times) - It appears as if Stewart Island will continue to run on diesel for the forseeable future. Several reviews have taken place into how to bring renewable energy to the island, including one in 2015 which looked at options including wind, solar, hydro and even running a cable from the mainland.



South Pacific islands search for five rare bat species
SYDNEY, Australia, 22 May 2018 (ABC) - It sounds like something from the age of exploration - scientists sailing between tiny islands in the South Pacific Ocean looking for rare bats.



Warming waters hurt Zanzibar's women seaweed farmers
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania, 21 May 2018 (CSM) - Zanzibar's streets are serene in the dark moments before sunrise, and an amber glow tints the beach. The tide is out, and the air is fresh. A few women head to work, toting sticks on their heads and empty sacks in their hands as they walk toward the sea.



Lessons from Madagascar's protected area network
NEW YORK, US, 21 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Developing countries worldwide are expanding their protected area networks, and a recent paper that examines how Madagascar greatly expanded its own protected area system over the past decade and a half may have valuable lessons for how they should proceed.



High-stakes battle over Obama's Atlantic Ocean National Monument
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 21 May 2018 (Oceans Deeply) - Mining and drilling for oil are already banned in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, established by former president Barack Obama in 2016 as the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Within five years, too, all commercial fishing will be phased out – or, at least that was the plan.



MP blames Pacific failed states for New Zealand's drug problems
DUNEDIN, New Zealand, 21 May 2018 (Guardian) - A New Zealand MP has said the country’s Pacific neighbours are to blame for New Zealand’s worsening drug problems, blaming “failed states” in the region for failing to stop drug smugglers.



No tender process for $444m Great Barrier Reef grant
LONDON, UK, 21 May 2018 (Guardian) - The government approached a non-profit group that will receive a record grant for reef protection only a few weeks before it announced the deal in the federal budget.



Hawaii volcano: Warning of toxic gas plumes from Kilauea
LONDON, UK, 21 May 2018 (BBC) - People in Hawaii are facing fresh warnings over toxic fumes produced when molten rock flows into the ocean, as the state continues to battle eruptions from the Kilauea volcano.



First baby in 12 years born on remote Brazil island
LONDON, UK, 20 May 2018 (BBC) - A remote Brazilian island with a ban on childbirth is nonetheless celebrating the first baby born there in 12 years. Fernando de Noronha island, 370km (230 miles) from the city of Natal, has about 3,000 residents but no maternity wards.



Island or rock? Taiwan defends its claim in South China Sea
ITU ABA, South China Sea, 20 May 2018 (NYT) - The largest natural feature of the Spratly Islands, the hotly disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, is a forested, sun-drenched oval of land, cleaved by a single runway that gives the place the appearance of a raw coffee bean floating in bright blue water.



Isles of Scilly observatory plan to attract astro-tourists
LONDON, UK, 20 May 2018 (BBC) - An observatory is set to be built at a "perfect stargazing spot" which has one of the darkest skies in England. The centre on St Martin's in the Isles of Scilly aims to create a new "astro-tourism and centre of learning".



Shipping and industry threaten the Sundarbans
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 19 May 2018 (IPS) - Toxic chemical pollution in the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is threatening thousands of marine and forest species and has environmentalists deeply concerned about the future of this World Heritage Site.



Abe vows support for Pacific islands to boost maritime security
IWAKI, Japan, 19 May 2018 (Kyodo) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Saturday to support Pacific island countries in enhancing their maritime security capabilities, given their vulnerable coastal security.



China lands bombers on South China Sea islands
LONDON, UK, 19 May 2018 (Guardian) - China’s air force has landed bombers – including the long-range, nuclear strike-capable H-6K – on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise in the disputed region.



Greening the Islands Awards
MINORCA, Spain, 18 May 2018 (Greening the Islands) - The 4th edition of Greening the Islands Awards saw recognition for three projects from around the world - 100% Renewable Energy St. Helena; Chumbe Island Coral Park; Germany’s first LNG-Ferry MS “Helgoland”; and a special prize to the Philippine island of Borocay.



The trials and tribulations of the Andaman fisheries
NEW DELHI, India, 18 May 2018 (The Wire) - The early history of commercial fisheries in the Andaman islands focused on Trochus and sea cucumbers, and then shifted to sharks, crabs and pelagic species.



The island fruit that caused a mutiny
LONDON, UK, 18 May 2018 (BBC) - In French Polynesia, breadfruit is an essential part of both the islanders' diet and their culture – so much so, that its story is cemented in history.



Antarctica tourism regulation urgent for environment
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, 17 May 2018 (AFP) - Tourism regulation in Antarctica has become an urgent matter due to environmental threats, officials from the 53 member countries of the Antarctic Treaty warned at their annual meeting, held this week in Buenos Aires.



Madagascar emerges as whale shark hotspot
LONDON, UK, 17 May 2018 (BBC) - Large numbers of endangered whale sharks have been sighted in waters off Madagascar.



PNG LNG project has failed to produce the promised benefits
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 17 May 2018 (Mongabay) - In 2008, when a consortium led by ExxonMobil was drumming up support for a $19 billion natural gas extraction and processing project in Papua New Guinea, proponents of the development predicted it would underpin the country’s economy for decades.



How the island of Sulawesi continues to captivate biologists
LONDON, UK, 17 May 2018 (Guardian) - Wedged in between the continental landmasses of south-east Asia and Australia lies the vast island realm of Wallacea.



The mystery of lime-green lizard blood
BATON ROUGE, US, 17 May 2018 (SPX) - Green blood is one of the most unusual characteristics in the animal kingdom, but it's the hallmark of a group of lizards in New Guinea. Prasinohaema are green-blooded skinks, or a type of lizard.



Singapore to create largest artificial reef at Sisters Island
SINGAPORE, 17 May 2018 (CNA) - Singapore’s largest artificial reef habitat will be created at the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park by the end of this year.



In an era of troubled islands another development is knocked back
ROCKHAMPTON, Australia,17 May 2018 (ABC) - As idyllic islands up and down the Great Barrier Reef sit in ruins, a central Queensland council has knocked back a huge resort-style development that has been more than a decade in the planning.



The river people under threat
LONDON, UK, 16 May 2018 (BBC) - The islands of the Brahmaputra are remote, unmapped, under threat - and home to 2.5 million people.



Greenpeace disowns paper giant over deforestation allegations
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 16 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Recent findings of deforestation by two companies with ties to the Sinar Mas Group and its pulp and paper arm, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), have led Greenpeace to end its engagement with the Indonesian conglomerate.



In Guadeloupe, going green means going bananas
CAPESTERRE-BELLE-EAU, Guadeloupe, 16 May 2018 (AFP) - Bananas are Guadeloupe's top agricultural export, and there is growing awareness that farming practices need to change as yields drop and damage from pesticide use rises.



Chile, an oasis for Haitians that has begun to run dry
SANTIAGO, Chile, 16 May 2018 (IPS) - A wave of Haitian migrants has arrived in Chile in recent years, changing the face of low-income neighbourhoods.



Dutch PM flies four threatened iguanas to new home
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, 15 May 2018 (AFP) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had some unlikely companions flying home Tuesday from the Caribbean -- four lesser Antillean iguanas carrying the hopes of their endangered species with them.



The Gough Island Restoration Programme website is live
SANDY, UK, 15 May 2018 (RSPB) - The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Tristan da Cunha Government have developed an ambitious programme of conservation action for Gough Island in the middle of the South Atlantic.



Worm-eating mice reveal how evolution works on islands
CHICAGO, US, 15 May 2018 (CFM) - A team of mammalogists have discovered that four species of mice evolved from one common ancestor on Connecticut-sized Mindoro Island in the Philippines, making it the smallest known island where one kind of mammal has branched out into many more.



Vanuatu is the first country in the world to ban plastic straws
PORT VILA, Vanuatu, 15 May 2018 (SPREP) - It's a Pacific island nation that has beaten the global community across the finish line with Vanuatu officially being the first nation in the world to legally ban the use of plastic straws.



UN preparing for review of Samoa Pathway
NEW YORK, US, 15 May 2018 (IISD) - In 2019, the UNGA will hold a high-level review of progress made in addressing SIDS’ priorities through the implementation of the Samoa Pathway.



What can small island states learn from each other?
WASHINGTON, US, 15 May 2018 (IEG) - The World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) has produced a report with a number of interesting insights that speak to how small states can learn from each other, and how development institutions can work together more effectively to serve them.



Sifaka lemurs listed as critically endangered amid mysterious die-off
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 15 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Lemurs in Madagascar have been under pressure from deforestation, poaching, drought and other challenges for years. Now, in the much-visited Berenty Reserve near the island’s southern tip, one species faces a mysterious new threat.



Timor-Leste's incredible marine life - in pictures
LONDON, UK, 15 May 2018 (Guardian) - Situated in the heart of the ‘coral triangle’, this young nation boasts some of the most biodiverse waters in the world. As it emerges from years of unrest, it now faces the challenge of protecting its coasts, and the communities that rely on them, in the face of growing development.



Genetically modified mozzie trial in Cayman Islands may have failed
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, 15 May 2018 (CNS) - Documents and correspondence released to GeneWatch, a UK-based NGO, under a freedom of information request appear to show that there is no evidence that the controversial release of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay by Oxitec made any impact on the targeted pests.



New Zealand deploys rugby diplomacy in the Pacific
BEIJING, China, 15 May 2018 (Telegraph) - New Zealand is deploying 'rugby diplomacy' in the southern Pacific with plans to use the sport to unlock development in the region and ward off growing Chinese influence.



Hurricanes cost Caribbean tourism more than $700m
MIAMI, US, 14 May 2018 (AFP) - The tourism industry in the Caribbean region attracted almost one million fewer visitors after hurricanes Irma and Maria hit last year, costing it over $700 million, according to an industry study released Monday.



Report blames coal-fired plant in Bali for pollution
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 14 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Away from the frenetic tourism development that has taken over the beaches of southern Bali, the Indonesian resort island’s northern coast remains largely rural and agrarian.



Timor-Leste hero Xanana Gusmao heads back into power
LONDON, UK, 14 May 2014 (Guardian) - Timor-Leste independence hero Xanana Gusmão is expected to be appointed prime minister again after the country’s second parliamentary election in less than a year.



New lava fissures open as Hawaii volcano threatens major eruption
PAHOA, Hawaii, 14 May 2018 (AP) - A new fissure in Hawaii’s Puna District has sent gases and lava exploding into the air, spurring officials to call for more evacuations as residents waited for a possible major eruption at Kilauea volcano’s summit.



This small island paradise is showing Africa how to beat malaria
WASHINGTON, US, 14 May 2018 (OZY) - Hamilton Nascimento remembers missing months of school as a child when he repeatedly got sick with malaria. It used to be an unavoidable part of life in São Tomé and Príncipe, a nation of two tiny islands in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, where Nascimento grew up. But not anymore.



Faroe Islands look to Estonia for its e-governance methods
TALLINN, Estonia, 14 May 2018 (ERR) - After more than a decade of Estonia showboating its e-governance methods to much of the world, it is no longer novel to see far larger nations than the Faroe Islands offering ample praise for Estonia"s drive to bring its interactions between government and citizens online.



In Madagascar, fishermen plant mangroves for the future
BEANJAVILO, Madagascar, 13 May 2018 (AFP) - Hunched over the soil, Malagasy villagers work feverishly - deft fingers planting stalks of mangrove to replace the swathes destroyed for firewood and building material.



US secret report: China 'debt trap' on Australia's doorstep
MELBOURNE, Australia, 13 May 2018 (AFR) - Chinese loans worth hundreds of billions of dollars are saddling Australia's smaller regional neighbours with unsustainable debts and giving Beijing crucial economic leverage to gain strategic and military power, warns a new independent report written for the US State Department.



Adriatic smart islands becoming source for new solutions
DUBROVNIK, Croatia, 13 May 2018 (TCN) - In March 2017, representatives of a series of European islands, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, signed the Declaration on Smart Islands and a follow up event will take place on the Croatian islands of Krk and Hvar in October 2018.



A diaspora rallies to reawaken the language of Rotuma
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 12 May 2018 (RNZ) - It's a small island of only about 2000 people partway between Fiji's main islands and Tonga, but despite its size the Fiji dependency of Rotuma has its own unique language and culture, more like that of the Polynesian islands to the east than the rest of Fiji.



Pelly Island is one of the fastest-eroding islands in the world
HALIFAX, Canada, 12 May 2018 (CBC) - A student from Saint Mary's University is heading on an Arctic adventure to study one of the world's fastest-eroding islands.



Falkland Islands government sounds alarm on leaving single market
LONDON, UK, 12 May 2018 (Independent) - The Falkland Islands’ government has sounded the alarm over leaving the EU single market, warning that the territory would take a “catastrophic” economic hit if it faces new tariffs and quotas as a result of Brexit.



Deal reached on community buyout of Ulva Estate
LONDON, UK, 11 May 2018 (BBC) - Negotiations have been concluded for the purchase of Ulva Estate on behalf of the island's community and the neighbouring Isle Mull.



Sumatran habitat gets a partial reprieve from development
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 10 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Officials in the Indonesian province of Aceh have vowed to safeguard the last known habitat shared by tigers, orangutans, rhinos and elephants, but concerns abound that the proposed protections are limited in scope.



Maine island residents fear for future of their community
PORTLAND, US, 10 May 2018 (Press Herald) - Islesboro residents are painting a grim picture of the future of the commuter island community following a steeper than expected increase in their state ferry ticket prices.



Debate ensues over supermarket chain's decision to ban palm oil
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 10 May 2018 (Mongabay) - The uproar over Iceland Foods’ decision to ban palm oil from its own-label products has been loud and swift. While many applaud the move as a bold stance against deforestation and land grabbing by plantation companies, others - including some scientists and conservation groups - fear the British supermarket chain may be making things worse.



How religious sects seized Madagascar's cinema district
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 10 May 2018 (Guardian) - Antananarivo is home to an array of vintage picturehouses, yet none have shown a film in decades. Now they host a new breed of celebrity preacher, all just as keen to entertain – and to profit.



3 lessons from a small innovative centre supporting big ocean states
ORANJESTAD, Aruba, 9 May 2018 (UNDP) - I love working for islands, and not just because of their nature, people and weather. Islands are the canaries in the coal mine for how we treat our planet. They are not responsible for climate change, but bear the brunt of its impact.



Indonesian activists protest China-funded dam in orangutan habitat
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 9 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Activists in Indonesia have called on the Chinese government to withdraw funding for a hydroelectric dam that threatens to fragment the only known habitat of the most endangered great ape on Earth.



Socotra is finally dragged into Yemen's civil war
LONDON, UK, 9 May 2018 (Independent) - Since Socotra has become the focus of an unprecedented power struggle between Yemen’s government and its supposed ally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the red, white and black of the mainland flag is no longer a given on the isolated Arabian Sea island.



Invasive rabbits have ravaged one of the most remote islands
WASHINGTON, US, 9 May 2018 (WP) - The Kerguelen Islands are at the end of the world. They're in the southern Indian Ocean, halfway between Madagascar and Antarctica. A few dozen researchers inhabit a lonely field station. There's no airstrip. The boat trip from Reunion Island takes 15 days. The climate is harsh, and few plants thrive in the rocky, windswept landscape.



When banks abandoned American Samoa, the islands found a solution
WASHINGTON, US, 9 May 2018 (WP) - By 2016, American Samoa was desperate. Its economy and population had been shrinking for years and hopes of a turnaround fell as the verdant volcanic islands in the South Pacific withered into banking desert.



Scientists devise new model for origins of Darwin's finches
SAN DIEGO, US, 9 May 2018 (UPI) - The diversity of finches on the Galapagos Islands inspired Darwin's theory of natural selection and species divergence, central tenets of the naturalist's theory of evolution.



More evacuations from Hawaii volcano
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 9 May 2018 (RNZ) - Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has erupted out of two new vents prompting authorities to call for an immediate evacuation of residents from a second neighbourhood on the Big Island.



Credit ratings and climate risk: a financial trap for small island states
BERLIN, Germany, 9 May 2018 (Climate Analytics) - Small Island States face the alarming prospect that their sovereign credit ratings might be downgraded over time due to climate risks and impacts. This could land them in a type of “financial trap,” leading to challenges in managing national finances, dependence on foreign aid and increasing vulnerabilities to climate change.



Seychelles to impose levy on glass bottles to reduce landfill waste
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 9 May 2018 (SNA) - The government of Seychelles in July will introduce a levy and redeem scheme on glass bottles.



South Georgia declared rat-free after centuries of rodent devastation
LONDON, UK, 9 May 2018 (Guardian) - The world’s biggest project to eradicate a dangerous invasive species has been declared a success, as the remote island of South Georgia is now clear of the rats and mice that had devastated its wildlife for nearly 250 years.



UN-sponsored World Tuna Day promotes sustainable tuna fishing
NAIROBI, Kenya, 9 May 2018 (UNEP) - The “Coral Triangle” in the western Pacific supports large populations of tuna, fuelling the multi-billion-dollar global tuna industry. But the fish’s numbers in the region are declining at an alarming rate, primarily due to human greed, according to the World Wildlife Fund.



Australia hikes aid in Pacific as China pushes for influence
SYDNEY, Australia, 9 May 2018 (AFP) - Australia is refocussing its foreign aid programmes in a move to win hearts and minds in the island nations of the Pacific, as an increasingly assertive China flexes its muscles in the region.



Puerto Rico's reconstruction challenge
CANOVANAS, Puerto Rico, 8 May 2018 (NBC) - Every time Miriam Medina looks at her roofless, weak, wobbly house, she’s reminded of all her failed attempts to receive aid to fix it.



Ocean risks a wake-up call for policymakers
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda, 8 May 2018 (IUCN) - A new report by IUCN warns of unprecedented changes occurring in the ocean and points to the pressing need for a multi-sectoral approach, with businesses, government and the insurance industry working together to address their potential impacts.



Micronesian Scrubfowl to be saved by rat removal on Pacific island
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 8 May 2018 (BirdLife) - Kayangel Atoll is set to become the first inhabited island in the Pacific nation of Palau to be cleared of rats. As well as a healthier ecosystem for fascinating endangered birds, residents look forward to better livelihoods through increased crop yields.



India's abandoned island of colonial horror
WASHINGTON, US, 8 May 2018 (Smithsonian) - For decades, an obscure speck of an island - measuring less than one-third of one square mile - was the site of the brutalization of thousands of convicts and political prisoners amidst a luxurious British colonial settlement.



Indonesian study into health risks of microplastics
LONDON, UK, 8 May 2018 (BBC) - Indonesian scientists have launched the largest ever study into whether tiny plastic particles can affect human health. They are investigating the presence of plastic in seafood while also tracking the diets of 2,000 people.



Investor withdraws from PNG seabed mining project
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 8 May 2018 (RNZ) - A multinational mining company, Anglo America, has withdrawn its support from the Solwara 1 seabed mining project in Papua New Guinea led by Canadian company Nautilus Minerals.



Seychelles to gather updated information on forests
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 8 May 2018 (SNA) - The Seychelles will be embarking on a new project to provide accurate and updated information on the status of the island nation’s forests, including data on endemic and native species.



Great Pacific Garbage Patch plastic removal system
SYDNEY, Australia, 7 May 2018 (ABC) - In 2012, an 18-year-old Dutch entrepreneur told a TEDx audience he was designing a device to clean-up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.



Vanilla price rise proves chilling for ice-cream makers
LONDON, UK, 7 May 2018 (BBC) - The vast majority of vanilla - over 75% - is grown in Madagascar and the main reason for the high price is that there was a cyclone on this tropical island last March which damaged a lot of the plantations.



Tourism's carbon impact three times larger than estimated
LONDON, UK, 7 May 2018 (BBC) - When measuring per capita emissions, small island destinations such as the Maldives, Cyprus and the Seychelles emerge as the leading lights. In these countries tourism is responsible for up to 80% of their annual emissions.



Cape Verde aims for free trade zone with Atlantic islands
LISBON, Portugal, 7 May 2018 (Reuters) - The Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde hopes to create a zone of free circulation for people and goods with the nearby Spanish Canary Islands and Portugal's Madeira and Azores, Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva said on Monday.



The Cook Islands braces for climate change
NAIROBI, Kenya, 7 May 2018 (UNEP) - The Cook Islands has received $3 million to help build the resilience of its residents and protect their livelihoods from disasters and climate change.



Could leasing Zhuhai's Guishan Island help Hong Kong
HONG KONG, 6 May 2018 (SCMP) - On a clear, cloudless day, one can peer out from the edge of Fan Lau on the southwesternmost tip of Hong Kong’s Lantau Island, and catch a glimpse of Guishan Island on the horizon.



Exploitation proves relentless for African migrant workers in Sicily
CAMPOBELLO DI MAZARA, Italy, 4 May 2018 (Guardian) - Foreigners who work long hours for negligible pay in the Sicilian countryside are having their settlements razed, exposing them to even worse treatment.



Balearic Islands turn to sunshine in shift to 100% green energy
MAHON, Spain, 4 May 2018 (Guardian) - As thousands of holidaymakers fly into Menorca this summer, a glance out the window will illustrate the past and future of the island’s energy system.



Mount Kilauea: Hawaii emergency declared over volcano eruption
LONDON, UK, 4 May 2018 (BBC) - Mount Kilauea volcano has erupted near a residential area on Hawaii's largest island, prompting a local state of emergency and the mandatory evacuation of 1,700 local residents.



Hawaii becomes first US state to ban sunscreens
LONDON, UK, 3 May 2018 (Guardian) - Coral reefs and sunshine keep tourists flocking to Hawaii but add sunscreen to that holiday mix and the result can be serious damage to the marine environment that makes the islands so attractive to visitors in the first place.



Indonesian government wants to turn failed Mega Rice Project around
KIRAM, Indonesia, 3 May 2018 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government plans to resurrect small tracts of the failed Mega Rice Project in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, by restoring abandoned peat areas and developing agriculture there.



In Brazil, an island laboratory for Atlantic Forest restoration
ANCHIETA ISLAND, Brazil, 3 May 2018 (Mongabay) - From a distance, Anchieta Island is a mosaic of different shades of green. The lighter ones correspond to areas where ferns and a handful of broad-range species reign. In the darker patches, shrubs and trees have taken the place of the ferns.



Crocodiles: The deadly totems of Timor-Leste
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 3 May 2018 (RNZ) - A country under siege for decades, Timor-Leste has more than its fair share of challenges as it seeks to develop, recover and move forward after decades of struggle under its occupation by Indonesia that only ended in 2001.



Pacific Climate Change Centre to start construction in May
APIA, Samoa, 3 May 2018 (SPREP) - The Pacific islands region is on track to having its own Pacific Climate Change Centre to be based in Samoa at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.



Vanuatu plans to permanently evacuate entire volcanic island
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 3 May 2018 (AP) - Vanuatu is preparing to permanently evacuate the entire population of one of its islands as thick ash spewing from a volcano kills crops, dirties water supplies and fouls the air.



ECLAC releases documentary on impacts of Irma and Maria
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, 3 May 2018 (Caribbean News Now) - The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) sub-regional headquarters for the Caribbean has released an exclusive new documentary on the impacts of hurricanes Irma and Maria across the Caribbean.



Revolutionary aerial mapping of coral reefs in the Caribbean
ST CROIX, USVI, 3 May 2018 (Caribbean News Now) - The Nature Conservancy in the Caribbean and Carnegie Institution for Science have launched a groundbreaking initiative to create the first-ever high-resolution map of the shallow waters of the entire Caribbean Basin.



China installs cruise missiles on key South China Sea outposts
TOKYO, Japan, 3 May 2018 (JT) - China has secretly installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its fortified outposts in the Spratly group of islands, a report said Wednesday, as Beijing seeks to further project power in the disputed waters.



Lesbos to greet Greek PM's visit with protests, shutters and strikes
ATHENS, Greece, 3 May 2018 (Guardian) - When a Greek prime minister visits a far-flung corner of the country he is traditionally welcomed with open arms, but any hope that Alexis Tsipras will be given the same reception when he arrives on Lesbos – the Aegean island long on the frontline of Europe’s migrant crisis – has been firmly dispelled.



The tiny island with human-sized money
LONDON, UK, 3 May 2018 (BBC) - The Micronesian island of Yap has a famously unusual currency: hundreds of giant discs of rocks scattered all over the island, many of them too heavy to move.



EDF plan for tallest UK onshore wind turbines prompts outcry
LONDON, UK, 2 May 2018 (Guardian) - The first government-backed effort to revive onshore windfarms after ministers scrapped public subsidies for the technology has run into opposition in the western isles of Scotland.



Early humans in the Philippines 700,000 years ago
PARIS, France, 2 May 2018 (AFP) - Were the early humans roaming east Asia more than half-a-million years ago clever enough to build sea-faring watercraft and curious enough to cross a vast expanse of open sea?



Socotra island under threat from the vagaries of Yemen's civil war
LONDON, UK, 2 May 2018 (Independent) - Legend has it the otherworldly dragon’s-blood tree first grew on the spot where two brothers, Darsa and Samha, fought to the death. In Arabic, it is known as dam al akhawain – “the blood of the two brothers”.



New ferry from Newfoundland to St-Pierre-Miquelon
FORTUNE, Canada, 1 May 2018 (CP) - The French islands of St-Pierre-Miquelon just off the south coast of Newfoundland – North America’s last vestige of colonial New France – have long attracted adventurous travellers seeking an unusual European experience.



U-turn as Tories back plans to make tax havens transparent
LONDON, UK, 1 May 2018 (Guardian) - Britain’s overseas territories will be forced to adopt public registers of company ownership at the end of the decade after the government conceded it would have to support a backbench amendment designed to stem the global flow of “dirty money”.



Taiwan loses diplomatic ally in the Caribbean
LONDON, UK, 1 May 2018 (BBC) - The Dominican Republic has established diplomatic relations with China and cut its ties with Taiwan.



Rising levels of frustration at UN climate stalemate
LONDON, UK, 1 May 2018 (BBC) - The government of Fiji currently holds the presidency of the UN talks and has been trying to inspire greater efforts to cut greenhouse gases - they've introduced an international conversation called the Talanoa Dialogue to push countries to do more. But a UN summary of written submissions to this process reflects the frustrations.



The Scottish island that buried America's dead
GLASGOW, UK, 1 May 2018 (BBC) - It is the whisky-making Scottish island, world famous for its peaty single malts and warm hospitality. But the Isle of Islay, in the Inner Hebrides, is now being recognised for an almost forgotten example of huge courage and humanity.



Development plans threaten Malaysian island
LANGKAWI, Malaysia, 30 April 2018 (Mongabay) - The Langkawi archipelago off Malaysia’s northwest coast is made up of more than 100 islands, including the main island – the country’s third largest.



Island lizards shift to evolutionary fast-track
NEW YORK, US, 30 April 2018 (Scientific American) - A mile long, the Caribbean island of Redonda is a rock nub protruding up from the sea; its steep, windy cliffs dropping into the sapphire water below.



Whale shark logs longest-recorded trans-Pacific migration
PANAMA CITY, Panama, 30 April 2018 (SPX) - Researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute tagged a female whale shark near Coiba Island in Panama, the largest island off of the coast of Central America, and tracked it across the Pacific for more than 12,000 miles, the longest whale shark migration route ever recorded.



Australian-backed gas project fails to deliver PNG economic boom
SYDNEY, Australia, 29 April 2018 (Guardian) - The massive ExxonMobil-led liquid natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, backed by a $500m Australian government loan, has failed to deliver on a promised economic boom for the country a new report has found.



Budget earmarks $500m to mitigate GBR climate change
LONDON, UK, 28 April 2018 (Guardian) - The Turnbull government will partner with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation in a $444m agreement to tackle crown-of-thorns starfish, reduce pollution and mitigate the impacts of climate change as well as provide $56m to expand environmental management and compliance operations.



Healthy Tasmanian devils discovered by scientists
LONDON, UK, 28 April 2018 (BBC) - A healthy group of Tasmanian devils has been discovered in Australia, giving new hope for the survival of the endangered species.



Scientists predict these islands are doomed but not the whole story
NEW YORK, US, 27 April 2018 (Live Science) - A study published Wednesday (April 25) in the journal Science Advances suggests the islands could become uninhabitable in as little as 40 years. However, other scientists vigorously contest the study's conclusions.



After a volcano erupts, bird colonies recover
WASHINGTON, US, 26 April 2018 (SPX) - Where do seabirds go when their nesting colony is buried by a volcano? In 2008, the eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian archipelago provided a rare opportunity to track how the island's Crested and Least auklet populations responded when their nesting colony was abruptly destroyed.



Islands comb own shores for solutions to environmental pressures
CALVIA, Spain, 26 April 2018 (Reuters) - Island governments around the world are no longer begging for help to tackle the many problems they face - from too many tourists to devastating storms and rising seas - but are finding their own solutions and sharing them, experts say.



Swedish island dig reveals 5th century massacre
LONDON, UK. 25 April 2018 (BBC) - Swedish archaeologists have found evidence of a 5th century massacre on the south-eastern island of Oland.