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|Building resilience in remote communities|
MELBOURNE, Australia, 4 August 2022 (Pursuit) - Fernando de Noronha is a remote archipelago off Brazil’s coast, but it could provide insights into the challenges to building community and urban resilience
|On a pair of Maine islands, the legacy of the Wyeths lives on|
BOSTON, US, 4 August 2022 (Globe) - Betsy Wyeth spent almost 40 years transforming two desolate islands off Port Clyde into a wonderland of inspiration for her husband, the painter Andrew Wyeth. Now, with the islands acquired by Colby College last fall, their potential for educating and enlightening the public is endless.
|Why the Turkish-Greek island spat flares up again and again|
BONN, Germany, 4 August 2022 (DW) - The saber-rattling in the Mediterranean may seem puzzling. After all, both Turkey and Greece are members of the same defense alliance - NATO. And that alliance was established to come together and defend any member facing a common foe. But nevertheless, these two neighbors often appear to be on the threshold of a mutual conflict.
|Mount Desert Island use participatory planning approach|
ORONO, US, 4 August 2022 (UMaine) - A study from the University of Maine shows that bringing together academics and tourism developers on Mount Desert Island is an effective way to identify climate change impacts and determine what can be done to address them given a community’s strengths, limitations and resources.
|Scotland Office Minister inspired by island innovation|
LONDON, UK, 4 August 2022 (GOV.UK) - Levelling up was top of the agenda as UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart visited innovative island businesses and community projects on a five-day visit to Skye, Lewis and Harris, ahead of the inaugural Islands Forum later this year.
|Norfolk Island is a Commonwealth Games bowls powerhouse|
LONDON, UK, 4 August 2022 (Guardian) - About 2,000 people live on Norfolk Island, an Australian external territory 1,400km off the coast of New South Wales. Remarkably, 10 of them – fully half a percent of the entire population – are currently in Birmingham representing the island at the Commonwealth Games. All 10 are participating in the one sport in Birmingham: lawn bowls.
|Iceland eruption may be the start of decades of volcanic activity|
WASHINGTON, US, 4 August 2022 (NatGeog) - Less than a year has passed since lava stopped sputtering from Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula following the first major volcanic outburst from this region in almost 800 years. But now the island is once again bleeding molten rock. The start of a new eruption so soon after unrest in 2021 seems to underscore that this once quiescent peninsula has awoken from its long slumber.
|Dramatic rise in COVID community cases on Niue|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 4 August 2022 (RNZ) - Community cases of COVID-19 in Niue have jumped from four to 21 since the first cases were reported last Thursday. Auckland University Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences associate dean Pacific Sir Colin Tukuitonga has been advising the Niue government on its health response throughout the pandemic said “they were fortunate having had two years of COVID-19 free status when they were able to vaccinate everyone and build an isolation facility.”
|GBR sees record coral cover, but it is highly vulnerable|
SYDNEY, Australia, 4 August 2022 (BBC) - Coral has recovered from storms and bleaching events to record levels across much of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, a survey has found. The reef's northern and central parts have the highest amount of coral cover since monitoring began 36 years ago. But coral cover in the southern part of the reef has decreased.
|How does a small island survive without a bank?|
SAINT JOHN, Canada, 3 August 2022 (CBC) - Grand Manan is home to scenic coastline, an active fishery, pebble beaches - and small businesses ranging from take-outs and coffee shops, to convenience stores and art galleries, serving a year-round population of about 2,400. But after Aug. 24, there's one key amenity Grand Manan won't be able to offer - a bank.
|Pacific nations are extraordinarily rich in critical minerals|
BRISBANE, Australia, 3 August 2022 (Conversation) - Plundering the Pacific for its rich natural resources has a long pedigree. Think of the European companies strip-mining Nauru for its phosphate and leaving behind a moonscape. There are worrying signs history may be about to repeat, as global demand soars for minerals critical to the clean energy transition.
|The view from Taiwan: 'We've had this for 70 years'|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 4 August 2022 (BBC) - So far the rising tensions between China and Taiwan - a fallout of US politician Nancy Pelosi's brief but controversial visit to Taipei - are playing out exactly as predicted. First, China declared six exclusion zones around Taiwan, a self-ruled island it sees as a breakaway province. Then within two hours of those zones coming into effect, Beijing fired at least two Dong Feng ballistic missiles across the straits into the zones off the north Taiwan coast.
|Indigenous activists in Borneo claim win|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 2 August 2022 (Mongabay) - Malaysian timber giant Samling has removed logging equipment from a long-disputed area in Sarawak state’s Upper Baram Forest Area, in what the Penan Indigenous community is calling a win for forest protection.
|Building Indonesia's 'green' new capital could see coal use surge|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 2 August 2022 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s planned new capital city on the island of Borneo, Nusantara, is being touted by the government as a “green” city. However, its construction may lead to a surge in carbon emissions, putting the country’s climate goal at risk.
|In Polynesia, tattoos are more than skin deep|
WASHINGTON, US, 3 August 2022 (NatGeog) - The legacy of Polynesian tatau, the onomatopoeic name for the practice of tattoo, began 3,000 years ago - the designs as diverse as the people who wear them. The Polynesian Triangle includes more than a thousand individual islands in the South Pacific Ocean forming several dozen cultural groups, most of which have their own distinct tattoo traditions.
|The town with the cleanest air in the world|
LONDON, UK, 29 July 2022 (BBC) - In Svalbard, there's a village where the atmosphere is ultra-clean, Wi-Fi is banned, and all buildings go unlocked in case you need to hide from polar bears – but as Anna Filipova discovered, big changes are in the air.
|Farne Islands: Bird flu death toll passes more than 3,000|
LONDON, UK, 25 July 2022 (BBC) - Thousands of seabirds have died in an outbreak of avian flu on the Farne Islands in the worst "disaster" to hit the colonies in nearly 100 years. The National Trust, which cares for the islands, has found more than 3,000 dead birds but estimated ten times more may have fallen into the sea.
|Sargassum presents challenge for environment and tourism|
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, 25 July 2022 (CNS) - An unprecedented amount of Sargassum that invaded the North Sound on Saturday is presenting a significant challenge for the Cayman Islands as the country tries to rebuild its tourism business two and a half years after the COVID-19 pandemic closed its borders. However, it is also a major environmental threat.
|Storm-ravaged Bahamas rebuilding its power grid|
NEW YORK, US, 24 July 2022 (CBS) - When Hurricane Dorian slammed into the northern Bahamas in 2019, the Category 5 storm caused nearly inestimable damage on a number of islands. When we visited in late 2019, hurricane recovery was really just beginning, but we discovered that the Bahamas had found a ray of hope - specifically, a solar array - that can survive future hurricanes. And in the process, it may have important lessons for the rest of the world.
|Indonesia's mangrove restoration bid holds huge promise|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 26 July 2022 (Mongabay) - Indonesia has more mangrove forests than any other country, but much of it has been degraded for fish and shrimp farms. The government aims to restore 600,000 hectares of mangroves by 2024, but questions remain about its stated progress toward that goal. If Indonesia can completely stop mangrove destruction, it can meet one-fourth of the government’s 29% emissions reduction target for 2030.
|Papua New Guinea election violence|
LONDON, UK, 26 July 2022 (Guardian) - Voting in Papua New Guinea’s elections has been overshadowed by outbreaks of violence including the massacre of 18 people in the Highlands and a group of men attacking people with machetes outside a counting centre in Port Moresby. Voting began at the beginning of July and continues until the end of the month. But what has caused the violence and what can be done to stop it?
|Concerns abound at deep-sea mining negotiations|
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 26 July 2022 (Mongabay) - Delegates of the International Seabed Authority are currently meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, to negotiate a set of rules that would pave the way for a controversial activity: mining the seabed for coveted minerals like manganese, nickel, copper, cobalt and zinc. But scientists and conservationists say there are considerable transparency issues at the meetings that are restricting access to key information and hampering interactions between member states and civil society.
|Intensive vanilla farming and biodiversity conservation|
LONGMONT, US, 27 July 2022 (Anthropocene) - The sweet scent of vanilla has an unusual origin. The aromatic seed pod is the product of a pale yellow orchid that blooms from tree-climbing vines. Native to the tropical Americas, it is now grown around the world, particularly in Madagascar, off the eastern coast of Africa.
|Tourists explore Magdalen Islands on electric bikes|
MONTREAL, Canada, 26 July 2022 (CBC) - While on vacation on Quebec's Magdalen Islands, Pierre-Louis Houle decided to rent a cargo bike with electric assistance for a week of exploring the small archipelago with his son. Houle had the option to drive while there but not every tourist does, as rental cars are in very short supply. And now electric bike rentals are through the roof as people look for alternative means of transportation.
|The saga of Sable Island's wild horses|
VICTORIA, Canada, 26 July 2022 (Hakai) - Horses were first left on Sable Island, Nova Scotia, in the 1700s, and their descendants have roamed free ever since. These wild horses have behaved as invasive species have the world over - altering the natural ecosystem. But unlike other introduced species, such as rats, starlings, or zebra mussels, they’ve been deemed as “naturalized” and are treated more as wildlife than the feral animals they are.
|Climate change and vanishing islands threaten brown pelicans|
CHAUVIN, US, 27 July 2022 (AP) - A dozen years ago, there were around 15 low-lying islands with nesting colonies of Louisiana’s state bird. But today, only about six islands in southeastern Louisiana harbor brown pelican nests - the rest have disappeared underwater.
|Chatham Island farmers fear being unable to offload 30,000 sheep|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 28 July 2022 (RNZ) - Farmers on the Chatham Islands are facing the possibility of not being able to ship stock off the island during the busy autumn period next year as the only ship which carries sheep off the island to sales on mainland New Zealand requires maintenance and repairs taking up to four months. A barge service will replace the ship for essential imports like food and fuel but the ship cannot carry livestock.
|Plastic in the Depths: how pollution took over our oceans|
LONDON, UK, 25 July 2022 (Guardian) - By now, it is well known that the oceans swirl with plastic. More than 8m tonnes pour into the seas every year, spewed out via rivers, dumped along coastlines or abandoned by fishing vessels. Plastic even contaminates ocean air, where particles are kicked up by spray and then blown about the planet by the wind. In many places on Earth, it is literally raining – and snowing – plastic.
|Mediterranean ecosystem suffering as temperatures peak|
LONDON, UK, 29 July 2022 (Guardian) - Parts of the Mediterranean are more than 6C warmer than normal for the time of year, scientists have said, sparking fears that the sea’s fragile ecosystems are suffering the equivalent of a “marine wildfire” and being permanently altered by global heating.
|Octopus lures from the Mariana Islands found to be oldest in the world|
MANGILAO, Guam, 29 July 2022 (SD) - An archaeological study has determined that cowrie-shell artifacts found throughout the Mariana Islands were lures used for hunting octopuses and that the devices, similar versions of which have been found on islands across the Pacific, are the oldest known artifacts of their kind in the world.
|Invasive species bullfrog and snake cost world $16bn|
LONDON, UK, 29 July 2022 (BBC) - Scientists tallying the economic damage wrought by invasive pests across the world found two species are responsible for more harm than any other. The brown tree snake was singlehandedly responsible for $10.3bn worth of damage in total - partly by spreading uncontrollably across several Pacific islands. In Guam, where the reptile was accidentally introduced by US marines last century, the snake's sheer present-day population causes mass power cuts because they slither over electrical wires and cause expensive damage.
|Indonesia's giant capital city is sinking|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 29 July 2022 (NatGeog) - Apart from the narrow, unpaved road, the two-meter-high concrete coastal wall is the only thing that separates Suhemi’s small restaurant in North Jakarta from the sea.
|In isolation: Fogo Island's only permanent family doctor left in June|
ST. JOHN'S, Canada, 30 July 2022 (CBC) - Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Fogo Island’s rugged landscape and clean salt air attract a growing number of tourists but the island has not been able to attract a permanent family doctor since the sole doctor left in June.
|In Okinawa, a push to revive a lost tattoo art for women, by women|
NAHA, Japan, 25 July 2022 (WP) - Hana Morita was scrolling through Pinterest when she came across hajichi, a minimalistic tattoo worn by Okinawan women on their fingers and hands. Once common on the subtropical islands where traces of a distinct culture remain, the art had almost disappeared over a century of assimilation.
|Why young people in Taiwan are learning to fight|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 2 August 2022 (BBC) - Friends who know I am in Taiwan have been sending me increasingly alarming messages - "I hope you have your flak jacket with you!" "Does your hotel have a bomb shelter?" They've seen the fire-breathing rhetoric coming from Chinese state media, most notably the Global Times, and have concluded that Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan could end very badly.
|Fee rise to see Komodo dragons triggers strike by tourism workers|
LONDON, UK, 2 August 2022 (Guardian) - Hundreds of Indonesian tourism workers have gone on strike over a hefty increase in ticket prices to see the country’s Komodo dragons, a rise the government says is needed to preserve the habitat of the world’s largest lizard.
|Dolphins slaughtered in Faroe Islands|
NEW YORK, US, 1 August 2022 (Newsweek) - Nearly a hundred bottlenose dolphins have been slaughtered in the Faroe Islands, marking the biggest hunt of this species to take place in 124 years.
|Over 500 applications to live rent-free for a year on Aran Islands|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 2 August 2022 (DMG) - Over 500 families have applied to live rent-free for a year on the Aran Islands in a scheme started by a secondary school on Inis Meain. It is aimed at a family with a functional level of Irish, with children in pre-school or primary school to attend school on the island, in an attempt to help boost numbers in the island's schools.
|How the blue economy will shape the future of Canada's oceans|
VANCOUVER, Canada, 1 August 2022 (The Conversation) - The words “blue economy” will soon shape the future of Canada's oceans, from the fiords and straits of British Columbia to the rugged coastlines of the Atlantic to the vast seascapes of the Arctic. The transformation of Canada’s ocean economies will be felt throughout the country and will set an example for nations around the world.
|No permit? No problem for palm oil company still clearing forest|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 1 August 2022 (Mongabay) - More than 100 Indigenous people in Indonesia’s Papua region are calling on the local government to revoke all the permits of a palm oil company that’s continuing to clear land despite being ordered to halt all activities by officials.
|A utopia of clean air and wet peat amid Sumatra's forest fire 'hell'|
BENGKALIS, Indonesia, 1 August 2022 (Mongabay) - On the east coast of the island of Sumatra lies a grove of timber, fruit and native trees known as the Marsawa Peat Arboretum. This shady grove, spread across 1.1 hectares (2.7 acres), is a labor of love for local land and air - one that originated in a place of loss.
|Falklands black gold rush might at last be a reality|
LONDON, UK, 23 July 2022 (Times) - Head north from the Falkland Islands, across the South Atlantic waves where albatross wheel and whales sound, and you pass over what could be a big new oil province - a significant source of hydrocarbons controlled not by sheikhs or oligarchs, but by the United Kingdom.
|Puerto Rico's anti-gentrification protests|
LONDON, UK, 23 July 2022 (Guardian) - Climate activists in Rincón, Puerto Rico, celebrated the Fourth of July by demolishing part of a construction at the beach that has been the symbol of resistance against coastal development on the island.
|A look at Louisiana's restored barrier islands|
NEW ORLEANS, US, 22 July 2022 (WWNO) - Just in time for another above-average hurricane season, state officials on Thursday got to view for the first time the completed and restored Terrebonne Basin Barrier Islands, aimed at protecting residents from storms rolling in from the Gulf of Mexico.
|A history of San Francisco's wild, raw Farallon Islands|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 22 July 2022 (KQED) - Whether or not the Farallon Islands are visible from shore is always a good measure of how clear a day we’re having in the San Francisco Bay Area. Situated twenty-seven miles west of the Golden Gate, the cluster of twenty islets is often obscured by fog or marine layer – but on the clearest of days they emerge as a blurry silhouette on the horizon line.
|Fisheries management in the Bijagos Archipelago|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 22 July 2022 (Mongabay) - In late March and early April of this year, a team of researchers and local fishers caught, sampled and released more than 50 sharks and rays in the Bijagós Archipelago of Guinea-Bissau, including several threatened species.
|Cruise ships are headed back into Nunavut waters|
IQALUIT, Alaska, 22 July 2022 (Nunatsiaq News) - There’s going to be more traffic in the waters around Nunavut this summer as international cruise ships return to the territory’s shores. They’re back after a two-year sailing ban on passenger ships and pleasure crafts in Canadian Arctic waters - put in place in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the region - expired at the end of February.
|Predators and climate change threaten white-tailed tropicbird|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 23 July 2022 (SNA) - The white-tailed tropicbird, one of the most emblematic birds of Seychelles, found on the coat of arms of the island nation, is showing signs of potential population decline. Invasive predators such as rats and the possible impact of climate change on food supply are being cited as the main causes of the trend.
|Marshall Islands celebrate paramount chief coronation|
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 22 July 2022 (AFP) - Thousands participated this week in a lavish ceremony in the Marshall Islands marking the first formal coronation of a paramount chief in around 50 years. The colourful event, which also attracted thousands of viewers on social media, saw Michael Kabua crowned "Iroojlaplap", or paramount chief, on Thursday night as warriors and guests from the 12 atolls and islands he oversees gathered in a show of respect.
|Marion Island: Against the odds|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 22 July 2022 (BirdLife) - Far out to sea between South Africa and Antarctica, and ravaged almost incessantly by the ‘roaring forties’ winds, the bleakly beautiful oceanic outposts of Marion and Prince Edward Islands are home to a huge wealth of seabirds and marine mammals. But in this remote and hostile environment, it is a diminutive introduced predator that is necessitating major conservation action to restore the balance of nature.
|US launches environmental study for Hawaii telescope|
LONDON, UK, 20 July 2022 (Guardian) - The National Science Foundation will examine the environmental impacts of a proposed optical telescope on the summit of Hawaii’s tallest mountain, a project that has faced strong opposition from Native Hawaiians who consider the area sacred.
|Marine ranching helps restore biodiversity in south China island|
HAIKOU, China, 21 July 2022 (Xinhua) - When Wang Aimin, then a professor of oceanic science at Hainan University, started helping with marine ranching by dropping artificial reefs into seawater in 2011, he was ridiculed by local divers. Now, more than a decade later, Wang's efforts have paid off. By placing artificial reefs and transplanting corals underwater, he and his team helped restore the marine ecology in the waters of Wuzhizhou Island.
|Indonesian islanders sue cement producer for climate damages|
LONDON, UK, 20 July 2022 (Guardian) - Residents of an Indonesian island threatened by rising sea levels have begun legal action against cement producer Holcim. The claim for compensation, filed in Switzerland by three men and one woman, is understood to be the first major climate damages lawsuit against a cement company.
|Avian flu wreaks devastation on seabirds|
LONDON, UK, 20 July 2022 (Guardian) - A quarter of Europe’s breeding seabirds spend spring in the UK, turning our coastline into a giant maternity unit. This annual congregation of life has turned into a super-spreader event, as a highly pathogenic avian influenza, H5N1 – also known as bird flu – sweeps through populations of breeding birds, causing devastating losses. More than 300 outbreaks have been reported in UK seabird colonies including the Bass Rock, the world’s largest northern gannet colony, an island off the coast of North Berwick, Scotland.
|The container terminal that could sink the Great Nicobar Island|
DELHI, India, 20 July 2022 (Mongabay) - The government of India is pursuing a massive development project involving a container terminal, airport, township, and a power plant on the Great Nicobar Island in the strategically important Andaman and Nicobar Islands region. The project has raised alarm bells among environmentalists, scientists, wildlife experts, and civil society organisations. They highlight it would result in irreversible damage to the pristine rainforests as it involves cutting of about 852,000 trees.
|Sri Lankan environmental policy failures helped fuel people power revolution|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 19 July 2022 (Mongabay) - Mismanagement of environmental concerns contributed to the unpopularity and eventual resignation, in the face of popular protests, of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president. Uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources, creating opportunities for land grabbing through amendments to the law, and dismissing environmental concerns have all impacted the country, with some of these policies expected to have lasting effects.
|Ban on use of destructive net fails to make an impact in Indonesia|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 20 July 2022 (Mongabay) - Fisheries observers say a year-old ban on a seine net considered unsustainable and destructive has been largely ineffective. Reports show fishers continue to use the square-meshed cantrang net despite the ban, and can even modify the diamond-meshed replacement introduced by the fisheries ministry.
|Micronesia finally loses covid-free status|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 20 July 2022 (RNZ) - Two of the four states in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) have reported their first community spread of covid since the pandemic began in early 2020, ending the country's status as one of a handful of covid-free countries globally. The Covid spread in the FSM leaves the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu as the last two Pacific nations to maintain covid-free status. The Marshall Islands last week announced plans to open its borders to quarantine-free travel beginning October 1.
|Scaling the peaks of Mingulay|
LONDON, UK, 19 July 2022 (Guardian) - Taking in the rugged plains, sheer cliffs and remarkable wildlife of the Outer Hebridean island, with the first Briton to conquer Everest without bottled oxygen.
|How the Maldives is restoring water security|
NEW YORK, US, 19 July 2022 (UNDP) - In 2014, the then-President of the Maldives was forced to cut short an overseas trip to tackle an unfolding water crisis in the capital, Malé. With no water flowing in one of the most densely populated capitals of the world, and more than a third of the population left without water for drinking, bathing, cleaning, and cooking, the small island state was in a state of emergency requiring immediate international assistance.
|Indonesia's sea-based communities adapt to change|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 18 July 2022 (Mongabay) - For decades, the nomadic Bajo people have crisscrossed the seas of Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. But due to pollution, climate change, overfishing and other harmful practices, their way of life is under threat.
|Magdalen Islands are at the mercy of rising sea levels|
QUEBEC, Canada, 19 July 2022 (Hakai) - The Magdalen Islands, a case study in our response to the rising sea levels that threaten coastal environments worldwide, provides two visions of the future in one compact setting. The first, the hard approach, transforms shorefronts into lengthy bunkers of concrete and rock to protect valued real estate. The second, the softer approach, involves working with nature to adapt to coastal erosion while at the same time accepting that in many places, the smartest way forward will have to mean retreat.
|First covid case detected on tiny Pitcairn Islands|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 19 July 2022 (RNZ) - The Pitcairn Islands has registered its first coronavirus case after nearly two years of almost complete isolation. The tiny island group of about 40 residents had managed to remain infection-free by completely closing itself off to visitors.
|Sri Lanka's tea farmers struggling to survive|
KANDY, Sri Lanka, 19 July 2022 (BBC) - Leaves from the lush green tea estates covering the hills of central Sri Lanka end up in cups across the world. Tea is the island's biggest export, normally bringing in more than $1bn a year, but the industry is being hard hit by the unprecedented economic crisis.
|Challenges of young people on EU islands|
TALLINN, Estonia, 18 July 2022 (SEI) - The Yenesis project was launched to address the challenge of unemployment for young people who are not in education, employment or training (so-called “NEET” youth) living on islands. Young people on islands often face several challenges, such as limited job opportunities and a lack of necessary business skills or capital to create their own businesses.
|Marshall Islands gear up to join Covid-19 world|
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 18 July 2022 (RNZ) - The Marshall Islands is planning to end its Covid-19 managed quarantine measures for those entering the country, which have been in place for two years. The country is one of only a handful of nations left in the world that is Covid-free, and has remained so due to strict entry requirements, including the 14-day government-managed quarantine rule.
|Pacific Islands ask international court to rule on climate|
SUVA, Fiji, 18 July 2022 (AFP) - Climate-threatened Pacific islands called on Monday for the International Court of Justice to rule on countries' legal duties to stop climate change, a move designed to ratchet up pressure on polluting nations.
|China Covid outbreak grows as Macau extends Covid shutdown|
BEIJING, China, 16 July 2022 (AFP) - China on Saturday reported its highest number of coronavirus cases since May, with millions in lockdown this weekend as authorities persist with their zero-Covid policy. Macau is set to begin another working week of partial lockdown, after the city extended the closure of its casinos and non-essential businesses to try and eradicate its worst coronavirus outbreak yet.
|Indigenous sea gardening innovations across the Pacific Ocean|
VICTORIA, Canada, 18 July 2022 (Hakai) - By focusing on reciprocity and the common good - both for the community and the environment - sea gardening created bountiful food without putting populations at risk of collapse. The Pacific Sea Garden Collective has been cataloging indigenous approaches to marine stewardship like native Hawaiian fish ponds, Haida Gwaii octopus houses and Taiwanese stone fish traps.
|How Sardinia is tapping into the naturist revival|
ALGHERO, Sardinia, 16 July 2022 (Guardian) - Even though nudist beaches have existed in Italy for decades, a law introduced in 2017 has enabled individual regions to legally dedicate stretches of coastline for naturists. Sardinia is not only planning to add to its list of three official beaches but also has visions of creating naturist hotels, hiking trails and even an entire village as it endeavours to attract a growing market – currently there are an estimated 50,000 naturists in Italy and 20 million in Europe.
|Scientists show how kelp forests can potentially be regenerated|
LONDON, UK, 16 July 2022 (Guardian) - Since the 1960s, Tasmania’s giant kelp has all but vanished. Despite the rapid speed at which the brown algae grows – up to half a metre a day – around 95% has been killed off by warm waters pushed southwards by the east Australian current.
|Tasmania grapples with deer dilemma as invasive pest numbers soar|
LONDON, UK, 16 July 2022 (Guardian) - Environmentalists, farmers and hunters are not often bedfellows, especially in Tasmania. But on this they agree – there are too many deer. It’s believed there are now 100,000 of them across the state, with reports the population has spread into the world heritage area. The deer population is expected to continue to balloon – hitting one million by mid-century if there is no active management.
|Paradise or purgatory? The Aussie billionaires buying islands|
SYDNEY, Australia, 17 July 2022 (SMH) - A parliamentary inquiry into the future of island resorts revealed deep community concerns about resort owners living up to their social responsibility. Some locals say they have lost access to the islands. Others are concerned about foreign ownership. One former national park ranger made a submission in which he argued big resorts were no longer sustainable.
|Trash returns to previously cleared paradise, Henderson Island|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 17 July 2022 (Stuff) - Plastic trash is once again washing up on a deserted South Pacific island, three years after a huge clean-up mission. Henderson Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Pitcairn Island group. No-one has lived there since the 15th century, but it has the highest density of plastic debris recorded anywhere in the world.
|Up to 1,700 jobs go unfilled on Scottish island |
EDINBURGH, UK, 14 July 2022 (Scotsman) - Up to 1,700 jobs are currently unfilled on Skye due to workers being unable to secure affordable accommodation, new research has found. More than two in five firms on the island have reported difficulties in hiring employees with 89 per cent of businesses who have five or more staff now struggling to recruit.
|Plantations threaten Indonesia's orangutans, but they're not oil palm|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 15 July 2022 (Mongabay) - A significant portion of orangutan habitat in Indonesia lies within corporate concessions, but industrial tree companies, like pulp and paper, don’t have strong enough safeguards and commitment to protect the critically endangered apes, a new report says.
|Climate impacts to disproportionately hurt tropical fishers, farmers|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 15 July 2022 (Mongabay) - The majority of 72 coastal communities studied in five countries in the Indo-Pacific region may face significant losses of agricultural and fisheries products - two key food sources - simultaneously under the worst-case climate change projections, a new study shows.
|Scores killed in gang warfare in Haitian capital|
LONDON, UK, 14 July 2022 (BBC) - At least 89 people are reported to have been killed in a week of gang warfare in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. The mayor of the impoverished Cité Soleil neighbourhood said two criminal alliances, known as G9 and G-Pèp, were fighting for control of the area.
|Crab invasion: alien species goes from pest to profit|
LONDON, UK, 15 July 2022 (Guardian) - Over the past decade, Tunisian fishing communities have been plagued by an invasive species of crab but now they catch the pests for sale overseas. Even artisanal fishers on the Kerkennah Islands, a small archipelago off the east coast of Tunisia, have adapted. Here, people practise charfia fishing, an ancient technique that uses palm fronds lodged in the seabed to block the fish and direct them into nets or traps. Finding more crabs entangled in the fronds and eating their catch, fishers on the island have started to supplement their income by selling these crabs.
|Young Maori divers hunt invasive crown-of-thorns starfish|
RAROTONGA, Cook Islands, 15 July 2022 (Mongabay) - The island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands is experiencing an outbreak of crown-of-thorns-starfish, which could jeopardize the survival of its surrounding coral reef. Local environmental organization Korero O Te Orau has been tackling the outbreak since 2020 by training young Maori people in scuba diving and running regular expeditions to remove taramea from the reef and bury them inland.
|The Red Sea islands caught between Egypt, Saudi and Israel|
CAIRO, Egypt, 15 July 2022 (AFP) - As US President Joe Biden visits the Middle East this week, one issue on the table will be the status of two small Red Sea islands that are uninhabited but of key strategic value. For now, the two barren desert islands - Tiran and Sanafir - are home only to some soldiers of a decades-old multinational peacekeeping force, their waters occasionally visited by divers for their coral reefs.
|CSIRO joins deep-sea mining project in Pacific|
LONDON, UK, 14 July 2022 (Guardian) - Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, has agreed to work with a controversial deep-sea mining project in the Pacific as a fourth island nation joins a call for a moratorium on the industry.
|Solomon Islands PM rules out China military base|
SUVA, Fiji, 14 July 2022 (Guardian) - The prime minister of Solomon Islands has guaranteed there will never be a Chinese military base in his country, saying that any such deal with Beijing would undermine regional security, make Solomon Islands an “enemy” and “put our country and our people as targets for potential military strikes”. He has also said that Australia remains the “security partner of choice” for Solomon Islands and he would only call on China to send security personnel to the country if there was a “gap” that Australia could not meet.
|Fraser Island inundated with rubbish after Queensland floods|
WIDE BAY, Australia, 14 July 2022 (ABC) - One of Australia's most famous World Heritage-listed islands has been turned into a tip by severe floods in south-east Queensland. The beaches of K'gari (Fraser Island) have been littered with more than 30 tonnes of debris, including toothbrushes, bottles, plastic pots, shoes, bins and pontoons, but locals say rubbish has long been an issue.
|Forest Service seeks to restore logged area on Admiralty Island|
PETERSBURG, Alaska, 13 July 2022 (KTOO) - The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to restore land on an island in the Tongass National Forest that has been logged in past decades. The federal agency wants this 23,000 acres of developed land to match the wilderness area that surrounds it.
|Sri Lanka president flees the country on military jet|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 13 July 2022 (BBC) - President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled Sri Lanka on a military jet, amid mass protests over the island's economic crisis. The country's air force confirmed the 73-year-old flew to the Maldives with his wife and two security officials. In his absence, he has appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as acting president. Mr Rajapaksa's departure ends a family dynasty that has dominated Sri Lanka's politics for the past two decades.
|Cleanup on remote Southeast Alaska island aids research|
KETCHIKAN, Alaska, 12 July 2022 (APM) - Crews in Ketchikan hauled enormous cloth bags full of garbage off of the F/V Polar Lady last week - 11,500 pounds in all. It all came from the remote Forrester Island, an uninhabited islet 40 or so miles southwest of Prince of Wales Island, known as Gaskuu in the Haida language. The debris is bound for recycling in Seattle, but researchers hope it could also shed light on the kinds of garbage that find their way into the ocean.
|Implications of the ICJ ruling on the Chagos Islands matter|
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 13 July 2022 (IOL) - A landmark ruling was made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on February 25, 2019. Through its Advisory Opinion, the court instructed the British Indian Ocean Territory, UK, to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius.
|Colossal storks flew over Indonesia's island of 'hobbit'-size humans|
WASHINGTON, US, 13 July 2022 (NatGeog) - In ancient Flores, an island in eastern Indonesia, “hobbit”-size humans shared the landscape with an immense bird. At more than five feet tall, the Ice Age stork Leptoptilos robustus would have towered over the three-foot-tall Homo floresiensis, who lived more than 60,000 years ago.
|Cuban sea turtles can't escape climate change|
GUANAHACABIBES PENINSULA, Cuba, 12 July 2022 (Reuters) - So far, efforts by park guard Roberto Varela and fellow researchers at the park and University of Havana have been a success. Turtle nesting here, once threatened by poaching, has stabilized and increased in some cases, published studies show, even as it has fallen off elsewhere in the tropics.
|Historic deals on maritime boundaries at the Pacific Islands Forum|
SUVA, Fiji, 13 July 2022 (IB) - Many Pacific island states are really large ocean states, with vast Exclusive Economic Zones. As local enterprises and overseas corporations seek to exploit the region’s vast ocean resources – from fisheries to deep sea minerals and marine biodiversity – it’s vital to clarify which areas come under the national jurisdiction of which state.
|Kiribati 'cooking something with China'|
SUVA, Fiji, 13 July 2022 (RNZ) - Former Kiribati president Anote Tong suspects a major agreement is "cooking" between Beijing and Tarawa after the country's decision to quit the Pacific Islands Forum. "I think it would have started with the reopening of the Phoenix Island Protected Area." Sources have told RNZ Pacific that a possible deal may include exclusive access to Chinese vessels to Phoenix Islands Protected Area - the largest designated marine protected area in the world.
|US to open two new embassies in Pacific|
SUVA, Fiji, 12 July 2022 (Guardian) - Spurred on by Chinese interest in the region, the United States will boost funding and establish two new embassies in the Pacific as it grows its footprint in the blue continent. On Wednesday, US vice president Kamala Harris will virtually address Pacific Islands Forum members and announce new postings in Kiribati and Tonga. Veteran Pacific-watchers have labelled the move unprecedented, especially given reports China has been blocked from participating in the week’s leaders summit in Fiji.
|Australia at odds with PIF on new coal and gas projects|
SUVA, Fiji, 12 July 2022 (Guardian) - Australia has resisted calls from Pacific for no new gas or coal projects, saying it was not responsible for other countries’ emissions, in a move that could cause tensions as PIF meet in Suva this week.
|China influenced Kiribati exit from Pacific Islands Forum|
TARAWA, Kiribati, 12 July 2022 (Guardian) - Kiribati’s decision to withdraw from the Pacific Islands Forum on the eve of the event was an extreme move driven by pressure from China, the Micronesian nation’s opposition leader says.
|PIF meeting turns Fiji's pandemic bust to boom|
SUVA, Fiji, 11 July 2022 (Guardian) - With the biggest regional event in years in town, there’s a buzz on the streets of the Fijian capital that hasn’t been felt since Covid slammed international borders shut in 2020.
|Protected areas not immune to blast fishing in Sri Lanka|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 12 July 2022 (Mongabay) - Blast fishing is widely practiced in the seas around Sri Lanka, with even marine parks and historical shipwrecks not immune to this illegal practice. Authorities say blast fishers work as part of a network to evade capture and obtain explosives, including by smuggling them in by sea from India.
|Climate funding to support Pacific seed crops|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 12 July 2022 (RNZ) - The New Zealand government is putting $10 million of its $1.3 billion climate aid fund towards conserving Pacific crop seeds and researching climate-resilient varieties.
|Faroe Islands to limit dolphin hunt after outcry|
LONDON, UK, 10 July 2022 (BBC) - The Faroe Islands is to provisionally limit its controversial dolphin hunt to 500 animals, after receiving widespread criticism over last year's cull, where more than 1,400 were killed.
|Unsustainable logging, fishing and hunting 'driving extinction'|
LONDON, UK, 9 July 2022 (BBC) - One in five people around the world rely on wild animals, plants and fungi for food and livelihoods, according to a landmark assessment. But many wild species are not being harvested sustainably, putting food security at risk, the report found.
|Ancient Maori bird hunt faces uncertain future|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 9 July 2022 (Guardian) - On a rainy and moonless night, on a cluster of tiny uninhabited islands scattered near the bottom of New Zealand, Rakiura Maori hunters are heading out for another night of hunting titi chicks, a native seabird considered a delicacy for its oily meat.
|Kiribati withdraws from Pacific Islands Forum|
SUVA, Fiji, 10 July 2022 (Guardian) - The key diplomatic body in the Pacific has been dealt a devastating blow on the eve of its first in-person meeting since the pandemic, as Kiribati announced it would be withdrawing from the Pacific Islands Forum.
|Protesters storm President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's residence|
LONDON, UK, 9 July 2022 (BBC) - Thousands of protesters have stormed President Rajapaksa's residence in the capital of Sri Lanka. Demonstrators from all over the country marched to Colombo demanding his resignation after months of protests over mismanagement of the country's economic crisis.
|Deep-sea mining threat to marine mammals|
LONDON, UK, 8 July 2022 (Guardian) - Noise pollution from proposed deep-sea mining could radiate through the ocean for hundreds of kilometres, scientists predict, creating a “cylinder of sound” from the surface to the sea bed. Seventeen contractors with exploration licences are looking at the possibility of mining the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), an area spanning 4.5m sq km between Mexico and Hawaii, which has abundant mineral-rich lumps known as polymetallic nodules.
|Indonesian uses puppets to teach threat to Javan rhino|
INDRAMAYU, Indonesia, 7 July 2022 (AFP) - Former teacher Samsudin is educating the kids about the plight of the critically endangered Javan rhino - the world's rarest - using cardboard figures, comical expressions and exaggerated voices to spread his message of conservation one story at a time.
|Fin whales have staged a stunning comeback|
NEW YORK, US, 7 July 2022 (NBC) - Researchers revealed massive feeding frenzies among fin whales near Elephant Island, Antarctica, with about 150 whales seen more than once - lunging and diving with mouths wide open - gulping down krill.
|60 years of conserving Malta's birds and habitats|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 7 July 2022 (BirdLife) - Founded in 1962 as the Malta Ornithological Society, BirdLife Malta is the country’s oldest environmental organisation. From battling illegal hunting and monitoring migratory bird species to managing four vital nature reserves and engaging communities across the country to support conservation, the organisation has played a crucial role in protecting Malta’s wildlife.