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|Polar bears may be inbreeding on Svalbard|
KIRKENES, Norway, 16 September 2021 (Barents Observer) - As a cause of the rapid melting of the Arctic Sea ice, polar bears at Svalbard have undergone a shocking loss in genetic diversity, a Norwegian study shows.
|Indonesia president found negligent over Jakarta filthy air|
LONDON, UK, 16 September 2021 (BBC) - An Indonesian court has found President Joko Widodo and other top officials guilty of negligence in tackling air pollution in and around Jakarta. In a landmark ruling, the court ordered monitoring stations and other measures to improve air quality in the capital.
|Not a single G20 country is in line with the Paris Agreement|
LONDON, UK, 15 September 2021 (CNN) - None of the world's major economies - including the entire G20 - have a climate plan that meets their obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to an analysis published Wednesday, despite scientists' warning that deep cuts to greenhouse emissions are needed now.
|The US extends a new economic aid package to Greenland|
NUUK, Greenland, 15 September 2021 (Reuters) - Greenland said on Wednesday it had agreed to a new economic aid package with the United States, which seeks to boost ties the world’s biggest island and strengthen U.S. military presence in the Arctic. The $10 million package aims to develop Greenland's mining sector, tourism and education, and comes in addition to a $12 million package from last year.
|Norfolk Island considering a government in exile|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 16 September 2021 (RNZ) - Unhappy locals on Norfolk Island are considering a government in exile. The islanders have been pushing for their autonomy to be restored ever since Canberra took direct control five years ago.
|Macquarie Island's annual penguin and seal census is underway|
HOBART, Australia, 15 September 2021 (ABC) - The annual seal and penguin count is underway on Macquarie Island. It's a big job, with the 128-square-kilometre sub-Antarctic island home to 100,000 seals and four species of penguins totalling 4 million birds.
|Even as IUCN Congress closes, conservation debate hots up|
MARSEILLE, France, 15 September 2021 (IPS) - One of the most hotly debated issues at the recently concluded IUCN Congress in Marseilles was about designating 30 percent of the planet’s land and water surface as protected areas by 2030. This so-called ‘30X30’ debate is expected to escalate at the UN biodiversity conference in China next April.
|Intercropping in oil palm plantations can reduce deforestation|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 14 September 2021 (Mongabay) - Intercropping, the practice of growing two or more crops in close proximity, could be one of the keys to mitigating the impact of oil palm plantations on forests and biodiversity, new research suggests.
|DNA testing to stop cane toads invading Kimberley islands|
KUNUNURRA, Australia, 14 September 2021 (ABC) - As cane toads continue their march across Western Australia's Kimberley region, authorities hope environmental DNA testing will be the latest tool to stop the invasive species from gaining a foothold on coastal islands.
|Chinese expansion plans on Sri Lankan islands off Tamil Nadu|
CHENNAI, India, 13 September 2021 (Times Now) - The Sri Lankan cabinet's go-ahead to Chinese companies to install three hybrid renewable projects in Nainativu, Delft and Analaitivu, located in the Palk Bay, has set security alarm bells ringing in India.
|Seaweed farming could offer a boost for Sri Lanka's blue economy|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 13 September 2021 (Mongabay) - Seaweed farming is an increasingly important part of the global food system and provides a range of benefits, including sustainable coastal livelihoods and economic diversification, food production, export revenue, climate change mitigation and adaptation, pollution control, and organic fertilizer.
|China-funded Kaliwa dam in the Philippines flagged for irregularities|
MANILA, Philippines, 14 September 2021 (Global Voices) - The Philippine government’s Commission on Audit has flagged the controversial China-funded Kaliwa Dam project for review, noting that its proponent, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, has failed to submit proof that it is implementing measures to protect the environment.
|Outcry over killing of almost 1,500 dolphins on Faroe Islands|
MALMO, Sweden, 14 September 2021 (Guardian) - Even the staunchest defenders of traditional whaling in the Faroe Islands have condemned the “cruel and unnecessary” massacre on Sunday of a superpod of nearly 1,500 dolphins, which were driven into shallow waters of the Skálabotnur beach on the island of Eysturoy and left writhing for hours before being killed.
|Climate change destroyed a way of life on Greek island of Evia|
EVIA, Greece, 11 September 2021 (NPR) - Long before the fire, Giorgos Anagnostou could see the pine trees were vulnerable. He spent 20 years tapping those trees in the thyme-scented mountains above his village for resin - his livelihood. Each year, this forest on Greece's second-largest island got drier. Pine needles piled up on that dry earth, creating kindling for summer wildfires that are sometimes set intentionally, to clear land for development.
|How a Chinese tuna juggernaut crushed its Indonesian workers|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 13 September 2021 (Mongabay) - One of China’s biggest tuna fishing firms, Dalian Ocean Fishing, made headlines last year when four young Indonesian deckhands fell sick and died from unknown illnesses after allegedly being subject to horrible conditions on one of its boats.
|IUCN endorses 'Great Blue Wall Initiative'|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 13 September 2021 (SNA) - The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has pledged its commitment to support the establishment and implementation of the ‘Great Blue Wall Initiative’ under the leadership of Western Indian Ocean states. This is the first regionally connected network to develop a regenerative blue economy to the benefit of 70 million people, while conserving and restoring marine and coastal biodiversity.
|Why is there a food emergency in Sri Lanka?|
LONDON, UK, 12 September 2021 (BBC) - Sri Lanka has experienced long queues to buy essential items amid tight lockdown measures to control the spread of Covid-19. Shelves at government-run supermarkets have been running low - some even empty - with very little stock remaining of imported goods like milk powder, cereal and rice.
|Allen Coral Atlas complete|
TEMPE, US, 9 September 2021 (SPX) - The Allen Coral Atlas partners has announced that after three years, 450+ research teams and counting, and two million satellite images, the habitat mapping of the world's shallow coral reefs is complete.
|CommonSensing project builds climate resilience for SIDS|
SYDNEY, Australia, 10 September 2021 (IPS) - The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) CommonSensing is led by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) through its Operational Satellite Applications programme (UNOSAT), which is working with selected partners including the Commonwealth Secretariat, to improve resilience to the effects of climate change in Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
|What's fair in conservation to locals? Just ask, study says|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 9 September 2021 (Mongabay) - In Fiji, the Indigenous iTaukei people co-manage Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park, a marine protected area, under traditional rules and values. Researchers did a study at Vatu-i-Ra where they asked the local population what they see as the fairest way to distribute conservation funds.
|Indonesia lays out plan to rescue 15 lakes under pressure|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 10 September 2021 (Mongabay) - Indonesia has announced a plan to restore 15 deteriorating lakes across the country by 2024. The ecosystem of these lakes has been degraded largely by human-related activities, such as pollution, logging and destructive fishing practices.
|The origins of 'liming' in Trinidad and Tobago |
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, 9 September 2021 (Global Voices) - The origins of the term "liming" - a colloquialism believed to have originated in Trinidad and now used throughout the region to describe hanging out with friends - was birthed probably in the 1920s at Queen's Royal College, still one of the country's most prestigious secondary schools.
|UK planning last-ditch China climate talks|
LONDON, UK, 10 September 2021 (Guardian) - Boris Johnson is planning to convene last-ditch climate talks with the president of China, Xi Jinping, at a crunch meeting of world leaders later this month, in hopes of breaking the global impasse on climate action before the Cop26 climate summit being hosted in Glasgow this November.
|How green is Scotland's space industry?|
LONDON, UK, 9 September 2021 (BBC) - Scotland's space industry says it wants to operate in an environmentally-friendly way. But with plans lodged for several space ports that include Unst in Shetland and North Uist in the Western Isles bringing the prospect of more regular launches, can blasting rockets into space ever be green?
|Haiti's earthquake leaves new generation of orphans|
LES CAYES, Haiti, 9 September 2021 (Guardian) - Lilian, six years old and alone, still asks when her mother will return from the market on the edge of Les Cayes in southern Haiti. The human tragedy of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake has yet to be fully counted. More than 2,200 people died and 30,000 homes were destroyed across towns and villages still cut off from relief workers.
|Machine capturing carbon from air turned on in Iceland|
LONDON, UK, 9 September 2021 (Guardian) - The world’s largest plant designed to suck carbon dioxide out of the air and turn it into rock has started running, the companies behind the project said on Wednesday. The plant, named Orca after the Icelandic word “orka” meaning “energy”, consists of four units, each made up of two metal boxes that look like shipping containers.
|Canada's biggest ever act of civil disobedience|
VANCOUVER ISLAND, Canada, 8 September 2021 (Guardian) - The bitter fight over the future of Vancouver Island’s diminishing ancient forests – in which activists used guerrilla methods of resistance such as locking their bodies to the logging road and police responded by beating, dragging and pepper-spraying demonstrators – has surpassed the previous record of arrests set in the 1990s at the anti-logging protests dubbed the “War in the Woods”.
|Congress presses White House to take control of Pacific Island talks|
WASHINGTON, US, 8 September 2021 (FP) - A growing group of lawmakers is pressing the Biden administration to take control of talks to renew exclusive military access in three of the Pacific Island states, a move seen as critical to checking China, after discussion has bogged down partly over negotiations on decades-old nuclear waste.
|Some coral reefs are keeping pace with ocean warming|
WOODS HOLE, US, 9 September 2021 (SPX) - Some coral communities are becoming more heat tolerant as ocean temperatures rise, offering hope for corals in a changing climate. After a series of marine heatwaves hit the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) in the central Pacific Ocean, a new study finds the impact of heat stress on the coral communities lessened over time.
|Spike in deforestation detected in Papua|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 7 September 2021 (Mongabay) - Satellite imagery has detected 965 hectares (2,384 acres) of tree loss from January to May this year in a concession run by a subsidiary of South Korean paper company Moorim in Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua.
|In Tahiti, women are rocking the boat|
WASHINGTON, US, 8 September 2021 (NatGeog) - Female athletes fight for recognition and find cultural connection in the traditional Polynesian sport of outrigger canoeing.
|PNG logging industry a major money laundering risk|
SUVA, Fiji, 8 September 2021 (PINA) - Illegal logging in Papua New Guinea represents a major money laundering threat as it generates very large illegal profits and it has a very high detrimental impact on the economy as well as the natural environment.
|Conservationists call for urgent ban on deep-sea mining|
LONDON, UK, 9 September 2021 (Guardian) - A motion calling for a ban on deep-sea mining has been adopted in Marseille at the world’s biggest biodiversity summit since the pandemic, after an overwhelmingly supportive vote by governments and civil society groups.
|Caribbean under threat from climate change|
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 9 September 2021 (IPS) - Less than halfway into the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Jamaica and its Caribbean neighbours were already tallying the costs of infrastructural damage and crop losses from the passage of three tropical storms – Elsa, Grace and Ida. And after a record-breaking 2020 season, the region is on tenterhooks as the season peaks.
|Climate change: Vulnerable nations call for 'emergency pact'|
LONDON, UK, 8 September 2021 (BBC) - The countries most vulnerable to climate change are calling for an "emergency pact" to tackle rising temperatures. The group wants all countries to agree radical steps to avoid "climate catastrophe" at the upcoming COP26 meeting in Glasgow. Green campaigners are urging a postponement of the gathering, citing problems with vaccines for delegates. The Climate Vulnerable Forum says the event is critical and cannot wait.
|Asylum seekers dread new EU camps on Greek islands|
LESBOS, Greece, 8 September 2021 (EUobserver) - Fears surrounding future EU-funded camps on the Greek Aegean islands are contributing to a mental health emergency among asylum seekers, with some fleeing to the mainland.
|Setback for Penang's 3 islands project as fishermen win appeal|
GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia, 8 September 2021 (FMT) - Penang’s three islands project has suffered a setback after the environmental regulators allowed an appeal by fishermen who want it axed as it would affect their livelihood. It is understood the developers may have to file a fresh environmental impact assessment (EIA) report if they want to proceed with the reclamation project.
|Shetland's power struggle between oil and wind|
LONDON, UK, 7 September 2021 (BBC) - Nowhere else in the United Kingdom are the spoils of oil and gas more evident than on the Shetland Islands. Previously known for fishing and farming, when the drills struck oil in the North Sea in the 20th Century, Shetland struck black gold.
|Licence to krill: the destructive demand for a better fish oil|
LONDON, UK, 7 September 2021 (Guardian) - Each roughly the size of a paperclip, Antarctic krill is the most abundant species on Earth. There are an estimated 400m tonnes of krill in the Antarctic alone. It is a key link in the food chain: krill contributes iron and other nutrients that fertilise the ocean, and is a vital food source for wildlife including whales, penguins and seals.
|Scotland to have carbon neutral islands by 2040|
LONDON, UK, 7 September 2021 (ELN) - At least three of Scotland’s islands will be completely carbon neutral by 2040, it has been announced. Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon said the new Carbon Neutral Islands project will demonstrate the low carbon energy potential of Scotland’s islands as hubs of innovation in renewable energy and climate change resilience.
|Falkland Islands launches flagship environment strategy|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 7 September 2021 (MercoPress) - The Falkland Islands Government launched on Monday its flagship Environment Strategy 2021 – 2040, which recognises the central and universal role that the natural environment plays in the sustainable development of our health and wellbeing, our economy and our nation as a whole.
|Mangrove restoration frustration|
VICTORIA, Canada, 7 September 2021 (Hakai) - If any single event was a watershed for conservation of the world’s mangrove forests, it was the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. The day after Christmas that year, a Magnitude 9.1 earthquake thundered along a fault line on the ocean floor with a force that sent waves - some a hundred feet high - surging toward the densely populated coasts encircling the Indian Ocean. The disaster took more than 225,000 lives.
|Website for PacWastePlus Programme goes live|
APIA, Samoa, 7 September 2021 (SPREP) - A a dedicated website for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme implemented and European Union funded, PacWastePlus programme goes live.
|The US strategy to counter China in the Pacific|
LONDON, UK, 7 September 2021 (Guardian) - After decades of ambivalence, the United States plans to expand its footprint in the Pacific islands region to dimensions larger than at any time since the second world war. But the Biden administration may be on the brink of embracing a flawed foreign policy initiative spanning almost one-third of the globe. Legislation before Congress, proposes spending as much as $1bn annually in the 14 sovereign Pacific island nations.
|The new AOSIS podcast every environmentalist needs to listen to|
NEW YORK, US, 6 September 2021 (Global Citizen) - Starting today you can tune in to the Alliance of Small Island States’ (AOSIS) new podcast Islands on Alert, an eight-part series that will spotlight young activists, policymakers, and climate scientists to offer real testimonials of the challenges faced by small island communities and the harm that the climate crisis has inflicted on Indigenous life.
|Rottnest Island erosion sparks concern|
PERTH, Australia, 6 September 2021 (ABC) - A community group set up in the 1980s to protect Western Australia's island paradise, Rottnest, says it is appalled by the erosion damage to the dunes at one of the island's latest tourist developments.
|Film review: change and contradictions on Robinson Crusoe island|
LONDON, UK, 6 September 2021 (Guardian) - Opening on a vessel bobbing on the ocean waves, Stéphane Goël’s Islander takes us on a journey that transcends both the past and the present, effectively dissecting and uncovering many contradictions and preoccupations dormant under this utopian ideal.
|Malaysia fishermen in last-ditch bid to stop Penang reclamation|
GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia, 6 September 2021 (Al Jazeera) - Building three artificial islands from scratch off the island of Penang in Malaysia’s northwest is no small task. But the government of Penang, one of Malaysia’s smallest states, appears determined to take on the challenge.
|Indonesia still clinging to coal despite phaseout pledge|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 6 September 2021 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government has walked back an earlier pledge to phase out all coal-fired power plants, saying now that it will keep them running but fit them with carbon capture technology.
|Komodo dragon in danger of extinction as sea levels rise|
LONDON, UK, 4 September 2021 (Guardian) - The komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard, is threatened with extinction as rising water levels driven by the climate crisis shrink its habitat, according to the latest “red list” update.
|Palm oil firms in Papua hit back with lawsuit after permits are revoked|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 3 September 2021 (Mongabay) - Three palm oil companies have sued the local government in Indonesia’s West Papua province after their plantation licenses were revoked following a recent audit. This has prompted concerns that other firms whose permits were also revoked will follow suit.
|Rio Tinto-owned mine is polluting Malagasy water|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 1 September 2021 (Mongabay) - Activists have accused British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto of contaminating water sources around its ilmenite mine in Madagascar. At some sites, uranium and lead levels have been recorded at 52 and 40 times respectively the World Health Organization’s safe limits for drinking water.
|Croatia: National Plan for Island Development presented|
ZAGREB, Croatia, 1 September 2021 (TCN) - Representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds presented the National Plan for Island Development and Island Register in Preko on the island of Ugljan on Wednesday, saying these were strategic documents that should enable a better quality of life on all Croatian islands.
|UK supports Pacific Island progress on Extended Continental Shelf|
LONDON, UK, 2 September 2021 (GOV.UK) - The UK Government has signed an agreement with the Pacific Community (SPC) for SBD$2.9 million (£263,000) that will help Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and Tonga to secure the rights and responsibilities over their respective ocean spaces.
|Energy storage flagship to power up on Danish island of Lolland|
LONDON, UK, 2 September 2021 (Recharge) - The flagship of an innovative ‘hot rocks’ energy storage system concept being developed by Stiesdal Storage Technologies is to be set up with power and fibre-optic group Andel on Lolland, a renewables-rich island off Denmark in the Baltic Sea.
|Sri Lanka in economic emergency as food prices soar|
LONDON, UK, 1 September 2021 (BBC) - Sri Lanka has declared an economic emergency, after a steep fall in the value of the South Asian country's currency caused a spike in food prices. Authorities say they will take control of the supply of basic food items, including rice and sugar, and set prices in an attempt to control rising inflation.
|How Dominica is coping with the hurricane season during COVID-19|
ROSEAU, Dominica, 31 August 2021 (IPS) - Around 2 pm on August 18, 89-year-old farmer Whitnel Louis and his wife Ayma began packing up their unsold produce, hoping to leave the capital of Roseau and get home way ahead of the 6 pm curfew recently put in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
|Helping hands for Small Island Developing States|
BEIJING, China, 1 September 2021 (China Daily) - The FAO has identified and mobilized knowledge, skills, and experience from developing countries to support the SIDS in scaling up both adaption and mitigation measures in the agricultural sector.
|Indonesia to go after illegal fishing kingpins|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 1 September 2021 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s fisheries ministry has pledged to target the ultimate beneficiaries of fisheries-related crimes in the country. The move comes in the wake of a court ruling that empowers ministry officials to act as investigators, including the authority to look into cases of money laundering.
| Sooty Tern satellite tracking project in the Seychelles|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 1 September 2021 (Nation) - The project has particular significance to the development of the Seychelles’ blue economy and marine spatial plan as it identified the areas that juvenile Sooty Terns have been flying to, possibly linked to the areas where there is high food availability.
|Data platform helps Pacific island countries collect health information|
ROME, Italy, 31 August 2021 (IPS) - Do you know if midwife services are available at the Saupia Health Centre in Paunangisu, on the island of Efate in Vanuatu, in the Pacific Islands? I do, and I’ve never been within 1,000 kilometres of the facility - I found the information online within seconds thanks to a data platform called Tupaia.
|Jamaica walking a tightrope in COVID-19 era|
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 30 August 2021 (IPS) - Even as COVID-19 walloped Jamaica’s economy last year, the government overhauled its energy emissions milestones to create what many described as a post-pandemic recovery package, based on stronger carbon targets for the farming and forestry sectors.
|New maps reveal major threats to terrestrial biodiversity|
WASHINGTON, US, 30 August 2021 (UPI) - Newly published maps have detailed the six major threats to terrestrial amphibians, birds and mammals, including agriculture, hunting and trapping, logging, pollution, invasive species and climate change. Threats to biodiversity are especially pronounced in Southeast Asia, especially across the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, as well as Madagascar, where amphibians, birds and mammals face all six major threats.
|Kava: The Pacific's economic 'diamond' is being coveted by competitors|
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 29 August 2021 (Civil Beat) - Nestled in the lush and steep climes of Penecost Island in Vanuatu, Anthony Tapi and his neighbors grow taro, cassava, and island cabbage. His community of about 20 people, in the northern village of Amatbobo, sits down to cups of kava each night to relax after a hard day’s work.
|Hebridean distillery aims for net zero whisky|
LONDON, UK, 30 August 2021 (Guardian) - Like the other famous malt whiskies made on Islay, Bruichladdich heavily promotes its idyllic island location, carefully selected Scottish barley, clear Hebridean water and loving attention of its craft distillers.
|Scotland's isles 'would benefit' from Faroes-style tunnels|
LONDON, UK, 30 August 2021 (BBC) - A leading Scottish engineer says undersea road tunnels could help make Scotland's island communities more sustainable. He said Scotland could follow an example set by the Faroe Islands, where a network of tunnels were opened last year.
|Protests over old-growth logging have sparked change|
VANCOUVER, Canada, 29 August 2021 (CBC) - In the year since the first camp was set up to prevent old-growth logging around the Fairy Creek watershed on southern Vancouver Island, an expert in Canadian environmental movements says the protests have made a mark on politics and public discourse.
|Cook Islands entrepreneur develops hydroponics greenhouse|
CANBERRA, Australia, 29 August 2021 (IPS) - Finding ways to be smarter producers of food was a priority in SIDS before the outbreak of Covid-19. Now the ideas of farmers and entrepreneurs, such as Piri Maao in the Cook Islands, are being avidly sought by governments and development bodies, which are keen to drive resilience and recovery as the pandemic moves into its second year.
|The chef preserving Gullah culture through storytelling|
LONDON, UK, 31 August 2021 (BBC) - Sallie Ann Robinson wasn't supposed to be born on Daufuskie. But it was almost like the island had a pull on her from the very beginning. Robinson is the sixth generation of her family to live on this remote South Carolina isle off the east coast of the United States.
|More than 500 people rescued off Italian island|
LONDON, UK, 28 August 2021 (BBC) - Italian coastguard vessels have rescued 539 migrants from a fishing boat drifting off the island of Lampedusa. The rescue on Saturday delivered one of the largest numbers of migrants to the Italian island in a single day.
|I watched China overwhelm a small island nation|
NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga, 29 August 2021 (Politico) - August 2016 was a sun-swamped winter in the South Pacific and the vanilla business was bad. A brutal drought had wasted the annual crop and machete-wielding farmers guarded what was left of their vines.
|Endangered Galapagos pink iguana population at 211|
QUITO, Ecuador, 27 August 2021 (AFP) - Scientific experts sent to the Galapagos Islands to count a critically endangered lizard species estimate there to be just 211 pink iguanas left, local authorities said Friday.
|DNA shows the peopling of SE Asian islands was complex|
WASHINGTON, US, 25 August 2021 (ScienceNews) - A young woman who lived on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi as early as around 7,300 years ago had a surprisingly ancient East Asian pedigree, mixed with a dash of Denisovan ancestry, a new study finds.
|Digital tech can help African SIDS cope with climate change|
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, 27 August 2021 (IPS) - Investing in digital technologies can help African SIDS, vulnerable to extreme weather events, cope with growing impacts of climate change, says the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
|Madagascar on the brink of climate change-induced famine|
LONDON, UK, 25 August 2021 (BBC) - Madagascar is on the brink of experiencing the world's first "climate change famine", according to the United Nations, which says tens of thousands of people are already suffering "catastrophic" levels of hunger and food insecurity after four years without rain.
|Cuba, a small island nation seeking to manage its vulnerability|
HAVANA, Cuba, 25 August 2021 (IPS) - Cuba, already beset by hurricanes, floods, droughts that deplete its main water sources, among other natural disasters, has seen its socioeconomic difficulties, similar to those faced by other Caribbean island nations, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Smartphone app helps Fijians to grow and eat healthier food|
SUVA, Fiji, 24 August 2021 (IPS) - An initiative of the University of the South Pacific and the Ministry of Health (MoH), the My Kana app was launched in 2017 to help address the growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Fiji and the South Pacific. NCDs, mainly diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and respiratory diseases, accounted for 80 percent of all deaths in Fiji in 2015, an MoH report found.
|Kenya port and ship-breaking projects threaten island livelihoods|
NAIROBI, Kenya, 25 August 2021 (Mongabay) - Plans to build an industrial fishing port and a ship-breaking yard off Kenya’s coast threaten the livelihoods of local communities on Wasini Island who depend on fishing, seaweed farming, and ecotourism, residents say.
|Norfolk Islanders to seek answers from Canberra|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 25 August 2021 (RNZ) - Norfolk Islanders are searching for answers as to how the island is being run. The Australia Government removed the island's autonomous government six years ago and for the past eight months the local council has been suspended.
|Philippines Duterte agrees to run as vice-president in 2022|
LONDON, UK, 24 August 2021 (Guardian) - The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, has agreed to be the ruling political party’s vice-presidential candidate in next year’s elections, laying the groundwork for the leader to stay in power beyond his term.
|Seychelles giant tortoise filmed attacking and eating baby bird|
LONDON, UK, 23 August 2021 (Guardian) - A Seychelles giant tortoise, a species previously thought to be a strict herbivore, has been filmed chasing and eating a baby bird in a “horrifying and amazing” attack, with researchers stating it was the first documented example of deliberate hunting in the wild by the species.
|Invasive fish push westward in the Mediterranean Sea|
LONDON, UK, 24 August 2021 (Guardian) - Rabbitfish – also known as dusky spinefoot – is a tropical species, native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. After the Suez canal opened in 1869, the rabbitfish entered the eastern Mediterranean, making its way into Greek waters by 1964.
|Pacific islands call for zero carbon shipping by 2050|
LONDON, UK, 23 August 2021 (CHN) - Three climate vulnerable Pacific nations have asked the world’s governments to agree to aim to make international shipping emissions-free by 2050. In a proposal to the International Maritime Organisation, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Kiribati cited the IPCC report published earlier this month summarising the latest climate science.
|Solutions to food insecurity top agenda in meeting of SIDS|
CANBERRA, Australia, 23 August 2021 (IPS) - The urgency of finding solutions to the most pressing development challenges of our times has increased as the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to reverse the global momentum in recent years toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SIDS, with their physical remoteness, restricted land and resources and dependence on trade and tourism, are experiencing growing hardship caused by closed borders and plummeting economies.
|Rain falls on peak of Greenland ice cap for first time on record|
LONDON, UK, 20 August 2021 (Guardian) - Rain has fallen on the summit of Greenland’s huge ice cap for the first time on record. Temperatures are normally well below freezing on the 3,216-metre (10,551ft) peak, and the precipitation is a stark sign of the climate crisis.
|A week after Haiti's deadly earthquake, hope is hard to find|
JEREMIE, Haiti, 20 August 2021 (NatGeog) - Haiti, it seems, is a magnet for disasters. The Caribbean nation, with a long history of political turmoil and instability, is now contending with successive natural disasters even as it struggles to recover from a string of other devastating events, including the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people and nearly wiped out the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
|How a standoff over cod could test the boundaries of the Svalbard Treaty|
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 19 August 2021 (ArcticToday) - A dispute over 10,000 tons of cod that until now has been waged between diplomats in Oslo and Brussels risks spilling over to the high seas in the coming days, when EU fishing vessels are predicted to reach what Norway says is their limit for the year in the seas around Svalbard.
|Cubans remain defiant in face of protest crackdown|
HAVANA, Cuba, 20 August 2021 (BBC) - The unspoken rule in Cuba has long been: do not speak out. Even during the island's dire food shortages, most Cubans have coped with characteristic stoicism, taking care that their mutterings of complaint do not grow into loud calls for change, at least not in front of anyone in authority.
|St Kilda's rare seabirds are tagged and tracked|
LONDON, UK, 20 August 2021 (BBC) - Conservationists hope to gain new insights into one of the UK's rarest breeding seabirds. RSPB scientists spent a month catching and tagging Leach's storm petrels on the remote St Kilda archipelago over the summer.
|Maine's islands have seen their populations surge over past decade|
BANGOR, US, 20 August 2021 (BDN) - The population of Maine’s offshore islands, which incurred steady declines in the decades after World War II and still face myriad challenges in sustaining their year-round communities, jumped by nearly 8 percent between 2010 and 2020.
|Bauxite company pollutes an iconic Jamaican river, yet again |
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 17 August 2021 (Global Voices) - Named Xaymaca, “the land of wood and water”, by its native Tainos, not only has Jamaica been facing a major threat to its woods through deforestation, but the quality of one of the island's major water resources, the Rio Cobre, has also been severely compromised by a recent spill of caustic effluent from the nearby bauxite plant.
|Vanuatu's controversial 'golden passport' scheme|
LONDON, UK, 19 August 2021 (Guardian) - Vanuatu has reportedly revoked the citizenship of a Syrian businessman who was granted approval to receive a Vanuatu passport earlier this year, after a Guardian investigation into the country's controversial citizenship by investment scheme.
|Aldabra Atoll's mangrove extent has increased by 60 ha|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 19 August 2021 (Nation) - The extent of mangroves on the Unesco World Heritage Site of Aldabra Atoll has increased by 60 ha (approximately 50 football fields) at a rate of 0.23% per year since 1997, according to a new study.
|Haiti earthquake: Death toll reaches nearly 2,000|
LONDON, UK, 18 August 2021 (BBC) - At least 1,941 people are known to have died in Haiti in Saturday's powerful earthquake - a rise of more than 500 on the previous figure, officials say. Rescue workers have managed to pull 34 people alive from the rubble but many are still missing after the 7.2-magnitude quake. Nearly 10,000 people have been injured and hospitals were left overwhelmed.
|Cuba tightens control of internet after protests|
LONDON, UK, 18 August 2021 (BBC) - The Cuban government has introduced new regulations on the use of social media and the internet, which critics say are aimed at stifling dissent. The decrees were published in the wake of the largest anti-government protests to sweep through the Communist-run island in decades.
|Major UN biodiversity summit delayed for third time due to pandemic|
LONDON, UK, 18 August 2021 (Guardian) - A key United Nations biodiversity summit has been delayed for a third time due to the pandemic, the Chinese environment ministry has announced, as environmentalists pledged the delay would “not mean taking our foot off the pedal”.
|REDD+ flounders in Madagascar|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 18 August 2021 (Mongabay) - REDD+ is an idea that has launched a thousand projects. It’s essentially a way to monetize forests’ ability to store carbon and put that money in the hands of communities who can protect them. The Malagasy government’s decision to ban the sale of carbon credits as it reworks its REDD+ strategy has left all existing REDD+ projects in a limbo.
|Undersea volcanic eruption creates new Japanese island|
TOKYO, Japan, 17 August 2021 (Guardian) - The 6,000-plus islands that make up the Japanese archipelago have a new addition, after scientists said an undersea volcanic eruption 1,200km (745 miles) south of Tokyo had created a new landmass.
|Mallorca marine reserve boosts wildlife as well as business|
BARCELONA, Spain, 17 August 2021 (Guardian) - A marine protection area established off the coast of Mallorca is proving beneficial not just for the environment but for business, too, according to a study that appears to confirm the long-term benefits of MPAs for both habitats and economies.
|How rewilding King and Flinders islands could save threatened birds|
LAUNCESTON, Australia, 17 August 2021 (ABC) - King Island, off Tasmania's north-west coast, is home to the three Australian birds most likely to next go extinct. University of Tasmania ecology doctoral student Matthew Fielding is more aware of this than most, having spent the past three years researching ways to stop the decline of these species.
|Bolstering food security in Marshall Islands|
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 16 August 2021 (IPS) - Forty schoolteachers and principals in the Republic of Marshall Islands completed a five-day workshop last month equipping schools to play a key role in strengthening the food security efforts in the country.
|China joins the foreign fleets quietly exploiting Madagascar's waters|
LONDON, UK, 16 August 2021 (Mongabay) - For decades, fleets of industrial vessels from several nations have fished in Madagascar’s waters. Now China appears to have joined the fishing spree, sending at least 14 industrial longliner fishing vessels in the last several years, new evidence shows.