Welcome to GIN - the primary information source about islands worldwide
With support from
 
  Past Month's News  
 
Drowning deaths at disused mines in Indonesia renew calls for action
SAMARINDA, Indonesia, 4 July 2019 (Mongabay) - Two children have drowned in abandoned mining pits in the Indonesian Bornean city of Samarinda, bringing the toll from such accidents there to 35 in the last eight years.



Stromboli clears up ash after deadly volcano eruption
STROMBOLI, Italy, 4 July 2019 (AFP) - The village of Ginostra on Stromboli began sweeping away layers of ash on Thursday, the day after a dramatic volcanic eruption on the tiny Italian island killed a hiker.



No-take marine areas help fishers (and fish) far more than we thought
MELBOURNE, Australia, 3 July 2019 (The Conversation) - One hectare of ocean in which fishing is not allowed (a marine protected area) produces at least five times the amount of fish as an equivalent unprotected hectare, according to new research published today.



UN chief addresses annual Caribbean Community conference
NEW YORK, US, 3 July 2019 (UN News) - To counter global challenges that are a particular threat to vulnerable island nations like those in the Caribbean, it’s vital to “face the headwinds together”, especially in the face of the destruction being wrought by climate change, the UN chief told the annual Caribbean Community (CARICOM) conference in Saint Lucia on Wednesday.



Migration cannot be the only option for people living on Kiritimati
LONDON, UK, 3 July 2019 (The Conversation) - This is the story of Kiritimati in the Pacific – the largest coral atoll in the world. A closer look at the story of this particular island sheds light on the issues facing those living on such islands all around the world, and the inadequacy of current international policy.



Partners showcase 'One in Spirit' through Greening of the Games
APIA, Samoa, 3 July 2019 (SPREP) - Four days out from the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games, several international development partners have stepped up and, in the true spirit of the Games, pledged their support in bringing about the first ever “Green” Pacific Games. 



Gulf of California on World Heritage danger list
GLAND, Switzerland, 3 July 2019 (IUCN) - The World Heritage Committee today followed IUCN’s advice to list Mexico’s Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California as a World Heritage site in danger. The site’s population of vaquitas – the world’s smallest and most endangered species of porpoise – has been decimated due to the illegal trade of marine products, with possibly as few as 10 individuals left.



Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into 'new industrial frontier'
LONDON, UK, 3 July 2019 (Guardian) - The world’s oceans are facing a “new industrial frontier” from a fledgling deep-sea mining industry as companies line up to extract metals and minerals from some of the most important ecosystems on the planet, a report has found.



Remote Mount Michael volcano hosts persistent lava lake
LONDON, UK, 3 July 2019 (BBC) - Few enduring lava lakes are known globally; the one at Mount Michael on Saunders Island in the South Atlantic may be only the eighth such example.



Madagascar mine ignites protests, community division
FIANARANTSOA, Madagascar, 2 July 2019 (Mongabay) - An Australian mining company, Base Resources, plans to break ground soon on a mineral sands mining project in southwestern Madagascar.



Indonesia to return 49 containers of waste to Europe, US
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 2 July 2019 (AFP) - Dozens of shipping containers full of waste will be returned to France and other developed countries, Indonesia said Tuesday, as Southeast Asian nations increasingly reject serving as dumping grounds for international trash.



Wildlife officials cheer rat death on remote Alaska island
ANCHORAGE, US, 2 July 2019 (ADN) - An intensive 10-month search for a stowaway rat that invaded the rat-free seabird paradise of St. Paul Island has come to a happy end for everyone. Except the rat.



Orkney world heritage sites threatened by climate change
LONDON, UK, 2 July 2019 (BBC) - The world heritage status of Orkney's archaeological treasures is threatened by climate change, a report has warned.



Precipitous fall in Antarctic sea ice since 2014 revealed
LONDON, UK, 2 July 2019 (Guardian) - The vast expanse of sea ice around Antarctica has suffered a “precipitous” fall since 2014, satellite data shows, and fell at a faster rate than seen in the Arctic.



Guernsey Post completes move to 100% electric home deliveries
ST PETER PORT, Guernsey, 1 July 2019 (GP) - Following the recent purchase of electric vehicle number 82, Guernsey Post completes the migration from a diesel to an all-electric home delivery fleet.
 



Maine island community launches composting program
BANGOR, US, 1 July 2019 (BDN) - Officials on Vinalhaven say that a communitywide composting program will not only help deliver nutrients to the island’s poor soil, but it will actually save the town money by reducing the amount of solid waste shipped off the island.



In India's Sundarbans, communities shrink as their island sinks
MOUSUNI ISLAND, India, 1 July 2019 (Mongabay) - In India and Bangladesh, millions of people live in the Sundarbans islands and face losing their homes to rising seas caused by climate change.



An Indonesian forest community grapples with outside world
DOROGOT, Indonesia, 1 July 2019 (Mongabay) - Siberut Island, part of the Mentawai archipelago in western Indonesia, is recognized as a U.N. Biosphere Reserve due to its outstanding cultural and ecological value.



Welcome to the fastest-heating place on Earth
LONDON, UK, 1 July 2019 (Guardian) - People settle in the world’s northernmost town, Longyearbyen, for many reasons. Some are captivated by the otherworldly wilderness of the Svalbard archipelago, a snowscape that exceeds even the most fantastical images of Narnia.



More Manila water shortages ahead as reservoir feeding city dries
BULACAN, Philippines, 1 July 2019 (AFP) - Fishermen now pick their catch from the shallow, muddy slosh of the depleted reservoir which feeds the Philippine capital, as drought once again leaves Manila residents with up to 17-hour-a-day water shortages.



Ecotourism demise for coastal town in the Philippines
DONSOL, Philippines, 28 June 2019 (Mongabay) - Since the mid-1990s, the town of Donsol in the Philippines has based its economy around tourists viewing whale sharks.



Papua New Guinea deploys army to help volcano emergency
KOKOPO, PNG, 28 June 2019 (AFP) - Troops have been sent to help thousands of people displaced by a volcanic eruption on a remote archipelago in Papua New Guinea, the prime minister said Friday, as a second volcano erupted.



Hebridean whale trail launched
LONDON, UK, 28 June 2019 (BBC) - The UK's first whale and dolphin trail has been launched. It features more than 30 sites on Scotland's west coast considered to offer good opportunities for spotting marine mammals.



After 30 years, Japan prepares to resume commercial whaling
AYUKAWA, Japan, 28 June 2019 (Guardian) - On Monday morning, after a short ceremony to pray for a bountiful catch and safety at sea, five ships will slip out of a port in northern Japan to hunt whales for profit for the first time in more than 30 years.



Iceland will skip whaling this year
REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 27 June 2019 (AFP) - No whales will be harpooned off the waters around Iceland this year, as the island nation's two whaling companies have decided to abandon the summer whaling season for the first time in 17 years.



Plan to drop poison on Farallon Islands to eradicate mice
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 27 June 2019 (KPIX) - The US Fish and Wildlife Department is floating a controversial plan to dump one and a half tons of poison pellets on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge to get rid of an infestation of mice.



Cyprus discovers first undisturbed Roman shipwreck
NICOSIA, Cyprus, 27 June 2019 (AFP) - Cyprus has found its first undisturbed Roman shipwreck complete with ancient cargo off its southern coast that could illuminate regional trading history.



The tropical islands that fell into ruin
LONDON, UK, 27 June 2019 (BBC) - In recent years, Dunk Island off Australia's Queensland coast has been the private holiday retreat of its owners. Prior to 2011, the picturesque island that lies near the country's Great Barrier Reef, had a 160-room resort. But it was destroyed that year by a cyclone.



'Triple whammy' threatens UN action on climate change
LONDON, UK, 26 June 2019 (BBC) - At a meeting in Bonn, Saudi Arabia has continued to object to a key IPCC scientific report that urges drastic cuts in carbon emissions. Added to that, the EU has so far failed to agree to a long term net zero emissions target. Thirdly, a draft text from the G20 summit in Japan later this week waters down commitments to tackle warming.



Greenland Ice Sheet: More than 50 hidden lakes detected
LONDON, UK, 26 June 2019 (BBC) - Scientists have identified more than 50 new lakes of liquid water lying under the Greenland Ice Sheet. Only four had previously been detected.



Socotra figures in both Saudi and Emirati plans
SOCOTRA, Yemen, 26 June 2019 (MPN) -  Since 2018, the UAE has successfully tightened its grip on Socotra, which is located in a remote part of the Arabian Sea. The Gulf monarchy has been busy building military bases, installing communications networks, and carrying out other development projects, along with its purchase of thousands of hectares of private land from local residents.



How a paper company is restoring tropical forest in Sumatra
RIAU, Indonesia, 26 June 2019 (Eco-Business) - Wildlife thrives in one of Sumatra’s largest intact peatland forests, and an unlikely coalition of NGOs and businesses is ensuring it remains that way.



USVI approve bill banning certain sunscreen ingredients
NEW YORK, US, 26 June 2019 (ABC) - Lawmakers in the U.S. Virgin Islands approved a bill that would ban the sale of sunscreens with ingredients that environmentalist say are harming the ocean.



Timor-Leste rejects report it is taking loan from Chinese bank
SYDNEY, Australia, 26 June 2019 (Guardian) - Timor-Leste’s state-owned gas company has rejected reports it is set to take a $16bn loan from China’s Exim bank to finance the Greater Sunrise project.



The island cheese flavoured by wind
LONDON, UK, 26 June 2019 (BBC) - Mighty gusts define the Croatian island of Pag and its famous cheese, Paški sir, dusting herb-filled pastures with Adriatic sea salt, which gives the sheep’s milk a unique flavour.



Crackdown after bombings may help in fight against blast fishing
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 26 June 2019 (Mongabay) - A crackdown on unregulated explosives in the aftermath of deadly terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka may help in the fight against illegal blast fishing in the country’s waters, according to marine researchers.



Weird 'plasticrust' forms on Portuguese island
FUNCHAL, Portgual, 25 June 2019 (Fox News) - Researchers have discovered a strange never-before-seen type of pollution that they've dubbed "plasticrust," which seems to originate in the ocean and adheres directly onto rocks along the shoreline of the Portuguese island of Madeira.



In Philippines bid to abandon plastic, incentives are needed
SINGAPORE, 25 June 2019 (Mongabay) - The Philippines goes through more than 200 million pieces of single-use plastic each day, lending a real urgency to government efforts to adopt a consumption model that prioritizes reducing and recycling rather than disposing of that waste.



Having taken a toll in Chile, salmon industry arrives in Argentina
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 25 June 2019 (Mongabay) - In March 2018 Argentina announced a partnership with Norway, the world’s top producer of salmon, to study the feasibility of developing Argentina’s own salmon industry in the Beagle Channel in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago.



No environmental permit for Bali reclamation plan amid opposition
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 25 June 2019 (Mongabay) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s administration will withhold a key permit for a plan to build artificial islands in Bali’s Benoa Bay as long as strong opposition to the project remains among locals.



Icelanders tire of disrespectful Instagram influencers
LONDON, UK, 25 June 2019 (BBC) - With over 10 million images on Instagram, Iceland is a popular destination among tourists wanting to get the perfect picture.



How Renault is revolutionising a Portuguese island
PORTO SANTO, Portugal, 24 June 2019 (Autocar) - Porto Santo is now what Renault and its pioneering partners are calling a live lab. That lab is harnessing the batteries of a growing fleet of electric Zoes and Kangoos to help smooth out the peaks and troughs of Porto Santo’s multiple electricity generation systems. 



The day a PNG fisherman hauled in $50m worth of cocaine
SYDNEY, Australia, 24 June 2019 (Guardian) - Last May a fisherman in Papua New Guinea went out hunting for shark. But instead of coming home with fish to feed his family he returned with an unexpected catch: A$50m worth of cocaine.



Cocaine and meth fuel crime and chaos in Fiji
NADI, Fiji, 24 June 2019 (Guardian) - In the early hours of a Saturday morning in the city of Nadi, on the west coast of Fiji’s main island, Isaiah* is sitting in a Burger King drinking Fanta through a straw and explaining how he became a drug dealer.



Science community rallies support to save Madagascar's biodiversity
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 24 June 2019 (Mongabay) - As Madagascar prepares to host a major conservation summit next month, the organizer has launched a petition to call attention to the threats faced by the island nation’s unique biodiversity and its people.



Are there climate change refugees in the Pacific?
CANBERRA, Australia, 24 June 2019 (Policy Forum) - Unrecognised by the global community as ‘refugees’, those who are displaced by climate change-related events are unlikely to receive adequate legal protection.



Solomon Islands plans due diligence tour on Taiwan ties
SYDNEY, Australia, 24 June 2019 (Reuters) - The Solomon Islands, one of Taiwan’s remaining allies in the Pacific, will send a delegation to study Chinese aid in neighboring countries as it considers a potential diplomatic switch to Beijing.



The US island that speaks Elizabethan English
LONDON, UK, 24 June 2019 (BBC) - Native Americans, English sailors and pirates all came together on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina to create the only American dialect that is not identified as American.



Huge migrant influx scares off Greek island tourists
VATHY, Greece, 23 June 2019 (DW) - Tourists are avoiding the Greek island of Samos due to the shocking situation at the Vathy migrant camp, which has grown into a sprawling settlement. Locals and asylum-seekers feel authorities have abandoned them.



Police struggle with Pacific drug influx
NADI, Fiji, 23 June 2019 (Guardian) - Under-resourced but undeterred, Fiji’s officers battle surge in trafficking – with just one boat.



Pacific islands at centre of cocaine trafficking boom
NADI, Fiji, 23 June 2019 (Guardian) - It is the drug route you’ve never heard of: a multi-billion dollar operation involving cocaine and methamphetamines being packed into the hulls of sailing boats in the US and Latin America and transported to Australia via south Pacific islands more often thought of as holiday destinations than narcotics hubs.



Great Pacific garbage patch: giant plastic trap put to sea again
LONDON, UK, 23 June 2019 (AP) - A floating device designed to catch plastic waste has been redeployed in a second attempt to clean up a huge island of garbage swirling in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.



Vanuatu to ban disposable nappies in plastics crackdown
LONDON, UK, 22 June 2019 (Guardian) - It is but a tiny speck in the Pacific Ocean, but the island state of  Vanuatu is leading the global fight against plastic waste. The nation, which has already introduced one of the toughest single-use plastic bans in the world, is believed to be the first to propose a ban on disposable nappies, to be phased in at the end of this year.



After the storm: Can this rediscovered bird recover?
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 21 June 2019 (BirdLife) - Amongst the destruction and tragedy on Grand Bahama caused by Hurricane Matthew, there is an untold story of a rediscovered, but very threatened bird with a potential population of just two.



Marshall Islands struggles to stay above water
GENEVA, Switzerland, 21 June 2019 (Reuters) - The Marshall Islands is literally struggling to stay above water but its President Hilda Heine told Reuters she had saved her breath rather than try to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to hear its climate change message.



EU warns Turkey of sanctions for Cyprus drilling
LONDON, UK, 21 June 2019 (BBC) - The EU has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if it continues "illegal drilling" in waters near Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.



Towards a structured dialogue for EU islands
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 20 June 2019 (CPMR) - As a first step towards an 'Islands Structured Dialogue', the CPMR Islands Commission and Greening the Islands, held a recent meeting in Brussels, with the support of the Committee of the Regions, to propose closer collaboration as a key step towards promoting low-carbon solutions on European islands.



Living on Pitcairn showed me that island life is no paradise
LONDON, UK, 20 June 2019 (Spectator) - Islands have a special appeal. We imagine that on an island we’ll somehow ‘get away from it all’. In the era of Brexit and climate concerns, Pitcairn Island in the Pacific, more than 3,000 miles from the nearest landmass, is flooded with requests from people hoping to settle there. I would advise them to think again.



Chinese funded Yida project ignites opposition in Antigua
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, 20 June 2019 (Guardian) - Plans to construct a sprawling “Chinese colony” complete with factories, homes and holiday resorts across a pristine marine reserve in Antigua have ignited a storm of controversy on the Caribbean island.



Isle of Wight awarded UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status
LONDON, UK, 19 June 2019 (Independent) - The Isle of Wight has just been crowned an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, making it the seventh UK destination to be awarded the special status.



Why sustainability should be on your plate when you travel
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 19 June 2019 (Mongabay) - Like many remote islands blessed with natural beauty and temperate weather, the economy of the South Pacific nation Vanuatu is underpinned by tourism as well as agriculture.



Cuba is driving dissidents off island with threats of violence and jail
MADRID, Spain, 19 June 2019 (Reuters) - Cuba’s state security is pressuring dissidents to go into exile in its attempt to weaken opposition on the communist-run island, according to a new report by human rights NGO.



Secret company registers in Crown Dependencies to be made public
LONDON, UK, 19 June 2019 (BBC) - Secret company records in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man will be made available to the EU, businesses, and the general public by 2023.



Why are Nike trainers washing up on beaches?
LONDON, UK, 19 June 2019 (BBC) - Over the past year, from Bermuda and the Bahamas to Ireland and Orkney, hundreds of pairs of unworn shoes have washed up on beaches. But how did they get there, and why are scientists so interested in where they are being found?



Fears Bougainville independence will open Pacific door for China
PORT MORESBY, PNG, 18 June 2019 (The Australian) - Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne will visit Bougainville today amid fears an upcoming independence vote there could undermine regional stability and provide an opening for China to establish a strategic foothold in what could become the Pacific’s newest nation state.



Sumatran rhinos to get a new sanctuary in Leuser Ecosystem
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 18 June 2019 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government plans to build a third sanctuary for the captive breeding of Sumatran rhinos, a species on the brink of extinction.



Shift to renewable energy could have biodiversity cost
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 18 June 2019 (Mongabay) - A new report cautions that mining of metals used in manufacturing renewable technologies like wind turbines, solar power, and electric vehicles has costs, including for biodiversity.



Atlantic Ocean 'running out of breath'
LONDON, UK, 18 June 2019 (BBC) - A huge international research programme has been launched to assess the health of the Atlantic Ocean. The iAtlantic project is the biggest ever mounted in the planet's second largest ocean.



Canada's Great Bear Rainforest
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 17 June 2019 (Mongabay) - Over the past decade, First Nations have created a robust conservation economy in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, one of the largest old-growth temperate rainforests left in the world, that stretch across 6.4 million hectares of the remote British Columbia coastline and Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.



Palau changes ocean sanctuary plan to allow Japan fishing
KOROR, Palau, 17 June 2019 (AFP) - The Pacific nation of Palau has amended plans to create a huge marine reserve so Japanese trawlers still have partial access to its waters.



Norway island wants to be world's first time-free zone
SOMMAROY, Norway, 17 June 2019 (CNN) - With the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice just around the corner on June 21, Sommarøy - meaning "Summer Island" - wants to swap its watches for flower garlands and declare itself the world's first time-free zone.



Cambodia's islands are under threat
KOH SDACH, Cambodia, 17 June 2019 (CSM) - Just a five minute boat ride from mainland Cambodia, Koh Sdach is surrounded by clear blue waters that have sustained fishing communities for generations. But decades of overfishing and indiscriminate waste disposal have taken a steep toll on the environment.



New 'king' of fossils discovered in Australia
ADELAIDE, Australia, 17 June 2019 (SPX) - Fossils of a giant new species from the long-extinct group of sea creatures called trilobites have been found on Kangaroo Island, South Australia.



'Cryoegg' to explore under Greenland Ice Sheet
LONDON, UK, 17 June 2019 (BBC) - UK scientists head to Greenland this week to trial new sensors that can be placed under its 2km-thick ice sheet. The instruments are designed to give researchers unique information on the way glaciers slide towards the ocean.



Beijing says will 'firmly support' Hong Kong leader Lam
BEIJING, China, 17 June 2019 (AFP) - Beijing reiterated its backing of Hong Kong's embattled leader Carrie Lam on Monday after a massive demonstration demanding her resignation over a controversial extradition bill.