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|Will a massive MPA safeguard Cook Islands' ocean?|
RAROTONGA, Cook Islands, 19 September 2019 (Mongabay) - In 2017, the Cook Islands government passed the Marae Moana Act, which designated the country’s entire exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as a multiple-use marine protected area (MPA).
|Island states have had an outsized influence on climate policy|
LONDON, UK, 19 September 2019 (Economist) - SIDS account for less than 1% of the world’s GDP, territory, population and greenhouse-gas emissions. On most issues their voice barely registers on the world stage. Yet on climate matters they have, over three decades, become an effective lobby.
|Palm oil giant Korindo silences critical report|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 19 September 2019 (Mongabay) - The Forest Stewardship Council, the world’s foremost body certifying the sustainable forestry industry, has delayed the publication of its findings into a palm oil company’s operations in Indonesia, following a cease-and-desist letter.
|Reef protection laws pass despite industry attacks|
LONDON, UK, 19 September 2019 (Guardian) - The Queensland government has passed new regulations to limit agricultural pollution damaging the Great Barrier Reef in the face of a hostile campaign that has sought to discredit consensus science.
|MPA around 'Atlantic Galapagos' closer to becoming reality|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 18 September 2019 (Mongabay) - Bringing the protection of the “Atlantic Galapagos” one step closer to becoming a reality, the Governor of St. Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha, Philip Rushbrook, designated a large-sale Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the waters around Ascension Island last month.
|Pan Borneo Highway development endangers the Heart of Borneo|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 18 September 2019 (Mongabay) - The construction of the Pan Borneo Highway in the Malaysian state of Sabah could disrupt the connections between wildlife populations and appears to run counter to the state’s conservation commitments, according to a new study.
|'Revival' of Scottish islands populations|
LONDON, UK, 18 September 2019 (BBC) - Scottish island populations are showing signs of increasing after years of decline, according to researchers and community groups.
|New MPA project in the Seychelles|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 18 September 2019 (SNA) - Locals in Seychelles will have the chance to play an equal role in decision-making and the management of marine protected areas in a first-of-its-kind participatory project.
|Former minister blocked Lord Howe Island wind turbines|
LONDON, UK, 18 September 2019 (Guardian) - The former environment minister Josh Frydenberg went against the advice of his departmental experts when he blocked two wind turbines on Lord Howe Island in 2017, consigning the world heritage-listed island to relying on diesel fuel for the bulk of its electricity.
|Maine islands face a rising risk from climate change|
PORTLAND, US, 18 September 2019 (Press Herald) - Living on a rocky speck of greenery about 10 miles offshore, residents of Monhegan Island rely on the mainland for food, fuel and many of the necessities of daily existence, with one notable exception – water.
|The tiny algae at ground zero of Greenland's melting glaciers|
LONDON, UK, 18 September 2019 (Guardian) - Greenland’s ice melt has been adopted by the world as a bellwether for climate crisis, but the impact on biodiversity has been overlooked. At an ice station on a remote Arctic glacier, scientists are looking to the smallest of life forms to predict the pace of species extinction
|Aid workers warn of catastrophe in Greek refugee camps|
ATHENS, Greece, 17 September 2019 (Guardian) - Children being bitten by scorpions, rats and snakes; hundreds being forced to use a single shower; the stench of human excrement never far away; and food shortages becoming the norm.
|Indonesia's government admits negligence as fire crisis deepens|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 17 September 2019 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s president has admitted negligence on the part of the government, as top officials engage in a blame game amid the worst spate of forest fires since 2015 that’s sending clouds of toxic haze across large swaths of the country and abroad.
|World's whale population struggles to recover|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 16 September 2019 (IPS) - Sri Lanka is endowed with an impressive and large concentration of whales off its shores and it is believed they are not a population that migrates seasonally. 26 species have been spotted in Sri Lankan waters, including the massive blue whales.
|Solomon Islands break with Taiwan|
LONDON, UK, 16 September 2019 (Guardian) - The Solomon Islands government has voted to sever its longstanding ties with Taiwan and take up diplomatic relations with Beijing. The move is a huge blow to self-ruled Taiwan, which has lost six allies since 2016, and to Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, who is seeking re-election in January amid rising tension with China.
|Australia, Fiji attempt to bury climate hatchet|
SYDNEY, Australia, 16 September 2019 (AFP) - The leaders of Fiji and Australia agreed to boost bilateral ties Monday as they sought to smooth relations following a highly publicised clash over climate change at a Pacific summit last month.
|170 carriage horses died in 2019 on Princes' Islands|
ISTANBUL, Turkey, 16 September 2019 (Daily News) - A total of 170 carriage horses died in the first eight-and-a-half months of 2019 on Istanbul's Princes' Islands. The carcasses of most of the horses that died on Büyükada, the largest island of the archipelago, are buried in an area adjacent to the municipality land located in front of the Aya Nikola Church.
|Japan to build central database of remote islands|
KYODO, Japan, 16 September 2019 (JT) - The government plans to build a central database to strengthen the monitoring of remote islands that define Japan’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, according to sources.
|The Displaced: When 40,000 desperate Venezuelans hit a tiny island|
LONDON, UK, 16 September 2019 (BBC) - Four million people have fled Venezuela, as the country continues to face economic and political crisis. 40,000 have gone to the small Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, just seven miles off the coast. But life isn’t easy for those who arrive, and some locals have made it clear they’re not welcome.
|Palau faces the economic realities of climate change|
BABELDAOB, Palau, 14 September 2019 (CNA) - With hundreds of islands blanketed in thick green sitting in the clear ocean waters, Palau, a three-hour flight from the Philippines' capital of Manila, seems a postcard-perfect paradise.
|Gough Island's giant Tristan albatross faces being wiped out|
SYDNEY, Australia, 14 September 2019 (ABC) - The steep, volcanic island mountain sits about 3,000 kilometres from South Africa and 3,000km from South America and receives around 3 metres of rainfall every single year, making it luscious and verdant.
|Indonesians choked by forest fire haze pray for rain|
PEKANBARU, Indonesia, 13 September 2019 (AFP) - Hundreds held a mass prayer for rain in a smoke-filled Indonesian city on Friday, desperately hoping that downpours will extinguish forest fires and wash away toxic haze covering wide swathes of the country that has forced mass school closures.
|Madagascar's unique dugongs in danger|
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 12 September 2019 (Phys.org) - Scientists have used historic DNA to discover some of the highest-risk populations of the endangered dugong are so genetically distinct, losing them would be the equivalent of losing a species of elephant.
|In Abaco Islands, the letter D marks the site of a grim recovery effort|
MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas, 11 September 2019 (NBC) - Three men were walking through the tattered neighborhood known as the Mudd in the Abaco Islands on Tuesday morning when they came upon the remnants of a home with the symbol of a diamond spray-painted on a wall left standing. A single letter D was painted in the center. D for deceased.
|MPs make secretive visit to Diego Garcia and Chagos Islands |
LONDON, UK, 11 September 2019 (Guardian) - Three MPs have made a secretive visit to the US military base on Diego Garcia and the Chagos Islands, it has emerged, in what is believed to be the first formal, parliamentary visit to the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
|Uncovered coal barges are polluting North Sumatra's waters|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 10 September 2019 (Mongabay) - Off the coast of Indonesia’s North Sumatra province, the Malacca Strait was once home to dolphins. In their place, there are now barges filled with coal, brought by sea to fuel power plants in Pangkalan Susu, a subdistrict of Langkat, North Sumatra.
|Haiti gets its first private nature reserve|
RENO, US, 10 September 2019 (Earth.com) - Haiti may not be the first place you think of when nature reserves come to mind. Much of Haiti has been ravaged by hurricanes, and the primary source of energy for use in homes in Haiti is charcoal, which is created by local people from local trees.
|Mobile phones are driving a solar revolution in PNG|
NEW YORK, US, 8 September 2019 (Forbes) - Papua New Guinea is turning to small-scale solar installations as a way to provide electricity for communities across the country, with a new report by the International Finance Corporation showing that sales of off-grid solar installations have grown 68% per annum since 2012.
|Pope pleads with Madagascans to protect rainforest|
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 7 September 2019 (AFP) - Pope Francis on Saturday made an impassioned plea to Madagascans to protect the Indian Ocean's unique environment from "excessive deforestation", on the second leg of his African tour.
|Hurricane Dorian: Hundreds flee chaos in storm-ravaged Bahamas|
LONDON, UK, 7 September 2019 (BBC) - Hundreds of Hurricane Dorian survivors have fled the Bahamas as thousands more anxiously await evacuation from the devastated islands. The official death toll rose to 43 on Friday, but is expected to increase further, officials told local media.
|Sri Lanka scales up its domestic campaign to protect sharks|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 5 September 2019 (Mongabay) - With the killing of sharks and rays on the rise, Sri Lanka played a lead role in pushing three proposals to extend global protection to 18 species at the recently concluded CITES wildlife trade summit in Geneva.
|On the Alabama Coast, the unluckiest island in America|
NEW HAVEN, US, 5 September 2019 (E360) - Dauphin Island has been battered by more than a dozen hurricanes and tropical storms in recent decades. But that hasn’t stopped homeowners on the beach resort from repeatedly getting federal aid and insurance payouts to keep rebuilding in the same vulnerable locations.
|The Pacific Climate Change Centre is officially open|
APIA, Samoa, 5 September 2019 (SPREP) - The long awaited Centre of Excellence, more formally known as the Pacific Climate Change Centre, was officially opened today in Apia, Samoa during the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme 29th Meeting of Officials.
|Sri Lanka faces major challenges on financing SDGs|
BANGKOK, Thailand, 4 September 2019 (IPS) - On the road to sustainable development, Sri Lanka provides an interesting case study. Having overcome a three-decade domestic conflict, Sri Lanka has begun its transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society.
|A Philippine island employs a rare cockatoo in its fight against mines|
GUIUAN, Philippines, 3 September 2019 (Mongabay) - Since 1983, four mining companies have operated on the island of Homonhon, much to the chagrin of the locals. Now, though, residents opposed to the open-pit mines have found a new reason to keep up the fight - one that could mean an end to all mining on the island.
|Anak Krakatau: Volcano's tsunami trigger was 'relatively small'|
LONDON, UK, 3 September 2019 (BBC) - The scale of the tsunami hazard from volcanoes that collapse into the sea has been underestimated. That's the conclusion of a new analysis of satellite pictures of Indonesia's Anak Krakatau showing the aftermath of its flank failure last December.
|Indonesia expands the grid to remote islands|
SUMBAWA, Indonesia, 2 September 2019 (Devex) - The late afternoon sun was glaring over the remote fishing village of Kwangko in Sumbawa island. Braving the summer heat at the end of July, Anti sat outside, in front of a water tap, filling clear plastic bags with water.
|France looks to wind for island energy autonomy|
LONDON, UK, 2 September 2019 (WPM) - In 2009, France passed a law calling for its overseas territories to be self-sufficient in meeting their energy needs by 2030. Most of these territories are islands, constrained by small and isolated grids and heavily dependent on fossil fuels.
|Global heating: geese shift migration stop-off northwards|
LONDON, UK, 2 September 2019 (Guardian) - In their spring journey from the UK to their breeding grounds on Svalbard, one population of the geese has been forsaking a traditional feeding stop in Norway’s Helgeland, south of the Arctic circle, in favour of a stop further north in Vesterålen, far into the Arctic circle.
|Yellow crazy ants in the cross hairs|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 2 September 2019 (SNA) - A task force has been set up to reduce the number of yellow crazy ants threatening the unique ecosystem of the Vallee de Mai, a UNESCO site located on Praslin, Seychelles’ second-biggest island.
|Falkland Islands fishing boom threatened by no-deal Brexit|
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, 2 September 2019 (Guardian) - Since Stuart Wallace’s ancestors first arrived in the Falklands in 1842, the family has born witness to the islands’ transformation from an impoverished outpost of empire to the setting for a remarkable economic boom powered by the modern-day fishing industry.
|Solomon Islands eyes shift in diplomatic ties to China from Taiwan|
SYDNEY, Australia, 2 September 2019 (Reuters) - The Solomon Islands, one of Taiwan’s few remaining diplomatic allies, has formed a team of ministers to talk to Beijing ahead of a possible switch in ties that could be unveiled as early as this week, the chief of a parliamentary panel said.
|Greece sets out emergency plans to tackle surge of migrant arrivals|
ATHENS, Greece, 2 September 2019 (Guardian) - With boatloads of men, women and children once again arriving on Aegean islands, the new centre-right administration vowed to bolster patrols along sea borders that are being targeted with renewed vigour by people-smugglers.
|Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas sees 'unprecedented devastation'|
LONDON, UK, 2 September 2019 (BBC) - Hurricane Dorian appears to have caused "unprecedented" devastation in the Bahamas, the country's leader says. Some 13,000 houses are feared damaged or destroyed, according to the International Red Cross.
|Hunger for concrete eats away at mountains|
DEGIRMENLIK, Cyprus, 1 September 2019 (AFP) - Soon, Jamal's voice will no longer ring out over the mountain slopes he's roamed for years with his herd in northern Cyprus. To feed the concrete demands of hotels, holiday homes and road-building, quarries are eating away at the mountains where his goats graze.
|AgForce backs calls for review of consensus science on GBR|
LONDON, UK, 1 September 2019 (Guardian) - Queensland’s most influential farm lobby group, AgForce, has backed calls for a review of consensus science on the Great Barrier Reef, as the state’s agricultural sector intensifies its campaign against proposed water quality regulations.
|Timor-Leste independence vote anniversary celebrated |
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 31 August 2019 (ABC) - Thousands turned out last night at Tasi Tolu ("Three Lakes") just outside Dili, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1999 independence vote that led to Timor-Leste's freedom from Indonesian occupation.
|Good weather mitigates king tide damage in Kiribati|
TARAWA, Kiribati, 31 August 2019 (RNZ) - Kiribati Climate Action Network's Pelenise Alofa said she's thankful there was no wind or storm surge to drive this morning's king tide over seawalls and into properties.
|Can tourists coexist with nature on Lebanon's Rabbit Island?|
BONN, Germany, 30 August 2019 (DW) - Lebanon's beaches have a serious pollution problem. But off Tripoli's Mediterranean coast, a pristine haven attracts migrating wildlife and daytrippers alike. Can the tourists and turtles find a way to coexist?
|Endangered bats: The manicure helping to save a species|
LONDON, UK, 30 August 2019 (BBC) - One of the world's rarest bats is now confined to a single cave in Western Cuba with less than 750 remaining, according to a population survey. Researchers used different colours of nail varnish to mark the bats' "nails" so they could tell each one apart and count them.
|Thousands of Papuans occupy governor's office after rioting|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 30 August 2019 (RNZ) - Security forces struggling to maintain stability during widespread protests across Papua - the biggest in decades in the region - have been boosted by hundreds of extra security forces flown in overnight.
|Forest management solutions in the San Juans|
EASTSOUND, US, 30 August 2019 (Islands' Sounder) - Wildfires are an inconvenience that those living along the West Coast have grown more accustomed to as the years progress. An unfortunate and unnecessary side effect of more than 100 years of forest mismanagement, according to local experts.
|Salmon farming in the Beagle Channel enters troubled waters|
LONDON, UK, 30 August 2019 (Guardian) - A growing wave of resistance to the expansion of salmon farms along the Chilean coast has led to an important victory in the fight to protect a pristine fjord in southern Patagonia, home to indigenous groups and an array of stunning wildlife.
|The end of the road: The future of the Pan Borneo Highway|
KOTA BELUD, Malaysia, 30 August 2019 (Mongabay) - The construction of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) of road for the Pan Borneo Highway across Malaysian Borneo holds the promise of spurring local economies for its proponents but those opposed are working with planners to find a way to avoid the worst environmental damage.
|Meet the super corals that can handle acid, heat and suffocation|
SYDNEY, Australia, 29 August 2019 (The Conversation) - New research investigates corals on the Great Barrier Reef that are surprisingly good at surviving in increasingly hostile waters. Finding out how these “super corals” can live in extreme environments may help us unlock the secret of coral resilience helping to save our iconic reefs.
|Great Barrier Reef water quality report card|
LONDON, UK, 30 August 2019 (Guardian) - Less than 10% of sugarcane growers in Great Barrier Reef catchments are using appropriate land management practices for reef health, according to a major report that underlines the need for new regulations proposed by the Queensland government.
|Why is Molokai the least developed Hawaiian island|
WASHINGTON, US, 30 August 2019 (Smithsonian) - The first thing that strikes a visitor to the Hawaiian island of Molokai is how empty it is. From the approach of the propeller-driven airplane that brings you from bustling O'ahu or Maui, you see mile after mile of beaches with no sign of people, and square mile after mile of scrubland marked by nothing more than occasional red dirt roads.
|For Indonesia's Kendari Bay, silting is a death sentence|
KENDARI, Indonesia, 28 August 2019 (Mongabay) - Next year will mark the completion of a nearly mile-long bridge being built over this booming industrial city’s iconic bay, say government officials here. But researchers studying the bay’s declining health warn that in another 10 years, there could be no bay left.
|The Pan Borneo Highway on a collision course with elephants|
KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia, 28 August 2019 (Mongabay) - In March 2019, the conservation community in Sabah applauded a statement by the Malaysian state’s chief minister, Seri Muhammad Shafie Apdal, regarding the advice he gave to the contractors responsible for the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway.
|Want full fibre? Head to the Hebrides|
LONDON, UK, 28 August 2019 (BBC) - Grimsay in the Outer Hebrides, a three mile-long rocky outcrop linked to Benbecula by a causeway, has just a hundred households - and the best fibre broadband connections in the UK.
|Co-op ethos thrives on Scottish islands|
LONDON, UK, 28 August 2019 (Guardian) - Scotland’s islands have the highest proportion of co-operatives of any part of the UK thanks to a long tradition of self-reliance, a survey has found.
|Indonesia bans food labeled 'palm oil-free'|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 27 August 2019 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government has banned food labeled as being “palm oil-free,” in its latest push to protect the commodity against a growing consumer backlash.
|Caribbean nations rally around pollution-free future|
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, 27 August 2019 (UNEP) - Caribbean Island States signalled their commitment to achieving a pollution-free future today, with representatives of nine Caribbean nations gathering to launch the Implementing Sustainable Low and Non-Chemical Development in Small Island Developing States (ISLANDS) programme in Port of Spain.
|GBR expert panel says Peter Ridd misrepresenting science|
LONDON, UK, 27 August 2019 (Guardian) - An expert panel led by the former chief scientist Ian Chubb has warned ministers that controversial scientist Peter Ridd is misrepresenting robust science about the plight of the Great Barrier Reef, and compared his claims to the strategy used by the tobacco industry to raise doubt about the impact of smoking.
|Hebridean residents warn: our island is going to sink|
EDINBURGH, UK, 26 August 2019 (Scotsman) - The only land route to the Isle of Gometra, west of Mull, was blockaded to all but pedestrians yesterday as its millionaire owner declared a climate and ecological emergency.
|Islands stagger under weight of sargassum|
ST. JOHN, USVI, 26 August 2019 (The Source) - This summer’s influx of sargassum seaweed is threatening to overwhelm the Bovoni landfill and has prompted government agencies to search for another way to manage its disposal.
|Cuba drastically reforms fishing laws to protect coral reef|
LONDON, UK, 26 August 2019 (Guardian) - Cuba has introduced sweeping reforms of its fishing laws in a move seen as smoothing the way for possible collaboration with the US on protecting their shared ocean, despite Donald Trump’s policy of reversing a thaw in relations.
|Scottish-built floating tidal turbine 'world's most powerful'|
LONDON, UK, 26 August 2019 (BBC) - Work has started in Scotland to build what is described as the world's most powerful floating tidal turbine. Once completed it will be tested in Orkney, where earlier versions of the device have already been trialled.
|Vast 'pumice raft' found drifting through Pacific Ocean|
LONDON, UK, 26 August 2019 (BBC) - A vast "raft" of volcanic rocks stretching over 150 sq km is drifting through the Pacific Ocean and most likely came from an underwater volcano near Tonga which erupted around 7 August according to satellite images.
|Young people in Denmark get their own island to run |
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 26 August 2019 (Xinhua) - Ungdomsoen, or Youth Island, is the world's first island for young people and has just opened in the Sound Strait between Danish capital city of Copenhagen and the Swedish city of Malmo.
|'Tantalizing clue' marks end of Amelia Earhart expedition|
NIKUMARORO ISLAND, Kiribati, 26 August 2019 (NatGeog) - Early in the morning on the last day of the expedition to find Amelia Earhart's plane, the crew of the E/V Nautilus pulled Hercules, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), out of the ocean.
|World's largest floating solar system at sea launched in Maldives |
MALE, Maldives, 24 August 2019 (Islandchief) - A technological breakthrough changes the perspective on renewable energy - the world´s largest solar system floating at sea has been installed at LUX* South Ari Atoll. This unique technology called SolarSea gathers solar energy directly on the ocean to power the island in an eco-friendly fashion.
|World powers are racing to exploit the Arctic|
LONDON, UK, 24 August 2019 (Observer) - Like the late 19th-century “scramble for Africa”, when European empires expanded colonial control of the continent’s land mass from 10% to 90% in 40 years, the Arctic region is up for grabs.
|The green energy scheme that is tearing island community apart|
GLASGOW, UK, 24 August 2019 (Herald) - When plans for a giant wind farm to be built on pristine peatland on Shetland were proposed in 2005, it was presented to the islanders as a community-owned enterprise with the potential to earn them £37 million a year.
|Indonesia eyes palm oil export boost to China|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 23 August 2019 (Mongabay) - Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, is anticipating a boost in exports of the commodity to China, taking advantage of an opportunity opened up by the escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington.
|Glasgow University's 'bold' move to pay back slave trade profits|
LONDON, UK, 23 August 2019 (BBC) - Glasgow University has agreed to raise and spend £20m in reparations after discovering it benefited by millions of pounds from the slave trade. The money will be raised and spent over the next 20 years on setting up and running the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research. It will be managed in partnership with the University of the West Indies.
|Indonesia deploys 1,000 soldiers to quell unrest in West Papua|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 22 August 2019 (Guardian) - Indonesia has deployed more than 1,000 security personnel to West Papua and cut internet access, amid days of violent demonstrations in what activists say are the largest protests to occur in the region in years.
|The Pan Borneo Highway brings wildlife threats to national park|
TELOK SERABANG, Malaysia, 21 August 2019 (Mongabay) - The southern terminus of the Pan Borneo Highway in Malaysia extends to the edge of Tanjung Datu National Park in Sarawak that is home to one of the world’s rarest primates, the Bornean banded langur, raising concerns in the conservation community that increased access could bring poachers into the park.