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|Celebrating innovations in turtle conservation research|
SUVA, Fiji, 25 May 2022 (SPREP) - Scientists are concerned that human induced climate change is causing an increase in the number of female marine turtle hatchlings, leading to a decline in overall population due to the lack of male production.
|China's foreign minister to visit Solomon Islands|
LONDON, UK, 24 May 2022 (Guardian) - China’s foreign minister will visit Solomon Islands this week, one month after signing a security agreement with the Pacific country, on a broader tour where China is seeking more deals in the region.
|New Darwin Plus Initiative funding for UKOTs|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 24 May 2022 (MercoPress) - Threatened species across the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) are set to benefit from £6.4 million in government funding announced yesterday. Green turtles and the West Indian whistling duck are just some of the species that will be boosted by a share of the Darwin Plus Initiative. Likewise action to improve the New Island National Nature Reserve in the Falkland Islands and protect the sites’ world-renowned seabird colonies from invasive mammals and conserve its carbon-rich peatlands.
|Palm oil firms depriving tribes of millions of dollars|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 23 May 2022 (BBC) - Buy something in a supermarket and there's a good chance it will contain palm oil. Follow it back through the supply chain and eventually you'll find an oil palm tree, likely in Indonesia. But the companies that sell it to major firms like Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg's and Mondel?z are depriving indigenous communities of potentially millions of dollars of income.
|Explosive Tonga volcano 'surprisingly intact'|
LONDON, UK, 23 May 2022 (BBC) - The Tonga underwater volcano that produced a spectacular eruption in January remains astonishingly intact. A New Zealand-led team has just finished mapping the flanks of the seamount, which many people thought might have been torn apart in the ferocity of the event.
|Maldives plan to reclaim atoll land for tourist resorts|
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, 23 May 2022 (Guardian) - A controversial project to reclaim land on an atoll threatened by rising sea levels has been announced in the Maldives, with hopes that it may boost tourism balanced against fears that it could “choke the ecosystem”.
|Genteel German island balks at prospect of anti-capitalist 'chaos' party|
BERLIN, Germany, 22 May 2022 (Guardian) - Anti-capitalist protesters have called on Germans to take advantage of a heavily discounted public transport pass to “storm” a holiday island frequented by the rich and famous. Sylt, an island off Germany’s North Sea coast, is seen as one of the more sought-after destinations for buyers of the 9 euro a month ticket being introduced from 1 June.
|Gulf Islands aging water systems under pressure|
VICTORIA, Canada, 21 May 2022 (GM) - When summer hits Salt Spring Island, Laura Patrick puts a big bucket in her shower whenever she uses it. She does the same with her sink, saving every extra drop for her garden. Water - and the limited amount she has access to - is never too far from her thoughts.
|The little island becoming Europe's aviation hotspot|
LONDON, UK, 21 May 2022 (FT) - Wizz Air has announced plans to set up a subsidiary in Malta, underscoring the emergence of the tiny island nation (population just over 500,000) as Europe’s unlikeliest new aviation powerhouse.
|China seeks more island security pacts to boost clout in Pacific|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 20 May 2022 (FT) - China is intensifying its drive for influence in the Pacific by negotiating security deals with two additional island nations, Kiribati and Vanuatu, following a pact with the Solomon Islands, according to officials in the US and allied countries.
|Vietnam boats encroach into Indonesian waters|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 20 May 2022 (Mongabay) - A recent spate of illegal fishing incursions into Indonesian waters by Vietnamese vessels has sparked calls from local fishers and environmental activists for increased monitoring and security.
|Falklands capital Stanley granted city status|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 20 May 2022 (MercoPress) - Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands is among eight places to win coveted city status as part of celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Stanley is the first Overseas Territory to win the competition for city status, while Douglas on the Crown Dependency of the Isle of Man has also claimed the civic honor.
|How can Indonesia improve REDD+ to stop deforestation?|
BOGOR, Indonesia, 19 May 2022 (The Conversation) - Indonesia is home to the world’s third-largest tropical forest area and since 2009 has operated a forest-based climate action project developed by the UNFCCC. Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) allows people who protect forests to receive payments. The intention is to make saving forests more economically attractive than deforestation and forest degradation activities.
|Indonesian cooking oil probe may spread to biodiesel industry|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 19 May 2022 (Mongabay) - Prosecutors in Indonesia have arrested a prominent economist in an ongoing investigation into why the world’s top producer of palm oil is suffering a domestic shortage of cooking oil. This latest development also puts another offshoot of the country’s palm oil industry - biodiesel production - in investigators’ crosshairs.
|EU to step up Indo-Pacific defence presence|
LONDON, UK, 18 May 2022 (Guardian) - The European Union has resolved to step up its defence strategy in the Indo-Pacific region in light of fears about China’s growing presence and concerns for the international order sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
|The Puerto Rican island where 1,500 rhesus macaques rule|
WASHINGTON, US, 17 May 2022 (Smithsonian) - The Caribbean Primate Research Center on Monkey Island is one of the world’s top institutions for studying primate behavior. The island first became home to these unlikely inhabitants in the late 1930s, when primatologist Clarence Carpenter brought about 450 of the monkeys by ship from India to the 38-acre island to study their social and sexual behaviors.
|Palau's world-first 'good traveller' incentive|
LONDON, UK, 18 May 2022 (BBC) - In a world-first initiative, visitors to Palau will be offered exclusive experiences based on how they treat the environment and culture, not by how much they spend.
|Stockholm Environment Institute report|
LONDON, UK, 18 May 2022 (Guardian) - The world is at “boiling point” and humanity needs to redefine its relationship with nature if it is to address a web of crises, from rising prices to extreme heat and floods, according to a report released ahead of a landmark UN conference.
|Philippine province lifts open-pit mining ban|
COTABATO, Philippines, 16 May 2022 (AFP) - A Philippine provincial government has lifted a ban on open-pit mining, removing the final regulatory obstacle for a long-delayed copper and gold project in the country's restive south. The Tampakan project on Mindanao island has been described by its developer Sagittarius Mines as "one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the world."
|Falklands prepares for the Big Plastic Count|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 16 May 2022 (MercoPress) - Falkland Islands residents should consider taking part in Falkland Conservation’s Big Plastic Count. Inspired by Greenpeace's plastic count in the UK, Falklands Conservation are launching an island-wide survey with the aim of recording all plastic used by Falklands residents in just one week.
|Partnership to address risk of WWII oil spill at Chuuk Lagoon|
POHNPEI, FSM, 12 May 2022 (SPREP) - There are over 1200 potentially polluting shipwrecks in the Pacific Ocean, many from World War II. Chuuk Lagoon in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) contains the largest concentration of potentially polluting wrecks in the Pacific Ocean, 19 of which have been identified as posing significant environmental risks due to the volumes of toxic fuel oil and unexploded ordnance they hold.
|COVID-19 in the Pacific|
SUVA, Fiji, 11 May 2022 (UNICEF) - A little over two years ago, countries were announcing border closures and lockdowns as COVID-19 cases started surging around the globe. In the Pacific, one of the most remote regions in the world, there was just one country that had recorded community transmission: Fiji, and even then, there were very few cases.
|Protecting the nationality of Pacific islanders as climate change hits|
SYDNEY, Australia, 17 May 2022 (UNSW) - The Future of Nationality in the Pacific: Preventing Statelessness and Nationality Loss in the context of Climate Change provides the first in-depth look at the legal risks of statelessness and nationality loss in the context of climate change in the Pacific. The report finds that under current laws, some Pacific Islanders who move abroad permanently risk losing their citizenship, or the ability to pass it on to their children.
|Why frustration lingers in Okinawa 50 years after its reversion to Japan|
TOKYO, Japan, 15 May 2022 (JT) - Okinawa on Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of its return to Japan on May 15, 1972, which ended 27 years of U.S. rule after one of the bloodiest battles of World War II was fought on the southern Japanese island. The day is being marked with more bitterness than joy in Okinawa, which is still burdened with a heavy U.S. military presence and is now seeing Japanese troops increasingly deployed amid rising China tensions.
|The Japanese hunger striker demanding an end to US bases in Okinawa|
TOKYO, Japan, 14 May 2022 (Guardian) - Earlier this week, Jinshiro Motoyama placed a banner outside the office of Japan’s prime minister, sat on a folding chair, and stopped eating. It was a dramatic gesture, but the 30-year-old activist believes desperate measures are needed to end the long US military presence in his birthplace, Okinawa.
|Scotland: Carbon Neutral Islands named|
EDINBURGH, UK, 17 May 2022 (Gov.Scot) - The Carbon Neutral Islands project is a programme for government commitment aimed at supporting islands to become carbon neutral by 2040. The islands included as part of the project are - Hoy, Islay, Great Cumbrae, Raasay, Barra and Yell. They have been identified by the Scottish Government in collaboration with local authorities and island representatives.
|Tonga eruption was 'record atmospheric explosion'|
LONDON, UK, 15 May 2022 (BBC) - The eruption of the Tonga volcano in January has been confirmed as the biggest explosion ever recorded in the atmosphere by modern instrumentation. It was far bigger than any 20th Century volcanic event, or indeed any atom bomb test conducted after WWII.
|Iceland urged to ban 'blood farms'|
REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 16 May 2022 (Guardian) - Iceland is under pressure to ban the production of a hormone extracted from pregnant horses, a practice that has been described as “cruel” and “animal abuse”. The hormone is used by farmers across the UK and Europe to increase reproduction in pigs, cows and other female farm animals.
|Rejection of Arctic mine expansion bid|
GATINEAU, Canada, 16 May 2022 (Guardian) - After four years of consultations and deliberations, the Nunavut Impact Review Board rejected a request from Baffinland Iron Mines Corp asking to significantly increase mining on the northern tip of Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. The area is home to one of the world’s richest iron ore deposits, and the densest narwhal population in the world.
|Button pushers: the artists making music from mushrooms|
LONDON, UK, 13 May 2022 (Guardian) - The electronic artist and former biologist Tarun Nayar hangs out during the summer in the northern Gulf Islands of British Columbia. Nayar makes, in simple terms, “plant music”: it is created by connecting electrodes and modular synthesisers to plants and measuring their bioelectrical energy, which then triggers note changes in the synthesiser.
|What progress has been made since Cop26?|
LONDON, UK, 14 May 2022 (Guardian) - In the run-up to Cop 26, the UK government used the mantra “Cash, coal, cars and trees to keep the world to 1.5C” to highlight four key areas on which the conference would focus. Six months on, the war in Ukraine and ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have derailed some changes agreed on in Glasgow.
|Going green on the Faroe Islands: the future of voluntourism|
CORK, Ireland, 14 May 2022 (Irish Examiner) - Like many destinations across the world right now, not least neighbouring Iceland, The Faroe Islands has almost been a victim of its own social media success with many of its trending attractions paying a price, ironically for their popularity. Now, pay stations at a handful of the nation’s most popular hiking trails are just one way the Nordic nation is trying to curb over-tourism - and erosion - in some of its more trending locations while also encouraging tourists to wander to lesser-visited jewels elsewhere.
|Not all is rosy for the Mauritius pink pigeon, study finds|
NORWICH, UK, 12 May 2022 (UEA) - The authors of a major study on the once critically endangered pink pigeon say boosting the species’ numbers is not enough to save it from extinction in the future. Despite the population increase, the team’s analysis shows the pink pigeon has a high genetic load of bad mutations, which puts it at considerable risk of extinction in the wild within 100 years without continued conservation actions.
|Sri Lanka crisis: How war heroes became villains|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 13 May 2022 (BBC) - Sri Lanka is at a crossroads as an economic crisis upends the lives of its 22 million people. The Rajapaksa brothers, hailed by many as heroes for winning the civil war, are now reviled as leaders. How did this happen and what comes next?
|Gang battles leave 150 dead in Haitian capital|
LONDON, UK, 13 May 2022 (Guardian) - Nearly 150 people have been killed and scores wounded during gunfights between warring gangs in Haiti, as the latest surge of violence has paralysed much of the sprawling capital, Port-au-Prince.
|Rare UK seabirds put at risk by 'alarming loophole', say campaigners|
LONDON, UK, 13 May 2022 (Guardian) - Seabird numbers in the UK have fallen almost 25% in less than four decades – a loss of more than 2 million seabirds compared with 1986. Reasons for seabird decline include the fishing industry hoovering up the sandeels and other small fish they like to eat, invasive species being introduced to the islands on which they breed, and birds being caught accidentally by fishing trawlers.
|'Bring back burning culture' to save seabirds|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 12 May 2022 (Mongabay) - Jennell Reynolds, a Wudjari woman of the Nyungar nation and senior member of the Tjaltjraak Ranger program based in Esperance, Western Australia, says cultural burning can help protect seabird breeding sites on the islands of the Recherche Archipelago.
|Snake Island and battle for control in Black Sea|
LONDON, UK, 11 May 2022 (BBC) - Right from the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Snake Island was given a vital and almost mythical status in the war. This unremarkable, rocky outcrop in the Black Sea was seized by Russia and has become a battleground of strategic value.
|Royal Mail wants fleet of drones to carry mail to remote UK islands|
LONDON, UK, 12 May 2022 (BBC) - The Royal Mail wants a fleet of 500 drones to help deliver the mail to remote communities across the UK. In the next three years it hopes up to 200 drones will help carry the mail on 50 new routes with the Isles of Scilly, Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands and the Hebrides the first to benefit. The new services need approval from the Civil Aviation Authority.
|Vanuatu police crack down with arrests over Facebook comments|
LONDON, UK, 11 May 2022 (Guardian) - A police crackdown in Vanuatu that has seen people arrested for allegedly posting comments on social media speculating politicians were responsible for the country’s current Covid outbreak has raised serious concerns about freedom of speech in the Pacific country.
|Climate chaos certain if oil and gas mega-projects go ahead|
LONDON, UK, 12 May 2022 (Guardian) - The world’s leading energy economist has warned against investing in large new oil and gas developments, which would have little impact on the current energy crisis and soaring fuel prices but spell devastation to the planet.
|Murky past of a Chinese fleet clouds Madagascar shrimp fishery|
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 11 May 2022 (Mongabay) - During the current shrimping season, 39 trawlers will catch just over 4,000 metric tons of shrimp in Madagascar’s waters. But one company, with a five-year exploitation right, didn’t apply for licenses to trawl this year. Its idle vessels highlight both improving regulation and potential weaknesses in monitoring of the country’s fishing sector.
|Indonesia cancels fisheries infrastructure projects|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 11 May 2022 (Mongabay) - Indonesia doesn’t have the money to build the National Fish Bank or a new Ambon port, two infrastructure projects the national government had promised in the province of Maluku, a minister announced last month.
|Banks bet big on coal in Indonesia|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 12 May 2022 (Mongabay) - A surge in coal prices is driving a wave of bank loans to miners in Indonesia, the world’s fifth-largest coal producer and top exporter.
|Vanuatu's push for legal protection from climate change|
LONDON, UK, 10 May 2022 (Guardian) - Vanuatu’s push for the international court of justice to protect vulnerable nations from climate change has received the backing of 1,500 civil society organisations from more than 130 countries, as it heads toward a crucial vote at the UN General Assembly later this year.
| Indonesians struggle with pricey cooking oil|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 11 May 2022 (Guardian) - As millions of Indonesians travelled to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, one common struggle was being discussed in most family gatherings: the price of cooking oil.
|91% of reefs surveyed on GBR affected by coral bleaching in 2022|
LONDON, UK, 10 May 2022 (Guardian) - Coral bleaching affected 91% of reefs surveyed along the Great Barrier Reef this year, according to a report by government scientists that confirms the natural landmark has suffered its sixth mass bleaching event on record.
|Torture survivors from Marcos era in shock after son's win|
MANILA, Philippines, 10 May 2022 (Guardian) - Survivors of the brutal regime of the late Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos have described his son's apparent landslide presidential election victory as the product of trickery and disinformation, warning it is unlikely the billions stolen by his family will be recovered, and that human rights in the country will be weakened.
|Energy islands: Pie in the sky or key to net zero?|
LONDON, UK, 10 May 2022 (EM) - It is now widely accepted that the key to net zero will be the roll-out of huge amounts of solar and wind power. One of the more accessible high-tech solutions to net zero, which would complement offshore renewables and could become reality within the next decade, are energy islands.
|How Ibiza is moving from nightlife capital to green champion|
LYON, France, 10 May 2022 (EN) - New regulations could shut down Ibiza’s loudest beach clubs and hotel pool parties in an attempt to curb neighbourhood noise disturbance. The campaign to tackle rowdy revellers by local political party Podemos has gained traction as Spain’s Balearic Islands seek to distance themselves from drunken party tourism.
|Greek island of Tilos is the world's greatest recycler|
SYDNEY, Australia, 11 May 2022 (GCT) - When “Just Go Zero” was initiated, residents of the sparsely populated island received bags and containers to separate their trash into recyclables, biowaste, and non-recyclables. The Polygreen comprehensive waste management trucks collect the trash from homes three or four times a week, and the facility separates it into 25 streams.
|Deforestation-neutral mining? Madagascar study shows it can be done|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 11 May 2022 (Mongabay) - The Ambatovy nickel mine located in a biodiversity-rich Madagascar rainforest made up for the forest lost due to its operation, a recent study concluded. The mine operators did so by reducing deforestation rates in nearby areas designated as “biodiversity offsets.”
|'Fifty-fifty chance' of breaching 1.5C warming limit|
LONDON, UK, 10 May 2022 (BBC) - The likelihood of crossing a key global warming threshold has risen significantly, according to a new analysis. UK Met Office researchers say that there's now around a fifty-fifty chance that the world will warm by more than 1.5C over the next five years.
|Bongbong Marcos poised to win presidency in landslide|
LONDON, UK, 10 May 2022 (BBC) - Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, son of a former Philippines' dictator, is headed for a landslide win in the country's presidential race, according to partial and preliminary results. The 64-year-old senator has so far won 56% of the vote, compared to 28% for rival Leni Robredo.
|The growing scandal of fish waste|
LONDON, UK, 9 May 2022 (Guardian) - Dumped at sea, lost on land or left to rot in shops and fridges, the global catch of fish is being wasted like never before - hurting not only the oceans but the nutrition of billions of people. Can it be reversed?
|Once a zero-Covid poster child, Taiwan learns to live with the virus|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 9 May 2022 (Guardian) - Taiwanese people don’t mind queueing. They’ll do it for a well-reviewed restaurant, promotional giveaways, or to take an Instagram photo at a popular tourist site. But at 3pm outside a Gongguan pharmacy in Taipei, there’s grumbling in the line. It’s an inconvenient time to leave work, but for now it’s one of the only ways to get your hands on a rapid Covid-19 test.
|Faroe Islands has approved sanctions against Russia|
LONDON, UK, 9 May 2022 (FT) - The Faroe Islands, a self-governing part of Denmark that is not in the EU, on Friday approved legislation to allow sanctions against Russia, more than two months after the Ukraine war began. It will be the first time the islands, with a population of only 53,800, have levied sanctions against any country.
|What is life like on the Falkland Islands today?|
LONDON, UK, 8 May 2022 (Times) - Thanks to fishing revenue and oil exploration, the Falklands are now considerably wealthier per capita than Britain, and just as cosmopolitan. The capital, Stanley, has about 60 nationalities represented according to the last census; higher education is free for all; land is almost entirely locally owned and not by British investors. The islands’ population has doubled since 1982 and is now about 3,600.
|How I set up a publishing house on the Aran Islands|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 9 May 2022 (RTE) - Bridget Farrell, the Executive Editor of independent Irish publisher Bullaun Press, writes about taking the long road to the small island - Inishmore - that plays home to her new venture.
|Tiwi Islands 2022 Grand Final attracts thousands of fans|
DARWIN, Australia, 8 May 2022 (ABC) - Planes land. Ferries Dock. People pass through police checks. Welcome to the Tiwi Islands, where grand final day is the biggest tourism event of the year. The crowd swelled to more than 3,000 on Saturday as locals and Darwin tourists gathered to cheer for their local Australian Rules football team.
|Lennox Island treaty lobster fishery gets underway |
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, Canada, 7 May 2022 (CBC) - The Lennox Island First Nation lobster treaty fishery launched Saturday with 240 traps, which is a smaller number than originally planned. Treaty fishers set out following a morning ceremony at the island's harbour, a week after the PEI First Nation announced it would launch a moderate living fishery without authorization from the federal government.
|Sri Lankan PM resigns amid economic crisis|
LONDON, UK, 9 May 2022 (BBC) - Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned amid mass protests at the government's handling of a deepening economic crisis. The move came as the island was placed under curfew after violent clashes between Rajapaksa supporters and anti-government protesters in Colombo.
|The woman leading the Philippines 'pink revolution'|
LONDON, UK, 7 May 2022 (BBC) - In 1986, the Philippine capital Manila was awash with yellow when the People Power movement toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Now, more than 30 years on, opponents of his son's presidential run are uniting behind one woman for what's been called a "pink revolution" - to stop the return of the Marcos dynasty.
|America's first English settlement now endangered|
JAMESTOWN, US, 4 May 2022 (BBC) - One of the most important historic sites in America has been put on a list of endangered places. Preservation groups warn that Jamestown, Virginia, may not survive another generation because of climate change. In 1607, the small island near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay became the first successful English colony. It is often described as the birthplace of both democracy and slavery in America.
|The fight to keep sacred tapa in the hands of PNG's Oro people|
ORO PROVINCE, PNG, 6 May 2022 (Guardian) - Tapa, a tattooed fabric, has been worn in Papua New Guinea for centuries but there are concerns it has been commercialised. When Papua New Guinean fashion designer Yaku Ninich wanted to use tapa designs inspired by those of her grandmother, in her work, she first had to ask her mother for permission.
|Dominoes cannot be played quietly|
LONDON, UK, 7 May 2022 (Guardian) - It’s as West Indian as rice and peas and the barber shop: the slamming down of dominoes - hard - on a table as a group of elderly black men go head to head in a heated game. However, Caribbean men gathering to play dominoes in north London have become the centre of a noise complaints row.
|Filipino inquiry finds big polluters liable for climate damage|
LONDON, UK, 6 May 2022 (Guardian) - The world’s most polluting companies have a moral and legal obligation to address the harms of climate change because of their role in spreading misinformation, according to an inquiry brought about by Filipino typhoon survivors.
|Greenland weighs up economy v climate crisis|
NARSAQ, Greenland, 7 May 2022 (Guardian) - Greenland is the biggest island in the world, yet the population is tiny - less than 57,000 of whom nearly 90% are Inuit, concentrated around the jagged coastline. The country’s remoteness is extreme: there are no roads or railways between towns and settlements. Transport is only by boat, helicopter and propeller planes - ice, winds and storms permitting.
|Myth, medicine and mysticism: in the land of the unvaccinated|
LONDON, UK, 6 May 2022 (Guardian) - I was assigned to a disaster recovery project on a remote island in the Philippines after a typhoon devastated the area. Dinagat, governed for many years by a religious organisation called the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), a sect with many followers, is an island of myth and mysticism.
|Australian, Solomon Islands ministers discuss China pact|
CANBERRA, Australia, 7 May 2022 (ABC) - Australia’s foreign minister has met her Solomon Islands counterpart for the first time since the South Pacific nation signed a security pact withChina, which has raised concerns about Beijing's encroachment on Australia's doorstep.
|The man attempting to revive a corrupt political dynasty|
MANILA, Philippines, 6 May 2022 (BBC) - His father was a ruthless dictator. His mother gained international notoriety for her massive collection of shoes. So how is 64-year-old Ferdinand Marcos Jr, more commonly known by his nickname Bongbong, the frontrunner to be the next president of the Philippines when the country votes on 9 May?
|Antigua unearths lost ancestors|
ENGLISH HARBOUR, Antigua, 5 May 2022 (BBC) - Nelson's Dockyard is today a bustling yachting hub, Unesco World Heritage Site and thriving tourist attraction as the Western Hemisphere's only working Georgian dockyard. Local historians recently embarked on a ground-breaking project to formally identify the faceless people who built it, whose stories have been wiped from history.
|Can Cuba's tourism adapt to survive after Covid|
HAVANA, Cuba, 6 May 2022 (Guardian) - Cuba’s leaders arrived on the spectacular beach at Varadero this week in an effort to restart a tourism industry whose pandemic-induced devastation was all too apparent in the swaths of empty loungers on the miles of perfect sand.
|Builders hurt protected areas in climate-weary Puerto Rico|
SALINAS, Puerto Rico, 6 May 2022 (AP) - Jacqueline Vázquez was sitting on the couch when her phone rang. She had just returned from a government office where she filed a complaint about illegal construction in an ecological reserve. The reserve is dedicated to one of the island’s largest mangrove forests near her neighborhood in southern Puerto Rico.
|Call for GBR coral bleaching report to be released before election|
LONDON, UK, 5 May 2022 (Guardian) - One of the world’s leading coral reef scientists has called on the agency responsible for managing the Great Barrier Reef to release maps showing the extent of coral bleaching, after a key report was delayed with no reason given.
|Fisher groups are the marine militia in war on illegal fishing|
RAJA AMPAT, Indonesia, 6 May 2022 (Mongabay) - Indonesia has a vast maritime area, but not enough personnel to patrol and monitor for illegal and destructive fishing. To address this gap, in recent years the government has incentivized fishers and other coastal communities to form monitoring groups that are responsible for patrolling their local waters.
|Why experts weep for the quiet and beautiful Hawaiian po'ouli|
LONDON, UK, 4 May 2022 (Guardian) - The last po’ouli died in an unusual nest. Too weak to perch, the brownish-greyish songbird rested in a small towel twisted into a ring. He was the last of his species, the last in fact of an entire group of finches, and occurred nowhere on Earth outside its native Hawaii.
|Sri Lanka's environmentalists brace for economic meltdown's toll|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 3 May 2022 (Mongabay) - The deepening economic crisis in Sri Lanka is expected to hit the environment and biodiversity conservation hard, experts warn. Acute fuel shortages mean the Department of Wildlife Conservation having to ration out fuel, when it can get it, for its patrol vehicles, while its revenue from tourism receipts at national parks has evaporated.
|Indonesia to probe scale of tax-dodging illegal oil palm plantations|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 4 May 2022 (Mongabay) - Lawmakers in Indonesia are pressing the government to uncover the true scale of illegal oil palm plantations in the country, following the revelation that the state missed out on more than $3 billion in taxes from these operations last year alone.
|Solomons tuna plant could establish thousands of new jobs|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 4 May 2022 (RNZ) - Solomon Islands and the International Finance Corporation are to work together to develop a world class tuna processing plant in Malaita Province that could create employment opportunities for more than 5,500 people.
|Chile's lost tribe reclaims identity|
TIERRA DEL FUEGO, Chile, 3 May 2022 (Guardian) - History books said the Selk’nam, inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America, were extinct but Chile may be about to legally recognize their descendants.
|Why sales of Irish islands have soared over past five years|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 3 May 2022 (Independent.ie) - Sales of Irish islands have soared over the past five years as international buyers warm to their isolation, safety, “green” appeal and value for money compared to Caribbean and Mediterranean hideaways.
|Bauer completes Red Sea Islands bridge project work in Saudi Arabia|
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, 3 May 2022 (Zaywa) - Around 500 km north of the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, the TRSDC is currently realizing a new recreation area on the Red Sea as part of the "Red Sea Islands Project" that will combine nature, culture and connect adventures. Bauer has completed a key contract to manufacture piles for the iconic bridge to Shurayrah Island along with two smaller bridges within the Red Sea Islands Project.
|Maine island with dwindling population to close church|
BANGOR, US, 3 May 2022 (BDN) - A nearly 130-year old church in Stonington will open its doors for services for the last time next month. With dwindling attendance on an island with a shrinking population, members voted late last month to close the house of worship.
|The Midway Atoll you might not know|
FALLS CHURCH, US, 2 May 2022 (USFWS) - Midway Atoll has a rich history. The first visitors likely were Polynesians/Hawaiians exploring the Pacific in voyaging canoes. No physical evidence of their visits remains, but historical accounts mention distant low-lying islands with abundant birds and turtles. Captain N.C. Brooks was the first Westerner to “discover” the unoccupied atoll in 1859, and the United States took possession of it soon thereafter.
|How phantom forests are used for greenwashing|
LONDON, UK, 3 May 2022 (BBC) - Dr Jurgenne Primavera is being paddled in a canoe along the coast of Iloilo in the Philippines. It's an idyllic scene but she is frowning. Six years ago these shallow waters were planted with mangroves as part of the country's ambitious National Greening Programme, but now there is nothing to see but blue water and blue sky. Ninety per cent of the seedlings died, Dr Primavera says, because the type of mangrove planted was suited to muddy creeks rather than this sandy coastal area.
|'Lungs of the Mediterranean' at risk|
MONASTIR, Tunisia, 2 May 2022 (AFP) - Under the Mediterranean waters off Tunisia, gently waving green seagrass meadows provide vital marine habitats for the fishing fleets and an erosion buffer for the beaches the tourism industry depends on.
|Sri Lanka hikes price of medicines|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 1 May 2022 (BBC) - Sri Lanka has sharply increased prices of commonly used medication, the second such rise in six weeks, as it struggles to deal with an economic crisis. Antibiotics, certain painkillers and medication for heart conditions are among those hit by a 40% mark-up.
|Snails crawling back to recovery on Lord Howe Island|
PORT MACQUARIE, Australia, 2 May 2022 (ABC) - Lord Howe Island's unique animal and plant life have been showing signs of a resurgence, thanks to a rodent eradication program launched in 2019. Experts in snail biology surveyed 200 different sites across the island and discovered four species of snail previously thought to be extinct.
|Cook Islands tourism industry desperate for workers|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 1 May 2022 (RNZ) - The Cook Islands needs more direct flights to restart the tourism industry and hundreds more workers but New Zealand's travel requirements are slowing the process to bring in more workers.
|Taiwan will not 'cruelly' lock down like China|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 1 May 2022 (AFP) - Taiwan will not act "as cruelly as China" in imposing lockdowns, its premier said Sunday, despite surging coronavirus infection numbers. The self-governing island recorded more than 10,000 new cases for the first time on Thursday, as the government moves from its zero-Covid strategy and begins living with the virus. That figure hit 16,936 on Sunday.
|UK minister dispatched to BVI for governance talks|
LONDON, UK, 30 April 2022 (BBC) - The UK government has sent a minister to the British Virgin Islands after an inquiry called for a return of UK rule. It comes after a turbulent few days for the overseas territory, which saw its leader Andrew Fahie arrested in the US for alleged drug trafficking and money laundering. After his arrest, a report was released recommending direct rule be imposed from London due to corruption concerns.
|As animal seed dispersers go the way of the dodo, plants are at risk|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 28 April 2022 (Mongabay) - The few remaining rainforests on Mauritius whisper with the memory of former residents, now ghosts. This once-lush Indian Ocean island remained mostly uninhabited by humans until 1598, when it became a Dutch port of call. By the time the French government took over some 150 years later and imported slaves to start sugar plantations, the ecological damage was already irreparable. The dodo disappeared, and in the years since would become an icon for extinction.
|Better deep-bore wells aim to stop Indonesia's groundwater waste|
PASURUAN, Indonesia, 28 April 2022 (Mongabay) - Farming and other water-based industries thrive in Pasuruan, a fertile rice-growing district in Indonesia’s East Java province that’s home to active volcanoes and rich aquifers. Thanks to a proliferation of unregulated wells, however, Pasuruan risks losing that bounty.
|Malta opens hunting season for European Turtle-dove|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 29 April 2022 (BirdLife) - The Government of Malta has neglected all scientific data by allowing this year’s spring hunting derogation on a species vulnerable to extinction, the European Turtle-dove.The hunting season opened on the 17th of April, despite the efforts of our Partner BirdLife Malta to prohibit the shooting of this bird.
|Water and sanitation in the Pacific continue to be dire|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 30 April 2022 (RNZ) - There's concern that addressing water and sanitation challenges in the Pacific has become an afterthought for regional politicians and international leaders. Around 70 percent of the Pacific population don't have their basic sanitation needs met including access to running water to wash hands after using the toilet.
|BVI Premier Andrew Fahie arrested in US drug sting|
LONDON, UK, 29 April 2022 (BBC) - The leader of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) has been arrested for alleged drug smuggling and money laundering in the US. Premier Andrew Fahie was detained in Miami by US agents posing as cocaine traffickers from a Mexican drug cartel.
|Why British royals face simmering resentment in Caribbean|
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, 29 April 2022 (BBC) - National flags still adorn the streets of Antigua's capital days after the Earl and Countess of Wessex departed the island on their Platinum Jubilee Caribbean tour. People here pride themselves on the welcome offered to visitors - tourism is the country's mainstay after all. But behind the red carpet and guard of honour upon arrival, the royal couple's trip was met with pervasive apathy mixed with simmering resentment.
|Climate crisis - not China - is biggest threat to Pacific|
LONDON, UK, 29 April 2022 (Guardian) - In a statement on Friday, the Pacific Elders Voice group, which includes former leaders of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati and Tuvalu, as well as Dame Meg Taylor, the former secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat, said that “the primary security threat to the Pacific is climate change”, rather than geo-strategic tensions.
|The queen conch's gambit|
VICTORIA, Canada, 26 April 2022 (Hakai) - The first and only queen conch hatchery and nursery run by local fishers is poised for duplication across the Caribbean - but even if conch farming can help ease overfishing, can it survive in warming, storm-lashed seas?
|Solomons PM could use Chinese police to stay in power|
LONDON, UK, 28 April 2022 (Guardian) - A key adviser to the premier of the most populous province in Solomon Islands has expressed concern that the China-Solomons security deal could enable the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, to use Chinese armed police and military personnel to quash democratic dissent and hold on to power for years to come.
|Canada's attempt to phase out open-pen salmon farms faces setback|
OTTAWA, Canada, 27 April 2022 (Guardian) - In December 2020, Federal court judge Elizabeth Heneghan announced that 19 salmon farms in the Discovery Islands, a region off the coast of British Columbia, would be shut down by 2022. She also said that no transfer of fish between hatcheries and the open-pen farms would be allowed during the 18-month phase-out period. In response to the order, salmon farmers have started shutting down their operations in the Discovery Islands – but have also fought the orders in court.
|Philippines presidency frontrunner praises 'genius' dictator father|
LONDON, UK, 27 April 2022 (Guardian) - The frontrunner in the Philippines presidential race, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, has praised his father – the country’s late dictator – as a “political genius”, and his mother as the dynasty’s “supreme politician”, less than two weeks before an election that could return the Marcos family to power.
|Climate crisis may fuel future pandemics|
LONDON, UK, 28 April 2022 (Guardian) - There will be at least 15,000 instances of viruses leaping between species over the next 50 years, with the climate crisis helping fuel a “potentially devastating” spread of disease that will imperil animals and people and risk further pandemics, researchers have warned.
|Vaccinations vital as COVID cripples Pacific countries|
SUVA, Fiji, 28 April 2022 (IFRC) - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are increasingly concerned for more than 1 million people in Pacific nations as they struggle with their first major wave of COVID-19 fuelled by the Omicron variants.
|Omicron spike hits Chatham Islands, closes hotel|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 27 April 2022 (Stuff) - The mayor of the Chatham Islands has urged residents to do the right thing and isolate if needed as a spike in Covid-19 cases follows the move into the orange setting. The Chatham Islands, one of the most remote inhabited places on Earth, had its first two cases of the virus confirmed on March 6.
|Cradle of transformation: The Mediterranean and climate change|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 28 April 2022 (Mongabay) - The Mediterranean region is warming 20% faster than the world as a whole, raising concerns about the impacts that climate change and other environmental upheaval will have on ecosystems, agriculture and the region’s 542 million people.
|Who owns the Arctic and should they drill for oil and gas?|
LONDON, UK, 27 April 2022 (BBC) - A court case is under way over whether energy companies have the right to drill for gas and oil in the Arctic region. Environmental activists, led by Greenpeace Nordic, are taking Norway's government to the European Court of Human Rights. It's being seen as a test case for how far the Arctic environment can be protected.
|UN says up to 40% of world's land now degraded|
LONDON, UK, 27 April 2022 (Guardian) - Human damage to the planet’s land is accelerating, with up to 40% now classed as degraded, while half of the world’s people are suffering the impacts, UN data has shown.
|Will Taiwan's banks stay stuck in a '1980s' time warp?|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 26 April 2022 (BBC) - Overseas, Taiwan is synonymous with sophisticated high-tech companies like TSMC and Foxconn, who supply many of the parts essential to smartphones and computers. It is also home to a growing cryptocurrency market. However, on the ground in Taiwan, things can feel decidedly more old-fashioned, especially at the bank.
|US won't rule out military action in Solomon Islands|
LONDON, UK, 26 April 2022 (Guardian) - One of the most senior US officials in the Pacific has refused to rule out military action against Solomon Islands if it were to allow China to establish a military base there, saying that the security deal between the countries presented “potential regional security implications” for the US and other allies.
|Three endangered Sumatran tigers found dead in traps in Indonesia|
LONDON, UK, 26 April 2022 (Guardian) - One female tiger was found dead, her head almost severed and a snare still stuck in her leg, near a palm oil plantation in Indonesia’s East Aceh district on Sunday. Five hundred metres away, the bodies of a male and female tiger were also found, both with leg injuries, according to local police chief Hendra Sukmana.
|Indonesia has ordered a ban on palm oil exports|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 25 April 2022 (Mongabay) - Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of crude palm oil, has ordered a ban on the export of the commodity starting April 28 to address an ongoing shortage of cooking oil in the country.
|Iwan Dento, 'hero' of South Sulawesi's karst mountains|
MAROS, Indonesia, 25 April 2022 (Mongabay) - For more than a decade, environmental activist Iwan Dento has opposed the mining of the limestone karst formations in his homeland of Maros, Indonesia. Until 2013, the karst mountain area of Rammang-rammang was mined for marble and limestone, but local resistance led to protective regulations and the establishment of an ecotourism area.
|A massive salmon farm off the coast of Maine is stalled|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 25 April 2025 (Mongabay) - Norwegian-backed American Aquafarms was slated to build the largest salmon farm in North America along the coast of the U.S. state of Maine, using a closed-pen system said to minimize waste. But opponents say the closed-pen technology is untested at such a large scale, and warn that environmental impacts will devastate the pristine waters. The proposed salmon farm would have been right at the shorelines of Acadia National Park, threatening the region’s untarnished views and noise pollution.
|Jamaica is among the world's most water scarce countries|
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 26 April 2022 (IPS) - It will take billions of dollars and years to fix a growing problem that has placed Jamaica in the unlikely group of the world’s most water-scarce countries. due to the lack of availability of drinking water.
|Discovery sheds light on why the Pacific islands were colonized|
CANBERRA, Australia, 22 April 2022 (SPX) - The discovery of pottery from the ancient Lapita culture by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) has shed new light on how Papua New Guinea served as a launching pad for the colonisation of the Pacific - one of the greatest migrations in human history.
|Falklands' inshore waters globally recognized as KBA|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 26 April 2022 (MercoPress) - A Falklands Conservation project has identified the Falklands Islands’ inshore waters as globally recognized Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) for breeding seabirds, driving forward their aim for quality marine management practices in the Islands.
|Data show decline in Indonesian fish stocks|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 22 April 2022 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s fish stock has declined in the past five years as more of the country’s waters are now fully exploited, according to new government data.
|Skyrocketing prices hit the Marshall Islands|
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 25 April 2022 (RNZ) - Fuel prices hit US$7 per gallon in Majuro this past week, a milestone for prices of imported goods that have skyrocketed since last year.
|How Norfolk Island is solving its waste dilemma|
SYDNEY, Australia, 25 April 2022 (GN) - For the last two years Norfolk Island Regional Council has been using aerobic composting system for green, food and organic waste using a technology designed and built by NZ-based waste solutions company Global Waste Solutions.
|Ecotourism giving rare iguanas a sweet tooth|
PARIS, France, 22 April 2022 (AFP) - Ecotourists feeding grapes to rock iguanas on remote islands in the Bahamas have given them a sweet tooth and high blood sugar, researchers said Thursday, warning of unknown effects on the health of the vulnerable reptiles.