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Taiwan loses another ally as Kiribati cuts ties
LONDON, UK, 20 September 2019 (BBC) - The Pacific island nation of Kiribati has become the second country this week to sever ties with Taiwan and switch diplomatic recognition to China.



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.



Climate change threatens some island conifers with extinction
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 19 September 2019 (Mongabay) - A quarter of 55 conifer species native to islands are likely to go extinct by 2070 due to climate change, researchers from Brown University write in a new study.



Bird populations in US and Canada down 3bn in 50 years
LONDON, UK, 19 September 2019 (BBC) - One major study outlines a tipping point in "the Asian songbird crisis" on the island of Java, Indonesia, where more birds may now live in cages than in the wild.



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.



A Papuan village finds its forest caught in a web of corporate secrecy
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 16 September 2019 (Mongabay) - When a string of palm oil companies arrived in the village of Anggai, in a heavily forested corner of Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province, Robertus Meyanggi hoped they would help his community prosper.



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.



Drone technology used to deliver medication to Aran Islands
CORK, Ireland, 16 September 2019 (Examiner) - Researchers at NUI Galway have made aviation history by using drone technology to deliver diabetes medication to the Aran Islands and collect a patient's blood sample from there.



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.



Battling for survival on the frontier of climate change
PORTLAND, Jamaica, 15 September 2019 (BBC) - When the rains stopped coming two years ago, transforming Denise Reid's once flourishing banana fields into an expanse of desiccated wasteland, she was bewildered at first.



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.



A pearl oyster farm in Bali aims to be a sustainable source of the jewel
SUMBERKIMA, Indonesia, 13 September 2019 (Mongabay) - A pearl oyster farm on the northern coast of the Indonesian island of Bali is working to establish a sustainable source for the creatures that produce South Sea pearls, prized for their use in jewelry.



On an island coveted by miners, villagers prepare to raise a ruckus
ROKO-ROKO, Indonesia, 13 September 2019 (Mongabay) - Residents of the Indonesian island of Wawonii believed they had won a long-running battle against mining companies with concessions on their land after authorities promised to revoke the permits in March.



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.



Maltese are the Europeans most concerned about climate change
ST. JULIAN'S, Malta, 13 September 2019 (Independent) - At 92 per cent of the population, the Maltese are the most concerned Europeans when it comes to defining the burning issue of climate change as a “very serious” problem.



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.



Tiny Pacific nation makes a go of its own digital currency
NEW YORK, US, 11 September 2019 (Bloomberg) - The Marshall Islands is proceeding with the creation of a blockchain-based national currency, the Marshallese sovereign or SOV.



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.



In Greenland village, shorter winters cast doubts over dog sledding
KULUSUK, Greenland, 6 September 2019 (AFP) - Tethered between pastel-coloured wooden houses in the Greenlandic village of Kulusuk and on hills nearby, the island's famous sled dogs wait through the summer for the ice to form so their hunting season can begin.



'Sea-borne invasion' of wild boar swamps mystical Malaysian island
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 6 September 2019 (Guardian) - A mystical Malaysian island is grappling with a “sea-borne invasion” of wild boar, which some believe are swimming kilometres across one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes before destroying crops.



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.



Kilauea lava fuels phytoplankton bloom off Hawaii Island
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 5 September 2019 (Phys.org) - When Kilauea volcano erupted in 2018, it injected millions of cubic feet of molten lava into the nutrient-poor waters off the Big Island of Hawaii.



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. 



Hurricane Dorian: Devastation in Bahamas emerges
LONDON, UK, 4 September 2019 (BBC) - Rescuers have begun to reach areas of the northern Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Dorian, with aerial images showing a trail of destruction.



The holiday islands where locals have nowhere to live
LONDON, UK, 3 September 2019 (BBC) - The places where Greek locals can call home are changing – and, in some cases, disappearing – as short-term holiday rentals cannibalise long-term housing arrangements. 



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.



On the front lines of climate change in the world's northernmost town
LONGYEARBYEN, Svalbard, 3 September 2019 (Reuters) - Icebergs float liked doomed islands past the small boat as it makes its way through a fjord filled with the slush of a melting glacier.



Will Indonesia's new capital just move the problem to the jungle?
LONDON, UK, 3 September 2019 (BBC) - After years of speculation and debate, Indonesia announced last week that it will be moving its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, nearly 1,300km (800 miles) away.



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.



Greenland's ice faces melting 'death sentence'
LONDON, UK, 3 September 2019 (BBC) - The massive ice sheet covering Greenland may have melted by a record amount this year, scientists have warned.



Family abuse 'epidemic' uncovered in Samoa
APIA, Samoa, 3 September 2019 (Guardian) - The beautiful Polynesian island is home to a fiercely traditional society rife with domestic violence.



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.



Indonesian court cancels dam project in last stronghold of tigers
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 2 September 2019 (Mongabay) - A court in Indonesia has annulled a permit allowing the development of a $3 billion hydropower plant in a forest that’s home to critically endangered tigers, rhinos and orangutans.



The people competing to visit all 706 isles around Britain
LONDON, UK, 2 September 2019 (Guardian) - Whether by boat, swimming or on foot, dedicated travellers are steadily ticking off Britain’s ‘baggable’ islands – and the leader is on 518.



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.



Is the UN's High Seas Treaty heading towards troubled waters?
NEW YORK, US, 2 September 2019 (IPS) - The world’s high seas, which extend beyond 200 nautical miles, are deemed “international waters” to be shared globally – but they remain largely ungoverned.



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.



Poor Farallon Islands bird breeding season prompts alarm
SAN RAFAEL, US, 1 September 2019 (MIJ) - Farallon Islands researchers are alarmed after recording one of the worst breeding seasons this year in the largest seabird breeding colony in the continental United States.



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.



A tiger refuge in Sumatra gets a reprieve from road building
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 31 August 2019 (Mongabay) - The rainforests that once carpeted Indonesia’s Sumatra Island are among the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, home to iconic species like the Sumatran tiger, rhino and orangutan.



Struggling Sri Lankans yearn for a strongman to lure back lost tourists
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 31 August 2019 (Observer) - The Easter Sunday terrorist attacks all but destroyed the island’s tourism industry. In the southern city of Galle, locals now seek their own Trump or Modi.



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.



The man who brought puffins back to Maine's islands is retiring
BANGOR, US, 30 August 2019 (BDN) - The man who led a decadeslong effort to help Atlantic puffins reestablish populations on islands off the coast of Maine is retiring from his role at the National Audubon Society at the end of September.



Spread of measles to at-risk Pacific Islands 'inevitable'
DUNEDIN, New Zealand, 30 August 2019 (Guardian) - Public health experts are warning the spread of measles to the Pacific Islands is “inevitable” as the most serious outbreak in 20 years grips New Zealand.



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.



Madagascar no longer insisting on selling its seized rosewood
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 30 August 2019 (Mongabay) - A ban on the international trade in rosewood, a prized timber, remains intact following the close this week of a global summit on the trade in wild animals and plants.



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.



Great Barrier Reef outlook very poor, Australia says
LONDON, UK, 30 August 2019 (BBC) - The Great Barrier Reef's outlook has been officially downgraded from poor to very poor due to climate change.



Napoleon impersonator required on island of St Helena
LONDON, UK, 30 August 2019 (Guardian) - Wanted: Napoleon Bonaparte impersonator. Ability to speak French preferred. Tailor-made breeches, boots and bicorne hat provided.



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.



Sinking feeling: Philippine cities facing 'slow-motion disaster'
MANILA, Philippines, 29 August 2019 (AFP) - When Mary Ann San Jose moved to Sitio Pariahan more than two decades ago, she could walk to the local chapel. Today, reaching it requires a swim.



Arctic team maps five islands found by Russian student
LONDON, UK, 29 August 2019 (BBC) - A Russian Arctic expedition has mapped five small islands in the far north, discovered by a student analysing a glacier's retreat in satellite photos.



Seaweed 'forests' can help fight climate change
WASHINGTON, US, 29 August 2019 (NatGeog) - Farming seaweed, then sinking the mature plants to the bottom of the ocean, could be an effective way to fight warming. So why don’t we do it?



Indonesian district juggles road building with nature conservation
UJOH BILANG, Indonesia, 29 August 2019 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government plans to build or upgrade thousands of kilometers of roads in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of Borneo Island.



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.



For Sri Lanka's newest geckos, a political firestorm
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 27 August 2019 (Mongabay) - Researchers recently described six new species of geckos, but the discovery has been overshadowed by controversy over their naming.



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.



Environmentalists in Seychelles concerned about impact of new dam
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 27 August 2019 (SNA) - Environmentalists in Seychelles are raising concerns over the impact that the construction of a new dam may have on the critically endangered jellyfish trees known locally as bwa mediz.



Nauru's parliament elects new president amid refugee crisis
LONDON, UK, 27 August 2019 (Guardian) - Nauru’s new president, Lionel Aingimea, says he will be like a “father of the nation”, guiding and protecting the South Pacific island’s 12,000 people.



St Kilda hosts 94% of the UK's breeding population of Leach's petrel
LONDON, UK, 27 August 2019 (BBC) - A handful of little balls of fluff hold the answers to the health of the UK's largest breeding population of a rare seabird.



Largest marine protected area in Atlantic Ocean will soon be official
WASHINGTON, US, 26 August 2019 (NatGeog) - The nearly 170,000 square miles of ocean around Ascension Island, one of the world’s most pristine and biodiverse ocean ecosystems, will soon be officially protected.



Indonesia picks coal and oil heartland as site of new capital city
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 26 August 2019 (Mongabay) - President Joko Widodo has announced Indonesia’s new capital city will sit at the nexus of the country’s coal and oil hubs in eastern Borneo.



Worm-slurping, hopping rats discovered in the Philippines
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 26 August 2019 (Mongabay) - The highly biodiverse island of Luzon in the Philippines has yielded up two species of rats new to science.



Blaze forces evacuations on island of Samos
LONDON, UK, 26 August 2019 (BBC) - Hundreds of people have been evacuated from hotels and beaches in Greece as firefighters tackle dozens of wildfires across the country.



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.



The Pan Borneo Highway could divide threatened wildlife populations
BATU PUTEH, Malaysia, 26 August 2019 (Mongabay) - Crews are set to begin construction on a stretch of Malaysia’s Pan Borneo Highway in eastern Sabah state, involving the widening of the road from two lanes to four.



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.



Sumatran elephant sanctuary under threat from bridge, port projects
PALEMBANG, Indonesia, 26 August 2019 (Mongabay) - The planned construction of a bridge and private port in southern Sumatra threatens to damage one of the last remaining habitats of the island’s critically endangered elephants.



81% of Indonesia's oil palm plantations flouting regulations
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 25 August 2019 (Mongabay) - More than 80 percent of oil palm plantations in Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of the crop, are operating in violation of numerous regulations, a government audit has found.



'Red lights' as over-tourism threatens Corsican nature reserve
GIROLATA, France, 25 August 2019 (AFP) - "It's nature's magical design," says a tourist guide, waxing poetic as he comments on the impressive red cliffs plunging into a turquoise sea at the Scandola nature reserve on France's Corsica island.



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.



Aimed at linking communities, Malaysian highway may damage forests
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, 23 August 2019 (Mongabay) - Leaders hope that the construction of a road linking the Pan Borneo Highway between the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak will connect remote communities to markets and to each other.



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.



Trump's Denmark snub over Greenland sale 'annoys' PM
LONDON, UK, 21 August 2018 (BBC) - Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen says she is "annoyed" at Donald Trump's decision to cancel his visit after being told Greenland was not for sale.



China threatens sanctions over US-Taiwan F-16 fighter plane deal
LONDON, UK, 21 August 2019 (BBC) - China has threatened to impose sanctions on US firms involved with the sale of F-16 fighter planes to Taiwan if Washington goes ahead with the deal.