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Cyprus bird trapping hits record low, says NGO
NICOSIA, Cyprus, 18 March 2019 (AFP) - The mass killing of migratory birds in Cyprus has reached a record low mainly due to a clampdown on illegal trapping in British military-controlled areas, a conservationist group said Monday.



No fishing allowed in Ascension Island's new MPA
NAIROBI, Kenya, 18 March 2019 (UNEP) - Ascension Island, in the southern Atlantic Ocean, is getting a new marine protected area twice the size of the United Kingdom. Full protection of 443,000 square kilometres of ocean around the British overseas territory will safeguard green turtles, swordfish, sharks, tuna and marlin as well as frigatebirds and terns.



Dead Philippines whale had 40kg of plastic in stomach
LONDON, UK, 18 March 2019 (BBC) - A dead whale that washed up in the Philippines had 40kg (88lbs) of plastic bags inside its stomach, researchers have said.



Bid to protect Borneo's wild cattle
LAMANDAU, Indonesia, 18 March 2019 (Mongabay) - At the headwaters of the Belantikan River on the island of Borneo, an organization committed to protecting orangutans is extending its efforts to a slightly less charismatic megafauna: the endangered Bornean banteng, a type of wild cattle.



Population of tropicbirds on the decline in Seychelles, study shows
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 17 March 2019 (SNA) - The population of tropicbirds is declining in Seychelles, in part because of attacks on nests by predators, a recent study found.



Sinking island in the Sundarbans Delta
LONDON, UK, 17 March 2019 (BBC) - Thousands of people still live on the Indian island of Ghoramora, which has shrunk in size to just 4.5 sq km. It's one of scores of low-lying islands in the Sundarbans Delta that are rapidly disappearing.



Japan expanding GSDF's presence on southwestern islands
TOKYO, Japan, 16 March 2019 (JT) - The government is pushing ahead with plans to build new Ground Self-Defense Force bases on remote islands in the southwest in response to military threats from China.



Tunas, sharks and ships at sea
STANFORD, US, 15 March 2019 (SPX) - Maps that show where sharks and tunas roam in the eastern Pacific Ocean, and where fishing vessels travel in this vast expanse, could help ocean managers to identify regions of the high seas where vulnerable species may be at risk.



Call for PNG seabed mining licences to be cancelled
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 15 March 2019 (RNZ) - Groups opposed to sea bed mining in Papua New Guinea want the government to cancel licences given to embattled miner Nautilus.



Study identifies climate-resilient trees to help orangutan conservation
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 15 March 2019 (Mongabay) - Once written off as lost cause for conservation, Indonesia’s Kutai National Park supports one of the last intact forest canopies on Borneo’s eastern coast, a habitat for the critically endangered East Bornean orangutan.



Europe in bid to phase out palm biofuel
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 15 March 2019 (Mongabay) - The European Commission has officially approved a measure to phase out palm oil-based biofuel by 2030. But while the move has angered major palm oil producers, it hasn’t entirely pleased environmental activists either.



Helping St. Vincent's fishers maintain an essential industry
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, 14 March 2019 (IPS) - From an influx of sargassum in near-shore waters, to fish venturing further out to sea to find cooler, more oxygenated water, fishers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are battling the vagaries of climate change.



PNG politicians push coal
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 12 March 2019 (Mongabay) - Politicians in Papua New Guinea are ratcheting up their support for a new foray into coal mining and power generation, even as neighboring states call for a global reduction in carbon emissions to stave off a catastrophic rise in the sea level.



Kangaroo Island, the paradox that is luxury ecotourism
ADELAIDE, Australia, 11 March 2019 (The Conversation) - Kangaroo Island, less than 130 kilometres from Adelaide, is one of Australia’s ecological jewels. Tourism Australia describes it as a “pristine wilderness”, with cliffs, beaches, wetlands and dense bushland offering protection to native animals such as penguins, sea lions, pelicans, koalas and, of course, kangaroos.



Is the US about to lose control of Diego Garcia military base?
HONG KONG, 11 March 2019 (CNN) - The secretive Diego Garcia military base may be 1,000 miles from the nearest continent, but it has all the trappings of a modern American town



Former fisherman from St. Lucia invents mobile desalination plant
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, 11 March 2019 (IPS) - Karlis Noel spends his days in his lab in the small, picturesque community of Laborie in St. Lucia. The former fisherman’s story might sound like an overnight success, but his present accolades in the field of engineering are the result of years of hard work and an unceasing drive to make life easier for communities in the throes of a water crisis.



The university planning a green revolution
HAUT-LIMBE, Haiti, 10 March 2019 (BBC) - As far as dreams go, it is a fairly modest one. It is neither fame nor riches that student Belotte Walky aspires to; just a farm to help feed his compatriots, with jobs to keep them employed.



Danish islands campaign to strengthen communities
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 8 March 2019 (The Local) - A project aims to support seven islands in Denmark through a wide range of projects, initiatives and workshops.



Students helping to make islands carbon neutral
CAMBRIDGE, US, 8 March 2019 (MIT) - Recently, the Massachusetts island community of Martha’s Vineyard engaged with MIT students to discuss pathways toward a net-zero carbon future.



Hammerhead shark refuge found in Galapagos
QUITO, Ecuador, 8 March 2019 (AFP) - A new breeding ground for endangered hammerhead sharks has been found in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador's government said.



Philippines survey shows shocking plastic waste
MANILA, Philippines, 8 March 2019 (AFP) - An audit in the Philippines has shown the country uses a "shocking" amount of single-use plastic, including nearly 60 billion sachets a year, a new report said Friday.



New MPA in Philippines includes community-led monitoring
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 7 March 2019 (Mongabay) - A new marine protected area (MPA) has been founded in the Philippines within what are considered some of the most biologically diverse waters on Earth.



Island women take the lead in peatland restoration
LEYTE ISLAND, Philippines, 7 March 2019 (IPS) - Eluminada Roca has lived all her life next to the  Leyte Sab-a Basin peatlands. The grandmother from of San Isidro village in Philippines’ Leyte island grew up looking at the green hills that feed water to the peatland, she harvested tikog - a peatland grass to weave mats - and ate the delicious fish that was once in abundant in the waters.



Treasure trove of new insects discovered on island
LONDON, UK, 7 March 2019 (BBC) - More than a hundred insect species that are new to science have been discovered on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.



Rain melting Greenland ice sheet even in winter
LONDON, UK, 7 March 2019 (BBC) - Rain is becoming more frequent in Greenland and accelerating the melting of its ice, a new study has found.



Solomon Islands struggle with nation's worst oil spill
LONDON, UK, 6 March 2019 (Guardian) - On a normal weekend, the waters of Kangava Bay would be busy with children playing or collecting clam shells and villagers heading out to catch reef fish to eat. But last Sunday the bay was quiet.



The world talks about climate change while Kiribati waits
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 5 March 2019 (RNZ) - New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters made his first visit to Kiribati last week and he was immediately struck by the challenges the main island of Tarawa was battling with.



Cook Islands considers name change
DUNEDIN, New Zealand, 5 March 2019 (Guardian) - The Cook Islands is considering replacing its colonial-era name with a new one that recognises the nation’s indigenous inhabitants.



Healthy oceans, healthy societies
NEW YORK, US, 5 March 2019 (IPS) - Over recent years, there have been shocking reports of marine endangerment and plastic pollution. The threats are clear, and now urgent action is needed more than ever.



For the first time, we can measure the human footprint on Antarctica
HOBART, Australia, 4 March 2019 (The Conversation) - Most people picture Antarctica as a frozen continent of wilderness, but people have been living – and building – there for decades. Now, for the first time, we can reveal the human footprint across the entire continent.



Saving for a 'rainy day' takes on new meaning in Caribbean
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, 4 March 2019 (IPS) - In the tiny eastern Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, proverbs relating to the weather are very common.



Some GBR coral suffering lasting effects from mass bleaching events
LONDON, UK, 4 March 2019 (Guardian) - Coral reefs in the far north of the Great Barrier Reef are showing lasting effects from the mass bleaching of 2016 and 2017 and in some cases their health has declined further, according to fresh surveys by the Australian Institute of Marine Science.



Easter Island looks for help to save statues from 'leprosy'
LONDON, UK, 1 March 2019 (Guardian) - Within a century the emblematic stone figures that guard remote Easter Island could be little more than weathered rectangular blocks, conservation experts are warning – but Britain could be part of the fix.



Abe's military base plan for Okinawa sinking in mayonnaise
NAGO, Japan, 1 March 2019 (APJ) - After a long silence, the Abe government has finally admitted that the construction of a U.S. military base at Henoko-Oura Bay in Okinawa requires significant changes to the original land reclamation plan as parts of the seafloor of the construction site have proven to be extremely fragile, having the consistency of mayonnaise.



Protests flare as pressure mounts on dam project in orangutan habitat
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 1 March 2019 (Mongabay) - Activists in Indonesia and abroad staged a coordinated protest on March 1 to draw attention to a controversial hydroelectric project in Sumatra funded by China that threatens the world’s rarest great ape, the Tapanuli orangutan.



Bats in Mauritius are being killed by the thousands - here's why
WASHINGTON, US, 1 March 2019 (NatGeog) - Scientists are suing the Mauritius government to halt the culling of flying foxes. So far, 50,000 bats have been slaughtered.



This Indonesian community has five genders
SYDNEY, Australia, 27 February 2019 (ABC) - Once kingmakers in one of the most gender fluid societies on earth, the intersex bissu priests of Sulawesi - Indonesia's third-largest island - are on the verge of disappearing after years of cultural decline and increasing persecution.



Robinson Crusoe island sets example for the world in conservation
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Chile, 26 February 2019 (AFP) - For almost a century, the inhabitants of Robinson Crusoe - named for literature's most famous castaway - have known that their island's fragile ecosystem depends on them conserving its unique wildlife.



Accelerating the Caribbean's climate resilience
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, 26 February 2019 (IPS) - The Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator launched last year June with the backing of Virgin’s Richard Branson has given itself five years to help the region become climate resilient.



UN court rejects UK's claim of sovereignty over Chagos Islands
LONDON, UK, 25 February 2019 (Guardian) - The UK has been ordered to hand back the Chagos Islands to Mauritius “as rapidly as possible” after the United Nations’ highest court ruled that continued British occupation of the remote Indian Ocean archipelago is illegal.



Marshall Islands consider radical measures to survive rising sea levels
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 23 February 2019 (AFP) - Plans are underway for national talks on which of the 1,156 islands, scattered over 29 coral atolls, can be elevated in a dramatic intervention to ensure safety on the Marshall Islands.



Local school is a model for energy and water in Rapa Nui
HANGA ROA, Chile, 22 February 2019 (IPS) -  A school in the capital of Easter Island (Rapa Nui, in the local indigenous tongue) gives an example of clean management with the use of solar energy, rainwater recovery and an organic vegetable garden, as well as rooms and spaces built with waste materials.



Invasive termite species wreaks havoc in Tenerife
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA, Spain, 22 February 2019 (El Pais) - At night, Ana Valladares can hear termites scuttling around her home in Tacoronte, a municipality on Spain’s largest Canary Island Tenerife.



World's biggest bee found alive
LONDON, UK, 22 February 2019 (BBC) - Wallace's giant bee - which is as long as an adult's thumb - was found on a little-explored Indonesian island.



Illegal corn farming menaces a Madagascar protected area
MENABE, Madagascar, 21 February 2019 (Mongabay) - Deforestation within Menabe Antimena Protected Area, a large swath of unique dry forest ecosystem on Madagascar’s west coast, has increased dramatically in recent years.



Giant tortoise believed extinct for 100 years found in Galapagos
LONDON, UK, 21 February 2019 (Guardian) - A living member of species of tortoise not seen in more than 110 years and feared to be extinct has been found in a remote part of the Galápagos island of Fernandina.



A pest in paradise
SYDNEY, Australia, 21 February 2019 (ABC) - A major project to eradicate rats on the French Polynesian island of Reiono is underway. 



Wake up and smell the organic coffee
PORTLAND, Jamaica, 20 February 2019 (IPS) - In 1992, the idea of replanting her father’s ruined coffee farm seemed foolhardy at the time. But in retrospect it was the best business decision that Dorienne Rowan-Campbell, an international development consultant and broadcast journalist, could have made.



Illegal gold mining destroys wetland forest in Madagascar park
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 19 February 2019 (Mongabay) - Over the last two years, small crews of miners using rudimentary hand tools have made repeated incursions into Ranomafana National Park in southeastern Madagascar, to dig hundreds of shallow pit mines.



Mexico to close infamous island penal colony
MEXICO CITY, 19 February 2019 (AP) - Mexico will close its infamous Isla Marias prison, the last island penal colony in a hemisphere once dotted with remote island jails like the one depicted in the movie “Papillon.”



In the Solomon Islands, making amends in the name of conservation
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 19 February 2019 (Mongabay) - The Kwaio people of the Solomon Islands have been working with scientists to protect their homeland from resource extraction and development.



Giant pines a tourist draw, cash cow for Yogyakarta farmers
MANGUNAN, Indonesia, 19 February 2019 (Mongabay) - Not long ago, people would come to Mangunan only to tap the giant trunks of reddish pine for sap, used as everything from antiseptic to glue. But in only a few years these columns of giant Sumatran pines have become a well-known tourism attraction in selfie-snapping Indonesia.



Taxpayers to cop $1.3m Hinchinbrook clean-up bill
SYDNEY, Australia, 19 February 2019 (ABC) - In Australia's largest island national park, taxpayers will be forced to spend $1.3 million cleaning up a resort in ruins while the Queensland Government courts companies to build more eco-accommodation on the other side of the island.



Gozo could be pilot island for switch to electric vehicles
SAN GWANN, Malta, 19 February 2019 (MaltaToday) - Gozo could potentially be used as a pilot project for the switch to all-electric vehicles, the Prime Minister has suggested.



Bulk carrier leaking oil on Solomons Islands reef
LONDON, UK, 19 February 2019 (Guardian) - The Solomon Islands prime minister has asked Australia for emergency help cleaning up an environmental disaster after oil spilled from a bulk carrier that ran aground on a coral reef near a world heritage area.



26 European islands launch clean energy transition
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 18 February 2019 (EC) - Today, 26 European islands have officially launched their clean energy transition with the support of the European Commission’s Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat.



Detention island or tropical paradise?
KALGOORLIE, Australia, 17 February 2019 (ABC) - As a remote tropical outpost teeming with unique wildlife, Christmas Island shouldn't have any trouble attracting visitors. Yet after more than a decade of hosting a detention centre that became the flashpoint for a divisive immigration policy, the island has an image problem.



How did the Pink Pigeon bounce back from just nine birds?
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 15 February 2019 (BirdLife) - Last year, one of Mauritius’ best-loved birds hit a milestone that delighted the conservation world. In the 2018 Red List update, the Pink Pigeon was downlisted from Endangered to Vulnerable, building upon the success of 2000, when it was downlisted from Critically Endangered to Endangered.



Indonesian firms owe $1.3 bn in forest damage fines
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 15 February 2019 (AFP) - Indonesian firms owe at least $1.3 billion in unpaid fines for environmental damage caused by widespread forest clearing and deadly fires linked to tens of thousands of premature deaths, a Greenpeace study said Friday.



Fijians fume at India land swap
LONDON, UK, 15 February 2019 (BBC) - Residents of Fiji's capital Suva are questioning the government's decision to allow a new Indian High Commission to be built at the city's much-loved botanical gardens.