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|Seychelles campaign seeks reduction in balloon use|
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 22 January 2020 (SNA) - The group Ocean Project Seychelles has launched a new campaign targeting the use of balloons on the beaches which pose a significant threat to marine life.
|Standard and Poor's boosts Channel Islands credit rating|
LONDON, UK, 21 January 2020 (BBC) - The Channel Islands' credit rating has improved from "negative" to "stable". Credit rating agency Standard and Poor's improved its outlook for Jersey and Guernsey, citing greater stability in UK politics and clarity over Brexit.
|Venetian islands revamp traditions to counter depopulation|
VENICE, Italy, 21 January 2020 (AP) - The Venetian island of Burano's charms are rooted in its fishing legacy: the colorful fishermen’s cottages, the traditional butter cookies that kept fishermen going at sea and the delicate lace hand-stitched by their women.
|Madagascar launches massive tree-planting drive|
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar, 21 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Madagascar launched a national drive on Jan. 19 that aims to plant 60 million trees in the coming months to mark 60 years of independence, and in the hope of restoring the island’s forests.
|People urgently fleeing climate crisis cannot be sent home|
LONDON, UK, 20 January 2020 (BBC) - People fleeing immediate danger due to the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home, the UN has said. The landmark ruling centres on the case of Ioane Teitiota, whose home - the Pacific Island of Kiribati - is threatened by rising sea levels.
|How did the Guam Rail come back from extinction in the wild?|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 20 January 2020 (BirdLife) - After more than 30 years, the Guam Rail is back: breeding naturally beyond the confines of captive breeding enclosures – making it only the second bird species ever to recover from extinction in the wild.
|Islands of abundant nature spoiled by ocean waste|
TOKYO, Japan, 20 January 2020 (JT) - Situated in the Sea of Japan and wedged between the Kyushu region of southwestern Japan and the Korean Peninsula, Tsushima is a group of islands with a resident population of 30,000 people.
|Plan to repopulate Scottish island of Ulva|
LONDON, UK, 19 January 2020 (Observer) - At Scotland’s western edge, made jagged by ancient elements, a new model for living is taking shape. Ulva, a small island in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Mull, is beginning to reverse decades of population decline.
|Cleanup begins after record Newfoundland snow storm|
LONDON, UK, 19 January 2020 (Guardian) - Canada’s federal government will help Newfoundland on the Atlantic coast dig itself out in the wake of a massive winter blizzard that buried cars and left thousands without power.
|Tuvalu inundated by waves whipped up by Cyclone Tino|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 18 January 2020 (RNZ) - Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in Tuvalu, with strong winds and giant waves churned up by Cyclone Tino causing extensive damage across the country.
|Storms brewing: Pacific outlook for 2020|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 17 January 2020 (RNZ) - As a new decade dawns much of the Pacific is grappling with major upheavals from climate and health crises to political disruption and self-determination struggles.
|Bangladesh says once-submerged island ready for Rohingya|
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 17 January 2020 (AP) - A Bangladeshi island regularly submerged by monsoon rains is ready to house 100,000 Rohingya refugees, but no date has been announced to relocate people from the crowded and squalid camps where they've lived for years.
|Biggest food brands 'failing goals to banish palm oil deforestation'|
LONDON, UK, 17 January 2020 (Guardian) - Some of the world’s biggest brands are failing in their commitments to banish deforestation from their supply chains through their use of palm oil, despite making public claims to environmental sustainability, according to two reports.
|Australia fires: 'Apocalypse' comes to Kangaroo Island|
LONDON, UK, 17 January 2020 (BBC) - Kangaroo Island in South Australia has been likened to a Noah's Ark for its unique ecology. But after fierce bushfires tore through the island this week, there are fears it may never fully recover.
|Vanuatu stops issuing kava export licences|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 16 January 2020 (RNZ) - The head of Vanuatu's agriculture ministry has suspended the issuing and renewal of all kava export licences, citing concerns that farmers are being ripped off by exporters.
|In Seychelles, nature is prized above mass tourism|
ANSE BAZARCA, Seychelles, 16 January 2020 (Phys.org) - High-end tourism, from Europe mainly, helped pull the Seychelles from the brink of financial ruin after the 2008 economic crisis. Visitor numbers almost doubled in the decade that followed, to around 360,000 in 2018, nearly four times the country's population.
|Scottish tests of 'whale-friendly' fishing creels|
LONDON, UK, 16 January 2020 (BBC) - Fishing gear designed to protect whales from entanglement is being trialled off Scotland's coast. The new "ropeless creels" have this main line in a container along with a buoy and these are lowered to the seabed with the creels.
|Damning report into state of Papua New Guinea released|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 15 January 2020 (RNZ) - Human Rights Watch's annual report reveals rates of violence, domestic abuse, corruption and foreign debt haven't improved over the past year, where weak enforcement and a lack of accountability fostered a culture of impunity and lawlessness.
|Two Sumatran islands vanish, four more may soon sink|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 15 January 2020 (JP) - Two small islands in South Sumatra have disappeared as a result of rising sea levels driven by climate change, while four other islands are already on the brink of vanishing, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has claimed.
|Indonesia puts its fishers on the front line|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 14 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Indonesia is ramping up its fisheries in the waters around its northern Natuna Islands, following an incursion into the area by fishing boats and a coast guard vessel from China.
|Principe's Obo snail population declines by more than 75%|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 14 January 2020 (FFI) - On the island of Príncipe a forest giant, known locally as the Obô snail, has undergone a population decline of more than 75% within the last 20 years and its range has decreased by approximately 40%, according to a recent report.
|Predicting non-native invasions in Antarctica|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 14 January 2020 (SPX) - A new study identifies the non-native species most likely to invade the Antarctic Peninsula region over the next decade. It provides a baseline for all operators in the region to look at mitigation measures.
|Ocean temperatures hit record high|
LONDON, UK, 13 January 2020 (Guardian) - The heat in the world’s oceans reached a new record level in 2019, showing “irrefutable and accelerating” heating of the planet.
|Hackett urged to do a deal with Vanuatu over bungy rights|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 13 January 2020 (RNZ) - AJ Hackett should negotiate with people in Vanuatu to compensate them for the successful business he has built on the back of the centuries-old tradition of land diving with vines from wooden platforms on Pentecost Island, a lawyer says.
|Up to 100,000 sheep killed in Kangaroo Island fires|
LONDON, UK, 13 January 2020 (Guardian) - Up to 100,000 sheep were killed in bushfires on Kangaroo Island and at least 25,000 more livestock perished in fires on mainland Australia, farming groups have said.
|Apocalyptic scenes of wildlife devastation on Kangaroo Island|
LONDON, UK, 13 January 2020 (Guardian) - Animal welfare charity Humane Society International staff have described what they say are apocalyptic scenes on fire-ravaged Kangaroo Island, in South Australia, where they have set up a base rescuing injured wildlife.
|Philippines volcano: Thousands evacuated as Taal spews ash|
LONDON, UK, 12 January 2020 (BBC) - A volcano in the Philippines has emitted a giant plume of ash, prompting authorities to order the evacuation of some 8,000 people living nearby. The plume coming from the Taal volcano, south of the capital Manila, stretched about 1km into the sky.
|Art into nature, nature into art|
LONDON, UK, 12 January 2020 (Observer) - Fitting his architecture to its landscape, César Manrique turned Lanzarote into a living artwork of sun, sea and surprise.
|Tsai Ing-wen wins second presidential term|
LONDON, UK, 11 January 2020 (BBC) - Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has secured a second term after sweeping to victory in an election dominated by the island's relationship with China.
|Cook Islands submarine fibreoptic cable going live in May|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 11 January 2020 (RNZ) - Residents of Rarotonga and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands are looking forward to faster cheaper internet this year with the Manatua One Polynesia fibreoptic cable scheduled to come online in May.
|Historic German island is nursery for North Sea seals|
HAMBURG, Germany, 11 January 2020 (Phys.org) - The birthplace of Germany's national anthem and a practice bombing range for British airmen after World War II, Helgoland island in the North Sea turns cuddly at the turn of the year as grey seals arrive to give birth.
|Mapping Mayo islands on a grand scale|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 11 January 2020 (RTE) - Latest figures confirm that the Wild Atlantic Way, showcasing the rugged and diverse beauty of the west of Ireland, has been a huge economic boon for the region since the brand was established in 2014.
|Weary Haitians approach a somber anniversary|
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 10 January 2020 (NatGeog) - Haiti’s devastating January 12, 2010, earthquake claimed an estimated 316,000 lives, left 1.5 million injured and another 1.5 million homeless when it struck 15 miles southwest of the capital.
|Indonesia's supreme court rules forest plantations illegal|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 10 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Environmental activists have called on the Indonesian government to swiftly crack down on plantation companies operating in protected forests, after the country’s highest court ruled such activities illegal.
|The cost of fleeing climate change|
NEW YORK, US, 10 January 2020 (New Yorker) - In the summer of 2015, Shelma Lamy and her infant daughter, Neslina, got on a plane in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, and flew to northwest Arkansas.
|The conventional wisdom on China's island bases is wrong|
WASHINGTON, US, 10 January 2020 (War on the Rocks) - The main purpose of China’s artificial islands is not to help fight a war against the United States. Beijing’s primary strategy in the South China Sea is to use civilian and paramilitary pressure to coerce its Southeast Asian neighbors into abandoning their rights.
|Indonesian officials wield sharia law in defense of Sumatran rhinos|
EAST LAMPUNG, Indonesia, 10 January 2020 (Mongabay) - The government of the Indonesian province of Aceh, notorious for public canings carried out under sharia law, plans to put that same strict Islamic jurisprudence to work protecting what’s thought to be the last viable population of wild Sumatran rhinos on Earth.
|U.S. seeks to squeeze Cuba by further curbing flights to island|
WASHINGTON, US, 10 January 2020 (Reuters) - The United States is curbing public charter flights to Cuba in a further effort to squeeze the Cuban government’s income, the U.S. State Department said on Friday, prompting an outcry from officials in Havana.
|Low-lying islands at the forefront of climate change|
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 10 January 2020 (CB) - In Hawaii, all levels of government have begun planning for sea level rise and other impacts of climate change. A number of important policies are under revision including building restrictions along the coast, permit conditions in areas exposed to future sea level rise flooding, and new design requirements for public infrastructure projects.
|Welcome to Hawaii's 'plastic beach'|
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 10 January 2020 (Guardian) - Kamilo Beach, located on Hawaii’s Big Island, has been called one of the most plastic-polluted spots on Earth.
|Turks and Caicos corals face major threat|
LONDON, UK, 10 January 2020 (BBC) - From the air, the turquoise hues of the Turks and Caicos Islands' vast barrier reef appear as an expanse of blistering beauty. But underneath the water's stunning surface lurks a deadly disease, silently ravaging the corals which keep its denizens alive and protect the islands' pristine coastline from storms and erosion.
|Taiwan election: How Tsai stayed one step ahead|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 10 January 2020 (BBC) - Taiwan's first female President Tsai Ing-wen is a thorn in mainland China's side and this may have worked to her advantage ahead of Saturday's general election.
|Philippine fern efficiently absorbs copper and arsenic|
MANILA, Philippines, 9 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Filipino scientists have discovered what might be the next big indigenous plant material for rehabilitating a mining site teeming with copper and arsenic - and it’s a largely ignored local fern.
|New songbirds discovered on tiny islands|
LONDON, UK, 9 January 2020 (Guardian) - Ten new songbird species and subspecies have been identified on a trio of previously under-explored Indonesian islands in the largest discovery of its kind in more than a century, according to a new study.
|Inaugural Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day |
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 9 January 2020 (The Gleaner) - Since the 1960s, Jamaica has supplied Japan with high-quality Blue Mountain coffee beans, so It’s no surprise then that last January, in 2019, it was announced that in partnership with Japan, our largest coffee export market, January 9 would thenceforth be celebrated by the islands as Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day.
|Puerto Rico earthquake: Two-thirds of island still without power|
LONDON, UK, 9 January 2020 (BBC) - Two-thirds of Puerto Rico is still without power, and a quarter is without running water, after a series of earthquakes this week. At least one person died and 300 homes were destroyed in a 6.4-magnitude quake and 6.0 aftershock on Tuesday.
|Indonesia equips forest rangers with guns |
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 9 January 2020 (AFP) - Forest rangers in Indonesia's Aceh province will be equipped with guns in the battle against illegal logging, an environmental agency official said Thursday.
|Indonesia President visits islands also claimed by China|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 8 January 2020 (AP) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday reaffirmed his country's sovereignty during a visit to a group of islands at the edge of the South China Sea that China claims as its traditional fishing area.
|Marine Protected Areas: May or may not include actual protection|
VICTORIA, Canada, 7 January 2020 (Hakai) - Sarah Dudas is in a race against time. Before the high tide returns, she and her fellow researchers are determined to survey the marine life clinging to the intertidal zone of Goose Island - a small island off the remote central coast of British Columbia.
|Why are so many earthquakes happening in Puerto Rico?|
NEW YORK, US, 7 January 2020 (NYT) - Puerto Rico has been trembling for more than a week. An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 struck off the coast of the island at 4:24 a.m. local time on Tuesday, according to the United States Geological Survey. That came after a week of smaller tremors clustered in the same area offshore.
|How a plant saved a Japanese island|
LONDON, UK, 7 January 2020 (BBC) - For centuries, residents on a far-flung Japanese island have survived hardships by consuming a highly toxic plant. Now, this deadly delicacy is at risk of dying off.
|Trashing the Islands: Tossing, forgetting no longer viable|
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 6 January 2020 (HPR) - Nearly five years ago, Hawaii Public Radio reported a series of stories about the state of garbage around the islands. This week and next, we’re going back for another look in a series we’re calling “Trashing the Islands.”
|Emergency on Japan's 'lucky island'|
TOKYO, Japan, 6 January 2020 (JT) - It’s golden hour on Iki, a pristine island in southwestern Japan. A gentle breeze cools the day to a perfect 24 degrees Celsius. The roads are clean, the trees are green, a playground sits atop a grassy hill. Locals call Iki a “lucky island” because it’s rarely affected by natural disasters, yet last year Iki became the first place in Japan to declare a climate emergency.
|Kangaroo Island fires: Farmers shoot injured sheep|
LONDON, UK, 5 January 2020 (Guardian) - Farmers on Kangaroo Island were shooting fire-injured sheep on Sunday as the small community prepared for more dangerous days ahead when hot weather returns in the middle of the week.
|Logging is ripping apart the Solomon Islands|
MARASA, Solomon Islands, 3 January 2020 (NatGeog) - It was mid-February 2018 when villagers in the Solomon Islands community of Marasa noticed the rivers had begun to turn red.
|Australia's bushfires push countless species to extinction|
LONDON, UK, 3 January 2020 (Guardian) - Close to the Western River on Kangaroo Island, Pat Hodgens had set up cameras to snap the island’s rare dunnart – a tiny mouse-like marsupial that exists nowhere else on the planet. Now, after two fires ripped through the site a few days ago, those cameras – and likely many of the Kangaroo Island dunnarts – are just charred hulks.
|Falklands releases socio-economic impact report|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 3 January 2020 (MercoPress) - The socio-economic impact of oil and gas development in the Falkland Islands has been the subject of a Government report. This is in anticipation of significant economic activity that will be generated by the potential development of the Sea Lion oilfield as well as planned capital projects.
|Call for subsidies of northern Cook Islands' shipping|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 3 January 2020 (RNZ) - The expansion of solar energy services in the northern Cook Islands has undermined the shipping service according to a former cabinet minister. "There's no diesel to be taken across to run the power generators and so the shipping service has become less and less important."
|Good news stories of community and reuse in 2019|
LOPEZ ISLAND, US, 3 January 2020 (Islands' Weekly) - The “Recycle Dogs” as their logoed hardhats identify them, speak about their work as “half anger management therapy, half free gym workout.”
|The seaweed-eating sheep that belch in a good way|
LONDON, UK, 3 January 2020 (BBC) - The northernmost Orkney island, North Ronaldsay, is home to just 50 people and 2,000 sheep. Since the 19th Century, when islanders built a stone wall to confine the flock to the shoreline, it has survived on seaweed alone - and it now seems that this special diet could hold the key to greener, more climate-friendly livestock farming.
|Ravenous wild goats ruled this island for over a century|
REDONDA, Antigua, 2 January 2020 (NatGeog) - This tiny, secluded island in the Caribbean West Indies, an imposing piece of old volcano ringed by hundred-foot cliffs, is covered with bushes and knee-high grass that can obscure some of the unusual species that call it home.
|From trash to cash|
PATTANI, Thailand, 2 January 2020 (Mongabay) - A university team in Thailand named “Tlejourn” has created a profitable product from discarded flip-flops. Of the 5.25 trillion pieces of trash floating in the ocean, old flip-flops are one of the most commonly found items.
|Much more needs to be done to stop plastic polluters|
LONDON, UK, 2 January 2020 (Guardian) - The beach at Muncar on the island of Java was revolting. The 400-yard wide, mile-long stretch of sand was feet deep in foul-smelling sauce sachets, shopping bags, nappies, bottles and bags, plastic clothes and detergent bottles.
|Environmental damage exacerbates Jakarta flooding|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 2 January 2020 (Mongabay) - Flash floods triggered by the heaviest rains ever recorded in Jakarta wreaked havoc across the Indonesian capital Jakarta and its satellite cities on the first day of the new year. Authorities have attributed much of the damage from the disaster, in which at least 19 people have died, to years of environmental degradation.
|How long will a volcanic island live?|
CAMBRIDGE, US, 1 January 2020 (MIT) - When a hot plume of rock rises through the Earth’s mantle to puncture the overlying crust, it can create not only a volcanic ocean island, but also a swell in the ocean floor hundreds to thousands of kilometers long.
|Concerns about Rio Tinto's Madagascar mine|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 31 December 2019 (Mongabay) - The Rio Tinto-owned QMM mine in southeast Madagascar could be polluting water sources in the region with radioactive contaminants, activists say.
|Balancing short and long term interests vital for Sri Lanka|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 31 December 2019 (Mongabay) - Sri Lanka enters 2020 at a time of political transition. With a new president in office and a parliamentary election due in the next few months, public and media focus is on near term politics.
|Habitat loss drives deadly conflict in Indonesia's tiger country|
PALEMBANG, Indonesia, 30 December 2019 (Mongabay) - A spate of recent tiger attacks on farmers in Indonesia’s South Sumatra province has renewed calls from experts to protect wildlife habitats from development projects that threaten to further fragment forests.
|Mousetraps handed out to sailors at San Clemente Island hotel|
CORONADO, US, 30 December 2019 (LA Times) - A rodent infestation at naval facilities on San Clemente Island was more widespread than previously reported and, at its peak, an official on the island threatened to close a key housing facility if something wasn’t done to fix the problem, emails show.
|Taiwan's citizens battle pro-China fake news campaigns|
LONDON, UK, 30 December 2019 (Guardian) - Citizen groups in Taiwan are fighting a Russian-style influence and misinformation campaign that is believed to originate across the strait in mainland China with just weeks to go before it votes for its next president.
|National islands plan launched in bid to improve quality of life|
GLASGOW, UK, 28 December 2019 (The National) - In a document published yesterday, the Scottish Government listed the 13 objectives, including improving public utilities such as housing, transport and digital connectivity, and boosting health and social care services.
|Love triangle complicates efforts to breed Sumatran rhinos|
EAST LAMPUNG, Indonesia. 27 December 2019 (Mongabay) - Efforts to breed the critically endangered Sumatran rhino in captivity have faced myriad challenges ranging from mysterious deaths and reproductive health problems to bureaucratic hurdles.
|UK accused of 'crimes against humanity' by Mauritius|
LONDON, UK, 27 December 2019 (BBC) - The UK has been accused of committing "crimes against humanity" for refusing to allow people to return to their former homes on the Chagos Islands, despite a ruling earlier this year by the United Nation's highest court.
|McDonald's opens on French island after five-year legal battle|
PARIS, France, 27 December 2019 (The Local) - It was the end of a five-year legal battle involving the regional authorities and the court of appeal, but on Thursday a McDonald's opened on the Ile d'Oleron, a small island just off La Rochelle in the Charente-Maritime.
|Marshall Islands push for better tuna data|
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 27 December 2019 (RNZ) - Despite millions of pounds of tuna transshipped through Pacific island ports, nobody has a precise count of the tonnage.
|Taiwan authorities bust illegal logging ring|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 26 December 2019 (The Diplomat) - Authorities on the island have long fought forest poachers, known colloquially as “mountain rats,” who traverse the mountains searching for the coveted wood of endangered trees.
|The island struggling to secure its future|
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, 26 December 2019 (BBC) - The chairman of Puerto Rico's Medical Technology Industry Association is recalling the events of 20 September 2017, when the Caribbean island was struck by Hurricane Maria.
|Philippines counts cost of deadly storm|
LONDON, UK, 26 December 2019 (BBC) - Typhoon Phanfone has killed at least 13 people in the Philippines, leaving a trail of devastation through the centre of the country.
|There's only one tree on Sable Island|
HALIFAX, Canada, 25 December 2019 (CBC) - The scruffy, gnarled tree poking out of the dunes on Sable Island is a testament to tenacity and days before Christmas, the island's skeleton-crew staff braved the elements to decorate the lonesome pine for the holidays.
|Indonesians riding the waves to beat tsunami trauma|
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 24 December 2019 (AFP) - Surfboard tucked under his arm, Dery Setyawan sprints into the crashing waves. It is not just a physical challenge but an emotional one -- most of his family and friends were swept to their deaths when a tsunami hit these shores 15 years ago.