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How Denmark's Samso island switched to zero carbon
LONDON, UK, 23 February 2017 (Guardian) - Anyone doubting the potential of renewable energy need look no further than the Danish island of Samsø.

How a Pacific island changed from diesel to 100% solar power
TA'U, American Samoa, 23 February 2017 (NatGeog) - On a recent Wednesday evening on the island of Ta’u - one of the outer islands in American Samoa - most of the people in all three villages are at pese - or church choir - practice.

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage on Philippine miners
MANILA, Philippines, 23 February 2017 (AFP) - After two decades as a yoga missionary, Philippine Environment Secretary Regina Lopez is unleashing her inner rage on the mining industry while aiming for Bhutan-style gross national happiness.

Marked albatross part of Auckland Islands study
DUNEDIN, New Zealand, 23 February 2017 (ODT) - Two hundred white-capped albatross on the Auckland Islands have been dotted with purple stock markings and banded in an attempt to gather more information on the survival rates of the mid-size albatross, often known as a mollymawk.

Study finds more than 350k trees illegally felled in Madagascar
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 23 February 2017 (Mongabay) - A study released this month by TRAFFIC, an NGO that monitors the wildlife trade, finds that governance has been so lacking in the forests of Madagascar in recent years that hundreds of thousands of trees have been illegally cut down in protected areas.

Oceans and SIDS: First think opportunity, then think blue
NEW YORK, US, 22 February 2017 (UNDP) - SIDS are thinking differently, especially when it comes to the ocean. Their self-characterization as Large Ocean States is more than symbolic, more than just words.  It represents a re-think on opportunities and challenges for small island states.

Scotland’s island councils set to win new powers
EDINBURGH, UK, 22 February 2017 (Scotsman) - A bill handing more powers to Scotland’s three island councils is expected to pass through the Scottish Parliament in May following a four year campaign for greater recognition of remote communities.

Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
SALT LAKE CITY, US, 22 February 2017 (SPX) - A small marine cone snail common to the Caribbean may offer an alternative to opioids for pain relief from a compound isolated from its venom.

China close to finishing buildings on South China Sea islands
LONDON, UK, 22 February 2017 (Guardian) - China, in an early test of US President Donald Trump, is nearly finished building almost two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea that appear designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles according to two US officials .

How art site revitalized a cluster of Japanese islands
NEW YORK, US, 21 February 2017 (Architectural Digest) - Founded in 1989, the Benesse Art Site Naoshima continues to grow and develop, with new installations coming to some of the islands, including Teshima and Inujima.

Discovering the remarkable nature of Sao Tome and Principe
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 21 February 2017 (BirdLife) - On first inspection, the Sao Tome Grosbeak  might appear drab, unassuming, maybe even unremarkable. But first impressions can be deceiving. It is in fact one of the most endangered bird species on the planet.

25,000 seabirds die in southern cone fisheries every year
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 21 February 2017 (BirdLife) - Albatross species from the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Chilean islands are inadvertently being drowned through striking trawl cables at sea or getting caught in nets. 

Lemur facial recognition tool developed
LONDON, UK, 21 February 2017 (BBC) - A team of researchers has developed a facial recognition system that can identify individual lemurs in the wild with high levels of accuracy.

Singapore’s wild bird trade threatens exotic species
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 20 February 2017 (Mongabay) - Singapore has historically been a major hub for bird trade. But the trade, largely poorly managed, threatens exotic species, according to a new study.

Making the deep blue sea green again
NEW YORK, US, 20 February 2017 (IPS) - Kids growing up in the Seychelles think of the ocean as their backyard, says Ronald Jean Jumeau, the Seychelles ambassador to the UN.

Images of new bleaching on GBR heighten fears of coral death
LONDON, UK, 19 February 2017 (Guardian) - The embattled Great Barrier Reef could face yet more severe coral bleaching in the coming month, with areas badly hit by last year’s event at risk of death.

Harsh conditions help force shutdown of Sable Island wind project
HALIFAX, Canada, 19 February 2017 (CBC) - The harsh conditions and extreme isolation of Sable Island has forced Ottawa to abandon a wind project on the iconic crescent-shaped sandbar - more than 15 years after it launched the initiative.

The vintage vessels competing in Antigua's yacht race
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, 19 February 2017 (BBC) - "It's like a Stradivari violin - you have to know how to play her," Gerald Rainier says of his 90-year-old classic yacht Mary Rose.

Wings on King project will reveal environmental health of King Island
LAUNCESTON, Australia, 18 February 2017 (Examiner) - A new initiative to be launched on King Island in April will track the long-term health of the environment to better inform management.

World's oldest wild bird has baby at 66
WASHINGTON, US, 17 February 2017 (NatGeog) - Almost every year for six decades, Wisdom the albatross has laid an egg at her home in the Midway Atoll.

Tourism boosts Iceland's whaling industry
REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 17 February 2017 (Al Jazeera) - Ready to try grilled minke whale skewers, the "Moby Dick on a Stick", as the dish is advertised by The Seabaron restaurant, a British tourist observes, "looks like a Turkish kebab." Taking a bite, he adds, "Tastes indeed like red meat and poor ethics."

Seychelles government steps up ban on plastic
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 17 February 2017 (SNA) - The ban on importation of plastic bags and other items in Seychelles has been in force for more than a month, and officials from the department of environment say they are making sure the island nation adheres to the new regulations.

Seagrasses vital to coastal health
LONDON, UK, 16 February 2017 (BBC) - The importance of seagrasses to the health of coastal ecosystems is underlined in new research conducted around Indonesian atolls.

Galapagos giant tortoises make a comeback
LONDON, UK, 16 February 2017 (The Conversation) - Over the past 200 years, hunting and invasive species reduced giant tortoise populations by an estimated 90 percent, destroying several species and pushing others to the brink of extinction, although a few populations on remote volcanoes remained abundant.

Wilmar grabbed indigenous lands in Sumatra
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 16 February 2017 (Mongabay) - On Jan. 1, 2017, the world’s largest association for ethical palm oil production came to a decision that, if implemented, will allow the Kapa community of West Sumatra, Indonesia, to retain control of their indigenous territory.

RESCCUE: Walking the talk on carbon neutrality in the Pacific
NOUMEA, New Caledonia, 15 February 2017 (SPC) - As part of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, RESCCUE has become the first of its projects to be carbon neutral.

Sri Lanka shines light on public sector governance
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 15 February 2017 (IPS) - Sri Lanka’s long-awaited and much-debated Right to Information (RTI) Act became law this month without much fanfare.

Underwater cave discovery in the Mediterranean
WASHINGTON, US, 15 February 2017 (NatGeog) - On the ceiling of an underwater cave in the Scandola Marine Reserve, Corsica, a team of scientists and conservationists discovered a stunningly pristine population of Mediterranean red coral.

What happened after the Montara oil spill?
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 14 February 2017 (Mongabay) - During 74 days in late 2009, a leak in the Montara offshore drilling platform gushed tens of thousands of barrels of oil into the Timor Sea, a body of water shared by Australia and Indonesia.

Looking at Sardinian DNA for genetic clues to an island's past
PAVIA, Italy, 13 February 2017 (Phys.org) - For evolutionary biologists, islands are often intriguing, geographically isolated pockets with unique populations that can be ripe for exploration.

Indonesia’s last stand for a coal industry in peril
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 13 February 2017 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s coal industry is trying to grow in a hostile climate. As the world moves to cut carbon emissions following the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the global coal industry is feeling the squeeze.

Taiwan lantern makers go green for festival of lights
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 12 February 2017 (AFP) - As Taiwan lights up for the start of its annual lantern festival this weekend, one eco-friendly craftsman is breaking with tradition.

Renewed hope for Dinagat Islands
MANILA, Philippines, 12 February 2017 (PBDM) - Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez has ordered the closure of 23 mining operations and suspended five others for failing mining and environmental standards on February 2.

Faroe Islands to vote on constitution
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 12 February 2017 (Politico) - The Faroe Islands will hold a referendum on a new constitution in 2018, in preparation for a possible national ballot on separating from Denmark.

Peru's guano islands becoming a tourist destination
LIMA, Peru, 10 February 2017 (EFE) - Eco-tourism and adventure tourism are providing the Peruvian Pacific coast and islands with a substitute for the guano trade that was once the region's economic driver.

Iron Age burial gives insights into ancient islanders
LONDON, UK, 10 February 2017 (BBC) - An Iron Age woman's unusual burial is helping an archaeologist to describe the "deep bond" between ancient islanders and the land they lived on.

See how Pacific islanders are living with climate change
WASHINGTON, US, 9 February 2017 (NatGeog) - Global temperatures hit record highs the past three years in a row—and the people of the Pacific have been feeling the effects.

Caribbean wetlands: A natural safeguard against disasters
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 9 February 2017 (UNEP) - The Wider Caribbean possesses rich natural resources that can help to mitigate and even minimize the impact of disasters. One such natural resource is our wetlands.

Fish magnet boom creates headaches in Indonesia
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 9 February 2017 (Mongabay) - Made by human hands, thousands of floating structures that attract fish speckle Indonesian waters throughout the archipelago country.

Equal treatment for EU islands
VALLETTA, Malta, 9 February 2017 (Times of Malta) - The Malta Chamber of Commerce is about to embark on a silent campaign with European counterparts and authorities to allow the same treatment to all islands irrespective of whether they are regions or states.

Philippines seeks US, China help to combat sea pirates
MANILA, Philippines, 8 February 2017 (AFP) - The Philippines is seeking US and Chinese help to guard a major sea lane as Islamic militants shift attacks to international shipping.

Indonesian entrepreneur tackles plastic scourge
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 8 February 2017 (AFP) - From bags washing up on Bali's beaches to food packaging scattered across roads and clogging waterways in cities, Indonesia is facing a plastic waste crisis driven by years of rapid economic growth.

Indonesia moves further from community forestry target
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 8 February 2017 (Mongabay) - When he stood for president in 2014, Joko Widodo promised to give communities living in or near Indonesia’s vast “forest zone” greater control over 12.7 million hectares of land - an area bigger than Pennsylvania.

Exploring the Marquesas Islands
SANTA CRUZ, US, 8 February 2017 (IC) - Island Conservation field staff visit the Marquesas Islands to determine feasibility of restoration projects.

Persistent tropical foraging in the New Guinea highlands
JENA, Germany, 8 February 2017 (SPX) - In tropical New Guinea, where one of the earliest human experiments with agriculture occurred, agriculture apparently never replaced foraging as a primary subsistence strategy.

Taiwan's farmers growing clean energy
LONDON, UK, 8 February 2017 (BBC) - Changing soil conditions means farmers in parts of Southern Taiwan are struggling to grow crops but they've found a lifeline - with their land now playing a role in the island's push to produce more renewable energy.

Face of Orkney's St Magnus reconstructed
LONDON, UK, 8 February 2017 (BBC) - A facial reconstruction has been made of Orkney's St Magnus to help mark the 900th anniversary of his death.

Japan is home to one third of all seabirds
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 7 February 2017 (BirdLife) - A nation comprised of a chain of islands, Japan is blessed with a long and rugged coastline, which is home to a particularly high diversity of seabirds within Asia.

Villages on Flores powered by locally sourced sustainable energy
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 7 February 2017 (Mongabay) - In a country where much of the rural population lives off the grid, villages on the Indonesian island of Flores boast their own renewable energy sources - all built by local communities.

Size matters for MPAs designed to aid coral
ATLANTA, US, 7 February 2017 (SPX) - For marine protected areas established to help coral reefs recover from overfishing, size really does seem to make a difference according to research conducted in Fiji.

Can tourism protect the Great Barrier Reef?
BONN, Germany, 7 February 2017 (DW) - It's a tranquil afternoon on the Whitsunday Islands at the southern end of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

US, EU food standards major hurdle for Caribbean exporters
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, 7 February 2017 (IPS) - As Caricom countries struggle to move away from their traditional reliance on a single industry or major crop in the face of growing economic uncertainty worldwide, they are finding it increasingly difficult to enter markets in the EU and North America with new types of food products.

Railways to debut in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
BENGALURU, India, 7 February 2017 (Swarajya) - The Narendra Modi government has given a green signal for the laying of a 240km broad-gauge railway line connecting two major population centres in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Memorial to recall crofters uprising on Isle of Skye
LONDON, UK, 7 February 2017 (BBC) - A memorial has been proposed by the Staffin Community Trust to recognise a crofters' uprising in the north east of Skye more than 130 years ago.

New species of Gecko sheds skin on demand
WASHINGTON, US, 6 February 2017 (NatGeog) - Meet Geckolepis megalepis, a new species of fish-scaled gecko from Madagascar that can drop its scales on demand - all the way down to the muscle.

Candlelit vigils unite Greenland and Iceland in grief over killing
LONDON, UK, 5 February 2017 (Guardian) - The disappearance of a 20-year-old Icelandic woman, and the detention of a trawlerman from Greenland in connection with her murder, have brought together two of the world’s most sparsely populated countries “in solidarity and sadness”.

Islands on the frontline of a new global flashpoint: China v Japan
ISHIGAKI, Japan, 5 February 2017 (Guardian) - The Chinese flotilla arrived at the start of August, more than 300 fishing boats escorted by 15 vast coastguard ships, some of them armed.

Kangaroo Island tourist resort gets green light
ADELAIDE, Australia, 4 February 2017 (ABC) - A multimillion-dollar luxury tourist resort on Kangaroo Island has been granted planning approval by the South Australian Government, which is predicting the project will create about 400 jobs.

Local residents restore a mangrove forest in Java
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 3 February 2017 (Mongabay) - Forty-five-year-old Mashadi, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, is starting his day in a yard carpeted in mangrove seedlings.

Gerard Island brings 100 Wild Islands protected land up to 85%
HALIFAX, Canada, 3 February 2017 (ChronicleHerald) - The Nova Scotia Nature Trust announced Friday it has protected 40 acres of conservation land on Gerard Island, bringing 85 per cent of the Eastern Shore’s archipelago into the 100 Wild Islands conservation area.

Sri Lanka arrests seven over conch theft
LONDON, UK, 3 February 2017 (BBC) - Police in eastern Sri Lanka have seized a rare right-handed conch shell which they suspect was going to be sold illegally.

Will turtles and tourism always be at loggerheads?
LONDON, UK, 3 February 2017 (Guardian) - Zakynthos has some fascinating wildlife, but the Greek island’s biggest stars, its loggerhead turtles, are dying out – partly because of their popularity.

Rising carbon emissions could kill off vital corals by 2100
LONDON, UK, 3 February 2017 (Guardian) - The destruction of coral reefs worldwide could accelerate as rising carbon emissions help coral-killing seaweeds grow more poisonous and take over, according to researchers.

South Pacific islands ban western junk food and go organic
LONDON, UK, 3 February 2017 (Guardian) - Torba province, part of Vanuatu, aims to impose restrictions on the import of western foodstuffs and instead take advantage of its productive agricultural land and rich natural resources.

How smartphones are proving clickbait for fishermen
LONDON, UK, 2 February 2017 (BBC) - Braving the choppy waters of the South Atlantic four days a week, fisherman David Shoshola says a mobile phone app is helping him worry less about the risk of not being able to support his family.

The Philippines declares more than 100,000 acres as critical habitat
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 2 February 2017 (Mongabay) - In November last year, the Philippines declared its largest critical habitat yet. Located in the long, narrow island of Palawan, the new Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat is spread across more than 100,000 acres.

The vet who euthanised herself in Taiwan
LONDON, UK, 2 February 2017 (BBC) - A new law banning animal euthanasia is set to take force in Taiwan. It comes almost a year after the shocking suicide of a vet overwhelmed by grief at the plight of stray animals.

Drilling into heart of Iceland volcano complete
LONDON, UK, 1 February 2017 (BBC) - An attempt to drill into the heart of a volcano in the south-west of Iceland is now complete.

Protecting Marine Protected Areas
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 1 February 2017 (Mongabay) - To improve awareness and management of MPAs, a team of technology experts, mapping specialists, and lawyers partnered with private enterprises and NOAA to make it easier and more affordable for MPAs to live up to their names.

On Scottish islands, a generation caught between past and future
WASHINGTON, US, 1 February 2017 (NatGeog) - A quick online search of the Western Isles, also known as the Outer Hebrides, reveals no shortage of dreamy imagery.

Cuba gets electric cars
MIAMI, US, 1 February 2017 (ENS) - A Miami-based automotive export company has received the first approval from the U.S. government to ship American-made electric cars to Cuba.

IEA wins contract for Seychelles renewable energy programme
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 1 February 2017 (Nation) - The Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA) has been chosen to lead a major renewable energy project for the government of Seychelles, using its world-leading expertise in data analytics and visualisation.

The cousins from Indonesia who revived an ancient spring
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 1 February 2017 (Mongabay) - On the eastern Indonesian island of Flores, verdant bamboo groves and thickets of tall mahogany and teak trees today carpet once bare hills. The young forest is the handiwork of two cousins.

Seeds are key to improving bean production in Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, 31 January 2017 (IPS) - “You have to have good and varied seeds to test which one adapts best to each kind of soil,” says 71-year-old farmer Rubén Torres, who on his farm in central Cuba harvests 1.6 tons of organic beans every year, among other crops.

Doves are returning home to tiny island of Socorro
WASHINGTON, US, 31 January 2017 (NPR) - In the coming year, scientists are hoping to reintroduce the Socorro dove to Socorro Island, a place where the bird has died out.

Bay of Bengal: depleted fish stocks and huge dead zone
LONDON, UK, 31 January 2017 (Guardian) - Long treated as a bottomless resource pit, over-exploitation of the ocean, pollution and rising sea levels are having a catastrophic impact on life in the bay.

Solomon Islands Government pushes for Gold Ridge mine to reopen
SYDNEY, Australia, 31 January 2017 (ABC) - The Solomon Islands Government says it is planning to reopen the gold mine that was controversially sold to local landowners by an Australian miner in 2015 for $100.

Vietnam and the South China Sea’s roiled waters
CANBERRA, Australia, 30 January 2017 (APPS) - Vietnam’s military activities in the South China Sea, while not on the same scale as China’s, pre-date them considerably and are squarely aimed at maintaining a balance of power in the region.

Kiribati mulls proposal to restore Russian monarchy
LONDON, UK, 30 January 2017 (BBC) - The government of Kiribati is considering a proposal from a businessman who wants to revive the Russian monarchy on the Pacific state's territory.

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh face relocation to island
LONDON, UK, 30 January 2017 (BBC) - The Bangladesh government is moving to relocate tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees to a vulnerable island in the Bay of Bengal.

Restoring native plants boosts pollination
LONDON, UK, 30 January 2017 (BBC) - Removing invasive exotic plants from natural areas can act as a boost for wildlife, a study carried out on the tropical island of Mahé in the Seychelles suggests.

Philippines to suspend drug war to clean up corrupt police
LONDON, UK, 30 January 2017 (BBC) - Philippine police are suspending their controversial war on drugs until after the "corrupt" police force has been "cleansed".

Turks and Caicos: Where women hold the top jobs
LONDON, UK, 29 January 2017 (BBC) - December saw the election of the first female premier of the tiny British territory of Turks & Caicos. She is Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson.

History, harmony, and the only Muslim island in Australia
LONDON, UK, 29 January 2017 (Guardian) - We pull up to the front of the mosque in Nek Su’s golf cart. Through the open window I see him join thirty men in bright robes and embroidered Taqiyah head coverings as they kneel to face the Kaaba cube in Mecca.

The battle for Greenland's uranium
LONDON, UK, 28 January 2017 (Guardian) - It is a beautiful morning on the southern tip of Greenland; the sun is high in a cloudless sky, but there is a tang of cold in the air.

Furneaux Maritime History Association push for museum
SYDNEY, Australia, 27 January 2017 (ABC) - Tasmania's rich maritime history can be seen in the wrecks dotted around almost every treacherous stretch of the coastline, but the Furneaux Group of islands in Bass Strait is especially notorious for leaving vessels in ruin.

EU-Turkey refugee deal overburdens Greek islands
SAMOS, Greece, 27 January 2017 (DW) - When Mohammed from Iraq arrived at the refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos with his family, they had nowhere to stay.

Britain takes over Commonwealth operations from Dominica baroness
LONDON, UK, 27 January 2017 (Caribbean News Now) - Sir Simon Gass, a recently retired senior official with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has been appointed acting chief operating officer at the Commonwealth Secretariat, in an attempt by the British government to shore up the troubled organisation amid concerns over the leadership of Dominica-born Baroness Patricia Scotland.

Loss of wind subsidy risks £700 million Western Isles economic revival
STORNOWAY, UK, 26 January 2017 (Hebridean News) - The Western Isles stand to lose hundreds of millions of pounds if the UK government rejects granting subsidies to island wind farms, warns EDF Energy Renewables, as it reveals figures from a new report.

New coco de mer holographic tags introduced in Seychelles
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 26 January 2017 (SNA) - Seychelles is introducing a new holographic coco de mer tag and permit system aimed at curbing counterfeits and protecting the endemic species, said a top official from the department of environment.

World Bank loans support high-carbon development in Indonesia
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 26 January 2017 (Mongabay) - Despite their stated aim of boosting low-carbon growth, World Bank policy loans to countries like Indonesia are creating subsidies for coal, gas and oil projects, according to a report released today by the nonprofit Bank Information Center.

Uist Wool to become a social enterprise
LONDON, UK, 26 January 2017 (BBC) - A community benefit society set up to revive the traditional wool industry in parts of the Western Isles is to become a trading social enterprise.