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|The great koala rescue operation|
WASHINGTON, US, 27 May 2020 (Smithsonian) - I arrived on Kangaroo Island bracing myself for the sight of acres of blackened trees and white ash, but I had not expected the parasitic bright green vines wrapped around almost every charred trunk, glowing phosphorescent in the sunlight.
|Pacific islands threatened by COVID-19|
WASHINGTON, US, 27 May 2020 (IMF) - Already among the most remote countries on earth, Pacific island states saw their vital economic links weakened in recent months with the evaporation of tourism, severe disruptions to international trade, and a reduction in remittances.
|A new sanctuary for the Sumatran rhino is delayed|
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 27 May 2020 (Mongabay) - A much-anticipated plan to establish a new rhino-breeding sanctuary in northern Sumatra is one of many that has been put on hold in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Cyprus to pay holiday costs of infected tourists|
LONDON, UK, 27 May 2020 (BBC) - Cyprus has pledged to cover the holiday costs of anyone who tests positive for the virus after travelling there. It is part of a package of measures aimed at drawing visitors back to the island, which has reported few cases.
|Doctors use GPS, dinghies to screen Greek islands for virus|
SIKINOS, Greece, 27 May 2020 (AP) - Using dinghies, GPS and a portable refrigerator, doctors deployed by Greece’s national public health agency have launched a coronavirus testing drive on the country’s Aegean Sea islands ahead of the summer vacation season.
|UK Met Office's alarming warning on climate|
LONDON, UK, 27 May 2020 (Guardian) - The human fingerprint on the climate is now unmistakable and will become increasingly evident over the coming decades, the UK Met Office has confirmed after 30 years of pioneering study.
|New research station protects Madagascar forest from the inside out|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 26 May 2020 (BirdLife) - Geographical isolation and rugged terrain have given rise to astounding wildlife within Madagascar’s Tsitongambarika Forest, but have also made it difficult to reach and protect – until recently. Introducing Ampasy Research Station: a hub for community support and enabling forest conservation from the inside out.
|Drone to deliver masks to Isle of Mull hospital|
LONDON, UK, 26 May 2020 (BBC) - Drone technology is to be used to deliver protective equipment to a hospital on a Scottish island. Over the next two weeks, masks and a dummy cargo will be flown between Oban in mainland Argyll and the Isle of Mull.
|Indonesia: Alone in a sinking village|
LONDON, UK, 26 May 2020 (BBC) - The village of Bedono, Central Java was once home to more than 200 families. But now, it's under water as the island is taken over by rising sea levels, and only one family still lives there.
|A new app for Sri Lankans to report environmental crimes|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 25 May 2020 (Mongabay) - A newly developed mobile app by a conservation group in Sri Lanka offers citizens a quick and easy platform to anonymously report environmental crimes relating to forests and wetlands.
|Caribbean tourism struggles as visitors stay home|
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, 25 May 2020 (BBC) - The absence of holidaymakers due to the Covid-19 pandemic is keenly felt on Antigua for which, like many of its Caribbean island counterparts, tourism has long been its breadbasket.
|Maldives announce their strategy to revive the tourism sector|
STOCKPORT, UK, 25 May 2020 (Tourism Review) - The popular island paradise has announced how it intends to reopen itself to the very important tourism industry. In doing so, they want to focus above all on the (health) safety of their guests. This is not wrong in principle. But the list of conditions and especially the prices are a bit steep and seems to be the tool of government enrichment.
|Funding for feasibility study into island line extension|
RYDE, UK, 23 May 2020 (Island Echo) - UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced this afternoon that the Isle of Wight is to receive funding to conduct a feasibility study into extending the Island Line railway network to Newport and Ventnor.
|Canary Islands reopen to tourists - offering sun, sea, sand and safety|
MADRID, Spain, 23 May 2020 (Guardian) - They’ve picked apart the holiday experience, lingering on moments such as breakfast buffets, poolside lounging and golf tee times. As officials in Spain’s Canary Islands gear up to receive tourists as early as July, every aspect of travel is being recast against the backdrop of Covid-19.
|Indonesian levee project serves industry over community|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 22 May 2020 (Mongabay) - A highway and levee project touted as a solution to coastal flooding in communities along the north coast of Indonesia’s Java Island will shortchange those very communities and benefit manufacturing companies, according to a new study.
|Deaths, arrests and protests as Philippines re-emerges from lockdown|
MANILA, Philippines, 21 May 2020 (Mongabay) - The Philippines’ COVID-19 lockdown has exacerbated threats to activists fighting for their lands and their environment, with least 10 land defenders swept up in a series of arrests by security forces during the two-month lockdown period. Another defender, who was providing relief aid, was shot and killed by unknown assailants.
|Sri Lanka's lockdown leads to decline in air, sea pollution|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 21 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Air pollution in Sri Lanka’s urban areas has decreased by up to 75% during the lockdown imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while plastic pollution and other forms of marine pollution have decreased by up to 40% along the island’s coastline, authorities say.
|Evidence that fish flourish in Madagascar LMMA offers hope|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 21 May 2020 (Mongabay) - New research from Madagascar offers a glimmer of hope that locally managed marine areas (LMMAs), an alternative to conventional government-managed marine protected areas (MPAs), could help secure the richness of the seas.
|Pacific warned of seabed mining's irreversible impacts|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 21 May 2020 (RNZ) - A new report, 'Predicting the impacts of mining of deep sea polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean', is a fusion of more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific and other articles that warns of irreversible damage to the marine environment.
|Calls for end to business with paper giant APP|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 21 May 2020 (Mongabay) - A coalition of 90 NGOs has published an open letter urging investors and buyers to stop doing business with Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of the world’s biggest paper producers, in light of its ongoing disputes with communities in Sumatra.
|Madagascar's tourism drought could fuel another crisis|
WASHINGTON, US, 20 May 2020 (NatGeog) - A cruel irony hangs over Madagascar, a massive island about 250 miles off the east coast of Africa. In this wonderland of biodiversity and bucket-list destination for travelers, the very thing that has defined it - isolation - could be its undoing.
|A visual dispatch from one of the world's most remote islands|
NEW YORK, US. 20 May 2020 (NYT) - The six-by-six-mile volcanic island of Tristan da Cunha (the main island of an archipelago bearing the same name) sits in the remote waters of the South Atlantic, roughly equidistant from South Africa and Brazil, and about 1,500 miles from its nearest neighbor, the island of St. Helena.
|Denmark plans to create energy islands in Baltic and North Sea|
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 20 May 2020 (Reuters) - Denmark on Wednesday proposed a more than tripling of its offshore wind capacity by building two energy islands linked to new wind farms in the Baltic and North seas to help to meet climate change targets.
|Svalbard's entire expedition cruise season could be in jeopardy|
KIRKENES, Norway, 20 May 2020 (IBO) - The 2020 summer cruise season, from June to August, was supposed to be an all-time high for expedition cruising to Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, some of the busiest waters for high-end tourism in the circumpolar Arctic.
|Climate change is turning parts of Antarctica green, say scientists|
LONDON, UK, 20 May 2020 (Guardian) - Almost two-thirds of the green algal blooms were found on small, low-lying islands around the north of the Antarctic peninsula, which has experienced some of the most intense heating in the world, with new temperature records being set this summer.
|Chatham Islands offers 'overseas' holiday during Covid crisis|
OTAGO, New Zealand, 20 May 2020 (RNZ) - The Chatham Islands is the closest most New Zealanders can get to international travel without packing their passport. With the country's border heavily restricted due to the Covid-19 crisis, Chatham Islands tourism operators are hoping they'll see more Kiwis take a trip "overseas" to visit their archipelago.
|Taiwan president hits back at China amid Covid-19 success|
LONDON, UK, 20 May 2020 (Guardian) - Taiwan will not accept attempts by China to “downgrade” its status, its president has said in an inauguration speech that celebrated the island’s successful fight against the coronavirus and pledged to stand up to pressure from Beijing.
|EU pledges to raise 20bn euros a year to boost biodiversity|
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 20 May 2020 (Guardian) - The European Commission has committed to protecting 30% of the EU’s land and oceans by 2030 as part of the European Green Deal, in a plan tentatively welcomed by environment groups who warned far-reaching ambitions must not only exist “on paper”.
|EU plan for 3bn trees in 10 years to tackle biodiversity crisis|
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 19 May 2020 (Guardian) - The European commission will launch a sweeping effort to tackle the global biodiversity crisis on Wednesday, including a call for 3bn trees to be planted in the EU by 2030 and a plan to better protect the continent’s last primeval forests.
|PNG undersea mining law close|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 19 May 2020 (RNZ) - The Papua New Guinea Deputy Prime Minister, Davis Steven, says the government will announce a new policy to manage maritime resources soon. This comes after the collapse of Solwara 1 in the Bismarck Sea, a project intended as a world first in deep sea mining by the Canadian company Nautilus Minerals.
|Backpackers who stayed on Lord Howe Island amid Covid-19|
PORT MACQUARIE, Australia, 19 May 2020 (ABC) - White sands, crystal blue waters and a small coronavirus-free community of 350 people: The choice facing a group of backpackers on Lord Howe Island has been to stay and wait it out or go home, likely at great personal and financial cost.
|Dengue fever another blow for the Pacific Islands|
GENEVA, Switzerland, 19 May 2020 (IFRC) - As the Pacific Islands battle to keep Covid-19 out, and continues to reel from the aftermath of the Tropical Cyclone Harold, they are fighting another battle; Dengue Fever. More than 4,000 cases of dengue fever have been reported in both Fiji and the Marshall Islands, but several more islands are at risk.
|Polish YouTube star isolating on Socotra|
ATLANTA, US, 19 May 2020 (CNN) - Eva zu Beck arrived March 11 on Socotra - an island with an ecosystem so unique it's often referred to as the "Galapagos of the Indian Ocean" - along with 40 other international tourists to take part in Socotra's first-ever marathon event and was due to stay for two weeks.
|How Pacific islands kept coronavirus at bay|
TOKYO, Japan, 19 May 2020 (DW) - While the rest of the world struggles to control the coronavirus outbreak, the isolated islands of the Pacific have managed to keep their populations safe – in part due to lessons learned from previous health crises.
|SIDS DOCK and GRID-Arendal announce strategic partnership |
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 19 May 2020 (Nation) - SIDS DOCK has signed an agreement with GRID-Arendal to collaborate on the promotion of nature-based solutions and technologies for the sustainable use and management of marine resources to support the economic and livelihoods systems of the populations of small islands and low-lying developing countries.
|Indonesia's new rice plan could echo an epic past failure|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 19 May 2020 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government plans to establish 900,000 hectares (2.2 million acres) of rice fields in the peatlands of Borneo, in what experts say is a worrying repeat of a near-identical project in the 1990s that failed.
|A Philippine island locked down, but its mine didn't|
ANTIQUE, Philippines, 18 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Calls are mounting for an investigation into ongoing coal-mining activity on Semirara Island in the central Philippines, amid a series of confirmed COVID-19 cases originating from the site.
|New outcomes report for SIDS|
NAIROBI, Kenya, 18 May 2020 (UNEP) - Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such as the Caribbean Island of Grenada, face a double exposure to external economic and environmental shocks. This has been made painfully clear by the economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic that has, among other things, crippled the tourism industry upon which many SIDS depends. Tourism accounts for almost 30% of SIDS gross domestic product.
|Indonesian miners eyeing electric vehicle nickel boom|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 18 May 2020 (Mongabay) - As Indonesia ramps up its nickel-mining sector to feed the world’s hunger for zero-emission vehicles, it is faced with a problem: what to do with all the waste. Now, companies are seeking permission to dump billions of tons of potentially toxic waste, or tailings, into the waters of the Coral Triangle.
|An island in debt|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 18 May 2020 (Newsroom) - With Cook Island tourism in tatters, small operators are struggling to service the loans that funded a pre-Covid-19 development boom. With fears many locals could lose their businesses to wealthy foreign investors, the government is looking at all the options - including a deal with NZ’s Reserve Bank.
|Rights groups call for Fiji to investigate alleged prison beatings|
LONDON, UK, 18 May 2020 (Guardian) - International human rights groups have called on Fiji to launch an independent investigation into the commissioner of corrections, Francis Kean, after allegations from former officers that he routinely ordered the beating and mistreatment of prisoners.
|Covid-19 across the ESIN Islands: A Snapshot |
WESTPORT, Ireland, 18 May 2020 (ESIN) - While it is true that there are differences in how European countries are handling the Covid-19 emergency, there are commonalities. All agree that, at least one day in the future, life will follow a “new normal” and will be forever changed both positively and negatively.
|Quiet times on Inishbofin|
CORK, Ireland, 17 May 2020 (Irish Examiner) - Like all other Irish islands, there’s no Covid-19 on Inishbofin which is a great credit to the islanders including those who run businesses and which are sorely in need of customers.
|Why Taiwan won't have a seat at the virus talks|
LONDON, UK, 17 May 2020 (BBC) - For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, health officials will come together (virtually) next week at the World Health Assembly to decide how the world should tackle the crisis. But one of the places that's been most successful at protecting its people from the disease will not be invited to this meeting.
|Climate change threatens Rose Atoll National Wildlife Refuge|
ARLINGTON, US, 16 May 2020 (PBS) - One of the biggest impacts of climate change will be on islands and coastal regions. That includes Rose Atoll Marine National Monument, an uninhabited island and protected sanctuary for dozens of bird species in the U.S. territory of American Samoa.
|As COVID-19 pandemic deepens, CITES faces an identity crisis|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 15 May 2020 (Mongabay) - While many conservation groups jumped at the chance the COVID-19 pandemic offered to highlight the link between pandemics and wildlife exploitation, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Secretariat appeared to distance itself from the crisis, drawing criticism and scrutiny.
|Scientists in Australia find way to make coral more heat-resistant|
LONDON, UK, 14 May 2020 (BBC) - Rising sea temperatures make corals expel tiny algae which live inside them. This turns the corals white and effectively starves them. In response, researchers have developed a lab-grown strain of microalgae which is more tolerant to heat. When injected back into the coral, the algae can handle warmer water better.
|The Pacific bubble takes shape|
CANBERRA, Australia, 14 May 2020 (ANU) - There is no doubting the importance of tourism and labour mobility to the Pacific. With few and falling COVID-19 cases, no wonder the idea of including the Pacific in the proposed Australia-New Zealand travel ‘bubble’ has gained prominence.
|Premier Oil suspends Falklands' Sea Lion project|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 14 May 2020 (MercoPress) - UK-based oil and gas operator Premier Oil has said it has suspended the US$1.8 billion Sea Lion project offshore the Falkland Islands to minimize ongoing spend in light of the current market conditions.
|Gender-based violence shakes PNG communities|
KOKOPO, Papua New Guinea, 14 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Women in the province of East New Britain in Papua New Guinea say they have faced increasing domestic violence, along with issues like teenage pregnancy and drug abuse, in their communities as logging and oil palm plantations have moved in.
|Call for investigation into Chinese tuna boats|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 14 May 2020 (Mongabay) - A Chinese fishing company under scrutiny for the deadly labor abuses of its Indonesian boat crews was likely also engaged in illegal finning of threatened shark species, conservationists say.
|Chinese military drill plan for Pratas Island sparks fear in Taiwan|
TOKYO, Japan, 14 May 2020 (JT) - The Chinese military is planning to conduct a large-scale landing drill off Hainan Island in the South China Sea in August to simulate the possible seizure of the Taiwanese-held Pratas Island in the future, Chinese sources familiar with the matter have said.
|Indonesia was slow to lock down, so its people took charge|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 13 May 2020 (NatGeog) - In February, as the coronavirus victim count rose steadily in countries like Singapore, Japan, and South Kores, Indonesia maintained that there was not a single case within its borders. As the government steadfastly refused to instate social distancing, cancel events, or start mass testing, local communities started to feel differently.
|Will fish boom amid pandemic-driven fishing bust?|
BANGALORE, India, 13 May 2020 (Mongabay) - To curtail the C-19 pandemic, countries around the world have constrained people’s movements, which has taken a toll on marine fisheries. Supply chains fragmented, markets closed, fish imports declined, sales dwindled and fewer fishing vessels are reportedly out at sea. For fishing communities and the industry as a whole, this is an exceptional crisis. But could the fishing slowdown give marine life a chance to recover?
|Assam's boat clinics scan remote islands for COVID-19|
GUWAHATI, India, 13 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Boat clinics in Assam have become the primary access to healthcare for almost three million inhabitants of the 2500 saporis (river islands) where construction of permanent structures for healthcare is almost impossible due to recurring flooding events.
|Chagos islanders exile is ongoing breach of human rights|
LONDON, UK, 12 May 2020 (Guardian) - Denying exiled Chagos islanders the right to return to their homes on the Indian Ocean archipelago is a continuing breach of their human rights and not just a historical injustice, the court of appeal has been told.
|Island biodiversity best conserved in inaccessible landscapes|
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, 12 May 2020 (Phys.org) - Islands contribute enormously to global biodiversity, but are threatened by human activities. To understand why some islands have been more impacted since first human settlement than others, a new study compared environmental and societal variables of 30 islands in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean.
|PacWastePlus engages with countries using innovative resources|
APIA, Samoa, 12 May 2020 (SPREP) - With Covid-19 continuing to spread and its impacts upon human health and the economy intensifying daily, governments are urged to treat waste management, including of medical, household and other hazardous waste, as an urgent and essential public service in order to minimise possible secondary impacts upon health and the environment.
|The stranded sailboats in a race to beat the hurricanes|
LONDON, UK, 12 May 2020 (Guardian) - The Azores have been a beacon of light in the Atlantic during this crisis. The archipelago, about 800 nautical miles off the coast of Portugal, is of huge strategic importance for boats crossing west to east.
|The battle for West Papuan independence from Indonesia has intensified |
SYDNEY, Australia, 12 May 2020 (ABC) - In the highlands of Papua, in easternmost Indonesia, villagers are returning to the burnt-out remains of their abandoned homes. A woman slumps on the grass, overcome with grief, as men dig a pit for the remains of those who could not escape the bloodshed.
|Philippines first microsatellite mission ends|
MANILA, Philippines, 12 May 2020 (Mongabay) - When reports came out that the microsatellite Diwata-1 of the Philippines had re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on April 6, ending its mission, it made headlines for being the first microsatellite designed, built and operated by Filipinos.
|Indonesia moves to end smallholder guarantee|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 12 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Palm oil companies will no longer be required to allocate a fifth of their land for smallholder farmers under a new bill, a move activists and officials call harmful to the livelihoods of these farmers.
|Insect swarms on Cyprus reveal incredible journeys|
LONDON, UK, 12 May 2020 (Guardian) - For eight hours a day, from March until May, research biologist Will Hawkes surveys huge swarms of insects landing on the Karpaz Peninsula on the north-east corner of Cyprus.
|Why PNG cancelled the lease on one of its biggest mines|
LONDON, UK, 12 May 2020 (Guardian) - Late in April, in the middle of a global pandemic and slow-boiling domestic economic crisis, the government of Papua New Guinea made the surprising announcement not to extend the mining lease on a goldmine that contributes roughly 10% of the country’s total exports.
|Pandemic upends life on isolated, idyllic Galapagos Islands|
SAN CRISTOBAL, Ecuador, 11 May 2020 (AP) - Before the coronavirus, sudden life-threatening ailments among tourists, fishermen and others on the Galapagos Islands were considered so rare that hospitals didn’t have a single intensive care unit bed.
|Football returns to Covid-19-free Faroe Islands|
TORSHAVN, Faroe Islands, 11 May 2020 (Guardian) - The last time KI Klaksvik and B36 Torshavn met, last October, it was to decide the destiny of the Premier League title, a match that attracted a record 6,000 people – about 11.5% of the population of the Faroe Islands.
|Market-based solutions cannot solely fund community-level conservation |
BUKIT LAWANG, Indonesia, 11 May 2020 (Mongabay) - A prominent ecotourism town on the fringes of the Gunung Leuser National Park is devoid of tourists amid the Covid-19 crisis and the high season is supposed to start soon. Many people are entirely reliant on tourists and you can sense the despair in the air as it is uncertain when planes will take off again and people will start traveling to distant places.
|Hardwood logging on Manus Island has not delivered local benefits|
LONDON, UK, 11 May 2020 (Guardian) - A Malaysian company that won a permit to clear tropical rainforest on Manus Island has been accused of failing to deliver on its promises to the local community, while reaping millions of dollars in profits from the logging of valuable hardwood timber.
|Oppose barrier island development|
CHARLESTON, US, 11 May 2020 (P&C) - Reversing an earlier decision, Beaufort County officials recently agreed that plans for developing Bay Point Island do meet its definition for ecotourism, putting plans for a $100 million resort closer to approval.
|Pandemic lockdown gives Palawan time to rethink planned split-up|
PALAWAN, Philippines, 10 May 2020 (Mongabay) - A landmark vote on dividing the biodiverse Philippine province of Palawan into three smaller provinces has been put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s given critics of the move a chance to press their case that splitting up the province could prove harmful to natural resources management and the welfare of indigenous groups.
|The island of Nevis says it is coronavirus free|
MIAMI, US, 10 May 2020 (CJ) - In a major milestone for the wider Caribbean region, the island of Nevis says it is “free” of the coronavirus. The announcement comes after the island, which has a population of around 12,000 people, launched a series of aggressive measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
|Rotuman language week not dampened by Covid-19|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 10 May 2020 (RNZ) - You won't hear New Zealand's Rotuman community complaining about the unique environment in which they are having to celebrate the country's first official language week, they are grateful and happy for the platform.
|Coronavirus app has changed the way the Isle of Wight sees itself|
LONDON, UK, 9 May 2020 (Guardian) - Last Sunday, we woke to the news that the Isle of Wight really had been chosen as the pilot location for the NHS coronavirus contact-tracing app, the idea having been floated by the leader of the council at the start of the previous week.
|Canary Islands first destination for coronavirus-free flight|
MALAGA, Spain, 8 May 2020 (Euro Weekly) - In a significant boost to the Canary Islands’ bid to present the archipelago as a safe holiday choice, the region will be the first destination for a coronavirus-free flight in a digital health passport pilot project, which has the backing of the World Health Organisation.
|Activists challenge Indonesia deregulation bill|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 8 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Environmental and legal activists are challenging a deregulation bill submitted by the Indonesian government to parliament that threatens to dismantle environmental protections in favor of facilitating business.
|Indonesia lifts export ban on baby lobsters|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 8 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Indonesia will start exporting baby lobsters after a previous ban aimed at conserving the wild population of the crustacean was lifted by the fisheries ministry. But the decision has been widely criticized by conservationists who warn the resumption of exports threatens to deplete the wild population.
|Workers face dilemma at Freeport's Grasberg mine|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 8 May 2010 (Mongabay) - Thousands of workers at the world’s largest copper and gold mine, run by U.S.-based Freeport McMoRan in the Indonesian province of Papua, have been instructed to remain on the company’s premises or risk being furloughed without pay, amid an outbreak at the mine that has seen 56 employees test positive for COVID-19, with one death, in recent weeks.
|Fiji returns to barter system as Covid-19 hits economy|
SUVA, Fiji, 8 May 2020 (Guardian) - Two piglets for a pre-loved kayak, a taxi fare in exchange for fresh produce, hot cross buns for online tutoring, an old carpet for a professional photography session, vegetable seedlings for homemade pies, and offers to have backyards cleaned for prayers.
|Iceland is close to full recovery from coronavirus|
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 8 May 2020 (Reuters) - Iceland has all but eliminated the coronavirus outbreak as 97 percent of infected patients have recovered and only two new cases have been confirmed in the last week, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.
|Dayak women of Indonesia resist gender inequality |
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 7 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Despite the unequal social and economic pressures brought on by encroaching oil palm plantations, indigenous Dayak women have found diverse and creative strategies to sustain their livelihoods.
|For Philippine farmers reeling from disasters, lockdown is another pain point|
ALBAY, Philippines, 7 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Farmers in the Bicol region in the Philippines are experiencing the brunt of the lockdown, imposed since March 16 to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is especially hard for rice farmers, most of them still reeling from the impacts of successive typhoons, drought, and cheap imported rice.
|Many Pacific islands are untouched by COVID-19|
ARLINGTON, US, 7 May 2020 (PBS) - The Pacific region has seen the fewest cases of COVID-19 - at least 14 Pacific countries and territories report no single case of the coronavirus, despite 3.5 million cases confirmed globally.
|Taiwan's experience with COVID-19, and aid to the Pacific|
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 7 May 2020 (ICDF) - Taiwan was able to avoid a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 for several reasons. First of all, Taiwan used hard-learned lessons from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003 and alerted the government to monitor the pandemic since early January.
|Forest clearing proceeds for dam in Sumatra|
DELI SERDANG, Indonesia, 7 May 2020 (Mongabay) - A forest in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island is being cleared to build access roads for a state-funded dam project that has been bogged down by disputes over land acquisition.
|'Promiscuous treatment of nature' will lead to more pandemics|
LONDON, UK, 7 May 2020 (Guardian) - Humanity’s “promiscuous treatment of nature” needs to change or there will be more deadly pandemics such as Covid-19, warn scientists who have analysed the link between viruses, wildlife and habitat destruction.
|New life in the sun for CalMac lifeboats|
LONDON, UK, 7 May 2020 (BBC) - Retired lifeboats from a CalMac ferry have been shipped to sunnier climes in Africa. Their new role will see them transferring tourists, once the coronavirus pandemic abates, in the Topuito Isles along the northern coast of Mozambique.
|Uncertainty surrounds Prince Edward Island potato season|
MONTAGUE, Canada, 7 May 2020 (PEICanada) - Island potato farmers will likely be planting less crop this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of social distancing restrictions, Islanders are eating more meals at home instead of dining out. This in turn is impacting not only the potato industry, but other industries like shellfish, and dairy as well.
|A place in the U.S. with no Covid-19? Look to American Samoa|
NEW YORK, US, 6 May 2020 (NYT) - The coronavirus death toll in the United States is climbing past 70,000, with thousands of new cases every day. But there is still one part of the country without a single confirmed case, much less a fatality: American Samoa, a palm-fringed Polynesian archipelago that has sealed itself off for nearly two months from the outside world.
|US$15m operation to build sustainable growth In Solomon Islands|
WASHINGTON, US, 6 May 2020 (World Bank) - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$15 million Development Policy Operation for Solomon Islands that will seek to strengthen public financial management while enabling the government to meet the costs of COVID-19 preparedness.
|Geopolitics meets pandemic in the Pacific|
SUVA, Fiji, 6 May 2020 (Inside Story) - In early April, while Covid-19 was transforming the planet, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison spoke by phone.
|Falklands adapt the Bubbles system used in New Zealand|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 6 May 2020 (MercoPress) - The Falklands government made public on Tuesday a guide to ensure the safety of the community and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading around the Islands. The best match to their circumstances apparently is the approach being used in New Zealand, the system of the “bubbles.”
|Researchers miss out on sperm whale superpod in Sri Lanka |
KALPITIYA, Sri Lanka, 6 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Sri Lanka is known for the blue whales that occur throughout the year in the waters around this Indian Ocean island. But a lesser-known fact is that this biodiversity hotspot is also, for a brief time of the year, a gathering spot for massive groups of sperm whales, the largest toothed whale and marine predator.
|Cuba seeks to make its mark in Europe amid Covid-19 crisis|
ROME, Italy, 6 May 2020 (Guardian) - They have jetted into some of the most horrifying calamities in recent history, clutching the red, white and blue flag of their small island home. Now, as the world grapples with another era-shaping catastrophe, Cuban doctors and nurses are on the ground once again, only this time in a less common location: Europe.
|Reviving rail travel on Vancouver Island is a pipe dream|
VICTORIA, Canada, 6 May 2020 (Times Colonist) - It’s time to scrap the “Victorian-era fantasy” of a Vancouver Island rail system and instead consider options such as a multi-use corridor, says a Snaw-naw-as First Nation councillor.
|Why coronavirus spells doom for Ibiza|
LONDON, UK, 6 May 2020 (Guardian) - Ibiza welcomes more than three million visitors during the summer months, pumping billions into its economy. Close to 75% of the island’s 147,000-plus population get their income directly and indirectly from tourism.
|Madagascar's protected areas suffer a devastating blow|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 5 May 2020 (Mongabay) - The COVID-19 crisis has wiped out half a billion dollars in expected tourism revenues for Madagascar since January, according to official estimates. For the megadiverse island nation, which struggles with extreme poverty and nurtures a fragile political stability, international tourism provides much-needed revenue.
|China's resort island looks to sports tourism for economic growth|
HAIKOU, China, 5 May 2020 (Xinhua) - With the coronavirus outbreak steadily receding in China, the country's resort island Hainan, hopes the development of sports tourism will become a new economic growth point as the island province opens its arms to tourists again.
|Tourism tide goes out for Clare Island|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 5 May 2020 (Irish TImes) - Padraig O’Malley is in his small grocery shop and post office on Clare Island on a wonderfully balmy, sunny day – clear blue sky above him and 7km of turquoise sea separating his island from the Mayo mainland.
|Sicily to subsidise post-Covid holidays |
LONDON, UK, 5 May 2020 (Guardian) - Sicily’s regional government is offering to subsidise holidays on the island for both domestic and international visitors in an effort to kickstart tourism after the coronavirus pandemic.
|Orkney Islands host innovative new energy project|
LONDON, UK, 5 May 2020 (ELN) - An innovative new project to boost local renewable energy generation on the Orkney Islands has been launched. Project TraDER seeks to address the issue that the UK’s energy system does not currently respond to changing weather and how this affects generation.
|Ecotourism collapse threatens communities and wildlife|
LONDON, UK, 5 May 2020 (Guardian) - From the vast plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya to the delicate corals of the Aldabra atoll in the Seychelles, conservation work to protect some of the world’s most important ecosystems is facing crisis following a collapse in ecotourism during the Covid-19 pandemic.
|Coronavirus: The lure of mafia money during the crisis|
LONDON, UK, 5 May 2020 (BBC) - As the Covid-19 death toll grows, Italy's organised crime gangs have been looking to make millions. Many Italians feel they have no option but to accept the lifeline the mob is offering. On the island of Sicily, the brother of a mafioso - a member of a mafia group - has been distributing food to the poor in a neighbourhood of Palermo.
|Sri Lanka's wildlife tourism workers in limbo|
TISSAMAHARAMA, Sri Lanka, 5 May 2020 (Mongabay) - Sri Lanka’s popular national parks have been closed since March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting tour guides, jeep drivers, guesthouse owners, and many others dependent on the tourism industry for their livelihood.
|Earthx2020 Presents: Island Resilience Forum |
DALLAS, US, 5 May 2020 (PRNewswire) - The Island Resilience Forum at Earthx2020 convened heads of state, diplomats, researchers, poets and activists from around the world to engage in meaningful dialogue illustrating the link between public health and climate-driven issues in island communities.
|UK contact-tracing app is ready for Isle of Wight downloads|
LONDON, UK, 4 May 2020 (BBC) - A test version of the NHS's coronavirus contact-tracing app has been published to Apple and Google's app stores. Council staff and healthcare workers on the Isle of Wight will be invited to install it on Tuesday, ahead of a wider roll-out on the island on Thursday.
|As COVID-19 batters fishery, Indonesia's sharks get a respite|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 4 May 2020 (Mongabay) - The shark and ray fishery in Indonesia has largely ground to a halt as a result of plummeting demand due to COVID-19-related export restrictions and a domestic lockdown that has hit the restaurant industry.
|Impact of COVID-19 on tourism in Small Island Developing States|
GENEVA, Switzerland, 4 May 2020 (IPS) - On average, the tourism sector accounts for almost 30% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the SIDS, according to WTTC data. This share is over 50% for the Maldives, Seychelles, St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada.
|Rohingya refugees sent to remote Bangladeshi island|
LONDON, UK, 3 May 2020 (Guardian) - Rohingya refugees believed to have spent weeks stranded on cramped boats at sea have been sent to a remote, uninhabited island by Bangladesh, while hundreds more remain adrift.
|Kiribati - Slowly drowning while the world is watching silently|
GENEVA, Switzerland, 1 May 2020 (Diplomatic Affairs) - Kiribati, an island republic in the South Pacific, is sinking under the sea. The indigenous inhabitants can do nothing to stop it. They feel the world has forgotten about them or simply does not seem to care about their lives.
|Evidence of late Pleistocene human colonization of isolated islands |
JENA, Germany, 1 May 2020 (SPX) - A new article published in Nature Communications applies stable isotope analysis to a collection of fossil human teeth from the islands of Timor and Alor in Wallacea to study the ecological adaptations of the earliest members of our species to reach this isolated part of the world.
|Should mooted 'trans-Tasman travel bubble' include Pacific nations|
LONDON, UK, 1 May 2020 (Guardian) - As Australia and New Zealand tentatively celebrate successes in their battles to bring Covid-19 under control, Winston Peters, New Zealand’s deputy prime minister, has raised the possibility of the two nations opening up travel to one another.
|Looters of the Oceans|
LONDON, UK, 1 May 2020 (Guardian) - An “armada” of more than 100 fishing vessels are illegally plundering south Atlantic waters close to Argentina, environmental groups say, raising concerns that the coronavirus lockdown has weakened already fragile marine protections.
|Satellite imagery is helping to detect plastic pollution in the ocean|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 1 May 2020 (Mongabay) - In 2018, Lauren Biermann was scouring a satellite image of the ocean off the coast of the Isle of May, Scotland, searching for signs of floating seaweed for a project at her university. Her eyes were drawn to lines of white dots gently curving along an ocean front.
|LED lights halve unwanted fish in nets, research finds|
LONDON, UK, 1 May 2020 (Guardian) - A simple technique to “illuminate the exits” in trawl fishing nets can almost halve the numbers of unwanted catch. The study, conducted between June and August 2017, tested the effect of lights in reducing the number of haddock and flatfish caught in a queen scallop fishery off the Isle of Man.
|High microplastic concentration found on ocean floor|
LONDON, UK, 1 May 2020 (BBC) - Scientists have identified the highest levels of microplastics ever recorded on the seafloor. The contamination was found in sediments pulled from the bottom of the Mediterranean, near Italy.
|No tourism income, but Palwan still guards its environment|
PALAWAN, Philippines, 30 April 2020 (Mongabay) - Communities in the biodiversity haven of Palawan in the Philippines earn millions in tourism-related services annually, but the industry has been paralyzed due to a lockdown aimed at suppressing the spread of COVID-19.
|Belizean island using solar-powered hydropanels to obtain fresh water|
LONDON, UK, 30 April 2020 (Daily Mail) - The residents of Caye Caulker Island, 20 miles off the coast of Belize City, are using 23 solar-powered hydropanels from Zero Mass Water to convert moisture in the air into potable water after shipments of bottled water from the mainland were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Has Papua New Guinea paved the way to gold for China?|
CANBERRA, Australia, 29 April 2020 (ASPI) - The Papua New Guinean government’s extraordinary decision to effectively nationalise the Porgera Gold Mine may open the door for the People’s Republic of China to step up its aggressive push to acquire mining interests in our closest neighbour.
|Hokkaido suffering second wave of coronavirus|
TOKYO, Japan, 29 April 2020 (Telegraph) - The island of Hokkaido had been held up as a model of how to control the spread of the virus, but it has now become a case study for the impact the disease can have if a lockdown is relaxed too soon.
|Jersey could be 'staycation' choice after the pandemic|
ST HELIER, Jersey, 29 April 2020 (JEP) - Jersey should look to market itself as a ‘staycation’ destination for UK tourists who will be looking for open, safe and clean environments post-crisis, a spokesman for the tourism industry has said.
|Clumsy strategy weakening bid to shore up remote island defenses|
MIYAKOJIMA, Japan, 29 April 2020 (Asahi Shimbun) - For all of Japan's high-touted preparations to defend remote territory from invasion, the situation on Miyakojima island here illustrates how woefully ill-prepared the Ground Self-Defense Force is in dealing with a crisis.
|Fear and illness stalk Indonesia's packed jails|
LONDON, UK, 29 April 2020 (Guardian) - It has been two months since Andi Rizky last saw her uncle Jimmy, a drug offender in Cilegon Prison, Banten province, in person. Since the middle of March, the prison has banned visitors because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
|Fighting COVID-19 with a precious resource|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 28 April 2020 (Mongabay) - Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response should prioritize the introduction of special mechanisms to address the needs of marginalized communities, women and children, says a leading water management expert from the Indian Ocean island.
|UN lays out roadmap to lift economies and save jobs after COVID-19|
NEW YORK, US, 27 April 2020 (UN) - The “United Nations Framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19: Shared responsibility, global solidarity and urgent action for people in need” calls for protecting jobs, businesses and livelihoods to set in motion a safe recovery of societies and economies as soon as possible for a more sustainable, gender-equal, and carbon-neutral path - better than the “old normal”.
| Caribbean in for a 'bloodbath' if hurricane hits during C-19 crisis|
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 26 April 2020 (The Gleaner) - With economies grinding to a halt in coronavirus-hit Caribbean countries, hardly any breathing room is likely as the six-month “above-normal” 2020 Atlantic hurricane season looms, bringing to regional shores what officials are calling the “perfect storm”.
|Islanders protest emergency situation restrictions in Saaremaa|
TALLINN, Estonia, 26 April 2020 (ERR) - A protest took place in Saaremaa on Sunday against the restrictions in place on the island to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Islanders do not think it is fair to loosen restrictions on the mainland but not on the islands.