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Madagascar's next president to take office, bears suspect eco record
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 18 January 2019 (Mongabay) - Andry Rajoelina is set to be sworn in as president of Madagascar on Jan. 19, following his victory over longtime rival Marc Ravalomanana in the final round of the country’s presidential election last month.



Success of green turtle reintroduction program in Cayman Islands
BARCELONA, Spain, 18 January 2019 (ScienceDaily) - The reintroduction program for the green turtle in the Cayman Islands has been crucial in order to recover this species, which are threatened by the effects of human overexploitation.



Sri Lanka president plans to copy Duterte's war on drugs
LONDON, UK, 18 January 2019 (Guardian) - Sri Lanka’s president has praised his Philippines counterpart Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs, which has taken thousands of lives, calling it an “example to the world”.



Work on Chinese farm on French Polynesia's Hao set to begin
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 18 January 2019 (RNZ) - The Chinese company Tahiti Nui Ocean Foods plans to set up a $US320 million fish farm on the atoll, which used to be a base for the French military's nuclear weapons tests.



A highway megaproject tears at the heart of New Guinea's rainforest
CAIRNS, Australia, 17 January 2019 (E360) - The Indonesian government is building a 2,700-mile road network on the island of New Guinea, opening up some of the world’s last great tropical rainforests to development and threatening unique indigenous cultures.



Made in Arranmore - islanders find 'more time for living'
DUBLIN, Ireland, 17 January 2019 (RTE) - Árainn Mhór is the largest inhabited offshore island in Co Donegal but in the last census the population dropped below 500 so a new family coming to live on the island is a cause for celebration.



Mauritian island awarded for saving species through education
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 17 January 2019 (BirdLife) - On Rodrigues Island in Mauritius, school children and citizens alike are rallying round to restore their island’s habitat. It’s all thanks to the Rodrigues Environmental Education Programme, which has won the Global Conservation Award 2018 for its positive impact on communities and species.



The Bahamas iconic conch could soon disappear
WASHINGTON, US, 16 January 2019 (NatGeog) - In the Bahamas, where conchs are a vital part of the culture and economy, these Caribbean sea slugs are finding it increasingly difficult to reproduce. Overfishing and loose regulations have pushed many pockets of conch communities below the critical level needed for mating, according to recent scientific surveys.



A salty dilemma
NEW YORK, US, 16 January 2019 (IPS) - As the threat of water scarcity increasingly grows, many have turned to the Earth’s plentiful oceans for a solution. However, this has created a new risk threatening public and environmental health: brine.



Incredibly rare find in Western Isles prehistoric forest
LONDON, UK, 16 January 2019 (BBC) - Archaeologists have found evidence of early human activity at a submerged prehistoric forest in the Western Isles. The remains included an early butchery site and stone tools used for preparing food.



GBR audit finds $443m grant subject to 'insufficient scrutiny'
LONDON, UK, 16 January 2019 (Guardian) - An official audit has criticised the Australian government and the environment department for applying “insufficient scrutiny” to numerous aspects of a controversial proposal to award $443.3m to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.



Will Copenhagen's eco-friendly man-made islands pay off?
WASHINGTON, US, 15 January 2019 (CityLab) - In a bid to create new space for green industries and fossil-free energy production, greater Copenhagen wants to build an entirely new business and infrastructure district on the city’s southwestern edge.



'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory
LONDON, UK, 15 January 2019 (Guardian) - Indonesia, the world’s largest tuna fishing nation, has pulled out all the stops in recent years to transform the health of an industry blighted by depleted stocks and illegal poaching.



Insect collapse in Puerto Rican rainforest
LONDON, UK, 15 January 2019 (Guardian) - “We knew that something was amiss in the first couple days,” said Brad Lister. “We were driving into the forest and at the same time both Andres and I said: ‘Where are all the birds?’ There was nothing.”



An island crusader takes on the big brands behind plastic waste
WASHINGTON, US, 15 January 2019 (NPR) - Froilan Grate doesn't come across as a fire-breathing revolutionary. At 35 and just maybe 5 feet tall, with a wispy goatee, he has the kind of sincerity you might expect from someone who once wanted to be a priest.



Wanted: A nice dinner place for a Maine Island
VINALHAVEN, US, 14 January 2019 (NYT) - Vinalhaven is an island that does not want to be found. Getting there requires riding a ferry from the harbor city of Rockland that takes more than an hour and makes its last daily run at 3:15 p.m.



It's not easy to map the 100 largest islands in the world
NEW YORK, US, 14 January 2019 (Atlas Obscura) - The cartographer David Garcia has been mapping islands for years, and still finds fresh inspiration for new projects. Garcia’s latest effort is a roundup of the 100 largest islands on the planet, depicted in shaded relief.



With its $3.85b mine takeover, Indonesia inherits a pollution problem
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 14 January 2019 (Mongabay) - When the Indonesian government took a controlling stake in the operator of one of the world’s richest gold mines at the end of 2018, proponents hailed the move as a historic step toward national and economic resource sovereignty.



Lastovo development project goes ahead thanks to SMILO
ZAGREB, Croatia, 13 January 2019 (TCN) - Good news for the southern Dalmatian island of Lastovo as no less than a French organisation is set to help the islanders with their management of their resources and further their sustainable development.



Health time bomb on St Helena
LONDON, UK, 13 January 2019 (Telegraph) - The remote British island of St Helena is facing a health time bomb with seven in 10 adults now overweight or obese while half of its young people still smoke regularly.



Samoa model for supply of off-grid Greek islands
ATHENS, Greece, 13 January 2019 (Kathimerini) -  Tesla is proposing advanced technologies for power storage combined with the development of photovoltaic systems with the aim of enhancing the energy sufficiency of the Greek islands that are not connected to the grid.



Feuds and fisticuffs in the Chatham Islands
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 12 January 2019 (Stuff) - The fishing spot where a Moriori leader and his former lieutenant - a brash Aussie in his 60s - came to blows is about as isolated as it's possible to get in New Zealand.



In Malta, legal loopholes give poachers cover to hunt migratory birds
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 11 January 2019 (Mongabay) - Malta is a stopping-off point for some 170 species of birds migrating between Europe and Africa. But poachers kill or capture up to 200,000 wild birds every year - a problem widespread across the Mediterranean.



Fish farmers of the Caribbean
SANTA BARBARA, US, 11 January 2019 (SPX) - The Caribbean has a large potential for off-shore mariculture with a model predicting the region could produce 40 million metric tons of seafood in less than 1.5 percent of its countries' exclusive economic zones.



Solving the ancient mysteries of Easter Island
BINGHAMTON, US, 10 January 2019 (Phys.org) - The ancient people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) built their famous ahu monuments near coastal freshwater sources, according to a team of researchers including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.



High tech vessel in Pacific plastic battle
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 10 January 2019 (RNZ) - The solar and wind powered Race for Water catamaran is in Fiji this week as part of a five year global expedition which takes in several Pacific islands.



Western Mediterranean Sea heading for further decline
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 10 January 2019 (WWF) - Today, the European Parliament has taken a first but much too small step to tackle the challenge of overfishing in the Mediterranean Sea, the most overexploited sea basin in the world.



Greenland's residents grapple with global warming
TASIILAQ, Greenland, 10 January 2019 (Reuters) - Nestled between icy peaks and lapped in frozen ocean waters, the tiny town of Tasiilaq in southeastern Greenland is home to some 2,000 people.



Singapore eco-tourism plan sparks squawks of protest
SINGAPORE, 9 January 2019 (AFP) - Singapore is creating a vast eco-tourism zone in a bid to bring in more visitors, but environmentalists fear the development will damage natural habitats and are already blaming it for a series of animal deaths.



Scottish islands councils raise Brexit funding concerns
LONDON, UK, 9 January 2019 (BBC) - Scotland's islands local authorities have sought assurances from the UK government on financial assistance after Brexit.



Hazy figures cloud Indonesia's peat restoration as fire season looms
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 8 January 2019 (Mongabay) - Indonesia has restored degraded peatlands the size of a million football fields in the three years since President Joko Widodo launched an ambitious program aimed at preventing a repeat of some of the worst forest fires in the country’s history.



George the snail, last of his kind, dies at age 14
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 8 January 2019 (Guardian) - As New Year’s Day broke in the Hawaiian Islands, one rare creature was not there to emerge from his shell and greet it: George, the last snail of his kind and a local celebrity, was dead at age 14.



Local innovation facilitates biogas networks in Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, 8 January 2019 (IPS) - Black plastic pipes, readily available on the mainly empty shelves of Cuba’s shops, distribute biogas to homes in the rural town of La Macuca, buried under the ground or running through the grass and stones in people’s yards.



Galapagos island gets its first iguanas since Darwin
LONDON, UK, 8 January 2019 (Guardian) - A group of more than 1,400 iguanas have been reintroduced to an island in the Galápagos archipelago nearly two centuries after they disappeared from there, authorities said on Monday.



'Europe's Silicon Valley': Denmark plans nine new islands
LONDON, UK, 7 January 2019 (Guardian) - Denmark plans to build nine artificial islands south of Copenhagen in a bid to attract business amid a housing and office space shortage, the government has announced.



Japan's grand plans to mine deep-sea vents
LONDON, UK, 7 January 2019 (BBC) - Off the coast of Okinawa, a slim stretch of land among Japan’s southern Ryuku islands, thousands of metres below the surface, there are the remains of extinct hydrothermal vent systems scattered about the ocean floor.



Global warming of oceans equivalent to an atomic bomb per second
LONDON, UK, 7 January 2019 (Guardian) - Global warming has heated the oceans by the equivalent of one atomic bomb explosion per second for the past 150 years, according to analysis of new research.



Indonesia seeks global pushback on illegal fishing
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 6 January 2019 (Mongabay) - Officials in Indonesia, home to one of the world’s biggest fisheries, say their fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing continues to be stymied by the complex web of offshore holdings that own much of the illegal fishing fleet.



St Helena drowning in plastic as experts warn whale sharks are at risk
LONDON, UK, 6 January 2019 (Telegraph) - The largest fish on the planet, the whale shark, is under threat from plastic pollution off one of Britain’s most remote islands, conservationists have warned.



Dark history of Bernier and Dorre Islands to be marked with ceremony
SYDNEY, Australia, 6 January 2019 (News.com.au) - Barely touched by human hands and vigorously shielded from the civilised world, Bernier and Dorre Islands, about 58km off the coast from the Western Australian town of Carnarvon, are home to some of the rarest wildlife in the world.



How the Yemeni island of Socotra is forging its own future
ABU DHABI, UAE, 5 January 2019 (The National) - Nathalie Peutz first visited Socotra in 2003 but she returned in 2004 and lived for a year and a half in ­Homhil, a protected area on the eastern tip of the island, where she stayed with the local community and carried out anthropological fieldwork.



Army helps Dutch island clean-up after ship spills cargo
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, 4 January 2019 (AFP) - The Dutch military joined beach clean-up efforts on Friday, two days after some 270 shipping containers tumbled from one of the world's biggest cargo boats into the North Sea in stormy weather.



Thailand Pabuk: Tourist islands hit by worst storm in decades
LONDON, UK, 4 January 2019 (BBC) - Tropical storm Pabuk has lashed southern Thailand with wind and rain, in what is expected to be the worst storm to hit the region in 30 years.



The film that reveals an island idyll's traumatic secret
LONDON, UK, 3 January 2019 (Guardian) - The lives of refugees detained by the Australia government on remote Christmas Island are the focus of a powerful yet poetic new documentary.



Beijing to restore coral reefs 'damaged by island building'
HONG KONG, 2 January 2019 (SCMP) - China is working to restore the ecosystem of coral reefs in the disputed South China Sea, the Ministry of Natural Resources said, amid concerns that its land reclamation operations have damaged the environment.



National commemorative service recalls Iolaire disaster
LONDON, UK, 1 January 2019 (BBC) - A national commemorative service has taken place to mark 100 years since the Iolaire disaster in the Western Isles.



PM Narendra Modi renames 3 islands of Andaman Nicobar
PORT BLAIR, India, 30 December 2018 (TOI) - Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday announced renaming of three islands of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.



Madagascar pochard: World's rarest bird gets new home
LONDON, UK, 28 December 2018 (BBC) - The rarest bird in the world - a species of duck called the Madagascar pochard - has been given a new home in time for the new year.



New roads for PNG: Path to progress or to environmental devastation?
GEMBOGL, PNG, 27 December 2018 (Mongabay) - The Papua New Guinea government plans to build more than 3,000 kilometers in new roads in the next five years, with a focus on connecting remote rural areas.



IOC lauds Seychelles work to protect, improve biodiversity
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 26 December 2018 (SNA) - Organisations in Seychelles working on various projects under the biodiversity programme of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) had the opportunity to showcase achievements and results in a recently organised workshop. 



Japan to restart commercial whale hunts
LONDON, UK, 26 December 2018 (BBC) - Japan says it is to restart commercial whaling in July in a move that is likely to draw international criticism.



North Uist wind farm bid breezes past funds target
LONDON, UK, 25 December 2018 (BBC) - A community-owned wind farm will be built in the Western Isles after a fundraising campaign passed its target.



A development project in a Bali mangrove bay gets a new lease on life
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 25 December 2018 (Mongabay) - Four months after activists in Bali celebrated what they believed was the end of a controversial plan to develop part of the island’s mangrove-rich Benoa Bay, the scheme has been revived by the Indonesian government.



Is captive breeding the answer to Indonesia's songbird crisis?
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 25 December 2018 (Mongabay) - In Indonesia, singing contests for songbirds have skyrocketed in popularity. Even the president is a fan.



Lost 'Darwinia' islands could be origin of species in the Galapagos
LONDON, UK, 25 December 2018 (New Scientist) - Millions of years before the Galapagos Islands existed, there was another archipelago in the same stretch of water off the west coast of South America.



Christmas at the end of the world
LONDON, UK, 25 December 2018 (BBC) - If you have ever felt disgruntled about having to work over Christmas, spare a thought for the staff of Signy Research Station. The base is one of the UK's smallest. It is situated in the remote South Orkney Islands, about 375 miles (604 km) north of the Antarctic Peninsula.



Critically endangered Philippine eagle hangs on despite many threats
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 24 December 2018 (Mongabay) - Its cement wings spanning over 20 feet, the effigy of the Philippine eagle was sculpted in Davao City’s People’s Park to commemorate the country’s national bird and celebrate a time when it wasn’t so rare to see one soaring above.



The saga of the reindeer of South Georgia island
NEW YORK, US, 24 December 2018 (Atlas Obscura) - Far out in the South Atlantic Ocean, more than 1,000 miles east of Cape Horn, Argentina, the island of South Georgia is an unforgiving place.



Mount Etna erupts in Sicily amid dozens of tremors
LONDON, UK, 24 December 2018 (BBC) - Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna in Sicily, erupted on Monday, with officials reporting more than 130 earthquakes of up to 4.3 in magnitude.



Greenland ice melting 'even in winter'
LONDON, UK, 24 December 2018 (BBC) - The research has been carried out at the Scottish Association for Marine Science who found massive warm waves are melting the ice from below.



Greater protection needed for seas around South Sandwich Islands
LONDON, UK, 23 December 2018 (Telegraph) - They have been likened to a “string of snowy pearls set amid the dark blue sea”, a series of islands rich teeming with fish and wildlife on the edge of the Antarctic Circle.



Indonesia tsunami hits Sunda Strait after Krakatau eruption
LONDON, UK, 23 December 2018 (BBC) - More than 220 people have been killed and 843 injured after a tsunami hit coastal towns on Indonesia's Sunda Strait, government officials say.



Marine Protected Areas controversy in the South Atlantic
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 22 December 2018 (MercoPress) - In a brief communique the Falkland Islands government takes note of a recent Argentine announcement indicating the creation of MPAs to the south of the Burdwood Bank and said it “believes the designation of this area encroaches on our Fisheries Conservation Zone and steps are being taken to address the matter”.



Papua leaders demand end to Indonesian military operation
LONDON, UK, 21 December 2018 (BBC) - The governor of Indonesia's eastern Papua province has called for an end to an intense military operation against independence rebels in the remote jungle-covered region.



Sicily's farmers go tropical in the face of climate change
BONN, Germany, 21 December 2018 (DW) - When Andrea Passanisi started cultivating mangoes and avocados in his family's vineyard on the slopes of Mount Etna in 2001, he was just 17. His neighbors, who were more used to olives and oranges, thought he was crazy.



A nation that fears it's on the brink of extinction
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 21 December 2018 (ABC) - The Marshall Islands, a tiny nation of islands and atolls located between Hawaii and Australia, are in a fight for survival.



Marine life worse off inside 'protected' areas, analysis reveals
LONDON, UK, 20 December 2018 (Guardian) - Destructive trawling is more intense inside official marine sanctuaries, while endangered fish are more common outside them, a startling analysis of Europe’s seas has revealed.



Crown Dependencies try to shake off EU 'tax haven' tag
LONDON, UK, 20 December 2018 (BBC) - Britain's Crown Dependencies are home to 76,000 companies - slightly fewer than one for every third person living there. It is many of these companies that will now have to prove their presence in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man is not merely a tax-dodging exercise.