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  Past Month's News  
 
Gran Canaria: 8,000 flee wildfires on holiday island
LONDON, UK, 19 August 2019 (BBC) - About 8,000 people have been evacuated as wildfires rip through Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. The fires, which started on Saturday, are advancing on two fronts in a mountainous area of the island.



Sardinian sand theft: French tourists face jail term
LONDON, UK, 19 August 2019 (BBC) - A French couple who were caught with 40kg (90lb) of Sardinian sand in their car could face up to six years in jail. They say they wanted to take the sand home as a "souvenir" and did not realise they had committed an offence.



Papua's Arfak Mountains have become a hotspot for bird-watching
ARFAK MOUNTAINS, Indonesia, 19 August 2019 (Mongabay) - The provinces of West Papua and Papua have pinned their hopes for economic growth on ecotourism and sustainable development thanks to forests in the Arfak Mountains teeming with spectacular birds-of-paradise.



Heritage body objects to plans for big salmon farm off Hebridean isle
LONDON, UK, 19 August 2019 (Guardian) - The National Trust for Scotland has warned that a large salmon farm beside the Hebridean island of Canna could destroy the island’s culture and wildlife.



Paros - the Greek paradise island that wants to ditch plastic
LONDON, UK, 19 August 2019 (BBC) - Like many islands in Greece's Cycladic region, waste production on the island of Paros explodes in summer when over 400,000 tourists join a local population of just 13,000.



Singapore to bolster coastal defences against rising sea levels
SINGAPORE, 18 August 2019 (AFP) - Singapore needs at least $72 billion to build defences against rising sea levels, its leader said Sunday as the low-lying city-state gears up against the impact of climate change.



Australia's climate confrontation in the Pacific
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu, 18 August 2019 (Guardian) - As leaders from the Pacific gathered in Tuvalu for their annual  Pacific Islands Forum, there was one subject destined to dwarf all others and which pitted Australia, with its increasing emissions and plans for new coalmines, against its small island neighbours.



Iceland's Okjokull glacier commemorated with plaque
LONDON, UK, 18 August 2019 (BBC) - Mourners gather in Iceland on Sunday to commemorate the loss of Okjokull, which has died at the age of about 700.



Indonesia arrests dozens of West Papuans
LONDON, UK, 18 August 2019 (Guardian) - Indonesian authorities raided a university dormitory in Surabaya on Saturday and arrested dozens of West Papuan students after a standoff over allegations the Indonesian flag was thrown into a sewer.



Cultural tourism on the rise on the Greek islands
ATHENS, Greece, 17 August 2019 (Kathimerini) - Though very few holidaymakers who visit the Greek islands are left dissatisfied with their experience, most view it as the reductive “sun and sea” stereotype.



Hands off our treasured railway, say locals in Soller, Mallorca
BARCELONA, Spain, 17 August 2019 (Observer) - Indignant residents of the Mallorcan town of Sóller have said their railway is not for sale after a group of investors launched a hostile takeover bid.



What's good for the forest is good for the native silk industry
AMORON'I MANIA REGION, Madagascar, 16 August 2019 (Mongabay) - People in the highlands of central Madagascar have long buried their loved ones in shrouds of thick wild silk.



Trump warned that island cannot be bought from Denmark
LONDON, UK, 16 August 2019 (BBC) - Greenland has said it is "not for sale" following reports that US President Donald Trump has spoken about buying the world's biggest island.



The island fighting its monkeys
BASSETERRE, St Kitts, 16 August 2019 (BBC) - Browse tourist snaps of St Kitts and some of the most photographed faces have olive-brown tresses and piercing hazel eyes which peer inquisitively from trees, private gardens and beach bars alike.



Electric boats could be floating batteries for island microgrids
NEW YORK, US, 15 August 2019 (IEEE) - In developed countries, lights roar to life with the flick of a switch and televisions hum quietly with the touch of a button - given you still have one of those. But on most of Indonesia’s remote islands, accessing electricity is neither simple nor convenient. 



Pacific forum meeting almost collapsed over climate crisis
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu, 16 August 2019 (Guardian) - Critical talks at the Pacific Islands Forum almost collapsed twice amid “fierce” clashes between the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, and Tuvalu’s prime minister, Enele Sopoaga, over Australia’s “red lines” on climate change.



Greece wildfires leave blackened forests in their wake
LONDON, UK, 14 August 2019 (BBC) - Fires have been raging through a "unique, untouched pine forest" on the Greek island of Evia as authorities fight to keep the flames under control.



Fiji calls for sea-bed mining moratorium as Nautilus restructures
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu. 14 August 2019 (Islands Business) - Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has again called for a 10-year moratorium on sea-bed mining, at a time that many Pacific island nations are preparing for new frontiers of resource exploitation in the marine environment.



Forty to eighty Seychelles beaches to be plastic free certified
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 14 August 2019 (Nation) - Seychelles has been chosen by the Ocean Alliance Conservation Members as pioneer of the ‘White Flag’ certification for being the first top environmental ocean tourist destination providing plastic free beaches.



Indonesia forest-clearing ban is made permanent
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 14 August 2019 (Mongabay) - A temporary moratorium first issued in 2011 on granting permits to clear primary forests and peatlands for plantations or logging has been made permanent by Indonesia’s president.



The glaciers of Iceland seemed eternal
LONDON, UK, 14 August 2019 (Guardian) - Almost every glacier on the planet has stopped growing and most are shrinking at an alarming rate. Ok Glacier is the first in Iceland to be formally declared dead ice.



Ardern says Australia has to 'answer to Pacific' on climate change
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu. 14 August 2019 (Guardian) - Jacinda Ardern has declared that “Australia has to answer to the Pacific” on climate change, saying that New Zealand is doing what it can to limit global emissions to 1.5C and expects other nations to do the same.



Why tiny Belize is a world leader in protecting the ocean
PUNTA GORDA, Belize, 14 August 2019 (Guardian) - Fish stocks are stable and reef health improving, in part thanks to Belize’s substantial ‘no-take’ zones. Now greater legislation is needed to secure progress.



Is Orkney 'in the fast lane' on electric vehicles?
LONDON, UK, 13 August 2019 (BBC) - Orkney is leading the charge on electric vehicles, with one of the highest uptakes in the UK. The islands produce more power than they're able to consume, so diverting some of that into electric vehicles seems an obvious move.



Australia will fund a $500m climate change package for the Pacific
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu, 12 August 2019 (Guardian) - Scott Morrison will unveil a $500m climate change and oceans funding package for the Pacific region when he attends the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in Tuvalu this week.



WWII Pacific battlegrounds now site of US-China tug of war
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 12 August 2019 (AFP) - Pacific islands that were key World War II battlegrounds but largely neglected for the past 30 years are now back in the spotlight as China challenges traditional US supremacy in the region.



Gran Canaria wildfire forces evacuation of 1,000 people
LONDON, UK, 12 August 2019 (Telegraph) - Around 1,000 people have been evacuated from several towns in Gran Canaria as a vast wildfire spread towards a National Park and an area popular with holidaymakers on the Spanish island, emergency services said.



Greenland residents traumatised by climate emergency
ILULISSAT, Greenland, 12 August 2019 (Guardian) - The climate crisis is causing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety to people in Greenland who are struggling to reconcile the traumatic impact of global heating with their traditional way of life. 



Australia coal use is 'existential threat' to Pacific islands
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu, 12 August 2019 (Guardian) - The prime minister of Fiji has warned Australia to reduce its coal emissions and do more to combat climate change as regional leaders prepare to gather in Tuvalu ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum this week.



Tuvalu children welcome leaders with a climate plea
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu, 11 August 2019 (Guardian) - As the leaders of Pacific countries step off their planes at Funafuti airport this week for the Pacific Islands Forum, they are being met by the children of Tuvalu, who sit submerged in water, in a moat built around the model of an island, singing: “Save Tuvalu, save the world.”



Is tourism wrecking Kauai?
LOS ANGELES, US, 10 August 2019 (LATimes) - Haena State Park, the gateway to Kauai’s Napali Coast, has reopened more than a year after heavy rains spawned floods that damaged or destroyed nearly 400 dwellings on the island.



Chagos children 'stuck for years in unsafe lodgings'
LONDON, UK, 10 August 2019 (Guardian) - Families descended from islanders evicted from the Chagos Islands are being housed in council-allocated accommodation deemed by social services to be inappropriate for young children.



Sri Lanka pushes for protection of sea cucumbers
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 10 August 2019 (Mongabay) - In the early 1980s, a common sight along the still unpolluted beaches of southern Sri Lanka was that of fisherfolk sun-drying small, blackish, cylindrical objects.



Sustaining our treasured islands
DUBLIN, Ireland, 10 August 2019 (RTE) - The 27 islands off the Irish coast are inhabited by some 2,700 people, but the populations vary greatly - from just two on a few smaller islands to 762 on Inishmore in the Aran Islands.



Jersey grants licence to harvest hemp flowers for CBD oil
LONDON, UK, 10 August 2019 (Guardian) - Jersey has become the first place in the British and Irish Isles to grant a licence for farmers to harvest hemp flowers for cannabis oil.



How toilets are saving lives in Madagascar
LONDON, UK, 10 August 2019 (Guardian) - One village in the country has seen the tragic consequences of poor sanitation. Now it has come together to turn things around.



Puffins on the Faroe Islands are in danger
TORSHAVN, Faroe Islands, 10 August 2019 (The Economist) - With their engagingly rainbow-coloured beaks, puffins are the star attraction on the Faroe Islands. But puffin boffins fear that their numbers are falling so fast that in 20 years they may have vanished from the archipelago.



Blackbirding: legacy of anger in Solomon Islands
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 9 August 2019 (RNZ) - David Gegeo, the director of research at Solomon Islands National University, said thousands of Solomon Islanders were kidnapped and later contracted to work in Australia in the 1800s, a practice known as Blackbirding.



Hundreds are coming home to a tiny Newfoundland island
RAMEA, Canada, 9 August 2019 (The Star) - Ivan Giles may live in Nova Scotia, but the 34-year-old carpenter and part-time musician’s heart belongs to his hometown of Ramea, Newfoundland.



Bullfighting returns to Majorca after partial ban overturned
LONDON, UK, 9 August 2019 (BBC) - Bullfighting is returning to Majorca after a partial ban on the practice was overturned by Spain's top court.



Tuvalu prepares for Forum meeting
SUVA, Fiji, 9 August 2019 (Island Business) - A giant crane hoists the flagpoles into place outside Funafuti’s Sir Tomasi Puapua Convention Centre. Four go up, with another fourteen to go. Tuvalu is getting ready to host the 18 member states of the Pacific Islands Forum.



Tests show multi-rotor UAVs can improve cetacean behavioral studies
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 9 August 2019 (Mongabay) - Researchers assessing the utility of small, multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to survey and study 33 groups of humpback whales over 19 days in Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga, found that video data collected from a UAV improved upon data recorded by an expert observer from a research vessel, a standard technique.



COP26: Glasgow could host 2020 UN climate change summit
LONDON, UK, 9 August 2019 (BBC) - A major United Nations climate change summit will take place in Glasgow if a bid to attract the event to the UK is successful, it has been announced.



Climate change: Marine heatwaves kill coral instantly
LONDON, UK, 9 August 2019 (BBC) - Increasingly frequent marine heatwaves can lead to the almost instant death of corals, scientists working on the Great Barrier Reef have found.



The State must buy High Island off the Connemara coast
CORK, Ireland, 8 August 2019 (Irish Examiner) - The State paid €2m for a majority stake-holding in the Great Blasket a decade ago, which then-environment minister, John Gormley, considered good value, given the island’s cultural importance and its potential as a tourist attraction.



Claws out on Japan's 'cat island' as foul play feared in spate of deaths
TOKYO, Japan, 8 August 2019 (Guardian) - Authorities on a remote island in Japan where there are more cats than people appear close to solving the mystery behind a dramatic drop in its feline population.



Turkey ramps up drilling off Cyprus on eve of peace talks
LONDON, UK, 8 August 2019 (BBC) - Turkey is ramping up its drilling operations off the coast of Cyprus, sending a third ship to the eastern Mediterranean despite EU warnings.



PNG backtracks on China debt refinancing statement
SYDNEY, Australia, 8 August 2019 (AFP) - Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape has backtracked on an announcement saying he had asked China to refinance the country's $8 billion debt, insisting the statement was released without his knowledge.



TOP gears up for marine litter monitoring programme
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 7 August 2019 (Nation) - The Ocean Project Seychelles (TOP), a not-for-profit and non-governmental organisation, is undertaking a three-year marine litter monitoring programme by investigating the abundance, distribution, composition and the potential sources of marine debris on beaches.



What impacts exacerbated the Sulawesi flooding disaster
TAPUWATU, Indonesia, 7 August 2019 (Mongabay) - Last June, North Konawe, a land of hills and valleys on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, was struck by devastating floods, displacing thousands of people.



Fiji proposes new climate change laws
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 7 August 2019 (RNZ) - Fiji is proposing new climate change laws to restrict the use of plastics, and plan for the relocation of threatened coastal communities.



Sink or swim: Chinese port plans put Pacific back in play
ASAU, Samoa, 7 August 2019 (Reuters) - Early in the morning, before sunrise, low tide on the Samoan island of Savai’i reveals the remnants of an old American airstrip, washed away by decades of erosion, cyclones and tsunamis.



PNG asks China to refinance $8bn public debt
PORT MORESBY, PNG, 7 August 2019 (AFP) - Papua New Guinea has asked Beijing to refinance its $8 billion debt, in a request likely to rile Australia and the US as they try to maintain their influence in the Pacific in the face of a rising China.



Philippines declares epidemic after dengue fever kills more than 600
LONDON, UK, 7 August 2019 (Guardian) - An outbreak of dengue fever in the Philippines has been declared a national epidemic after causing hundreds of deaths this year in the wake of a government ban on the vaccine.



Haze from fires, Indonesia's national 'embarrassment,' are back
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 6 August 2019 (Mongabay) - Indonesia is experiencing its worst annual fire season since 2015, with the cross-border spread of haze once again threatening to spark a diplomatic row with neighbors Malaysia and Singapore.



Indonesia agrees to attempt Sumatran rhino IVF
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 6 August 2019 (Mongabay) - The governments of Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to carry out in vitro fertilization of Sumatran rhinos, heralding a breakthrough in a decades-long effort to breed the nearly extinct species in captivity.



Antony Gormley installs iron figures on the Greek island of Delos
LONDON, UK, 6 August 2019 (Dezeen) - Artist Antony Gormley has unveiled Sight, an exhibition of 29 of his humanoid sculptures on the Greek island of Delos in the Aegean sea.



Archaeologists find 'Viking drinking hall' during Orkney dig
LONDON, UK, 6 August 2019 (BBC) - Archaeologists have found what could be a Viking drinking hall during a dig in Orkney. The site, at Skaill Farmstead in Westness, Rousay, is believed to date back to the 10th Century and may have been used by the chieftain Sigurd.



Using education to build a grassroots hornbill conservation movement
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 6 August 2019 (BirdLife) - Not long ago, communities living around Indonesia's Poayato Paguat forests hunted hornbills for food and used their casques as talismans and decorations in their homes. Today, these communities are on the frontline in the fight to protect these magnificent birds.



Hornbill becomes community flagship for forest conservation
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 6 August 2019 (BirdLife) - In the Philippines, the Rufous-headed Hornbill has been driven to the brink of extinction by hunting and deforestation. But thanks to a new project, it is celebrated among local people, and has kicked off a movement to restore the area’s forests.



Lives lived and lost along Manila's Pasig river
MANILA, Philippines, 6 August 2019 (BBC) - The Pasig river, which winds its way through Manila has long been a dumping ground for the Philippine capital's 13 million residents.



Natural balance brought back to the Aleutian Islands
NEW YORK, US. 6 August 2019 (Atlas Obscura) - The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is a rugged landscape comprised of 3.4 million acres across 2,500 volcanic islands arcing from the end of the Alaskan Peninsula to just short of Kamchatka in the Russian Far East.



Lives of basking sharks caught on 'SharkCam' in Inner Hebrides
LONDON, UK, 6 August 2019 (BBC) - Scientists have captured basking sharks in the Inner Hebrides using the UK's first autonomous "SharkCam".



The Madagascar farmers trying to save sea cucumbers
LONDON, UK, 6 August 2019 (BBC) - In much of the Far East, sea cucumbers are a delicacy, fetching a high price for their purported health benefits. In Tampolove, a tiny windswept village of mud huts and sandy paths squeezed between the coast and the forest in south-west Madagascar, they have provided a major boost to the local economy and environment.



Cancer control in small island nations
LONDON, UK, 5 August 2019 (The Lancet) - The Pacific and Caribbean islands all face similar challenges of a growing cancer burden, inadequate cancer surveillance, geographically isolated small populations, vulnerable ecological and economic situations, insufficient resources, poor access to screening and treatment, and overburdened health-care systems.



Canary Islands would seek legal action to stop TMT
LA PALMA, Canary Islands, 5 August 2019 (HNN) - Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) protesters at the base of Mauna Kea in Hawaii have urged the telescope’s backers to move the project to a back-up site in the Canary Islands. However, Ecologistas en Accion, an environmentalist group based in the Canary Islands, says it plans to seek legal action to stop the $1.4 billion telescope from being built on the island La Palma.



Atlantic puffins thriving on remote nesting islands off Maine
PORTLAND, US, 5 August 2019 (Press Herald) - One of the most beloved birds in Maine is having one of its most productive seasons in years for mating pairs on remote islands off the state’s coast.



How Jakartans built an entire village on top of a mall
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 5 August 2019 (Guardian) - It’s Thursday and the residents of Jakarta’s Cosmo Park are out jogging, watering their plants or walking their dogs along neat asphalt roads.



How Tamil Nadu is fighting to save Gulf of Mannar sinking islands
THOOTHUKUDI, India, 5 August 2019 (Wire) - Until a year before the 2004 tsunami ravaged India’s southeast coast, a 34-year-old Rajan would take his boat from Tharuvaikulam, a small village in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu, to the nearby island of Koswari and mine for corals.



Danish island sees record population
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 5 August 2019 (Post) - The island of Fanø has become a poster child for the recent rejuvenation that Danish islands have been enjoying over the past few years.



Pacific leaders want summit focus on climate, not China
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 4 August 2019 (AFP) - Pacific island leaders insist climate change, not China, will top the agenda when they meet in Tuvalu this month as western-aligned nations push to curb Beijing's growing influence in the region.



Sicilian fishermen risk prison to rescue migrants
LONDON, UK, 3 August 2019 (Guardian) - Captain Carlo Giarratano didn’t think twice when, late last month, during a night-time fishing expedition off the coast of Libya, he heard desperate cries of help from 50 migrants aboard a dinghy that had run out of fuel and was taking on water.



It's easy to mock eco-celebs
LONDON, UK, 3 August 2019 (Guardian) - The world has been agog at Camp Google, the three-day mass gathering at the luxury Verdura resort in Sicily, of 300 or so celebrity environmental activists including Prince Harry who reportedly gave a stirring speech barefoot! A startling image springs to mind of a Google aide shrugging off the carbon footprint of Harry’s journey (private jet and helicopter), but saying: “Uh, prince-dude, you need to lose the offensive shoes.”



Orkney 5G trials could soon be reality
LONDON, UK, 3 August 2019 (BBC) - 5G networks are starting to pop up in UK cities - but for many rural areas even getting a basic mobile signal remains a challenge. This was certainly the case in the Orkney Islands, an archipelago of 70 islands off the north coast of Scotland.



'Iceberg Corridor' sparks tourist boom on Canada's east coast
KING'S POINT, Canada, 2 August 2019 (AFP) - While the rest of the world nervously eyes the impact of global warming, the calving of Greenland's glaciers - the breaking off of ice chunks from its edge - has breathed new life into the remote coastal villages of Newfoundland and Labrador.



Red flags as Indonesia eyes relocating its capital city to Borneo
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 2 August 2019 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s proposed new capital city on the island of Borneo will be built in just five years and without the need to raze any protected rainforest, a government official claims.



P.E.I. campaign asks visitors to 'walk lightly' on island beaches
CHARLOTTETOWN, Canada, 2 August 2019 (CBC) - The Island Nature Trust is encouraging visitors to P.E.I. to help protect Island beaches through a new campaign called Walking Lightly. 



Tuvalu's fight to stay above the waves
FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu, 2 August 2019 (RNZ) - In a bright blue building on the dusty main street of Tuvalu's capital, white-haired Siliga Kofe sits behind a large table, tracing his finger over a map of the lagoon which is lapping lazily on the coral strewn foreshore outside. The chief of of the tiny capital, Funafuti, is studiously leafing through sheafs of paper setting out plans he hopes will save his nation from being washed into the Pacific Ocean.



Heatwaves amplify near-record levels of ice melt
LONDON, UK, 2 August 2019 (Guardian) - Greenland – which is home to the world’s second biggest ice sheet – is likely to have shrunk more in the past month than the average for a whole year between 2002 and now, according to provisional estimates from satellite data.



Bid to better protect Scotland's 'Dinosaur Isle'
LONDON, UK, 2 August 2019 (BBC) - Dinosaur and other animal fossil sites in Skye have been given new legal protection in a bid to deter unscrupulous collectors.



MP digs up detail on isles tunnel potential
ABERDEEN, UK, 1 August 2019 (P&J) - Consultants working with Western Isles MP have said a tunnel linking Harris and Skye could deliver savings of up to £300 million over 60 years.



Pristine Arctic reserves will benefit wildlife and Inuit communities
WASHINGTON, US, 1 August 2019 (NatGeog) - Canada's newest marine protected area is expected to be a refuge for wildlife as other parts of the Arctic face instability.



Report finds shocking levels of child violence in Pacific
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 1 August 2019 (RNZ) - The report team, from combined aid agencies, found as many as four million children experience violence at home across the Pacific - a staggering 2.8 million in Papua New Guinea alone.



Study finds manta rays congregating around 2 Seychellois islands
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 31 July 2019 (SNA) - A newly published study shows that a significant population of reef manta rays spends a lot of time in the waters around Seychelles’ remote D’Arros Island and St Joseph Atoll.



Logging, mining companies lock eyes on Woodlark Island
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 31 July 2019 (Mongabay) - A unique island ecosystem and culture lying 170 miles off Papua New Guinea is once more in the crosshairs. Over the past decade, Woodlark Islanders have defended their forests from a slew of threats from loggers, miners and plantation developers.



Indonesia investigates oil spill in Java Sea by state energy company
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 31 July 2019 (Mongabay) - A newly drilled oil well operated by Indonesian state-owned energy company Pertamina has been spilling thousands of barrels of oil into the sea and the northern Java coast for nearly three weeks now.



Tahitian Village project probed over government law breaches
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 31 July 2019 (RNZ) - An investigation has been opened in French Polynesia into claims that the government broke environmental laws with its Tahitian Village tourism project.



Seabird Sentinels will help mitigate bycatch
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 31 July 2019 (BirdLife) - The population of Wandering Albatrosses breeding at South Georgia has declined rapidly since the 1960s. Yet since 2014, bycatch of seabirds in the local longline fishery has dropped to negligible levels because of regulations introduced under the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.



Reef fish are faring fine in eastern Indonesia
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 31 July 2019 (Mongabay) - The coral reefs of the lesser Sunda-Banda seascape in southeastern Indonesia host some of the planet’s most biodiverse marine ecosystems, which remain relatively untouched even as overfishing ravages sea life to the country’s west and all over the world.



Microplastic waste fouls up Sri Lanka's southern beaches
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 31 July 2019 (Mongabay) - Sri Lanka’s southern coastline is dotted with popular resorts and beaches, but this once pristine landscape hasn’t been spared by the global plastic waste crisis, a study finds.



A Philippine community now works to protect giant clams
SAMAL ISLAND, Philippines, 31 July 2019 (Mongabay) - The island of Samal in the southern Philippines is home to one of 40 sites around the country where giant clams are nurtured as part of a conservation program.



Meet the man swimming the Pacific garbage patch
LOS ANGELES, US, 31 July 2019 (Guardian) - The 52-year-old Frenchman is journeying from Hawaii to San Francisco via the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to better understand how plastic is affecting our oceans.



Pacific leaders plead with Australia to drop plans
LONDON, UK, 31 July 2019 (Guardian) - Pacific leaders have called on Australia to abandon plans to use carry-over credits to meet Paris climate targets and to immediately stop new coalmining, warning some of their countries could be uninhabitable as soon as 2030.



Backing sought for basking shark 'safe zone' in Scotland
LONDON, UK, 31 July 2019 (BBC) - Scotland could be the location of the world's first protected area for basking sharks, say conservationists. Large groups of the fish gather in the Sea of the Hebrides from May to October to feed on plankton.



Malagasy president considers backing conservation petition
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 30 July 2019 (Mongabay) - If a sufficient number of signatories back a petition outlining conservation priorities for Madagascar it will be sponsored by the Malagasy president, Andry Rajoelina, and be instated as the  ‘Declaration of Ivato’ this Saturday.



Philippines is deadliest country for defenders of environment
LONDON, UK, 30 July 2019 (Guardian) - The Philippines has replaced Brazil as the most murderous country in the world for people defending their land and environment, according to research that puts a spotlight on the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.



The Pacific paradise groaning under 18 tonnes of plastic waste
LONDON, UK, 30 July 2019 (Guardian) - Henderson Island, uninhabited and a day’s sea crossing from the nearest sign of civilisation, should be an untouched paradise. Instead its beaches, which were awarded Unesco world heritage status in 1988, are a monument to humanity’s destructive, disposable culture.



How Mykonos became the party island of the super-rich
LONDON, UK, 30 July 2019 (Guardian) - The Greek island has long attracted a glamorous clique, but the influx of billionaires has transformed it into a haven of absurd luxury.



Tuvalu bans single use plastic from August 1
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 29 July 2019 (RNZ) - A single use plastic ban and importation levy comes into force in Tuvalu from the beginning of August to help deal with waste in the small remote islands. It's hoped the new measures will ease pressure on an overflowing rubbish dump on Fogafale where most of the population lives.



40,000 litres of diesel spilled into sea off Patagonia
LONDON, UK, 29 July 2019 (Guardian) - A statement from the Chilean navy said it received a call from the mining company CAP on Saturday reporting the spill at the terminal of Guarello island, about 1,740 miles south of Santiago, Chile’s capital.



Hundreds of reindeer starve to death on Svalbard
LONDON, UK, 29 July 2019 (Independent) - More than 200 reindeer have died of starvation on the Norwegian archipelago of  Svalbard, with scientists blaming their deaths on climate change.



Chagos Islanders are pressed to leave the UK
LONDON, UK, 28 July 2019 (Observer) - British passport holders from the Chagos Islands are being systematically targeted by council officials in a “shameful” attempt to have them removed from the UK.



Is this still the best place to be a puffin?
LONDON, UK, 28 July 2019 (BBC) - The puffin population on the Isle of May has been relatively stable since the population crash of a few years ago, but with forecasters predicting that climate change will lead to more frequent and more severe storms, the researchers here are on their guard.



Bougainville veterans reconcile, commit to referendum
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 27 July 2019 (RNZ) - The focus of the Bougainville Me'ekamui and Veterans Summit was a reconciliation between former combatants in the region, and came just months out from a referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea.



OECS to establish green-blue economy strategy and action plan
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, 26 July 2019 (Caibbean News Now) - The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) green-blue economy strategy and action plan, the first of its kind in the Caribbean and globally to combine green and blue economy strategies for sustainable development, will be advanced under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in June 2019 between the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and the OECS Commission.



A court victory for Bali's ban on single-use plastics
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 26 July 2019 (Mongabay) - A ban on single-use plastics on the Indonesian island of Bali will stay in place, after the country’s top court rejected a challenge by the plastic-recycling industry.



Wave Swell Energy set to test new power generator off King Island
MULLUMBIMBY, Australia, 26 July 2019 (RenewEconomy) - Innovative Australian made wave energy technology is set to be trialled for the first time in the ocean off King Island, Tasmania, where it will be integrated with existing wind, diesel and solar resources – a first in Australia. 



Mallorca residents call for cruise ship limit of one a day in Palma
BARCELONA, Spain, 25 July 2019 (Guardian) - More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for a limit of one cruise ship a day docking in Palma de Mallorca.



A cloudspotters guide to climate change
LUNDY ISLAND, UK, 25 July 2019 (Reuters) - A path of trampled grass leads up the hill to St. Helen’s, the only church on Lundy Island. From a Gothic tower topped with the English flag, the coastline of Devon is faintly visible to the east, while the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretches west, the seas uninterrupted all the way to North America.



Puerto Rico governor to quit after weeks of protest
NEW YORK, US, 25 July 2019 (Guardian) - Puerto Rico’s embattled governor has announced his resignation following almost two weeks of continuous mass protest on the island tied to a leaked text message scandal that saw him gradually abandoned by his own party.



Houtman Abrolhos island chain to become national park
GERALDTON, Australia, 25 July 2019 (ABC) - The pristine coral haven of the Houtman Abrolhos island chain off the coast of Western Australia will be protected and made more accessible with the creation of the Houtman Abrolhos National Park, the state's premier says.



New roads in PNG may cause 'quantum leap' in forest loss
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 24 July 2019 (Mongabay) - Papua New Guinea hopes to nearly double the length of its road network by 2022, posing grave threats to more than 50 parks and biodiversity-rich areas, according to a new analysis.



Climate change: Current warming 'unparalleled' in 2,000 years
LONDON, UK, 24 July 2019 (BBC) - The speed and extent of current global warming exceeds any similar event in the past 2,000 years, researchers say.



Do we know enough about the deep sea to mine it?
WASHINGTON, US, 24 July 2019 (NatGeog) - Eighteen years of company-collected data on deep sea ecosystems targeted for mining will add to our scant knowledge of the abyss.



Japan-South Korea slanging match over tiny islands
TOKYO, Japan, 24 July 2019 (Reuters) - A war of words over ownership of a group of tiny islands in the sea between Japan and South Korea spilled over to the Olympics on Wednesday as Tokyo criticized Seoul’s complaint over a map of Japan on the Tokyo Games website.



Sri Lankans demand UK take back rotting waste
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 24 July 2019 (BBC) - Sri Lankans are up in arms over the alleged dumping of hazardous waste from Britain, including syringes and suspected human remains from mortuaries.



Reef fish at Marshalls atoll are toxic
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 23 July 2019 (RNZ) - A new report on the contamination near a US Army Garrison in the Marshall Islands confirms that fish around Kwajalein Island contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.



As the oceans rise, the Pacific refuses to be left behind
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 23 July 2019 (The Spinoff) - The Pacific is often painted as the poster-child of climate change, but that shouldn’t entirely be seen as a negative thing, because it’s the most concrete example of what the rest of the world has yet to witness or feel.



27 companies step up to new level of climate ambition
NEW YORK, US, 23 July 2019 (WWF) - Twenty-seven companies with a total market capitalization of $1.2 trillion are stepping up to set a new level of climate ambition in response to a call-to-action campaign ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit on 23 September.



Top court holds Indonesian government liable over 2015 forest fires
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 23 July 2019 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s highest court has upheld a ruling holding the government, including the president, liable for the disastrous forest fires and resultant haze that blanketed large swaths of the country in 2015.



Can science and tourism save the Great Barrier Reef?
LONDON, UK, 23 July 2019 (BBC) - Amazingly, 40% of the Great Barrier Reef has never been surveyed from a conservation perspective, and many people around the world believe that the reef is beyond saving. 



The former millionaire who found 'heaven' on a desert island
MELBOURNE, Australia, 22 July 2019 (ABC) - David Glasheen was once a multi-millionaire living in Sydney. But that was a different life. For 22 years, the 76-year-old has been the sole resident of a remote Queensland island - and he wouldn't have it any other way.



Google's Equiano cable will extend to the remote island of St Helena
NEW YORK, US, 22 July 2019 (IEEE) Google announced its planned Equiano cable, named for the abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, in June. The company plans to run the cable along the western coast of Africa, connecting Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa. The 1,140-kilometer branch to Saint Helena could be completed as early as August 2021.



Tourist boats impeding maternal bond of Vava'u's humpbacks
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 22 July 2019 (RNZ) - Swimming-with-the-whales tourism in northern Tonga is disturbing the natural behaviour of humpbacks, who are there to give birth, bond and nurse, new research shows.



A dark history of the world's smallest island nation
CAMBRIDGE, US, 22 July 2019 (MIT Press) - A combination of greed, colonial mismanagement, and gross incompetence has brought Nauru, once dubbed ‘Pleasant Island,’ to the brink of collapse.



South Pacific islanders threatened by climate change and overfishing
PAPEETE, French Polynesia, 22 July 2019 (China Dialogue) - Tony Yao used to fish in his outrigger canoe in the coastal waters off Tahiti in French Polynesia. But the decline in fish populations has forced his family to move in order to find less exploited fishing grounds.



Why China is challenging Australia for influence over the Pacific
HONG KONG, 22 July 2019 (CNN) - The Pacific Islands are home to fewer than 10 million people - slightly less than the population of Sweden - are thousands of miles from Beijing and have a combined GDP of about $33.77 billion, less than 1% of China's total GDP.



Indonesia, facing a waste crisis, plans to burn it for electricity
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 22 July 2019 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government plans to burn waste to fuel power plants in four cities on the island of Java this year as part of efforts to tackle the country’s plastic waste crisis.



Icelandic memorial warns future
LONDON, UK, 22 July 2019 (Guardian) - The first of Iceland’s 400 glaciers to be lost to the climate crisis will be remembered with a memorial plaque – and a sombre warning for the future – to be unveiled by scientists and local people next month.



Ocean snail officially endangered by deep-sea mining
LONDON, UK, 22 July 2019 (Nature) - A snail that lives near hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor east of Madagascar has become the first deep-sea animal to be declared endangered because of the threat of mining.



Manus Island governor urges Australia to help resettle refugees
LONDON, UK, 22 July 2019 (Guardian) - The governor of Manus Island, Charlie Benjamin, says Australia must “step up” and help resettle refugees from his province to a third country, saying the “uncomfortable” situation requires urgent action.



Thirty years of unique data reveal what's really killing coral reefs
BOCA RATON, US, 22 July 2019 (SPX) -  With 30 years of unique data from Looe Key Reef in the lower Florida Keys, researchers have discovered that the problem of coral bleaching is not just due to a warming planet, but also a planet that is simultaneously being enriched with reactive nitrogen from multiple sources.



The fight for Dragon Island
LONDON, UK, 22 July 2019 (BBC) - Authorities in Indonesia want to hand Komodo Island back to the dragons. They want to close it to mass tourism, and expel the inhabitants who have lived alongside the earth’s largest lizards for generations.



The Das Island dream
ABU DHABI, UAE, 21 July 2019 (The National) - In a simple folder lies a couple of yellowing pages. Marked secret and written in 1933, the report describes an uninhabited barren island off the coast of Abu Dhabi. A refuge for seagulls and cormorants, the RAF was considering using Das Island as an emergency landing ground for Imperial Airways flights from London to India.