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|MEPs and authors crank up pressure on Maltese authorities|
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 19 April 2018 (Guardian) - Malta’s government has been told to take urgent action to implement EU anti-money laundering rules, as MEPs rang the alarm about the dangers for journalists investigating financial crime following the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
|Unified land-use map for Indonesia nears launch|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 19 April 2018 (Mongabay) - An effort by the Indonesian government to compile a single map of land-use cover across the vast archipelago is nearing completion seven years after it began, but continues to be hampered by the very problem it seeks to overcome: bureaucracy.
|Refugees on Greek islands angry at freedom for new arrivals|
ATHENS, Greece, 19 April 2018 (Al Jazeera) - Elation has turned to anger for refugees on Greece's eastern Aegean islands, following a court ruling that prolongs their confinement to those islands, but allows new arrivals to leave immediately.
|Heatwaves 'cook' Great Barrier Reef corals|
LONDON, UK, 18 April 2018 (BBC) - Prolonged ocean warming events, known as marine heatwaves, take a significant toll on the complex ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef.
|Pacific islands invasive species data to be available globally|
APIA, Samoa, 18 April 2018 (SPREP) - Helping Pacific islands publish data on alien and invasive species to support invasive species management is at the core of a regional workshop at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) this week. Invasive species are the largest threat to biodiversity in the Pacific.
|Skye salmon farms approved despite environmental opposition|
LONDON, UK, 18 April 2018 (Guardian) - Two new salmon farms are to be built off the Scottish island of Skye after receiving permission from the Highland council, despite opposition from residents over the possible environmental impacts and a lack of guarantees the farms will remain organic.
|Komodo national park is reaching a tipping point|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 18 April 2018 (Guardian) - It was the unusual thrashing on the water that caught their attention. As those onboard the dive boat in Indonesia’s Komodo national park drew closer, it became clear it was a green turtle entangled in rubbish and thick fishing net.
|Cuba after the Castros|
LONDON, UK, 17 April 2018 (BBC) - The Father of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, died in late 2016 and Raúl Castro is retiring from the presidency. Cuba is about to be governed by someone other than a Castro for the first time since 1959. So, after six decades, what kind of country will they pass on?
|He brought world attention to his sinking island nation|
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 17 April 2018 (LA Times) - Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives, is intent on ending his exile and going home to challenge the country's authoritarian leader.
|Vanuatu and Britain lead alliance to fight plastic|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 17 April 2018 (RNZ) - Britain and Vanuatu are leading a new Commonwealth initiative to fight plastic pollution of the Pacific and other oceans. The British government of Theresa May committed US$88m to the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance.
|Centuries worth of rare earth elements found in Japan's EEZ|
TOKYO, Japan, 17 April 2018 (Asahi Shimbun) - Massive deposits of rare earth minerals that could meet global demand for centuries have been found in Japan's exclusive economic zone off the Ogasawara island chain 2,000 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, researchers said.
|Palau looks to protect its most precious resource|
NAIROBI, Kenya, 16 April 2018 (UNEP) - Palau, an archipelago of over 576 islands in the western tropical Pacific Ocean, is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, many of which are endangered or can be found nowhere else on the planet.
|Vanuatu volcano eruption intensifies on Ambae island|
SYDNEY, Australia, 16 April 2018 (ABC) - The active volcano on Vanuatu's Ambae island has once again begun spewing out ash and harmful smoke, and Vanuatu's government is now looking into acquiring land to permanently resettle the island's 13,000 residents.
|Boy unearths treasure of the Danish king Bluetooth on Rugen island|
BERLIN, Germany, 16 April 2018 (AFP) - René Schön and his student Luca Malaschnitschenko were looking for treasure using metal detectors in January on northern Rügen island in Germany when they chanced upon what they initially thought was a worthless piece of aluminium.
|Dutch island gets on the hop to encourage rabbits to breed|
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 16 April 2018 (Guardian) - It is not a pastime for which rabbits usually require much encouragement. But a mystery depletion in numbers on the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog has led to an emergency effort to coax the local population into breeding … well, like rabbits.
|The heart of a biodiversity haven|
MANILA, Philippines, 15 April 2018 (BM) - On Sibuyan Island in Romblon province sits Mount Guiting-Guiting, one of the focal points of Sibuyan’s declaration as a biodiversity haven.
|China backs horse racing and sports lotteries on Hainan|
BEIJING, China, 15 April 2018 (SCMP) - China has unveiled plans to allow horse racing and betting-type sports lotteries on its southern island of Hainan, announcing the decision a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping said the province would be the site of the mainland’s biggest pilot free-trade port.
|Indonesia looks to impose its palm oil sustainability standard on all|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 13 April 2018 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government aims to impose its homegrown sustainability standard for palm oil on all operators, but concerns persist over the readiness of the previously exempt small-scale farmers who manage two-fifths of total plantation area nationwide.
|Comoros protests to re-claim French Island, Mayotte|
MORONI, Comoros, 13 April 2018 (AFP) - Thousands of people marched on Thursday in Moroni protesting that the neighbouring French island of Mayotte is part of Comoros. This comes at a time when the French island is experiencing strong tensions related to illegal immigration from the Comoros.
|Wea nao bae iu go, where will you go? |
HONIARA, Solomon Islands, 13 April 2018 (UNDP) - An archipelago of over 990 small islands, covering around 27,000 square kilometres, the Solomon Islands boasts rich cultural diversity and an array of terrain, species and natural resources.
|Tourism surge lashes Southeast Asia's beaches|
KOH PHI PHI LEY, Thailand, 11 April 2018 (AFP) - Hordes of tourists clamber across the white sand with selfie sticks as Thai park rangers wade into turquoise waters to direct boats charging into the cliff-ringed cove.
|Cyprus on frontline against lionfish invasion of Med|
KONNOS BAY, Cyprus, 11 April 2018 (AFP) - Equipped with harpoons and waterproof notebooks, Louis, Carlos and Antonis dive deep into the crystal clear waters of Konnos Bay in Cyprus on a mission to capture predatory lionfish.
|Australia secures Solomon Islands undersea internet cable project|
MELBOURNE, Australia, 11 April 2018 (AFR) - The Australian government sent a high-level delegation to the Solomon Islands this week to confirm its commitment to build an undersea internet cable between the two countries, as Canberra looks to counter the rising influence of China in the Pacific.
|How Belize is restoring its damaged ocean|
WASHINGTON, US, 11 April 2018 (NatGeog) - The Mesoamerican Reef stretches some 700 miles from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula through Guatemala, to Honduras’ Bay Islands. For 184.5 miles, the reef passes through Belizean waters. Along with the lagoons and atolls on either side of the main reef, the collection is known as the “Belize Barrier Reef System.”
|Indonesian seagrass meadows are in danger|
SWANSEA, Wales, 10 April 2018 (Phys.org) - Research led by Swansea University's Bioscience department have found that the world's centre of biodiversity is under widespread threat of losing a key marine resource.
|Raja Ampat survey reveals new species & key manta ray data|
LONDON, UK, 10 April 2018 (Guardian) - An archipelago of 1500 odd islands scattered over 40,000 square kilometres off the coast of West Papua, Indonesia, Raja Ampat is a great place to see manta rays – and indeed sea creatures in general.
|The 150-year-old story of Sri Lankan tea-making|
LONDON, UK, 10 April 2018 (BBC) - Almost 5% of the population of Sri Lanka work in the billion-dollar tea industry, picking leaves on the mountain slopes and processing the tea in plantation factories.
|Saudi waterway to turn Qatar into island|
MANAMA, Bahrain, 9 April 2018 (Gulf News) - Qatar, a peninsular country, could be turned into an island if a plan by Gulf investors to dig a 60 kilometre-long water canal alongside the border with Qatar goes ahead.
|Indonesia land swap risks wider deforestation|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 9 April 2018 (Mongabay) - Under a government program, pulpwood and logging companies in Indonesia are eligible for a land swap if their existing concessions include at least 40 percent protected peatland.
|Caught in the crossfire: little dodo nears extinction|
LONDON, UK, 9 April 2018 (Guardian) - Illegal pigeon hunting across Samoa is risking the extinction of the country’s national bird: the little dodo or manumea. Will this little-known island pigeon suffer the same fate as its namesake?
|Fighting climate change the Micronesian way|
SUVA, Fiji, 8 April 2018 (PINA) - People have been living on islands in Micronesia for as much as 3500 years. We know that the first people arrived at Ritidian on Guam from the Philippines this long ago, and that their descendants have been in these islands ever since.
|Old Easter tradition on the Greek island of Corfu is a smash|
CORFU, Greece, 7 April 2018 (Reuters) - Corfiots mark Holy Saturday with a strange old custom referred to as the “botides” - where large clay jugs filled with water are thrown from the balconies of homes in the center of town, smashing into pieces onto the streets below as thousands gather around to watch.
|Japan activates marine brigade to protect islands from China|
HONG KONG, 7 April 2018 (SCMP) - Japan on Saturday activated its first marine unit since the second world war trained to counter invaders occupying Japanese islands along the edge of the East China Sea that Tokyo fears are vulnerable to attack by China.
|Prince Charles gets new Chief title on Vanuatu|
LONDON, UK, 7 April 2018 (BBC) - Prince Charles has been made an honorary high chief in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. As part of the ceremony, he took a sip from a cup of special kava, known as Royal Kava, which was last consumed when his father, the Duke of Edinburgh visited the island in 1974.
|Exploring Sao Tome uncovers mysterious rare birds|
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 6 April 2018 (BirdLife) - It’s not called the “African Galapagos” for nothing. The island of São Tomé, off the west coast of central Africa, is truly one of a kind. For a start, it has a remarkable level of endemism for such a small island: 17 of its 50 bird species are confined to that island alone. It is also unusual in that it has no recorded human-driven bird extinctions – yet.
|Putin sets up fund for preserving Solovetsky Islands archipelago|
MOSCOW, Russia, 6 April 2018 (TASS) - President Putin has signed a decree setting up a fund for preserving and developing the Solovetsky Islands archipelago where a major Russian Orthodox monastery founded in 1426 has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
|Indonesian conservation bill is weak on wildlife crime|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 6 April 2018 (Mongabay) - Environmental advocates have warned that proposed revisions to Indonesia’s conservation act could provide new loopholes for wildlife traffickers, who already enjoy a thriving trade in one of the world’s most biodiverse countries.
|South Korean company under fire for alleged deforestation in Papua|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 5 April 2018 (Mongabay) - A South Korean-owned company previously under fire for clearing vast swaths of pristine forest in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province has continued to deforest its oil palm concession in an area of rich biodiversity.
|Underwater with Sri Lanka's sperm whales|
LONDON, UK, 5 April 2018 (Guardian) - Every March, vast numbers of sperm whales gather in the deep waters north-west of Sri Lanka. Andrew Sutton’s photographs are vivid evidence of a little-known population – all the more surprising since sperm whales are the largest active predators on the planet with males reaching nearly 20m (65ft) in length.
|Louisiana state nearly finished rebuilding Whiskey Island|
NEW ORLEANS, US, 4 April 2018 (WWNO) - Coastal scientists are almost finished rebuilding a barrier island that has been washing away for years. Projects like this are a major part of the state’s Coastal Master Plan, the $50-billion blueprint for fighting land loss.
|Oil spill ignites on Indonesian island of Borneo|
LONDON, UK, 4 April 2018 (Guardian) - The Indonesian port city of Balikpapan, on the island of Borneo, has declared a state of emergency after a devastating oil spill spread along the coast, killing four fisherman when it ignited.
|Small emus once roamed Australian islands|
SYDNEY, Australia, 4 April 2018 (ABC) - Emus may be known as one of the biggest and most intimidating Australian bird species, but once upon a time they could be found on offshore islands, including Kangaroo Island, King Island and Tasmania, at just two-thirds of the size.
|Dinosaur tracks on Skye globally important|
LONDON, UK, 3 April 2018 (BBC) - New light has been shed on a little understood period of dinosaur evolution after giant prehistoric footprints were discovered on the Isle of Skye.
|Underwater melting of Antarctic ice far greater than thought|
LONDON, UK, 2 April 2018 (Guardian) - Hidden underwater melt-off in the Antarctic is doubling every 20 years and could soon overtake Greenland to become the biggest source of sea-level rise, according to the first complete underwater map of the world’s largest body of ice.
|International attention turns to the Humboldt Archipelago|
CHANARAL DE ACEITUNO, Chile, 2 April 2018 (Mission Blue) - The Humboldt Archipelago has been declared a Hope Spot by international non-profit Mission Blue in recognition that the area is one of the most bio-diverse and ecologically important parts of the Chilean coast and the southeast Pacific.
|Castro's successor to inherit long-standing conflict|
HAVANA, Cuba, 2 April 2018 (IPS) - Cuba’s tense relations with the United States under the administration of Donald Trump reflect a scenario of conflict that is not alien to the generation that will take over the country on Apr. 19, when President Raúl Castro is set to step down.
|Madagascar's vanilla wars: prized spice drives death and deforestation|
ANJAHANA, Madagascar, 31 March 2018 (Guardian) - The vanilla thieves of Anjahana were so confident of their power to intimidate farmers they provided advance warning of raids. “We are coming tonight,” they would write in a note pushed under doors in this remote coastal village in Madagascar. “Prepare what we want.”
|A humanitarian triumph in the aftermath of war|
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, 30 March 2018 (MercoPress) - The visit by over two hundred of Argentine next-of-kin to the Argentine Military Cemetery in Darwin in East Falkland earlier this week undoubtedly marks a new milestone in the so-often troubled relations between Argentina and Britain over the Falkland Islands dispute.
|Why are American Samoans not U.S. citizens?|
WASHINGTON, US, 30 March 2018 (NatGeog) - The residents of American Samoa have a long tradition of voyaging to new lands as part of their ancestors’ history. But in modern times, going beyond their five islands and two coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean has often proven legally challenging.
|Brazil creates four massive marine protected areas|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 30 March 2018 (Mongabay) - Brazil will soon have four vast marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Atlantic Ocean, covering an area of more than 920,000 square kilometers. Two of the MPAs will cover waters around the archipelago of Trindade, Martin Vaz and Mount Columbia and the other two will be located around the São Pedro and São Paulo archipelagos.
|Agroforestry bolsters biodiversity and villages in Sri Lanka|
PITEKELE, Sri Lanka, 29 March 2018 (Mongabay) - Visitors to the Sinharaja Man and Biosphere Reserve, Sri Lanka’s largest remaining primary rainforest, could easily miss the fact that adjoining the forest’s entrance is the old and thriving community of Pitekele.
|Brazilian Blue Initiative - towards beyond 10% effective conservation|
GLAND, Switzerland, 28 March 2018 (IUCN) - The Brazilian Blue Initiative is a strategic coordination framework to promote partnerships, projects and other actions to enable Brazil with the best means possible for the implementation of marine conservation and a sustainable development strategy to best manage the existing and new coastal and marine protected areas.
|Smithsonian researchers name new ocean zone: The rariphotic|
WASHINGTON, US, 28 March 2018 (SPX) - Based on the unique fish fauna observed from a manned submersible on a southern Caribbean reef system in Curacao, Smithsonian explorers defined a new ocean-life zone, the rariphotic, between 130 and 309 meters (about 400 to 1,000 feet) below the surface.
|Indonesian graftbusters put a price tag on environmental crime|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 27 March 2018 (Mongabay) - Indonesia’s anti-graft agency has vowed to include environmental damages in its calculations of state losses incurred through corruption, in a move that could translate to heavier sentences and fines for crimes in the natural resources sector.
|Traditional landowners reject mining exploration bid in Bougainville|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 27 March 2018 (Mongabay) - Traditional landowners in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, have exerted their power of veto under the autonomous region’s new mining laws and rejected a corporate bid by Bougainville Copper Limited to embark on renewed exploration at the war-ravaged Panguna copper mine, which has been dormant for 28 years.
|New Molokai ranch plans pitched to a development-wary island|
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 27 March 2018 (Civil Beat) - Lamplighter Energy, which develops and operates energy projects around the globe, is gauging public support for its 40-year plan to purchase the 55,000 acre Molokai Ranch for $260 million. With the land, the company would farm an organic biofuel and sell it to South Korea.
|Ultra-thin sun shield could protect Great Barrier Reef|
SYDNEY, Australia, 27 March 2018 (AFP) - An ultra-fine biodegradable film some 50,000 times thinner than a human hair could be enlisted to protect the Great Barrier Reef from environmental degradation, researchers said Tuesday.
|Tsushima Island becoming a hot spot for South Korean tourists|
TSUSHIMA, Japan, 27 March 2018 (Japan Times) - Within sight of the bright lights and bustling beaches of Busan, sleepy Tsushima Island has little in common with its neighbor located a mere 50 kilometers north, but the island of about 31,000 people has recently become a hot spot for South Korean tourists.
|Bangladesh sees little foreign funds for Rohingya refugee island|
NEW YORK, US, 27 March 2018 (Reuters) - Bangladesh is not expecting much help from foreign donors as it forges ahead with plans to relocate 100,000 Rohingya refugees to an uninhabited island, an undertaking that does not yet have a timeline, a state minister said in an interview.
|The archaeologists sorting out Orkney's Neolithic bones|
LONDON, UK, 27 March 2018 (BBC) - Archaeologists excavating Neolithic tombs in Orkney are used to finding jumbled collections of bones that seem unconnected but a new study could potentially transform our understanding of the way Neolithic people dealt with their dead.
|Cook Islands to step up illegal fishing surveillance|
AVARUA, Cook Islands, 26 March 2018 (CIN) - Prime Minister Henry Puna has officially opened the extended and renovated Ocean Monitoring Centre at the Ministry of Marine Resources in Avarua, describing it as “a facility that allows our sovereign little nation to exercise full responsibility over its ocean domain”.
|Australians demand end to Manus Island and Nauru refugee centres|
MELBOURNE, Australia, 25 March 2018 (Aljazeera) - Thousands of Australians marched in major cities across the country to protest the government's treatment of refugees while demanding an end to its controversial policy of processing asylum seekers overseas.
|Mount Etna is sliding towards the sea|
LONDON, UK, 24 March 2018 (BBC) - Scientists have established that Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna, on the Italian island of Sicily is edging in the direction of the Mediterranean at a rate of 14mm per year.
|Marshall Islands overlooking environmental impact of digital currency|
SYDNEY, Australia, 24 March 2018 (ABC) - Even if the Marshall Islands Government succeeds with its plan to become the first in the world to establish a digital currency as legal tender, critics are arguing that such a policy would undermine the Marshalls' very prominent stance on climate change, and actually expand the size of the North Pacific territory's own carbon footprint.
|Malta Prime Minister welcomes Binance to its blockchain island|
LONDON, UK, 23 March 2018 (Bitcoin) - The world’s largest cryptocurrency has found a new home on one of the world’s smallest island states. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat warmly welcomed the cryptocurrency platform and spoke of his desire for Malta to become “global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies”.
|Renault helps an island ditch fossil fuels with V2G technology|
BARCELONA, Spain, 23 March 2018 (GTM) - French carmaker Groupe Renault said last month that it would collaborate with island authorities and grid operator Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira on a project called Sustainable Porto Santo/Smart Fossil Free Island, which will include vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
|In Bali fish die-offs, researchers spot a human hand|
DENPASAR, Indonesia, 22 March 2018 (Mongabay) - Tilapia is a mainstay of Balinese cuisine, but hundreds of thousands of the freshwater fish choke to death regularly in the resort island’s largest lake, for reasons that researchers say are entirely preventable.
|Madagascar's freshwater life sliding toward extinction|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 22 March 2018 (Mongabay) - In an assessment of 653 freshwater plant and animal species living on Madagascar and nearby islands, biologists found that 43 percent are threatened with extinction or there isn’t enough information to assess how well they’re doing.
|Indonesia women face daily swim for clean water|
MAKASSAR, Indonesia, 22 March 2018 (AFP) - Indonesian villager Mama Hasria swims upstream with about 200 empty jerry cans tied to her back, a daily trip she and other local women make to get clean water for their community on Sulawesi island.
|Turkey to send drill ship to contested gas field off Cyprus|
NICOSIA, Cyprus, 22 March 2018 (Guardian) - A showdown over natural gas and oil deposits in the seas off Cyprus is set to intensify, with Turkey announcing it is to send a drilling ship to the region days after the US energy company ExxonMobil dispatched its own survey vessels to the area.
|Inside the cemetery slums of Manila|
LONDON, UK, 21 March 2018 (Guardian) - Miranda, 68, has been living with her husband and children in a teetering shanty above a stack of graves in Manila North Cemetery since 1966.
|Tonga bans schoolgirls from rugby and boxing|
LONDON, UK, 21 March 2018 (Guardian) - The Tongan government has banned schoolgirls from playing rugby or boxing because the sports are deemed undignified and not in keeping with the island’s traditional culture.
|The backlash to Australia's planned marine park cutbacks|
LONDON, UK, 21 March 2018 (Guardian) - More than 35m hectares of “no-take” ocean will be stripped from Australia’s marine parks if plans released by the government go ahead, according to analysis commissioned by conservation groups.