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|Japan protests Russian internet expansion on disputed islands|
MOSCOW, Russia, 11 June 2018 (MT) - Japan has expressed displeasure with a Russian plan to lay fiber-optic cables on disputed Pacific islands, seized from Japan at the end of World War II. The cables will provide high-speed internet access to Kuril’s estimated 20,500 residents with the help of Chinese communication equipment giant Huawei.
|Seabird decline on Peru's guano islands|
WASHINGTON, US, 11 June 2018 (NatGeog) - In the 19th century, ships full of workers sailed to Peru’s guano islands to harvest bird feces from the islands’ once-thriving seabird populations, from cormorants to pelicans to boobies.
|Caribbean region faces another sargassum seaweed invasion|
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 8 June 2018 (Caribbean News Now) - According to statistics from the University of South Florida Optical Oceanography Lab and based on historical bloom patterns, it has been predicted that in the coming months, there is a high chance that sargassum seaweed in the Caribbean will continue to occur in high volumes until at least August and possibly exceed the historical record in 2015.
|How do we finance resilience in the Caribbean?|
NEW YORK, US, 8 June 2018 IPS) - As a new hurricane season approaches in the Caribbean, I attended last week’s dialogue focused on “Financing Resilience in SIDS” held in Antigua and Barbuda and sponsored by the host government and Belgium.
|EC launches project on clean air in EU islands|
VALLETTA, Malta, 8 June 2018 (Times of Malta) - The European Commission has launched the project ‘Strengthening cooperation on climate action among EU islands’ with the primary aim of assisting EU islands to develop clean and eco friendly means of energy.
|Pitcairners hope for return of Bounty gun|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 8 June 2018 (RNZ) - Pitcairn islanders are hoping an historic naval gun believed to be from the famous HMS Bounty will be returned to their island. The gun is being sold at auction on Saturday in Scotland.
|Indonesia's renaissance city under attack|
LONDON, UK, 8 June 2018 (Guardian) - Indonesia’s second-biggest city, Surabaya, drew global attention last month for the shocking use of children in Islamist terrorist suicide attacks against three Christian churches and a police headquarters, in which 14 people were killed.
|Tourists to Med told to ditch plastic|
LONDON, UK, 8 June 2018 (Guardian) - Tourists are being urged to reduce their use of plastic as new figures reveal holidaymakers cause a 40% spike in marine litter in the Mediterranean each summer.
|Sicilian police charge five men over trafficking of women|
LONDON, UK, 7 June 2018 (Guardian) - Sicilian police have charged five Romanian men with human trafficking after a series of police raids targeted the criminal exploitation and forced prostitution of workers in farms across the Ragusa region.
|Domestic tourism to GBR falls in wake of coral bleaching |
LONDON, UK, 7 June 2018 (Guardian) - The lure of the Great Barrier Reef to Australian tourists has “fallen dramatically” since the onset of successive coral bleaching events in 2016, according to a new report that reveals fewer domestic visitors are heading to north Queensland to visit the natural wonder.
|New waste management strategy for the Falkland Islands|
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 6 June 2018 (MercoPress) - Today the Falkland Islands Government announced the adoption of a new Waste Management strategy for the islands that details an ambitious set of proposals including expanded formal recycling, creation of energy from waste, the creation of a new engineered landfill site, and a public awareness campaign to help reduce waste volumes.
|Dark past of Sentosa island, the Trump-Kim summit venue|
LONDON, UK, 6 June 2018 (Guardian) - The venue for next week’s summit in Singapore between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is home to beautiful beaches, casinos and some of the best golf courses in Asia but Sentosa island has a dark past.
|A grassroots movement to create MPAs on Santorini|
NEW YORK, US, 6 June 2018 (Oceans Deeply) - On the Greek isle of Santorini, fishers, divers, scientists, government officials and environmentalists have devised their own plan to preserve the marine ecology of the waters surrounding an island dependent on fishing and tourism.
|Waste management rules threaten to derail Indonesia mine takeover|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 6 June 2018 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government expects to take a controlling stake in the operator of the world’s biggest copper and gold mine this month, even as sanctions it imposed for environmental violations threaten to hamstring the multibillion-dollar deal.
|Pumped hydro projects unveiled for Tasmania|
LONDON, UK, 5 June 2018 (Guardian) - Pumped hydro projects generating energy at twice the scale of the much-vaunted Snowy 2.0 scheme will be identified across Tasmania on Wednesday, with modelling suggesting the proposal could deliver thousands of jobs between now and 2028.
|Barbados sewage issue elevated to a national crisis|
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 5 June 2018 (BGIS) - The new prime minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, has elevated the continuing sewage problems on the south coast to a national crisis and ordered that a Cabinet paper be prepared outlining options to resolve the issue.
|Coral decline in Great Barrier Reef unprecedented|
LONDON, UK, 5 June 2018 (Guardian) - A steep decline in coral cover right across the Great Barrier Reef is a phenomenon that “has not been observed in the historical record”, a new report by the Australian Institute of Marine Science says.
|50 nations curbing plastic pollution|
LONDON, UK, 5 June 2018 (BBC) - Fifty nations are now taking action to reduce plastic pollution, according to the biggest report so far from the UN. It reveals that the Galapagos will ban single-use plastics, Sri Lanka will ban styrofoam and China is insisting on biodegradable bags.
|A global coral reef monitoring system is coming soon|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 4 June 2018 (Mongabay) - Coral reef conservation efforts will soon get a major boost with a global monitoring system that will detect physical changes in coral cover at high resolution on a daily basis, enabling researchers, policy makers, and environmentalists to track severe bleaching events, reef dynamiting, and coastal development in near-real time.
|Can cryptocurrencies save Indonesia's carbon forests?|
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 4 June 2018 (Mongabay) - The growing hype around cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is nowhere more obvious than in Indonesia. Despite being illegal as a transaction mechanism, Indonesians are moving $15-20 million worth of digital currency every single day.
|Hats on for Easter Island statues|
PENNSYLVANIA, US, 4 June 2018 (Phys.org) - How do you put a 13-ton hat on a giant statue? That's what a team of researchers is trying to figure out with their study of Easter Island statues and the red hats that sit atop some of them.
|About a small Mauritian island|
CHENNAI, India, 4 June 2018 (The Hindu) - Three hundred people live on the small Mauritian archipelago of Agaléga. They watch as their home is turned slowly into an Indian naval base. There is little that they can do. The government of Mauritius knows that there is far more to be gained from India than from the people of Agaléga.
|Instability in the Pacific Islands: A status report|
SYDNEY, Australia, 4 June 2018 (Lowy Institute) - The challenges to internal resilience in the Pacific islands are both structural - in the form of issues arising from population, urbanisation, land, immigration, health and gender relations - and particular to the political situation in each island nation.
|Greece tourism at record high amid alarm over environmental cost|
ATHENS, Greece, 3 June 2018 (Guardian) - Greece is braced for another bumper year. The tourists will not stop coming. For every one of its citizens, three foreign visitors – 32 million in total – will arrive this year, more than at any other time since records began.
|Eerie silence falls on Shetland seabird cliffs|
LONDON, UK, 3 June 2018 (Observer) - Sumburgh Head lies at the southern tip of mainland Shetland. This dramatic 100-metre-high rocky spur, crowned with a lighthouse built by Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather, has a reputation for being one of the biggest and most accessible seabird colonies in Britain.
|Coral reefs that survived nuclear blasts face a new threat|
KARRATHA, Australia, 3 June 2018 (ABC) - It is almost 70 years since British nuclear testing resulted in three atom bombs devastating marine and terrestrial wildlife at the Montebello Islands. Now their coral reefs are under threat from rising sea temperatures.
|Tales from the far-flung Faroes|
LONDON, UK, 2 June 2018 (BBC) - When it comes to remote, the Faroe Islands has it all. Tucked between Norway and Iceland, in the dark waters of the North Atlantic, the 18 tiny islands are home to a population of just over 50,000.
|Save the kiwi: New Zealand rallies to protect its iconic bird |
KAPITI ISLAND, New Zealand, 1 June 2018 (Guardian) - Below a mottled sky, a lone sea craft cuts across the water towards Kapiti Island. It’s been forsaken by people and gifted to the rare and vulnerable birds of New Zealand to forage undisturbed.
|Cryptocurrency mine opens on Estonian island|
TALLINN, Estonia, 1 June 2018 (AFP) - A state-owned Estonian wind farm launched a cryptocurrency mine on Friday, hoping to cash-in on Mother Nature's unlimited supplies of power on the island of Saaremaa.
|IOM assists island of Socotra following devastating cyclone|
SANA'A, Yemen, 1 June 2018 (IOM) - The UN Migration Agency, is supporting Socotra after Cyclone Mekunu had a devastating effect on the island resulting in the loss of 120 fishing boats, some 500 fishing nets and some farmland being swept away.
|Drone delivery becomes a reality in remote Pacific islands|
NEW YORK, US, 31 May 2018 (IEEE Spectrum) - Vanuatu has just issued a “request for tender” to drone companies around the world. The companies are invited to submit bids for bringing vaccines to scattered hospitals and health clinics on three islands.
|Land grab on hurricane-hit Barbuda|
BRISTOL, UK, 31 May 2018 (The Conversation) - The proposed Barbudan Land Management (Amendment) Act, announced by the prime minister right after the hurricanes and still being debated in parliament, aims to introduce individual property rights on the island for the first time since its colonisation by the English in the 17th century.
|Scottish islands passport could lead to travel discounts|
LONDON, UK, 31 May 2018 (Guardian) - From “munro bagging” to completing the West Highland Way, travellers to Scotland have always loved a challenge. Now, with plans being drawn up to for a Scottish islands passport, a new task for tourists could be on the horizon: visiting the country’s 93 inhabited islands.
|Indonesia targets illegal fishing vessel owners under new bill|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 31 May 2018 (Mongabay) - The owners of ships engaged in illegal fishing in Indonesia could finally face criminal justice under proposed amendments to the country’s fisheries law, as the government seeks to foster a sustainable industry in one of the world’s richest fisheries.
|Christmas Island mining expansion ruled out|
LONDON, UK, 31 May 2018 (Guardian) - The Turnbull government has knocked back a controversial phosphate exploration proposal on Christmas Island because it would have taken place in rainforest areas assessed to be in either very good or pristine condition, and would have threatened the endangered seabird the Abbott’s booby.
|Iceland's pagan Zuist religion hopes to build temple|
LONDON, UK, 30 May 2018 (BBC) - Members of a pagan Icelandic religious movement based on ancient Sumerian beliefs have applied for permission to build a two-story "Ziggurat" in the capital of Reykjavik as a centre for their growing congregation.
|Indonesian coal boon neglects renewables|
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 30 May 2018 (Mongabay) - Demand for energy in China and Indonesia continues to drive the resurgence of the latter’s coal industry, setting back efforts in both countries to shift to a greater share of renewable energy.
|Resilience has become the key priority for Sint Maarten|
WASHINGTON, US, 30 May 2018 (World Bank) - Life for more than 40,000 inhabitants of the Caribbean island was turned upside down after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc last September: every single person and every business, large or small, was impacted.
|Historic islands bill passed by MSPs|
LONDON, UK, 30 May 2018 (BBC) - "Historic" legislation to offer greater protection and powers to Scotland's island communities has been passed. It gives island councils extra powers over activities on and around their coastlines and requires ministers to have a long-term plan for improvement.
|Malaysia plans to build island on strategic Singapore Strait rocks|
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, 30 May 2018 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s prime minister said on Wednesday his government planned to develop some offshore rocks which were the subject of a territorial dispute with Singapore, days after he canceled a big rail project with his southern neighbor.
|Endangered turtles tracked in marine park to be opened to fishing|
LONDON, UK, 29 May 2018 (Guardian) - Critically endangered hawksbill turtles that nest on islands east of Papua New Guinea have been tracked moving across parts of the Coral Sea marine park where the Australian government wants to allow commercial fishing, conservationists have found.
|How the world's plastic pollution threatens the Galapagos Islands|
LONDON, UK, 29 May 2018 (ITV) - I’m standing on a beach where only a very few humans have ever walked, watching a sea lion playing with a torn plastic bottle. It’s a moment that sums up the depressing reality of plastic pollution arriving at the Galapagos Islands on every ebbing tide.
|Rise and fall of the Great Barrier Reef|
SYDNEY, Australia, 29 May 2018 (SPX) - A landmark international study of the Great Barrier Reef has shown that in the past 30,000 years the world's largest reef system has suffered five death events, largely driven by changes in sea level and associated environmental change.
|Malta Blockchain Summit|
DUBLIN, Ireland, 28 May 2018 (Irish Tech News) - Malta has recently earned the name ‘Blockchain Island’ as the two largest crypto exchanges, Binance and OKEx, are both relocating to the island. The epic proportions of the Malta Blockchain Summit, set to take place at the InterContinental on November 1-2, are a reflection of this momentum.
|In-danger status can be lifted from Belize Barrier Reef|
GLAND, Switzerland, 28 May 2018 (IUCN) - IUCN recommends removing the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the List of World Heritage in Danger, following an unprecedented decision by the Belize Government to ban all offshore oil and gas activities in its marine territories and to protect the reserve’s mangroves from overdevelopment.
|Massive beach clean-up for Hong Kong sea turtles|
HONG KONG, 27 May 2018 (AFP) - More than two thousand volunteers hit the beach on an outlying island of Hong Kong for a mass rubbish clean up Sunday as environment campaigners warned plastic is killing sea turtles and other wildlife.
|How cruise ships bring agonising death to last Greek whales|
LONDON, UK, 27 May 2018 (Observer) - In an office up a steep hill in a seaside suburb of Athens, a tiny blue light flickers from a computer terminal. Dr Alexandros Frantzis, Greece’s foremost oceanographer, points it out. The light, he says, tracks marine traffic “in real time”.
|New French Polynesia government promises action on job creation|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 26 May 2018 (RNZ) - The new French Polynesian government says job creation is a priority in the next five-year term to counter the soaring unemployment rate and the president has ruled out changing the autonomy statute as demanded by the pro-independence opposition.
|Anote Tong says cutting emissions won't save Kiribati|
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 25 May 2018 (RNZ) - A former Kiribati president and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Anote Tong is visiting New Zealand to promote a film called Anote's Ark which portrays the frightening climate change reality that his people face.
|Mission to map the health of the Caribbean's coral reefs|
NEW YORK, US, 24 May 2018 (Oceans Deeply) - Researchers deployed the world’s most advanced Earth measurement system over the Caribbean Sea this month to chart coral reefs in unprecedented detail. The maps will be used to develop marine conservation plans in a region devastated last year by back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes.
|Socotra becomes a disaster zone|
LONDON, UK, 24 May 2018 (BBC) - The island chain of Socotra, famed for unique plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet, is coping with the aftermath of a powerful cyclone.
|Canada, Denmark seek to settle Arctic island dispute|
OTTAWA, Canada, 23 May 2018 (AFP) - Canada and Denmark announced Wednesday the creation of a task force to try to solve a longstanding territorial dispute over a tiny Arctic island that once provoked a diplomatic feud.
|Warming waters hurt Zanzibar's women seaweed farmers |
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania, 21 May 2018 (CSM) - Zanzibar's streets are serene in the dark moments before sunrise, and an amber glow tints the beach. The tide is out, and the air is fresh. A few women head to work, toting sticks on their heads and empty sacks in their hands as they walk toward the sea.