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New database to improve aid transparency in Pacific
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 13 August 2018 (RNZ) - A director at the Australian think tank the Lowy Institute says a new database will improve aid transparency in the Pacific and hold donors to account.

Easter Island's society may not have collapsed as previously thought
NEW YORK, US, 13 August 2018 (Newsweek) - The traditional narrative of Easter Island history suggests that it was populated by Polynesian seafarers who went on to build great things but then later destroyed their own society through infighting and over-exploitation of natural resources.

Jakarta, the fastest-sinking city in the world
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 13 August 2018 (BBC) - The Indonesian capital of Jakarta is home to 10 million people but it is also one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world. If this goes unchecked, parts of the megacity could be entirely submerged by 2050, say researchers.

Leaving Ambae: where evacuation is a way of life
LONDON, UK, 12 August 2018 (Guardian) - Residents of the island in Vanuatu have been forced from their homes by an erupting volcano, not knowing when they will return.

Tens of thousands rally for removal of US base from Okinawa
TOKYO, Japan, 12 August 2018 (AP) - Tens of thousands of protesters in Okinawa vowed to stop the planned relocation of a U.S military base, saying they want it off the southern Japanese island entirely.

Penguin Island's penguins in battle for survival
PERTH, Australia, 12 August 2018 (ABC) - The 12-hectare island is just 600 metres off the coast of Rockingham, in Perth's south, and home to about 1000 little penguins, the largest colony that far west in the world.

Portugal's lingering influence in Zanzibar
LONDON, UK, 12 August 2018 (BBC) - Pemba, part of the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar, recently held a week-long festival that revealed cultural influences dating back to the 16th Century when Portugal colonised the Spice Islands.

Lombok earthquake leaves idyllic Gili islands facing uncertain future
LOMBOK, Indonesia, 11 August 2018 (Guardian) - The earthquake, which centred on northern Lombok last Sunday, left at least 321 people dead, 1,033 seriously injured and 270,000 people displaced from their homes. Indonesia’s disaster and rescue agencies expect the death toll to rise further.

Indonesia's 'one-map' database blasted for excluding indigenous lands
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 10 August 2018 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government has decided to not include maps of indigenous territory in its unified land-use map database when it is launched this month, despite the fact that some of the maps have been formally recognized by local governments.

In protecting the Javan rhino, locals gain a more meaningful life
BANDUNG, Indonesia, 10 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Working in Javan rhino protection programs is no mean feat, according to locals who have dedicated decades of their lives to the endeavor.

Clear evidence of Bronze Age activity on Staffa
LONDON, UK, 9 August 2018 (BBC) - Archaeologists say they have found the "first clear evidence" of Bronze Age activity on Staffa, off Mull, in the Inner Hebrides.

High risk that China's timber from PNG is illegal
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 9 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Papua New Guinea’s timber industry is plagued by illegality, including lax enforcement of forestry laws, the misuse of logging licenses and the sidelining of local communities, according to a new report by the watchdog NGO Global Witness.

How super-rich tourism may help the planet
LONDON, UK, 9 August 2018 (BBC) -  The demands of the global traveller can place a heavy footprint on the perfect white sands of a fragile eco-system like the Seychelles. For even the most responsible tour operator, it is usually a question of mitigating the damage.

On an island in the sun, coal power is king over abundant solar
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 8 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Locals and environmentalists have opposed a plan to expand a coal-fired power plan in northern Bali, Indonesia.

The Puerto Ricans still without electricity
UTADO, Puerto Rico, 8 August 2018 (Guardian) - Almost a year after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island’s ailing power infrastructure, the Ruiz family is one of 1,000 still off the grid.

Sardinia sand thieves face fines
ROME, Italy, 8 August 2018 (Guardian) - Sardinian authorities are getting tough with tourists who steal sand from the island’s pristine beaches as a souvenir and are issuing fines of up to €3,000 (£2,700).

Huge increase in Chinese aid pledged to Pacific
LONDON, UK, 8 August 2018 (Guardian) - China is set to overtake Australia as the largest donor to the Pacific region, after pledging US$4bn in aid to the region last year.

Grenada's vulnerability to climate change
ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada, 8 August 2018 (IPS) - Grenada is still tallying the damage after heavy rainfall last week resulted in “wide and extensive” flooding that once again highlights the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to climate change.

Caribbean states beg Trump to grasp climate change threat
LONDON, UK, 7 August 2018 (Guardian) - Caribbean states and territories have rounded on the Trump administration for dismantling the US’s response to climate change, warning that greenhouse gas emissions must be sharply cut to avoid hurricanes and sea level rise threatening the future of their island idylls.

Norse Greenlanders dominated ivory trade, walrus DNA shows
WASHINGTON, US, 7 August 2018 (NatGeog) - For years, archaeologists have wondered why the Norse settled on Greenland’s inhospitable, ice-bound edges at the end of the first millennium A.D. The living certainly wasn’t easy - so why did they stay, and how did they survive?

Artificial island could house 1.1 million Hongkongers in new proposal
HONG KONG, 7 August 2018 (SCMP) - A think tank led by Hong Kong’s first chief executive has partnered with three major global consultants to propose reclaiming 2,200 hectares of land for housing to the east of Lantau Island in what would be the largest project of its kind in the city’s history.

Climate change could have devastating consequences for St Lucia
CASTRIES, St Lucia, 7 August 2018 (IPS) - The Caribbean island nation of St Lucia is home to more than 2,000 native species - of which nearly 200 species occur nowhere else in the world.

Puerto Rico's 'living emergency' as a mental health crisis unfolds
YABUCOA, Puerto Rico, 7 August 2018 (Guardian) - For the first 36 hours after Hurricane Maria, five-year-old Keydiel and his mother Shaina were trapped by the toppled trees that blocked the doors to their home in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.

Device to clean-up Great Pacific Garbage Patch could harm wildlife
LONDON, UK, 7 August 2018 (Telegraph) - A controversial scheme to clean up plastic in the Pacific Ocean could harm wildlife and release unnecessary greenhouse gases into the air, conservationists have warned.

Indonesia demands cleanup after coal spill pollutes beach
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, 6 August 2018 (Mongabay) - Fishermen and environmental activists in Indonesia are demanding accountability after a barge spilled 7,000 tonnes of coal off the Sumatra coast, polluting beaches, damaging coral and impacting marine life. 

'Hothouse Earth' risks even if CO2 emissions slashed
LONDON, UK, 6 August 2018 (BBC) - It may sound like the title of a low budget sci-fi movie, but for planetary scientists, "Hothouse Earth" is a deadly serious concept. Researchers believe we could soon cross a threshold leading to boiling hot temperatures and towering seas in the centuries to come.

MEP calls for Skye to be made Scotland's next national park
ABERDEEN, UK, 6 August 2018 (P&J) - Skye has been backed to become Scotland’s next “national park” in an effort to protect its stunning scenery for future generations.

Sargassum: The seaweed deluge hitting Caribbean shores
LONDON, UK, 6 August 2018 (BBC) - When waves of sargassum - a type of seaweed - washed up on Eastern Caribbean shores seven years ago, people hoped it was a one-off. Matted piles swamped coastlines from Tobago to Anguilla.

Thousands evacuated after dozens die on Indonesia island
LONDON, UK, 6 August 2018 (BBC) - Some 10,000 people have been evacuated on the Indonesian island of Lombok after a powerful 6.9 magnitude quake on Sunday left more than 90 people dead.

The oceans' last chance
LONDON, UK, 5 August 2018 (Guardian) - Wildlife in most of the lawless high seas faces an existential threat from fishing, shipping and the military. Next month, a landmark UN conference could finally bring hope.

Indonesian influence in the Pacific grows
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 3 August 2018 (RNZ) - Indonesia's influence in the Pacific Islands is growing, but is shadowed by disquiet over its region of Papua, known widely as West Papua.

South Georgia: Mysterious life of the Grey-headed Albatross
SANTA CRUZ, US, 3 August 2018 (Island Conservation) - Approximately half the global population of Grey-headed Albatross nests on South Georgia Island each year but researchers knew very little about where they go after fledging.

The race against time to save the Carteret Islands
SYDNEY, Australia, 3 August 2018 (ABC) - The Carteret Islands in the Pacific were the first place in the world to require population relocations due to climate change related sea level rises, with predictions they would be submerged by 2015.

Indonesia adds hundreds of birds to protected species list
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 3 August 2018 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government has expanded its list of wildlife species banned from trading and hunting for the first time in nearly two decades, bringing the total number of protected species to more than 900.

Work on Caribbean island airport halted by court ruling
LONDON, UK, 2 August 2018 (Guardian) - A high court has suspended all construction work on a controversial airport development on the unspoilt Caribbean island of Barbuda that residents say will devastate its fragile ecosystem.

Why island birds have bigger brains than their mainland counterparts
WASHINGTON, US, 2 August 2018 (Smithsonian) - It's a classic chicken-versus-egg quandary: Are big-brained—and therefore smarter—birds more likely to find their way to islands, or does island living trigger brain growth?

Small height evolved twice on 'Hobbit' island of Flores
LONDON, UK, 2 August 2018 (BBC) - A new study has shown that small height evolved twice in humans on the Indonesian island of Flores. Scientists decoded the DNA of modern-day "pygmy" people to find out if they might be partly descended from the extinct Hobbit species.

Will Chinese-built city suck the life out of Colombo?
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 2 August 2018 (Guardian) - Built on land reclaimed from the Indian Ocean and funded with $1.4bn in Chinese investment, glossy plans for Port City inspire a mixture of optimism and alarm.

The UK's first stoat detection dog
LONDON, UK, 2 August 2018 (BBC) - Orkney has a stoat problem, and Macca the Fox Terrier has been flown in from New Zealand to help get rid of them.

Lemur extinction: Vast majority of species under threat
LONDON, UK, 2 August 2018 (BBC) - Almost every species of lemur, wide-eyed primates unique to Madagascar, is under threat of extinction.

Resilience in the 'Perfume Islands'
NEW YORK, US, 1 August 2018 (UNDP) - With heavenly beaches, an active volcano with an impressive crater, and the ever-present scents of ylang-ylang, vanilla and clove, the Comoros is an island archipelago located in the Indian Ocean between Africa and Madagascar, known as the “Perfume Islands.”

How Greenland scorched its underside
LONDON, UK, 1 August 2018 (BBC) - Greenland has been hiding a secret underneath its 3km-thick ice sheet. From its northwest corner to its southeast coast, the world's biggest island has a band of relatively warm bedrock.

Experts ask if there was a tsunami in ancient Orkney
LONDON, UK, 1 August 2018 (BBC) - A new academic paper has suggested it is possible neolithic mass burials in Orkney and Shetland contain the bodies of tsunami victims.

Scottish island communities are taking control of their own destinies
LONDON, UK, 1 August 2018 (HuffPost) - While not the first community land purchase in Scotland, the high-profile buyout of Eigg in 1997 made headlines around the world and reignited debate and activism around land reform in the country.

Plan to eradicate giant rhubarb from Western Isles
LONDON, UK, 1 August 2018 (BBC) - Preparations have begun on an ambitious project to wipe out an invasive species of plant from the Western Isles. Gunnera tinctoria, also known as giant rhubarb, originates from South America and arrived in the islands as an ornamental garden plant.

Skomer puffin photographers told to be careful
LONDON, UK, 31 July 2018 (BBC) - Visitors to one of Wales's most popular bird-watching islands are being told to take care while trying to photograph its famous puffin population.

In British Virgin Islands, hurricane whips up green energy transition
ROAD TOWN, BVI, 31 July 2018 (Reuters) - Nearly a year after Hurricane Irma knocked out power across the British Virgin Islands, electricity boss Leroy Abraham will be among the last residents to have their homes reconnected.

Caribbean builds resilience through enhanced data collection
BELMOPAN, Belize, 31 July 2018 (IPS) - By the end of September 2018, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre would have installed the last of five new data buoys in the Eastern Caribbean, extending the regional Coral Reef Early Warning System network as it continues to build resilience to climate change in the Caribbean.

Papua New Guinea's malnutrition crisis
LONDON, UK, 31 July 2018 (Guardian) - PNG health data implicates malnutrition in about one-third of hospital deaths of children under five.

Timor-Leste a mecca for whales, but they face threats
LONDON, UK, 31 July 2018 (Guardian) - Olive Andrews believes Timor Leste could be one of the best destinations in the world for whale watching.

A fractured Tokelau seeks unity
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 31 July 2018 (RNZ) - In late 2016, Tokelau made a rash bid for air services, buying up two helicopters under instruction of its Samoa-based government administration. But, done without proper consultation of the villages back home, it was a move that cost Tokelau dearly.

Pacific islands in the red as debts to China mount
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 31 July 2018 (Reuters) - Just over a decade ago, deadly riots in the capital of Tonga, Nuku’alofa, destroyed much of the small Pacific nation’s central business and government districts.

More than 500 hikers evacuated from Mt Rinjani
LONDON, UK, 31 July 2018 (BBC) - More than 500 hikers who were stranded on a mountain on the Indonesian island of Lombok after an earthquake have been safely evacuated.

Samoa is going 100% renewable with Tesla's help
NEW YORK, US, 30 July 2018 (FC) - In seven years, the island nation of Samoa plans to run on 100% renewable electricity. Over the last year, the local utility has worked with Tesla to install a key piece of that plan–battery storage, and also a software system that can control Samoa’s entire electricity supply.

Indonesia forest assessment casts an optimistic light
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 30 July 2018 (Mongabay) - Indonesia has released its inaugural report on the state of its forests, highlighting recent successes in conserving an ecological treasure trove that makes up the third-largest span of tropical rainforest in the world.

Mystery as penguin population decimated on remote island
LONDON, UK, 30 July 2018 (Sky News) - The world's largest king penguin colony on Ile aux Cochons - located in the remote Crozet archipelago between South Africa and Antarctica - has suffered a "mystery" decline from around 500,000 breeding pairs to 60,000 in 35 years, researchers say.

Chile to restrict tourists and non-locals on Easter Island
SANTIAGO, Chile, 30 July 2018 (AFP) - Easter Island is known for its unique Moai statues carved by the Rapa Nui people, believed to have arrived on the remote landmass in the southeastern Pacific Ocean in around the 12th century.

Vision mooted for inter-island road link through Western Isles
ABERDEEN, UK, 30 July 2018 (P&J) - An ambitious scheme to construct a road across the sea to inter-connect all the islands in the Outer Hebrides has been mooted. Causeways would be built across the wide sea channels dividing the Western Isles and provide a continuous roadway from Vatersay in the south to Lewis in the north.

Where did Darwin's finches come from?
LONDON, UK, 30 July 2018 (Guardian) -  When the first of the Galápagos Islands arose from the ocean floor around 3m years ago, they were naked, angry, lava-spewing cones devoid of life.

Polar bear shot dead after attacking cruise ship guard
LONDON, UK, 29 July 2018 (BBC) - A polar bear has been shot dead after it attacked a cruise ship guard on Norway's Svalbard archipelago, within the Arctic Circle.

Bulk of timber exports from PNG won't pass legal test
LONDON, UK, 29 July 2018 (Guardian) - Millions of tonnes of illegally logged timber, felled from forests across Papua New Guinea, are being exported to China and from there to the world as finished wood products, a new report from Global Witness has revealed.

Deadly quake hits Indonesia tourist spot
LONDON, UK, 29 July 2018 (BBC) - A 6.4 magnitude quake has struck Lombok island, killing at least 10 people including one tourist.

Deal to protect waters around 'Jurassic Park Island' falls through
WASHINGTON, US, 27 July 2018 (NatGeog) - Two years ago, former Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís made international news by committing to a 4,000-square-mile expansion of the marine protected area around the extraordinarily biodiverse waters of Cocos Island National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located 330 miles off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

Sea snails suck the life out of degraded coral
WASHINGTON, US, 27 July 2018 (UPI) - The last hope for degraded coral reefs is under attack. A new survey of Fiji Island reefs has revealed the significant damage being caused by small sea snails, previously ignored by marine biologists.

Ambae island evacuated again over volcano eruption
LONDON, UK, 27 July 2018 (BBC) - A Vanuatu island is being fully evacuated for a second time as its volcano erupts again.

Palau seeks help to counter China tourist ban
KOROR, Palau, 26 July 2018 (AFP) - Palau's president has asked the United States and Japan to help its tourism industry after Beijing reportedly barred Chinese citizens from visiting the tiny Pacific island due to its diplomatic links with Taiwan.

Jakarta hides foul river with giant net before Asian Games
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 26 July 2018 (Guardian) - The Jakarta city government has come under fire for buying a giant nylon net to cover up a polluted and foul-smelling river weeks before the Indonesian capital hosts the 2018 Asian Games.

Greek goldsmiths on Rhodes keep a dying tradition alive
RHODES, Greece, 26 July 2018 (ABC) - Tucked away on a cobblestone street in the medieval old town of the island of Rhodes, Greece is the workshop and store of jewelry-maker Nikos Vassilaras.

Cuba's new constitution: What's in and what's out
LONDON, UK, 26 July 2018 (BBC) - A draft of an updated constitution for Cuba approved by the island's National Assembly on 22 July has made headlines as much for what was left out as what was put in.

Ocean wilderness disappearing globally
LONDON, UK, 26 July 2018 (BBC) - Scientists have mapped marine "wilderness" areas around the world for the first time. These are regions minimally impacted by human activities such as fishing, pollution and shipping.

Small Island - big vision for internet connectivity
ST. SAVIOUR, Jersey, 26 July 2018 (JEP) - In Jersey, the world's first full-fibre roll-out has just been completed and while many of us might take our broadband service for granted, there are a lot of people and businesses outside the Island who are sitting up and taking notice.

In Malaysia, an island drowns in its own development
GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia, 26 July 2018 (Mongabay) - Malaysia’s Penang Island has undergone massive development since the 1960s, a process that continues today with plans for transit and land-reclamation megaprojects.

His Pacific island was swallowed by rising seas
MAKARU ISLAND, Solomon Islands, 26 July 2018 (NYT) - The first island David Tebaubau moved to 14 years ago has already disappeared, drowned by heaving currents and rising seas.

Sri Lanka waives debt for 200,000 women in drought areas
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 25 July 2018 (AFP) - Sri Lanka announced Wednesday it would waive debts for 200,000 women unable to repay microfinance loans and cap lending rates after a number of borrowers in drought-hit areas killed themselves.

Caribbean islands plug into electric car revolution
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 25 July 2018 (Reuters) - With her foot down to show off the acceleration of the zippy electric car, Joanna Edghill spins around the car park before plugging the vehicle into a charging point beneath rows of solar panels converting Caribbean rays into power for the grid.

Logging destroying swift parrot habitat in Tasmania
LONDON, UK, 25 July 2018 (Guardian) - Habitat for the critically endangered swift parrot is being “knowingly destroyed” by logging in Tasmania’s southern old growth forests because of government failures to manage the species’ survival, according to research.

Forest communities pay the price for conservation in Madagascar
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 25 July 2018 (Mongabay) - In a two-year investigation of a REDD+ pilot project, a team of researchers spoke with more than 450 households affected by the establishment of a large protected area called the Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor, a 1,475-square-mile tract of rainforest in eastern Madagascar.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria affected island lizards
LONDON, UK, 25 July 2018 (The Conversation) - The Turks and Caicos anole is a small brown lizard found running through the undergrowth in these Caribbean islands.

Norfolk Islanders lose their shirts in protest
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 25 July 2018 (RNZ) - It is more than two years since Australia assumed direct control of Norfolk, ending 37 years of autonomy, and some islanders are staging a protest by putting up a public display of shirts bearing the slogan 'Shirt4Hurt' during a two day visit by the Australian Territories Minister, John McVeigh.

Indonesia takes steps to reduce emissions - but it's not enough
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 25 July 2018 (IPS) - The South Asian nation of Indonesia is the world’s fifth-largest emitter of greenhouses gases (GHG) and is ranked as the world’s second-largest plastic polluter of oceans, just behind China.

Jamaica to roll up sleeves and review sexist clothing rules
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 25 July 2018 (Guardian) - Many women in Jamaica are routinely turned away from hospitals, libraries, clinics and government buildings on the grounds that their clothing has infringed a “decorum rule”.

Isles of Scilly to become a global test-bed for renewables
LONDON, UK, 25 July 2018 (BG) - A £10.8m smart energy drive has kicked off in the Isles of Scilly in a bid to demonstrate how low carbon technologies can tackle fuel poverty, cut carbon emissions, and reduce energy bills.

The US island that once belonged to Russia
LONDON, UK, 25 July 2018 (BBC) - Unalaska Island in the remote Aleutian archipelago was part of an epic, but now mostly forgotten, military campaign during World War II.

Archaeologists stunned by Pictish handprint
LONDON, UK, 24 July 2018 (BBC) - Archaeologists on the Orkney island of Rousay have uncovered the preserved handprint of a Pictish metalsmith.

How James Bond's legacy is saving Jamaica
NEW YORK, US, 24 July 2018 (Bloomberg) - In 1949, Ian Fleming bought a blank naturalist’s notebook which he grandly labeled “Sea Fauna or the Finny Tribe of Goldeneye.”

Remote Greek isle switches off power cuts, lights up green energy
TILOS, Greece, 24 July 2018 (Reuters) - When the power fails on the tiny Greek island of Tilos - a regular problem, particularly in the summer when tourists flood in - hotel owner Andreas Lardopoulos struggles with failed appliances, rotting food and inconvenienced guests.

Islands innovate to thrive in a high-stress world
BARCELONA, Spain, 23 July 2018 (Zilient) - In the face of serious and growing threats, experts detect a sea change in many of the world's 57 small island states and other remote island economies that share development challenges.

Indonesia ponders how to give up plastic bags
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 23 July 2018 (Mongabay) - The proliferation of free plastic shopping bags, coupled with a lack of recycling infrastructure and a general disregard for waste management have turned Indonesia into one of the major contributors to the global plastic waste crisis.

Yemen's island jewel under threat
LONDON, UK, 23 July 2018 (BBC) - The island of Socotra has so far escaped largely unscathed as civil war rages on mainland Yemen, but the foreign powers bringing aid and infrastructure to the impoverished region could threaten its unique ecosystem.

Building the Caribbean's climate resilience to ensure basic survival
ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada, 23 July 2018 (IPS) - In 2004, when the Category 4 hurricane Ivan hit the tiny island nation of Grenada and its 151 mph winds stalled overhead for 15 hours–it devastated the country. But not before pummelling Barbados and other islands, killing at least 15 people.

Conservationists slam damaging Kangaroo Island bridge plan
ADELAIDE, Australia, 23 July 2018 (InDaily) - Conservationists have warned a proposed multi-billion-dollar bridge linking Kangaroo Island to the mainland could harm the island’s environment by increasing vehicle traffic and removing the natural barrier to pests and disease.

Inside Indonesia's fake Twitter account factories
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 23 July 2018 (Guardian) - In Indonesia – which ranks among the top five users of Twitter and Facebook globally – they are what are known as a “buzzer teams” – groups which amplify messages and creates a “buzz” on social networks.

Maltese prime minister cleared of wrongdoing
LONDON, UK, 23 July 2018 (Guardian) - The Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat says a year-long inquiry into allegations of financial wrongdoing linked to the Panama Papers scandal had cleared him.

Lobster-fueled border dispute off Maine
BOSTON, US, 22 July 2018 (Globe) - Machias Seal Island, a 20-acre island 10 miles off the coast of Maine, is claimed by both Canada and the United States.

A new battle for Guadalcanal, this time with China
GUADALCANAL, Solomon Islands, 21 July 2018 (NTY) - When Toata Molea looks to the sea and his fleet of fishing boats on the island of Guadalcanal, he imagines the possibilities from a new connection to the outside world: a planned undersea internet cable to be built by Australia.

Why the Cook Islands fears rich-country status
LONDON, UK, 21 July 2018 (Economist) - Most political leaders play up their country’s economic performance. Those on the Cook Islands, a collection of 15 islets spread over 2m square kilometres in the South Pacific, are doing the opposite.

Taiwan pushed to confront work abuse in high seas fishing fleet
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 19 July 2018 (Oceans Deeply) - On high seas fishing vessels that operate far from land and regulatory oversight, labor complaints are not a new phenomenon.

Taiwan steps in after China turns off tourist taps to Palau
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 19 July 2018 (AFP) - Taiwan has stepped in to help its ally Palau attract more tourists after an airline from the Micronesian nation said it was forced to shut under pressure from China.

Cyprus clifftop villas raise fears for endangered seals
PEYIA, Cyprus, 19 July 2018 (AFP) - In a string of caves along the coast of Cyprus, a colony of monk seals - the most endangered mammals in the Mediterranean - has found refuge.

Potential for Antarctica to become plastics dumping ground
DUNEDIN, New Zealand, 19 July 2018 (SPX) - Antarctica is not as isolated from the rest of the world as scientists have thought, new research reveals, with potential for drifting plastics to create problems in the continent in future and new species to colonise there as the climate warms.

Red flags abound as a warming Arctic opens up to shipping
KUCHING, Malaysia, 18 July 2018 (Mongabay) - Conservationists have called on governments and the private sector to do more to mitigate the impact of global shipping activities on marine ecosystems and communities in the Arctic.

Green sea turtle digging its own watery grave
WAGENINGEN, The Netherlands, 18 July 2018 (Phys.org) - A seagrass species from the Red Sea is outcompeting the native seagrass species in the Caribbean, where the green sea turtle lives.

Plastic poses biggest threat to seabirds in New Zealand waters
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 18 July 2018 (The Conversation) - Plastic pollution has the potential to cause the worst damage to seabirds in the seas around Aotearoa New Zealand, where many of them come to feed and breed.

The quiet climate revolution taking place in the Balearic Islands
LONDON, UK, 18 July 2018 (Ecologist) - A Spanish province - the Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera - operate as an autonomous community. Like other islands, they are especially vulnerable to climate change. But their government has devised a way to use the islands’ insularity to advantage.

Scientists capture breaking of glacier in Greenland
NEW YORK, US, 18 July 2018 (SPX) - A team of scientists has captured on video a four-mile iceberg breaking away from a glacier in eastern Greenland, an event that points to one of the forces behind global sea-level rise.

Social media - the new testing ground for Sri Lanka's freedom
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 18 July 2018 (IPS) - Journalists and media activists have cautioned against Sri Lanka’s newfound press freedom as the country heads to the polls in 2020.

Cocos Islands web addresses investigated over possible breach
SYDNEY, Australia, 18 July 2018 (ABC) - Australia's media watchdog says it is looking into the legality of a number of offshore gambling websites using Australian web addresses.

5,000 percent increase in native trees on rat-free Palmyra Atoll
ROCKVILLE, US, 17 July 2018 (ScienceDaily) - New research demonstrates dramatic positive benefits for native trees following rat removal at Palmyra Atoll, a magnificent National Wildlife Refuge and natural research laboratory located about 1000 miles south of Hawaii.

This island nation is making the fastest-ever shift to renewables
NEW YORK, US, 17 July 2018 (FC) - Like most islands, Palau, a Pacific island nation that bills itself as a pristine paradise, currently relies on diesel fuel to supply almost all of its electricity.

New Caledonia referendum: call to reject colonising power France
LONDON, UK, 17 July 2018 (Guardian) - The time has come for New Caledonia to throw off “colonising power” France and take its place on the world stage, the head of the country’s independence coalition has said on a visit to Australia ahead of a referendum to be held in November.

Bold initiative aims to protect coral reefs in the Dominican Republic
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 16 July 2018 (Mongabay) - Coral reefs of the northern Caribbean have undergone widespread change over the past century, driven by coastal development, pollution, over-fishing, the introduction of invasive species, and increasing ocean temperatures.

Traumatised Papuans flee conflict in Nduga
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 16 July 2018 (RNZ) - Thousands of West Papuan villagers have reportedly fled from their homes in a remote regency due to conflict between Indonesian military forces and pro-independence fighters.

Programme targets food waste at resorts in Seychelles
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 16 July 2018 (SNA) - A new programme aimed at reducing food waste at tourism establishments was launched early this month.

Draft mining regulations insufficient to protect the deep sea
GLAND, Switzerland, 16 July 2018 (IUCN) - Regulations under development at the International Seabed Authority to manage deep-sea mining are insufficient to prevent irrevocable damage to marine ecosystems and a loss of unique species – many yet to be discovered, an IUCN report warns.

Blue economy movement gains traction in Africa
NAIROBI, Kenya, 16 July 2018 (IPS) -  An increasing number of African countries are now embracing the blue economy for its potential to deliver solutions to their most pressing development needs–particularly extreme poverty and hunger.

How the Confederation Bridge has affected the island way of life
CHARLOTTETOWN, Canada, 16 July 2018 (CBC) - When Janice Pettit set out to examine how the Confederation Bridge has affected the Island way of life, she was struck by how nostalgic some P.E.I. residents still are about the ferry 20 years later.

Indonesia mob slaughters nearly 300 crocodiles in revenge killing
LONDON, UK, 16 July 2018 (BBC) - A mob of villagers has killed nearly 300 crocodiles at a sanctuary for the animals in the Indonesian province of West Papua.

In storm-hit Barbuda, China fills void left by Western neglect
CODRINGTON, Barbuda, 15 July 2018 (AFP) - Steel drums carry a jubilant rendition of "Guantanamera" over the ruins of Barbuda's capital Codrington, as dignitaries and residents mark the latest bit of progress in the island's grueling struggle to recover from Hurricane Irma.

Inside the race to save Louisiana's first line of storm defense
PICAYUNE, US, 15 July 2018 (NOLA) - Ten miles from Louisiana's receding shore, on an island that was on the verge of sinking away, new land is growing at a rate of 200 feet per day.

Nevis: how the world's most secretive offshore haven refuses to clean up
LONDON, UK, 12 July 2018 (Guardian) - Tax havens hate attention. Places such as Jersey, Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands made a handsome living from helping their clients break other countries’ laws for decades, without anyone really noticing.

Nobody knows where juvenile Grey-headed Albatrosses go: until now
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 12 July 2018 (BirdLife) - A single egg sits nestled between swaying tussock grass on South Georgia, a remote British Overseas Territory in the middle of the South Atlantic.