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|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.
|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.
|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.
|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).
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.