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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. 



Bangor Uni team tackles toad invasion of Madagascar
LONDON, UK, 11 June 2018 (BBC) - An invasive species of Asian toad could devastate wildlife on Madagascar, according to biologists at Bangor University.



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.



Pacific Marine Climate Change Report Card launched today
APIA, Samoa, 8 June 2018 (UNEP) - The Pacific Islands are among the most fragile in the world when it comes to climate change, rising sea levels and declining ocean health.



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.



Bust of shark smugglers in Galapagos waters leads to breakthrough
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 8 June 2018 (Mongabay) - Global Fishing Watch, a publicly available platform launched by the NGOs Oceana and SkyTruth in partnership with Google, adds a new layer to its map today on “encounters” at sea.



Five ways Seychelles works year round to protect its waters
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 7 June 2018 (SNA) - Seychelles, an archipelago surrounded by an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.37 million square kilometres, has taken several measures to protect its vast waters.



Illegal fishing running out of places to hide
LONDON, UK, 7 June 2018 (BBC) - Satellite monitoring of vessels and data analytics are exposing illegal activity as never before.



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.



Illegal logging persists in Borneo orangutan habitat despite ban
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 7 June 2018 (Mongabay) - At least six illegal logging camps have sprung up in a peat forest in Indonesian Borneo that the government had declared off-limits last year, a Greenpeace investigation has revealed.



Indonesia's religious leaders join fight to cut waste
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 7 June 2018 (Guardian) - Indonesia, one of the world’s biggest marine polluters, has decided to get religious – literally – about reducing plastic waste.



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.



Antarctica: plastic contamination reaches Earth's last wilderness
LONDON, UK, 6 June 2018 (Guardian) - Plastic and traces of hazardous chemicals have been found in Antarctica, one of the world’s last great wildernesses, according to a new study.



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.



Western Isles awarded World Craft City status
LONDON, UK, 6 June 2018 (BBC) - The Western Isles is the first region of the UK and only the second in Europe to be awarded World Craft City status.



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.



Microsoft sinks data centre off Orkney
LONDON, UK, 6 June 2018 (BBC) - Microsoft has sunk a data centre in the sea off Orkney to investigate whether it can boost energy efficiency.



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.



Ancient Greenland was much warmer than previously thought
EVANSTON, US, 5 June 2018 (SPX) - A tiny clue found in ancient sediment has unlocked big secrets about Greenland's past and future climate.



New findings about the founding of the Icelandic population
REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 5 June 2018 (SPX) - Iceland was settled around 1100 years ago, at the height of the Viking age.



The island paradise where the roads are made of plastic
UTILA, Honduras, 5 June 2018 (Oceans Deeply) - With its picture perfect turquoise waters, the Caribbean island of Utila, part of an offshore archipelago called the Bay Islands, is a tropical paradise.



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.



Pacific rats trace 2,000 years of human impact on island ecosystems
ROCKVILLE, US, 4 June 2018 (ScienceDaily) - Chemical analysis of the remains of rats from archaeological sites spanning the last 2000 years on three Polynesian island systems has shown the impact that humans have had on local environments.



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.



Matteo Salvini calls for end to Sicily refugee camp
LONDON, UK, 3 June 2018 (BBC) - Italy's new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has said on a visit to Sicily that the island must stop being "the refugee camp of Europe".



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.



Are these islands the last bastions of laid-back life in Hong Kong?
HONG KONG, 2 June 2018 (SCMP) - Any mention of Hong Kong usually conjures up images of the iconic Victoria Harbour, with an urban jungle of glass, concrete and steel reaching for the sky against a backdrop of mountains.



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.



The Scottish islanders rebuilding a community
LONDON, UK, 1 June 2018 (Guardian) - The Scottish government largely funded a £4.6m buyout of the island of Ulva – now those who live there need to make it work.



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.



Sultan of Yogyakarta: A feminist revolution in an ancient kingdom
LONDON, UK, 1 June 2018 (BBC) - The Sultan of Yogyakarta holds a powerful political and spiritual position on the Indonesian island of Java. He is manoeuvring to make his eldest daughter his heir, sparking a bitter feud.



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.



King of Tory Island receives Freedom of Donegal
LONDON, UK, 29 May 2018 (BBC) - The King of Tory Island, Patsy Dan Rodgers, has received the Freedom of Donegal for his commitment to the island.



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.



PNG bans Facebook for a month to root out fake users
LONDON, UK, 29 May 2018 (Guardian) - The Papua New Guinean government will ban Facebook for a month in a bid to crack down on “fake users” and study the effects the website is having on the population.



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.



Queensland islands to close for baiting program targeting rats
CAIRNS, Australia, 28 May 2018 (ABC) - Nearly a dozen islands off the far north Queensland coast will close to the public from today because of a rat problem.



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”.



Hawaii volcano eruption prompts fears of disastrous blow to tourism
KILAUEA, Hawaii, 27 May 2018 (Guardian) - David Collier, who has been guiding trips on the island for a decade, clutched the wheel of a 13-person van last week on the road up to Mauna Kea observatory.



Hydro-Quebec plugs into Magdalen Islands to slash oil dependency
MONTREAL, Canada, 26 May 2018 (CBC) - The Magdalen Islands is expected to be weaned off its total reliance on oil energy by 2025, as Hydro-Québec plans to connect the peninsula to the province's hydro-electric grid for the first 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.



Barbados elects Mia Mottley as first woman PM
LONDON, UK, 25 May 2018 (BBC) - The Caribbean island of Barbados has elected its first woman prime minister since gaining independence from Britain in 1966.



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.



Whisky Galore island set to open first distillery in 170 years
EDINBURGH, UK, 24 May 2018 (Scotsman) - An island in “whisky galore” territory could have its own whisky distillery for the first time in more than 170 years if plans come to fruition.



Fears puffins could die out on Farne Islands as numbers plummet
LONDON, UK, 24 May 2018 (Guardian) - Puffin numbers at one of Britain’s most important habitats have fallen sharply, raising fears they could die out completely there within a century.



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.



King Island birds face extinction without urgent federal help
LONDON, UK, 24 May 2018 (Guardian) - Residents of King Island in Tasmania want the federal government to intervene to try to stop two bird species from going extinct.



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.