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UN climate talks stand-off continues
KATOWICE, Poland, 15 December 2018 (BBC) - Climate talks in Poland have gone into an extra day as negotiators try to agree the next steps forward for the Paris climate agreement. The majority of the details have been settled, but there is an ongoing stand-off over the question of carbon credits and carbon markets to reduce emissions.

Madagascar auctioning large swath of virgin waters for oil exploration
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 14 December 2018 (Mongabay) - In September, Madagascar announced the opening of a large area of marine territory to oil exploration: 44 concessions totaling 63,296 square kilometers (24,440 square miles) in the Mozambique Channel off the country’s west coast.

Why the Marshall Islands is trying to launch a cryptocurrency
NEW YORK, US, 14 December 2018 (Bloomberg) - The country, facing rising seas and financial isolation, desperately needed a get-rich-quick scheme. Naturally, it decided to create a legal tender cryptocurrency.

Saving a remote island's birds - by getting rid of its mice
WASHINGTON, US, 14 December 2018 (NatGeog) - A scalped gray-headed albatross chick on sub-Antarctic Marion Island gruesomely conveys the threat seabirds face from invasive species. For reasons not entirely understood, mice brought to the island by sealers 200 years ago have begun feeding on birds at night.

Climate change: 'Hell to pay' if COP24 talks fail
KATOWICE, Poland, 14 December 2018 (BBC) - Amid impassioned pleas for progress, negotiators at the UN climate talks in Poland are facing the final day with many issues undecided. Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed said there would be "hell to pay" if countries failed to take significant steps.

Pacific nations under climate threat urge Australia to abandon coal
KATOWICE, Poland, 13 December 2018 (Guardian) - Pacific countries vulnerable to climate change have urged Australia to abandon coal power generation within 12 years, and to prohibit new coal plants or expansion of existing plants.

Critics sound alarm over proposed exploration around Sable Island
HALIFAX, Canada, 13 December 2018 (CBC) - A call for energy companies to bid for oil and gas exploration rights around Nova Scotia's iconic Sable Island has prompted swift condemnation from a coalition of environmental, fishing and tourism groups.

Pebbles and penguins: The Falklands island up for sale
LONDON, UK, 13 December 2018 (BBC) - Pebble Island has been in the Dean family for 150 years but the great-great grandson of the original buyer, Sam Harris, from Pembrokeshire, has said it is time to sell up.

Argentina's government has voted to create two new marine parks
WASHINGTON, US, 13 December 2018 (NatGeog) - Two new marine parks that together make up an area the size of Hungary have been created in the Patagonian Sea.

West Papua Liberation Army refuses to surrender
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 13 December 2018 (RNZ) - After the Army claimed responsibility for a massacre in Papua province earlier this month, Indonesian security forces deployed extra troops to pursue the pro-independence fighters.

Chinese fishing deal makes waves ahead of Madagascar polls
ANAKAO, Madagascar, 13 December 2018 (AFP) - In Anakao, a traditional fishing community in southwest Madagascar, the community known as Vezo - which means "rowing strength" - has fished for generations.

Indonesian court throws out lawsuit against green expert's testimony
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 13 December 2018 (Mongabay) - An Indonesian court has thrown out a lawsuit against an environmental expert whose testimony led to the conviction of a governor in a mining scandal.

Indonesia launches unified land-use chart
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 13 December 2018 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government has launched a long-awaited unified map of land-use cover across the country, in an effort to resolve overlapping claims that have led to conflict, human rights abuses and environmental damage.

Climate change talks lead to heightened pledge to cut emissions
KATOWICE, Poland, 12 December 2018 (Guardian) - The EU and scores of developing countries have pledged to toughen their existing commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to enable the world to stay within a 1.5C rise in global warming.

US accused of obstructing talks at UN climate change summit
KATOWICE, Poland, 11 December 2018 (Guardian) - The US and other high carbon dioxide-emitting developed countries are deliberately frustrating the UN climate summit, Vanuatu’s foreign minister has said. His warning came as Pacific and Indian ocean states warned they faced annihilation if a global climate “rule book” could not brokered.

Seabed mining project in PNG appears dead in the water
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 11 December 2018 (RNZ) - Canadian company Nautilus was given approval by PNG's government to mine the seafloor of the Bismarck Sea between the islands of New Ireland and New Britain.

In eastern Indonesia, a bird-trafficking hotspot flies under the radar
MARAFENFEN, Indonesia, 11 December 2018 (Mongabay) - Indonesia, one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth, is a major hub of the illegal bird trade. Demand comes from both inside and outside its borders.

Pacific nations resist US push to lift tuna quota
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 11 December 2018 (AFP) - Pacific island nations have vowed to oppose US efforts to increase its catch limit in the world's largest tuna fishery, saying the proposal does nothing to improve sustainable fishing.

The fauna in the Antarctica is threatened by human pathogens
BARCELONA, Spain, 11 December 2018 (SPX) - The new study, which detected bacteria from humans in the genus Salmonella and Campylobacter in Antarctic and Subantarctic marine birds, reveals the fragility of polar ecosystems and warns about the risk of massive deaths and extinctions of local fauna populations due to these pathogens.

Indonesia commits to low carbon development
KATOWICE, Poland, 11 December 2018 (IPS) - Although Indonesia has attained decent economic growth of over five percent in the last decade, in order to ensure sustainable growth in the future the switch to renewable energy will be critical, says the country’s government.

A small island gets caught in China's Pacific power game with West
SYDNEY, Australia, 11 December 2018 (Nikkei) - On both economic and diplomatic fronts, Papua New Guinea's autonomous region of Bougainville has become a key piece in the game between Beijing, on one side, and the U.S. and its allies on the other.

Cyprus is saturated - burgeoning migrant crisis grips island
NICOSIA, Cyprus, 11 December 2018 (Guardian) - When Rubar and Bestoon Abass embarked on their journey to Europe they had no idea that Cyprus was the continent’s easternmost state.

'Surprise' Palu tsunami clue found on seafloor
WASHINGTON, US, 11 December 2018 (BBC) - Scientists are getting closer to understanding the tsunami that struck Palu in Indonesia in September. Now, a survey in the bay in front of the Sulawesi city shows significant subsidence of the seabed. This likely contributed to the abrupt displacement of water that then crashed on to land.

The seabird egg that has Portuguese conservationists excited
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 10 December 2018 (BirdLife) - The first Band-rumped Storm-petrel egg being incubated on Berlenga island demonstrates the success of the LIFE Berlengas project, which has been working for over four years to preserve biodiversity and restore habitats in the Berlengas archipelago.

How whale sharks saved a Philippine fishing town and its sea life
LONDON, UK, 10 December 2018 (Guardian) - Fishermen-turned-entrepreneurs who have been financing the protection of endangered whale sharks in the Philippines have hit on a successful scheme to help lift their coastal community out of poverty, new research has found.

Seychelles exploring waste-to-energy strategy
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 10 December 2018 (SNA) - The Seychelles’ environment ministry is looking into the possibility of building a waste-to-energy plant and having a more sustainable waste management strategy to reduce dependence on limited landfills.

Surviving GBR corals have higher heatwave resistance
LONDON, UK, 10 December 2018 (Guardian) - Great Barrier Reef corals that survived bleaching in 2016 were more resistant to a second marine heatwave the following year, “astonished” scientists have observed.

Tackle climate or face financial crash, say world's biggest investors
KATOWICE, Poland, 10 December 2018 (Guardian) - Global investors managing $32tn issued a stark warning to governments at the UN climate summit on Monday, demanding urgent cuts in carbon emissions and the phasing out of all coal burning. Without these, the world faces a financial crash several times worse than the 2008 crisis, they said.

In Mauritius, sugar cane means money, renewable energy
PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, 9 December 2018 (Phys.org) - Far out into the Indian Ocean where it is forced to be self-reliant, the island nation of Mauritius is weaning itself off fossil fuels by turning to its main cash-crop sugar cane, for electricity.

Australia's silence shocks COP24 delegates
KATOWICE, Poland, 9 December 2018 (Guardian) - As four of the world’s largest oil and gas producers blocked UN climate talks from “welcoming” a key scientific report on global warming, Australia’s silence during a key debate is being viewed as tacit support for the four oil allies: the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait.

Climate change: COP24 fails to adopt key scientific report
KATOWICE, Poland, 8 December 2018 (BBC) - Attempts to incorporate a key scientific study into global climate talks in Poland have failed. Scientists and many delegates were shocked as the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait objected to this meeting "welcoming" the IPCC report on the impacts of a temperature rise of 1.5C.

Complacency kills: Caribbean gears up for tsunamis
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 8 December 2018 (BBC) - The last time a major tsunami hit the Caribbean region was in 1946, after an 8.1-magnitude earthquake struck the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola.

World's oldest known wild bird to become a mother for the 37th time
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 7 December 2018 (Guardian) - Wisdom, a 68-year-old Laysan albatross believed to be the world’s oldest known wild bird, has returned to her home at the Midway Atoll national wildlife refuge for yet another winter – and laid yet another egg to add to the already impressive brood that she has built up over an impressive lifetime.

Seawalls and forests aim to save the living - and dead - in Tanzania
KISIWA PANZA, Tanzania, 7 December 2018 (Reuters) - For over 25 years, rising seas linked to climate change have caused repeated flooding on this remote islet in the Tanzanian archipelago, saturating the land with saltwater.

Scientists say most diverse coral site ever seen on GBR discovered
LONDON, UK, 7 December 2018 (Guardian) - In a space no longer than 500 metres, researchers say they recorded at least 195 different species of corals on the Great Barrier Reef.

St Kitts-Nevis opposition leader accuses government of corruption
BASSETERRE, St Kitts, 7 December 2018 (Caribbean News Now) - The levels of corruption, conflicts of interest, victimisation, nepotism and cronyism have become the hallmarks of the near four-year-old Team Unity coalition headed by St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, former prime minister and current leader of the opposition, Dr Denzil Douglas, said on Wednesday.

Vast palm oil project in Papua must be investigated by government
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 6 December 2018 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government must put an immediate halt to land clearing in the Tanah Merah project, a vast stretch of land earmarked to become the world’s biggest oil palm plantation, environmental advocates and anti-graft watchdogs say.

PNG tribal fights get ever deadlier
PILIKAMBI, PNG, 6 December 2018 (AFP) - Tribes in Papua New Guinea's rough and rugged highlands have fought each other for centuries, but a recent influx of automatic weapons risks turning minor beefs into all-out war.

The battle for 1.5 at the UN Climate Conference in Poland
KATOWICE, Poland, 6 December 2018 (SPREP) - While only a .5 Degree difference, the level of impacts associated with 2 degree warming versus a 1.5 degree warming are severe. 

Seychellois experts study ocean litter problem
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 6 December 2018 (SNA) - Representatives from Seychelles joined other marine managers and marine litter experts in the world's first workshop to focus on littering in UNESCO World Heritage marine sites which took place last month at the Island of Norderney in the Wadden Sea.

Food security partnership in the Trobriand Islands
PORT MORESBY, PNG, 6 December 2018 (Post Courier) - Two remote and drought-prone island communities in Kiriwina, Milne Bay Province, were happy recipients of yams supplied by neighbouring Kaduwaga village community of Keleuna Island last month.

West Papua independence leader urges calm after killings
LONDON, UK, 6 December 2018 (Guardian) - The exiled leader of the West Papuan independence movement has called for calm after independence fighters attacked and killed up to 31 people in a remote West Papuan district on Sunday.

Jamaica's LGBT rights activists take pride in two decades of progress
LONDON, UK, 6 December 2018 (Guardian) - Once branded ‘the most homophobic place on Earth’, Jamaica has an increasingly liberal outlook. The change has come through the dedication of activists, including the work of Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-Flag), the country’s largest LGBT rights organisation, which next month celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Culls push endangered fruit bat closer to extinction in Mauritius
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 5 December 2018 (Mongabay) - The culling of fruit bats in recent years to protect crops in Mauritius has pushed the species closer to extinction, and now the government is planning to do it again.

Cuba offers 3G mobile internet access to citizens
LONDON, UK, 5 December 2018 (BBC) - Cuba's population is to be offered internet access via a 3G mobile network from later this week. Until now, locals have mostly relied on wi-fi hotspots and internet cafes and the 3G service has been restricted mostly to state-employed journalists and foreign businesses.

Sea levels may rise more rapidly due to Greenland ice melt
LONDON, UK, 5 December 2018 (Guardian) - Rising sea levels could become overwhelming sooner than previously believed, according to the authors of the most comprehensive study yet of the accelerating ice melt in Greenland.

Thailand's Phi Phi islands suffering water crisis after tourist influx
LONDON, UK, 5 December 2018 (Telegraph) - Thailand’s idyllic Phi Phi islands are now facing a drinking water crisis because of a glut of tourists flocking to enjoy the archipelago’s sandy white shores and turquoise waters. 

Bougainville's tinderbox threatens to reignite
SYDNEY, Australia, 4 December 2018 (Asia Times) - Foreign mining companies are jostling for exploration rights on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville ahead of a crucial independence vote next year that some fear could revive tensions that sparked a civil war that killed 20,000 in the 1980’s.

The single biggest threat to the rainforests of Indonesia
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 4 December 2018 (Mongabay) - The Tanah Merah project, a giant oil palm plantation under development in Papua, poses a greater threat to Indonesia’s virgin forests than any other.

Swift parrot polyamory a new threat to species survival
LONDON, UK, 4 December 2018 (Guardian) - Tasmania’s critically endangered swift parrots are facing a new threat to survival – polyamory.

Danes spar over island to house deportees
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 4 December 2018 (WSJ) - A tiny teardrop-shaped island off the coast of Denmark has become the focus of a dispute between the government and human-rights campaigners over how the country treats failed asylum seekers.

Lombrum naval base on tiny Manus Island
HONG KONG, 3 December 2018 (SCMP) - Papua New Guinea’s now-bare-bones Lombrum Naval Base, once a major allied staging point in the Pacific War against Japan, could be the crucial jigsaw piece that America’s strategic planners have been searching for as they try to push back against China’s rising assertions in regional waters.

Sustainable tourism is key to island development
ROME, Italy, 3 December 2018 (Greening the Islands) - Green tourism is a potent opportunity for the many small islands dotted around the Italian peninsula that could have positive effects on economic development, society and the environment.

Mapping the seagrass ecosystems of the Seychelles Outer Islands
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 3 December 2018 (Nation) - The Republic of Seychelles hosts some of the most extensive and productive seagrass ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean.

Guam's invasive bird-destroying snake less unique than thought
SANTA CRUZ, US, 3 December 2018 (Mongabay) - The highly toxic brown tree snake, which has killed off most of the native birds on the Pacific island of Guam, was once thought to have its own distinctive venom. However, scientists have now proven that other snakes are armed with the same poison.

Group helps illegal bird traders transition into different businesses
MOUNT NIUT, Indonesia, 3 December 2018 (Mongabay) - Poachers in the few remaining forest ecosystems across Indonesia tend to catch indiscriminately, trapping everything they can get, from pangolins to hornbills, say wildlife trade experts.

Autonomous ferry makes first demonstration voyage in Finland
HELSINKI, Finland, 3 December 2018 (YLE) - Falco, a ferry which has been transformed into a self-driving vessel, made its way through choppy seas of the Turku Archipelago and navigated itself from the island of Pargas to Nagu with no problems during a demonstration run on Monday.

How Crete kicked out far-right party Golden Dawn
HERAKLION, Greece, 3 December 2018 (Guardian) - Washing hangs from the balconies of an unassuming apartment block on Irodotou street in Heraklion, the capital of Crete. But before May this year, this building looked rather different. A sign hung outside reading: “Golden Dawn, Heraklion region”. The ultra-nationalist, far-right Greek party used this street as its local base.

Fish farming takes on crime in Papua New Guinea
CANBERRA, Australia, 3 December 2018 (IPS) - In the rugged mountainous highlands of Papua New Guinea in the southwest Pacific Islands fish farming has transformed the lives of former prisoners and helped reduce notorious levels of crime along the highlands highway, the only main road which links the highly populated inland provinces with the east coast port of Lae.

Beef over Muttonbird Islands ends with Supreme Court ruling
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 3 December 2018 (Stuff) - Maori people have the right to take titi (also known as muttonbird or sooty shearwater) chicks and traditionally preserved them in their own fat and sealed them in kelp buckets, but nowadays plastic buckets and light-grade salt are mainly used.

Worsening weather will leave Scots islanders marooned
GLASGOW, UK, 3 December 2018 (Herald) - State-owned CalMac - the nation's main ferry operator - said its skippers were now facing longer and increasingly frequent storms amid what scientists say are dramatic changes in the wind systems over the North Atlantic.

Health services on Irish islands need range of improvements
DUBLIN, Ireland, 3 December 2018 (Irish Times) - The Health Service Executive recent review focuses on the provision of health services to nearly 3,000 people living on 18 islands off the coast of Ireland that are not connected by a land causeway with the mainland.

Seychelles expands protection around two islands
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 2 December 2018 (SNA) - In an effort to address illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing as well as other illegal maritime activities, two newly designated areas around Seychelles’ Aldabra group and Amirantes to Fortune Bank are being expanded.

Climate change: Where we are in seven charts
LONDON, UK, 2 December 2018 (BBC) - Representatives from nearly 200 countries are gathering in Poland for talks on climate change - aimed at breathing new life into the Paris Agreement.

Making Haida Gwaii a role model for renewable energy
QUEEN CHARLOTTE, Canada, 1 December 2018 (Haida Gwaii Observer) - When Gwaliga Hart and Jaalen Edenshaw from the Swiilawiid Sustainability Society got invited to tour Samsø on behalf of the Haida Nation, they found a fairly urban farming community, but with more than one similarity to Haida Gwaii.

Hawai'i becomes UN sustainability hub
MAUI, Hawai'i, 30 November 2018 (Maui Now) - Hawai'i Green Growth, a public-private partnership committed to achieving economic, social and environmental goals, formally accepted the United Nation’s invitation to become a Local 2030 Hub at its annual partnership retreat today.

Trump announces IHAs for airgun blasting off the Atlantic coast
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 30 November 2018 (Mongabay) - The Trump Administration announced today that it will issue five Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs) for seismic airgun blasting off the Atlantic coast.

Flights to Aran Islands to continue as agreement reached
DUBLIN, Ireland, 30 November 2018 (Irish Times) - Flights to the Aran Islands will continue as scheduled in the short term after an agreement was reached between the Department of the Gaeltacht and the Islands and Aer Arann Islands.

Climate change batters this Arctic island - can the community cope?
LITTLE DIOMEDE, US, 30 November 2018 (NatGeog) - Ed Soolook’s house sits on an island, less than three square miles in area, perched in the middle of the Bering Strait off northwestern Alaska.

Indonesian island clean-up nets 40 tons of rubbish daily
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 30 November 2018 (AFP) - Residents on a string of coral-fringed islands off Jakarta's coast are battling a tidal wave of trash, with more than 40 tons of rubbish collected daily over the past week, an official said.

Icelandic language fighting tsunami of English
REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 30 November 2018 (AFP) - Two centuries ago experts predicted that Icelandic would be a dead language by now. But the doomsayers can eat their words: Icelandic is alive and kicking despite an onslaught of English brought on by modern technology.

Sark agrees deal with power supplier to avert blackout
LONDON, UK, 30 November 2018 (Guardian) - A last-minute deal has been struck to maintain power supplies on the island of Sark after its electricity supplier threatened to pull the plug in a pricing dispute.

China urged to lead way in efforts to save life on Earth
SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, 29 November 2018 (Guardian) - China must play a leading role if the world is to draw up a new and more effective strategy to halt the collapse of life on Earth, according to senior delegates at the close of this week’s UN biodiversity conference.

First wild Sumatran rhino captured for breeding campaign
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 29 November 2018 (Mongabay) - A female Sumatran rhinoceros has been captured in Indonesian Borneo and moved to a local sanctuary as part of an initiative to conserve the near-extinct species through captive breeding.

Panama the new flashpoint in global rivalry between China and USA
LONDON, UK, 29 November 2018 (Guardian) - Jutting four kilometres into the Pacific, the Amador causeway islands separate the concrete and glass skyline of Panama City from the soaring iron arch of the Bridge of the Americas – under which 40 cargo ships pass each day en route to or from the Panama Canal.

Biggest coral reseeding project launches on Great Barrier Reef
SYDNEY, Australia, 28 November 2018 (AFP) - Scientists have launched the largest-ever attempt to regenerate coral on the endangered Great Barrier Reef by harvesting millions of the creatures' eggs and sperm during their annual spawning.

Caribbean must have a seat at the COP24 negotiating table
ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada, 28 November 2018 (IPS) - The Caribbean must not be left out of the negotiations at COP24 that will be attended by nearly 30,000 delegates from all over the world, including heads of governments and ministers responsible for the environment and climate issues.

The crunch COP24 UN climate change conference
KATOWICE, Poland, 28 November 2018 (UN) -  As global temperatures continue to rise, climate action is lagging and the window of opportunity is closing. On Sunday, the United Nations will kick off critical negotiations on how to address the problem collectively and urgently, during a two-week climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, known as “COP 24”.

Concrete camps being built for Rohingya on Bangladesh island
LONDON, UK, 28 November 2018 (Guardian) - Exclusive footage obtained by the Guardian has revealed the stark concrete camps being built for the Rohingya on a sediment island in Bangladesh, as part of a controversial plan to relocate hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Capturing the unique rhythm of Scottish crofting life
LONDON, UK, 28 November 2018 (BBC) - When Beatrix A Wood moved to South Uist in the Western Isles she became caught up in what she describes a unique and challenging rhythm of traditional Scottish crofting.

Blockchain, AI hailed as new tools to protect high seas
SEATTLE, US, 28 November 2018 (Reuters) - Emerging technologies that can remotely monitor the high seas will be crucial to enforcing a proposed deal to preserve the biological diversity of the world’s oceans, researchers and campaigners said.

Women in small-island states exposed to high levels of mercury
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 27 November 2018 (Mongabay) - Women of childbearing age from small-island states and countries have been found to have toxic levels of mercury, a potent neurotoxin that can harm unborn children, a new report shows.

The last generation women with long earlobes
KUTAI BARAT, Indonesia, 27 November 2018 (WWF) - The Dayak people who live in the upstream area of the Mahakam River, East Kalimantan have rich traditions and cultures that are still inherent in their daily lives as a continuation of their ancestral traditions while living in this world.

Higher building costs a deterrent to Irish island living
CORK, Ireland, 27 November 2018 (Irish Examiner) - A scheme which could help increase the population on the seven islands off West Cork cannot supply the social houses needed because it costs around 40% more to build homes on the islands than on the mainland.

Australia can't forget Micronesia
CANBERRA, Australia, 26 November 2018 (APPS) - Australia’s decision to open new diplomatic posts in Palau and the Marshall Islands should be the first of many steps in an increased diplomatic footprint in Micronesia.

Glasgow University to make amends to UWI over slavery profits
GLASGOW, UK, 26 November 2018 (Caribbean News Now) - In September, after a year-long study discovered that Glasgow University benefited from the equivalent of tens of millions of pounds donated from the profits of slavery, the university announced a programme of “reparative justice”, which will now include the University of the West Indies.

Chile fishers brace for fallout after massive mining port is approved
LA HIGUERA, Chile, 26 November 2018 (Mongabay) - The iron ore export terminal was approved for an area rich in marine resources that artisanal fishing communities rely on, and is just 29 kilometers (18 miles) from the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve and the Choros and Damas Islands Marine Reserve.

Agroforestry supports food security and conservation in PNG
GILDIPASI, Papua New Guinea, 26 November 2018 (Mongabay) - After a short walk from his community on PNG's northern coast, Yat Paol clears away dried leaves from a shady patch of ground and sits calmly to chew on buai, or betel nuts - one of PNG’s most sought-after agricultural products.

Grenada to launch US$42m water resiliency project
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, 26 November 2018 (IPS) -  Water-scarce Grenadians will soon get some relief through a Green Climate Fund-approved project to be launched next year that will make Grenada’s water sector more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

A turtle is worth more alive than dead
NAIROBI, Kenya, 26 November 2018 (IPS) - On the north-eastern shores of Trinidad and Tobago, on the shoreline of Matura, more than 10,000 leatherback turtles climb the beaches to nest each year. But there the local community is keenly aware of one thing: ‘a turtle alive is worth more than a turtle dead.'

46% of Japanese favor initial return of 2 islands from Russia
TOKYO, Japan, 26 November 2018 (Nikkei) - Nearly half the Japanese public supports the idea of seeking an initial return of two islands in a decades-long territorial dispute with Russia rather than pushing to regain all four at once.

How Carl Jones rescued endangered island bird species
LONDON, UK, 26 November 2018 (Guardian) - The last surviving bird of prey on Mauritius seemed doomed. In 1974, there were only four Mauritius kestrels left in the wild and attempts to breed them in captivity were failing.

Whale stranding on Stewart Island leaves 145 dead
LONDON, UK, 26 November 2018 (BBC) - A group of up to 145 pilot whales have died after becoming stranded on a beach on Stewart Island in New Zealand.

Island residents warn against Lantau Tomorrow Vision reclamation
HONG KONG, 25 November 2018 (SCMP) - As Lam Chi-ngai, 76, sets foot on the remote Sunshine Island, mosquitoes swarm parts of his exposed skin, hungry for a rare taste of human blood.

A new Bali on Indonesia's eastern frontier?
KEI KECIL, Indonesia, 25 November 2018 (CNA) - It is believed by many on the Kei Islands that some of their earliest ancestors came from Bali, braving the long expanses of sea to the west.

US experts conclude climate change picking up pace
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 24 November 2018 (RNZ) - A new United States federal assessment on climate change shows that the economic, social and environmental effects in the US affiliated-islands of the Pacific could be catastrophic.

The contemporary appeal of islands
ATHENS, Greece, 23 November 2018 (Kathimerini) - Lawrence Durrell described the condition of “islomania” as “a rare but by no means unknown affliction of the spirit” in people who find islands “irresistible.”

Mediterranean turtles exposed to record levels of microplastics
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 23 November 2018 (Mongabay) - Beaches in northern Cyprus have the second highest recorded amount of microplastics among beaches studied across the world, a new study has found.

Is Antarctica becoming more like Greenland?
BOULDER, US, 23 November 2018 (SPX) - Antarctica is high and dry and mostly bitterly cold, and it's easy to think of its ice and snow as locked away in a freezer, protected from melt except around its low-lying coasts and floating ice shelves. But that view may be wrong.

Slow Arctic freeze raises risk of polar bear extinction
LONDON, UK, 23 November 2018 (Guardian) - One of 19 polar bear populations in the Arctic, Svalbard has close to 2,500 individual bears. This number has been stable for the past 15 years, but pressures are growing as the waters around Svalbard have a little over half the average area of ice for this time of year.

Andamans: US man's death puts spotlight on tribal tourism
LONDON, UK, 23 November 2018 (BBC) - Andaman is home to five "particularly vulnerable" tribes. They are the Jarawas, North Sentinelese, Great Andamanese, Onge and Shompen. The Jarawas and the North Sentinelese haven't integrated with the mainstream population yet. This makes them a source of intrigue for many of the 500,000 tourists who visit the islands every year.

Mauritius Pink Pigeon making a comeback
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 22 November 2018 (BirdLife) - Habitat loss and the introduction of invasive species such as the black rat had driven the pink pigeon’s population down to just 10 wild individuals by 1990. Captive breeding programmes, combined with intensive conservation in the field, has now raised that number to 400.

Vanuatu says it may sue fossil fuel companies over climate change
LONDON, UK, 22 November 2018 (Guardian) - The Republic of Vanuatu says it will explore whether it can take legal action against fossil fuel companies and countries for their role in causing climate change.

Climate-heating greenhouse gases at record levels, says UN
LONDON, UK, 22 November 2018 (Guardian) - The main greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change have all reached record levels, the UN’s meteorology experts have reported.

Pacific votes for its future
SYDNEY, Australia, 21 November 2018 (The Australian) - After the grand announcements of the past days and weeks, the hard yards in regaining lost ground in the Pacific start now for Canberra.

Malta gets intelligent recycling bins
NAXXAR, Malta, 21 November 2018 (Lovin Malta) - Get ready for revolutionary recycling, Malta! As a strategy against unsightly overflowing, around 800 intelligent recycling bins will be installed across the country in the coming months.

American killed in India by endangered Andamans tribe
LONDON, UK, 21 November 2018 (BBC) - An American man has been killed by an endangered tribe in India's Andaman and Nicobar islands where contact with them is illegal because of the risks from outside disease.

Palau shines at CBD COP14
SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, 20 November 2018 (SPREP) - The eradication of rats and feral cats on Kayangel Atoll in Palau has helped bring about an increase in their megapode bird population, regrowth of local root crops and the employment of local community members to help sustain their conservation efforts.

Tonga seeks to better understand impacts of deep-sea mining
SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, 20 November 2018 (SPREP) - Deep-sea mining is seen to provide a potential source of economic growth.  Running counter to this are concerns about potential environmental and social impacts and a lack of communal benefit from extractive projects.

7,500 trees planted on Praslin Island to prevent erosion
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 20 November 2018 (SNA) - An initiative being led by Terrestrial Restoration Action Society of Seychelles (TRASS) has planted 7,500 trees on Praslin Island as part of efforts to prevent erosion and land degradation and to restore mangroves forest.

The Blue Economy for the Blue Planet
NOUMEA, New Caledonia, 20 November 2018 (IPS) - There are inspiring examples worldwide of action to clean up waterways, restore habitat and create clean environments for economic and recreational activities. But you don’t have to be a wealthy developed country to share the same ambition or achieve similar outcomes.

The Blue Economy - A new frontier for SIDS
WINDSOR, UK, 20 November 2018 (IPS) - The blue economy - a concept and economic model that balances economic development with equity and environmental protection, and one that uses marine resources to meet current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own - is not a new idea.

Meteorite hunters dig up 60 million-year-old site in Skye
LONDON, UK, 20 November 2018 (BBC) - Efforts are to be made to protect part of a 60-million-year-old meteorite impact site in Skye where geologists believe deposits were dug up and taken away earlier this month.

Is Hong Kong ready to splash billions on Lantau reclamation plan?
HONG KONG, 19 November 2018 (SCMP) - For HK$500 billion (US$64 billion), Hong Kong could pay for a universal pension system 10 times over, or buy up all its damaged farmland for better planning. Instead, the government intends to use this amount – equivalent to half of its fiscal reserves – to build a group of islands to house 1.1 million people.

New alliance to highlight, conserve Aldabra giant tortoises
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 19 November 2018 (SNA) - In a move to underscore the importance of the Seychelles’ Aldabra giant tortoises and shed light on the plight of the species, a group of conservationists and philanthropists have set up an Indian Ocean Tortoise Alliance.

Maldives-China deal 'one-sided', says ex-president Nasheed
LONDON, UK, 19 November 2018 (BBC) - The new Maldives government is considering pulling out of a free trade agreement with China, a top leader from the islands' governing alliance says.

Cuba's only semi-arid region reinvents agriculture to survive
SAN ANTONIO DEL SUR, Cuba, 19 November 2018 (IPS) - At a brisk pace, Marciano Calamato and Mireya Noa walk along the dry, yellow soil of their farm, where they even manage to grow onions in Cuba’s unique semi-arid eastern region.

Rising seas give island nation a stark choice: relocate or elevate
WASHINGTON, US, 19 November 2018 (NatGeog) - The navigational prowess of Marshall Islanders is legendary. For thousands of years, Marshallese have embraced their watery environment, building a culture on more than 1,200 islands scattered across 750,000 square miles of ocean.

Has the 'NZ dream' turned sour for Auckland's Pacific Islanders?
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 19 November 2018 (Guardian) - Touted as the world’s most Polynesian city, Pacific Islanders make up 15% of Auckland’s population. But does the dream of a better life match reality?

Dead fish to power cruise ships
LONDON, UK, 19 November 2018 (Guardian) - The leftovers of fish processed for food and mixed with other organic waste will be used to generate biogas, which will then be liquefied and used in place of fossil fuels by the expedition cruise line Hurtigruten.

FijiFirst wins just over half the vote
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 18 November 2018 (RNZ) - Frank Bainimarama has been given another four years in power after winning the Fiji election.

Protected Planet Report reviews progress
GLAND, Switzerland, 18 November 2018 (IUCN) - Around 15% of the world’s terrestrial area is better safeguarded by conservation measures, as well as over 7% of the world’s oceans, ensuring the world is on track to meet important conservation targets, according to the latest Protected Planet Report.

Riches of Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve explored
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 18 November 2018 (NZ Herald) - The islands and surrounding waters have worn the ''marine reserve'' title since 1981 but have only been fully protected since 1998. That year, the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve status was bolstered to include a total fishing ban.

Lesbos pioneering aid project unites locals and migrants
MORIA, Greece, 18 November 2018 (Guardian) - An air of optimism hovers over the olive grove. Men from Africa, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq are busy building a wooden structure that will serve as a new shelter.

Why some Jamaicans want the army to stay
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 17 November 2018 (BBC) - Every morning, Pauline Perez walks past the bullet-ridden Denham Town police station to commute to work as a government clerk in West Kingston, Jamaica.

Habitat loss threatens all our futures, world leaders warned
SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, 17 November 2018 (Guardian) - As a UN conference convenes to work out a new deal for protecting the planet’s biodiversity, the focus falls on the nations that are not attending.

US to join Australia in Papua New Guinea naval base plan
LONDON, UK, 17 November 2018 (BBC) - The US says it will join Australia in developing a naval base in Papua New Guinea, in an apparent move to curb China's growing influence.

RSPO adopts total ban on deforestation
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 16 November 2018 (Mongabay) - The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has adopted new standards that will prohibit its member companies from clearing any type of forest for palm plantations.