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Pacific climate migration a political tug of war
SOUTH TARAWA, Kiribati, 23 April 2019 (PINA) - Driving along the lone road of Kiribati’s capital, there’s a slight rise about halfway between the airport and Betio village at the other end of the hook-shaped atoll. At its peak there’s a sign advertising a quirky point of difference.“Mauri & welcome to Eita. The highest point on South Tarawa 3 metres above sea level."



World Bank's coal divestment pledge not stringent enough
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 23 April 2019 (Mongabay) - Indonesia provides a litmus test for the World Bank’s commitment to divest from coal, with a recent report revealing its continued indirect financing of some of Indonesia’s most destructive coal-mining companies.



Less rainforest, less rain: A cautionary tale from Borneo
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 23 April 2019 (Mongabay) - A recent study finds that massive deforestation across Borneo, in large part for oil palm plantations, has led to higher temperatures and less precipitation over the past 60 years.



Tasmanian lakes have 'disturbing' contamination levels
SYDNEY, Australia, 23 April 2019 (ABC) - A recent study has shown some Tasmanian lakes in the protected Wilderness World Heritage Area have heavy metal contamination levels among the highest ever recorded.



Anti-salmon farm protest takes to the water at King Island
SYDNEY, Australia, 22 April 2019 (ABC) - Opposition to a controversial salmon farm on King Island has escalated with more than 100 people taking part in a protest to protect a world-class surf break.



Peat protection rule may be a double-edged sword
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 22 April 2019 (Mongabay) - A logging prohibition in Indonesia aimed at protecting peatlands threatens a supply crunch for two of the world’s biggest paper producers that could drive them to source wood from as-yet-untouched forests elsewhere in the country, a recent study indicates.



Poachers threaten precious Madagascar forest and lemurs
VOHIBOLA, Madagascar, 22 April 2019 (AFP) - Under a leaden sky, six rangers walk silently in single file through Vohibola, one of the last primary forests in eastern Madagascar.



Greek researchers enlist EU satellite against Aegean sea litter
LESBOS, Greece, 22 April 2019 (AFP) - Knee-deep in water on a picture-postcard Lesbos island beach, a team of Greek university students gently deposits a wall-sized PVC frame on the surface before divers moor it at sea.



Housing crisis on Arran leaves hundreds of islanders without homes
LONDON, UK, 22 April 2019 (Guardian) - The Arran Economic Group hopes to be the first community organisation in Scotland to use government funds to build dozens of affordable homes aimed at local workers, which will be given out based on economic rather than social need.



Bornholm is going trash free by recycling all of its waste
WASHINGTON, US, 22 April 2019 (NatGeog) - Imagine a whole community reusing or recycling every last scrap of waste. That may sound utopian, but perhaps not on the Danish island of Bornholm.



The mayor fighting to save her island home from climate change
NEW YORK, US, 22 April 2019 (Time) - In January 2018 floods, the sea wall that Australia built to protect the residents of Yam Island collapsed. Residents of the island - just over 1 square mile - which lies off the coast of mainland Australia, waded through the floodwaters as quickly as they could, grabbing whatever belongings they could.



Why GM must be in our toolkit to save endangered island species
SYDNEY, Australia, 22 April 2019 (SMH) - If the global decline in wildlife populations is worrying, then the situation on the world’s 400,000 islands is especially troubling. Native island communities and species all over the planet are at risk from invasive species such as rodents, which bring new disease threats and devastating ecosystem changes, often directly preying upon native animals.



The extinction clock ticks for the little-known Philippine pangolin
PALAWAN, Philippines, 22 April 2019 (Mongabay) - In the wilderness of the Philippines’ southwestern island province of Palawan, dubbed the country’s last biodiversity frontier, lives a scaly mammal found nowhere else on Earth: the Palawan or Philippine pangolin.



Researchers calculate decades of 'scary' Greenland ice melting
WASHINGTON, US, 22 April 2019 (AFP) - Measuring melting ice is a fairly precise business in 2019 - thanks to satellites, weather stations and sophisticated climate models.



Island lizards are expert sunbathers but it's slowing their evolution
BLACKSBURG, US, 22 April 2019 (ScienceDaily) - The idea that evolution can be slow on islands is actually somewhat strange. Ever since Darwin's journey to the Galapagos, islands have been recognized as hotspots of rapid evolution, resulting in many ecologically diverse species.



On one island, a microcosm of Vietnam's environmental challenges
CAT BA ISLAND, Vietnam, 22 April 2019 (Mongabay) - Cat Ba is home to both a national park and a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve. In many ways, it is a microcosm of the major environmental issues Vietnam currently faces: wildlife conservation, forest preservation, overtourism, unchecked development, plastic waste and more.



Dutch engineers build world's biggest sun-seeking solar farm
LONDON, UK, 21 April 2019 (Guardian) - In a development that is to become the largest of its type in the world, construction will begin this year on 15 solar islands on the Andijk reservoir in north Holland. The islands, containing 73,500 panels, will have the sunflower-like ability to move to face the light.



Sweden to test dynamic wireless charging on island of Gotland
VISBY, Sweden, 21 April 2019 (Inside EVs) - The Smart Road Gotland consortium won the Swedish Transport Administration tender for demonstration road system with dynamic wireless power transfer on the island of Gotland.



Australia will pay back Timor-Leste's oil revenue
LONDON, UK, 21 April 2019 (Guardian) - Jose Ramos-Horta, the former president of Timor-Leste and Nobel laureate, says he believes Australia will reimburse “every cent it wrongly received” after the countries signed a maritime border treaty last year.



Jersey falling behind on sustainable transport
ST. SAVIOUR, Jersey, 20 April 2019 (JEP) - Despite the States having committed to make 5% of the Island’s transport sustainable by 2020, only 1.2% of the 90,518 vehicles currently registered in Jersey are hybrids or electric.



Could you live on a remote island?
LONDON, UK, 20 April 2019 (Guardian) - The wardens of Britain’s small islands talk about daily life with little more than thousands of puffins for company.



New paper proposes a science-based 'Global Deal for Nature'
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 19 April 2019 (Mongabay) - The Global Deal for Nature proposes a target of 30 percent of the planet to be fully protected under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity by 2030.



The stone faces and human problems on Easter Island
LOS ANGELES, US, 19 April 2019 (UCLA) - In 1981, UCLA archaeology graduate student Jo Anne Van Tilburg first set foot on the island of Rapa Nui, which is commonly called Easter Island, eager to explore her interest in rock art by studying the iconic stone heads that enigmatically survey the landscape.



Little Bay Islands gets $10M to cover resettlement tab
ST. JOHN'S, Canada, 19 April 2019 (CBC) - Little Bay Islands has been given official stamp of approval, and the government cash, to become the next community in Newfoundland and Labrador to resettle.



How Vietnam quietly built up 10 Islands in Asia's most disputed sea
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 19 April 2019 (VOA) - Both China and Vietnam are building up tiny islets across Asia’s most disputed sea, but while China receives international criticism Vietnam receives very little, and even gets some support because its pace of construction is slower and widely seen as defensive.



SNP MP calls for a network of tunnels for Scotland's islands
GLASGOW, UK, 19 April 2019 (Herald) - Linked by lifeline ferry services and at the mercy of the stormy Atlantic, they are among Scotland's most remote communities.



Orkney leading the way towards 100% renewable energy
NEW YORK, US, 19 April 2019 (Forbes) - The Orkney Islands are edging closer to their 100% renewable energy goals. What’s making this possible is a disruptive business model: partnerships between local businesses, communities, and technology and finance providers – and making consumers part of the solution.



Huge plans to expand Iceland's fish farms
REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 19 April 2019 (Guardian) - A five-fold expansion in open net fish farms that scientists believe could decimate Iceland’s wild salmon stocks is pitting Big Aquaculture against ecologists in the country.



Sri Lanka calls for increased protection for endemic lizards
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 18 April 2019 (Mongabay) - Sri Lanka will push for international protection of its endemic lizards threatened by smuggling when it hosts a global biodiversity trade summit next month.



Climbing the coconut value chain in the Pacific
PORT VILA, Vanuatu, 18 April 2019 (IPS) - In the Pacific, coconut is king. Known as the ‘tree of life’, locals make use of every part of the tree to survive – the fruit for eating, husks for fuelling fires, fronds for making multiuse baskets, and the trunk for building houses.



Major report finds New Zealand's environment is in serious trouble
DUNEDIN, New Zealand, 18 April 2019 (Guardian) - A report on the state of New Zealand’s environment has painted a bleak picture of catastrophic biodiversity loss, polluted waterways and the destructive rise of the dairy industry and urban sprawl.



Remote Irish island seeks to connect to digital world
CORK, Ireland, 18 April 2019 (Irish Examiner) - The old pool room in a restaurant is now at the forefront of a new initiative between telecoms firm Three Ireland and a local community on Arranmore off the coast of Co Donegal into the most connected island in the world.



Island leaders promote global goals, local action day
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 18 April 2019 (Big Island Now) - In an unprecedented show of unity and purpose, Hawai'i and other island leaders gathered at the state capital rotunda to significantly raise the profile on climate change.



How foreign aid spending tells of Pacific priorities
SYDNEY, Australia, 17 April 2019 (The Interpreter) - The Pacific, when measured by aid inflows as a proportion of GDP, is the most aid-dependent region in the world. Geographic remoteness, exposure to frequent natural disasters and vulnerability to climate change are several of the causes that make the region vulnerable.



New FAO projects for the Seychelles
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 17 April 2019 (SNA) - Sustainable management of forests and bioenergy assessment with capacity building in Seychelles are two new projects being supported by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations.



The McKinsey way to save an island
NEW YORK, US, 17 April 2019 (Intelligencer) - Since 2016, Puerto Rico has been buffeted by a natural disaster and several overlapping, man-made catastrophes. Its government is bankrupt and owes $74 billion to bondholders: a staggering sum that amounts to 99 percent of the island’s gross national product, or $25,000 for each of its 3 million men, women, and children.



Vashon Island anaerobic digester unveiled
VASHON ISLAND, US, 17 April 2019 (Beachcomber) - Impact Bioenergy, a manufacturer of systems that convert organic food waste into usable energy and fertilizer, unveiled its new anaerobic digester at the Island Spring Organics tofu factory Tuesday.



Pacific island cities call for a rethink of climate resilience
MELBOURNE, Australia, 17 April 2019 (The Conversation) - Analysis of climate change adaptation projects in the Pacific shows most focus on rural areas, heavy infrastructure and policy development. Climate change planning for the cities and towns has been limited, despite their rapid growth.



Indonesia election: Widodo 'leads presidential race', say polls
LONDON, UK, 17 April 2019 (BBC) - Indonesia's president looks to be on course for re-election, according to unofficial results released within hours of polls closing.



Taiwan's Foxconn boss says sea goddess inspired presidential bid
LONDON, UK, 17 April 2019 (BBC) - The billionaire founder of Taiwan's electronics giant Foxconn has announced he will run for the country's presidency, citing divine endorsement.



Film shows links between Indonesian candidates and coal companies
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 16 April 2019 (Mongabay) - A new documentary film that shows the links between Indonesian coal and energy companies and the country’s political elite has been released online ahead of the world’s biggest single-day election.



Inspiring Ireland's islands to achieve a clean energy solution
DUBLIN, Ireland, 16 April 2019 (Irish Tech News) - The Aran Islands Energy group was set up formally as a Cooperative in 2012 and is working on a broad range of initiatives.



Taiwan president says Chinese drills a threat but not intimidated
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 16 April 2019 (Reuters) - Taiwan has not been intimidated by China’s military drills this week, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, after the latest Chinese maneuvers were denounced by a senior U.S. official as “coercion” and a threat to regional stability.



Three things to know as Germany opens massive ocean wind park
SASSNITZ, Germany, 16 April 2019 (AFP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be joined by French and Norwegian ministers Tuesday to officially open a massive wind farm in the Baltic Sea between the German island of Ruegen and the Swedish shoreline to the north.



Australia's Cocos Islands cannot replace Diego Garcia
CANBERRA, Australia, 16 April 2019 (The Diplomat) - The U.S. has been using the Cocos airstrip for several decades as a stopover point between Diego Garcia and Guam in the Pacific, as well as a partial alternative to Singapore’s Paya Lebar Air Base. While Cocos does have an airstrip, several factors will severely limit any expansion of U.S. military activity on the island.



Okinawans confront the US military at Henoko
GINOWAN, Japan, 15 April 2019 (APJJF) - Every day except for Sundays, holidays and typhoon days hundreds of huge dump trucks enter the US Marine Corps’ Camp Schwab at Henoko, in northern Okinawa, carrying landfill – dirt, sand, stones – and dump it into the sea offshore from the base.



Japan's flawed bid for Yambaru Forest World Heritage status
NISHIHARA, Japan, 15 April 2019 (APJJF) - On February 1, 2019, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment submitted to UNESCO and the IUCN its nomination of four areas in the Ryukyu archipelago for UNESCO World Natural Heritage status. The areas are Amami-Oshima Island, Tokuno-Shima Island, the Northern Part of Okinawa Island, and Iriomote Island.



The usual suspects as Indonesia fires flare anew
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 15 April 2019 (Mongabay) - Oil palm and logging companies in Indonesia have come into public glare once again as another season of forest fires flares up in Sumatra.



To rescue Sumatran rhinos, Indonesia starts by counting them first
LAMPUNG, Indonesia, 15 April 2019 (Mongabay) - In February, authorities in Indonesia held an exercise for Sumatran rhino researchers to track and tally the remaining wild population of the species.



Seychelles president's underwater speech: Protect our oceans
DESROCHES ISLAND, Seychelles, 14 April 2019 (AP) - In a striking speech delivered from deep below the ocean's surface, the Seychelles president on Sunday made a global plea for stronger protection of the "beating blue heart of our planet."



In Bali, a village hews to unwritten rules to manage its forest
PENGOTAN, Indonesia, 14 April 2019 (Mongabay) - Hundreds of top-heavy bamboo stalks stretch up from the ground and lean under their own weight over a road in Pengotan, a village on the island of Bali.



New generation of Cypriots seek to end island's division
NICOSIA, Cyprus, 14 April 2019 (The Observer) - There are few places more frozen in time than Nicosia’s UN-patrolled buffer zone. And in that space of barbed wire, sandbags and guard posts, there is no place that conjures division more than the Ledra Palace hotel.



Scientists discover three subspecies of wombats
HOBART, Australia, 14 April 2019 (ABC) - Maria Island, off Tasmania's east coast, is famous for its wombats. But now scientists have discovered the population of several thousand is part of a subspecies only found in one other place — Flinders Island, hundreds of kilometres away.



Building resilience through waste diversion and reduction
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, 12 April 2019 (IPS) - Jua Kali is a social enterprise tackling waste management and helping to reduce reliance on St. Lucia’s only landfill, which will reach the end of its lifespan in 2023.



Cloud seeding bears no rain in Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 12 April 2019 (Mongabay) - A recent attempt to induce rain amid a prolonged drought in Sri Lanka has fallen short, but that hasn’t stopped the government from embracing the project, to the dismay of scientists who have urged greater studies into the technology and its long-term impacts.



Island universities pledge commitment to sustainability
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 12 April 2019 (UH News) - University of Hawaii President David Lassner is among eight island college and university presidents who made collective commitments to advance sustainability during the Presidential Summit at the 10th annual University of Guam Conference on Island Sustainability. 



Ostrich, rodent on the menu as Cuba seeks food miracle
HAVANA, Cuba, 12 April 2019 (Reuters) - From breeding miniature cows to importing water buffalo, Cuban leaders have long gotten creative in their effort to remedy food shortages. Now, they are proposing ostrich and rodent farms as an answer, prompting ridicule from a weary population.



Indonesia election: China's complicated role in the country's future
LONDON, UK, 12 April 2019 (BBC) - Whoever wins Indonesia's upcoming election will have to navigate a tricky relationship with China. Beijing is a crucial player in the country's economic growth but increasingly unpopular with voters.



Danish island leads renewable revolution
LYON, France, 12 April 2019 (Euronews) - The Danish island of Samsø has become a poster child when it comes to fighting climate change. A world leader in sustainable energy, Samsø achieved 100 percent power independence in less than five years thanks to a community-wide commitment.



PNG doctors warn of nationwide problem
LONDON, UK, 12 April 2019 (Guardian) - Doctors in Papua New Guinea have warned of a “nationwide problem” of men injecting foreign substances, including coconut oil and silicone, into their penises in an attempt to make them bigger.



A roadmap to defeat tobacco tax and keep Indonesians addicted
BANGKOK, Thailand, 11 April 2019 (IPS) - The image of a smoking toddler from Indonesia horrified the world but did little to motivate local policy makers to enact measures to protect children and youth from the harms of tobacco use.



Mexican ecologists push to transform prison island into nature reserve
LONDON, UK, 11 April 2019 (Nature) - A history of punishments, torture and repression ended in March when the Mexican government closed one of the last island prisons in the Americas.



This is the world's most destructive oil operation - and it's growing
WASHINGTON, US, 11 April 2019 (NatGeog) - A number of indigenous communities along the pipeline’s route remain resolutely opposed, and especially in the province of British Columbia. If built, the pipeline could dramatically increase the number of large oil tankers using coastal waters. That could endanger the local orca population and risk oil spills.



Indonesia's threat to exit Paris accord over palm oil
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 11 April 2019 (Mongabay) - Environmental activists have blasted threats by a senior Indonesian minister that the country will withdraw from the Paris climate accord over a European plan to phase out palm oil from renewable biofuels.



Nordic countries call for global treaty on ocean plastic pollution
REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 10 April 2019 (WWF) - In a major step forward in the fight against marine plastic pollution, Nordic governments have become the first in the world to formally call for a global treaty to tackle the plastic crisis in our oceans.



Fossils of enigmatic extinct human species found on Philippine island
WASHINGTON, US, 10 April 2019 (Reuters) - Thirteen fossil bones and teeth excavated in a cave in the Philippines represent an enigmatic previously unknown human species, probably small in stature and possessing an unexpected mix of archaic and modern traits.



50,000 flip-flops among the 25 tonnes of trash cleaned up on Aldabra
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 10 April 2019 (SNA) - Twenty-five tonnes of waste - including some 50,000 flip-flops - were collected in a five-week clean-up on the Seychelles’ remote atoll of Aldabra.



Cuba's worker bees boost thriving honey business
NAVAJAS, Cuba, 10 April 2019 (AFP) - In the floral valleys of Cuba's Matanzas province, old fashioned farming means bees can swarm without the threat of pesticides that have decimated populations across the world.



Fever pitch: A celebration of Eriskay's football pitch
LONDON, UK, 10 April 2019 (BBC) - Four years ago, football's international government body Fifa recognised the pitch on the small island of Eriskay as one of the world's unique places to play the game.



Isla San Pedro Martir Biosphere Reserve, Sonora, Mexico
GLAND, Switzerland, 9 April 2019 (IUCN) - The Isla San Pedro Mártir Biosphere Reserve is one of the best-preserved sites in the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), has great scientific relevance and should be considered a natural laboratory of adaptation and evolution.



How climate change is transforming Virginia's barrier islands
RICHMOND, US, 9 April 2019 (ScienceDaily) - A new study of Virginia's barrier islands off the coast of the Eastern Shore provides a fundamental understanding of how barrier islands will change in the near future amid a warming climate, sea-level rise and storm events such as hurricanes and nor'easters.



Madagascar: Rio Tinto mine breaches sensitive wetland
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 9 April 2019 (Mongabay) - A large mineral sands mine in southeastern Madagascar has trespassed into a “sensitive zone,” violating national law and raising the possibility that radionuclide-enriched tailings could enter a lake that local people use for drinking water.



Tension over how to reshape Puerto Rico's energy future
WASHINGTON, US, 9 April 2019 (Utility Dive) - The Department of Energy is recommending the installation of a large natural gas plant in Puerto Rico - a move it admits could run counter to emerging clean energy policies in the U.S. territory.



New mining laws in French Polynesia imminent
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 9 April 2019 (RNZ) - A mining company in French Polynesia claims the government plans to introduce a new mining code next week. Avenir Makatea is planning to mine Makatea island for phosphate and use the funds to rehabilitate it and bring former residents back.



PNG agrees terms for second major gas project
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 9 April 2019 (RNZ) - Papua New Guinea's government has agreed terms for a new multi-billion dollar natural gas project led by French company Total.



Sumatran governor jailed over bribes to award infrastructure projects
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 9 April 2019 (Mongabay) - A court in Indonesia has sentenced the governor of the Sumatran province of Aceh to seven years in jail after finding him guilty of corruption in connection with infrastructure projects in his region.



Pacific islands: a new arena of rivalry between China and the US
HONIARA, Solomon Islands, 9 April 2019 (PACNEWS) - The three dozen men and women sitting under huge Poinciana trees listen intently to Joyce Konofilia. A candidate in last week’s general election in the Solomon Islands, she was campaigning in a squalid settlement on a hillside above the capital city of Honiara where few residents have access to electricity and even fewer have jobs.



Squid team finds high species diversity off Kermadec Islands
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 9 April 2019 (The Conversation) - The Kermadec Islands, north-north-east of New Zealand, represent a diverse and nearly pristine environment. The region includes (among other habitats) a chain of seamounts and the second-deepest ocean trench in the world.



Palu earthquake leaves devastation on land and under the sea
PALU, Indonesia, 9 April 2019 (Mongabay) - Few people knew about the luscious coral off Palu, in Indonesia’s Central Sulwaesi province, before an earthquake turned it into an underwater wasteland.



Report highlights secretive business dealings of Indonesian politicians
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 9 April 2019 (Mongabay) - A new report links two of Indonesia’s most prominent political figures, one of them a vice presidential candidate, with mysterious offshore financial transactions related to coal companies they owned.



European Sustainability Award 2019 goes to Aland
MARIEHAMN, Aland Islands, 8 April 2019 (Barkraft) - The European Commission presented the winners of the European Sustainability Award 2019. The Åland Islands and the Development and sustainability agenda for Åland were the winners of the category public bodies under 100,000 individuals.



Fiji revokes big Chinese resort's rights
SUVA, Fiji, 8 April 2019 (PACNEWS) - The Chinese developer of a new resort on a Fijian Island faces a massive clean-up bill after Fiji’s Department of Environment cancelled the project's approval.



Biological changes among invasive species
PLYMOUTH, UK, 8 April 2019 (ScienceDaily) - A remote island in the Caribbean could offer clues as to how invasive species are able to colonize new territories and then thrive in them, a new study suggests.



Illegal online sales driving mercury pollution crisis in Indonesia
DENPASAR, Indonesia, 8 April 2019 (Mongabay) - Illegal online mercury sales are booming in Indonesia, and activists have had enough.



Can we really clean up the plastic waste fouling our oceans?
LONDON, UK, 8 April 2019 (Telegraph) - The oceans have become the easy option for dumping of plastic and other waste. It has been estimated that we are adding perhaps 10 million tonnes every year.



Pohnpei is grappling with a shortage of leprosy drugs
POHNPEI, FSM, 8 April 2019 (IPS) - It’s a good day for Dexter, a 25-year-old fisherman from Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. He’s just been told that he is cured of leprosy.



Cubans march to end animal cruelty in possible first
LONDON, UK, 8 April 2019 (BBC) - Hundreds of Cubans have held a march against animal cruelty, in what is thought to be the first independent protest allowed in the country.



Scottish islanders want more action and less talk from ministers
EDINBURGH, UK, 8 April 2019 (Scotsman) - News of a Scottish Government consultation in preparation for a National Islands Plan has been met with anger in the isles. Residents on Coll, Colonsay and Tiree, who face losing their crucial air link with Oban next month, say they are sick of telling the Scottish Government and Argyll and Bute Council what their problems are and want less talk and more action.



Views sought on Scottish National Islands Plan
LERWICK, UK, 7 April 2019 (SN) - Scottish island communities are being asked their opinion to form an islands plan following introduction of last year’s Islands Act.



Tallinn city government to develop Aegna as ecotourism destination
TALLINN, Estonia, 7 April 2019 (ERR) - Tallinn City Government plans to develop the island of Aegna into a sustainable nature tourist destination, as part of a wider project which will do the same with an island of the Helsinki coast.



Norway's Labor Party rises against oil exploration in Lofoten islands
OSLO, Norway, 7 April 2019 (Bloomberg) - Norway's opposition Labor Party, the country’s biggest force in Parliament and a long-time backer of the industry, decided on Saturday to stop pushing for oil exploration offshore the sensitive Lofoten islands in Norway’s Arctic.



Seychelles eradication efforts against invasive plant finds success
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 7 April 2019 (SNA) - Seychelles' remote Aldabra atoll is free of an invasive alien plant species 40 years after eradication efforts started on four islands in the atoll group.



PM defends spending $185m reopening Christmas Island centre
SYDNEY, Australia, 7 April 2019 (AAP) - Scott Morrison has defended spending $185m reopening an immigration centre on Christmas Island only to shut it down again.



Vibrant and bright: Haiti's fashion industry is on the up
CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti, 7 April 2019 (BBC) - Among the glamorous and influential fashion hubs of the world, Haiti may not be an obvious contender. But the Caribbean nation, famed for its vibrant art, is home to a bold and progressive slew of designers on a crusade to turn that around.



Maldives election: Early results show victory for president's party
LONDON, UK, 6 April 2019 (BBC) - President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is on course to win a landslide victory in the Maldives parliamentary election, early result show. An MDP win would solidify the comeback of the country's former president and MDP leader Mohamed Nasheed, who was in exile until late last year.



Solomon Islands graves destroyed by Chinese mining company
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 6 April 2019 (Newshub) - A tribal chief in the Solomon Islands says he feels regret and shame after doing business with a mining company operating there.



When there was trouble in paradise
PERTH, Australia, 5 April 2019 (ABC) - The Cocos (Keeling) Islands, a speck in the Indian Ocean, is closer to Indonesia than Australia. Many mainland Australians are barely aware of its existence, let alone that the islands are home to a population with an extraordinary history and unique culture.



Belize triples the size of its MPAs
BELIZE CITY, Belize, 5 April 2019 (EDF) - In a bold step for the sustainability of its fisheries and the world’s second largest barrier reef, the government of Belize has approved a plan to set aside 10% of its territorial waters as no-take marine protected areas (MPAs), tripling the size of its existing zones.



Harnessing the power of our oceans
BRUSSELS, Belgium, 5 April 2019 (Euronews) - The French island of Ushant in Brittany is currently not connected to the national grid and relies on expensive diesel fuel to generate electricity for its 842 inhabitants. In just over a decade, however, the island plans to be fully reliant on renewable energy.



Bermuda to become a major destination for cryptocurrency business
HAMILTON, Bermuda, 5 April 2019 (Caribbean News Now) - The island of Bermuda with a population of just 70,000 people already known as a destination for insurance companies, and an international financial services centre is set on becoming a significant destination for cryptocurrency businesses.



Indonesia oil slicks highlight weak enforcement against bilge dumping
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 5 April 2019 (Mongabay) - Two ships have been spotted allegedly dumping waste oil in the sea off the eastern coast of Sumatra, highlighting what activists say is poor enforcement against marine pollution violations in Indonesia.



These luxury resorts want to save the Maldives
WASHINGTON, US, 5 April 2019 (NatGeog) - As the world’s lowest-lying country, a majority of the Maldives’ 1,200 islands may be underwater within decades, according to the IPCC. In light of this prediction that is out of their control, a handful of the country’s luxury resorts still feel it's important to do their part and hope to inspire more action globally.



Duterte warns Beijing of 'suicide missions' to protect disputed island
LONDON, UK, 5 April 2019 (Guardian) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned Beijing to back off from a disputed island in the South China Sea, warning of “suicide missions” if China touches it.



Project set to modernize Jamaica's agricultural sector
KINGSTON, Jamaica, 4 April 2019 (Caribbean360) - Jamaican farmers will be getting a £16.7 million boost, made possible through a grant from the UK Department for International Development, to help them increase productivity and gain greater market access.



Novel Hawaiian communities operate similarly to native ecosystems
URBANA, US, 4 April 2019 (ScienceDaily) - On the Hawaiian island of Oahu, it is possible to stand in a lush tropical forest that doesn't contain a single native plant. The birds that once dispersed native seeds are almost entirely gone too, leaving a brand-new ecological community composed of introduced plants and birds.



Indonesia, US declare new protected marine areas in North Maluku
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 4 April 2019 (JP) - Supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), North Maluku province declared its three new Marine Protected Areas covering about 226,000 hectares of its seas at its 70th-anniversary event on Tuesday.



Expedition to Henderson Island to investigate plastic pollution
LONDON, UK, 4 April 2019 (NHM) - The uninhabited Henderson Island is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Despite its isolation, the beaches of this speck of land are thought to harbour one of the highest densities of plastic found anywhere in the world.



Campaign to save oceans maps out global network of sanctuaries
LONDON, UK, 4 April 2019 (Guardian) - Academics have mapped out a network of sanctuaries they say are required to save the world’s oceans, protect wildlife and fight climate breakdown.



Great Barrier Reef: Mass decline in 'coral babies'
LONDON, UK, 4 April 2019 (BBC) - The number of new corals on Australia's Great Barrier Reef has plunged by 89% since unprecedented bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, scientists say.



Nitrogen degrading coral in Hawaii traced to sewage treatment plant
WASHINGTON, US, 3 April 2019 (UPI) - Scientists have finally linked the excess nitrogen degrading Hawaiian coral to a wastewater treatment plant that injects treated sewage water into the ground.



$10m for vulnerable Bangladeshi small islands
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 3 April 2019 (UNDP) - The Adaptation Fund, for the first time, has approved a $10 million for Bangladesh aiming to enhance resilience of vulnerable communities of small islands and riverine charlands islands.



Plastic in paradise: the battle for the Galapagos Islands future
LONDON, UK, 3 April 2019 (Guardian) - The Galapagos Islands are supposedly one of the most pristine locations on the planet, but plastic pollution arriving by sea is threatening this unique habitat and wildlife.



Orkney 'smart energy' grid project launched
LONDON, UK, 3 April 2019 (BBC) - A pioneering project has been launched in Orkney to create a "green" electricity grid mixing renewable energy with battery technology.



Komodo Island closing to tourists after dragon smuggling arrests
LONDON, UK, 3 April 2019 (HuffPost) - Indonesia’s famed Komodo Island, home to the world’s largest lizards, will soon close to tourists following reports of smugglers stealing and selling dragons, according to local media.



How the Faroe Islands became an 'Un-Destination'
NEW YORK, US, 2 April 2019 (Skift) - The Faroe Islands received a lot of attention in February when it announced the archipelago was “closing for maintenance.” The islands, which are a self-governing part of Denmark, offered to host 100 visitors from around the world (airfare not included) for a weekend of clean-up and voluntourism efforts. About 3,500 people applied within days of the announcement.



Love Island: Flamboyant males get the girls on Madagascar
GOTTINGEN, Germany, 2 April 2019 (Phys.org) - German scientists have discovered two new species of giant stick insect on Madagascar, whose males become dazzling blue or multicolored at sexual maturity.



Landslides have rapidly increased on an Arctic island
LONDON, UK, 2 April 2019 (New Scientist) - Satellite images are revealing how the landscape of Banks Island in the frozen north of Canada is being reshaped by global warming-triggered land slumps.



Tourists urged to avoid riding donkeys up Santorini's steep steps
ATHENS, Greece, 2 April 2019 (Guardian) - Put yourself in their hooves: that is the message holidaymakers will be asked to consider before deciding to ascend the 600 steps that zigzag up the cliffs of Santorini on the back of a donkey.



The Cook Islands prepares for climate change
AVARUA, Cook Islands, 1 April 2019 (UNDP) - The goal of the Strengthening the Resilience of the Cook Islands to Climate Change project, running since 2012, has been to boost the long-term capacity of the Cook Islands to better respond and manage climate change, now and in the future. Real-time climate information was a key component.



Building Pacific resilience to climate change across 15 countries
APIA, Samoa, 1 April 2019 (SPREP) - Pacific Island Forum Leaders have repeatedly identified climate change as the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and well-being of the peoples of the Pacific.  This week marks a major milestone in helping to build Pacific island resilience to this threat with the start of a EUR 12 million project spanning 15 countries.



SeyCCAT awards grants to seven projects
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 1 April 2019 (SNA) - The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) has disbursed a total of $363,000 for seven projects that support marine protected areas and sustainable fisheries.



Lord Howe Island coral bleaching most severe ever seen
LONDON, UK, 1 April 2019 (Guardian) - Researchers have documented what they are describing as the most severe coral bleaching to hit the world’s southern-most reef at Lord Howe Island.



Expanding distillery to go 100% green
LONDON, UK, 1 April 2019 (BBC) - The Bruichladdich whisky distillery, now the biggest private sector employer on the Scottish island of Islay, has unveiled plans to run entirely on renewable energy within the next five years, as part of a £20m investment.



Remote Cape with 'world's cleanest air' offers smog respite
CAPE GRIM, Australia, 31 March 2019 (AFP) - With panoramic views of swaying tussock grass and the vast crystalline expanse of the Southern Ocean, Tasmania's beautiful Cape Grim peninsula is an unlikely reference point for the scientific world.



Solomon Islands election
SYDNEY, Australia, 31 March 2019 (ABC) - This Wednesday marks the small Pacific Island nation's first poll since the Australian-led, 14-year security mission known as RAMSI - Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands - ended in 2017, which helped bring peace and stability to the country after years of ethnic tensions and killings.



Greek fishermen battle to clean a cruel sea
LONDON, UK, 30 March 2019 (Guardian) - In a new scheme, fishermen are paid €200 a month to recycle waste found in nets rather than dump it in polluted waters.



Alaska judge blocks Trump on Arctic and Atlantic drilling
LONDON, UK, 30 March 2019 (Guardian) - Donald Trump exceeded his authority when he reversed bans on offshore drilling in vast parts of the Arctic ocean and dozens of canyons in the Atlantic, a judge said in a ruling that restored the Obama-era restrictions.



New hope for King Island bird endemics
HOBART, Australia, 30 March 2019 (ABC) - The King Island thornbill has the unfortunate distinction of being the Australian bird most likely to become extinct over the next two decades — and the scrubtit isn't far behind. However, researchers have found the birds not only alive and well on the Bass Strait island, but their populations may be larger than initial estimates.



Tasmanian devils prove quick adaptors in bid for survival
CRADLE MOUNTAIN, Australia, 29 March 2019 (AFP) - A contagious cancer is threatening Tasmanian devils with extinction, but these unique carnivores -- and their human helpers -- are adapting at breakneck speed, giving new hope for their survival.



Norway's Kon-Tiki museum to return Easter Island artefacts
LONDON, UK, 29 March 2019 (Guardian) - Norway has agreed to hand back thousands of artefacts removed from Easter Island by the explorer Thor Heyerdahl during his trans-Pacific raft expeditions in the 1950s.



Will Bougainville become the world's newest nation?
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 28 March 2019 (RNZ) - 2019 will be a momentous year for Bougainville. This region of Papua New Guinea, that has had an autonomous government since 2005, is to hold a referendum on whether to extend this to full independence.



Tiny new frogs from Madagascar
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 28 March 2019 (Mongabay) - The world of miniature frogs has five new members, all from the island nation of Madagascar and each smaller than your thumbnail.



Okinawan sea grapes reveal secrets of plant evolution
OKINAWA, Japan, 28 March 2019 (Phys.org) - If you've ever dined on the tropical island of Okinawa, Japan, your plate may have been graced by a remarkable pile of seaweed, each strand adorned with tiny green bubbles. Known as umi-budo or sea grapes, the salty snack pairs well with rice, sashimi and a tall glass of beer.



New report lays out low-carbon development path for Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 28 March 2019 (Mongabay) - The Indonesian government published a report showing how the country could reap tremendous economic benefits by transitioning to a low-carbon economy.



How land grabbers co-opt indigenous ritual traditions in Papua
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 28 March 2019 (Mongabay) - Industrial-scale agriculture poses considerable risk to the indigenous peoples of Papua, whose culture and livelihoods are closely linked to the region’s extensive rainforest.



Anguilla's fishers share their first-hand knowledge
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, 28 March 2019 (IPS) - Fishers in Anguilla saw posted on Youtube this week a video they helped produce that depicts the impacts of climate change on their industry.



Social stigma silences Marshall Islands' women
MAJURO, Marshall Islands, 28 March 2019 (IPS) - Meretha Pierson has been a nurse for the past seven years, working in the government-run leprosy clinic in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands.



Maltese armed forces take control of hijacked tanker
LONDON, UK, 28 March 2019 (BBC) - Malta's armed forces have taken control of a tanker that was allegedly seized by migrants off Libya on Wednesday.



Galapagos has more alien marine species than once thought
WASHINGTON, US, 28 March 2019 (Phys.org) - Over 50 non-native species have found their way to the Galapagos Islands, almost 10 times more than scientists previously thought, reports a new study.



How hydrogen is transforming these tiny Scottish islands
STROMNESS, UK, 28 March 2019 (BBC) - I’ve seen thousands of petrol pumps in my life, but this is my first encounter with a hydrogen refuelling station. It sits by the road in the Orkney islands, an archipelago off the north-east coast of Scotland where residents have big dreams: they want to have their cars, ferries and boilers all running on hydrogen.



How alarming is it that islands are just disappearing?
NEW YORK, US, 27 March 2019 (Atlas Obscura) - Every so often - more often lately - comes news of islands just up and disappearing. Eight in Micronesia. Five in the Solomon Islands. One off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan. Yet there’s also been a crop of studies and researchers saying that island nations such as Tuvalu not only aren’t disappearing - they’re actually growing.



No more fires in Indonesia?
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 27 March 2019 (Mongabay) - Forest fires have flared up in Sumatra again this dry season, belying the government’s claims that it has brought the annual problem under control.



Cull invasive mammals to save island species, experts urge
LONDON, UK, 27 March 2019 (Guardian) - Nearly 10% of the world’s bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile species currently on the brink of extinction could be saved by killing invasive mammals such as cats and rats on 169 islands, according to a new study.



Ring-necked parakeet declared eradicated from Seychelles
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 27 March 2019 (SNA) - In a boost for the island nation's black parrot population, the Seychelles Islands Foundation has confirmed the eradication of the ring-necked parakeet after the invasive species has not been sighted for over a year and a half.



Cold water currently slowing fastest Greenland glacier
PASADENA, US, 27 March 2019 (JPL) - NASA research shows that Jakobshavn Glacier, which has been Greenland's fastest-flowing and fastest-thinning glacier for the last 20 years, has made an unexpected about-face.



The Korean island in love with sex
LONDON, UK, 26 March 2019 (BBC) - In a culture often considered to be traditionally conservative about sexuality, South Korea's Jeju Island is breaking taboos with not one but two museums dedicated to all aspects of sex.



Pan Borneo Highway construction must not destroy forest
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 26 March 2019 (Mongabay) - The chief minister of the Malaysian state of Sabah has called on construction crews working on the multi-billion-dollar Pan Borneo Highway project to avoid breaking up the region’s forests and other sensitive environments where possible.



Currents push slick away from world heritage site
LONDON, UK, 26 March 2019 (Guardian) - Ocean currents have carried oil leaking from a shipwreck on the Solomon Islands away from a nearby world heritage site as authorities continue a clean-up operation that is expected to take months.



Puerto Rico has just passed its own Green New Deal
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, 25 March 2019 (Forbes) - Puerto Rico has passed a bill to radically transform the island's economy with renewable energy as the central pillar.



Indebted cutting-edge hospital in Comoros faces collapse
BAMBAO, Comoros, 25 March 2019 (AFP) - The Bambao hospital, nestled in a tropical forest on Anjouan island in the Comoros, was meant to bring state-of-the-art medical care to the poor Indian Ocean nation.



'A fantasy of escape': the best books about islands
LONDON, UK, 25 March 2019 (Guardian) - The crisis over Brexit has deep roots in a central trope of the English imagination: islands.



Comoros islanders vote in presidential election
LONDON, UK, 24 March 2019 (BBC) - Presidential elections are taking place in the Comoros Islands for the first time since a referendum to increase term limits.



Plastic microparticles threaten unique Galapagos fauna
PUERTO AYORA, Ecuador, 22 March 2019 (AFP) - Armed only with gloves and large sacks, park rangers and volunteers are battling the scourge of plastic waste blighting the idyllic Galapagos Islands and their unique creatures.



Project promises to turn palm oil plantations back into rainforest
WASHINGTON, US, 22 March 2019 (UPI) - Across the island of Borneo, conservationists are preparing to rewild palm oil plantations. The project will see agricultural acreage turned back into near-natural rainforest.