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Indonesia coral reef partially restored in extensive project
LONDON, UK, 5 May 2021 (BBC) - Around 40,000 sq m of coral reef has been restored as part of a collaboration between local groups, conservation organisation The Nature Conservancy and pet brand Sheba. It's part of a plan to restore 185,000 sq m of the world's coral reefs by 2029. One partially restored reef off the coast of Indonesia has since seen a rise in coral cover from 5% to up to 55%.

French power threat in Jersey fishing row
LONDON, UK, 5 May 2021 (BBC) - A French government threat to cut off Jersey's electricity over a post-Brexit fishing dispute is "disproportionate", a senior Jersey politician has said.

Second vote called in latest twist in Samoa's most dramatic election
LONDON, UK, 5 May 2021 (Guardian) - Samoa will be heading back to the polls after the most dramatic election in the country’s history left the country deadlocked, with threats of legal action and fears of “diversion” and “trickery”.

Floating scarecrow stops seabirds diving into fishing nets
LONDON, UK, 5 May 2021 (Guardian) - Scarecrows may be outstanding in their field, but now scientists have created an unusual floating version that could help reduce the number of vulnerable seabirds caught by fishing nets. The device, known as a looming-eyes buoy (LEB), and developed in collaboration with engineers from Fishtek Marine, was trialled in Küdema Bay, Saaremaa island, Estonia, on long-tailed ducks.

Ed Case revives ambitious Pacific Island Foreign Policy Bill
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 4 May 2021 (Civil Beat) - The Boosting Long-term U.S. Engagement in the Pacific Act, or BLUE Pacific Act, would increase America’s diplomatic presence, military ties and trade relations with the region while supporting local authorities in combating illegal fishing and addressing problems caused by climate change.

The island activist who forced German climate action
PELLWORM, Germany, 5 May 2021 (Reuters) - If the North Sea island of Pellworm vanishes beneath the waves it will take with it the 300-year-old family farm of Sophie Backsen, 22, who last week won a court judgment forcing Germany to take swifter action to combat climate change.

The long shot that saved Belize's coral
LONDON, UK, 5 May 2021 (BBC) - With the caye split into two and corals smashed into rubble, the underwater world at Laughing Bird Caye National Park off the coast of Belize looked nothing like the vibrant and colourful place that had thrived with life before Hurricane Iris swept across it in 2001.

Popular opposition halts a bridge project in a Philippine coral haven
PALAWAN, Philippines, 5 May 2021 (Mongabay) - The Philippine government has suspended work on a bridge that would connect the islands of Coron and Culion in the coral rich region of Palawan. 

Water crisis in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara linked to mining
KUPANG, Indonesia, 5 May 2021 (Mongabay) - Many parts of Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province have experienced a shortage of clean water shortage since last year. Environmental activists attribute the problem to environmental degradation in forested water catchment areas, including by mining companies.

How rising sea levels are threatening my home
LONDON, UK, 3 May 2021 (BBC) - Hereiti, 17, lives on Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. She says the ocean is the "lifeblood" of her community, and that when it is “healthy”, the people are too. But she worries that rising sea levels and pollution are threatening the health of the ocean.

Antiguans revel in ancient board game
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, 4 May 2021 (BBC) - Under the shade of a wooden hut, a stone's throw from the flurry and fumes of the Antiguan capital's main bus station, a battle of wits is afoot. Two men are bent over a handcrafted mahogany board, deep in concentration in the throes of a game of "Warri".

Humans weren't to blame for the extinction of island-dwelling species
CANBERRA, Australia, 3 May 2021 (The Conversation) - From the moas of New Zealand to the dodos of Mauritius, humans have hunted many island-dwelling species to extinction in the relatively recent past. But our research reveals humans haven’t always necessarily been agents of ecosystem destruction.

Relocating mangroves for Indonesian highway not that easy
PURWOKERTO, Indonesia, 4 May 2021 (Mongabay) - An environmental expert in Indonesia has warned against a government plan to relocate mangrove trees along the north coast of the island of Java to make way for a highway and levee project.

Making amends with Makatea
VICTORIA, Canada, 4 May 2021 (Hakai) - On this French Polynesian island dramatically scarred from mining, locals grapple with whether a new mine will heal or harm the landscape.

Postmen of the Reunion Island peaks
LONDON, UK, 3 May 2021 (Guardian) - Rene-Claude and Cyril, the two postmen serving Mafate, French Reunion, walk 90 miles of paths to deliver mail to residents on routes that can last days.

Deadly landslide hits Indonesian dam project in orangutan habitat
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 30 April 2021 (Mongabay) - A landslide at the site of a hydropower plant located in the only known habitat of the critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan has claimed the lives of three people, with nine others still missing.

World Tuna Day: What does it mean for the Pacific?
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 2 May 2021 (RNZ) - Recent years have seen a power shift, with Pacific Islands Nations gaining greater control and revenue returns from their Tuna fisheries. This has been the result of cooperation and hard work. This article will show that the Pacific Tuna fisheries are arguably the best and most sustainably managed in the world. Therefore, World Tuna Day is a day that the Pacific Nations can be especially proud of.

Indigenous Dayak man jailed after palm oil firm alleges theft
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 29 April 2021 (Mongabay) - An Indigenous Dayak man has been arrested for allegedly stealing oil palm fruit from a company’s plantation in Indonesia’s North Kalimantan province. The company is embroiled in a long-running conflict with five Dayak communities in the area as its concession overlaps with their ancestral lands.

Death of a Sri Lankan icon highlights surge in elephant electrocutions
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, 30 April 2021 (Mongabay) - Revatha, an iconic male elephant in North Central province in Sri Lanka, died in early March after being electrocuted by an electric fence. Four other elephants died the same way in the same region that week, highlighting the growing danger posed by illegally electrified fences in a country with high rates of elephant density and human-elephant conflict.

The State of Environment and Conservation in the Pacific Islands
APIA, Samoa, 30 April 2021 (SPREP) - This newly released report outlines the critical connections between society’s actions and the services we receive from nature. For example, an indicator on renewable energy demonstrates the commitments of Pacific Leaders to increasing energy independence through the use of renewable resources to create electricity, with positive effects for Pacific ecosystems and the global fight against climate change.

Accident leaves deep sea mining machine stranded
LONDON, UK, 28 April 2021 (BBC) - A prototype deep sea mining machine is lying stranded on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The 25-tonne un-crewed device became detached from the cable linking it to a ship at the surface. The accident happened halfway through a month-long programme of trials and research. It comes amid heightened controversy over plans to mine the minerals contained in the seabed.

Hits and misses for a legal tool to protect the Philippines environment
MANILA, Philippines, 28 April 2021 (Mongabay) - Filipino fishers call it the “secret island” - a group of three sandbars that emerge when the tide’s low enough, located a mile or so away from Pag-asa Island, known outside the Philippines as Thitu. They go there because it’s teeming with fish. But since 2017, the area has been largely inaccessible due to an international maritime dispute over parts of the South China Sea.

Iceland's CarbFix plans to store carbon from elsewhere in Europe
REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 27 April 2021 (HNN) - The Icelandic carbon capture and sequestration startup CarbFix, which previously used its technology to store carbon from Iceland's geothermal power plants, plans to ship in carbon dioxide from elsewhere in Europe to sequester underground.

Over 47 tons of plastic found at US marine reserve
LONDON, UK, 28 April 2021 (Guardian) - An expedition spent 24 days clearing 10 miles of shoreline in the atolls and islands of the Papahānaumokuākea marine national monument in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The team, led by a non-profit with support from state and federal agencies, collected 94,472lb of marine debris, aiming specifically for waste that poses an entanglement hazard to animals, such as derelict fishing gear, also called “ghost nets”.

Tasmania's salmon industry expansion has no sound scientific basis
LONDON, UK, 28 April 2021 (Guardian) - An expert who quit a Tasmanian government panel overseeing the state’s Atlantic salmon industry expansion says there is no sound scientific basis for a planned doubling of production over the next decade, and that concerns she and another member raised were consistently ignored.

Companies and officials flout forest-clearing moratorium in Papua
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 26 April 2021 (Mongabay) - A litany of loopholes and violations have undercut the Indonesian government’s forest protection policies, allowing oil palm companies to continue obtaining licenses to clear rainforests for plantations, according to a new report.

Two women tortured in latest sorcery-related attack in PNG
PORT MORESBY, PNG, 27 April 2021 (Guardian) - Two women were tortured and burnt with hot irons for hours on Sunday in Port Moresby by up to 20 men after being accused of witchcraft, in the latest instance of sorcery-related violence in Papua New Guinea.

Mining and logging threaten wildlife on a Philippine mountain
MINDANAO, Philippines, 27 April 2021 (Mongabay) - Mount Busa on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao is among the most biodiverse and most threatened ecological areas in the country. It’s a key biodiversity area and a known bird conservation area, considered one of the last remaining strongholds of the critically endangered and nationally important Philippine eagle.

We in the Pacific don't want Japan's nuclear wastewater
LONDON, UK, 26 April 2021 (Guardian) - Earlier this month, the Japanese government announced plans to discharge 1m tonnes of radioactive wastewater accruing since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 into the Pacific Ocean. To Pacific peoples, this is yet another act of catastrophic and irreversible trans-boundary harm that our region has not consented to.

Italy's Robinson Crusoe to leave island
ROME, Italy, 26 April 2021 (Guardian) - A man known as Italy’s Robinson Crusoe who has lived alone on a Mediterranean island for more than 30 years after running into difficulties in the sea has said he is finally surrendering to pressure from authorities to leave and will be moving to a small apartment.

The UK island waiting to be discovered
LONDON, UK, 26 April 2021 (BBC) - Unadorned, unkempt and unloved, Ulva is the Scottish island no one wanted to live on. But now an era-defining community buy-out is behind its welcome resurrection.

Royal Navy takes bomb disposal experts to South Georgia
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 23 April 2021 (MercoPress) - The Royal Navy's HMS Forth has taken bomb disposal specialists to South Georgia as part of a mission to protect the island's wildlife. The ten-day environmental mission set out to remove bombs and ordnance left behind during the Falkland Islands conflict involving the Argentine armed forces in 1982.

Officials launch probe after second St. Croix refinery accident
WASHINGTON, US, 24 April 2021 (WP) - Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Virgin Islands officials are investigating a second accident at a controversial refinery in St. Croix after it emitted noxious fumes that prompted some schools on the island to close Friday.

EU special status for halloumi fails to calm divisions in Cyprus
ATHENS, Greece, 24 April 2021 (Guardian) - Just when it seemed halloumi’s greatest battle had been won, the “white gold” of Cyprus is once again causing ructions. Weeks after being awarded EU protected designation of origin (PDO) status, giving consumers the guarantee of an authentically made Cypriot product, the chewy cheese has managed to elicit anger on both sides of the UN-patrolled “green line” fracturing the divided country.

U.S. announces support for Local2030 Islands Network
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 23 April 2021 (PRN) - U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry announced the United States' support for the Local2030 Islands Network during a virtual event in support of the Leaders Summit on Climate Change hosted by President Biden this week.

The Indonesian island that could host Elon Musk's new Space X site
LONDON, UK, 23 April 2021 (BBC) - Indonesia has offered up one of its islands in West Papua as a potential launch site for Elon Musk's ambitious Space X project - which aims to put humans on the moon. Though Mr Musk has yet to accept the proposal, Indonesia has still made it clear that it has big space ambitions for Biak island- which is worrying its residents.

ECOSOC chief calls for financial support for SIDS
NEW YORK, US, 23 April 2021 (UN News) - Small island developing states (SIDS) must receive financial and international support if they are to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Munir Akram, said on Friday. 

Flexible diet has helped leaf-eating lemurs survive deforestation
WASHINGTON, US, 23 April 2021 (UPI) - Several species of leaf-eating lemurs, or sifakas, in Madagascar also like to munch on flowers and fruit, returning to leaves when more nutrient dense food sources are scarce. 

Taiwan's worst drought in decades deepens chip shortage jitters
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 21 April 2021 (AFP) - In the foothills of Taiwan's mountainous spine, reservoirs are running dry as the island experiences its worst drought in decades - a crisis that risks deepening an already acute global semiconductor shortage.

Singapore leads green architecture and sustainable building design
SINGAPORE, 22 April 2021 (SCMP) - Kermit the Frog once lamented that it wasn't easy being green. Large-scale developers who for years have been trying to reconcile their economic and environmental concerns would agree.

Orange-bellied parrots leave Tasmania in biggest ever numbers
LONDON, UK, 22 April 2021 (Guardian) - Nearly 200 endangered orange-bellied parrots have begun their annual migration from Tasmania to the Australian mainland, the largest number to make the trip since monitoring started in the early 1990s.

Indigenous Panamanian islanders seek refuge from climate change
PARIS, France, 22 April 2021 (France24) - Climate change has caused ocean levels on Panama's Atlantic Coast to rise by almost 10 inches. It is threatening the ancestral island homelands of the Guna tribe and many are resigned to leaving for the mainland as the waters wash in

'Oceans in crisis': Global ban to protect the world's oceans
ARLINGTON, US, 20 April 2021 (Al Jazeera) - A new ocean conservation initiative is underway to catalyze the protection and conservation of 18 million square kilometers of the ocean (7 million square miles) over the next five years. The Blue Nature Alliance is working with governments and other partners on large-scale efforts in Fiji’s Lau Seascape, Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, and Tristan da Cunha.

'World's most powerful' tidal turbine sets sail from Dundee
LONDON, UK, 22 April 2021 (BBC) - A tidal-powered turbine, which its makers say is the most powerful in the world, has begun its journey from Dundee to Orkney. The 680-tonne Orbital O2, which is 72m (236 ft) long, was assembled at the Port of Dundee over the past 18 months. It will be anchored close to Orkney where it will produce enough electricity to power 2,000 homes.

Residency loophole in Malta's cash-for-passports scheme
LONDON, UK, 22 April 2021 (Guardian) - Super-rich Russians, Chinese and Saudis have secured unrestricted access to the EU via a Maltese cash-for-passports scheme that requires them to spend less than three weeks in the country, a leak from a passport brokerage has revealed.

Biden administration revives Farallon Islands poison plan
SAN RAFAEL, US, 21 April 2021 (MIJ) - The Biden administration is doubling down on a plan to airdrop tons of poison-laced bait on the Farallon Islands near the Golden Gate to eradicate invasive house mice that have overrun the seabird colony and wreaked havoc on its ecosystem.

A rat-free Lehua Island now welcomes native plants and birds
HONOLULU, Hawaii, 21 April 2021 (HNN) - After decades of infestation, Lehua Island is rat-free. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources made the declaration Wednesday, saying that Hawaii’s seabirds can safely nest and native plants can flourish on the tiny island off Kauai’s west shore. Crews successfully removed invasive rabbits from the island back in 2006 and have been working on eradicating the rats ever since.

US DOE to support 11 remote and island communities
WASHINGTON, US, 20 April 2021 (DOE) - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it will work with 11 remote and island communities around the United States and provide federal assistance to bolster their energy infrastructure, reduce the risk of outages, and improve their future energy and economic outlook.

UN launches appeal to support stricken island of St. Vincent
NEW YORK, US, 20 April 2021 (UN) - The UN has launched a $29.2 million global funding appeal to aid citizens of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines affected by the major eruptions spewing from La Soufriere volcano, pledging to remain a "steadfast partner". 

Race to save Cyprus corals from climate change, mass tourism
AYIA NAPA, Cyprus, 20 April 2021 (AFP) - Many people think Cyprus has no corals, says marine ecologist Louis Hadjiannou. If climate change and coastal development continue unabated, he fears, they may soon be right.

What caused pilot whale mass stranding in Indonesia
DENPASAR, Indonesia, 21 April 2021 (Mongabay) - Lung damage, hunger and disorientation have been cited as the factors that led a pod of 52 pilot whales to a mass stranding on an Indonesian island earlier this year.

Marshall Islands gets front-row seat at US Leaders Climate Summit
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 22 April 2021 (RNZ) - The Marshall Islands says it will ensure the Pacific voices are heard at today's US Leaders Summit on Climate Change. The Marshalls is the only Pacific nation invited to US President Joe Biden's summit table. 

Pacific plan on how to decarbonise global shipping by 2050
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 22 April 2021 (RNZ) - An effective way to achieve US Climate Envoy John Kerry's stated goal of decarbonising the global shipping industry is to make it cheaper to go green by the International Maritime Organisation introducing a greenhouse gas levy.

The Caribbean island transformed into an eco haven
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, 20 April 2021 (BBC) - There are no resorts, no beaches, no amenities, and its contribution to the national GDP is practically zero. Yet the mile-long rocky isle of Redonda in the Caribbean Sea is deemed one of the most valuable spots in the region.

Skepticism and a shrug: Cubans greet the end of Castro rule
HAVANA, Cuba, 19 April 2021 (Guardian) - Raul Castro’s announcement on Friday that he is to retire and bring 62 years of Castro rule on the island to a close caused barely a ripple, even if it sent waves around the world. Cubans were expecting it, and for those battling to buy food in what are increasingly tough times, there was skepticism about what difference it would make.

Rats reappear on Lord Howe Island for the first time since 2019
LONDON, UK, 19 April 2021 (Guardian) - Two adult rats have been caught and killed on Lord Howe Island, marking the first time rodents were seen there since a $16m eradication program began in 2019.

For these Torres Strait Islanders, climate change is already here
SYDNEY, Australia, 19 April 2021 (ABC) - For generations, Indigenous Australians have thrived on the islands in the Torres Strait – but rising sea levels, more extreme weather and coastal erosion are devouring some of the 17 inhabited islands in the region and threatening their way of life. 

Illegal coal mine tunnels threaten a Sumatran village
SAWAHLUNTO, Indonesia, 19 April 2021 (Mongabay) - In 2018, after houses in nearby villages began to collapse into abandoned mine shafts below, residents of Sikalang village in West Sumatra province began to suspect that a nearby coal company was tunneling outside of its permitted area.

Building Easter Island's first music school
NEW YORK, US, 18 April 2021 (CBS) - Concert pianist Mahani Teave has traveled the world, But Rapa Nui, sometimes known as Easter Island, is her home. Teave returned to Rapa Nui a decade ago, and in 2014 she built the island's first music school using an abundant un-natural resource: trash. Last year, it was featured in the documentary, "Song of Rapa Nui." 

Raul Castro steps down as Cuban Communist Party leader
LONDON, UK, 16 April 2021 (BBC) - Raúl Castro says he is resigning as Cuban Communist Party leader, ending his family's six decades in power. Mr Castro, 89, told a party congress that he is handing over the leadership to a younger generation "full of passion and anti-imperialist spirit". His successor will be voted in at the end of the four-day congress.

Ancient human remains found at site of new US military base in Guam
HAGATNA, Guam, 16 April 2021 (Guardian) - A Guam senator has launched an investigation into a US military base being built on the island after ancient human remains, as well as ovens, tools and pottery from an ancient village were found at the proposed site.

Philippines seizes illegally harvested giant clam shells worth $25m
LONDON, UK, 17 April 2021 (Guardian) - Around 200 tonnes of illegally harvested giant clam shells worth nearly $25m have been seized in the Philippines in one of the biggest known operations of its kind in the country. Conservationists have expressed alarm over the surging illicit trade in the endangered creatures, which are used as a substitute for ivory following a global crackdown in the trade of elephant tusks.

'Small Island Big Song' highlights climate challenges in free film
UNIVERSITY PARK, US, 17 April 2021 (PennState) - More than 100 artists representing 16 island nations in the Pacific and Indian oceans unite for the musical cinematographic event “Small Island Big Song: An Oceanic Songline” in a free weeklong virtual stream starting at 7:30 p.m. April 23.

Residents of Norfolk Island are calling for a return to self-rule
SYDNEY, Australia, 17 April 2021 (SBS) - On the external territory of Norfolk Island, a six-year fight against Australian rule by some residents is gathering momentum. It comes as a public inquiry begins into the suspension of its regional council - the island's last remaining local authority.

South Korea faces a public reckoning for financing coal plants
SURALAYA, Indonesia,15 April 2021 (Mongabay) - The coastal town of Suralaya in Indonesia’s West Java province has eight coal-fired power generating units in its vicinity, which residents blame for respiratory ailments and declining fish catches. South Korean public financial institutions are financing the expansion of the Suralaya facility through the construction of two new units and operated by a power company partly owned by a South Korean public utility.

Philippines Duterte lifts ban on new mining permits
MANILA, Philippines, 15 April 2021 (Mongabay) - President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an order to lift a nine-year moratorium on granting new mining permits in the Philippines. The order is expected to ease the entry of at least 291 existing mining applications, escalating threats to the environment and its defenders, anti-mining and environmental groups say.

Sharks on a knife edge as Maldives mulls lifting 10-year fishing ban
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 16 April 2021 (Mongabay) - Eleven years ago, the Maldives created a 90,000-square-kilometer sanctuary that banned shark fishing, but fisheries minister Zaha Waheed said recently that the government may be planning to lift the ban. Conservationists say reopening shark fisheries in the Maldives would have devastating effects on shark populations and adversely affect tourism, which brings millions of dollars into the country each year.

Nauru's economy is booming again
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 17 April 2021 (RNZ) - Nauru's economy is soaring, again, due largely to its returns from Australia's offshore processing centre for refugees. Its income from fishing licences has also jumped dramatically as with the other members of the Parties to Nauru Agreement group.

Island gigantism and dwarfism result of evolutionary island rule
NIJMEGEN, The Netherlands, 15 April 2021 (AAAS) - It is an old-standing theory in evolutionary ecology: animal species on islands have the tendency to become either giants or dwarfs in comparison to mainland relatives. Since its formulation in the 1960s, however, the 'island rule' has been severely debated by scientists.

SNP pledge to pay Scots 50K to stay on or move to remote islands
GLASGOW, UK, 15 April 2021 (The National) - People could be offered up to £50,000 to stay on or move to some of Scotland’s remote island communities under plans announced in the SNP manifesto.This “Island Bond” will be available to 100 young people or families who are considering a move to or away from communities currently threatened by depopulation.

Australian islanders in landmark climate fight
LONDON, UK, 15 April 2021 (BBC) - A group of indigenous islanders from Australia’s Torres Strait has launched a world-first legal battle in a bid to protect their homes. They argue Australia has breached their rights to culture and life by failing to adequately address climate change. The low-lying islands, located on the northern tip of Australia, have seen rising sea levels, coastal erosion and flooding in recent years.It’s the first time a claim of this kind has been taken to the UN Human Rights Committee.  

Caribbean island volcano crisis will last months
LONDON, UK, 15 April 2021 (BBC) - The humanitarian crisis caused by volcanic eruptions on the Caribbean island of St Vincent will last for months, a UN official has warned. About 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes since La Soufrière volcano began erupting last Friday.

First Nation chiefs tell anti-logging protesters to leave their lands
LONDON, UK, 14 April 2021 (Guardian) - Two chiefs of a First Nation in western Canada have told anti-old growth logging protesters camped out on their traditional lands to pack up and go home. Operating under the banner of the Rainforest Flying Squad, a group of predominantly non-Indigenous activists have been blocking logging roads across a swath of southern Vancouver Island and calling for an immediate halt to old-growth logging since last August.

Philippine province builds on lessons to grow ecotourism industry
AKLAN, Philippines, 14 April 2021 (Mongabay) - Although it lies less than 20 kilometers from the globally famous resort island of Boracay, the province of Antique in the central Philippines remains primarily an agricultural and fishing province. Today, provincial government leaders are working to lure more tourists to Antique, an endeavor for which Boracay - where the boom in tourism has often come at the expense of the ecosystem - has proved both inspirational and instructive.

New tracking data pinpoints danger zones for Antipodean Albatross
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 13 April 2021 (BirdLife) - With its enormous wingspan and impressive long-distance flying ability, the Antipodean Albatross seems almost indestructible. But unless we act soon, this majestic ocean wanderer, which breeds on a scattering of islands off New Zealand, could be functionally extinct within 20 years as a result of shockingly high levels of fisheries-related deaths.

Seychelles outer islands embrace green energy
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 15 April 2021 (Nation) - During his weekend tour of some outer islands, President Wavel Ramkalawan and his delegation stopped at Astove and Farquhar to officially launch new solar farms as a source of alternative energy to cut costs and reduce the amount of fuel used to power electricity generators on the two islands. The project will also help to protect the environment from pollution.

How Vanuatu is using cricket to change and save women's lives
LONDON, UK, 13 April 2021 (BBC) - Rachel Andrew is one of the leading cricketers in Vanuatu. She has scored more runs for the women's national team than anyone else and averages an impressive 11.50 with the ball. Cricket is her passion and the women's T20 team ranks 28th in the world, making it probably the country's most successful sporting side.

Indonesia's net-zero emissions goal not ambitious enough
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 12 April 2021 (Mongabay) - Indonesia, one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, has put forward a plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070. The government says it’s the most ambitious and realistic target for Indonesia, but activists and experts say the government can do much more, much sooner, given that China, the top emitter, has a net-zero deadline of 2060.

Leatherback turtles under threat in Little Andamans
PUNE, India, 12 April 2021 (Mongabay) - Proposed development of the Little Andaman islands, if implemented, will pose a threat to nesting sites of the leatherback turtle.

Farmers move to occupy a critical elephant corridor in Sri Lanka
UDAWALAWE, Sri Lanka, 13 April 2021 (Mongabay) - Earlier this month, more than 300 people gathered near the borders of the Dahaiyagala Wildlife Sanctuary in Sri Lanka’s Uva province armed with axes, long knives, ropes and handheld hoes called mamoties. Their apparent intention: Take control of sanctuary lands and expand their farms.

Papua deforestation threatens Indonesia's climate progress
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, 13 April 2021 (RNZ) - Greenpeace has warned that left unchecked, forest clearance in West Papua could undo Indonesia's progress in tackling climate change.

Taiwan: Record number of Chinese military jets enter air zone
LONDON, UK, 13 April 2021 (BBC) - The Taiwan defence ministry said 25 aircraft including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers entered its so-called air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday. The incursion is the largest in a year and comes as the US warns against an "increasingly aggressive China".

St Vincent volcano eruptions likely in coming days
LONDON, UK, 12 April 2021 (BBC) - The Caribbean island of St Vincent is likely to see further volcanic eruptions and ash fall over the coming days, experts have warned. The La Soufrière volcano first erupted on Friday, blanketing the island in a layer of ash and forcing more than 16,000 people to evacuate their homes.

Police warn of 'all-out war' as tribal violence in PNG kills 19
LONDON, UK, 12 April 2021 (Guardian) - Police are warning a “all-out war” could erupt in Eastern Highlands province in Papua New Guinea, after 19 people were killed in tribal violence late last week. The fighting, between the Agarabi and Tapo clans, was over a land ownership dispute. 

How sea cucumbers became gold for organised crime
LONDON, UK, 12 April 2021 (Guardian) - It’s after sunset in Jaffna when Anthony Vigrado dives into the waters of Palk Bay, scanning the seafloor to collect what seems to be prized treasure. What he comes back with are sea cucumbers – long, leathery-skinned creatures that are increasingly valuable and the source of his income for the past 12 years.

Preparing for rising seas in the Maldives
WASHINGTON, US, 11 April 2021 (SciTechDaily) - While the Maldives government has explored plans to purchase land on higher ground in other countries as an insurance policy against sea level rise, planners are also working to enhance the resilience of the country’s current islands. One example is Hulhumale, a newly constructed artificial island northeast of the capital, Male.

SIDS need urgent support to avoid debt defaults
GENEVA, Switzerland, 12 April 2021 (UNCTAD) - Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, many small island developing states (SIDS) were already showing signs of increased debt distress – where debt servicing burdens, current account deficits and elevated levels of public debt viciously feed off each other. The economic fallout from the pandemic is expected to aggravate these hardships, and a wave of sovereign defaults is now looming.

Tasmanian project that could become a national park test case
LONDON, UK, 10 April 2021 (Guardian) - Halls Island, on Lake Malbena in the Walls of Jerusalem national park, is not easy to reach. It takes a strenuous eight-hour walk or a helicopter ride to get there. Its remoteness meant it was relatively little known until it became the site of the type of conservation battle that Tasmania has become famous for in a storied history that takes in fights over hydroelectricity dams. old-growth forestry and salmon farming.

How Andaman and Nicobar Islands are losing green protection
NEW DELHI, India, 9 April 2021 (IndiaSpend) - The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are often pictured as a lush, tropical tourist paradise. But recent government moves may strip the protections that the ecologically and ethnically significant archipelago enjoys, in order to make way for big business, shipping and tourism projects.

Death of Prince Philip will be met with 'ritual wailing' on island
NEW YORK, US. 9 April 2021 (NYP) - The death of Prince Philip is certain to be met with great grief and much “ritual wailing” by villagers on a tiny island in the South Pacific - where they worship him like a god.  Some 700 villagers on the island of Tanna ascribe to the so-called Prince Philip Movement, believing he was the son of a mountain deity who would one day return to “heal the land.”

European tuna boats dump fishing debris in Seychelles waters
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 9 April 2021 (Mongabay) - Tuna love to congregate around objects adrift at sea, so industrial fishing vessels release thousands of man-made plastic-heavy fish aggregating devices (FADs) into the sea every year to round up the tuna.

Predatory European ships help push Indian Ocean tuna to the brink
SAN FRANCISCO, US, 8 April 2021 (Mongabay) - The Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock is teetering on the verge of collapse and some experts say the EU, which has profited the most from the fishery over decades, should do more to save it.

Greenland's new leadership will be challenged by independence push
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 9 April 2021 (Arctic Today) - Earlier this week, Greenlanders elected a new parliament with a majority from the center-left Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) party. It’s only the second time in the 40 years since Greenland attained self-rule that IA will head a governing coalition, rather than their main rival Siumut.

Fiji reef battle case has been described as a 'watershed' moment
LONDON, UK, 9 April 2021 (Guardian) - A years-long David and Goliath fight which has seen two Australian surfers take on a Chinese-linked company over their alleged damage of an idyllic Fijian island, has come to its conclusion after a Fijian court handed down a guilty verdict against the developers on Friday.

St Vincent rocked by explosive eruption of La Soufriere volcano
LONDON, UK, 9 April 2021 (Guardian) - The Caribbean island of St Vincent has been rocked by an explosive eruption of La Soufrière volcano, a day after the island declared a red alert and issued an evacuation order.

Activists blockade Vancouver Island in bid to save ancient trees
LONDON, UK, 9 April 2021 (Guardian) - Hundreds of activists are digging in at logging road blockades across a swath of southern Vancouver Island, vowing to stay as long as it takes to pressure the provincial government to immediately halt cutting of what they say is the last 3% of giant old growth trees left in the province.

Unique island species at risk if global heating hits 3C
LONDON, UK, 9 April 2021 (Guardian) - Lemurs and the Galapagos giant tortoise could be at high risk of extinction if the planet warms by more than 3C above pre-industrial levels, new research warns. The theory behind the projection is that endemic species often thrive in ecological niches, but their restricted range means they are less able to move as the environment changes, making them more vulnerable to climate change. Island species are particularly at risk because they have high levels of endemicity and small population sizes living in a relatively small range.

Samoa's ruling party faces strongest election challenge in 20 years
LONDON, UK, 7 April 2021 (Guardian) - After 22 years in the top job, Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi is the second-longest serving prime minister in the world (second to Cambodia’s Hun Sen at 36 years). But his Human Rights Protection party (HRPP) faces a formidable challenge at the polls as he faces off against his former deputy prime minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa, daughter of Samoa’s first prime minister and the leader of Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (Fast).

Indonesia's climate villages where communities work together
JAKARTA, Indonesia, 7 April 2021 (IPS) - Residents of Ngadirejo village in Sukaharjo regency, Central Java province, had often found themselves helpless when their wells dried up or water flooded through their homes. But thanks to a national campaign called Program Kampung Iklim, known by its acronym ProKlim, they now have solutions to this flooding that generally occurs because of a lack of adequate water catchments.

Alaska Native fishers square off against industrial fleets
WASHINGTON, US, 7 April 2021 (NatGeog) - The small fishing fleet from St. Paul,  a tiny island of 500 souls in the middle of the Bering Sea, is losing the fight for halibut, up against factory ships that throw away more of the valuable fish than the Indigenous fishers are allowed to catch.

Greenland election: Opposition win casts doubt on mine
LONDON, UK, 7 April 2021 (BBC) - Greenland's main opposition party has won an election which could have major consequences for international interests in the Arctic.The left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit, which opposes a mining project in southern Greenland, secured 37% of votes. Its leader said on Wednesday that the Kvanefjeld mine, home to major deposits of rare minerals, would not go ahead.

Miss Papua New Guinea stripped of her crown
PORT MORESBY, PNG, 7 April 2021 (Guardian) - Miss Papua New Guinea has been stripped of her crown after sharing a video of herself twerking on TikTok, with critics saying the incident reveals a deep-seated culture of misogyny in the country.

'Mrs Sri Lanka' beauty queen injured in on-stage bust-up
LONDON, UK, 6 April 2021 (BBC) - The winner of a major Sri Lankan beauty prize has suffered head injuries after a brawl broke out on stage. Beauty queen Pushpika De Silva won the "Mrs Sri Lanka" title at a ceremony on national TV on Sunday. Moments later, the 2019 winner seized Mrs De Silva's crown, claiming she could not be awarded the title because she was divorced.

Daunting cleanup follows Timor-Leste floods
DILI, Timor-Leste, 7 April 2021 (Guardian) - In Tasitolu, a suburb in the west of the capital, Dili, Batista Elo balances his young daughter on his hip as he stands in flood waters that reach up his thighs. Batista is one of thousands who have been left homeless in Timor-Leste and neighbouring Indonesia after a tropical cyclone battered the south-east Asian nations over the weekend.

Threatened species thrive in protected Australian reef
LONDON, UK, 7 April 2021 (Guardian) - What would a tropical reef look like if it could escape the man-made perils of global heating and overfishing? A new study suggests it would look like Rowley Shoals, an isolated archipelago of reefs 260km off Australia’s north-west coast.

Japan sends first-ever aid to Andaman and Nicobar Islands
NEW YORK, US, 7 April 2021 (Nikkei) - Submarines are almost impossible to detect on the open sea unless they are monitored from the time they leave harbor. For militaries tracking Chinese submarines, one important opportunity to track the secretive vessels is when they pass through the Malacca Strait, moving from the South China Sea into the Indian Ocean.

Taiwan deploys rockets to South China Sea islands
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 7 April 2021 (TN) - Taiwan has deployed a total of 292 Kestrel anti-armor rockets to its Dongsha and Taiping islands in the South China Sea in response to China’s military ambitions to invade and occupy them. Since 2000, Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration has taken over the defense of the two islands. Currently, over 200 Coast Guard personnel trained by the Marine Corps are stationed at either island.