Environment and Climate Change

Brazil’s most populous region facing worst drought in 80 years

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Brazil’s Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira has said the country’s three most populous states are experiencing their worst drought since 1930. ( BBC ) The states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais must save water, she said after an emergency meeting in the capital, Brasilia. Ms Teixeira described the water crisis as “delicate” and “worrying”. Industry and agriculture ... Read More »

Research council to fund more studies into the health impacts of wind farms

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Australia’s peak public health research agency plans to offer funds for further study of the health impacts of wind farms after a year-long review identified knowledge “gaps”. Peter Hannam, Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald The National Health and Medical Research Council said it intends to release a Targeted Call for Research on wind farms and human health “to stimulate applications ... Read More »

Quakers to pull funds from Australia’s four major banks, citing ethical concerns

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Religious group says it can no longer support investment and lending practises lacking ‘clear ethical policies’ The Guardian – Australian Associated Press The Quakers are pulling their funds from Australia’s big four banks, saying they can no longer support investment and lending practises lacking “clear ethical policies”. The religious group says it will remove all corporate funds from the four major ... Read More »

Gold mining affects 1000 km of biodiverse tropical forests in South America

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By Jayalakshmi K – International Business Times Rising demand for gold is being met at the cost of some of the most biologically diverse regions in the tropics. It has stimulated new gold mining activities which come with removal of vegetation, construction of roads and railways and mushrooming of unorganised settlements in the eco-sensitive regions. Researchers from the University of ... Read More »

Indonesia’s new marine laws threaten sustainable fisheries

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Illegal fishing by foreign vessels costs Indonesia billions of dollars each year, but measures to stop them could bankrupt sustainable pole and line fisheries The Guardian – Johnny Langenheim Indonesia’s new zero tolerance policy towards foreign fishing vessels illegally entering the country’s territorial waters has been making headlines in recent weeks, alongside images of Navy warships blowing up boats. Indonesia’s popular ... Read More »

Turning blood to power, Maasai pastoralists begin bottling biogas

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James Karuga – Thomas Reuters Foundation KISERIAN, Kenya, Jan 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Maasai pastoralists have found an innovative way to generate biogas: using animal blood and waste from the Keekonyokie slaughterhouse. The facility in Kenya’s Kajiado County uses the gas it produces to generate electricity that powers the meat cold room and processing equipment. It also pipes the ... Read More »

Stanford professors urge withdrawal from fossil fuel investments

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Faculty members call on university to recognise urgency of climate change and divest from all oil, coal and gas companies. The Guardian - Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent • Read the Stanford professors’ letter Three hundred professors at Stanford, including Nobel laureates and this year’s Fields medal winner, are calling on the university to rid itself of all fossil fuel investments, ... Read More »

Early birds: how climate change is shifting time for animals and plants

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Every Spring, the blanket of Australian alpine snow starts to melt, and the Mountain Pygmy Possum wakes up from its seven-month-long hibernation. Naturally after so long under the snow, its first thought is to find food. But over the last few years, the snow’s been melting earlier, and an important food source – the Bogong moth – is arriving later ... Read More »

Bushfire response: disaster spending faces overhaul amid calls for climate action

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Coalition signals funding focus could shift from disaster recovery to reducing risks as Greens call for government to ‘put their climate denial behind them’ The Guardian – Daniel Hurst, political correspondent The federal government has signalled it wants to reduce spending on natural disaster recovery and shift its focus to reducing the risks before an event strikes. The Greens renewed their ... Read More »

New fanged frog ‘gives birth to tadpoles’

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For the first time, frogs have been seen giving birth to tadpoles. ( BBC ) Jonathan Webb, Science reporter, BBC News Most frogs lay eggs and although some species give birth to froglets, newborn tadpoles are new to science. This species of fanged frog lives on Sulawesi Island in Indonesia, and zoologists had chased it for decades because they suspected it would show this ... Read More »