Nature

UNGA Adopts Resolutions on Oceans

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6 December 2017: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted two resolutions that aim to advance implementation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and support the conservation and management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks and marine life in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Catherine Benson Wahlén SDG Knowledge Hub | IISD Member States also discussed an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS, and other documents related to the law of the sea.   A ... Read More »

Glitter Is Banned From This Nursery for What Is Actually a Great Reason

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Oh, glitter. We’ll miss you. Glitter is great, right? Particularly now that it’s getting dark and cold and a bit depressing outside. Imogen Calderwood  But, as much as we love glitter for making everything look festive, a chain of children’s nurseries in the UK might actually have a point. Global Citizen Tops Day Nurseries has decided that glitter has to go, for the sake of the environment. Take action: Fight Waste to Protect Our Oceans Just like microbeads — which have ... Read More »

We have the tools to fight climate change. It’s time to start using them

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Stepping in to the COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, is like wandering through an alternative reality. Johan Rockström Amy Luers At no point in these vast cavernous rooms are you confronted with the sheer urgency or the scale of transformation required to reduce the risk of a fossil-fueled catastrophe. World Economic Forum Meanwhile, back on Earth the Global Carbon Project announced on Monday that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are expected to grow approximately 2% this year. This comes as startling news ... Read More »

New Zealand’s War on Rats Could Change the World

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The nation wants to eradicate all invasive mammal predators by 2050 Ed Yong Gene-editing technology could help—or it could trigger an ecological disaster of global proportions. The Atlantic The first thing that hit me about Zealandia was the noise. I was a 15-minute drive from the center of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, but instead of the honks of horns or the bustle of passersby, all I could hear was birdsong.It came in every flavor—resonant coos, high-pitched cheeps, and alien ... Read More »

Why we need a better philosophy of trees

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On November 6 1217, Henry III’s Charter of the Forest gave ordinary English people back their traditional rights to use royal hunting grounds for livestock grazing and collecting firewood. Tristan Moyle The Conversation The freedoms that were restored in the use of ancient woodland reshaped the community’s legal and political relationship with nature. But, today, this relationship has broken down. Only 2% of the UK’s ancient woodland survives; over half has been destroyed since the 1930s. Only 13% of the ... Read More »

If Everyone Ate Beans Instead of Beef

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With one dietary change, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals. Ecoanxiety is an emerging condition. James Hamblin The Atlantic  Named in 2011, the American Psychological Association recently described it as the dread and helplessness that come with “watching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, and worrying about the future for oneself, children, and…It’s not a formal diagnosis. Anxiety is traditionally defined by an outsized stress response to a given stimulus. In this case, the ... Read More »

Martyn McLaughlin: National park idea has fallen from favour

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It’s 14 years since the second national park was created, and it’s likely to be the last, writes Martyn McLaughlin For a nation spoilt with an abundance of breathtaking landscapes, it is perhaps surprising that Scotland had to rely on a Welshman to alert the wider world to its… Martyn McLaughlin The Scotsman When Thomas Pennant, a naturalist and antiquarian, set out on his travels in the summer of 1769, he was ploughing a lonely furrow. Few people wished to ... Read More »

A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It’s a catastrophe

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Insects have triumphed for hundreds of millions of years in every habitat but the ocean. Their success is unparalleled, which makes their disappearance all the more alarming Michael McCarthy The Guardian Τhirty-five years ago an American biologist Terry Erwin conducted an experiment to count insect species. Using an insecticide “fog”, he managed to extract all the small living things in the canopies of 19 individuals of one species of tropical tree, Luehea seemannii, in the rainforest of Panama. He recorded ... Read More »

High court proves we have free speech against environmental wreckers

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Adani and the loggers should watch out – we have a right to peaceful protest to protect our environment Bob Brown The Guardian The high court has drawn a line in the sand against laws which burden the right of Australians to peaceful protest. The court made no judgement on Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman’s decision to flatten the Lapoinya state forest in northwest Tasmania against the wishes of the local community. But it struck down his Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) ... Read More »

Deep-Sea Mining Requires Transparent Environmental Management

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For three years researchers from eleven countries have been working intensively on these questions on the consequences on deepsea mining on ecosystems and environmental aspects in the project “MiningImpact” coordinated by the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel… Hydro International This week, they discuss their findings at the project`s final meeting at the Natural History Museum London, UK. They also presented recommendations for the protection of the marine environment. In the 19th century, some researchers believed that below water ... Read More »

Insectageddon: farming is more catastrophic than climate breakdown

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The shocking collapse of insect populations hints at a global ecological meltdown George Monbiot The Guardian Which of these would you name as the world’s most pressing environmental issue? Climate breakdown, air pollution, water loss, plastic waste or urban expansion? My answer is none of the above. Almost incredibly, I believe that climate breakdown takes third place, behind two issues that receive only a fraction of the… This is not to downgrade the danger presented by global heating – on ... Read More »

Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

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Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say Damian Carrington The Guardian The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists. Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. ... Read More »

6 Reasons Why This Week’s ‘Our Ocean’ Conference In Malta Was So Important

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World leaders, EU representatives and the Prince of Wales were among those attending The Our Ocean conference is a major annual event aimed at encouraging countries and businesses to make concrete commitments to protect the marine environment. David Grech Urpani  Lovin Malta This year, it was Malta’s turn to host the global summit for its fourth edition, and very important points were raised. Among leaders from more than 100 nations and a large number of local and international NGOs in attendance, ... Read More »

Monsanto banned from European parliament

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MEPs withdraw parliamentary access after the firm shunned a hearing into allegations that it unduly influenced studies into the safety of glyphosate used in its RoundUp weedkiller Arthur Nelsen The Guardian Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference. It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or ... Read More »

Why India’s farmers want to conserve indigenous heirloom rice

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India was once home to 100,000 rice varieties, but high-yield, less hardy hybrids have taken over encouraging farmers to safeguard more resistant strains Chitrangada Choudhury The Guardian India is rice country: the cereal provides daily sustenance for more than 60% of the population. Half a century ago, it was home to more than 100,000 ricevarieties, encompassing a stunning diversity in taste, nutrition, pest-resistance and, crucially in this age of climate change and natural disasters, adaptability to a range of conditions. Today, much of this biodiversity is ... Read More »

30 years ago the world pledged to fix the ozone layer. And it worked

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Could the Montreal Protocol be the world’s most successful treaty? Alex Gray In 1987, countries around the world came together to sign it. World Economic Forum Their mission? To save the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol marks its 30th anniversary on 16 September 2017, the UN’s International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The celebration is all the more special, because the treaty worked. Health benefits Thanks to the treaty, more than 135 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions were prevented from reaching ... Read More »