Why is Al Gore optimistic about climate change? In this spirited talk, Gore asks three powerful questions about the man-made forces threatening to destroy our planet -- and the solutions we're designing to combat them.
Following a two-day special meeting on the outcomes of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC that took place in Brussels, Belgium, from 22-23 March 2016, the Sub-Committee on Sustainable Development of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States has agreed on a draft Action Plan for the ACP 79 members for the 2016-2020 period aiming to strengthen the global climate response in the context of sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts.
HONOLULU — The state of Hawaii is gathering information from the scientific community and local stakeholders to create a comprehensive coral reef management plan, but officials said Monday they will not yet impose a requested moratorium on collecting aquarium fish.
HONOLULU (AP) — Alongside the lush and steep windward coast of the Hawaii island of Oahu a team of researchers are creating images of coral reefs that are in danger of dying because of warm ocean waters.
With the aim of building a climate resilient economy in the Maldives, the Government of Maldives together with the World Bank,European Union and the Government of Australia today announced they have launched a climate change adaptation and...
South-South Cooperation Initiative Aims to Enhance Resilience in Africa AllAfrica.com Expected outcomes of the forum include increased political commitment, better access and sharing of technical resources, greater cooperation and exchange amongst...
The current unsustainable use of our environment can lead to financial crisis. To address this risk, financial institutions should measure their exposure to ecological imbalances using methodologies such as carbon and natural capital accounting.
Around 1,000 participants attending the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves approved a new 10-year Action Plan for the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), aimed at enhancing synergies with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Biodiversity on the world’s coral reefs is suffering badly, but simple restrictions on fishing could help restore most of these ecosystems in just a few decades, according to research published this week in the journal Nature. I love this study for its focus on solutions, which are too often an afterthought in the doomsday field of ecological research. That’s not to say there’s no doomsday stuff—ecological research, like a superhero movie, needs a bit of darkness.
M. Aaron McNeil of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and his colleagues started by estimating the weight of fish swimming around coral reefs in pristine stretches of ocean—areas protected by law or so remote that humans rarely bother to fish them. In these relatively untouched stretches of sea, coral reef ecosystems contain about one ton of fish per hectare. They used that statistic as a baseline to estimate what coral reefs could be like without the influence of fishermen.
The researchers then looked at the fished coral reefs and found that the overwhelming majority of them—83 percent, to be precise—are missing at least half of their natural fish numbers. One in four of those reefs have below 25 percent of their historic fish density, a threshold that previous research suggests represents the early stages of an ecosystem’s death spiral. Coral reefs near Papua New Guinea and Guam have lost 90 percent of their fish biomass, which indicates near-total collapse.
The most effective solution is to ban fishing in and around the suffering coral reefs. According to McNeil’s data, that could bring the ecosystems almost back to health in approximately 35 years, which means your grandchildren could be born into a world with robust coral reef ecosystems, bursting with color and life. (Unless you’re already a grandparent. Congratulations, by the way.)
Unfortunately, comprehensive fishing bans aren’t always practical. Many of the world’s reefs are near developing countries, where exploding populations and poverty make it nearly impossible to stop people from overfishing their coastal waters. Even for those heavily stressed regions, though, there’s some good news. The study shows that areas with basic restrictions have 27 percent more fish than ecosystems with no limitations. Doing a little bit is far more effective than doing nothing.
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A recent global analysis indicates that more than half of coral reefs are located less than 30 minutes from the nearest human settlement, but these reefs are receiving less protection than reefs located farter away from people. ...
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