Early detection and response, partnerships across jurisdictions seen as critical measures Staff Report The spread of invasive species has been identified as the second-leading cause of extinctions among all plants and animals worldwide — and the problem is getting worse in the era of global trade. Just a few months ago, scientists warned that North American amphibians are at risk from an invasive fungus. White-nose syndrome, which has wiped out millions of bats, may have also spread to the U.S. from Europe.
Animal, plant and marine biodiversity comprise the "natural capital" that keeps our ecosystems functional and economies productive. But the world is experiencing a dramatic loss of biodiversity. Although the pace of deforestation has slowed globally since the 1990s, it remains high with annual deforestation of about 13 million hectares, affecting critical animal and plant habitats. The world has also lost about 40% of warm water coral reefs since the 1980s. The Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures trends in selected species populations, shows an overall decline of 52% over the last 40 years, with particularly dramatic losses in tropical developing countries, mainly as a result of habitat loss, degradation, and overexploitation.
The loss of biodiversity has negative effects on livelihoods, water supply, food security and resilience to extreme events. It has consequences for 78% of the world’s extreme poor who live in rural areas, many of which rely on ecosystems and the goods they produce to make a living. The World Bank estimates that crimes affecting natural resources and the environment inflict damage on developing countries worth more than $70 billion a year. The loss of coral reefs has significant physical and economic consequences for 350 million people living in coastal areas by reducing coastal protection and habitat for fish. Deforestation and land conversion contribute about 30% of global greenhouse emissions, and the loss of diversity reduces the resilience of ecosystems to climate change and other disturbances.
Erosion of the Javanese coast costs 100 meters a year! Over 6,000 villages along the Java Sea, are in danger of being washed away by the ocean. But now - using dams for coastal mangrove forests - residents will be protected against waves arise. Not alone the forests will protect the coast. They also purify water, provide wood and are a breeding ground for tropical fish.
The U.S. solar power market grew by 17 percent in 2015, adding more than 7,200 megawatts of photovoltaics and outpacing the growth of the natural gas capacity additions for the first time ever. In all, solar supplied 29.5 percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. in 2015. The solar sector grew fastest in California, North Carolina, Nevada, Massachusetts and New York, but the market continues to diversify geographically, with 13 states installing more than 100 megawatts of capacity in 2015.
At the back of a second-floor bookshop, past the shelves of Chinese novels and magazines, is a cluttered office from which Patrick Ip has spent the past 42 years running his shark-fin business in Vancouver. Displayed on the wall behind him are dozens of shark fins of all shapes, sizes and colours, hanging from the bulletin board on hooks.
From here, the 75-year-old imports thousands of pounds from Hong Kong and Singapore each year, supplying, by his own estimate, about 90 per cent of the city’s Chinese restaurants. It’s also where he’s quietly weathered the shark-fin controversies of recent years, including attempted bans and protests by local activists.
To him, those days – when he saw a 30-per-cent drop in sales – have passed. “Five years ago, it was a little bit down,” he said. “Right now, it’s up.” He talks about wanting to pass the business on to his children.
“Beetniks Against Global Warming.”There’s a placard you never saw in Paris. Because to a Beetnik—someone who has participated in a Slow Money Beetcoin campaign or anyone whose occasionally countercultural tendencies are temp
The Cape Verde Islands are a key nesting area for loggerhead turtles. But the species is endangered as a result of hunting and mass tourism. On the island of Sal, SOS Tartarugas takes care of turtles - big and small.
As the global travel industry convenes in Berlin to attend the International Tourism Board (ITB) this week, a group of African tourism ministers and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) are using the fair to send out a clear message against poaching and the illegal trade in wildlife. Wildlife is a major draw for tourists. Safaris in Kenya earn the country much needed revenue and foreign exchange. The shark diving industry in Fiji is worth 42,2 million dollars (30,4 million euros) per year, 18 million dollars per year in Palau and 38,6 million dollars per year in the Maldives. Whale watching globally is worth about 2 billion dollars a year. A study conducted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service found that birdwatchers contributed about 32 billion dollars annually to the US economy.
The Białowieża Forest (ca. 1,500 sqkm) is the famous lowland forest in Europe! It is a last large piece of low land forest in Europe! The Białowieża National Park is protected since 1932 and inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979 and extended to include the Belarusian part in 1992. In 2014, as a result of the request of local communities, the Białowieża National Park, scientists and foresters, UNESCO accepted a large extension of the property of 1418.85 km2 with a buffer zone of 1667,08 km2. According to UNESCO description: The area has an exceptionally conservation significance due to the scale of its old growth forests, which include extensive undisturbed areas where natural processes are on-going.
Climeworks AG is not the first company to figure out how to suck carbon dioxide out of the air. It may become the first to make money from it at an industrial scale. The Swiss company plans to remove 1,000 metric tons a year of the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere when its first commercial plant starts working this summer near its headquarters in Zurich. That’s about the same as the carbon footprint of 200 British residents. “Our units are actually pretty low tech,” Christoph Gebald, co-founder at Climeworks, said in an interview. “They are steel boxes with two openings and a fan that pulls air through a filter. The CO2 stays on the surface of the filter material.”
Staff Report An Antarctic ice sheet about the size of Colorado disintegrated suddenly and quickly at the end of the last global ice age, scientists concluded in a new study, showing what might happen in other parts of the cryosphere as Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm. Analyzing detailed data from a 2015 research expedition, U.S. and Japanese oceanographers showed that a 100,000-square-mile section of the Ross Ice Shelf broke apart within 1,500 years during a warming period after the last ice age. The Ross Ice Shelf is the world’s largest ice shelf, a vast floating extension of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that is about the size of France. But at the end of the last ice age, it extended much farther north and covered the entire Ross Sea.
2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Protect public health and the environment from the tens of thousands of chemicals that saturate the marketplace and the hundreds of new ones that are introduced every year.
SUMMARY: Recent research suggests that the commonly prescribed psychiatric drug, Prozac, occurs at environmentally relevant concentrations that can significantly alter behaviour and physiology in wild birds
Warning: graphic images! Tens of thousands of wild animals have been dramatically dying around the world. Although the hows and whys often remain unexplained, climate change and pollution form part of the reason.
"Slicing cleanly through two inches of skin and blubber, Rob Deaville considers the possible causes of death of the sea mammal on his dissecting table. “It’s a female, juvenile, stranded in north Devon,” he says. “No signs of parasite infestation. It looks healthy. It may have just come too close to shore.”
This porpoise, in the process of being dismembered with small parts of its vital organs tested for disease and pollutants, is one of hundreds that come to the labs in the Zoological Society of London each year, awaiting a post-mortem – a necropsy, in the scientific term – that will help to establish how the animal lived and why it died."
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