Rich nations at UN climate talks are said to be edging towards a compromise on the thorny issue of loss and damage.
Ecologists have discovered a pattern that is consistent across a range of ecosystems. They found that, in a very systematic way, in crowded settings, prey reproduced less than they do in settings where their numbers are smaller. Some scientists are already suggesting that it may well be the disc ...
Orchids, a fantastically complicated and diverse group of flowering plants, have long blended the exotic with the beautiful. Previously, botanists have proposed more than a half dozen explanations for this diversity. Now, research corroborates many of these explanations, but finds no evidence fo ...
Asia’s Endangered fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) went missing in 2003, and was thought to be extinct in that nation. That’s why researchers were so delighted when the fishing cat showed up recently in candid shots snapped by their camera traps in two Cambodian preserves.
An ancient fish blamed for the death of a king and served as a traditional royal dish is returning to parts of Britain where it has been absent for 200 years.
Saudi Arabia is being accused of trying to water down the climate agreement at international talks in Bonn this week. But the Middle East is vulnerable to the effects of climate change - and awareness may be growing.
MEPs from the agriculture committee spoke out on Thursday (3 September) against a proposal by the European Commission to allow member states to ban the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), in the first legal protest following an already widely verbalised opposition to the plan.
An advisory released this August by the US National Weather Service warned this year’s El Niño could be among the strongest ever recorded, lasting well into the first few months of 2016.
So far, 57 countries have submitted their INDCs for COP21 but their combined pledges aren't enough to keep global warming below 2°C. Experts say more ambition is needed.
Work on building a global climate deal showed progress on the final day of a UN conference in Bonn, with officials chairing the process revealing they would release a new, slimmer draft text in early October.
3 September 2015 – As United Nations Member States prepare to adopt a new set of Sustainable Development Goals, a ground-breaking collaboration of campaigners, public figures, companies and civil society groups is uniting to tell seven billion people in seven days that “it’s time to change the w ...
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - S upporters of global goals to end poverty and promote human rights, an agenda that goes before the United Nations this month, kicked off a massive campaign this week, saying publicity is key to winning the backing of world leaders.
Newly released issue briefs for the Sustainable Development Goals “interactive dialogues” underscore this tension.
New research suggests that soil biodiversity is on the decline. 2015 is the International Year of Soils and the U.N. General Assembly hopes to increase awareness of soil's important role.
HOW deep is too deep? Europe’s most threatened ecosystem – the deep seabed – may get some relief this week when European Union officials discuss proposals on banning trawling below 800 metres. But are the proposals ambitious enough?
Over 50% of nearly 600 surveyed bird species may lose more than half of their current geographic range across three climate change scenarios through the end of the century in North America, according to a study published September 2, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Gary Langham and c ...
Nairobi, 3 September 2015 - An estimated 80 per cent of global deforestation occurs as a direct result of agricultural practices. Government subsidies, estimated at $200 billion annually, are often the key underlying drivers of forest loss worldwide, with policy makers rarely recognizing their i ...
BONN, Sep 2 2015 (IPS) - After surviving the storm surge wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in November 2013, women in evacuation centres found themselves again fighting for survival … at times from rape. Many became victims of human trafficking while many more did anything they could ...
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Sep 1 2015 (IPS) - After a one-day summit in the U.S. Arctic’s biggest city, leaders from the world’s northern countries acknowledged that climate change is seriously disrupting the Arctic ecosystem, yet left without committing themselves to serious action to fight the negativ ...
A small Japanese town kicked off its controversial dolphin hunt on Thursday after bad weather delayed the start, according to a local fisheries official, while a separate whaling hunt was due to start at the weekend.
As Germany grapples with an ongoing refugee crisis, delegates from around the world are also meeting in Bonn to negotiate a new climate treaty. A climate refugee advocate talked to DW about future perspectives.
BRISBANE, Australia, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Scientists say the invasion of the crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) is responsible for as much as 40 percent of the decline in coral cover among Australia's Greet Barrier Reefs. That's why researchers at the Queensland University of Technology have put a spec ...
A newly published research study that combines effects of warming temperatures from climate change with stream acidity projects average losses of around 10 percent of stream habitat for coldwater aquatic species for seven national forests in the southern Appalachians -- and up to a 20 percent lo ...
Last week, Reuters reported that Germany is set to continue its moratorium on the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops.
Confirming what civil society groups have been saying for months, new data from the Brazilian government suggests a steep increase in deforestation over the past 12 months.
MEXICO CITY, Sep 1 2015 (IPS) - With the effects of global warming becoming more and more visible and the complicated socio-economic decisions indispensable to address this planetary crisis, science needs a new breed of experts: social scientists who specialise in climate change.
On the final day of his trip to Alaska, President Obama was set to announce a slate of initiatives to help remote Arctic communities beset by the effects of climate change.
It's official: Europe suffered a severe drought in June and July of 2015. This is according to the European Drought Observatory's analysis of data through the end of July.
Global development has often begun with big checks from foreign aid budgets. But the UN's new Sustainable Development Goals take a very different approach.
A new study by the University of Maryland's Department of Geographical Sciences assessed the potential impact of future land-use scenarios, including climate change mitigation, on the loss of habitable areas in "biodiversity hotspots"—distinct biogeographic regions with extremely high numbers of ...
The world’s most endangered marine mammal is a small porpoise called the vaquita — Spanish for little cow. The vaquita has been under threat for years, but now the poaching of a rare fish may be driving the tiny Mexican porpoise to extinction.
A recent assessment carried out by the JRC estimates that water erodes 970 million tonnes of soil every year in the EU. This would mean a one metre-depth loss of soil from an area corresponding to the size of the city of Berlin, or a one centimetre loss from an area twice the size of Belgium.
Human activities are causing plenty of obvious changes to the world’s oceans, from mounds of garbage accumulating on the seafloor to bleached coral reefs killed by rising water temperatures. But other equally dramatic changes are happening on a level too small for the human eye to see.
NY-ALESUND, NORWAY – When it comes to coping with climate change in the Arctic region, which is warming at three times the global average, some animals are more equal than others.
Nassau, Bahamas - The Hon. Kenred Dorsett, Minister of the Environment and Housing's Announcement of New Marine Protected Areas made on August 31s, 2015:
1 September 2015 – The United Nations General Assembly today approved a resolution sending the draft ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ to Member States for adoption later this month, bringing the international community “to the cusp of decisions that can help realize the… dream of a worl ...
With the world’s population set to grow to nearly 10 billion by 2050, pioneering farmers look to open data for eco-friendly solutions
NEW HAVEN, Conn., Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The latest forest census puts Earth's population of trees at 3 trillion strong. The total is up to 7.5 times more trees than some previous estimates.
ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- New research shows island-based lizards have evolved highly versatile digestive systems, well-suited to the variability of isolated living.
US President Barack Obama has called on world leaders to agree to cut carbon emissions at crucial talks in Paris later this year.
Longer, less frequent climate fluctuations may be contributing to abrupt, unexplained ecosystem shifts in the North Pacific, according to a study
A new study presents a novel approach for identifying vertebrate populations at risk of extinction by estimating the rate of genetic diversity loss, a measurement that could help researchers and conservationists better identify and rank species that are threatened or endangered.
The first scientific evidence that trawling in waters deeper than 600 metres is ecologically damaging and provides poor economic return is reigniting debate about the controversial fishing practice.
People living in and around tropical forests need to play a bigger role in woodland management to reduce the environmental degradation that affects three-quarters of the world’s forests, say researchers.
Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) have declined more than 50 percent over the last 60 years, primarily due to deforestation.
Shallow and warm waters of the Persian Gulf, where cyclones have never been recorded, might generate future storms that threaten cities such as Dubai
International travel and trade provide ample opportunity for plants to find their way into non-native soils. But some are quick to take root and influence both the economy and the environment.
As part of a broad effort to study the environmental and societal effects of climate change, NASA has begun a multi-year field campaign to investigate ecological impacts of the rapidly changing climate in Alaska and northwestern Canada, such as the thawing of permafrost, wildfires and changes to ...
On the last weekend of August, bats get their own celebration: European Bat Night, an event to rise awareness on these winged mammals and their essential role for natural ecosystems and human economies.
31 August 2015 – Securing rights over their land and natural resources is fundamental to the Sami people’s self-determination and a prerequisite for them to be able to continue to exist as a distinct people, an independent United Nations human rights expert said after a visit to the Nordic region.
31 August 2015 – With speakers of parliament meeting at United Nations Headquarters at a moment when the world is gripped by multiple crises – displacement has soared to all-time highs and the threat of climate change grows by the day – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the legislators to help ...
The FINANCIAL -- Sustainable development policy aims to achieve a continuous improvement in citizens’ quality of life and well- being.
Growing use of high-decibel seismic surveys to explore the ocean for resources poses increased risks to vulnerable marine life, experts say
The humble coffee bean is one of the most important and actively traded commodities in the world. It doesn’t take more than a glance at American coffee consumption stats to understand why.
The land reform program in Zimbabwe might have gone a full cycle, 15 years after the initiation of jambanja (violent and chaotic land dispossessions), possibly to the complete shock of beneficiaries and government alike.
On the surface, biofuels sound like a great idea. Using waste biomass to generate power sounds like a win-win-win proposition: you generate power without incurring an environmental cost, and as a bonus the power is expected to be carbon neutral.
The scientific consensus on the safety of genetically modified organisms is as "overwhelming" as the scientific consensus on man-made climate change.
Fish and other creatures in remote stretches of the Colorado River are contaminated with levels of mercury and selenium known to harm wildlife.
Since the 1950s, when mass production of plastics began in earnest, the world has embraced their ease of use and robustness. But with millions of tonnes of of plastic debris entering the world's oceans every year, their durability is also a curse, as Ann Jones reports.
With melting glaciers and rising seas as his backdrop, President Barack Obama will visit Alaska in the upcoming week to press for urgent global action to combat climate change, even as he carefully calibrates his message in a state heavily dependent on oil.
It is understandable that people discussing global warming focus on air temperatures. Lower atmospheric temperatures are shown on the news and weather reports every day. We walk around in the air. We breathe it in. We talk about how hot it’s been this summer, how warm last winter was, or how thi ...
Young ecotourists from abroad are paying up to R50,000 to raise "orphaned lion cubs" so they can be "rehabilitated into the wild" - without knowing that the lions are actually mass bred in captivity, then sold off for canned hunts.
To biologists’ delight, the Azuay stubfoot toad (Atelopus bomolochos), believed to be extinct after its last sighting in 2002, has just leapt back to life.
Illegal online trade in furs and specimens of endangered animal and plant species has been rampant, prompting police and related authorities to bolster their countermeasures.
Vancouver is normally one of the world’s cleanest cities but this July its air resembled that in Beijing due to smoke and ash from forest fires over 200 kilometres away. Further fires along the western side of the US and Canada have caused numerous health warnings especially at night when smoke ...
A new report about deforestation and climate change contains a dire warning: If the world continues along its business-as-usual path, an amount of tropical forest nearly equal to the size of India could be lost between 2016 and 2050.
The Amazon Regional Protected Areas Programme – known as ARPA – is the world’s largest tropical forest conservation programme. Launched in 2002 by the Brazilian government in partnership with WWF and others, its goal was to take 60 m ha of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and turn into a combinat ...
An astonishing 18 percent of the European Union’s land area is protected under a network of preserves known as Natura 2000. Now, at the urging of business interests and farmers, the EU is examining whether regulations on development in these areas should be loosened.
Cape Town — Environmental Affairs Minister Ednah Molewa says 749 rhino were lost to poachers so far this year.
Visakhapatnam: The district administration has identified land for the development of world class biodiversity knowledge-cum-theme park at Tangudubilli village in Anandapuram mandal, 48 km from the city.
CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Plastic can already be found in the guts of the vast majority of seabirds.
Humanity is placing inordinate demands on nature, and it just keeps getting worse. In 2000, humanity had exceeded its "ecological budget" by October. This year, "Earth Overshoot Day" was August 13, according to the Global Footprint Network, a California-based environmental think tank. Earth Over ...
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a US$12.5 million Caribbean Marine Biodiversity Programme (CMBP), in an effort to protect critical marine ecosystems and reduce threats to the region’s fisheries and tourism sectors.
Photographer James Whitlow Delano runs Everyday Climate Change, a successful Instagram feed. It's the best way to reach people, he says. Today, the feed features the work of photographers from all over the world.
As the government has initiated the process of vetting a draft Bill on the protection and management of traditional knowledge (TK), experts caution against creating monopoly rights on TK and classifying it under intellectual property rights.
Since January 2007, the government of Ecuador, under the leadership of President Rafael Correa, has pursued economic reforms that have alleviated poverty, built sustainable cities, reduced pollution, reduced unemployment and brought transparency and the war against corruption at the forefront.
As a significant step towards preserving the world’s most important ancient crops for future generations, the head of the United Nations agriculture agency, together with scientists and delegations from Peru, Costa Rica and Norway, today witnessed a ceremony during which potato seeds were deposi ...
Indigenous products extracted from tissues of naturally terrestrial plants or micro-organisms were worth around N$100 million in 2005 with current estimates in medium term growth of approximately N$400 million per annum.
The west African nation is working to balance competing demands of retaining biodiversity and mitigating climate change with the immediate needs of its people.
Delhi can justifiably be proud of being among the greenest cities in India. According to the latest (2013) estimates of the Forest Survey of India, about 12.12 per cent of Delhi is under tree cover. This is still less than half of the national average of 21.23 per cent but significant nonetheles ...
California Democrats’ push to curb emissions and promote clean energy would alter how the state does business and change the way residents live.
Josh Willis of Nasa explains the space agency’s announcement that a long-term satellite imaging study has shown a dramatic rise in sea levels due to climate change. He says the findings that sea levels worldwide rose an average of nearly 3 inches (8 cm) since 1992 could indicate how strongly imp ...
Travelling light can have heavy costs. A tourist flying economy class from Britain to Kenya and back generates around a tonne of carbon emissions, according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
26 August 2015 – Commending France’s “exemplary leadership” on efforts to tackle climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today affirmed that the international community is now at a stage where the final elements of the new climate agreement are being negotiated.
An invasive caterpillar that feeds on hedges is starting to spread from its established base in London across the UK, experts warn.
Mosquitoes and parasitic flies can be as deadly for birds as they can for humans. Stowaway mosquitoes brought on tourist planes pose a deadly threat to the iconic birds on the Galapagos Islands. But the innovative birds – Darwin’s finches – have worked out a way to fight them.
Targeted punishments could provide a path to international climate change cooperation, new research in game theory has found.
Land concessions for large-scale agricultural plantations are stripping off Cambodia’s forest cover, according to a new report by Forest Trends, a U.S.-based environmental protection group.
At midnight on 29 June, the sun was directly north and well above the hills. It had not gone down since I arrived in the Arctic, three days earlier, and would not set for weeks.
Beta-carotene enriched Golden Rice is a much touted humanitarian solution to widespread Vitamin A deficiency in poor countries. But many argue the golden grains are only meant to improve the image of big biotechs.
From Cuzco to Andhra Pradesh, crop growers and livestock owners are feeling the impacts of shifting weather patterns
Less than half of the people in Scotland believe that climate change is an urgent issue, according to an annual survey of the country’s attitudes.
"In September, a few decades from now, our rich, colorful planet will display to a traveler in space only one white polar ice cap instead of two. There could hardly be a more portent symbol of what human beings are doing to our climate than the destruction of one of the Earth's ice caps."
In 2013, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) launched the Resourcing Future Generations (RFG) initiative to bring world attention to the challenges of sustaining resource supplies.
Two of New Zealand's most renowned marine scientists have argued for more "no-take" marine reserves, where fishing of any kind is banned.
Hurricane Katrina surprised disaster preparedness authorities when it made landfall 10 years ago, leveling entire communities and killing more than 1,800 people. The storm caused more than $100 billion in damage, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. But for all the damage th ...
25 August 2015 – In Paris today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with the President of France, François Hollande, with whom he discussed a range of issues, including the climate change conference, which is due to start in December (COP-21) in the French capital, as well as the n ...
According to a new study that makes the first assessment of urbanization impacts for the entire continental United States, the presence of vegetation is an essential factor in limiting urban heating.
For over 40 million years, pockets of ancient rainforest have survived on the eastern coast of Australia, sheltering a bewildering array of plants and animal found nowhere else – many believed to be relicts of a bygone era.
India's 1.2 billion citizens use around 15 percent of the world’s supply of palm oil every year.