Industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef denounced by World Heritage Committee

Corals (Corals); Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Queensland, Australia

The Australian Marine Conservation Society and WWF-Australia said today that Australia’s governments are putting the Great Barrier Reef at risk by failing to implement the World Heritage Committee recommendations around rapid industrialisation.  WWF- Australia’s Richard Leck, who has been attending the World Heritage Meeting as an observer, said Australia had been put ‘on notice’ by the World Heritage Committee. “Australian governments now have a firm deadline of June 2014 for action to avoid the global icon being placed on an international list of shame. This will be a crucial 12…

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Petition to Save Endangered Great Barrier Reef in Australia

A Blue Starfish (Linckia laevigata) resting on hard Acropora coral. Lighthouse, Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef

June 17, 2013 – In 2005, an international conservation organization WWF helped achieve a huge conservation success with an increase in the protected area cover of Australia’s famed Great Barrier Reef (GBR) from four to thirty-three percent, totalling 13 million ha, plus a zoning plan to ensure human impact on the GBR was sustainable. However, plans to build coal loading terminals, increase shipping and weaken coastal protection laws threaten the future of this iconic natural site. Even its World Heritage status is at risk, as is the US$6 billion reef-based…

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Go outside and explore Nature!

Great Nature Project logo. Image © National Geographic

The National Geographic Society is urging everyone to go outside to explore nature, whether in their own backyard, a local park or anywhere that nature thrives! June 15, 2013 – From 21-29 September 2013, National Geographic invites the whole world to take part in the Great Nature Project, an unprecedented attempt to document and appreciate Earth’s biodiversity. Great Nature Project participants — anyone with a camera or camera phone — are asked to take photos of any plants, animals, or other living things they come across and share them with…

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WWF launches a new global campaign and calls for major investment in clean and renewable energy

A form of renewable energy - a wind farm in northern Germany.

Gland, Switzerland / June 06, 2013 – With a global call to action urging governments and financial institutions worldwide to increase investment in renewable energy by at least US$40 billion over the next 12 months, WWF yesterday launched its new international campaign under the slogan Seize Your Power. “We are running out of time. We know that if we continue to rely on fossil fuels we will face a future of worsening air pollution and an increasingly inhospitable climate. It is now our collective responsibility to commit to the future…

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Fisheries deal fails to bridge gap with ambitious European Parliament

Industrial fisheries of Orange roughy. Emptying a mesh full of Orange roughy into a trawler.

Brussels, Belgium, 15 May: After pulling yet another all-nighter, fisheries ministers unfortunately remained predictable with little effort being made to meet the European Parliament half way on their ambitious proposal to save fisheries in Europe. “The devil is in the detail as they say, but in this case it’s the lack of detail, as fisheries ministers decided on a legally neutral text with few binding timelines and concrete measures. If implemented it would enable them to continue badly managing our oceans and ruining our fish stocks for yet another decade.”…

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New study shows importance of IUCN’s Red List of Ecosystems

This mountain pool is an example of a lentic ecosystem.

May 9, 2013 – A new global standard in assessing environmental risk, the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, has been trialled on 20 ecosystems spanning six continents and three oceans. The development of this new risk assessment method is seen as a major scientific breakthrough for consistent environmental reporting. “By knowing which ecosystems are tracking well and which ones are in trouble, governments, industries and local communities will be well-positioned to make smart investment decisions for sustainable environmental management,” says David Keith, leader of the study, published in the Public Library…

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CO2 levels of 400 ppm demand shift to renewable energy

GHG emissions

May 05, 2013 – The need to shift to sustainable and clean energy sources will be reinforced when the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history in the next few days. Scientists from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, are set to announce that levels of atmospheric CO2 are reaching 400ppm now, marking a critical point on the pathway to dangerous levels of global warming. “The imperative to drive down these emissions has never been stronger”,…

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Governments focus on concrete solutions to build new global climate agreement and drive greater climate action

GHG emissions

Bonn / May 3, 2013 – The second session of the international negotiation to build a new global climate agreement and drive greater immediate climate action ended on Friday after a week in which governments focused on concrete solutions. “Countries discussed concrete solutions to speed up and scale up action. They discussed how to construct a transparent, measurable, verifiable agreement that gets the best out of all countries. And they are committed to sticking to their own timetable,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on…

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Tortoise Trafficking raging out of control in Madagascar

Ploughshare tortoise endemic to Madagascar.

NEW YORK / May 2, 2013 — Illegal trafficking of two critically endangered tortoise species from Madagascar has reached epidemic proportions, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Turtle Survival Alliance, Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, Turtle Conservancy, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund and other groups who urge authorities to clamp down on wildlife smuggling before some species are collected out of existence. According to the groups, more than 1,000 radiated and ploughshare tortoises have been confiscated from smugglers in the first three months of 2013 alone. In late…

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New Population of Rare Irrawaddy Dolphins Found in Palawan, Philippines

Some Irrawaddy dolphin populations are classified by IUCN as critically endangered.

Palawan, Philippines / April 27, 2013 – A new Philippine population of critically-endangered Irrawaddy dolphins was reported recently by WWF-Philippines. Spotted by chance off Quezon, Palawan in Western Philippines, this pod of rare marine mammals, locally called Lampasut, was observed displaying typical behavior, foraging for prey around lift net fish traps sitting approximately one kilometer offshore. WWF staff reported seeing at least 20 individuals in just one sighting. This is a relatively large sized pod for this uncommon species, where groups of fewer than six individuals are most common. Previous…

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