Sri Lanka to give poached ivory to Buddhist temple, flouting international agreements
February 6, 2013 09:18 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
The Sri Lankan government is planning to give 359 elephant tusks to a Buddhist temple, a move that critics say is flouting the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The illegal tusks were seized in Sri Lanka last May en route to Dubai from Kenya; they are believed to stem from hundreds of butchered elephants, including juveniles, inside Africa, possibly Uganda. The decision comes after a high-profile National Geographic article, Ivory Worship, outlined how demand for ivory religious handicrafts, particularly by Catholics and Buddhists, is worsening the current poaching crisis.
I'm Lovin' It: McDonald's Opts for Sustainable Fish, Modernity
February 4, 2013 08:47 AM - Amelia Timbers, Triple Pundit
Last week, McDonald's exhibited bold leadership by agreeing to shift their entire seafood supply-chain to Marine Stewardship Council-approved fish. This assures that fish products from McDonald's will now be sourced from stocks that are sustainable, well-managed and environmentally sound. This amazing move signifies a leap forward for both the labeling model promoted by the Marine Stewardship Council, and for the McDonald's brand.
Biodiversity Loss, Disease Cuts Incomes in Tropical Countries
January 18, 2013 03:57 PM - Luís Amorim, SciDevNet
Tropical countries' per capita incomes could more than double if they managed to reduce their health burden from vector-borne and parasitic diseases (VBPDs) to that seen in temperate countries, a study has found. The study says that poor economic performance is caused partly by high disease burden, which is in turn affected by biodiversity. The findings that health conditions affect economies, and that loss of biodiversity could exacerbate the situation, have direct policy implications, says the study published in PLoS Biology last month.
Reports Reiterate Link Between Environment and Economy
January 18, 2013 08:46 AM - Richard Matthews, Global Warming is Real
Two new reports reiterate the scientific veracity of anthropogenic climate change while reinforcing the interconnectedness of the economy and the environment. The World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Report 2013 clearly points to the interrelationship between the environment and the economy. A draft of the third National Climate Assessment Report indicates that climate change is both an environmental and economic issue.
New Research on Black Carbon and Global Warming
January 18, 2013 08:20 AM - Carl Zimmer, Yale Environment360
A new study indicates soot, known as black carbon, plays a far greater role in global warming than previously believed and is second only to CO2 in the amount of heat it traps in the atmosphere. Reducing some forms of soot emissions — such as from diesel fuel and coal burning — could prove effective in slowing down the planet’s warming. It rises from the chimneys of mansions and from simple hut stoves. It rises from forest fires and the tail pipes of diesel-fueled trucks rolling down the highway, and from brick kilns and ocean liners and gas flares. Every day, from every occupied continent, a curtain of soot rises into the sky.
Plans for a Green Inauguration
January 17, 2013 09:05 AM - Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit
With the US Presidential inauguration ceremonies around the corner (kicking off on Monday, January 21), the nation is getting ready for a week of festivities, balls and galas honoring our newly elected officials. This year's official theme is "Faith in America's Future." Inaugurations aren't particularly known for being green, but in an attempt to jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon, sustainable efforts are being made. TriplePundit reports on the "greening" of this year's ceremonies.
Organic Farming Expands, Contributes to Sustainable Food Security
January 15, 2013 09:03 AM - Editor, Worldwatch Institute
Despite a slight decline between 2009 and 2010, since 1999 the global land area farmed organically has expanded more than threefold to 37 million hectares, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute for its Vital Signs Online service. Regions with the largest certified organic agricultural land in 2010 were Oceania, including Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island nations (12.1 million hectares); Europe (10 million hectares); and Latin America (8.4 million hectares), write report authors Catherine Ward and Laura Reynolds.
Should deep-sea mining go ahead in Papua New Guinea?
January 14, 2013 08:44 AM - Prime Sarmiento, SciDevNet
Financial disagreement has halted a controversial deep-sea mining project but deeper issues lie with the environment. The fate of a currently halted deep-sea mining project in the Pacific is being watched closely by a number of parties. Operations were scheduled to begin in 2014, with a target of producing about 80,000 tonnes of copper and more than four tonnes of gold a year.
Python Trade Influenced by Fashion Industry
January 9, 2013 08:50 AM - Anna Taylor, The Ecologist
A report released last month by the International Trade Centre has raised concerns over many aspects of the snake skin trade, most notably high levels of illegal trading, plus concerns about the welfare and conservation of the species involved. The report, entitled "The Trade in South-East Asian Python Skins", was backed by the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, (IUCN). The authors used information gathered from interviews with exporters and importers, hunters, government officials, conservationists and vets to highlight the now urgent need for more control over a trade which is threatening the survival of pythons.
Shoe Stable Fly!
January 8, 2013 08:56 AM - Allison Winter, ENN
Swatting at flies is a major aggravation but luckily for us, we can often shoe away these annoying arthropods before that painful bite. But what about cows and other livestock that only have a tail to defend themselves? Besides a quick pinch, stable flies actually have a huge effect on cattle costing the U.S. cattle industry more than $2.4 billion! How might you ask? Animals will often stop grazing and bunch together to minimize the number of bites they're getting. Consequently, this can reduce milk production in dairy cows, decrease weight gain in beef cattle, and reduce feed efficiency.