Ecosystems

Life, biodiversity and harvesting honey in northern Kenya
November 13, 2007 08:12 AM - The World Conservation Union

Threats to the environment such as climate change, the scramble for water, and deforestation have created an urgent need for new ways of tackling these pressing issues which cater for all types of inhabitants.

In northern Kenya, an innovative programme steered by the African Union and partnered by IUCN’s East Africa Regional Office, aims to do just this. Known as the Dryland, Livestock/Wildlife Environment Interface Project (DLWEIP), the programme brings together all the stakeholders – community, government, donors, implementers – in a bid to manage natural resources equitably.

Oil spill threatens Black Sea environment
November 12, 2007 03:38 PM - WWF

Gland, Switzerland – The full environmental impacts of yesterday’s oil spill in the Black Sea would not be known for some time, says WWF.At least four ships sank, including one tanker believed to be carrying about 1200 tonnes of oil, and four others were in danger of breaking up after a severe storm hit the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea on Sunday.

 

Researchers build a better leaf
November 12, 2007 08:35 AM - University of Illinois, Diana Yates

CHAMPAIGN, IL.  - University of Illinois researchers have built a better plant, one that produces more leaves and fruit without needing extra fertilizer. The researchers accomplished the feat using a computer model that mimics the process of evolution. Theirs is the first model to simulate every step of the photosynthetic process.

A Giant Step toward Infinitesimal Machinery
November 11, 2007 10:33 PM - Caltech News

Pasadena, Calif.--What are the ultimate limits to miniaturization? How small can machinery--with internal workings that move, turn, and vibrate--be produced? What is the smallest scale on which computers can be built? With uncanny and characteristic insight, these are questions that the legendary Caltech physicist Richard Feynman asked himself in the period leading up to a famous 1959 lecture, the first on a topic now called nanotechnology.

In a newly announced global Alliance for Nanosystems VLSI (very-large-scale integration), researchers at Caltech's Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) in Pasadena, California, and at the Laboratoire d'Electronique et de Technologie de l'Information-Micro- and Nano-Technologies (CEA/LETI-MINATEC) in Grenoble, France, are working together to take the pursuit of this vision to an entirely new level.

 

 

 

 

Remnant of Yellowstone volcano rising: study
November 10, 2007 06:49 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A big blob of molten rock appears to be pushing up remnants of an ancient volcano in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, scientists reported on Friday.

They say no volcanic explosion is imminent -- that already happened 642,000 years ago, creating the volcanic crater known as a caldera where part of Yellowstone Lake sits.

But satellite readings show just how volcanically active the area remains, the researchers reported in the journal Science.

UN climate panel to meet, add pressure for action
November 9, 2007 11:47 AM - By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - About 130 governments meet in Spain next week to agree a stark guide to the mounting risks of climate change that the United Nations says will leave no option but tougher action to fix the problem.

The U.N. climate panel, winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, will meet in Valencia from November 12-17 to condense 3,000 pages of already published science into a 20-page summary for policy makers.

 

 

 

 

Nations share blame for Indonesia deforestation: VP
November 9, 2007 08:39 AM - Reuters

Foreign nations share the blame for the destruction of Indonesian forests and should pitch in to help restore them, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Friday.

Indonesia, host of a U.N. climate change conference in December, has been a driving force behind calls for rich countries to compensate poor states that preserve their rainforests to soak up greenhouse gases.

Water Act Will Protect Lakes from Invasive Species
November 8, 2007 06:13 PM - Dereth Glance, Executive Program Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment

This commentary is authored by Dereth Glance, Executive Program Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

Albany, NY – Environmentalists and Great Lakes enthusiasts across New York and around the entire Great Lakes Basin applauded the congressional override of President Bush’s veto on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The overwhelming vote to override—far more than the two thirds necessary—demonstrated Congress’ commitment to supporting water needs.

 The bill includes authorization for $25 million dollars in Great Lakes restoration spending with provisions for fully funding the Asian Carp barrier, a physical barrier to keep the destructive invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. The Asian Carp is one of roughly 186 invasive species that have taken hold in the Basin. A large and voracious eater, the Carp threatens the delicate food chain of the lakes system. 

Rediscovering a Forgotten Landscape And Protecting A Rare Primate
November 8, 2007 05:22 PM - Kerry Bowman, PhD

Congo, Africa  - Using state-of-the-art geospacial technology, scientists are mapping one of the last uncharted wilderness regions on the planet, with an eye to protecting the ecosystem that supports the Bonobo chimpanzee, one of our closest evolutionary relatives ane scores of other animals.

Located in the remote south east Democratic Republic of Congo, the 56,000-square-kilometre tract of forest remains little known to outsiders. The biological importance of the region—called Tshuapa-Lomami-Lualaba, or TL2 — has been hinted at for more than four decades. But today inventories are being conducted within forest sectors, focusing on areas of interest to monitor the presence of the endangered bonobo chimpanzee, as well as a rich variety of monkey species, okapi, Congo peacock, large ungulates, elephants and much more.

 

 

 

 

Bush sees first veto override in water bill
November 8, 2007 05:03 PM - By Christopher Doering, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congress on Thursday overturned President George W. Bush's veto last week of a popular water projects bill, marking the first time lawmakers have mustered enough votes to override Bush.

The Senate voted 79-14 to overturn Bush's veto. The House of Representatives had overwhelmingly met the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto when it voted 361-54 on Tuesday.

"There are some moments in time when (the president) needs to come together to work with us. This was one of those times," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Today is "one of those very rare moments in a very, very divided Senate that we came together."

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