Ecosystems

China considers environmental tax on polluters
October 15, 2007 07:50 AM - Reuters

China is considering an environmental tax on polluters to cut emissions, a senior government official said on Monday.

"We are actively promoting this idea. But we have to consult with relevant ministries," Pan Yue, deputy head of the State Environmental Protection Administration, told reporters on the sidelines of the ruling Communist Party's five-yearly Congress.

Canada not listening to leading environmentalist
October 14, 2007 10:20 PM - Jonathan Spicer

TORONTO (Reuters) - David Suzuki, Canada's best-known environmentalist, has spent a generation encouraging Canadians to look after the environment, but it seems they have not been listening.

Goateed, soft-spoken and avuncular, Suzuki has built a devout following from 28 years narrating "The Nature of Things," a popular television series on the science of the natural world.

Now aged 71, he notes Canada's environmental credentials are eroding just when he says it is more important than ever to move in the opposite direction.

Five Asian nations to study flood, climate risks
October 14, 2007 05:53 AM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - A new U.N. course will help five Asian nations cope with a predicted worsening of floods due to climate change that may threaten cities from Beijing to Hanoi, the U.N. University said on Sunday.

Experts from China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Nepal and Sri Lanka would take part from November in a three-month course run by the U.N. University in Thailand to help map risks of downpours, rivers breaking their banks and rising sea levels.

If successful, the course could be expanded to other regions.

World Bank studies rising seas in Guyana
October 12, 2007 08:17 PM - Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank and Global Environmental Facility have approved $3.8 million in grant funding to protect low-lying coastal areas in Guyana threatened by rising sea levels, an official said on Friday.

This is the first project of its kind to be approved under the Global Environmental Facility's Special Climate Change Fund. It will look at ways to improve coastal drainage in the small South American country.

Gerald Meier, a consultant with the World Bank's hazard risk management group, said the project was responding to the catastrophic flooding in Guyana in 2005, which affected most of the inhabited northern coast of the country where up to 90 percent of the population lives.

Two Hawaiian Birds on Brink of Extinction
October 12, 2007 07:31 PM -

Washington, D.C.– Two rare hawaiian birds are on the verge of extinction a conservatinist group is saying. They are asking the US government to step in and help protect them.

American Bird Conservancy and Dr. Eric VanderWerf, an acknowledged expert on Hawaiian birds, submitted a petition yesterday to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting protection under the Endangered Species Act for the Akekee and the Akikiki, two very rare birds found only on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.  Recent population surveys are raising concern that these species may be on the brink of extinction.

Process for Certifying Asian Catfish Aquaculture Products is Underway
October 12, 2007 12:08 PM -

WASHINGTON - Asian catfish aquaculture is moving toward sustainability. The catfish is a member of the "Pangasius" family. During the inaugural meeting of the Pangasius Aquaculture Dialogue, more than 70 producers, buyers, government officials and others from around the world agreed that there is an urgent need and willingness to certify pangasius aquaculture products.

Costa Rica expropriates land to protect turtles
October 11, 2007 09:17 PM - John McPhaul, reuters

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has ordered the expropriation of lucrative beach-front land to protect the endangered leatherback sea turtle, the government said on Thursday.

Arias began expropriation procedures for some 30 hectares (74 acres) of land in northwestern Costa Rica, the most important leatherback sea turtle nesting site on the Pacific Rim, Energy and Environment Minister Roberto Dobles said.

"We are only complying with the law that established Las Baulas (national marine park) in 1995," Dobles told Reuters.

Congo pygmies go high-tech to protect forest home
October 11, 2007 07:04 PM - Pascal Fletcher, Reuters

DAKAR (Reuters) - When Congo Republic's northern pygmies go out into the forest these days, some will be carrying hand-held satellite tracking devices along with their traditional bows and spears.

Using GPS handsets to pinpoint sacred sites and hunting areas, the nomadic forest dwellers are literally putting themselves on the map to protect their livelihoods and habitat against the chainsaws and bulldozers of commercial loggers.

Iowa’s Earthpark: Rain Forest, Green Hotel And More
October 11, 2007 02:08 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News

NEW YORK—Maxon Holdings LLC (Maxon), a leading energy and environmental development company, announced a partnership with Earthpark, North America’s first center for science literacy and the environment. Maxon will provide $10 million of in-kind financial and technical support toward the completion and opening of Earthpark, scheduled to open on Earth Day, 2011. Maxon will give this support through its infrastructure asset financing operations, part of the company’s asset optimization business. Maxon’s contribution will facilitate ongoing support and involvement with educational and research efforts in the areas of global sustainability and restorative living practices.

Mozambique firm to export 100,000 crocodiles
October 11, 2007 01:07 PM - Charles Mangwiro, Reuters

MAPUTO (Reuters) - A Mozambican company plans to breed and sell more than 100,000 crocodiles to South Africa and Zimbabwe to create an export market for the poor southern African nation.

The crocodiles will come from Mozambique's remote northern Tete province, where their numbers have increased in recent years, Antonio Viera, an official with fishing company Cahora Kapenta, told Reuters on Thursday.

"It's a new and unique business segment which we hope would boost the economy of Mozambique and also help the government to solve one of its major problems related to human-animal conflict in this province," Viera said.

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