Ecosystems

Polluting Pulp Mill Draws Protest and Spurs World Court Case
December 6, 2007 09:17 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

Environmentalists from Argentina are continuing their more than two-year protest of an Uruguayan pulp mill along a river that separates the two countries. Protesters say the cellulose processing plant, which went into operation on November 9, will release pollutants into the Uruguay River and threaten local ecosystems and human health. Argentine authorities claim that the mill violates a bilateral treaty and have taken the issue to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Communities Across the Globe Getting to Grips with Adapting to Climate Change
December 6, 2007 09:13 AM - UNEP

Bali/Nairobi, 4 December 2007 - The way farmers in the Sudan, flood-prone communities in Argentina and dengue-challenged islands in the Caribbean are beginning to adapt to climate change are distilled in a new report launched today.

The five-year Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change provides new and inspiring examples of how vulnerable communities and countries may 'climate proof' economies in the years and decades to come.

New study finds biodiversity conservation secures ecosystem services for people
December 6, 2007 08:48 AM - Conservation International

Healthy ecosystems that provide people with essential natural goods and services often overlap with regions rich in biological diversity, underscoring that conserving one also protects the other, according to a new study.

Titled Global Conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the report confirms the value of making biological diversity a priority for conservation efforts. It shows that more than 70 percent of the world’s highest priority areas for biodiversity conservation also contain significant value in ecosystem services such as fresh water, food, carbon storage, storm buffers and other natural resources that sustain human life and support social and economic development.

Costa Rica plants 5 million trees
December 6, 2007 04:59 AM - Reuters

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Costa Rica, a leader in eco-tourism and home to some of the world's rarest species, planted its 5 millionth tree of 2007 on Wednesday as it tries to put a brake on global warming.

President Oscar Arias shoveled dirt onto the roots of an oak tree planted in the grounds of his offices, reaching the milestone in the Central American nation's efforts to ward off what some experts say are the first signs of climate change.

Mangroves help Indonesia fend off climate change
December 6, 2007 04:40 AM - Reuters

SUWUNG KAUH, Indonesia (Reuters) - Dark, foul-smelling mangrove swamps can help Indonesia's coastal communities fend off rising seas and stronger tropical storms caused by climate change, experts say.

As 190 nations meet for December 3-14 U.N. climate talks on the resort island of Bali, looking for ways to broaden a pact to slow down global warming, experts say mangroves are not getting the attention they deserve as a protective coastal barrier.

Student uses the "environment of disease" to predict the next outbreak
December 5, 2007 11:01 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Manhatten, KS - - It was one of those things you hear about on the news: an outbreak of monkeypox in the Chicago area. An animal dealer placed infected rats from Africa next to a crate of prairie dogs. The disease spread to the prairie dogs, which were then sold in pet stores across the nation. Dozens of people in multiple states were sickened from contact with the animals.

The incident gave a Kansas State veterinary medicine graduate student, Christine Ellis a little bit of global perspective. At the time, she was working as an associate veterinarian at The Midwest Bird and Exotic Animal Hospital in the Chicago area.

Protecting old-growth forests in Poland
December 5, 2007 09:08 AM -

Warsaw, Poland – Over 100,000 signatures have been forwarded to the Polish government, calling for the protection of Europe’s last remaining stands of natural forests.

The signature drive is part of a WWF campaign to safeguard ancient woodlands in Poland’s Bialowieza Primaeval Forest from logging and other unsustainable forest activities.

 

Uganda plans to boost forest cover
December 5, 2007 06:20 AM - Reuters

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda will plant millions of trees in the next four years at a cost of $253 million, as it tries to restore dwindling forest cover to 30 percent of its area from 22 percent, the government said on Wednesday.

Like many African countries, Uganda suffers from rampant deforestation that dries up rivers, triggers soil erosion and threatens wildlife, especially birds and primates.

Bangladesh to seek aid for mangrove forest
December 5, 2007 06:07 AM - Reuters

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh will seek emergency funds from the World Heritage Center to restore the ecosystem and biodiversity of the Sundarban mangrove forest, badly mauled by last month's killer cyclone, officials said on Wednesday.

Cyclone Sidr, which struck the Bangladesh coast on November 15 with winds of 250 kph (155 mph), killed around 3,500 people, made millions homeless and destroyed a large part of the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.

River runs purple and contaminates Greek town
December 5, 2007 02:43 AM - Reuters

OINOFYTA, Greece (Reuters) - The river started turning purple 10 years ago, but the people in the small Greek town of Oinofyta who were losing loved ones to cancer never thought of blaming the water.

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