Ecosystems

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."

California sues EPA over car emissions
November 8, 2007 04:32 PM - By Adam Tanner, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, demanding a quick federal decision that would allow the nation's most populous state to limit greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

"California is ready to implement the nation's cleanest standards for vehicle emissions, but we cannot do that until the federal government grants a waiver allowing us to enforce those standards," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said.

The long-threatened legal action follows a 2005 California law requiring new vehicles to meet tighter standards for emissions, starting with 2009 models introduced next year.

San Francisco oil spill larger than thought
November 8, 2007 04:14 PM - By Adam Tanner, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Many beaches in the San Francisco area remained closed on Thursday as officials tried to clean up 58,000 gallons of fuel that spilled into the West Coast city's famous bay the day before.

"This is a major spill," said Wil Bruhns, a division chief at the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. "It certainly has the potential to cause damage to birds, fish and other wildlife."

The Cosco Busan struck a tower of the Bay Bridge on Wednesday morning in dense fog, creating a long slash along the ship that allowed bunker fuel to spill into the water.

Fishermen Caught in Oil Dispute Over African Lake
November 8, 2007 08:20 AM - Reuters

NTOROKO, Uganda - Until this year, Robert Kazini had never given much thought to whether he was fishing in Congolese or Ugandan waters; it didn't matter.

Nor did it matter much to Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo -- until prospectors found oil here.

Now, with crude nearing $100 a barrel and both countries dreaming of billions of petrodollars that could flow from Lake Albert, an ugly and at times deadly dispute over their border is jeopardizing the livelihoods of locals like Kazini.

Exceptions prove rule of tropical importance in biodiversity
November 7, 2007 09:13 PM -

Even a group of shellfish that appear to violate the overarching pattern of global biodiversity actually follows the same biological rules as other marine organisms, confirming a general theory for the spread of life on Earth. The University of Chicago’s David Jablonski and his colleagues present this finding in the Nov. 7 advanced online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“There’s more of everything in the tropics. More genetic diversity, more diversity in form, more diversity of species,” said David Jablonski, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor in Geophysical Sciences at Chicago.

 

Dead clams tell tales, give time-lapse view of ecosystems
November 7, 2007 08:46 PM -

Chicago - Inventories of living and dead organisms could serve as a relatively fast, simple and inexpensive preliminary means of assessing human impact on ecosystems. The University of Chicago’s Susan Kidwell explains how measuring the degree of live-dead mismatch could be used as an ecological tool in the Oct. 26 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“We affect ecosystems in many different ways, but the effects of our actions are hard to pin down because we rarely have scientific data from before the onset of those impacts,” said Kidwell, the William Rainey Harper Professor in Geophysical Sciences at Chicago.

Ocean Garbage Gets Attention From US
November 7, 2007 05:21 PM -

With 174 coastal national wildlife refuges – including those bordering the Great Lakes – the National Wildlife Refuge System faces significant challenges in managing marine debris – man-made objects that has been discarded or abandoned in the water and on the shorelines. The newly-launched federal Marine Debris Initiative, a national and international program that focuses on preventing, identifying and reducing the problem, presents a multifaceted approach.

 

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