Ecosystems

New Ocean Threats Underline Need for Urgent Action to Protect the High Seas
October 24, 2007 09:04 AM - ICUN

Marine policy experts today warned that a crisis situation is developing in oceans that will require urgent measures and stronger international law to avoid catastrophic declines in ocean productivity

IUCN Partners Work to Change the Climate Outlook
October 24, 2007 08:49 AM - ICUN

Representatives of overseas development agencies, foundations, multilateral environmental agreements, and corporations all pooled their expertise and ideas yesterday, over how IUCN can be most effective in the battle against climate change.  They gathered at IUCN’s headquarters for the annual conference of partners. This is a valuable opportunity for partner organizations to learn more about the work of IUCN, progress made, challenges ahead, and to guide its work programme.

California wildfires burn through the night
October 23, 2007 08:19 AM - Dana Ford -Reuters

Wildfires burned unchecked on Tuesday in Southern California from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to evacuate, at least 700 homes destroyed, and little hope for relief from the hot desert winds fanning the flames.

The National Weather Service said "strong and damaging winds" will continue near Los Angeles through mid-afternoon, and high wind warnings may be issued for some areas Tuesday night. In San Diego, the hot, dry winds fanning the flames were expected through Wednesday.

California wildfires force 250,000 to evacuate
October 22, 2007 04:14 PM - Dan Whitcomb, Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fast-moving wildfires raged across Southern California on Monday, forcing at least 250,000 people to flee their homes and destroying hundreds of buildings as desperate fire officials called for help from other states.

More than a dozen separate fires, driven by dry, gale-force Santa Ana winds, burned out of control across the drought-stricken southern half of the state, charring an estimated 200,000 acres, killing at least one person and injuring a number of others.

"It's a tragic time for California," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declared a state of emergency in seven California counties.

The fires also forced closures of major state highways, schools and businesses and sent plumes of thick black smoke drifting across much of the state, blotting out the sun.

Irish funding fertilises Malawian tree project
October 22, 2007 02:29 PM - Charles Mkoka

Malawi has begun its four-year 'fertiliser trees' project to reduce the reliance of subsistence farmers on expensive fertilisers.

The Agro-forestry Food Security Programme has received €1 million (US$1.4 million) in funds from the government of Ireland and commenced last month (September) to coincide with the rainy season.

Under the programme, farmers are being encouraged to plant particular shrubs with their crops to improve the soil through nitrogen fixation (see Malawi to roll out 'fertiliser trees' project).

France Gondwe, of the World Agroforestry Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi, said the project is scaling up a farming practice that over 100,000 Malawian farmers had been using for the last ten years.

 

 

 

 

Jolie, Pitt Spotlight Aid Workers In Documentary Series
October 22, 2007 10:49 AM - Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are making their first joint producing effort with an HBO series about aid workers.

The untitled drama will explore the behind-the scenes politics of an international aid organization, and chronicle the lives of humanitarian workers assigned to dangerous zones and the needy people they assist.

Jolie and Pitt will serve as executive producers, along with Scott Burns, who will write the pilot. Burns co-wrote "The Bourne Ultimatum" and was a producer of "An Inconvenient Truth."

Angling for iron ore in China's streams
October 22, 2007 09:24 AM - Reuters

It may not have the allure of trout fishing, but Chinese farmers are cashing in on the world metals boom by fishing with magnets for lumps of iron ore in local streams.

"It sounds unbelievable, but it really happens in many mining areas, including mine," a manager of a mine in the eastern province of Anhui said.

 

Georgia declares state of emergency over drought
October 21, 2007 10:45 PM -

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia has declared a state of emergency over its worst drought in decades and appealed to President George W. Bush for federal aid, newspapers said on Sunday.

Low rainfall in the Southeastern United States has caused a drought in several states, including swaths of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and North and South Carolina.

Gov. Sonny Perdue asked Bush to issue a federal disaster designation for the drought-affected parts of the state that would empower him to order less water released from Lake Sidney Lanier and make federal funds available to state and local governments.

It would also enable low interest loans to be offered to Georgia businesses hurt by the drought, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Bush Poses With Bird, Touts "conservation"
October 20, 2007 06:37 PM - Chris Baltimore

ST MICHAELS, Maryland (Reuters) - President George W. Bush took a nature outing on Saturday to tout new federal initiatives aimed at protecting migrating birds and two fish species prized by anglers.

Bush took a break from bruising battles with Democrats in Congress over his agenda on children's health care, domestic spying, the budget and the war in Iraq to walk around a wildlife preserve in the scenic Maryland countryside.

He later headed to Chesapeake Bay to sign an executive order to protect striped bass and red drum fish -- two once-abundant species that have faced over-fishing.

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