Environmental Policy

Business ready to trade nature services
October 27, 2010 10:08 AM - Editor, Euractive

A global coalition of about 200 companies said yesterday (26 October) that it was ready to support the introduction of a price tag on ecosystem services, in the hope that a global biodiversity panel will lay the foundations for an offset mechanism to encourage trading of nature services.

Israel and Palestine Declare War...Against Climate Change
October 27, 2010 09:25 AM - Susan Kraemer, Green Prophet

Israel and the Palestinian Authority are among 15 Mediterranean nations who have just signed a historic agreement to work together to combat the effects of climate change, one month ahead of the next United Nations conference on climate change, meeting at Cancun in November.

New Truck Emission Standards and Controls
October 26, 2010 02:06 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

To those who drive behind diesel trucks, they know that these vehicles tend to be more slower moving and potentially smellier than other vehicles. Those who drive trucks know they are gasoline hogs (after all look at the weight they are hauling). They are a vital necessity for the US economy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation today announced the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses. This comprehensive proposed national program is projected to reduce GHG emissions by nearly 250 million metric tons and save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of the vehicles produced within the program’s first five years. Truck emissions have been going down for years but this is a major step forward.

Great Marine Protection Areas
October 25, 2010 01:07 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati has established the world's largest marine protected area of coral reefs and fish populations, but both of which are threatened by overfishing and climate change. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area conserves one of the world's last intact coral reef archipelago ecosystems with eight coral reefs, two submerged reef systems and underwater mountains, over 415,000 square kilometers of nearly uninhabited islands with abundant marine and bird life. A Marine Protected Area (MPA) is a protected area whose boundaries include some area of ocean. "MPA" is often used as an umbrella term that describes a wide range of marine areas that restrict human activity to protect living, non-living, cultural, and/or historic resources. Protections in various areas range from limits on development, fishing gear types, fishing seasons, catch limits, moorings, to complete bans on removing marine life of any kind.

Yemen's capital 'will run out of water by 2025'
October 25, 2010 08:54 AM - Omar Naje, SciDevNet

[SANA'A, YEMEN] Water shortages in Yemen will squeeze agriculture to such an extent that 750,000 jobs could disappear and incomes could drop by a quarter within a decade, according to a report. Poor water management and the enormous consumption of water for the farming of the popular stimulant khat are blamed for the predicted water shortages, which experts say could lead to the capital Sana'a running out of water by around 2025.

Island nation announces Mongolia-sized sanctuary for whales and dolphins
October 25, 2010 08:41 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

Dolphins, whales, and dugongs will be safe from hunting in the waters surrounding the Pacific nation of Palau. At the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, Palau's Minister of the Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism, Harry Fritz, announced the establishment of a marine mammal sanctuary covering over 230,000 square miles (60,000 square kilometers) of the nation's waters, an area the size of Mongolia.

Fences reduce water pollution
October 22, 2010 08:58 AM - Tom Marshall, Planet Earth Online

There are plenty of high-tech ideas to tackle pollution, but recent research suggests that some of the biggest gains in keeping our waterways clean could come from a more traditional technology - fences. Simply fencing off streams and drainage ditches so farm animals can't deposit manure in and around them could cut levels of faecal pollution dramatically, according to scientists.

Water Scarcity in American Southwest Gets Serious
October 21, 2010 10:18 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Water scarcity has always been a problem in the southwestern desert, with practically everyone relying on one river, the Colorado, to quench their thirst and the thirst of their crops. Increased water demands coupled with a long protracted drought in the Upper Colorado River Basin has created a potentially dire situation. The effects can be seen in Lake Mead, the giant lake along the border of Arizona and Nevada. Lake Mead has reached its lowest levels since 1937, the year the Hoover Dam was completed.

New Superfund Sites
October 20, 2010 02:34 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today that a contaminated aquifer in Milford, Ohio, is one of nine new hazardous waste sites proposed to be added to the Superfund section of the National Priorities List. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. There are a total of 1,343 final and proposed sites on the NPL at this time. In the case of the Milford site, the source of the contamination has not been tracked down despite years of effort.

Maldives 'tourism boom' putting manta rays at risk
October 20, 2010 09:17 AM - Emily Shelton, Ecologist

Giant manta rays could be driven away from world-famous feeding site in five years because of disruption from tourist industry, warns leading marine biologist. Since being awarded MPA status in 2009 and receiving increased media interest, Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll has seen its tourism trade triple.

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