Sustainability, climate change, cleantech and energy : a selection of the latest headlines and best researches.

Posts Tagged Biodiversity

52 percent of biodiversity losses since 1970

Young orang utan, Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia - WWF

These are the staggering figures the WWF published yesterday : ” Wildlife populations worldwide have declined by 52 per cent since 1970 “. Read more

10 species that will thrive on a warming world

JellyfishWe have all read news on how our civilization with deforestation, pollutions of all kinds and climate change – and more – is wiping off entire species of animals to the point that we may be on the verge of a great extinction.

But don’t worry, some animals have no problem with global warming temperatures : cockroaches, fire ants, asian tiger mosquitoes jellyfish, ticks… You see, our civilization is endangering biodiversity in another big way.

Yes, you read that right, you just found yet another reason to fight climate change. So we’d better start decreasing our energy consumption NOW !

New Caledonia and France create huge Marine Protected Area

le-nouveau-parc-naturel-de-la-mer-de-corailMore good news people ! New Caledonia – and France - are creating a marine protected area (MPA) of huge size : 1.3 million square kilometers : the parc naturel de la mer de Corail.

This park will be amongst the largest MPAs in the world. Thanks to that, 16 percent of the waters under French jurisdiction are now under an MPAs status, compared to just four percent before.

The management and the financing will be done by the local government, while France will care about the security and police of this critical hot spot for biodiversity. Read more

Biodiversity, the importance of protecting the right areas

MadagascarTo TreeHugger and Science Daily, protecting a mere 17 percent of the land surfaces against human exploitation would protect two third of the plant species. However, there is a catch as we have to protect the right places…

So if we have to protect the most of our biodiversity, we have to find a way to help developing nations in protecting these natural areas. Financing these efforts by the global community will have to be done. This has failed recently in Ecuador.

But as Treehugger notes,  ” that doesn’t mean the global community can’t and shouldn’t try again. “ Given how biodiversity is crucial to Mankind, it has to be hoped that we will succeed the next times.

WWF : Stop wildlife crime

WWF : Stop Wildlife CrimeWWF : Stop Wildlife CrimeAccording to the WWF : In 50 years of conservation, we have never seen wildlife crime on such a scale. Wildlife crime is now the most urgent threat to three of the world’s best-loved species—elephants, rhinos and tigers. “

” The global value of illegal wildlife trade is between $7.8 and $10 billion per year. It is a major illicit transnational activity worldwide—along with arms, drugs and human trafficking. High-level traders and kingpins are rarely (…) punished for their crimes.”

” Even more worrying, these species cannot survive high levels of poaching for long.”  Please check out their page for more details on how you can help.

Major company to stop deforestating Indonesia

Deforestation in IndonesiaTo the Agence France Presse : The world’s third-largest paper producer Asia Pulp and Paper said Tuesday it had stopped using logs from Indonesia’s natural forests, after fierce campaigning by green groups against the company.”

” The firm has in recent years lost packaging contracts with big brands such as foodmaker Kraft and Barbie’s Mattel after Greenpeace accused APP of clearing carbon-rich forest, home to endangered Sumatran tigers and orangutans. “

These are truly good news. We have seen time and again that deforestation in Brazil is at its lowest levels in decades and keep on decreasing. Read more

Marine Protected Areas increase tenfold

Chagos islands, Indian ocean, largest MPA to dateHere are good news for marine conservation.To the BBC : ” A report to a UN meeting on biodiversity in Hyderabad reports that more than 8.3 million sq km – 2.3% of the global ocean area – is now protected.”

” The percentage is small but the rapid growth in recent times leads to hope that the world will hit its target of 10% protected by 2020. This would have looked most unlikely prospect just a few years ago.”

Ten percent doesn’t seem much, but it is a good start. Let’s hope Marine Protected Areas (MPA) will keep growing until 2020 and decades afterwards.

The world’s 100 most endangered species

The Hainan gibbon, one of the most endangered speciesAs CNN reported : ” Announced during the IUCN of Nature’s World Conservation Congress, the list is the culmination of work by 8,000 scientists who identified the animals, plants and fungi that are most in danger of extinction.

” Animals like the Hainan gibbon, pygmy three-toed sloth and Luristan newt are critically endangered but perhaps better placed to survive than many of the less charismatic species on the list, said the report’s authors. “

” There is a fear among some conservationists that many of the plants and fungi listed will not be saved or gain public attention because they don’t benefit humans. ” Read more

Australia creates world’s largest marine reserve

I haven’t brought many good news lately. Likewise, I have blogged little on conservation issues. So please let me present you some good news on conservation, straight from Australia. To the WWF :

” WWF welcomed the new system of marine parks that would now cover more than one third of the Commonwealth waters of Australia – a milestone that WWF has been working towards for more than 15 years.”

Australia today created the world’s biggest network of marine protected areas, setting an important precedent for ocean protection “

Impending catastrophe : Earth on the brink

This is the most important news you’ll read this week. Forget about whatever happened in this weekend’s elections in Greece, Egypts or France. Economies may crash but can recover with time. It’s not the case with the environment.

To Nature : ”  the global ecosystem as a whole can react in the same way and is approaching a planetary-scale critical transition as a result of human influence.

Both Climate Progress and Grist wrote compelling articles on this new study that should have grabbed everybody’s attention. But well, it didn’t… Read more

Worth an article – My May 2012 tweets

I have been committed since January 2007 to bring you each month a selection of the latest headlines and best researches on sustainable development, climate change and the world energy sector.

However, I don’t blog as much as I would like to and generally write around 25 posts per month. But many more news are worth reading. This is why I use Twitter to share dozens of news that are worth your time.

I believe it offers a good complement to this website. So if you are on Twitter and like this selection, don’t hesitate to start following me. Read more

Pacific Garbage Patch has gotten 100 times worse

This seems to come straight from a nightmare. According to Grist, the Pacific Garbage Patch has gotten a hundred times bigger in only forty years. This is a huge problem as all this pollution directly harms the local biodiversity.

Turtles and fishes are the first victims but all this could also endanger zooplankton in the near future as to the BBC ” the fragments make it easier for the marine insect Halobates sericeus to lay its eggs out over the ocean.”

If you think about cleaning up Grist notes that ” the microplastic is intensely difficult to clean up, so it’s critical to keep plastic out of the ocean to keep the problem from getting worse. “ Indeed !

Ocean acidification at its highest in million years

I had written about this very topic last month. To the New York Times green blog : ” A new scientific paper suggests that the ocean is acidifying at a rate that is many times faster than at any time in the past 300 million years. “

” The change is occurring so rapidly that it raises “the possibility that we are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change,” said the paper, published this week in the journal Science. “

Evidence keeps on piling up : unless we get really serious on slashing our carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible, we will be doomed, as well as all life on Earth.

Another reason to fight CO2 : ocean acidification

If climate change, rising sea levels and the threats to global peace and food production weren’t enough to you, here is another reason to fight carbon dioxide : ocean acidification. To Mongabay :

Emissions of carbon over the last two centuries have raised the acidity of the oceans to the highest levels in 21,000 years and likely beyond, according to a new study in Nature Climate Change. “

This could have serious implications for marine biodiversity, notably corrals and mollusks. So, what are we waiting for to act ?

Earth is home of 8.7 million species

Here are some stunning news. To TreeHugger : Scientists have just completed the most accurate tally of the planet’s species yet (though the projection still has a pretty healthy margin of error). The magic number?”

” 8.7 million, according to the study, which was recently published in the journal PLoS Biology. But the amazing thing is, we’ve only actually ‘discovered’ 86% of them – and thousands of them will be extinct before we do. “

Oddly enough, despite oceans are covering over 70 percent of our planet, there are home to less than a third of all species… This can be explained by the huge amounts of insects on land. Read more

Species moving fast because of climate change

According to Cleantechies : “A new study finds that animal and plant species are responding to the effects of climate change at a rate two to three times faster than previously believed.

Researchers in the Department of Biology at the University of York in the United Kingdom found that in more than 2,000 instances, species are changing their habitats to adapt to warming temperatures.

On average, they found that species are moving toward higher elevations at 12.2 meters (40 feet) per decade and toward the poles at 17.6 kilometers (11 miles) per decade.”

Five great reforestation projects

While browsing old articles on Sustainablog, I found one that I particularly liked on successful huge reforestation projects. I learned many cool things and thought that was well worth a post.

” Governments, NGOs, and even for-profit companies recognize the environmental and economic losses caused by deforestation, and are working to restore the health of these important ecosystems.”

This reminds me of an old post I published in 2009 about afforestation projects. Meanwhile, the Billion Tree Campaign is nearing 12 billion planted trees. This is absolutely stunning ! Read more

IUCN : 19,000 endangered species

To TreeHugger : “ That’s a lot of species. And it’s roughly 9,000 more than were endangered just over ten years ago, in 2000. That’s the finding of the latest report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).”

” There are now roughly 19,000 species that are currently threatened with extinction around the world. So why the jump? The usual suspects – deforestation, poaching, climate change, pollution, and invasive species – are largely to blame.

But the situation is not completely dark as to The Economist “The news is best for mammals, whose complete dataset has made evaluation easier. The percentage of endangered species has actually fallen since 2000. “

Biodiversity year ended on high note

To the UNEP : ” A new international body aimed at catalyzing a global response to the loss of biodiversity and world’s economically-important forests, coral reefs and other ecosystems was born yesterday. “

Dubbed the “IPCC for Nature”, the new Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will have a tough job at protecting endangered species and stopping what more and more call the anthropocene.

I just hope this new organization will face less opposition than the IPCC. For further details on this event please read the press release here. Read more

The tremendous cost of vanishing forests

I know it since I read Collapse, Jared Diamond’s fantastic book about how various societies disappeared : trees matter ! Between soil erosion prevention and climate change mitigation, there are many reasons for keeping forests alive.

Now comes a British study noting that the annual cost of deforestation is five trillion dollar. This research is carried out under the UNEP program known as The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)

We have seen it here on multiple occasions, protecting Nature and its fantastic biodiversity is as a matter of fact the best way to protect ourselves. Read more

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A French Management professional - now for hire - Edouard Stenger has been selecting since 2007 the latest headlines and best researches on sustainable development, climate change, environmental issues, cleantech and the world energy sector.

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