Conservation newsFounded in 1999, Mongabay is a leading provider of environmental science and conservation news.
2005 Atlantic hurricane season worst on record
(11/29/2005) The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season is the busiest on record and extends the active hurricane cycle that began in 1995 -- a trend likely to continue for years to come. The season included 26 named storms, including 13 hurricanes in which seven were major.
Dire consequences if global warming exceeds 2 degrees says IUCN
(11/29/2005) The parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change must keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, says the World conservation Union.
Vaccination can prevent bird flu epidemic
(11/28/2005) Vaccinating chickens against avian flu can prevent a major outbreak of the disease by preventing birds from passing on the virus, according to research published by Dutch scientists on Monday.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels closely correlated with global temperatures
(11/28/2005) Studying ice cores from Antarctica, scientists of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research extended the record of historic concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere by 250,000 years. The team found a close correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures. Over the past 650,000 years, low greenhouse gas concentrations have been associated with cooler conditions. The current concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, at 380 parts-per-million, is the highest level recorded over the past 650,000 years.
Developing countries: pay us to save rainforests
(11/27/2005) At this week's United Nations summit on climate change in Montreal a coalition of tropical developing countries plans to propose that wealthy countries pay them to preserve their rainforests. The group of 10 countries, led by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica, will argue that they should be compensated for the services rainforests provide the rest of the world.
Average temperatures climbing faster than thought in North America
(11/27/2005) Tree rings and borehole drill samples have added to the evidence that average temperatures in North America have risen steadily in the past 150 years according to a new study by researchers at Oregon State University and the University of Utah. In their paper published in Journal of Geophysical Research, scientists found that average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere increased about 1.5 degrees since the beginning of the industrial revolution when atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations began to increase sharply.
Exploring freshwater fish habitats in the rainforest of Peru
(11/26/2005) This fall the editor of mongabay.com, a leading environmental science and tropical freshwater fish information site, traveled to the Peruvian Amazon and examined habitats for freshwater fish. As a result of this effort, two new biotope descriptions have been posted on the site. The descriptions include underwater photographs for those interested in replicating the natural conditions of these habitats.
"Health" beer could help prevent cancer
(11/26/2005) A compound found only in hops and the main product they are used in - beer - has rapidly gained interest as a micronutrient that might help prevent many types of cancer.
Oil sands' development for energy a threat to environment says group
(11/25/2005) Wednesday the Pembina Institute released "Oil Sands Fever: The Environmental Implications of Canada's Oil Sands Rush" [PDF]. According to the report's main author, Dan Woynillowicz, "The story of Canada's rapid development of the oil sands has only been partially told. What's been missing from all the discussion and reporting is a comprehensive look at the environmental consequences of this development".
Singing iceberg discovered in Antarctica
(11/25/2005) Scientists believe they have found a singing iceberg in Antarctica, according to research published in Science on Friday.
Ocean levels rising twice as fast
(11/25/2005) Global ocean levels are rising twice as fast today as they were 150 years ago according to research presented in Science by a team of researchers. The Using core samples of sediments along the New Jersey coast, the scientists found that rates of sea level change have climbed significantly over the past 200 years, coinciding with the beginning of the industrial revolutions when carbon dioxide emissions began to dramatically increase. Carbon dioxide is the principal greenhouse gas believed to contribute to global warming.
Carbon in Canada's boreal forest worth $3.7 trillion
(11/25/2005) Carbon stored in Canada's boreal forests and peatlands is worth $3.7 trillion according to research by the Pembina Institute for the Canadian Boreal Initiative.
Rising seas and disappearing islands will produce environmental refugees
(11/24/2005) The Carteret Islands are almost invisible on a map of the South Pacific, but the horseshoe scattering of atolls is on the front-line of climate change, as rising sea levels and storm surges eat away at their existence.
Children spread malaria most says new study
(11/24/2005) Children should be the focus malaria control efforts as they are ones most likely to be bitten by mosquitoes carrying the parasite, according to new research published in Nature.
Carbon dioxide at highest level in 650,000 years
(11/24/2005) Carbon dioxide levels are now 27 percent higher than at any point in the last 650,000 years, according to research into Antarctic ice cores published on Thursday in Science.
Will 'tipping points' accelerate global warming?
(11/24/2005) Rising temperatures trigger a runaway melt of Greenland's ice sheet, raising sea levels and drowning Pacific islands and cities from New York to Tokyo.
Eco-friendly palm oil coming soon, criteria could result in cleaner biofuels
(11/23/2005) Consumers can soon enjoy soap, shampoos and many other products containing palm oil with a clean conscience following overwhelmingly acceptance by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) -- a group of producers, buyers, retailers, financial institutions and NGOs -- on a set of criteria for the responsible production of palm oil.
Climate change already affecting Europeans says WWF "Climate Witnesses"
(11/23/2005) Five WWF "Climate Witnesses" from the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain descended on Brussels to tell their personal stories of how climate change is affecting their lives and businesses. Snow disappearing in Scotland, fewer bees in Italy, crop losses in Spain, forests on the decline in Germany and sea levels rising off the coast of England are dangerous signs of climate change in Europe.
25% of Americans live in places compliant with Kyoto protocol
(11/23/2005) Even though the United States does not participate in the Kyoto protocol, about one-quarter of the population lives in states, counties or cities that have adopted climate change policies similar to those of the global initiative, according to a Brief Communication published in the November 17 issue of Nature.
Goldman Sachs first investment bank to adopt comprehensive environmental policy
(11/22/2005) The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) today issued a release commending Goldman Sachs for becoming the first global investment bank to adopt a comprehensive environmental policy. The policy acknowledges the scientific consensus on climate change and calls for urgent action by public policy makers and federal regulators to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Britain is largest importer of illegal timber in EU says WWF
(11/21/2005) Britain is the biggest importer of illegally-logged timber in Europe, responsible for the destruction of 1.4 million acres of forest a year according to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).
203 million people malnourished in sub-Saharan Africa
(11/21/2005) Hunger and malnutrition kill nearly 6 million children a year, and more people are malnourished in sub-Saharan Africa this decade than in the 1990s, according to a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization Tuesday. In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of malnourished people grew to 203.5 million people in 2000-02 from 170.4 million 10 years earlier says "The State of Food Insecurity in the World" report.
Forests flushed down the toilet
(11/21/2005) The major tissue manufacturers are not offering enough recycled toilet paper, towels and napkins to European consumers and must be more responsible when sourcing their wood, according to a new WWF report.
G8 aid for Africa under threat from climate change
(11/21/2005) An increase in aid for Africa agreed at the Gleneagles summit may be entirely consumed by the cost of dealing with climate change, the President of the Royal Society, the UK national academy of science, has warned Margaret Beckett and other G8 energy and environment ministers in an open letter published ahead of their key climate change meeting in London on 1 November.
Underwater sound pollution threat to marine life says new report
(11/21/2005) New evidence shows that the rising level of intense underwater sound produced by oil and gas exploration, military sonar and other manmade sources poses a significant long-term threat to whales, dolphins, fish and other marine species, according to a report published today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Salamanders feed on bat guano in cave system
(11/21/2005) A species of blind, cave-dwelling salamander in Oklahoma feeds on bat guano according to research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society and presented on the online version of Nature.
Madagascar faces food shortage in the southeast
(11/20/2005) With up to 18,000 children in Madagascar's south-eastern region showing signs of acute malnutrition, United Nations agencies are supporting Government-initiated emergency food and medical assistance, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a press release last week.
Disposable solar panels developed using nanotechnology
(11/20/2005) Scientists at the University of Cape Town are exploiting the nano-scale properties of silicon to develop a super-thin disposable solar panel poster which they hope could offer rural dwellers a cheap, alternative source of power.
Pantanal wetland in Bolivia threatened by port project says WWF
(11/20/2005) Plans for the construction of a commercial port and railway access line crossing Bolivia's Otuquis National Park -- a protected area and Ramsar site located in the heart of the world's largest wetland area, the Pantanal -- must be radically restructured so that it doesn't cause irreparable environmental damage and economic losses, warns WWF.
Mangrove forests protected areas from 2004 tsunami says new study
(11/18/2005) A study released in late October shows that areas buffered by coastal forests, like mangroves, were less damaged by the 2004 tsunami than areas without tree vegetation. Last week the FAO reported that 20% of the world's mangrove forests have disappeared since 1980.
Developing countries to suffer worst global warming impacts
(11/18/2005) In a recent chilling assessment, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that human-induced changes in the Earth's climate now lead to at least 5 million cases of illness and more than 150,000 deaths every year.
5-10 million fuel cell vehicles possible by 2020
(11/18/2005) An international conference on hydrogen fuel cells, their application in the transport sector, and the implications for developing countries met last week at the United Nations University Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH) in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Fish threatened by climate change
(11/18/2005) Fish are increasingly threatened by the effects of climate change as temperatures rise in rivers, lakes and oceans, says a new WWF report. It says that hotter water means less food, less offspring and even less oxygen for marine and freshwater fish populations.
Nature's engineering shows butterfly innovation
(11/18/2005) Flourescent patches on the wings of African swallowtail butterflies work in a very similar, but more efficient way to high emission light emitting diodes (LEDs) used in electronic equipment and displays, according to University of Exeter research published in Science.
Climate change means less water for western US by 2050, more for Montana
(11/17/2005) USGS scientists simulated the impact of future climate change on global water availability. By 2050, the models predict increased water runoff in eastern equatorial Africa, the La Plata basin and high latitude North America and Eurasia. They predict decreases in runoff in southern Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East and mid-latitude western North America. The authors of the paper, which appears tomorrow in Science, say climate climate will result in costly disruptions to water supply and resource management systems.
Developed countries cut greenhouse gas emissions 5.9% since 1990
(11/17/2005) Developed countries, taken as a group, have cut overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 5.9% compared to the 1990 levels according to a new publication from the United Nations Climate Change secretariat.
Solar projects in California desert could help state's energy problems
(11/17/2005) Two large solar projects in the desert of California could boost industrial-scale development of solar technology according to an article in today's edition of The Wall Street Journal.
$100 computer for children unveiled by UN
(11/17/2005) As the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) continued in Tunis last night, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan unveiled a prototype of a cheap and rugged $100 laptop for children, as part of the Summit's goal of giving poor communities access to the benefits of information technologies and networks.
Nigeria has worst deforestation rate, FAO revises figures
(11/17/2005) Nigeria has the world's highest deforestation rate of primary forests according to revised deforestation figures from the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Coral reefs decimated by 2050, Great Barrier Reef's coral 95% dead
(11/17/2005) Australia's Great Barrier Reef could lose 95 percent of its living coral by 2050 should ocean temperatures increase by the 1.5 degrees Celsius projected by climate scientists. The startling and controversial prediction, made last year in a report commissioned by the World Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Queensland government, is just one of the dire scenarios forecast for reefs in the near future. The degradation and possible disappearance of these ecosystems would have profound socioeconomic ramifications as well as ecological impacts says Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, head of the University of Queensland's Centre for Marine Studies.
Genetic defenders protect crops from fungal disease
(11/17/2005) Like waves of soldiers guarding a castle gate, multiple genetic defenders cooperate to protect plant cells against powdery mildew disease, according to a new study. Powdery mildew is a common fungal infection in plants that attacks more than 9,000 species, including many crops such as barley and wheat, and horticultural plants such as roses and cucumbers. The researchers, including Shauna Somerville and Monica Stein of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology, are the first to document how these defense genes team up in plants. The discovery could help combat fungal parasites that devastate crops and cost growers billions of dollars in pesticides every year.
Global warming will reduce glaciers, water supply and affect millions of people
(11/16/2005) In the looming future, global warming will reduce glaciers and storage packs of snow in regions around the world, causing water shortages and other problems that will impact millions of people. That is the conclusion of researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California , San Diego, and the University of Washington in a review paper published in the November 17 issue of the journal Nature.
United States has 7th highest rate of primary forest loss
(11/16/2005) Primary forests are being replaced by "modified natural," "seminatural," and plantation forests in the United States according to new deforestation figures from the United Nations.
Five million tons of carbon dioxide successfully buried, DOE eyes Kyoto
(11/16/2005) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman today announced that the Department of Energy (DOE)-funded "Weyburn Project" successfully sequestered five million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the Weyburn Oilfield in Saskatchewan, Canada, while doubling the field's oil recovery rate. If the methodology used in the Weyburn Project was successfully applied on a worldwide scale, one-third to one-half of CO2 emissions could be eliminated in the next 100 years and billions of barrels of oil could be recovered.
Photovoltaic solar energy conversion can be cost-competitive by 2030
(11/16/2005) Professor Andrew Blakers from The Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems at the Australian National University will today report to the Greenhouse 2000 Conference in Melbourne that photovoltaic (PV) solar energy conversion can be cost-competitive with any low-emission electricity generation technology by 2030.
Australia's freshwater ecosystems threatened by climate change
(11/16/2005) Australia's freshwater ecosystems are increasingly under threat from global warmning and expanding human population according to an interview of an Australian academic by The Age.
World deforestation rates and forest cover statistics, 2000-2005
(11/16/2005) Cambodia has the world's highest deforestation rate, Brazil loses the largest area of forest annually, and Congo consumes more bushmeat than any other tropical country. These are among the findings from mongabay.com's analysis of new deforestation figures from the United Nations. Monday, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released its 2005 Global Forest Resources Assessment, a regular report on the status world's forest resources. Overall, FAO concludes that net deforestation rates have fallen since the 1990-2000 period, but some 13 million hectares of the world's forests are still lost each year, including 6 million hectares of primary forests. Primary forests -- forests with no visible signs of past or present human activities -- are considered the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet.
Rain key to survival of baby lemurs
(11/14/2005) Researchers studying lemurs in Madagascar have discovered a link between tooth deterioration and rainfall amounts that suggests long-lived mammals may be particularly sensitive to changing environmental conditions--and that reproduction and infant survival is linked to tooth wear.
Elite women were alcoholic brewers in pre-Inca Peru
(11/14/2005) If the ancient mountaintop city in southern Peru was the vanished Wari empire's unique imperial showplace, the brewery was its piece de resistance.
Plague could worsen with global warming
(11/14/2005) Warmer, wetter weather brought on by global warming could increase outbreaks of the plague, which has killed millions down the ages and wiped out one third of Europe's population in the 14th century, academics said.
Massive climate change rocked ecosystems, animals 55 million years ago
(11/14/2005) Continued increases in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere from the combustion of fossil fuels could trigger large-scale changes in global biodiversity and require thousands of years of recovery according to recent research on an extreme global warming episode 55 million years ago.
Pictures from Peru
(11/14/2005) Mongabay.com, a leading rainforest information web site, has launched a new section featuring photographs from Peru. More than 1900 photos from Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and the Amazon have been added to the site.
Britain has best wind power potential in Europe
(11/14/2005) A survey of wind power in Britain says the island nation has the best wind in Europe because it blowsyear round and peaks when there is greatest demand for electricity. Further, the study found that there has never been a time over the past 35 years when the entire country has experienced a period of no wind.
Americans eating more seafood than ever before -- NOAA survey
(11/14/2005) Seafood consumption rose for the third straight year in 2004, as Americans ate a record 16.6 pounds of fish and shellfish per person, the NOAA Fisheries Service announced today.
Humans hunted giant lemurs to extinction
(11/14/2005) Madagascar's first inhabitants probably hunted the island's largest animals to extinction according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of Human Evolution.
Brazliian environmentalist dies after self-immolation protest
(11/14/2005) A Brazilian environmentalist has died after self-immolation in a protest against the construction of alcohol factories in the Pantanal marsh region. The 65-year-old Francisco Anselmo de Barros wrapped himself in an alcohol-soaked blanket and set it on fire during a protest Saturday in Campo Grande, 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) northwest of Rio de Janeiro.
Global deforestation rates fall, but area the size of Panama still disppears each year
(11/14/2005) Net deforestation rates have fallen, but some 13 million hectares of the world's forests are still lost each year according to a new report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Satellites map forests of Europe for Kyoto Protocol monitoring
(11/14/2005) A prototype service utilising satellites for mapping forests to aid compliance with the Kyoto Protocol has been endorsed by end users from European countries -- one environmental ministry representative called the baseline carbon stock information provided a "goldmine".
People Eat More Stale Popcorn If Served In A Big Bucket
(11/14/2005) A new Cornell University study found that large portions push people to overeat -- even to when they don't even like a food. The finding comes a month after the National Institutes of Health reported that 90% of American men were overweight or became overweight during the course of a 30-year study.
FAO deforestation stats are bogus
(11/14/2005) The Rainforest Foundation today claimed that new figures released today by the United Nations on the 'state of the world's forests' are misleading, inaccurate and understate the real extent of deforestation and damage to forests globally.
Demise of passenger pigeon linked to Lyme disease
(11/14/2005) Traditionally, the passenger pigeon has been held as one of the more beloved animal species to fall prey to humankind's often relentless expansion into and disregard for the natural world and its creatures. Once abundant, the bird experienced a rapid decline in the late 1800s, due almost entirely to rampant hunting, and the last passenger pigeon died in 1914. In light of new findings however, this image of a naturally plentiful species laid to waste by man is now being tested. Evidence collected over the past few years from a significant number of Native American archeological sites is beginning to upset long-accepted beliefs about one of the most famous extinct species in modern history.
Logging threatens Mayan ruin, forest in Guatemala
(11/13/2005) In the tropical forests of Guatemala, poor rural farmers and loggers are battling environmentalists, archaeologists, and Mel Gibson over the establishment of a 525,000-acre Mayan national park.
Lemur species named after British comedian
(11/12/2005) Researchers from the University of Zurich have named a newly discovered species of lemur after British comedian John Cleese in honor of his work with the primates from Madagascar.
20% of the world's mangroves lost since 1980
(11/11/2005) 20% of the world's mangrove forests have disappeared since 1980 according to a new study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Climate change brought tropical forest to Wyoming
(11/09/2005) Climate change 55 million years ago caused significant changes in forest composition and the distribution of mammals according to a new study in Science. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, in which temperatures rose by as much as 10 degrees in a relatively short period of time, helped bolster the "Age of Mammals," which included the first appearance of modern primates. After an initial period of increasing aridity in northern latitudes like the study site of Bighorn Basin in northwestern Wyoming, it appears that forests transitioned towards warm tropical ecosystems with closely spaced trees, ideal for the evolution of primates.
Army Corps of Engineers lacks plan for restoring coastal wetlands
(11/09/2005) The Army Corps of Engineers and the state of Louisiana lack an overall plan for restoring coastal wetlands, says a new report from the National Academy of Sciences.
Giant 1,200 pound ape lived alongside humans
(11/09/2005) A gigantic ape, measuring about 10 feet tall and weighing up to 1,200 pounds, co-existed alongside humans, a geochronologist at McMaster University has discovered.
Early warning system for earthquakes could save lives, predict quakes
(11/09/2005) A University of California, Berkeley, seismologist has discovered a way to provide seconds to tens of seconds of advance warning about impending ground shaking from an earthquake.
Africa looks to build scientific expertise at Nairobi conference
(11/09/2005) Stronger African science academies can help save lives or raise the standard of living by settling questions on topics such as malaria prevention and sustainable development, said organizers of this week's first annual international conference of the African Science Academy Development Initiative, being held in Nairobi, Kenya. The initiative is supported by a $20 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the U.S. National Academies.
conservation groups sue Bush administration over endangered species delays
(11/09/2005) A coalition of conservation groups filed a complaint late yesterday against the Bush Administration for delaying protection of hundreds of wildlife species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, leaving 283 plants and animals on a perpetual candidate waiting list. Since passage of the Act, at least 24 candidate species have gone extinct waiting for protection.
Aspirin Found to Reduce Skin Cancer Risk
(11/07/2005) Epidemiologists have found that aspirin may assist in reducing the risk of developing skin cancer, reveals a recent scientific publication, following research undertaken at the Suncorp Skin Cancer Laboratories at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR).
Learning and memory can become toxic with neurodegenerative diseases
(11/07/2005) Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have targeted a new culprit and method of attack on neurologic functions in diseases such as HIV-1-associated dementia and Alzheimer's.
Mauritius PM blocks road threatening endangered forest
(11/07/2005) Work started last year to build a highway through Ferney Valley, primarily to service the island's lucrative tourism industry, but environmentalists say it would wipe out flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world.
Flu pandemic "inevitable" and to cost $800 billion say World Bank, WHO
(11/07/2005) The potential economic cost of a pandemic of human influenza -- which the World Health Organization (WHO) now says is "inevitable" -- would top $800 billion according to a World Bank report released today.
Greenhouse gas emissions will rise by 52% by 2030 warns EIA
(11/07/2005) The International Energy Agency (EIA) today released a report projecting that global greenhouse gas emissions will rise by 52% by 2030, unless the world takes action to reduce energy consumption. Further, the IEA says that oil prices will rise "substantially" unless there is extra investment -- $20.3 trillion in fresh facilities by 2030 -- in oil facilities.
Forests of Michoacan, Mexico disappearing
(11/07/2005) 90% of the tropical forest in Lazaro Cardenas, Aquila y Coahuayana -- municipalities in the state of Michoacan, Mexico -- has been destroyed according to an article in Cambio de Michoacan. Cattle ranching, mining, and the harvesting of precious wood are blamed as the principle causes behind the forest loss.
Vampires kill 23 in Brazil, deforestation blamed
(11/07/2005) Rabid vampire bats killed 23 people and attacked more than 1,000 Brazilian officials confirmed last week. The bats have been displaced from their normal rain forest environment by worsening deforestation in the region. In an attempt to slow deaths, health agencies have treated 1,350 people with anti-rabies medication in the past two months.
Financial investors buying up forest lands, worrying greens
(11/06/2005) Financial institutions are buying up millions of acres of forest land for development across the United States, New Zealand, and South America according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.
Logging can have low impact on Amazon rainforest says FAO
(11/05/2005) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has issued a response to a study that found selective logging in the Amazon is highly destructive. The research, conducted by scientists from the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University, was published in Science last month. FAO argues that selective logging is not necessarily destructive and can be done with low impact on the remaining forests, if the proper techniques are applied.
Papua New Guinea adds 12 new protected areas
(11/04/2005) The government of Papua New Guinea announced that it will gazette 12 new protected areas covering some of the country's most biologically diverse forests, wetlands and coral reefs.
eBay founder gives $100 million for microfinance to help world's poorest people
(11/04/2005) Ebay Inc. founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pamela, have given $100 million in eBay stock to Tufts University to create a fund that will invest in microfinance.
Illegal timber from Honduras reaching the United States
(11/04/2005) U.S. companies are unknowingly importing illegal Honduran wood, contributing to deforestation, corruption and poverty in the Latin American country, according to a yearlong undercover investigation by the Center for International Policy and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).
Medicinal Plants could help poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa -- World Bank report
(11/03/2005) Dryland areas in Sub-Saharan Africa have a niche opportunity to use selected multipurpose medicinal plants to halt land degradation, and at the same time provide culturally acceptable healthcare, food, and a sustainable source of income by developing niche markets, according to the new World Bank report Capitalizing on the Bio-Economic Value of Multi-Purpose Medicinal Plants for the Rehabilitation of Drylands in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Avian flu vaccine under development with help of WCS
(11/03/2005) Avian influenza virus samples collected from wild birds in Mongolia by field veterinarians from the New York City-based Wildlife conservation Society (WCS) have been selected by the World Health Organization to be part of a new human pandemic influenza vaccine currently in development. The samples, collected in the midst of an outbreak in August killing wild ducks, geese and swans in northern Mongolia have unique genetic characteristics which make them a valuable addition to a human vaccine based on a variety of strains of influenza.
Monkeys protected from HIV-like virus using vaginal gel
(11/03/2005) Experiments in female monkeys have for the first time shown that when used in combination, vaginal gels known as microbicides can protect against an HIV-like virus. The research, funded largely by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggests that similar combination microbicides could potentially provide a safe, effective and practical way to prevent HIV transmission to women, according to study investigators.
Rainforest conservation worth the cost shows new study
(11/02/2005) The economic benefits of protecting a rainforest reserve outweigh the costs of preserving it, says University of Alberta research--the first of its kind to have conducted a cost-benefit analysis on the conservation of species diversity. "The traditional moral and aesthetic arguments have been made about why we should conserve the biodiversity in rainforests, but little has been done that looks at whether it makes pure economic sense to do so," said Dr. Robin Naidoo, who did his PhD at the U of A in biological sciences and rural economy. "We provide some good evidence from a strict economic side, that yes, it does."
Tamiflu shortage may be overcome by drug combo
(11/02/2005) A report in Nature suggests that the global shortage of the flu drug Tamiflu could be partially overcome by combining it with probenecid, a widely available drug that helps make Tamiflu treatment more effective by slowing the removal of the drug by the kidneys.
14.5 degree increase in Earth's temperature possible finds new model
(11/02/2005) If humans continue to use fossil fuels in a business-as-usual manner for the next few centuries, the polar ice caps will be depleted, ocean sea levels will rise by seven meters and median air temperatures will soar to 14.5 degrees warmer than current day.
Global warming to fuel rise in asthma, malaria
(11/02/2005) The Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, along with co-sponsors Swiss Re and the United Nations Development Programme, today released a study showing that climate change will significantly affect the health of humans and ecosystems and these impacts will have economic consequences.
6.5 earthquake could cut off California's water supply
(11/02/2005) Appearing before a joint legislative committee, Department of Water Resources (DWR) Director Lester Snow today outlined the catastrophic impact a significant earthquake would have on Delta levees. He said failed levees would cause major floods, threaten public safety, damage the water supply infrastructure, and jeopardize the State's economy.
African lakes disappearing find UN survey
(11/01/2005) The dramatic and, in some cases damaging environmental changes sweeping Africa's lakes are brought into sharp focus in a new atlas.
ASEAN nations agree to combat the illegal trade in wildlife, plants
(11/01/2005) In a strategic move to address the persistent criminal activity targeting South-east Asia's unique biological diversity, representatives from the 10 Member Countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed last week to form a regional law enforcement network to combat the illegal trade in animals and plants.
Logging impact worse than thought in the Amazon
(11/01/2005) Research released earlier this month in Science found that Brazil's Amazon rain forest is being degraded twice as fast as deforestation figures suggest. Selective logging, where only one or two valuable tree species are harvested from an area, is driving the forest degradation. The findings have important implications for "sustainable harvesting" schemes that have been promoted as ecologically-sound alternatives to traditional harvesting techniques.
Nature Provides Design Template for Human Problems
(11/01/2005) Copying the ideas of others is usually frowned upon, but when it comes to the work of Mother Nature, scientists are finding they can use nature as a template.
Exotic pet trade controls needed to fight bird flu says Greenpeace
(10/31/2005) A thriving trade, both illegal and legal, in exotic birds like parrots is undermining Mexico's otherwise strict measures against bird flu, Greenpeace said on Thursday. Mexico prohibits imports of all birds and bird products from countries with confirmed outbreaks of the virus, but the environmental group wants a blanket ban, saying the nature of the trade makes it hard to know where birds come from.
Hunting ban threatens Congo forest dwellers
(10/31/2005) A blanket ban on hunting in the Republic of Congo has made life even more difficult for the Baka community, an indigenous hunter-gatherer group living in the rain forests near the timber-concession areas in the north of the country.
China fuels illegal logging in Burma
(10/31/2005) A new report, launched today by Global Witness at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Bangkok , "A Choice for China -- Ending the destruction of Burma's northern frontier forests" , details shocking new evidence of the massive illicit plunder of Burma's forests by Chinese logging companies. Much of the logging takes place in forests that form part of an area said to be "very possibly the most bio-diverse, rich, temperate area on earth."
Timber traffickers arrested in Brazil
(10/31/2005) Brazilian federal police on Wednesday arrested at least 43 people accused of forging and selling permits for the transport of tens of millions of dollars (Euros) worth of illegally cut lumber, authorities said.
Renewable energy supplier becomes first to win EPA and DOE awards
(10/31/2005) Using innovation to drive market demand for renewable energy, 3 Phases Energy proved its leadership in the renewable energy industry at the 10th National Green Power Marketing Conference in Austin, TX held October 24-26. The Industry recognized 3 Phases Energy with two awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy: Renewable Energy Technology Supplier of the Year for general excellence supplying renewable energy, and Green Power Beacon, for the company's ability to originate business sector interest in renewable energy. In the history of the awards, no single renewable energy supplier has been recognized with two awards in the same year.
Congo's Kabila calls for rainforest protection
(10/30/2005) The world's second largest rainforest stands a greater chance of being protected after Congo's president finally backed a largely ignored ban on new logging, conservation group Greenpeace said on Friday.
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