The chatter of cockatoos and lorikeets has given way to an eerie silence in smoke enveloped charred landscapes across south-eastern Australia. The unrelenting bushfires have driven many native animal and plant species to the brink of extinction and made several fauna more vulnerable with vast swathes of their habitat incinerated.
The thrill of watching a whale up close or schools of dolphins frolicking in an ocean are much sought after experiences today, boosting the demand for tours that provide people the opportunity to see these marine animals in their natural habitats. But becoming a major tourist drawcard has also exposed cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their environs to risks and challenges.
“In San Lorenzo they cut down the jungle to plant African oil palms. The only reason they didn’t expand more was that indigenous people managed to curb the spread,” Ecuadorean activist Santiago Levy said during the World Conservation Congress.
A major environmental conference of governments and NGOs has called on nations to set aside at least 30 percent of the world’s oceans as “highly protected” areas by 2030, but delegates said opposition from China, Japan and South Africa had seriously undermined chances of success.
Japan and South Africa have ignited a furore at a major conservation congress by coming out against a proposed appeal to all governments to ban domestic trade in elephant ivory.
When the communities living in the Tatamá y Serranía de los Paraguas Natural National Park in the west of Colombia organised in 1996 to defend their land and preserve the ecosystem, they were fighting deforestation, soil degradation and poaching.
“You don't convert your own house in a tourist site,” said Oussou Lio Appolinaire, an activist from Benin, wearing a traditional outfit in vivid yellows and greens. He was referring to opening up to tourists places that are sacred to indigenous people.
A rare case of intensive and decade-long collaboration between Big Oil, scientists and environmental activists has been hailed as a success story in protecting an endangered species of whale from extinction.
Our closest cousin in the animal world, the Eastern Gorilla, is sliding towards extinction because of illegal hunting, the IUCN announced today in the latest update of its Red List of Threatened Species.
A dramatic decline in Africa’s savanna elephant populations caused by poaching - as exposed by the results of a three-year aerial survey released this week - has piled pressure on reluctant governments to back proposals that would lead to bans on domestic trade in ivory.
A congress billed as the world’s largest ever to focus on the environment has opened to warnings that our planet is at a “tipping point” but also with expressions of hope that governments, civil society and big business are learning to work together.
U.S. President Barack Obama has stressed the urgency of tackling climate change in a speech to Pacific leaders in his home state of Hawaii.
International aid agencies, big and small, are beating a path to Myanmar, relishing the prospect of launching projects in a nation of 51 million people tentatively emerging from more than five decades of military rule.
At dusk, when the early evening sun casts its rays over the lush landscape, the Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site about 200 km south of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, is a place of the utmost tranquility.
The statistics tell the story: in some parts of the world, four times as many women as men die during floods; in some instances women are 14 times more likely to die during natural disasters than men.
The new interoceanic canal being built in Nicaragua has brought good and bad news for the scientific community: new species and archeological sites have been found and knowledge of the local ecosystems has grown, but the project poses a huge threat to the environment.
The United Nations will make its third - and perhaps final - attempt at reaching an agreement to launch negotiations for an international biodiversity treaty governing the high seas.
Conserving the world's most valuable natural resources is the focus of the sixth World Parks Congress 2014, taking place Sydney, Australia. The congress, which takes place once every 10 years, is convened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
"We are underpaid, have no guns and in most instances are outnumbered by the poachers," says Stain Phiri, a ranger at Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve — a 986 km reserve said to have the most abundant and a variety of wildlife in Malawi — which also happens to be one of the country’s biggest game parks under siege by poachers.
In pure numbers, the past few decades have been marked by destruction: over the last 40 years, Earth has lost 52 percent of its wild animals; nearly 17 percent of the world’s forests have been felled in the last half-century; freshwater ecosystems have witnessed a 75-percent decline in animal populations since 1970; and nearly 95 percent of coral reefs are today threatened by pollution, coastal development and overfishing.
Marine environmentalist Eli Fuller, who for the past two decades has been exploring the coastline of Antigua and Barbuda, warns that while there has been “dramatic changes” to coral reefs since he was a little boy, “it’s getting worse and worse.”