Environment

By Wanjohi KabukuruEnvironment/Diplomacy [Hawai'i, US] Protected areas on earth now account for 14.7 per cent of the earth`s land mass and 11.95 per cent of territorial waters. This is according to the 2016 Protected Planet report which was launched by the IUCN and UN Environmental Programme (UNEP). The report which says the world is on track to meet a major global conservation target was launched at the on-going IUCN World Conservation Congress in the US island state of Hawai'i."Today, the world is facing critical environmental and societal challenges, such as climate change, food and water security," IUCN Director General Inger…
By Wanjohi Kabukuru[Hawaii, USA] US President Barack Obama’s executive order expanding the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in western Hawaiʻi by more than 442,778 square miles, was the key highlight of the IUCN World Conservation Congress currently taking place in Hawai'i. Obama's single act of enlarging Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is the swansong of the congress as his signature created theby world`s largest protected area. The IUCN World Conservation Congress takes place after every four years and this is the first time in the history of the conservation body tfthat the congress has been held on US soil. The 10-day congress…
By Peter Vusi [Cape Town, South Africa] Only 353 to 522 great white sharks remain in South African waters. This is according to new findings by South Africa’s Stellenbosch University.“The numbers in South Africa are extremely low. If the situation stays the same, South Africa’s great white sharks are heading for possible extinction,” says Dr Sara Andreotti of the Department of Botany and Zoology at Stellenbosch and lead author of the study says. The findings of the research have been published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series and is said to be the largest field study undertaken on the…
By Harry Razafindsionana [Toliary, Madagascar] On June 1st 2016, France and Madagascar officially replaced Japan and Thailand as co-chairs of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) Secretariat. The presidency of ICRI which was created in 1994 bringing together states, international organisations, scientific bodies and civil societies keen to combat the degradation of coral reefs and similar ecosystems, rotates every two years.For France this is a key milestone achievement in two ways. First it comes after Paris hosted the successful Conference of Parties on climate change which culminated into the Paris Agreement. Secondly France, alone has 10% of the coral reefs…
By Henrie Depardieu[Perth, Australia] The US knew about mass coral bleaching currently devastating coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans one year before it occurred. As early as February 2015 the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its, Coral Reefs Watch which is a four-month bleaching outlook report. The findings were not good news as the report indicated the greatest threat for coral bleaching through May 2015 with the western Pacific and Indian Oceans facing the greatest threats. Areas identified as likely to be affected by the bleaching included American Samoa, Samoa, Western Australia, and Indonesia. A…
By Wanjohi Kabukuru[Victoria, Seychelles] Inside the mind of President James Michel of Seychelles [Image: State House Seychelles] “My belief is that the true potential of the Blue Economy will only be realised when its various sectors are separately examined. Thus the likes of shipping, fishing and aquaculture, tourism, sea-floor mining, sea floor mining…… ” “I am an optimist and I believe that things can only get better. As with any crusade there will be setbacks as well as moments of exultation but we are going in the right direction. The Blue Economy will continue to evolve. It will gather further…
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