News Analysis

The disastrous Okiluoto 3 EPR reactor under construction in Finland. The project is taking twice as long to complete, and costing twice as much, as promised. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Time and money run out for nuclear revival
17th January 2017

The nuclear industry faces an uncertain future as the reactor building boom is struck by unexpected costs, serious technical problems, and long, expensive delays, writes Paul Brown. Meanwhile renewables like wind and solar are offering investors an enviable combination of falling cost, low risk, fast build times, predictable returns and minimal long term liabilities.

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Scientists highlight the critical role of birds in forest regeneration
16th January, 2017

The loss of birds could significantly impact efforts to combat deforestation, according to research from scientists looking at species across the Brazilian Amazon. LAURA BRIGGS reports

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Devon Wildlife Trust is crowdfunding for the reintroduction of beavers
13th January, 2017

In 2020 the fate of Devon's River Otter wild beavers will be decided. With Chris Packham backing the campaign to save the species and the protection of beavers into Scotland recently getting the go-ahead, the outlook is bright for the species.LAURA BRIGGS reports

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Ecologist Special Report: Impending vote on the Canada trade deal which forced tar sands on Europe
11th January 2017

EU-Canada trade deal CETA, like its more well-known ‘evil twin' deal, TTIP, is a new form of trade deal which targets the removal of social, health and environmental regulations, locks in privatisation of public services and introduces a ‘corporate court' system so big business across North America can sue European governments in a private justice system. Worse still, CETA will worsen runaway climate change warns MARK DEARN

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Krakow is fighting back against the rising tide of electromagnetic smog amid increasing evidence of its harmful effects. Photo: when i was a bird via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Krakow's bold step to curb electromagnetic pollution reflects growing evidence of harm
12th January 2017

As Kraków, Poland's second city, takes steps to protect its citizens from rising electromagnetic 'smog' from mobile phones, wifi, Bluetooth, smart meters and other devices, Lynne Wycherley summarises 2016's news highlights on the emerging bio-risks of rising exposure to non-ionisiong radiation. For how much longer can governments continue to ignore the growing evidence of harm?

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Green Living

The Challenges of Green Living - Can He Have A Dog?
13th January, 2017

In the first of his new Ecologist columns on the ups and downs of trying to live a Greener, low-impact lifestyle, writer PAUL MILES debates the eco pros and cons of getting his first dog

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Solar-powered electric buses ‒ a UK first
10th January, 2017

With the UK capital struggling to get commuters to work on time following strike action by tube and train drivers this week, JAN GOODEY reports on a project that will bring the first solar-powered electric buses to the public in the Spring

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Morning Sun Beams on the Thomas Divide in North Carolina as seen from Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where the Appalachian Trail crosses US 441. Photo: John Britt via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Fire, snow and mist: resilience and the way of the Smoky Mountains
13th December 2016

This summer, the Smoky Mountains burned, writes Grant A. Mincy. The aftermath is terrible to behold. But with the autumn rains and winter snow, life is returning, and a new cycle of regeneration is under way. Once again we witness the beating heart of the forest: water travels the vascular tissue of the trees and transpires over the valley and ridge. The wilderness is breathing.

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Campaigning

Workshop at the 2013 FanFest at Rosia Montana, which attracted thousands to the small village and stimulated a new round of activism to defeat the gold mine. Photo: Jan Slangen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Rosia Montana: how Romanians united to save a mountain village from mining apocalypse
11th January 2017

Last week's decision by the Romanian government to seek UNESCO World Heritage status for Rosia Montana, a historic Carpathian mountain village under threat of gold mining, is a massive victory for campaigners after a hard 15-year struggle, writes Alexandru Predoiu - one that has united farmers, city-dwellers and new-age protestors against cultural and ecological destruction.

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CDC's development model in microcosm? Girl begging outside McDonalds outlet, India. Photo: Jon Ardern via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

UK's 'development for profit' private equity arm set to grab £6 billion of aid funds
10th January 2017

A bill to quadruple the UK's aid funding to a profit-driven 'private equity' company owned by the government comes before MPs today for its third reading, writes Global Justice Now. Trouble is the investments do little or nothing for the poor, and instead entrench corporate power in health, education and infrastructure. Parliament should seize this last chance to reject the new law.

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Endangered by the illegal trade in rhino horn, much of which is exported to China in a trade largely operated by Chinese citizens: White Rhino at Okaukuejo, Oshikoto, Namibia. Photo: Paolo Lucciola via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

China must take responsibility for its citizens' wildlife crimes in Africa
6th January 2017

Chinese citizens are responsible for much of the wildlife crime taking place in Namibia, inflicting immense damage to the country's environment, and undermining community based conservation, writes the Namibian Chamber of Environment in this Open Letter to China's Ambassador Xin Shunkang. China must act to stop its citizens' criminal activities, and invest in making good the damage caused.

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Interviews

The Arts Interview - The 'real' Lesley Hilling
28th November, 2016

Lesley Hilling is a core member of Human Nature - a group of 30 like-minded artists aiming to change the way people think and act about the natural environment through their work. GARY COOK visits her London home and studio to learn more

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Caleb Behn. Photo: Caleb Behn / Fractured Land.

Caleb Behn: 'After oil & gas, no amount of money can restore your fractured land'
24th November 2016

The jobs and quick money that fracking can generate may seem initially attractive, indigenous Canadian activist Caleb Behn told Jen Stout on his recent visit to Scotland. But after decades of oil and gas production, the ineradicable legacy is of fractured landscapes and long-term pollution. 'My land is bisected, divided, by pipelines, roads, well sites, pads, all that. It's really hard on my heart.'

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Essays

Professor Yablokov (1933-2017) with the author, Chris Busby. Photo: ECRR.

He dared to speak the truth: Alexey Yablokov, scientific hero of Chernobyl
16th January 2017

Alexey V Yablokov (1933-2017) was a scientific giant of the post-Chernobyl age, writes Chris Busby. It was he who brought together the work of dissident Soviet scientists and revealed to the world, in English language, the true health impacts of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. His hard work and dedication underlies the continuing opposition to the nuclear industry today.

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Once a rainforest ... land cleared for a palm oil plantation, Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Privatizing nature, outsourcing governance: the economics of extinction
7th November 2016

The 'Global Redesign Initiative', a project of the World Economic Forum, aims to replace UN-based intergovernmental decision-making with unaccountable 'multi-stakeholder governance' run by and for corporations, writes Margi Prideaux. What future for nature and people in this brave new world? Generate profits for investors, or face extinction or exclusion to the margins of existence.

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'Love Planet' by emily792872 via Flickr (CC BY).

Gaia lives! Overcoming our fear of a living planet
21st October 2016

To embrace the Earth as truly alive is a step too far even for many committed environmentalists, writes Charles Eisenstein: worried that others may perceive us as unscientific, childish, woolly-headed and ridiculous. But it's a step we must take: in refusing to recognise the living Gaia that is both our creator and our home, we accept and perpetuate the philosophy of her destroyers.

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Fresh organic 'Heirloom' garlic from New Roots Farm in Newmarket NH, at the Portsmouth, NH farmer's market. Photo: ilovebutter via Flickr (CC BY).

Why the sustainable food movement is unstoppable: it's the philosophy!
3rd October 2016

Members of the food movement share an infectious vision, writes Jonathan Latham - one which is constructive, convivial, classless, raceless, international, and embraces the whole world. Unled yet inspirational, it rests on a novel, harmonious philosophy that combines science, recognition of planetary boundaries, and the universal need for wholesome sustenance.

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Jerusalem artichoke harvest at Sandy Lane Farm, Oxfordshire. Photo: Sandy lane Farm via Facebook.

Good nutrition begins in healthy soils
7th September 2016

There's no such thing as 'healthy food' if it's not produced by sustainable farming systems on living soils, Patrick Holden told the recent 'Food: The Forgotten Medicine' conference. But after 70 years of industrial farming, there's a huge job to be done to restore our depleted soils and the impoverished genetic diversity of our seeds and crops.

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Blogs

Submerged valley near Foel, Wales. Should farmers consider switching to growing rice in their flooded fields? Photo: Jonathan Pagel via Flickr (CC BY).

Climate change and farming: let's be part of the solution!
9th January 2017

What with rising rainfall in the west, and hotter, drier summers in the east, British farmers place plenty of challenges from global warming, writes Anna Bowen. But there are also positive opportunities for agricultural innovators to adapt their farming systems to changing conditions, make their operations more resilient and sustainable, and make themselves part of the solution.

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THE ETHICAL FOODIE - Try A Community Pop UP
20th December, 2016

The local food revolution, its not only under 'weigh', it's kicking ass at last and Pop Ups are both a great addition to the ethical foodie scene and more environmentally friendly than energy-sapping restaurant premises. Give them a try says chef TIM MADDAMS

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"NATURAL CAPITAL" - A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
14th December, 2016

It is easy in a country like the UK to imagine that science and economics command the whole debate about nature's value. But step back and look at the bigger picture internationally, and it all looks rather different writes VICTOR ANDERSON

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WITNESS: South Africa's Parliament split over future of fracking
5th December, 2016

Eight years ago the first exploration applications for unconventional gas extraction were submitted in South Africa. Last week fracking finally received official attention from South Africa's legislature during a debate that revealed how the country's different political parties gauge the benefits and risks linked to the drilling technique. JASPER FINKELDEY was at that debate.

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Traditional agriculture on a farm in Cuba, where organic and agroecological farming now produce most of the nation's food. Photo: Tach_RedGold&Green via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Agroecology versus 'climate smart' - our next big challenge from COP22
30th November 2016

How to make farming 'climate friendly' was one of the hot topics at COP22 in Marrakesh, writes Natalie Bennett, with two contrasting models on show: 'climate smart' agriculture, with its reliance on industrial farming systems; and agroecology, which works with nature to build fertile, high-carbon, moisture-retaining soils, and sustain employment for millions of skilled land workers.

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Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

Brexit: A Modern Day Peasants' Revolt
18 November 2016

Progressive green thinkers have been seduced by the EU, but now it's time for the Greens to seize the moment, reclaim their radical roots and take the lead on Brexit writes PAUL KINGSNORTH

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Comment

Lord Chris Smith, chairman of both the ASA and of the pro-fracking Task Force on Shale Gas, who provided the ASA with evidence in a contentious case involving Friends of the Earth. Photo: ASA website.

Lord Smith's conflict of interest: why we cannot trust the ASA on fracking!
18th January 2017

2017 began with bang for Friends of the Earth, writes Tony Juniper, with a hostile media blitz orchestrated by the fracking industry and abetted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). But the storm, over alleged errors in an FoE leaflet about the hazards of fracking, reveals nothing so clearly as the disgraceful conflict of interest at the top of the ASA itself.

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Photo: World Economic Forum via Fliclr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Cuckoos in the nest: clipping the wings of corporate capitalism
17th January 2017

Global corporations and their lofty princes have outgrown the control of regulators, politicians and society, writes George Feiger. Such is their power that they can extract an ever-growing share of global income, block any moves to limit their freedoms, and loot our future wealth for immediate profit. The first step to regaining control is to keep private money firmly out of politics.

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When degrowth enters the parliament
16th January 2017

Ecological Economist FEDERICO DEMARIA was the youngest panellist at a recent House of Common debate on ‘Degrowth' as a movement gaining traction and now entering the corridors of power. Here's his report on the challenges and tasks ahead

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With most luxury apartments in central London sold off-plan to overseas investors who often leave them empty or use them for a few weeks a year, the UK's social fabric is suffering from unrestricted capital inflows. Photo: Andrea Kirkby via Flickr (CC BY-

Progressive protectionism - the Green case for controlling our borders
13th January 2017

The green movement's squeamish social liberalism has left it to the political right to exploit public concerns about population and immigration, writes Colin Hines. We must make the progressive case for controlling our borders, and restricting not just migration but the free movement of goods, services and capital where it threatens environment, wellbeing and social cohesion.

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New regulations to protect Indonesia's peatlands - like this swamp forest under conversion to plantation - are doomed to failure. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Indonesia's plans to protect its peatland forests are fatally flawed
9th January 2017

Indonesia's plans to meet its Paris Agreement obligations by protecting its swamp forests, the world's biggest land reservoir of carbon, have been acclaimed by the world's press, writes Yuyun Indradi. But they contain so many loopholes and flawed compromises that - unless radically reformed - they are doomed to certain failure.

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The bottom line: post-Brexit, will our countryside be richer, or poorer, in wild-flower meadows like this one near Silsden in West Yorkshire, England? Photo: Steven Feather via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Four essential 'green lines' for Brexit negotiators
5th January 2017

Will the UK keep Theresa May's promise to 'leave the environment in a better state than it found it' in the Brexit negotitions? Or is the government bent on the 'bonfire of red tape', including environmental protections, demanded by right-wing former and serving ministers? Viviane Gravey sets out four 'green lines' by which to judge the Brexiteers' true colours.

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Is this a 'cultural relic'? Carved ivory on sale in Hong Kong, a global centre for the ivory trade and ivory carving. Photo: vince42 via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Chinese ivory ban is a big win for elephants - but the loopholes must be closed
6th January 2017

China's domestic ivory trade ban, which comes into force this year, is a major cause for optimism, writes Aron White. There are still loopholes, such as a partial exemption for 'cultural relics', that need clarifying and closing. Yet the new law sends a strong and timely signal that the global ivory market is progressively shutting up shop.

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Reviews

Bobby the Brown Long-Eared Bat. Image - from website: bobbythebrownlong-earedbat.co.uk.

Twinkle, twinkle ... Bobby the Brown Long-Eared Bat
17th January 2017

This charming and beautifully illustrated story book will give pleasure to children everywhere, writes Lesley Docksey. It will also open their eyes (and with luck, those of parents and siblings) to the wonderful world of bats, and what we can do to look after them.

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From front cover of 'The man who ate the zoo' by Richard Girling, published by Chatto & Windus.

Frank Buckland: 'the man who ate the zoo'
8th November 2016

As Victorian eccentrics go, Frank Buckland was a prime specimen, writes Martin Spray. But this new book about his rich and remarkable life is much more than a collection of anecdotes about his extraordinary doings, his inordinate curiosity about the natural world, and the animals he kept - and ate: a stimulating companion for wet days, cold evenings and wakeful nights.

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You say you want a revolution?
3rd November, 2016

The latest blockbuster exhibition from the V&A celebrates the music of its time and those who are forever linked to it, and one of the key outcomes of this counter-culture revolution was the very first Earth Day on April 22nd 1970.

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Right of Reply

Longleaf Pine Regeneration in South Carolina. Photo: Justin Meissen via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

UK biomass power industry is a vital part of the renewable energy mix
27th October 2016

Contrary to arguments advanced in a recent Ecologist article, the biomass industry supplying the Drax power station in North Yorkshire is a model of sustainability, writes Nina Skorupska, and delivers genuine, substantial emissions reductions compared to coal.

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SBP certification scheme: debunking the myths
7th September, 2016

In a second response to a recent article published in the Ecologist, "Are the UK 'biomass sustainability standards' legitimising forest destruction?", SBP Chief Executive Officer Carstem Huljus debunks the myths in a right of reply

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SCS Global Services Correction to its rebuttal of misleading and inaccurate statements in...


In response to a recent article published in the Ecologist, "Are the UK 'biomass sustainability standards' legitimising forest destruction?", SCS has prepared this point-by-point rebuttal to several misleading and inaccurate statements, and invites readers with additional questions to contact us directly.

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Ecologist Partners

LUSH ethical cosmetics company launches a new Spring Prize fund for regenerative projects
6th January, 2017

Nominations have opened for the new Lush Spring Prize. Launched jointly with the Ethical Consumer Research Association this is a new and very welcome £200,000 annual prize fund that aims to support those projects around the world that work towards environmental and social regeneration.

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Lancashire: a local demonstration against fracking - 'Nanas to the front. Advance!' Photo: Victoria Buchan-Dyer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking trumps climate change, pollution, health - and democracy
13th October 2016

Last week the EU ratified the Paris Agreement to limit climate change, writes Tony Bosworth. So how did Communities Secretary Sajid Javid mark the occasion? By overturning Lancashire's democratic rejection of fracking, so giving a whole new fossil fuel industry the green light to let rip. Hypocrisy? The word hardly does justice to our government's mendacity.

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Calendar

Postgrowth debate on 28 Nov 2016

The End of Growth?
11 November 2016

An evening debate with Federico Demaria, Graeme Maxton, Jørgen Randers and Kate Raworth at the House of Commons, Monday 28 Nov 2016

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Feeding the Insatiable
7th October 2016

An international summit exploring real and imagined narratives of art, energy and consumption for a troubled planet, taking place at Schumacher College, Dartington, on 11th November 2016

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Courses

Yale University Launches Online Specialization Classes Open to the Public
9th September, 2016

If you've got the 'Back to School' bug this week then check out these brand new online courses from the prestigious Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental studies - the courses are based on the award-winning Journey of the Universe film and book

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Educating for Gaia: a wholistic approach to Earth science
28th April 2016

As a society, we are strangely disconnected from the Earth, writes Stephan Harding. It's as if we were aliens placed here to prod and poke with our scientific instruments whilst feeling no sense of meaning, belonging or closeness to her ancient crumpled surface or rich, teeming biodiversity - a state of mind that a forthcoming course at Schumacher College aims to reverse.

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News in Brief

The roadless areas map developed by Roadfree.org and partners. The map referred to in this article is behind Science's paywall!

New map shows way to reducing roads' destruction of nature
18th January 2017

Scientists are calling for the urgent protection of ecologically valuable roadless areas, writes Tim Radford, as a new global map shows that roads lead to loss of biodiversity and damage to ecosystems by fragmenting habitat and providing access to exploiters.

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Riverside rainforest in the Congo basin. Photo: Paul Godard via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

World's biggest tropical carbon sink found in Congo rainforest
16th January 2017

A 145,000 sq km area of peatland swamp forest has been discovered in the Congo Basin, writes Tim Radford, and it holds a record 30 Gt of carbon, equivalent to 20 years of US fossil fuel emissions. Now the race is on to protect it from damaging development that would emit that carbon over coming decades.

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Evicted from their forests for a flawed model of conservation: Baka 'Pygmies' in the Cameroon forest. Photo: ..zuzu.. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

OECD takes up complaint that WWF has funded abuses of Cameroon's forest peoples
12th January 2017

The OECD is pursuing a complaint that WWF has funded abuses against the indigenous forest-dwelling Baka or 'Pygmy' peoples of Cameroon, after determining that its human rights guidelines do apply to WWF owing to the 'commercial nature' of its conservation activities.

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The Brixton Road in South London, already in breach of its NO2 pollution limits for 2017 on the 6th January. Photo: Nico Hogg via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

London breaches air pollution limit for all 2017
6th January 2017

Days into the 2017 pollution limits on the Brixton Road in Lambeth, South London, has already breached EU pollution limits for NO2 for the entire year. Meanwhile UK sales of diesel cars - one of the main causes of NO2 pollution - reached record levels in 2016, reflecting the government's failure to tackle the problem in spite of numerous court orders.

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Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation Rex W. Tillerson. Photo: premier.gov.ru via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY).

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson new US Secretary of State?
12th December 2016

President-elect Trump's widely anticipated appointment of Exxon's CEO Rex Tillerson as new US Secretary of State is creating a government of, by, and for the oil and gas industry, writes Steve Horn.

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White-letter Hairstreak (Satyrium w-album), Parc de Woluwé, Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Frank Vassen via Flickr (CC BY).

Vital EU wildlife laws saved! But will UK keep them after Brexit?
7th December 2016

Two key wildlife laws that underpin nature conservation across the EU will be retained intact, the EU Commission announced today after an 18 month review that generated record public engagement due to fears that they would be weakened. Now campaigners are determined to ensure the UK retains the laws post-Brexit.

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Gene drives could be used, for example, to attack fast-breeding pest species like aphids. But with what consequences on other species and wider ecosystems? Photo: Nigel Jones via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Biodiversity Convention call to block new 'genetic extinction' GMOs
6th December 2016

160 global groups have called for a moratorium on new 'genetic extinction' technology at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Cancun, Mexico. Gene drive technology, they say, poses serious and irreversible threats to biodiversity, national sovereignty, peace and food security.

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'Entry forbidden - Law number 26834 - Law number 28736 - Zone of restricted access owing to the presence of indigenous peoples living in isolation'. Sign in the Manu National Park, Peru. Photo: oarranzli via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Amazon: rainforest road threatens Peru's last isolated tribes
1st December 2016

Peru's Congress may soon approve a road through remote rainforest which is home to the country's last uncontacted tribes. The link to the Inter-Oceanic highway would open the area up to land grabs, wood cutting and gold mining, and expose vulnerable indigenous people to diseases to which they have no immunity.

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Flaring at the Scott Township fracking well, Pennsylvania. Photo: WCN 24/7 via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Climate? What climate? IEA backs fossil-fuelled future
30th November 2016

The International Energy Agency's latest World Energy Outlook is calling for increased investment in new oil and gas, writes Oliver Tickell, while minimising the fast-growing and ever lower-cost contribution to world energy supply of renewables like wind and solar.

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Hvalba beach, Faroe Islands, during a Grindadráp. Photo: Erik Christensen via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Sea Shepherd captain 'guilty' of causing suffering to dolphins
28th November 2016

The captain of a Sea Shepherd speedboat who was attempting to guide a pod of over 200 Atlantic white-sided dolphins from slaughter on a Faroe Islands 'killing beach' has been convicted by a Danish court on animal cruelty charges.

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Scottish beaver seen in 2008. Photo: Paul Stevenson via Flickr (CC BY).

Scotland's wild beavers win legal protection
24th November 2016

The Scottish government has announced that its wild beaver populations will be given the full protection of both UK and EU law. The decision has been welcomed by campaigners who point out all the benefits of beavers to biodiversity, water management and flood control. Now, they say, England and Wales should follow suit.

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High Court gives UK Government eight months to draw up fresh air quality plan

The UK Government has been ordered by a High Court judge to draw up an improved plan by July next year which must bring air pollution within legal limits.

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