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Ecologist Special Report: From fish to forests and conflicts to coffee...how humans are affected by climate-driven species shifts

Tero Mustonen & Hannibal Rhoades

20th April, 2017

Climate change has species on the move, with major consequences for biodiversity and human communities write TERO MUSTONEN and HANNIBAL RHOADES. Building resilience has never been more important and Indigenous Peoples are showing the way more...

Special Investigation: How bullying and intimidation in abattoirs threatens food safety checks

Andrew Wasley

19th April 2017

An official vet talks with with abattoir staff during the slaughter of sheep. Photo: Animal Aid. A Unison survey of UK meat hygiene inspectors found that, last year, 51% of respondents had been the victim of bullying and harassment. One inspector said the situation was so bad he had considered suicide. Campaigning reporter, ANDREW WASLEY investigates more...

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Lies, damned lies and twisted statistics - fake science set to kill 100,000 English badgers

Tom Langton

13th April 2017

Another 100,000 English badgers could be shot because of fake science and faker statistics. Photo: Tom Langton. Note that no badgers died or suffered to produce this photograph! The government / NFU badger culling policy is based on a single study, the Randomised Badger Culling Trials (RBCT), which found that area-wide badger killing reduced TB 'breakdowns' in cattle herds. But a robust reanalysis of the RBCT data reveals that culling is entirely ineffective, writes Tom Langton. The only scientifically valid conclusion is that culling badgers has no effect on TB in cattle. Defra and Natural England must think again! more...

False promise: nuclear power: past, present and (no) future

David Elliott

12th April 2017

False promise ... Wylfa 2 nuclear power station glowing in the dark on Anglesey, Wales. Photo: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Nuclear power was originally sold on a lie, writes Dave Elliott. While we were being told it would make electricity 'too cheap to meter', insiders knew it cost at least 50% more than conventional generation. Since then nuclear costs have only risen, while renewable energy prices are on a steep decline. And now the nuclear behemoths are crumbling ... not a moment too soon. more...

Colonialism, climate change and the need to defund DAPL

Amy Hall

10th April 2017

Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (Bakken / DAPL) near New Salem, North Dakota, August 2016. Photo: Tony Webster via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). British firms lie deep at the heart of the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy, writes Amy Hall. Barclays, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland have lent $800m to Energy Transfer Partners and its subsidaries, London-based Commercial Bank of China has loaned $120m, and RBS $250m, while HSBC and Barclays own over $110m worth of shares in project partner Phillips 66. more...

The dark legacy of China's drive for global resources

William Laurance

11th April 2017

Chinese-built road under construction through rainforest in Mouloundou Department, Ogooue-Lolo, Gabon. Photo: jbdodane via Flickr (CC BY-NC). As China pursues a startling array of energy, mining, logging, agricultural, transport and other infrastructure projects on virtually every continent, it is having an unprecedented impact on the planet, writes William Laurance. It's not that China is any worse than historic colonial powers - the difference is in the sheer scale and pace of environmental destruction, and the total lack of oversight under which Chinese mega-corporations operate. more...

Ecologist Special Report: A multinational fracking boom begins in Colombia

Sebastian Ordoñez and Daniel MacMilllen Voskoboynik

7th April, 2017

Information from Colombia's National Hydrocarbons Agency shows that at least 43 new fracking concessions have been handed out to multinational companies including Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Drummond. These concessions affect over three hundred municipalities, in the departments of Cesar, Santander, Boyacá, Cundinamarca and Tolima. SEBASTIAN ORDOÑEZ and DANIEL MACMILLEN VOSKOBOYNIK report. more...

Landmark Conference Set To Give Environmentalism A Morale Boost

Marcus Nield

6th April, 2017

The Conservation Optimism Summit, (taking place on 20th-22nd April), is gathering together some of the biggest names in conservation to share the oft-neglected triumphs. Stories of mass reforestation and renewable technologies might not get a look-in on the front pages, but they constitute a breath of fresh air writes MARCUS NIELD more...

Indonesia: Villagers resist eviction for 50 sq.km airport city on their land

Rose Bridger

5th April 2017

Last November 17, 2,000 police rushed onto farmland to enforce land measurement for Kertajati Airport. Photo: Walhi Jawa Barat. Ten villages and surrounding farmland have already been wiped from the map for a 50 sq.km airport and surrounding 'aeropolis' or airport city in West Java, Indonesia, writes Rose Bridger. And while investors are offered an 'attractive incentives plan', villagers are subject to fierce state repression and brutality. Now only a single village remains standing, but residents continue to resist eviction and demand an end to the project. more...

Ecologist Special Report: The Indigenous Communities fighting oil companies in the Peruvian Amazon

Arthur Wyns

5th April, 2017

The Indigenous Peoples of Standing Rock are by no means alone in their struggle for the recognition and preservation of their native lands: a very similar story of resistance against oil extraction is taking place further south, and has been going on for almost half a century, namely the fight of the Indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon against oil pollution and oppression, writes biologist ARTHUR WYNS more...

'New Breeding Techniques' and synthetic biology - genetic engineering by another name

Helena Paul, Elisabeth Bücking & Ricarda A. Steinbrecher

4th April 2017

Does this look like genetic engineering to you? Crystal Structure of Cas9 in Complex with Guide RNA and Target DNA. By Hiroshi Nishimasu, F. Ann Ran, Patrick D. Hsu, Silvana Konermann, Soraya I. Shehata, Naoshi Dohmae, Ryuichiro Ishitani, Feng Zhang, and Advocates claim that synthetic biology and the so-called New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) are distinct from genetic engineering (GE), write Helena Paul, Elisabeth Bücking & Ricarda Steinbrecher. In fact synthetic biology and NBTs carry similar risks to old-style GE, and even create novel hazards. The 'new GE' techniques - as they should be named - and their products deserve regulation at least as strict as those applying to GMOs. more...

We need a new story: the Greens can help write it

Elizabeth Wainwright

3rd April, 2017

Reflecting on the take home messages from the weekend's UK Green Party conference ELIZABETH WAINWRIGHT says she was listening to a party seeking out new spaces for us to come together - to create a new vision and make it reality more...

Saving the Venezuelan Amazon: mega-nature reserve? Or mega-mining frontier?

Lucio Marcello

30th March 2017

At risk: Canaima National Park in the Venezuelan Amazon headwaters. Photo: Antonio Jose Hitcher (@antoniohitcher). Venezuela is set to hand over 12% of the nation's territory in the upper reaches of the Amazon rainforest to mining corporations, writes Lucio Marcello, with 150 companies from 35 countries poised to devastate the army-controlled 'special economic zone'. But resistance is growing, and a counter-proposal aims to protect the area's precious biodiversity, indigenous cultures and water resources in a new South Orinoco Mega Reserve. more...

Announcing the 2017 winners of The Leontief Prize for Economics

Nick Meynen

29th March, 2017

This year's prestigious Leontief Prize for economics has been awarded to Professors James Boyce and Joan Martinez-Alier for their ground-breaking theoretical and applied work integrating ecological, developmental, and justice-oriented approaches into the field of economics. They are worthy winners, says NICK MEYNEN more...

The oilpalm connection: is the Sumatran elephant the price of our cheap meat?

Philip Lymbery / CIWF

28th March 2017

Sumatran elephant at Tangkahan, Sumatra, Indonesia. The species' native rainforest habit is fast giving way to thousands of square miles of palm oil plantation. Photo: Vincent Poulissen via Flickr (CC BY-SA). We may know that palm oil is wiping out rainforests worldwide, writes Philip Lymbery. But few realise that our factory farmed meat and dairy are contributing to the problem. As revealed in Philip's new book, 'Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were', palm kernels, left after pressing the fruit for oil, is a protein-rich livestock feed of growing importance. And nowhere is the impact greater than Sumatra, home (for now) to its own unique species of elephant. more...

Ecologist Special Report: Why mining and violence are inextricably linked

Jasper Finkeldey

27th March, 2017

The South African government is currently embarking on streamlining decision-making processes in mining. To many this sounds like more top-down decision-making at the expense of those communities that will have to host mines and paves the way for more violent conflict, warns JASPER FINKELDEY more...

War, human rights and biodiversity: turning conflict into conservation

Alex Reid

23rd March 2017

Eric Dooh from Goi, plaintiff in the Dutch court case against Shell for oil pollution in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, a biodiversity hotspot in which conflict has been raging for decades. Photo: Milieudefensie / Akintunde Akinleye via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Over 90% of major armed conflicts between 1950-2000 occurred in countries containing biodiversity hotspots,writes Alex Reid, and more than 80% of these took place in the hotspot areas themselves. This poses a major challenge to the conservation community: to work in combat zones to strengthen environmental protection before, during and after conflicts. Or better still, to defuse incipient conflicts and resolve those under way, to reduce their toll on people, and nature. more...

World Bank claims 'sovereign immunity' to escape liability for its crimes against humanity

Pete Dolack

23rd March 2017

A dirt road near Dinant Corporation's El Tumbador plantation, Honduras, where the corporation is locked into a deadly land war with local campesino communities. Photo: ICIJ via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). World Bank projects have left a worldwide trail of evictions, displacements, rapes, murders, forest destruction, greenhouse-gas-belching fossil fuel projects, and destruction of farmland and water sources, writes Pete Dolack. But even as internal reports admit the Bank's wrongdoing, it is asserting its immunity from legal action as terrorised communities seek redress in the courts. more...

How to fix the East Africa Crisis

Joe Ware

22nd March, 2017

The world is seeing the human cost of climate disruption playing out across the Horn of Africa. Severe droughts, erratic rainfall and rising temperatures have tipped nations towards famine and left communities fighting for survival. But it's also a man-made crisis and one that we can address both in the short and long term reports JOE WARE more...

Ecologist Special Report: Colombian Coffee Growers Adapt to a Changing Climate

Forest Ray

21st March, 2017

Growing coffee is both a point of pride and a significant economic driver for Colombia but a changing climate is now threatening the harvest. FOREST RAY reports on the new challenges facing growers from that country more...

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