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Lands of the Gassol community allocated to Dominion Farms, showing the link road constructed by UBRBDA and the community's use of the lands for grazing. Photo: Centre for Environmental Education and Development.

Nigerian farmers face destitution from 300 sq.km land grab backed by UK aid

Oliver Tickell

28th January 2015

Development secretary Justine Greening is facing questions over UK involvement in a massive land-grab in Nigeria that is evicting local farmers from 300 square kilometres of fertile farmland to clear the way for a rice farm owned and controlled from the US and Canada. A 45,000-strong community faces landlessness and destitution. more...
Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) by Noel Reynolds via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

The other reason I joined UKIP - to save our nightingales!

Mark Reckless MP

1st January 2015

When Tory MP Mark Reckless jumped ship to join UKIP last September, one of his reasons - missed by mainstream media - was his outrage at Medway Council's plan to build 5,000 houses on an internationally important sanctuary for nightingales, after ministers tipped the wink that they would 'green-light' the scheme. more...
England's nightingales have suffered a 90% population crash in 40 years, but Medway Council has decided that its 'protected' SSSI sanctuary is fair game for development. Photo: John Bridges / RSPB.

Nightingales at risk as housebuilding threatens 'protected' SSSI breeding site

Robin McKie, the Guardian Environment

1st January 2015

Disaster threatens England's nightingales, already down 90% in 40 years, if ministers fail to block a plan to build 5,000 homes on SSSI breeding site in Kent. But as Robin McKie writes, the government is showing no sign of intervening, as campaigners warn of an 'open season' for development on our most important wildlife sites. more...
Fishing boats on Sasyk Lyman were abandoned following the collapse of its marine fishery. Photo: Dimeter Kenarov.

A failed Soviet irrigation project brings eco-apocalypse to SE Ukraine

Dimiter Kenarov

29th December 2014

In 1976, it looked like a good idea: to divert the waters of the Danube into a salt-water lagoon on Ukraine's Black Sea coast, and irrigate millions of hectares of arid steppe land, writes Dimiter Kenarov. But the result has been human and environmental disaster on an epic scale. more...
Stonehenge itself may benefit from the tunneling - but at the expense of the its wider landscape in the 27 sq.km World Heritage Site. Photo: Todd via Flickr.

Stonehenge World Heritage Site at risk from A303 tunnel plans

Kate Fielden

13th December 2014

The government's plans to tunnel the A303 under the Stonehenge World Heritage Site has one grievous flaw, writes Kate Fielden. The tunnel is too short, so huge portals and graded junctions at both ends would lie entirely within the WHS causing huge damage to landscape and wipe out archaeological remains. more...
Solar reflectors being cleaned at the Ain Beni Mathar Integrated Combined Cycle Thermo-Solar Power Plant in Morocco. The World Bank provided technical assistance and managed the overall project. Photograph: Dana Smillie / World Bank.

World Bank to focus on 'all forms of renewable energy'

John Vidal / the Guardian

25th November 2014

The president of the World Bank has promised to back out of financing coal developments, and instead target its finance at 'every dimension of renewable energy' under a new climate-friendly strategy. more...
Zekiye Ozdemir and Gulseren Caliskan, both 70, maintain their daily vigil directly in front of a large iron police barrier  at the construction site on the edge of Validebag Grove, Istanbul. Photo: Nick Ashdown.

'Fake environmentalists' battle for Istanbul's last forest

Nick Ashdown

26th November 2014

After Gezi Park, another battle for one of Istanbul's increasingly rare green spaces is raging, writes Nick Ashdown - and this time it's on the city's Asian side. Demonstrators are holding a 24-hour vigil on the edge of an 'illegal' construction site at Validebag Grove - despite having been repeatedly detained and attacked by police. more...
Digital Green records a discussion on best agronomic practice with an Ethiopian farmer for dissemination among his peers. Photo: Digital Green.

New technologies can help poor farmers - just not the ones you're thinking of

Tony Juniper

18th November 2014

Modern technology has a lot to offer small farmers in poor countries, writes Tony Juniper - just not the GMOs and pesticides that are widely touted. But how about film, digital communications and smart phones? These new media can empower farmers and allow them to share knowledge and experience of how to produce more, from less. more...
The view from Port Meadow, before and after. Original photos from Save Port Meadow.

Oxford University must put right the damage it has caused

Matthew Sherrington

14th November 2014

The country's first ever retrospective EIA finds that eight five-storey accommodation blocks built by Oxford University caused 'substantial' damage to historic views of the City's dreaming spires, writes Matthew Sherrington. Planners and University want to 'learn lessons' and move on - but campaigners are determined to cut the carbuncles down to size ... more...
Saved - for now. Hopwas Woods, Staffordshire. Photo: James Broad / Woodland Trust.

Ancient Woodland saved from quarrying

Oliver Tickell

31st October 2014

Lafarge Tarmac has withdrawn its bid to quarry Hopwas Woods following a huge local and national campaign. It's a victory to celebrate - but as the Woodland Trust points out, it also shows that none of our ancient woodland is truly safe from destructive development. more...
An enormous plantation cut from the Liberian rainforest. Photo: Chulius Caesar via Flickr.

Oil palm explosion driving West Africa's Ebola outbreak

Richard Kock

29th October 2014

The medical response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been monstrously inadequate, writes Richard Kock. But so has been recognition of the underlying causes - in particular the explosive spread of industrial oil palm, which disrupts the ecology of forests and farms, and undermines local economy and traditional governance, leading to a 'perfect storm' of disease. more...
Texaco's signature, written in oil, at Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr.

Latin American progressives and environmental duplicity

Daniel Macmillen

26th October 2014

Left wing governments across the Americas are faced with a dilemma, writes Daniel Macmillen - high social spending programs financed by income from destructive mining and hydrocarbon extraction - or a slower but sustainable development path that puts ecology, equity and justice first. Their answer - a constant pushing back of the resource frontier. more...

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The Balbina Dam reservoir. Photo: via Greenpeace.

Brazil's giant dam programme is a climate disaster

Helle Abelvik-Lawson / Greenpeace

28th October 2014

Brazil's newly elected Dilma Rousseff is committed to completing the disastrous Belo Monte dam, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson. Worse, she looks certain to press ahead with the industrialisation of the Amazon, with 61 hydroprojects in the pipeline. And new scientific findings about the massive climate impacts of tropical forest dams are not about to stop her. more...
The women of the village of Akbarpura in Alwar District, Rajasthan, have formed a self help microfinancing group. They meet every fortnight and collect money from each of their members on which they give out small loans - for a new buffallo or a water-pum

Loan sharking and microfinance: What's the difference?

David Hulme & Mathilde Maitrot

7th October 2014

Microfinance - lending poor people small sums to capitalise sustainable, profitable livelihoods and businesses - is widely lauded as a 'good thing'. And at its best, so it is. But some micro-lenders in south Asia operate with the methods, and ethics, of loan sharks, write David Hulme & Mathilde Maitrot. Can microfinance save its soul? more...

Extreme Inequality

Mark Goldring

6th October 2014

The massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of a few people presents a significant threat to democracy and wellbeing. Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, calls for a more progressive agenda for the redistribution of wealth. more...
Nightingale singing in a hawthorn tree. Photo: John Bridges / rspb-images.com.

Housing against nightingales - no way!

Martin Harper / RSPB

8th September 2014

A 5,000-house development has just won planning permission on a SSSI nature area in Kent which is home to over 1% of the UK's nightingales. It violates government planning policies, and ministers have the power to stop it. But will they? Yes they will, writes Martin Harper - provided enough people show they care! more...
A forest of giant bamboo near Kyoto, Japan. Photo: Trey Ratcliff via Flickr.

Steel and concrete, give over to the new kid - bamboo

Dirk Hebel

4th September 2014

The global construction industry is dominated by steel and concrete, writes Dirk Hebel - but it doesn't have to be that way. There's a strong, fast-growing, climate-friendly, sustainable material ready and waiting. Bamboo could be the basis of a whole new 'green' building industry, that also provides abundant rural livelihoods. more...
What will GM crops ever do for her? Neil Palmer / CIAT, CC BY-SA

Kenya chooses GMOs - but there are smarter ways to feed Africa

Andrew Adam-Bradford

9th August 2014

GM crops may benefit agribusiness, writes Andrew Adam-Bradford. But they offer little to Africa or the millions of farming communities that feed the continent. Rather than impose corporate 'solutions', governments should invest in indigenous agro-ecological farming. more...
As far as REDD is concerned, this eucalyptus plantation in South Africa is as good as - or even better than - a natural forest of native species. Photo: Chris Lang via Flickr.

REDD - destroy the forests, seize the profits, blame the victims

Chris Lang

7th August 2014

The World Bank's 'Tropical Forest Action Plan' was an abject failure, writes Chris Lang. Now the same mistakes are being repeated under a new acronym. TFAP is out, REDD is in - but it's still all about corporate control of forests, and blaming deforestation on its victims. more...
Could his loss be Israel's gain? A destroyed house in Gaza and its distraught owner, 22nd July 2014. Photo: Mohammed Al Baba / Oxfam International via Flickr.

Gaza - is annexation Israel's 'permanent solution'?

Oliver Tickell

31st July 2014

As Israel pursues its war on Gaza with ever-increasing ferocity, and with 25% of Gaza's people forced from their homes, what's the final objective? It's unthinkable that Israel's aim is to 'cleanse' the territory of its people, seize its vast gas reserves, and annex some of the Med's hottest real estate. Isn't it? more...
A Jarawa woman and boy by the side of the Andaman Trunk Road. Photo: © Salomé / Survival.

Andaman tribe threatened by illegal 'human safari' road upgrade

The Ecologist

15th July 2014

An illegal road on India's Andaman Islands has already opened up a 55,000 year old tribe to disease, sexual abuse and the theft of their resources. But instead of closing the road, local politicians are upgrading it with two new bridges. more...
A clean energy campaigner shields his face in front of the Kosovo B coal power station, which is doing much to destroy the small nation's health. Photo: Sierra Club.

US and World Bank must stop funding overseas coal

Michael Brune

2nd July 2014

The World Bank is still deciding how to respond to Kosovo's request for funds to build a new 600MW power station burning filthy 'brown coal', writes Michael Brune. It's time for the World Bank, with strong US backing, to give the project a firm 'no way'! more...
Dryden, New York - We did it! Photo: Earthjustice.

New York communities triumph over fracking companies

The Ecologist

1st July 2014

After a five year battle against fracking companies, the New York Court of Appeals has ruled that towns and cities can pass zoning laws that forbid fracking and other industrial land uses. The verdict will inspire other communities across the USA to enact similar measures. more...
Criminals? Protest against Kundakulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: Joseph Lazer / Wikimedia Commons.

India - now nuclear and environmental dissent is a crime

Kumar Sundaram

4th July 2014

In modern India any form of dissent from the neoliberal corporate model of development is being criminalised, writes Kumar Sundaram. Opponents of nuclear power, coal mines, GMOs, giant dams, are all under attack as enemies of the state and a threat to economic growth. more...
The solar scheme is planned for Ellough airfield, near this g-kart circuit and next to an industrial estate. Photo: Blue Square Thing via Flickr.

Solar farm go ahead after High Court quashes Pickles's unlawful refusal

The Ecologist

26th June 2014

The High Court has overturned a 'fatally flawed' decision by Eric Pickles MP to refuse planning permission for a locally popular 24MW solar farm on former WW2 airfield in Suffolk, England, close to an industrial estate and go-kart circuit. more...

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