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Fauna & Flora, Plan Vivo outline high-integrity principles for biodiversity market
Conservation charity Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and carbon standard Plan Vivo International (PVI) have released a set of proposed high-integrity standards for the emerging voluntary biodiversity credit market to help guard against greenwashing and low-quality units.
BUSINESS & FINANCE
Amazon invests in French biodiversity fund
Amazon has announced it is investing €3 million in CDC Biodiversite’s Fonds Nature 2050 that will support nature and wildlife restoration in France.
Investors launch global commission to drive improvements in mining sustainability
Investors at the London Stock Exchange have launched the Global Investor Commission on Mining 2030 to raise the industry’s sustainability standards across a number of issues, including biodiversity protection.
Triodos Bank funds first nature reserve in rare commercial loan deal
The UK branch of Dutch-headquartered Triodos has loaned £3.75 million to a rewilding charity in the UK for its first of many planned landholding acquisitions meant for nature reserves across the country.
US joins high-ambition coalition ahead of crucial ocean summit
The US is joining the high-ambition coalition on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), a high-level official said Monday, seeking to create some momentum ahead of next month’s summit in New York where world nations hope to agree on an international legally binding BBNJ instrument.
EU launches initiative in fresh bid to tackle pollinator decline
The EU kicked off ‘a new deal for pollinators’ on Tuesday, renewing a 2018 initiative and following up on a citizens’ movement as one in three bee, butterfly, and hoverfly species are currently disappearing.
Australia’s environmental law failing to protect biodiversity, study finds
Australia’s environment protection and biodiversity conservation (EPBC) legislation failed to have any impact on halting species decline and habitat loss over a 15-year period, a University of Queensland study has found, urging the government to change its approach.
BUSINESS & FINANCE
Cheeky move – Scandalous Latvian businessman Ernests Riekts, who is one of the accused in the criminal case regarding a tragic fire in a hostel he owned in Riga, has launched a crowd-funding campaign to purchase an island on the Fiji archipelago. He promises all investors will be able to build their own houses. TV3 programme Neka personiga found out: the island the businessman wants to purchase is a nature reserve, and it is permitted to build only one structure there. (Baltic News Network)
Controversial – The UK government has again given emergency authorisation for the use of a type of pesticide banned because of the harm it can cause bees. Permission to use a neonicotinoid on sugar beet seeds has been given to protect the crop from a particularly damaging virus spread by aphids. The authorisation was given against the advice of an independent panel of pesticide experts. Campaign group Friends of the Earth labelled the move “incredibly brazen”. (BBC)
Debt swap – Portugal has signed an agreement to swap Cape Verde’s debt for investments in an environmental and climate fund that is being established by the archipelago nation off West Africa’s coast, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Monday. Such “debt-for-nature” swap deals are emerging in other countries and are part of attempts to resolve a dilemma faced by world leaders on how and who will foot the bill for actions taken to reduce the impact of climate change. (Reuters)
Expanded protection – A globally endangered rainforest with cedar trees more than 1,000 years old will be permanently protected in a new conservancy in southeast British Columbia, Canada, The 58,000-hectare conservancy in the Incomappleux Valley was announced Wednesday by Premier David Eby, who called the valley’s rare inland temperate rainforest “one of B.C.’s greatest treasures”. Less than five per cent of Canada’s inland temperate rainforest remains, following decades of industrial logging and hydro-electric projects that flooded valley bottoms. (The Narwhal)
And more – Also in Canada, the Manitoba government is designating Moswa Meadows and Fish Lake Fen as provincially significant peatlands to ensure the biodiversity of the two areas is preserved, Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt announced. Specified development activities, including mining, forestry, agriculture and peat harvesting, are now prohibited across the nearly 28,000 hectares that make up Moswa Meadows and Fish Lake Fen to ensure the areas can continue to provide long-term beneficial goods and services including carbon sequestration and storage, water filtration, and flood mitigation. (Manitoba.ca)
Planning ahead – Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has announced a water resources planning scheme for the 2021-30 period with a vision to 2050, according to the Vietnam News Agency. The scheme concretises relevant guidelines and policies adopted by the Party, the National Assembly and the government, an official said, adding that it touches upon issues regarding the management, regulation, distribution, exploitation, and use of water resources in agriculture, industry, fishery, irrigation, urban and rural water supply, and other production and business activities, along with national water resources security.
SCIENCE & TECH
Precarious – The extinction of critically endangered elephants could amplify global warming, scientists have warned. As if the prospect of Earth’s biggest land mammal disappearing forever wasn’t bad enough, losing them would have a potentially devastating impact on the planet’s second-biggest rainforest. The elephant population in the Congo Basin, which spans several countries in central and western Africa, has plummeted in the past decade – down 60% to an estimated 40,000, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. (Sky)
They’re super duper – The decline of coral reefs continues to make headlines. Corals are like the coal-mine canaries of the ocean, sensitive to changes in water temperature, chemistry and sediment levels. As the ocean warms, reef-bleaching heatwaves are becoming more frequent and more severe. Amazingly, some coral communities are surviving them. Experts from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Stanford University are leading a collaborative effort to discover the secrets of these aptly named “super reefs” and help coral reefs persist in a warming world. (Nature)
Bringing them home – In Tasmania, Australia, rewilding with emus might help native plants to cope with a changing climate, according to researchers at University of Tasmania. As our world warms, the places where conditions are just right for particular plant species are shifting. Those plants must disperse far and fast to keep up. Introducing emus, which disperse many plant seeds in their droppings, could help. (Australian Geographic)
Diverse is better – A changing climate is posing threats to birds across Europe and North America by altering their habitats such as through changes in seasonal patterns that result in losses of their food sources. Yet not all avian communities have been equally affected: bird communities with more diverse species in them occupying various niches have fared markedly better over the past half century than birds in functionally simpler communities, scientists say. They reached this conclusion after examining nearly all North American bird species based on changes in their community composition and diversity over the past five decades. Their results were unequivocal: avian communities with higher species richness and a larger variety of behaviours have changed less dramatically in the face of climate change. (Sustainability Times)
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