OSLO, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Valuable mangrove forests that
protect coastlines, sustain sealife and help slow climate change
are being wrecked by the spread of shrimp and fish farms, a
U.N.-backed study showed on Wednesday.
About a fifth of mangroves worldwide have been lost since
1980, mostly because of clearance to make way for the farms
which often get choked with waste, antibiotics and fertilisers,
according to the study.
OSLO/LONDON (Reuters) – Rich nations are dismaying developing countries with pledges merely to continue aid to help them combat climate change in 2013 despite past promises of a tenfold surge to $100 billion a year by 2020.
“There should be a transparent process to scale up finance” towards 2020, said Seyni Nafo of Mali, spokesman for the 54-nation African group at U.N. negotiations. The poor needed more than “an indication that funding will not fall off a cliff”.
Oct 31 (Reuters) – A huge storm barrels down on the United
States, wreaking havoc with punishing winds, record flooding,
heavy snowfall and massive blackouts. Is the main culprit
climate change or a freak set of coincidences?
Sandy wiped out homes along the New Jersey shore, submerged
parts of New York City, and dumped snow as far south as the
Carolinas. At least 50 people were reported killed in the United
States, on top of 69 in the Caribbean, while millions of people
were left without power. For full coverage, see:
OSLO, Oct 30 (Reuters) – “Ocean grabbing” or aggressive
industrial fishing by foreign fleets is a threat to food
security in developing nations where governments should do more
to promote local, small-scale fisheries, a study by a U.N.
expert said on Tuesday.
The report said emerging nations should tighten rules for
access to their waters by an industrial fleet that is rapidly
growing and includes vessels from China, Russia, the European
Union, the United States and Japan.
OSLO (Reuters) – Pesticides used in farming are also killing worker bumblebees and damaging their ability to gather food, meaning colonies that are vital for plant pollination are more likely to fail when they are used, a study showed on Sunday.
The United Nations has estimated that a third of all plant-based foods eaten by people depend on bee pollination and scientists have been baffled by plummeting numbers of bees, mainly in North America and Europe, in recent years.
OSLO (Reuters) – About a dozen companies are contributing to a novel conservation plan that pays Ecuador to protect part of the Amazon rainforest in return for barring oil drilling, the head of the initiative said on Friday.
Ivonne Baki said the scheme to conserve the Yasuni area of the Amazon basin, launched by leftist president Rafael Correa in 2010, has so far raised about $200 million, mostly from foreign governments.
FULUFJALLET, Sweden, Oct 19 (Reuters) – On a windswept
Swedish mountain, a 10,000-year-old spruce with a claim to be
the world’s oldest tree is getting a new lease of life thanks to
global warming, even as many plants are struggling.
Scientists are finding that the drift of growing areas for
many plants out toward the poles is moving not in a smooth
progression but in fits and starts, causing problems for farmers
aiming to adapt and invest in cash crops that are more sensitive
to climate than is this ancient conifer known as “Old Tjikko”.
OSLO (Reuters) – The world’s urban areas will more than double in size by 2030, presenting an opportunity to build greener and healthier cities, a U.N. study showed on Monday.
Simple planning measures such as more parks, trees or roof gardens could make cities less polluted and help protect plants and animals, especially in emerging nations led by China and India where city growth will be fastest, it said.
OSLO (Reuters) – Some of the fiercest objections to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union on Friday came from Norway, home of the prize.
The country is not in the European Union and voted twice against joining. Friday’s announcement reopened political divisions and prompted calls for a review of how the committee that chooses the laureates is appointed.
OSLO, Oct 12 (Reuters) – The Nobel Peace Prize Committee
announces its 2012 winner on Friday with prize watchers
favouring dissidents from Russia and Belarus or religious
leaders working on Muslim-Christian reconciliation.
“It was a unanimous decision and it was not particularly
complicated,” Thorbjoern Jagland, the head of the selection
committee, told the Aftenposten newspaper.