In September 2015, UN member states set a goal of halting deforestation by 2020 as part of its “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” But according to Frances Seymour, distinguished senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, “we seem to be going in the wrong direction.” Satellite data gathered by the University of Maryland and recently released via Global Forest Watch, an online forest monitoring platform directed by the WRI, indicate that 2019 was the third highest year for tropical primary forest loss since the turn of the century.
The trade in wild animals is coming under increasing pressure to shut down, ever since the source of the Covid-19 pandemic was linked to a "wet market" in Wuhan, where throngs of customers shop for live animals held in cramped quarters, according to FERN's latest story, by Brian Barth. (No paywall)
In recent months, the media have been abuzz about a series of studies that describe a looming "insect apocalypse," a steady loss of bugs that would eventually put all life on earth at risk. Now Mongabay, an online magazine that covers environmental science and conservation issues, has launched a four-part series that will examine the science behind these studies to determine whether the conclusions are premature.
Global populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have declined, on average, by 60 perent since 1970s, said the World Wildlife Fund in its Living Planter Report 2018 on Monday. "The top threats to species identified in the report are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation and over-exploitation of wildlife," said WWF.
Salvatore Ceccarelli knew he was engaging in a subversive act when, in 2010, he took two twenty kilo sacks of bread and durum wheat seeds from a seed bank outside of Aleppo, Syria and brought them to Italy during a visit back to his home country. Now, seven years later, those seeds from the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of domesticated agriculture, with thousands of years of evolution behind them, are poised to challenge the system of plant patenting in Europe, and, soon enough perhaps, the United States.
A new analysis of data from a number of sources, by researchers at Smithsonian and the University of Michigan, found that biodiversity plays an even greater role in ecosystem resilience and overall health than previously thought—more important than even temperature and nutrients. The analysis was published in the journal Nature.
A sixth mass extinction of the planet’s species is already underway — and worse than thought, says new research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A bill in the Vermont Senate calls for a statewide soil regeneration program, with regular soil testing to certify that farms are improving the health of their soil through carbon content and depth of topsoil. The bill is part of a sweep of similar legislation in California, Oklahoma and Utah.
An unexpected thaw of Arctic permafrost let water into the famed "doomsday" seed vault 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole, reported Reuters. The water, halted in the entrance hall of the seed repository, "had no impact on millions of seeds of crops including rice, maize, potatoes and wheat that are stored more than 110 metres inside the mountainside," said the news agency.
Back-to-back coral bleachings in 2016 and 2017 have left only the southern third of the Great Barrier Reef untouched, and experts are predicting the death of the entire ecosystem.