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May 30, 2016

Australian Opposition Leader pledges to save The Great Barrier Reef

Australian Opposition Leader pledges to save The Great Barrier Reef

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten, speaking in Cairns today has pledged a $500 million fund towards research and environmental programs to help protect Australia’s environmental icon.

File photo of The Great Barrier Reef QLD, Australia
Image: Jorge Láscar.

Mr Shorten said that the reef was in peril after recent underwater surveys revealed that more than one-third of coral reefs in central and northern regions of The Great Barrier Reef have died as a result of coral bleaching.

“All of this is at risk if serious action is not taken to protect it. The Great Barrier Reef is an environmental treasure Australia holds on trust for the world,” said Mr Shorten.

The surveys were carried out by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, who revealed the bleaching was associated with higher than average water temperatures as a result of El Nino events and is under pressure from climate change.

Initial reports conducted by the ARC claimed that only 7 percent of coral reefs had been left untouched by bleaching. This bleaching event is the third of its kind with notable occurrences in 1998 and 2002. This event it particular has had the biggest impact on the reef so far.

Two weeks ago, James Cook scientists warned that Australia’s environmental icon would be incurable within the next 5 years unless the government commits to spending $10 billion over the next decade.

Mr Shorten is expected to deliver a detailed description of the planning and allocation of funds dedicated towards protecting the reef on Monday.



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Australian Opposition Leader pledges to save Great Barrier Reef

Australian Opposition Leader pledges to save Great Barrier Reef

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Monday, May 30, 2016

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Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten, speaking in Cairns yesterday has pledged an A$500 million fund towards research and programs to help protect Australia’s environmental icon The Great Barrier Reef.

File photo of The Great Barrier Reef.
Image: Jorge Láscar.

Recent surveys indicated coral bleaching has killed more than a third of coral in the Great Barrier Reef’s north and central regions. “All of this is at risk if serious action is not taken to protect it. The Great Barrier Reef is an environmental treasure Australia holds on trust for the world,” said Mr. Shorten.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies performed the surveys. Bleaching is associated with higher-than-average water temperatures resulting from El Niño events, affected by climate change.

ARC said bleaching had affected all but seven percent of the reef. This bleaching event is the third of its kind with notable occurrences in 1998 and 2002. This event in particular has had the biggest impact on the reef so far.

Two weeks ago, James Cook University scientists said the government would have to commit A$10 billion over the next decade or the reef would be incurable in half that time.

$500 million has been promised towards the investment in research and protection of the reef by Mr Shorten over four years.



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Australia left out of the UNESCO report on climate change threat to world heritage sites.

Filed under: Australia,Disputed,Environment,Great Barrier Reef — admin @ 5:00 am

Australia left out of the UNESCO report on climate change threat to world heritage sites.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Last week UNESCO (United Nations Educational and Science Cultural Organization) released a report, looking at the affect global warming is having on 31 different sites in 29 countries. Any mention of Australia, The Great Barrier Reef in particular, was cut from the report. The initial report contained extensive research outlining the affect climate change is having on The Great Barrier Reef, and the threat that Coral Bleaching is imposing on its very existence. Before the report was published, the Environment Department urged the Australian ambassador to UNESCO to have any mention of Australian sites removed. The Environment Department believed that mentioning the impact climate change is having on Australian ecosystems could jeopardize the tourism industry that is based around areas such as the Barrier Reef. The department issued a statement outlining why Australia was cut from the report “The department expressed concern that giving the report the title ‘Destinations at risk’ had the potential to cause considerable confusion.” The department went on to outline that by labelling the reef as a ‘Destination at Risk’ could muddle the issues of world heritage sites and risks arising from climate change and tourism. The decision to remove Australia from this report has raised concerns from members of the public, as well as politicians and environmental experts. Larissa Waters, the Greens Senator from Queensland, said that it was “unbelievable that the response of global warnings about the future of the reef is simply to hide the evidence”. This report comes at a crucial time in the security of the Barrier Reef, studies show that approximately one-third of the northern area of the reef has already died due to enormous amounts of coral bleaching that has occurred over recent years. Experts are blaming this extensive coral bleaching on the extreme El-Nino weather conditions of the past 12 months. Abnormally warm water temperatures cause the coral to release photosynthetic algae. The coral cannot survive without the algae, causing the reef to be destroyed.

Professor Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, outlined the seriousness of this situation “”The key threat to the Great Barrier Reef is climate change – the government has recognised that many times.” Professor Hughes went on to urge the Queensland Government to start taking climate change seriously and to reconsider the impact coal mines are having on Australia’s environment.



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Thailand takes measure to combat coral bleaching

Thailand takes measure to combat coral bleaching

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Thailand Officials have announced they will increase their enforcement of environment-protection laws in order to protect their coral reefs from bleaching. Chinese and Russian tourists are at the forefront of these crack-downs as it was outlined that Phuket tours involving the Chinese and Russians have been a big contributor to their coral bleaching crisis.

Class Act Media report that this warning was put forward by The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources in a meeting which included more than 70 people from Phuket tour operators, tour guides and government agencies. They order the feeding of fish or sea animals in the coral reef areas and stepping on the coral reefs as strictly prohibited. “Persons who fail to follow the above will be punished by law, which is a maximum of one year in prison, a fine of B100,000 or both,” Suchart Rattanareangsri, Director of the DMCR’s Conservation Division, warned.

This forms part of Thailand’s bid to combat coral bleaching and protect the environment.

This warning comes after more than ten popular diving sites in national marine parks in Thailand were closed indefinitely due to coral bleaching and popular beach and diving location, Koh Tachai, in the Andaman Sea was shut down. Thai Officials also announced all tourist activities would be banned at Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui and Koh Khai Nai, all islands off the coast of Phuket.

CNN report that this is due to coral bleaching being at its worst in over six years. A survey performed by the Marine National Park Division has shown that the bleaching has spread widely between 40% and 80% of the reefs along both the east and west coast of Thailand. Koh Chumpon and Koh Ma Prao are among the worst-hit areas with 80% of their coral bleached.

According to National Ocean Service, bleaching occurs when the coral comes under environmental stress such as runoff of fertilisers from the land, temperature of the water and sunlight. It causes coral to expel the algae in their tissue that is responsible for their bright colours and so they turn completely white.

The move puts the environment in front of tourism profit for the country. In Thailand, tourism accounts for 10% of its economy and around 70% of this income is generated by marine tourist activities. Officials were hoping to attract over 32 million tourists in 2016.



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May 28, 2016

Australia removed from major U.N climate change report after government intervention.

Filed under: Australia,Environment,Review — admin @ 5:00 am

Australia removed from major U.N climate change report after government intervention.

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Any mention of Australia has been removed from a final major report on climate change after intervention from the Australian government. The report “The World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate” published by Unesco with the United Nations environment program and the Union of Concerned Scientists was released on Friday.

The draft of the report had a key chapter, on the Great Barrier Reef as well as mentions of Kakadu and Tasmanian forests. The Australian Department of Environment upon seeing a copy of the draft objected to the mentioning of Australian locations, on grounds that it would adversely affect tourism. Unesco then removed any reference to Australia from the final report. The omission of Australia from the report comes less than a year after the Australian Government had Unesco not include The Great Barrier Reef on it’s list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

No sections about any other country were removed, from the report and Australia was the only inhabited continent to have no mentions at all . The report comes as the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing it’s worst crisis in recorded history as unusually warm weather has resulted in 93% of the reef suffering coral bleaching.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Australia removed from major UN climate change report after government intervention

Australia removed from major UN climate change report after government intervention

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Any mention of Australia has been removed from a final major report on climate change after intervention from the Australian government. The report “The World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate” published by Unesco with the United Nations environment program and the Union of Concerned Scientists was released on Friday.

The draft of the report had a key chapter, on the Great Barrier Reef as well as mentions of Kakadu and Tasmanian forests. The Australian Department of Environment upon seeing a copy of the draft objected to the mentioning of Australian locations, on grounds that it would adversely affect tourism. Unesco then removed any reference to Australia from the final report. The omission of Australia from the report comes less than a year after the Australian Government had Unesco not include The Great Barrier Reef on its list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

No sections about any other country were removed from the report and Australia was the only inhabited continent to have no mentions at all. The report comes as the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its worst crisis in recorded history as unusually warm weather has resulted in 93% of the reef suffering coral bleaching.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 19, 2016

Carbon dioxide levels in southern hemisphere exceed 400ppm for first time

Carbon dioxide levels in southern hemisphere exceed 400ppm for first time

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

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The 10th Annual Greenhouse Gas Index of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published on Wednesday May 18, 2016 has stated that during the past 25 years, as a result of human activity,the direct warming effect in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide has increased by 50 percent above pre-industrial levels.

This comes as measurements taken by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) together with Bureau of Meteorology of Australia has shown that for the first time the level of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere of the southern hemisphere has been recorded as rising above the 400 parts per million (ppm) indicator. The Cape Grim recording station located in Tasmania, Australia recorded the level exceeding 400ppm on May 10 with confirmation coming from Casey Station in Antarctica which recorded a level exceeding 400ppm on Saturday. Paul Krummel, Research Group Leader CSIRO, anticipates that these levels will not fall back below 400ppm for many decades.

The CSIRO noted that in the northern hemisphere carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere are already above 400ppm indicator. At present though the level falls back below the 400ppm level, particularly in Spring, due to the northern hemisphere’s large seasonal variations.

According to the CSIRO the concern with the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not that is has exceeded 400ppm but that it increases approximately 3ppm a year and could lead to an increase in global temperatures. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said “This should serve as yet another wake-up call to governments about the need to take urgent action to make the cuts in CO2 emissions necessary to keep global temperature rises to well below 2 degrees celsius.”



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Scientists warn that Great Barrier Reef could be gone within next 5 years if governments do not act now

Scientists warn that Great Barrier Reef could be gone within next 5 years if governments do not act now

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

On Thursday, James Cook scientists warned that The Great Barrier Reef will be incurable within the next 5 years unless the government commits to spending $10 billion to help restore it over the next decade.

File photo of The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Image: Jorge Láscar.

A paper published in the journal Estuarine, suggests there is a huge amount of work that is needed to save the reef and if governments want to avoid permanent damage, they must act now.

Lead author of the paper, Jon Brodie and his colleague Professor Richard Pearson said that the federal election is our last chance to make a difference, as there is not enough being done with the current measures for preserving the reef.

The Great Barrier Reef has been facing a number of threats, with scientists revealing that only 7% of Australia‘s environmental icon has been left untouched by the effects of coral bleaching and water pollution. The mass coral bleaching is linked to significantly higher than average sea temperatures as a result of El Nino events and climate change. Although coral bleaching has occurred before, most notably in 1998 and 2002, this event in particular has had the biggest impact so far.

The government has been called upon to reduce pollution in order for the reef to have a better chance at surviving the inevitable impacts of global warming. Scientists have estimated that $1 billion per year over the next 10 years is needed to fund catchment and coastal management programs that will help improve water quality.

Environment minister, Greg Hunt was unavailable to comment, however his office issued a statement claiming that the Government was doing as much as they could to protect the reef by investing in water improvement projects.

Scientists concluded that if the state of climate change and water pollution continues without immediate action taking place, it is likely that the Great Barrier Reef will be wiped out.



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May 18, 2016

Research suggests that veganism is key to putting a stop towards deforestation

Research suggests that veganism is key to putting a stop towards deforestation

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Meat consumption across the globe is one of the leading causes of deforestation with meat eaters requiring at least double the resources of a vegan or vegetarian.

File photo of Deforestation in the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania
Image: Mohsin Karmali.

A study published in Nature Communications and undertaken by Professor Karlheinz Erb and his colleagues at the Institute of Social Ecology at the Alpen-Adria University in Vienna, suggest that a global shift in veganism and reduced meat consumption could guarantee that we have enough food for a growing population in 2050 without having to cut down trees.

The research team found that deforestation is not a biophysical necessity, by testing over 500 food-supply scenarios in a hypothetical world where deforestation did not exist. Results were obtained through the use of regional forecasts for crop yields, the extent of land used as cropland or as grazing land, livestock feed and human diet supplied by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation. (FAO)

From the results, researchers discovered that nearly two thirds of the 500 scenarios could be feasible options but only 15 of the 500 original ideas that tested a diet consisting mainly of meat permitted to zero deforestation.

Professor Erb said that if the world’s population followed a vegan diet, all combinations of parameters even those with lowest yield levels and low cropland expansion would be feasible and with a vegetarian diet, 94 per cent of all of the calculated scenarios would be feasible.



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March 4, 2016

Gunmen murders Honduran indigenous leader Berta Cáceres

Gunmen murders Honduran indigenous leader Berta Cáceres

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Berta Cáceres, Honduran indigenous leader and environmentalist, was murdered in the first hours of Wednesday when subjects entered her domicile in La Esperanza, Intibucá, one of the eighteen departments in the occidental part of the country. Police noted as the alleged reason of the crime as robbery, but the activist family noted that the homicide occured in retaliation for her activities. The murder occured in a country that has registered nearly 80 murders against environmental activists in the latest years.

The activist, coordinator of the Civic Counsel of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, had denounced fear for her life recently, as informed by her mother Aura Flores. She also accused the assassination of her daughter as a crime for her activities, and reproached the government for not protecting the integrity of Cáceres. Even she said that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had suggested precautionary measures for the activist, which was not fulfilled acording to her mother.

Cáceres, leader of the lenca community, opposed in the latest years to different acts related to the natural resources and the affectation to the Honduran indigenous. One of those, the opposition to the dam of Agua Zarca, a construction that affected the Gualcarque river, considered sacred by the indigenous of the region. Cáceres and the lenca accomplished that one of the biggest hydroelectric enterprises in the world, Synohydro, mark off the proyect as well as the World Bank.

In the attack against Cáceres, would be present mexican activist, Gustavo Castro, who allegedly resulted wounded when the gunmen entered the domicile and commited the crime. Honduran president, Juan Orlando Hernández condemened the act and requested for the prosecution of the country to investigate the crime and take the responsables to the justice.

Cáceres won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015.



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