Category Archives: Conservation

Nature: ‘The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act’ – Benefits To Texas Habitats

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a bipartisan bill that would provide $1.4 billion to state and tribal wildlife conservation initiatives to support at-risk wildlife populations and their habitats. The funding would come from existing revenues and would not require any new taxes.

Texas would receive more than $50 million per year for projects to conserve vulnerable wildlife like the much-loved Texas horned lizard, our state fish the Guadalupe bass, and many songbirds and coastal birds. This funding will also help recover species that are already endangered, such as sea turtles and the Whooping crane. The additional resources are urgently needed to aid fish and wildlife populations under increasing pressure from habitat loss, invasive species, emerging diseases, and extreme weather events in Texas and throughout the country.

Analysis: Why Lumber Prices Have Boomed (WSJ)

Demand for lumber has skyrocketed during the pandemic, sending prices to all-time highs. This video explains what’s driving the lumber boom, who’s profiting, and why those growing the trees aren’t reaping the benefits. Illustration: Liz Ornitz/WSJ

Views: Faughan Valley, Northern Ireland (Video)

The Faughan Valley runs from the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains along the beautiful River Faughan to the outskirts of the city. Covering some 80 square miles, it has been identified as an area of strategic importance thanks to some precious natural features. The river and its tributaries have well-earned environmental designations in recognition of the huge variety of plants and animals. And pockets of precious ancient woodland – a habitat even rarer in Northern Ireland than elsewhere in the UK – dot this famously scenic land.

Conservation: ‘Tides Of Trash’ In The Maldives

Thilafushi, an island of floating rubbish island in the Maldives, grows by a square meter a day. But diving instructor Shaahina Ali is trying to slow that growth by recycling and using floating barriers to hold back the rising seas.

For decades, the Maldives simply dumped the trash the tourists and the island country’s 400 thousand residents generated. Yet Shaahina Ali says that has to stop. Almost every day, the diving instructor and her allies go from island to island in the Indian Ocean. Working with an environmental organization, they have obtained trash compactors that make plastic waste transportable, allowing it to be shipped abroad for recycling. Ali also advocates avoiding disposable plastic. She gives lectures, advises hotel managers and even bends the ear of the Maldives’ president himself.

When she has time, Shaahina Ali goes scuba diving. Beneath the waves she sees environmental degradation – dying corals and fish caught up in plastic waste. She says, “We can’t afford to address just one problem. We’ve got to take care of everything at once because everything is connected to the sea.” But the island paradise is not only threatened by rubbish. Climate change is also causing the sea levels to rise, and the Maldives are at risk of sinking beneath the water.

That’s why conservationists are using floating barriers made of recycled plastic to help prevent flooding. In addition to the environmental group “Parley for the Oceans,” Ali has also won politicians to her cause. Last year saw a democratic change of government in the Maldives. “The new government no longer views environmentalists as annoying troublemakers. They see us as partners instead,” Ali says. But those trying to save the island are in a race against time. “If we don’t succeed,” says Shaahina Ali, “far more than a vacation paradise will be lost. We will lose our homeland.”

Economics Of Nature: ‘Mapping The Ecosystems Of Liberia, Africa’ (Video)

NASA is working alongside Conservation International and the Liberian Government through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pilot an innovative and replicable approach to more accurately map ecosystems to support effective planning and sustainable decision-making. NASA’s satellite data and expert analysis will provide a country-wide picture of Liberia’s hardwood forests, mangroves, and other ecosystems; Conservation International and the Liberian Government through the EPA will augment that data with their expertise in ecosystem accounting, field studies, and local knowledge to quantify the value of the country’s natural resources and related ecosystem services.

Liberia is a country in West Africa, bordering Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. On the Atlantic coast, the capital city of Monrovia is home to the Liberia National Museum, with its exhibits on national culture and history. Around Monrovia are palm-lined beaches like Silver and CeCe. Along the coast, beach towns include the port of Buchanan, as well as laid-back Robertsport, known for its strong surf. 

Read more: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/…

Island Tours: ‘Tetiaroa’ – Marlon Brando’s Carbon-Free South Pacific Resort

Tetiꞌaroa is an atoll in the Windward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas territorial collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. Once the vacation spot for Tahitian royalty, the islets are under a 99-year lease contracted by Marlon Brando.

Marlon Brando

“My mind is always soothed when I imagine myself sitting on my South Sea island at night. If I have my way, Tetiaroa will remain forever a place that reminds Tahitians of what they are and what they were centuries ago.”

Marlon Brando first came to Tetiaroa while filming Mutiny on the Bounty and was immediately enchanted by the island’s rare beauty and the sense it gave him of being closer to paradise. Enthralled by the Polynesian way of life – and the leading lady Tarita, the love of his life – he resolved to find a way to own this piece of paradise and succeeded in his goal in 1967. It was in this natural wonderland that he settled down, and finally found a home.

Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural richness and was determined to find a way in which it could be a center for research and education, and a model of sustainability. He was convinced that this small atoll could bring good to the entire world.

In 1999 he asked Richard Bailey, a long-time resident of Tahiti who shared Brando’s passion for the environment and who had created some of the region’s finest resorts, to help him conceive a plan that would help Brando achieve his dream. Together, Brando and Bailey pursued a vision of creating the world’s first and foremost post-carbon resort—an island where innovative new technologies would enable a self-sustaining luxury environment for hotel guests, residents and scientific research. The Brando is the legacy of that shared vision.

Conservation: Protecting Amazonian Rainforests In French Guiana (Video)

In France’s overseas department of French Guiana, the Amazon rainforest covers 90 percent of land. It’s teeming with wildlife, but this unique biodiversity is in danger. Researchers and locals are doing their best to protect it, like in Favard, where the village healer passes on his knowledge to the younger generations and educates tourists on the need to protect the forest. Meanwhile, entomologists list different species of insects, a titanic job as this knowledge is still in its infancy. Finally, researchers are trying to understand what’s driving the decline in sea turtles.

French Guiana is an overseas department of France on the northeast coast of South America, composed mainly of tropical rainforest. The ruins of 17th-century Fort Cépérou overlook the capital, Cayenne, with its colorful Creole houses and street markets. Shops and cafes surround the palm-filled main square, Place des Palmistes. The Rémire-Montjoly suburb is lined with Atlantic coast beaches. 

Ecosystems: ‘Scotland’s Rainforest’ (HD Video)

Scotland’s rainforest is one of our most precious habitats. It is as important as tropical rainforest, but even rarer. Yet few people know it exists and fewer still know how globally significant it is. This film was created by the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest to inform and inspire better protection for Scotland’s rainforest.

Scotland’s rainforest is made up of the native woodlands found on Scotland’s west coast where consistent levels of rainfall and relatively mild, year-round temperatures provide just the right conditions for some of the world’s rarest mosses, liverworts and lichens.

Ecology: ‘The Great Green Wall’ Of Africa (Video)

Development banks and states pledged a total of $14.32 billion over the next four years to build a “Great Green Wall” to help contain desertification in Africa’s northern Sahel region. But what exactly is it and how much progress has been made?

The Great Green Wall or Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel is Africa’s flagship initiative to combat the increasing desertification. Led by the African Union, the initiative aims to transform the lives of millions of people by creating a mosaic of green and productive landscapes across North Africa.