Tag: biodiversity

50 countries commit to protection of 30% of Earth’s land and oceans

Coalition says promise is key to preventing mass extinctions and ensuring clean air and water

A coalition of 50 countries has committed to protect almost a third of the planet by 2030 to halt the destruction of the natural world and slow extinctions of wildlife.

The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, which includes the UK and countries from six continents, made the pledge to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans before the One Planet summit in Paris on Monday, hosted by the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

Related: Why the world’s biggest mammal migration is crucial for Africa – photo essay

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Jane Goodall: ‘Change is happening. There are many ways to start moving in the right way’

The primatologist and ecological activist on why population isn’t the cause of climate change, and why she’s encouraging optimism

Jane Goodall is a primatologist who is regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on chimpanzees. She has spent 60 years studying the chimps that live in the Gombe Stream national park and she is a prominent advocate, via several foundations, of protecting the great apes and their habitats. She has been presented with awards by the UN and various governments for her conservation and environmental work. She appears in the Netflix documentary The Beginning of Life 2.

You warned last June that humanity will be finished if we don’t make drastic changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis.

The Guardian view on the climate and coronavirus: global warnings | Editorial

Steep falls in emissions have been the pandemic’s immediate effect. But what’s needed is a green recovery

So far, discussions of a coronavirus exit strategy have mainly focused on the steps that could bring an end to the lockdown. In the short term, both in the UK and elsewhere, there is nothing more desirable than letting people resume their lives, once it is safe to do so.

But the speed of the “return to normal” is not the only thing that matters. The manner in which the world’s leaders manage the colossal economic and political shocks caused by the virus is also of the utmost importance.…

Tolkien was right: giant trees have towering role in protecting forests

Study highlights importance of biodiversity as part of strategy to stop planet overheating

Scientists have shown to be true what JRR Tolkien only imagined in the Lord of the Rings: giant, slow-reproducing trees play an outsized role in the growth and health of old forests.

In the 1930s, the writer gave his towering trees the name Ents. Today, a paper in the journal Science says these “long-lived pioneers” contribute more than previously believed to carbon sequestration and biomass increase.

Related: Head in the clouds: the woman scaling fresh climate change heights

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Oceans, biodiversity, deforestation: what’s on the climate agenda for 2020?

This year could be crucial in determining the response to the environmental crises

World leaders and business chiefs meeting in Davos this week will be confronted for the first time with an agenda on which the climate and ecological crises take top billing. Financial and economic concerns have been shunted down the list of priorities in favour of five environmental issues: climate breakdown and extreme weather; failure to mitigate or adapt to climate change; human-made pollution; biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; and natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

Green campaigners and social and human rights activists have been raising concerns on all of these for more than two decades, but it seems that finally the world’s powers are paying attention.…