Tag: conservation

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.

Trillion-dollar investors warn Brazil over ‘dismantling’ of environmental policies

Letter signed by 29 organisations, including the Church of England, states financial institutions have a duty to tackle climate change

Investors managing trillions of dollars in assets have warned Brazil that escalating deforestation and the “dismantling” of policies to protect the environment and indigenous communities are “creating widespread uncertainty about the conditions for investing”.

Amazon destruction rose to its highest level in more than a decade last year, Brazil’s first under the leadership of Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right nationalist who has vowed to develop the region and slash environmental protections.

Related: Brazilian meat companies linked to farmer charged with ‘massacre’ in Amazon

Related: Revealed: UK banks and investors’ $2bn backing of meat firms linked to Amazon deforestation

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Wildfires caused by barbecues harming wildlife, says National Trust

Dry conditions following low spring rainfall have contributed to a rise in fires

The National Trust is urging people not to take a barbecue or light a campfire when they visit the coast and countryside following a spate of wildfires that have damaged flora and fauna.

Despite recent rainfall, a record-breaking spring of sunshine has left many landscapes dry and created the perfect conditions for fires to ignite and quickly spread.

Station Manager Lauren Woodward gives a tour of the devastation at Thurstaston Common where she is Incident Commander today. Please listen to the messages from firefighters at the scene or we will have no beauty spots left to visit.…

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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Warm summer of 2019 gives flight to butterfly numbers

Abundant food thanks to mix of sunshine and rain helps species confound fears of declines

The record temperatures of summer 2019 helped make it the best season for butterflies in 22 years, with more than half of Britain’s species increasing in number.

Last summer delivered a winning combination of warmth, sunshine and rain which ensured that caterpillars fed up on lush plants before emerging as adult butterflies.

Related: On the verge: a quiet roadside revolution is boosting wildflowers

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Republicans are making noises on climate action. Some say it’s just greenwashing

Bills to meet environmental targets while feeding industry have the right pushing back and experts unconvinced

Republican lawmakers under pressure to address the climate crisis are trying to move beyond denying the problem and start proposing solutions. But they still refuse to commit to what scientists say is necessary if the US is to rapidly cut back on burning fossil fuels.

Related: Where do the 2020 Democratic candidates stand on the climate crisis?

Even someone who’s not a forester should be able to recognize an olive branch when they see one

Related: From grape to grain: how a warming climate is changing what we eat and drink

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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.…

Climate emergency: world ‘may have crossed tipping points’

Warning of ‘existential threat to civilisation’ as impacts lead to cascade of unstoppable events

The world may already have crossed a series of climate tipping points, according to a stark warning from scientists. This risk is “an existential threat to civilisation”, they say, meaning “we are in a state of planetary emergency”.

Tipping points are reached when particular impacts of global heating become unstoppable, such as the runaway loss of ice sheets or forests. In the past, extreme heating of 5C was thought necessary to pass tipping points, but the latest evidence suggests this could happen between 1C and 2C.

Related: Domino-effect of climate events could move Earth into a ‘hothouse’ state

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