U.S. Representative Don Beyer, a democrat from Virginia, introduced a bill entitled the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act this past December that would help protect and restore native wildlife by enabling migration corridors throughout the US that would allow wildlife to find mates, new territory and adapt to climate change. And in the process it would save other fauna and flora. Representative Beyer says: “With roughly 1 in 5 animal and plant species in the U.S. at risk of extinction due to habitat loss, one of the simplest yet most effective things we can do is to provide them with ample opportunity to move.” The bill directs federal land and water management agencies to work together with states, tribes, local governments and private landowners to develop and manage national wildlife corridors consistent with existing laws and according to the habitat connectivity needs of native species. The bill also creates a publicly available National Native Species Habitats and Corridors GIS Database to inform corridor designation.
On December 30, 2016 it was announced by China’s State Council that commercial processing and ivory sales will end March 31, 2017. The registered ivory traders will then be phased out with a full halt of all sales of ivory by the end of 2017.
Source: BBC News and Serengeti Watch
The European Wilderness Preservation System consists of audited Wilderness across Europe. The European Wilderness Society have been ranking wilderness based on the European Wilderness Quality Standard and have just broken through the 300,000 ha barrier with the addition of the Hohe Tauern Wilderness, the Kalkalpen Wilderness, and the Zacharovanyy Kray Wilderness in 2016. More information and map.
The European Wilderness Society announced a recently launched environmental education program for young people with the Carpathian National Nature Park (Ukraine). The objective is to enhance sustainability through protecting the environment, introducing and applying effective environmental education tools, promoting outdoor activities and raising awareness about nature heritage and climate change effects. The Project is funded by the Embassy of Australia in Ukraine through the Direct Aid Program. Read more about the educate youth program.
In a story from AFP (L’Agence France-Presse) it was reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada must “phase out” Alberta’s oil sands and end the country’s dependence on hydrocarbons. This would be a requirement for Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to become in compliance with the Paris Agreement on climate change that Canada has ratified. “You can’t make a choice between what’s good for the environment and what’s good for the economy,” Trudeau said about reconciling the fight against climate change with economic growth. Read the whole story.
for Paul Shepard
By ILCW Member Elizabeth Herron (USA)
Even cold erodes, and the ice
that held itself in glacial cleaving
grows eager to lie down in the sea
where the great bears will finally sleep, sliding quietly into the depths.
Their bones roll the bottom
in layers of darkness. What is left
besides light descending
into blue shadows, the billowing
curtains of salt, the slow heft of the sea?
How can we let what is lost
settle of its own sacred weight
into the secret grief, the emptiness
we mistake for something missing
Elizabeth Herron’s poem was previously published in: Canary
A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisi
Canary is a literary journal that explores one’s engagement with the natural world. It is based on the premise that the literary arts can provide an understanding that humans are part of an integrated system. Their theme is the environmental crisis and the losses of species and habitat as a result of this ongoing disaster. Their mission is to deepen awareness of the environment and enrich the well-being of the individual and in turn society as a whole.
By Anne Pinto-Rodrigues, ILCW Member (Singapore)
Photos from the Tangkoko Nature Reserve. It’s a goldmine of endemic species and a must visit for any nature lover! (All photos by Anne Pinto-Rodrigues)
A couple of months ago, when hubby suggested he wanted go diving in the Lembeh Strait, my first reaction was to look for it on the map. Located off North Sulawesi (Indonesia), Lembeh Strait is famous in the diving community as a “muck diving” haven, where all kinds of weird and wonderful underwater critters like octopi, sea horses, nudibranchs etc, abound. Only much later did I realise that our trip to North Sulawesi would bring me right back in the footsteps of Alfred Russel Wallace. Between June and September 1859, Wallace spent time collecting specimens from around North Sulawesi. The below map from his book, The Malay Archipelago, shows his route across North Sulawesi.
Interestingly, in the North-East corner of this map, is “Limbe Island” (what is known today as Lembeh Island). One of the main objectives of Wallace’s visit to North Sulawesi was to collect specimens of the maleo bird. Maleos, which are endemic to Sulawesi, are highly endangered today and rarely seen. We had hoped we would spot a maleo during our day at the Tangkoko Nature Reserve (wishful thinking on our part!) but we had no such luck. We did however manage to photograph nearly 30 species of birds, most of which are found only in Sulawesi, as well as endemic mammals like the endangered black crested macaques, bear cuscus and the spectral tarsier. Tangkoko Nature Reserve is accessed from Batu Putih village (which can also been seen on Wallace’s map).
At the end of that really long day in Tangkoko, my legs were riddled with bites (insect/mite/whatever the hell can bite through my pants) but the sheer joy of seeing these magnificent creatures first-hand surpassed all discomfort! I know I will be back for more! With that, we headed back to the comfort of our cozy resort on Lembeh Island, just in time for another of those glorious Lembeh sunsets!
More photos at: https://noroadbarred.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/tangkoko-sulawesi/
Photo by Alison Jones, No Water No Life
Since 2006 ILCW Member Alison Jones and No Water No Life (NWNL) have spanned two continents and have reached millions through social media, lectures, exhibits, stories, awards and websites. A book will be coming out with interviews, photographs, and featuring their Voices of the River interviews, (273 interviews thus far). For more information, check out their website.
Dynamo Polly Dyer was 96 when she died last month in November. A life-long conservationist, she and her husband John worked for passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. Among the many things Polly was involved in: she helped protect Olympic National Park and the underwater Pacific Coast National Marine Sanctuary, she helped develop and preserve the North Cascades National Park, she had a major role in the creation of the North Cascades Conservation Council, the Puget Sound Alliance, and was a key player in the formation of the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority. A mentor and friend to many, she was also an inspiration in protecting the natural world.
During the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP13) held 4-17 December in Cancún, Mexico the Gold Award for Existing National Clearing House Mechanism Category was presented to Conabio in Mexico. The website “Biodiversidad Mexicana” was recognized as the top for informing the public on Biodiversity, says Dr. Carlos Galindo Leal, Director General de Communicacion (and ILCW member). The site has more than 50,000 page views a day and contains a lot of information on Mexican biodiversity for the general public, children, decision makers and the media. It also has citizen science (AverAves and NaturaLista), and channels in YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Instagram. View the full list of winners.