Biodiversity

G7 aka the Greedy7: how the world’s wealthiest countries are driving tropical forest destruction

What’s Going On Here? Consumer choices in the wealthiest countries have been revealed to be largely responsible for tropical forest deforestation. The groundbreaking study, published on Monday, is the first to map and quantify   the “deforestation footprint” of individual countries on an international scale.  What Does This Mean? The global demand for tropical forest-related commodities is continuing to rise, including coffee,…

Putting a price on our planet: Independent review urges government, business & citizens to value the natural world

What’s Going On Here? In 2019 the UK’s Treasury commissioned The Dasgupta Review: an independent, global review of the Economics of Biodiversity led by world’s leading economist on ecology, economic, growth and development, Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta. The landmark review published on Tuesday addresses both concerned citizens (that is you, me, and your neighbour!) and governments to change how we think, act,…

Artificial intelligence reveals an unexpectedly large count of trees in the West African Sahara and Sahel

What’s Going On Here? A team of international scientists combined detailed satellite imagery with a deep learning algorithm and managed to find millions of trees in the West African Sahara and Sahel. Using this kind of beneficial AI technology will contribute to a better understanding of the importance of trees outside of forested areas and their role in mitigating degradation, climate change…

Blue whales return to South Georgia

What’s Going On Here? The critically endangered blue whales have made a return to the island of South Georgia off Antarctica nearly 100 years since it was brought to the edge of extinction from commercial whaling. What Does This Mean? Between 1998 and 2018 only one sighting of a blue whale had been made in the South Georgia area. But in February…

Global biodiversity results day wake up call

What’s Going On Here? A decade ago, United Nations members set 20 targets to curb the loss of global biodiversity. The 2020 results are in and the world has failed miserably, with some saplings of success. What Does This Mean? The Global Biodiversity Outlook, published this week by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) found that natural habitats have continued to…

How can we tackle climate change & biodiversity at the same time?

What’s Going On Here? In the past week, a group of scientists, writers and activists wrote an open letter in the Guardian calling for more attention to be paid towards Natural Climate Solutions in solving the threats of both climate change and biodiversity loss. The idea is simple and exciting: protecting and restoring ecosystems also helps remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Here’s a video to…

Beavers give a dam…about flooding

What’s Going On Here? Two beavers have been released in an Essex estate (UK) to manage flood risk naturally and improve biodiversity. How Will They Help Manage Flood Risk? Organised by a partnership between The Environment Agency, the Essex & Suffolk Rivers Trust and Essex Wildlife Trust partnership, the project aims to see how the beavers’ work compares to traditional flood risk…