Over 500 new dams planned for protected areas worldwide

August 5, 2020 by  
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A new study published in the journal Conservation Letters has revealed that over 500 new dams are currently being constructed or are planned to be constructed within protected areas. More than 1,200 dams already exist in such areas. In the first global report on dam construction areas, it has been revealed that most governments are bypassing or rolling back laws in order to construct dams in these protected areas. The main concern being raised by the authors of the study is that the people who are mandated with protecting riparian areas are also the ones responsible for invading them. In the EU alone, about 33% of all the proposed dams lie within protected areas. For example, two hydropower projects in Romania pose a danger to Natura 2000 sites. If such constructions are not stopped, the reserved areas, rivers and natural resources around them are at risk. Michele Thieme, lead author of the study and freshwater scientist at World Wildlife Fund (WWF), said, “Rivers are the lifeblood of ecosystems. Any policy that aims to conserve nature must prioritize the free flow of rivers.” Related: Hydropower demand is damaging Indigenous lands The study has established that many governments are redefining boundaries of protected lands to create room for construction . The study points out that if legislation continues being loosened in this manner, it will not be long before the delicate ecosystems in these areas are irreversibly damaged. “The sheer number of dams that are planned within protected areas is alarming,” Thieme warned. “Government and industry policies must prevent the development of dams planned within these areas. The dams that already exist within protected areas should be prioritized for possible removal and the surrounding river systems should be restored.” This study follows another paper that highlighted the impact of dams on ecosystems. A 2019 paper published in Nature revealed that over 65% of long rivers across the world are impeded with dams and other structures. Worse yet, the report established that the construction of dams across major rivers is to blame for a 76% reduction in freshwater migratory fish populations since 1970. Because dams impede the movement of fish upstream for breeding, they have led to a decline in freshwater fish populations significantly. The report is now calling on governments and other stakeholders to stop bypassing and changing laws for short-term gains. Those in authority must protect these areas at all costs to avoid further harm to ecosystems. + Conservation Letters + WWF Image via Hans Linde

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Over 500 new dams planned for protected areas worldwide

WWF’s Erin Simon on helping global food brands reduce their plastics footprints

July 31, 2019 by  
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The World Wildlife Fund provides resources to help businesses turn sustainability commitments into action.

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WWF’s Erin Simon on helping global food brands reduce their plastics footprints

Episode 177: Sounding off at Circularity 19

June 21, 2019 by  
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Highlights from keynotes by Google’s Kate Brandt, Ellen Macarthur Foundation’s Andrew Morlet, and Cradle to Cradle co-founder Bill McDonough. Plus, on-the-spot interviews with UL engineer Bill Hoffman, General Motors materials guru Lauren Smith and World Wildlife Fund research Erin Simon.

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Episode 177: Sounding off at Circularity 19

The circular designer’s secret weapon: policy

June 21, 2019 by  
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Smart policy can inspire better material choices, innovative business models and the continual circulation of value.

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The circular designer’s secret weapon: policy

Tigers punched for fun at horrifying "sanctuaries" in China

August 1, 2016 by  
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Even today, when global organizations like the World Wildlife Fund have brought conservation to the forefront of conversation, animal abuse still happens. Some of it is covered up by organizations posing as “sanctuaries” that do good. Wildlife photographer Paul Hilton recently shared an Instagram photograph taken at one such “sanctuary,” the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village in China, of a tourist cheerfully punching a tiger for fun. Hilton snapped the photo of a tiger being hit a few years ago, but said the practice continues today. At the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village, tigers are drugged and then punched . The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) estimates there are 200 tiger farms in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, where unspeakable crimes against animals are being perpetrated. Related: 40 lifeless tiger cubs discovered in Thailand temple’s freezer Not only are tigers hit for entertainment at tiger farms, they’re often ” speed bred :” tiger babies are taken away from mothers instantly after birth, and the mothers are forced to breed again swiftly. The babies are often used for selfies. Tigers are also killed so their bones can be used for tiger wine, which many believe acts as an aphrodisiac. There are up to 8,000 tigers forced to live in these horrific tiger farms, while only around 3,890 tigers still live in the wild. The issue of tiger abuse is by no means limited to Asia. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), about 5,000 tigers live in captivity in the United States. But most of these tigers aren’t in zoos – 95 percent are “privately owned,” often by people who have no idea how to properly care for them. Further, ” tiger encounters ” – where people can pose for pictures with tigers, often young cubs – mean there’s motivation for people to own and breed tigers. When tigers used for selfies grow up, it’s more difficult for the illegal owners to feed them and the tigers often end up in the hands of illegal wildlife traders who sell them in parts. WWF started a petition to Tom Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture, to “fully ban public contact with tigers in the US.” WWF policy experts say action in the United States will send a ” positive signal ” to governments in Asia considering what to do about the appalling tiger farms. + Sign On to Help Protect Tigers Via One Green Planet Images via Paul Hilton on Instagram and Pixabay

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Tigers punched for fun at horrifying "sanctuaries" in China

Monarch butterfly populations are multiplying

June 29, 2016 by  
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Monarch butterflies are finally on the rebound. With the colorful pollinators threatened by everything from pesticides to habitat destruction, the U.S. government pledged $3.2 million to the cause last year. Back in March, a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Mexico survey found reason for hope, showing a substantial population increase in migration numbers. But the butterflies aren’t in the clear just yet. According to University of Chicago professor Marcus Kronforst, in 1996 around one billion monarchs migrated, but in 2013 there were just 35 million. The March WWF Mexico survey revealed the insects were rebounding, with numbers rising to roughly 150 million. More milkweed planted has played a part in the rebound, as has weather that suits the butterflies. Related: 8 Ways that you can help save monarch butterflies Natural Resources Defense Council scientist Sylvia Fallon recently told Reuters they are hopeful about curbing butterfly losses. But, she warned,”we must be careful not to declare victory too soon.” She was all too right. Researchers from the United States and Mexico utilized drones and satellite images to uncover evidence of illegal logging in Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site . They published a paper in American Entomologist , in which they report around 25 acres of trees have been chopped down in the last year, destroying important habitat. Mexico environmental officials arrested 35 loggers in early to mid 2015, but landowners claim logging has been ongoing despite the arrests. The researchers began to grasp the scope of the illegal activity through imagery. Sweet Briar College professor Lincoln Brower, lead author on the paper, told TakePart, “You can’t have huge trucks removing all of this wood without knowledge of what’s going on. It really questions the governance of the reserve.” Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation Endangered Species Program Director Sarina Jepsen said that monarch conservation efforts have centered around the problems of pesticides and planting milkweed, but that we shouldn’t forget butterflies also battle deforestation . Via TakePart and Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons and Luna sin estrellas on Flickr

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Monarch butterfly populations are multiplying

Tigers declared extinct in Cambodia

April 7, 2016 by  
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Wild tigers have not been found in Cambodia since 2007, leading conservationists to declare the animals “ functionally extinct .” The Cambodian government recently approved a $20 to $50 million Tiger Action Plan to try and save the majestic wild cats Read the rest of Tigers declared extinct in Cambodia

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Tigers declared extinct in Cambodia

Recently captured critically endangered Sumatran rhino dies

April 6, 2016 by  
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Last month conservationists praised the first contact with a critically endangered Sumatran rhino in 40 years . But hope dissolved when the rhino, who was christened Najaq, passed away this week. She appears to have died from an infection instigated by a poaching attempt before her capture , though the exact cause of death remains unknown. Read the rest of Recently captured critically endangered Sumatran rhino dies

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Recently captured critically endangered Sumatran rhino dies

8 ways to give the gift of giving this holiday season

November 22, 2015 by  
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The perfect gift doesn’t need to buy into consumerism. This holiday season why not give the gift of giving in the form of charity ? We’ve rounded up eight websites that’ll help you choose more meaningful charitable gifts for your loved ones, from Save the Children sponsorships to World Wildlife Fund gift adoption cards. Keep reading to see how you can use your gifts to contribute to a better world. READ MORE>

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8 ways to give the gift of giving this holiday season

Half of the oceans’ fish are gone due to human impact

October 12, 2015 by  
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Startling numbers from a new study reveal there are half as many fish in the oceans as there were in 1970. Citing overfishing as the main cause, the report shows the Scombridae family of fish, which includes tunas and mackerels, has lost up to 75 percent of its population in that time frame. Other sharp declines include leatherback turtles and porbeagle sharks, indicating other factors have also contributed to this devastating decline in marine biodiversity. Read the rest of Half of the oceans’ fish are gone due to human impact

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Half of the oceans’ fish are gone due to human impact

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