More than 44,000 people came together to set the Guinness World Record for reforestation. A group in Ecuador set a world record over the weekend by planting nearly 650,000 trees in a single day. Agence France-Presse reports that on May 16, 2015, nearly 45,000 people took part in the largest single-day reforestation project ever. In total, 647,250 trees (and more than 220 species of plants) were planted on roughly 5,000 acres of land, marking a new Guinness World Record. Woo! Volunteers begin reforesting an area near Catequilla, Ecuador. The true value of ecosystem services - OurWorld 2.0 “If nature is really important to human well-being, people wouldn’t be moving into cities in droves, they’d be living in cabins in the woods,” said the economics professor in 1998. Hopefully that guy has been fired. The above statement contains two heavily criticised tenets of neo-classical economics: firstly, that people know what they want and they always do what is best for them; and second, that nature can simply be traded-off for money. We now know that functioning ecosystems and human well-being (HWB) form a critical and inseparable linkage. One of the major tasks of the new Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is to assess how biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) contribute material and energy inputs for human societies. IPBES is an authoritative independent science panel convened by the United Nations Environment Programme to give science-based advice on BES and its implications for societies.
Scientists discover 8 new frogs in one sanctuary, nearly all Critically Endangered (photos) A new species discovered in the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary: Pseudophilautus sirilwijesundarai. Photo by: L.J. Mendis Wickramasinghe. Two surveys in the mountainous forests of Sri Lanka's Peak Wilderness Sanctuary have uncovered eight new species of frogs, according to a massive new paper in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. While every year over a hundred new amphibians are discovered, eight new discoveries in a single park is especially notable. CFAA: Internet Activists Win First-Round Victory In Fight Over Anti-Hacking Law WASHINGTON -- Internet activists won a major victory this week when House Republicans put the brakes on an effort to vote on reforms to federal anti-hacking laws. The reforms had become a legislative flashpoint in the wake of the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who was facing a bevy of charges under the controversial Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) before committing suicide in January. A House subcommittee with jurisdiction over the law, chaired by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), had planned to vote on a reform of the bill next week as part of a House Republican legislative flurry they dubbed "Cyber Week," according to both Republican and Democratic aides on the panel. However, the bill was pulled back because of pressure from the Internet community. "It was going to be part of Cyber Week," confirmed a GOP committee aide.
Bumblebees take off with a special fungus weapon to save strawberries Squadrons of bumblebees are being deployed in a novel attempt to prevent grey mould turning the summer's strawberries into fluffy mush. The bees are routed via a one-way system in their hive through a tray of harmless fungus spores which, when delivered to flowers, ensure that the grey mould cannot take hold as the fruit grows. New flowers on a strawberry crop open every day, which means that spraying with pesticides only protects those that are open at the time. "But the bees visit the flowers at the perfect moment for that flower," said Harriet Roberts of Adas, an agricultural consultancy testing the use of bees as delivery systems in the UK. More than 50,000 tonnes of strawberries are sold through UK supermarkets alone each year, but more than half can suffer from grey mould (Botrytis cinerea), which only manifests itself after the fruit has been picked and causes major damage to crops around the world.
Setting a country alight: Indonesia's devastating forest fires are manmade We are witnessing the worst manmade environmental disaster since the BP gulf oil spill. Huge, out-of-control fires rage through the forests of Indonesia – and the source of many is the practice of deliberately burning the land to clear it for palm oil and paper products. Thousands of fires have been lit to clear land simply because it is 75% cheaper than other methods. By burning down forests companies can get access to the land and can commence industrial pulp and palm oil plantations.
The environment in numbers: 1992-2012 - OurWorld 2.0 Seven billion people; 350 parts per million; 2°C warming; 13 million hectares per year. All of these numerical indicators for environmental change are important to know. Solid, up-to-date data provides the basis for understanding the limits and benefits of natural ecosystems that support human life. The beautiful amphibian from Hell: scientists discover new crocodile newt in Vietnam (photos) New species: Ziegler's crocodile newt (Tylototriton ziegleri). Photo courtesy of Tao Thien Nguyen. Researchers have discovered a new species of Vietnamese salamander that looks like it was birthed from an abyssal volcano. Found tucked away in Tokyo's National Museum of Nature and Science, the scientists described the species in the new edition of Current Herpetology. Coal-black with orange-tinted toes, the new crocodile newt (in the genus Tylototriton) was determined to be a new species when it showed morphological and genetic differences from near relatives.
In landmark ruling, Indonesia's indigenous people win right to millions of hectares of forest Court ruling invalidates Indonesian govt’s claim to customary forest areas In a landmark ruling, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court has invalidated the Indonesian government’s claim to millions of hectares of forest land, potentially giving indigenous and local communities the right to manage their customary forests, reports Mongabay-Indonesia. In a review of a 1999 forestry law, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court ruled [PDF – Indonesian] that customary forests should not be classified as “State Forest Areas”.
Honey Bee Network How did it all begin? | Who are we? What are We Doing? | Who Are Our Members? The Eco-Apocalypse in Indonesia That No One is Talking About Alex Pietrowski, StaffWaking Times Some of the most devastating fires the world has ever seen are happening right now in Indonesia, and this unfolding disaster is getting little attention. Annual fires during the dry season have become typical in the last 20 years or so as slash and burn rainforest farming techniques have ravaged this once pristine part of the world, but now this year they are catastrophic.