Reintroduced beavers to stay after being granted native species status Image copyright laurie campbell Beavers reintroduced to Scotland will be allowed to remain and will be given protected status, the Scottish government has announced. Eurasian beavers taken from Norway were released at Knapdale in Argyll in 2009. An illegally-released population has also been discovered in Tayside. Asgardia: Challenges Building a Space Society As of today, I’m an official citizen of two nations. One is the US, which has 325 million citizens and an area of almost 10 million sq km. The other is Asgardia, which has some 246,000 citizens, but physically exists for now only in the form of a 6lb (2.7kg) bread-box-size satellite floating in low-Earth orbit since November 2017. One day, Asgardia plans to have an enormous “space ark” orbiting our home world, a colony on the Moon, and perhaps even further in the future on other “celestial bodies”, according to the constitution. The nation’s ‘leader’, Igor Raufovich Ashurbeyli, isn’t joking around.
Say no to wolfhunt in Sweden 2014 Name not displayed, Brazil Apr 14, 09:29 Mrs. African forestry scheme aims to build prosperity by restoring landscape More than a dozen African countries have joined an “unprecedented” $1.6bn (£1bn) initiative to boost development and fight climate change by restoring 100m hectares (247m acres) of forest across the continent over the next 15 years. The African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative – known as AFR100 – was launched on Sunday at a Global Landscapes Forum meeting during the Paris climate change conference. It will be underpinned by a $1bn investment from the World Bank in 14 African countries over the next 15 years and by $600m of private sector investment over the same period. The initiative will also be supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) and the World Resources Institute. Cameroon, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Congo-Brazzaville and Togo have also committed to forthcoming hectare targets as part of the AFR100.
Employers Use Facial Recognition to Mark Attendance & Gauge Workforce Mood. NEW DELHI: Facial recognition could soon jump from your smartphone to your workplace with employers using it to mark attendance and gauge the mood of the workforce. Tech Mahindra, the fifth largest Indian IT services company by revenue, has launched a facial-recognition system for employees at its Noida office. Employees can now mark their attendance using swipe cards or they can simply look into the new facial-recognition terminal and sign in. The wolf at the door Photographs courtesy of Marcin Zakrzewski The wolf at the door News that Norway is to cull a large percentage of its wolf population, weighs heavy on the mind. Not just because of the sheer inhumanity of the act, but also because it casts a shadow of doubt over the suggestion that wolves could one day be reintroduced into the UK.
Chinese Surveillance Literally Getting in Workers' Heads Feel like your boss is a bit of a micromanager, always looking over your shoulder? Be grateful that they’re not peering into your brain. That’s now the case for a number of workers in China, the nation competing for the global superlative of Most Dystopian. ***Ecosystem fragmentation: Map reveals shattering effect of roads on nature Rampant road building has shattered the Earth’s land into 600,000 fragments, most of which are too tiny to support significant wildlife, a new study has revealed. The researchers warn roadless areas are disappearing and that urgent action is needed to protect these last wildernesses, which help provide vital natural services to humanity such as clean water and air. The impact of roads extends far beyond the roads themselves, the scientists said, by enabling forest destruction, pollution, the splintering of animal populations and the introduction of deadly pests. New roads also pave the way to further exploitation by humans, such as poaching or mining, and new infrastructure. An international team of researchers analysed open-access maps of 36m km of road and found that over half of the 600,000 fragments of land in between roads are very small – less than 1km2.
The Assault on Empathy One morning this past November, with my daughter about to visit and holiday gifts on my mind, I opened my MIT mail and found an intriguing “call for subjects.” It described a research project that promised to use conversation with sociable robots, some of them designed to be children’s playthings (and indeed, marketed as holiday gifts), as a step towards “eliciting empathy.” There it was in black and white, the thing that has been unfolding for decades: The robot presented as empathy machine—an object that presents itself as worthy of your empathic response, and as having an empathic reaction to you. But objects can’t do this. They have not known the arc of a human life. They cannot put themselves in our place.
Visualisation of Global Cargo Ships Back to map Can I embed this map? Yes. You are welcome to embed this map. Please include a link back to Kiln somewhere in the text of your article. Use the following embed code for a fully responsive embed that will adjust to the width of your website. Inhabitat - Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building A landmark decision was made last week by the US and China to ban the commercial trade of ivory within the countries’ boundaries. Poaching practices in Africa are out of control and endangering the lives of African elephants every day and there is still much to be done to address the problem. Both countries hope that this agreement will light a fire under Hong Kong for its current legal ivory trade, 90% of which is being smuggled into mainland China. Condemning wildlife poaching is a big step in the right direction. President Obama and President Xi Jinping announced the decision to ban commercial ivory trading last week. Chinese citizens have been waiting for a move like this, as 95% of respondents to a survey said they want the government to impose a ban on the trade.
World Bank: Climate-Threatened Pacific islanders Should Migrate to Australia or NZ Australia and New Zealand should allow open migration for citizens of Pacific nations threatened by climate change, to boost struggling island economies and prevent a later mass forced migration, a paper from the World Bank argues. The policy paper, Pacific Possible, suggests as one climate change adaptation measure, open access migration from Tuvalu and Kiribati – for work and permanent settlement – to Australia and New Zealand. Tuvalu (population 11,000) and Kiribati (107,000) are low-lying archipelago nations in the Pacific acutely vulnerable to climate change, in particular to rising sea levels that have already begun inundating land and homes across the islands. The World Bank paper argues a structured migration program instituted now would prevent a more harried, forced migration in future generations.
Green corridors led humans out of Africa Climate and vegetation changes over the past 120,000 years affected human dispersal out of Africa. Credit: K. Cantner, AGI, after Peter de Menocal and Chris Stringer, 2016 A trail of fossil, archaeological and genetic clues suggests that modern humans, who first evolved in East Africa about 200,000 years ago, may have made forays outside Africa via the eastern Mediterranean and the Arabian Peninsula as early as 120,000 years ago. But most fossil and archaeological evidence suggests they didn’t begin widely populating the rest of the world until about 60,000 years ago. “This has been a big question for decades: What took us so long to expand out of Africa?” The simple but ingenious system Taiwan uses to crowdsource its laws It was late in 2015, and things were at an impasse. Some four years earlier, Taiwan’s finance ministry had decided to legalize online sales of alcohol. To help it shape the new rules, the ministry had kicked off talks with alcohol merchants, e-commerce platforms, and social groups worried that online sales would make it easy for children to buy liquor. But since then they had all been talking past each other.