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Some like it hot: Finland poised to benefit from global warming

By PNA/Sputnik Moscow– With the international community becoming increasingly worried about the implications of global warming on the environment, Finland is maintaining its good spirits and optimism. Whereas the news of atmospheric carbon dioxide reaching a “point of no return” made international headlines in late September, Finland might remain a happy exception that looks at global warming quite positively. Climate change also means solutions and opportunities, Finland’s Communications and Transport Minister Anne Berner said, as quoted by Finnish state broadcaster Yle. According to Berner, Finland may well take advantage of the greenhouse effect. As the North Pole starts to melt, new routes for maritime traffic and data transfer open up, which promotes trade, she maintained. According to her, climate change in the Arctic shortens the distances between Europe and Asia by many weeks, using, …

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Living fossil crabs mysteriously dying in Japan

Tokyo   – Hundreds of horseshoe crabs – known as “living fossils” because they are among the Earth’s oldest creatures – have been found dead in southern Japan, confounding experts who study the alien-like sidewalkers. Horseshoe crabs, known for their blue blood, are a regular summer visitor to tidal flats in southern and western Japan, including one near Kitakyushu city where they lay their eggs. Some invariably die in the process, but this year a local conservation group noticed that the number of arthropods that perished was unusually high, a local official told AFP on Thursday. “The conservation group spotted about five to 10 bodies every day during the egg-laying period, so they started to tally them,” said Kitakyushu city official Kenji Sato. “In total the number of dead horseshoe crabs reached about 500,” Sato …

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Shy pangolins need world spotlight to survive

Johannesburg– Reclusive, gentle and quick to roll up into a ball, pangolins keep a low profile. But they are also the world’s most heavily trafficked mammal, and experts at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) conference this week are ringing alarm bells over their survival. Demand for pangolin meat and body parts has fuelled a bloodbath, and driven the scale-covered, ant-eating mammal towards extinction. More than a million pangolins are believed to have been poached from the wild in the past decade. Most are used to supply demand in China and Vietnam, where they are highly regarded as a delicacy and an ingredient in traditional medicine. At the CITES meeting in Johannesburg, conservationists will discuss moving pangolins into the highest protection category, which bans all international trade. “The pangolin today is regarded as …

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How CITES works, and 5 species to look out for

Johannesburg –  The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is a treaty to protect wild animals and plants against over-exploitation through commercial trade. The signatories of the treaty, which came into force in 1975, are 182 countries and the European Union, with 5,600 animal and 30,000 plant species on their radar. The Johannesburg conference sifted through 62 proposals to tighten or loosen trade restrictions on some 500 species. Species can be listed on three CITES appendices to ensure that trade is legal, sustainable and traceable. Appendix I outright bans international trade in species facing extinction Appendix II allows trade, under stringent conditions, of species that may become threatened if no steps are taken Appendix III is a list of species named unilaterally by countries that want other nations' cooperation to prevent illegal or unsustainable …

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Developer eyes more green space in Davao port project

Davao City  –  The architectural planning and interior design firm behind the R39-billion Davao Coastline and Port Development Project, vowed to adhere to environment policies by establishing more green spaces in the area. “The existing pollution of the Davao Gulf is already outside our commitment but Mega Harbour will adhere to all environmental policies and will not add to the pollution problem of the Gulf,” said Architect Manolo Noche, chief executive officer of Arconic. Noche said they are in the process of looking out for large potential areas covered by the project to be developed for green spaces. They are also on the lookout for large tracts of land for park or strip landscaping or sidewalk development. “Coastal improvement can be done by planting bakawan (mangrove) trees in the area,” he said. The 200-hectare …

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Thailand closes beaches as venomous creatures found ashore

By PNA/Xinhua Bangkok – Portuguese Man-of-War and Box Jellyfish washed ashore by recent storms in southern Thailand have prompted officials to issue a warning to swimmers and snorkelers, local media reported. According to Phuket Gaze, officials on Monday have taken steps to keep swimmers safe by closing Nai Thon, Nai Yang and Layan Beaches of southern Thailand’s famous tourism destination Phi Phi lsland. Other beach resorts in the area have posted notices to warn of the dangers of jellyfish and have set up First Aid stations to deal with anyone who might have been stung. The Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish was named after the ship which resembled a blue or purple cap of the Portuguese Navy. They are among the world’s most venomous marine species. Stings from them can be very painful and in extreme …

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Filipinos urged to help heal damaged ozone layer

Vigan City, Ilocos Sur – A lawmaker is asking Filipinos to continue doing their share in helping heal the ozone layer while they are also taking action to address other environs concerns like climate change. Senator Loren Legarda made this announcement following the release of a recent study of science experts, who found evidence that the Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing due to efforts started in the 1980s to phase out the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and other destructive chemicals. Legarda’s call to the Filipinos was also issued in connection to the observance of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer on September 16. “As we celebrate International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, let us be reminded that no challenge is too great …

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Warming oceans are ‘sick,’ global scientists warn

Honolulu  – Global warming is making the oceans sicker than ever before, spreading disease among animals and humans and threatening food security across the planet, a major scientific report said on Monday. The findings, based on peer-reviewed research, were compiled by 80 scientists from 12 countries, experts said at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Hawaii. “We all know that the oceans sustain this planet. We all know that the oceans provide every second breath we take,” IUCN Director General Inger Andersen told reporters at the meeting, which has drawn 9,000 leaders and environmentalists to Honolulu. “And yet we are making the oceans sick.” The report, “Explaining Ocean Warming,” is the “most comprehensive, most systematic study we have ever undertaken on the consequence of this warming on the …

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Researchers find climate change already delivering severe impacts

By PNA/Xinhua San Francisco– A review of more than 100 studies by two researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, has shown that the social and economic impacts of current climate are often severe. Results of the review, by Tamma Carleton, a Ph.D. student in agricultural and resource economics, and Solomon Hsiang, chancellor’ s associate professor of public policy, are published this week in the journal Science, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). “So much attention is focused on the future effects of climate change that hardships imposed by the climate today, which are often just as large, are ignored,” Hsiang was quoted as saying in a news release from UC Berkeley in northern California. “If we solve these problems today, we’ll benefit everyone, both in this …

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Six countries in Coral Triangle Initiative gather in Dumaguete for regional exchange

Dumaguete City –  Some 76 key officials and representatives from six-member nations of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) and their partners are gathered in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental for a five-day regional exchange focusing on marine protected areas (MPAs). The CTI-CFF is a multilateral partnership among six countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, and the Philippines. It aims to protect the coastal and marine resources of the region. At a press conference Monday evening at a local hotel in Dumaguete, Regional Director Al Orolfo of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Negros Island Region explained that Dumaguete was chosen as the host-venue/region for the 6th Marine Protected Areas Regional Exchange of the CTI-CFF because of its being “globally ahead in …

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