This is my latest post in “Making the Links,” a monthly blog series in which I attempt to connect the dots between nature and people in the news. (To learn more about the goal of the series, read the first post.)
Let’s face it: Most people aren’t reading Dostoyevsky at the beach.
Amid the bright sunshine and lapping waves, it’s easier to page through a grocery-store romance novel than focus on a dense book that is unconnected to your surroundings. But here’s a thought: Let the sea inspire you to learn more about it.
With that in mind, here are seven marine-themed page-turners recommended by Conservation International staff who work on ocean issues around the globe. Continue reading →
On one day in 2009, the Malagasy village of Ivovona harvested 600 kilograms (1,322 pounds) of fish, mostly octopus. Earlier this year, those same fishermen, joined by others from the nearby village of Ambavarano, pulled in 5 tons of octopus — in three hours.
How did things turn around so quickly in a remote, poverty-stricken community? The villagers made the decision to adopt fishing regulations — and gained a new source of livelihood in the process. Continue reading →
Anyone who takes a breath, drinks a drop of water or eats a bite of food, and wonders where all this nourishment comes from, understands that every single one of us depends upon nature for our lives.
Unfortunately, since the Industrial Revolution, the awareness of this direct connection has become fainter and often ignored outright. Our market-based system glorifies economic activity or GDP, where cost-benefit analyses too often override the core values that shape our moral behavior. This is especially true regarding our relationship with nature. We have lost sight of her value to all of us. There has been a breach of faith.
For years I have believed that we need an 11th Commandment: Thou shalt cherish the Earth. And we have needed a respected, unifying voice to carry this message to all people.
Today, Pope Francis is this voice, and this is the message he has sent the world. Continue reading →
It’s home to volcano rabbits, giant mushrooms and ancient lava fields. It supplies 23 million people with water. Its stunning natural beauty obscures years of power struggles and contradictions.
Welcome to the Bosque de Agua (Water Forest), where everything you thought you knew about how to take care of a forest dissipates with the morning mist.
Planting trees can be bad. Leaving land untouched can be worse. And yes, a healthy forest can be made to thrive smack in the middle of one of the world’s largest urban areas — if the conditions are right. Continue reading →
This is the final post from David Emmett about a recent expedition searching for new species on the island of Atauro in the Southeast Asian country of Timor-Leste. Read previous blogs from the expedition.
The Timor-Leste RAP team traveling between Atauro island and the Timorese capital of Dili. (photo courtesy of Timor-Leste RAP team)
The final day of our survey somehow encapsulated everything that is wonderful about Timor and Atauro.
We woke early, packed our field gear onto the boat and went for one last snorkeling trip. Once again, it was magnificent! In the bright sunlight and crystal-clear water, we saw stunning corals and a vast variety of reef fish. Out from the fringing reef, the seafloor drops more than 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) below the surface, creating habitat for big species such as sharks, whales and dolphins. This is where CI is proposing a shark sanctuary that would cover a combination of reefs and deep water, allowing for a range of species and ecosystems. Continue reading →
Diving in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean in March, I saw why the obituary for the Caribbean’s ocean health has been written multiple times.
Invasive lionfish are overpopulating and preying upon native fishes. Overfishing and pollution have enabled algae to devastate coral reefs. Those corals lucky enough to escape the algae are being bleached by rising ocean temperatures due to the continuing advance of climate change.
The Caribbean isn’t alone — all of our oceans are under assault from human activities, threatening the benefits we receive from them.
There is no doubt: We need significant action to secure ocean health and prosperity for the people that depend on it. Several recent developments make me confident that we can put oceans on a path to recovery:Continue reading →