In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world

Shark swims amongst coral in French Polynesia/

A shark swims amongt the coral in Tuamotus, French Polynesia. (© Rodolphe Holler)

  1. Could a ban on fishing in international waters become a reality?

Members of the United Nations could agree to ban fishing in international waters to protect high-seas biodiversity.

The story: Marine reserves — protected marine areas that do not allow fishing or development — have been proven to restore fish populations, and now scientists and conservationists are pushing for one that would cover international waters, Alastair Bland with NPR reported. Despite the enormous scope of the proposed ban, a recent study showed that seafood from international waters only accounts for 4.2 percent of the global fish catch, meaning the ban would have little effect on food security.

Continue reading

3 ways to be a more sustainable coffee drinker

Cup of Colombian coffee.

A cup of Colombian coffee. (© Neil Palmer/CIAT)

Editor’s note: September 29 marks National Coffee Day in the U.S. Throughout the month of September, Human Nature is highlighting Conservation International’s sustainable coffee work. This is the third post in the series.

In just 24 hours, the world consumes approximately 2.25 billion cups of coffee — and demand is growing. At the same time, the area suitable for coffee growing is expected to be cut in half.

Continue reading

In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world

Mangroves in Colombia.

Cispata Mangroves project, Colombia. (© Conservation International)

Editor’s note: News about conservation and the environment is made every day, but some of it can fly under the radar. In a recurring feature, Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.

  1. Apple is investing in a huge mangrove forest in Colombia

Apple is partnering with Conservation International to plant and preserve mangrove trees in an effort to battle climate change.

Continue reading

Cutting global emissions in half by 2030? With new roadmap, it’s possible

Tropical forest in Gunung Gede National Park.

Tropical forest in Gunung Gede National Park, Indonesia. (© Conservation International/photo by Haroldo Castro)

The only solution to stop climate change is to reduce emissions — immediately, according to a report released Thursday by two renowned climate experts.

Authored by a group of scientists and leaders including Christiana Figueres, a Lui-Walton distinguished fellow at Conservation International, and Johan Rockström, Conservation International’s chief scientist, the “roadmap” lays out what each sector of the global economy — energy, food and agriculture, transport, etc. — needs to do to stop climate change. The catch? Most of the action must be undertaken in the next year.

Continue reading

Saving gorillas ‘one sip at a time’

Gorilla Conservation Coffee and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Gorilla Conservation Coffee with a view of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. (Courtesy of Gorilla Conservation Coffee)

Editor’s note: September 29 marks National Coffee Day in the U.S. Throughout the month of September, Human Nature is highlighting Conservation International’s sustainable coffee work. This is the second post in the series.

There are only 1,000 mountain gorillas in existence. About half of them call the lush setting of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in southwestern Uganda home, relatively protected from poachers and encroaching development.

For the past two decades, the gorillas — and the communities that live in the shadow of the park, relying on it for food and livelihoods — have had an unlikely ally: coffee. Human Nature spoke with Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, a founding member of Gorilla Conservation Coffee, a program that is working to save gorillas “one sip at a time.”

Continue reading

For climate expert, California summit will be momentous homecoming

La Jolla, California

Beach in La Jolla, California. (© Justin Brown/Flickr Creative Commons)

I live in Washington, D.C., but California will always be “home.”

Growing up in Irvine, I stomped in the snow at Mammoth Lakes in the winter, lounged on Orange County beaches in the summer, cruised through the scorching Death Valley on the way to Las Vegas. It was clear to me why this state was the cradle of the conservation movement.

This month, California is hosting the most important climate summit since Paris — a gathering of forward-looking companies, governments and organizations forging ahead to act on climate change.

Where else would such an event happen but the “Golden State”?

Continue reading

In case you missed it: 3 big stories from our world

Humpback whale, Alaska.

Humpback whale, Tongass National Forest, Alaska. (© Art Wolfe)

Editor’s note: News about conservation and the environment is made every day, but some of it can fly under the radar. In a recurring feature, Human Nature shares three stories from the past week that you should know about.

  1. Many major airports are near sea level. A disaster in Japan shows what can go wrong.

Kansai International Airport was covered in seawater this week after a typhoon hit Japan. According to experts, it’s not the only airport in danger of rising sea levels.

Continue reading

Protecting the planet’s freshwater: 3 things you need to know 

Macushi boys in canoe, Yupukari village.

Macushi boys in canoe, Yupukari village in Guyana. (© Pete Oxford/iLCP)

Editor’s note: Freshwater experts gathered last week for Stockholm World Water Week, the annual conference that spotlights developing solutions to the most pressing global water issues. Conservation International’s freshwater lead, Robin Abell, shares her three key takeaways from the conference and what they mean for the health of the planet’s water.

  1. Nature is no longer niche

The theme of this year’s gathering was “Water, ecosystems and human development.” While it’s true that this necessarily meant there was a lot of nature-based content, I was surprised by just how mainstream nature — specifically, nature-based solutions to freshwater problems — has become.

Continue reading

In case you missed it: 4 big stories from our world

Mamanuca Islands, Fiji.

Mamanuca Islands, Fiji. (© Levi S. Norton). By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean if we don’t take action.

Editor’s note: News about conservation and the environment is made every day, but some of it can fly under the radar. In a recurring feature, Human Nature shares four stories from the past week that you should know about.

  1. California moves towards 100 percent carbon-free electricity after landmark vote

Legislators in California voted to switch to carbon-free energy sources by 2045.

The story: California may become the second state in the U.S., after Hawaii, to set a goal of clean energy reliance by 2045, Oliver Milman with The Guardian wrote last Wednesday. According to state senator Kevin de Leon, the legislation is a “victory for clean air. It’s a victory to tackle climate change and the devastation that it’s leaving in its wake.” The bill still needs to be signed by the state senate and the governor before it can take effect.

Continue reading

Sustainable coffee: What it really means

Picking coffee in southwestern Colombia.

Coffee picking in Cauca, southwestern Colombia. (© Neil Palmer/CIAT)

Editor’s note: September 29 marks National Coffee Day in the U.S. Throughout the month of September, Human Nature is highlighting Conservation International’s sustainable coffee work. This post is the first in the series.

Have you ever wondered what the “sustainably grown” label on a bag of coffee beans means?

Growing coffee sustainably means conserving nature and providing better livelihoods for the people that produce it. Unsustainable coffee production contributes to deforestation, water contamination and the exploitation of workers.

Continue reading