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Category archives for Environment

Abandoned fishing nets: The irony of the sea that keeps on catching (and killing)

Co-authored by Erica Cirino It was a cool morning in early spring when a group of volunteer divers jumped off their boat into the calm, turquoise waters off Makronisos Island in Greece. Under the surface lay before them lay a vast reef wonderland, complete with bizarrely shaped corals, colorful fish and even a dilapidated shipwreck.…

Indigenous Amazonians Reeling From Oil Spills in the Jungle

An oil pipe can burst anywhere, even deep in the Amazon. Even there, not only does the environment suffer, people must struggle with far-ranging damage and contamination.

The manta in the mirror

By John Weller and Shawn Heinrichs A meeting of minds Chain upon chain of jagged islands jutted up from the sea. Dense vegetation clung to black, pitted rock walls that dropped sharply into cerulean blue lagoons. A Sulfur-crested Cockatoo landed in the top of a tree, its raucous call bouncing around the cliffs before daring out…

Informal settlements and climate change: An opportunity and challenge for cities of emerging economies

By Mayor Mpho Parks Tau of Johannesburg The unprecedented growth of cities in emerging economies, coupled with the legacy of apartheid in South Africa has, since the early 1990s, led to a rapid increase in informal settlements, or slums, in Johannesburg. As the economic heartland of South Africa, it is estimated that Johannesburg receives more…

The Beginning of the End: Endangered Invasive Mice

Mice have been on Antipodes Island for a century now, but this month marks the beginning of the end for them. 65 tonnes of bait will be shortly transported to the island for the eradication five years in planning to commence.

Mapping out the chronic effects of silent oil spills

By Anna Kulow We are all familiar with the images from massive oil spills. A sea otter blackened by a thick coating of oil on its fur. Masses of dead fish floating in iridescent seawater. Pelicans being lifted from the water, hydrocarbons dripping from their saturated feathers. However, the majority of oil pollution in our oceans…

Plastic: The big breakup

Co-authored by Erica Cirino My dog Foosa and I step onto the beach, and in the first few steps I find—as usual—something made of plastic. This beach is strewn with everything from fiberglass buoys to crumbling Styrofoam cups to poorly disposed “disposable” lighters to plastic bags (use once, throw away, except that “away” is here).…

Challenging conventional wisdom in social innovation

There are no shortage of books on social entrepreneurship and innovation, but are they the books young people need? Do we have the right balance between theory and practice, or mechanics and motivation? Whose voice is dominant? What’s wrong with many of the current books on offer that drove me to publish two of my own? Well,…

Tracking Tigers Is Just As Dangerous As It Sounds

Matthew Luskin is a conservation biologist, wildlife ecologist, and National Geographic grantee. He spent a year in the rain forest of Indonesia tracking tigers through the remaining three largest national parks—and it was seriously dangerous. “When there’s a tiger around you can’t sleep. You can barely eat. You can’t do anything because all you are…

C40 Cities Awards 2016 now open for submissions

C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) today launched a global call for submissions to the C40 Cities Awards 2016. All cities demonstrating leadership in climate action are encouraged to apply for a chance to be recognised in the world’s foremost sustainability awards. The fourth-annual C40 Cities Awards are being held in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies.…

A Pacific salmon hub is under threat

The Skeena River snakes out of fir-lined fjords on the misty northern coast of British Columbia, and washes over a thousand-acre sandbar. Flora Bank is a biological bottleneck over which millions of finger-length young salmon enter the sea each spring. Scientist Allen Gottesfeld calls Flora Bank the “Grand Central Station” for the watershed. All streams…

Lake Suwa’s Shinto Legend and the Oldest Lake Ice Record on Earth: What It Tells Us About Climate Change and Variability

By Lisa Borre Shinto priests observing an ancient legend recorded ice freeze dates on Lake Suwa in Japan starting in the 15th Century. On the other side of the world, a local merchant began a tradition of recording ice thaw events on the Torne River in Finland in the 17th century. Both traditions continue to…

Ascension: Halfway to the Atlantic’s largest marine reserve

    By Charles Clover, Executive Director, Blue Marine Foundation     On the morning of Sunday 3 January 2016, the world woke to the news that the British government was proposing to create a “marine reserve nearly the size of the United Kingdom” in the tropical Atlantic around the island of Ascension. It was a…

Wetland Revival: Using impact investment to restore nature

 Conservation interests and agencies gathered along the Murray River in Australia earlier this month to witness the return of water to a wetland system that now rarely receives floodwater from the river, due to construction of large water-storage reservoirs built upstream that capture the river’s flow and sends it to irrigated farms.   With the twist…

In Jakarta, a Piece of Paradise in Every Home.

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Walking into Banteng Square one Sunday morning in December, music from a sea of songbirds filled the air. All along the pathways, under every tree, and lounging in the grass, were men and their birds. It was lovely, odd, and soon to be unsettling. Birdsong soon gave way to the yells and screams of men.…