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As Nations Gather in Mexico to Discuss Biological Diversity, Global Habitat Loss Still Rampant Across Much of the Earth

As 196 signatory nations of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) meet this week in Cancun, Mexico, to discuss their progress towards averting the current biodiversity crisis, researchers from a range of universities and NGOs report in the international journal Conservation Letters that habitat destruction still far outstrips habitat protected across many parts of the planet.

Pressure Mounts to Save the Cayman Islands Hope Spot

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist For the residents of George Town Harbour, observing mammoth cruise ships pass through their glimmering turquoise backyard is not uncommon. Since 2000, the small island nation of Grand Cayman has received an influx of tourists from the cruise industry, with a little over one million visitors entering the island…

Invasion of the Aliens: Body Snatching Worms, Cold Winters May Rout Lakes’ Enemies

Public enemy number one, it might be called: Eurasian watermilfoil. It’s not on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, but maybe it should be, say scientists who study lakes. The invasive weed’s crime? It crowds out native underwater plants, fouls boat propellers and smothers swimming areas in freshwater lakes across the northern U.S. The invader’s…

Smart Business Solutions: St. Vincent and the Grenadines Hope Spot

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was designated a Mission Blue Hope Spot at the IUCN Congress in Hawaii by Dr. Sylvia A. Earle on September 9, 2016.  By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist When someone says they are going to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) you probably think of islands. But the marine environment —…

‘Outdated’ IUCN Red List Is Missing Hundreds of Threatened Bird Species, Duke Scientists Find

More than 200 bird species in six rapidly developing regions are at risk of extinction despite not being included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of at-risk species, research led by Duke University scientists has found.

The study, published today in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, used remote sensing data to map recent land-use changes that are reducing suitable habitat for more than 600 bird species in the Atlantic forest of Brazil, Central America, the western Andes of Colombia, Sumatra, Madagascar and Southeast Asia, Duke said in a news statement. “Of the 600 species, only 108 are currently classified by the IUCN Red List as being at risk of extinction.”

All Plants Are Medicine; We Just Need To (re)Learn How

“All plants are medicine,” Dr. Jeetpal Negi, the herbal gardener at Navdanya, exclaims proudly with a hint of mystery to his voice. Dr. Negi bends down to examine a seemingly mundane but prolific weed, “this is used for eye health,” he says before popping the small white diamond-shape flower in his mouth. He stretches above his…

President of Colombia to Expand Protection in the Malpelo Hope Spot

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist Over 300 miles off the Pacific coast of Colombia lies Malpelo Island whose clear waters are teeming with colorful marine life. The driving force behind the success of the Malpelo Hope Spot is the community of ocean advocates and citizen scientists promoting its protection. Sandra Bessudo, Marine Biologist…

World’s Largest Marine Protected Area Declared in Antarctica

By Maria Damanaki, Global Managing Director, Oceans, The Nature Conservancy I am delighted that after many years of negotiations, delegates from 24 countries and the European Union meeting in Hobart, Australia have agreed that the Ross Sea in Antarctica will become the world’s largest marine protected area (MPA). Protecting parts of the ocean owned by…

Saving Rice in Pictures

Not pictured: the dozens of hands cutting, sorting and hauling rice. The sweat-soaked saris and brows. The awe of witnessing the preservation of biodiversity.      

Marigolds: an (agri)cultural staple

The first seeds I ever saved were marigold seeds. At the time, I was a garden educator at a small neighborhood environmental nonprofit in Camden, New Jersey. The Center for Environmental Transformation(CFET) is situated in the South Waterfront neighborhood, an old urban community enclosed by industrial facilities which not only restrict access to the nearby waterfront, but…

African Lions on the Brink: A Conversation with Lion Expert Craig Packer

With roars that rend the African night, lions have captured our imaginations since the dawn of humankind. “Lions have long been celebrated in art and literature throughout the world,” says ecologist Craig Packer, National Geographic Explorer and Expeditions Council grantee, and director of the University of Minnesota Lion Center. In the face of habitat loss and…

Our Seed Stories – a Participatory Educational Media Project this School Year

Join me this school year on my journey to India to learn about seed saving, community food systems, and how to cultivate a future for biodiversity!

Antarctic invertebrates: cheaters, kidnappers and possibly lifesavers?

This past March, I had the privilege to visit the Antarctic Peninsula with One Ocean Expeditions as part of a discussion among Antarctic stakeholders on the future of Antarctica. I enjoyed seeing all the typical Antarctic animals – penguins, whales, and seals – but a real highlight was getting to meet Dr. Bill Baker at…

WCS, Waitt Foundation, blue moon fund, and Global Environment Facility Announce $48 Million Marine Commitment

At the U.S. State Department’s Our Ocean 2016 Conference, in Washington, D.C., the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) — together with the Waitt Foundation, the blue moon fund (bmf), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) — announced a $48 million commitment to expand the world’s marine protected areas (MPAs). The conference, organized by Sec. of State John Kerry, brings heads of state, scientists, business leaders, NGOs, and others together to tackle key issues impacting our oceans globally.

Face-to-Face With Wildlife in Florida’s Hidden Wilderness: #bestjobever

Encounters with massive alligator gars, manatees, and rattlesnakes are all par for the course when National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward embarks on a 1,000 mile, 70 day trek to protect Florida’s hidden wilderness.