Recent News

Restoration of Degraded Ecosystem

Forty per cent of global e-waste comes from Asia

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[NEW DELHI] Humans generated a staggering 44.7 million metric tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) in 2016 — the equivalent of 4,500 Eiffel Towers, and five per cent more than the electrical and electronic goods discarded just two years earlier, says a new study. The trend is set to continue, with volumes of e-waste expected to rise to 52. Continue reading..

Conservation and Sustainable Use of Unique Ecosystems/Landscapes of High Biodiversity

Disasters causing billions in agricultural losses, with drought leading the way

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15 March 2018, Rome/Hanoi - Natural disasters are costing farmers in the developing world billions of dollars each year, with drought emerging as the most destructive in a crowded field of threats that also includes floods, forest fires, storms, plant pests, animal diseases outbreaks, chemical spills and toxic algal blooms. According to a new report  from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), between 2005 and 2015 natural disasters cost the agricultural sectors of developing country economies a staggering $96 billion in damaged or lost crop and livestock production. Half of that damage — $48 billion worth — occurred in Asia, says the report, which was launched today at a conference in Hanoi convened by Viet Nam's government in collaboration with FAO. Continue reading..

Sustainable Management of Intensively Used Ecosystems/Landscapes

Kenyan innovation takes plastic bags out of forestry

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Plastic bags are known for their environmental impact. They slowly release toxic chemicals once in the soil, for instance, and find their way into the guts of animals that often choke and die as a result. Kenya banned the use of plastic bags in 2017. Continue reading..

Restoration of Degraded Ecosystem

Plastic debris linked to coral disease, death

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[NEW YORK] An international group of researchers has found that plastic trash entering the world’s oceans attracts microbes that cause corals to sicken and die.  “Plastic debris acts like a marine motorhome for microbes,” says Joleah Lamb, research fellow at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and lead author of the study published last month (26 January) in Science. Plastics can cause physical injury to coral tissues, facilitating invasion of pathogens associated with disease outbreaks, the study says. Continue reading..

Restoration of Degraded Ecosystem

These Lab-Grown Corals Could Save The Planet

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Decades into his career, marine biologist David Vaughan stumbled upon a method for growing coral faster than had previously been believed possible, a breakthrough that can add clean air to the planet, and has possible implications for treatment of cancer and tumors. Now he has a new lease on life and is determined not to retire until he can plant a million new corals. Watch the video below to learn more about his method. Continue reading..

Conservation and Sustainable Use of Unique Ecosystems/Landscapes of High Biodiversity

Scientists Develop Fossil Fuel-Based Technology That Consumes Carbon Dioxide

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Engineers at The Ohio State University are developing technologies that have the potential to economically convert fossil fuels and biomass into useful products including electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In the first of two papers published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, the engineers report that they’ve devised a process that transforms shale gas into products such as methanol and gasoline—all while consuming carbon dioxide. This process can also be applied to coal and biomass to produce useful products. Continue reading..

Environmental Integrity

These Lab-Grown Corals Could Save The Planet

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Decades into his career, marine biologist David Vaughan stumbled upon a method for growing coral faster than had previously been believed possible, a breakthrough that can add clean air to the planet, and has possible implications for treatment of cancer and tumors. Now he has a new lease on life and is determined not to retire until he can plant a million new corals. Watch the video below to learn more about his method. Continue reading..

Environmental Integrity

Sumatran rhino 'hanging on by a thread'

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Scientists have decoded the genome of the Sumatran rhinoceros - one of the most threatened mammals on Earth. Its genetic blueprint shows that populations have been in decline for a very long time. The rhino's troubles began during the last Ice Age, when its habitat shrunk, says a US team. Continue reading..

Community Welfare

App 'trained' to spot crop disease, alert farmers

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[NAIROBI] A team of scientists has received US$100,000 grant to refine a mobile application (app) that uses artificial intelligence to diagnose crop diseases, and aims to help millions of African smallholders. The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas team won the grant during big data conference in Colombia on 21 September as part of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture Inspire Challenges. The app, to be used against cassava brown streak disease and the cassava mosaic disease, is expected to be rolled out in 2018. Continue reading..

Community Welfare

Soil-based filter bricks clean up water for Moroccan farmers

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A home-made filter system using layers of soil and gravel cleans domestic waste water well enough to make it suitable for irrigation, a research team in Morocco has found. The filter prototype, tested in Al Haouz, a rural district about 40 kilometres from Marrakech, removed a large amount of waste such as solid particles, organic pollution, nitrogen and fertiliser residue. The system was also successful at killing off coliform bacteria and other pathogens in the water including faecal matter, E. Continue reading..