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Building Islands and Burying Reefs in the South China Sea – July 21, 2015

China’s land reclamation activities in the Spratly Islands are causing permanent damage to marine habitat

Island-building isn’t new. San Francisco built Treasure Island in the 1930s for the Golden Gate International Exposition. Miami’s exclusive Star Island was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers back in the 1920s. And of course there are more recent examples, such as Dubai’s infamous Palm Islands.  

Fiery Cross ReefPhoto courtesy of Asia Maritime Transparncy InitiativeChinese development at the newly reclaimed Fiery Cross Reef, which lies on the west side of Spratly Island. China’s island-building boom is widely seen as an attempt to tighten its control over the South China Sea.

Now, China is fervently adding to that list at an unprecedented… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Americans Are Paying Attention to Food Waste, But Still Throw Away More Food Than They Think – June 24, 2015

New survey finds nearly three-fourths of Americans believe they toss less food than the average consumer

We all throw away food. In fact, in the United States, an estimated 40 percent of all food is trashed as it makes it way from farm to table, or more aptly, as it doesn’t. But how aware are we of our own waste? And what motivates us to rethink our shopping habits or reconsider that wilting lettuce in the back of the fridge?

Photo of Food Waste Photo by Stephen Rees, on Flickr Nearly three-quarters of the 1,010 survey respondents said they waste less food than the average American.

Those are the questions a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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China to Shut Down Domestic Ivory Trade – June 2, 2015

Announcement offers hope amid African poaching crisis and dwindling elephant numbers

Last week was a big one for African elephants. China, the world’s largest market for illegal ivory, announced that it would phase-out its legal, domestic ivory market. With elephants under dire threat from poaching, the news could not be more welcome to conservationists.  

Photo of Guangzhou, China Ivory CrushPhoto by International Fund for Animal Welfare Chinese officials prepared to begin crushing stockpiles of confiscated ivory at a January 2014 crush event in Guagzhou, China. On Friday, officials crushed 662 kilograms of ivory in Beijing at China’s second crush event.

“Under the legal framework of CITES and domestic laws and regulations, we… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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North Carolina Could Become Fifth State With an Ag-Gag Law – May 26, 2015

Bill sitting on Governor McCrory’s desk would make it illegal to document or film animal abuse on factory farms

Whistleblowers beware. Last week, the North Carolina senate passed HB 405, a controversial “ag-gag” bill that would make it illegal to document unethical or illegal practices on industrial farms in the state. Passed by the House in April, the bill has been presented to the Governor, who has five more days to veto it. If he does nothing (or signs it) before the end of the week, North Carolina will join Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, and Utah as the fifth state with a law criminalizing undercover investigations of factory farms.

Photo of Poultry Factory FarmPhoto by Farm Sanctuary HB 405 would criminalize undercover… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Fighting for Our Oceans – April 20, 2015

From Haiti to Scotland, Goldman Environmental Prize winners tackle marine management challenges

In an era of seemingly unlimited threats to the environment, ocean health is one of the most urgent and severe challenges facing activists today. The oceans are under fire from almost uncountable ills, including rampant overfishing, ocean acidification, plastics pollution, oil spills, and ocean dumping, to name a few. But although the challenges are humbling, there are some activists who have faced them head-on, and with astounding success.

Goldman PrizePhoto courtesy of Goldman AwardsJean Wiener has worked for more than two decades to protect Haiti’s coastal environment and empower local communities.

Jean Wiener and Howard Wood may live 4,000 miles apart,… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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