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Hong Kong raises $1 billion in oversubscribed first green bond
23 May 2019 - Hong Kong raised $1 billion from the sale of its first green bond on Wednesday, as the former British colony looks to establish itself as a centre for green finance. The proceeds from green bonds get earmarked for investment in environmentally friendly projects. (more)

Women bring light to remote villages on islands of Zanzibar
23 May 2019 - Grandmothers and single mothers are among those being trained as community solar engineers, a programme which they say could transform lives in their communities. ... Millions of people across sub-Saharan Africa are getting access to electricity through off-grid renewables, the International Energy Agency said last year, which forecasted strong demand to boost growth in the sector up to 2022. (more)

Protected status secured for Cambodia's Stung Sen wetlands
22 May 2019 - Under the sweltering Cambodian sun, a Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus wades through the freshwater swamps of the Tonle Sap Great Lake. Within Tonle Sap lies Stung Sen, a unique wetland characterised by old-growth forest that undergoes seasonal flooding. Nearby, low-stature shrubland and natural grassland provide crucial foraging grounds for the Lesser Adjutant. But the site doesn't just benefit wildlife. It also plays an important role in flood mitigation during the rainy season, holding up water that would otherwise inundate nearby settlements. It recharges the area's groundwater and purifies it through its aquatic plants and trees. (more)

US: Improved air quality tied to fewer new childhood asthma cases
22 May 2019 - Childhood asthma rates appear to be dropping in many communities across southern California, and a new study suggests this may be due at least in part to improved air quality. Air pollution has long been linked to a variety of respiratory problems and an increased risk of severe asthma attacks for people who already have the breathing disorder. But research to date hasn't offered as clear a picture of how much reducing levels of toxic chemicals in the air might help stop asthma from developing at all. (more)

130,000 trees to be planted in English cities and towns
21 May 2019 - More than 130,000 trees are to be planted in English towns and cities over the next two years as part of the nation's battle against global heating. The scheme, which will be administered by the Forestry Commission, will be open to individuals, local authorities, charities, and NGOs. Grants will be given to pay for the planting of trees and for the first three years of their care in order to ensure they flourish. (more)

India: Keshopur wetland likely to be the fourth Ramsar site in Punjab
21 May 2019 - Keshopur wetland in Gurdaspur is inching closer be the third Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance) in Punjab. The three-day joint inspection visit of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) experts and officials of Punjab forest department to prepare a report on this matter concluded on Saturday [27 April]. (more)

Paraguayan indigenous community goes digital to protect ancestral lands
20 May 2019 - Rumilda Fernandez's indigenous community has long tended its ancestral lands in Paraguay, marking boundaries with an ancient system of names for trees and streams. Now, squeezed by deforestation and farming, the community is going digital to defend itself. (more)

Why the UK is getting 130,000 more trees
20 May 2019 - 130,000 trees will be planted across England's towns and cities in a bid to do more for the environment. Experts say that planting more trees is crucial in the fight against climate change and it doesn't just stop there; trees in urban areas can absorb noise, reduce flood risk, lower temperatures through shading, and create green spaces for communities to come together. (more)

India's 'Tiger state' reports at least 11 rare cub sightings
18 May 2019 - Forest officials in Madhya Pradesh state, in India, have reported several tiger cub sightings, the first for years in some parts of the region. At least 11 cubs have been sighted in the last week, including five in Panna Tiger Reserve and three each in Nauradehi and Ratapani sanctuaries. (more)

India: Breathing new life into Yamuna floodplains, one wetland at a time
18 May 2019 - Yamuna floodplains, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), and the Delhi University (DU) have started developing an integrated floodplain wetlands system at the city's seventh biodiversity park next to Delhi-Noida Direct Flyway. The area, located on the western banks of river Yamuna, between the marginal bund and DND Flyway, will soon have large wetlands, 100 metre-wide greenways, 6.8km-long walking trails, and recreational parks. (more)

US: The importance of Missouri wetlands
17 May 2019 - May is American Wetlands Month. That means this time of year is a good opportunity to focus on a habitat most people have heard of ... Today, the values of wetlands are being re-discovered. Many people are realizing the important roles wetlands play in re-charging and stabilizing underground aquifers, moderating flood waters, and governing the flow of water. (more)

Finland: Organic animal farms benefit birds nesting in agricultural environments
16 May 2019 - The abundance of bird species living in agricultural environments has decreased both in Finland and elsewhere in Europe. Attempts to rectify the situation have been made with the help of agri-environment-climate subsidies. A recent study conducted in Finland [indicated] the proximity of organic animal farms increased the numbers of birds in agricultural environments. In contrast, most of the other environmental subsidies only had a minor impact on bird numbers. (more)

By 2040, more than half of new cars will be electric
15 May 2019 - Electric cars make up only a tiny fraction of the automobiles sold worldwide, but that will change quickly, according to an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. By 2040, electric cars could make up 57 percent of all passenger car sales worldwide, the report found. Electric cars are coming close to matching gasoline- and diesel-powered cars in purchase price and they already cost less to operate. (more)

Light physical activity might help keep the brain young
15 May 2019 - A recent study suggests that light physical activity may help stave off signs of aging in the brain. The human brain typically shrinks as people age ... Nicole Spartano of Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues explain in JAMA Network Open. Their new research, done in middle aged adults, found that each additional hour spent in light physical activity was associated with 0.22 percent higher brain volume. (more)

Glasgow aims to become UK's first net-zero emissions city
14 May 2019 - Glasgow aims to become the first city in Britain to be carbon-neutral in a drive to tackle climate change. The Scottish city plans to reach the goal by consuming greener energy and promoting a mass electric car charging scheme, as well as boosting investment in the renewable electricity grid. (more)

US: Jury returns $2 billion verdict against Monsanto for couple with cancer -- the biggest so far
14 May 2019 - A jury handed an unparalleled $2.055 billion verdict in favor of a couple in California who say their cancer was caused by long-term exposure to Monsanto's popular weed killer Roundup, according to the plaintiffs' attorneys. It follows several recent losses the company has faced in court concerning Roundup. Thousands of similar cases are pending at the federal or state level. (more)

What helps prevent dementia? Try exercise, not vitamin pills
14 May 2019 - If you want to save your brain, focus on keeping the rest of your body well with exercise and healthy habits rather than popping vitamin pills, say new World Health Organization guidelines for preventing dementia, released on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (more)

IMO, Norway launch project to help shipping sector cut emissions
13 May 2019 - The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has launched a joint project with Norway to help the shipping industry cut emissions by at least 50 percent from 2008 levels by 2050, the UN's shipping agency said on Monday [13 May]. More than 50 countries across the world are expected to participate, with eight countries from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific region taking pilot roles. (more)

US: Chobani founder and CEO donates for student lunches
12 May 2019 - The schools in Warwick, Rhode Island, can put those sun butter and jelly sandwiches away: Someone is stepping up to pay the massive lunch debt of some of its students. That 'someone' is yogurt company Chobani, which is paying off $47,650 of the $77,000 debt. 'For every child, access to naturally nutritious and delicious food should be a right, not a privilege. When our children are strong, our families are stronger. And when our families are strong, our communities are stronger,' Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said in statement. (more)

India: Jaipur to soon get 600 eco-friendly buses
11 May 2019 - Jaipur City Transport Service Ltd (JCTSL) at its board meeting has decided to purchase 600 eco-friendly buses for the city. (more)

Extinct species of bird came back from the dead, scientists find
10 May 2019 - A previously extinct species of bird returned from the dead, reclaiming the island it previously lived on and re-evolving itself back into existence, scientists have said. The white-throated rail colonized the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean and evolved to become flightless, before being completely wiped out when the island disappeared below the sea around 136,000 years ago. ... The extremely rare process is known as iterative evolution -- the repeated evolution of a species from the same ancestor at different times in history. (more)

Forget A to B, electric cars can now get you from London to Paris
10 May 2019 - In the past, when people thought about electric cars they probably envisaged being stranded at the side of the road, an empty battery and not a charging point in sight. The thought of even getting from home to work and back was worrying enough, and the idea of making it from one country to another was, frankly, absurd. Fast forward to 2019 and electric vehicles have come a long way. (more)

Gangs to gardens: Kenyan youth shun crime to create green spaces
10 May 2019 - People's Park was a dumping site and a crime hotspot in Nairobi, now it's been transformed into a well-manicured park and a popular spot for residents to meet and play. As a young man, Moses Muchina used to rob people who were unlucky enough to have to cross through the Kenyan slum of Korogocho after dark. But today, People's Park is no longer a 'no-go zone', as Muchina called it. And it was Muchina, along with a group of former gang members, who led the transformation. (more)

UK: 'Young People's Forest': First trees planted in Derbyshire
10 May 2019 - Youngsters have begun planting trees at Britain's first 'Young People's Forest' on the site of a former open cast mine. The Woodland Trust has bought part of the 162-hectare (400 acre) site near Heanor in Derbyshire, which is known as Mead. Mass planting will take place in the autumn and about 250,000 trees will be planted there over the next few years. (more)

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