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Category archives for Development

Environmental Education in an Extractive Economy: Azerbaijan’s IDEA Initiative

Oil and gas economies are often perceived by conservationists to have diminished sensibilities towards the environment. However, the wealth generation in such economies can also create opportunities for conservation, as there is less incentive for excessive land-use and mineral revenues can lead to investments in environmental education. Some earlier research by Sven Wunder on oil…

Everglades Restoration: Alterations of Downstream Biodiversity

As part of an ongoing project, Erika Zambello is visiting all National Estuarine Research Reserves in the continental United States. Established by NOAA, the sites work together toward long-term research, education and coastal stewardship. Changing Waters At first glance, the waterways within Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (RB NERR) seem pristine. While I kayaked…

Using Positive Feedback for Training Elephants in Thailand

I have come to realize over the course of my visit that this is an incredibly sensitive complex concern, one that needs a multi-prong strategy, as one solution does not fit all the regional contexts.

Sushi Roulette: Is the Fish You Ordered the One You Got?

Have plans this summer to visit your favorite sushi restaurant? You might order spicy tuna roll. Or maybe salmon or halibut. But is the fish you selected the one you got? If you’re in Los Angeles or many other cities around the globe, it’s a flip of the coin. Scientists at Loyola Marymount University, the…

Trunks in Tethers

Thailand’s current population of elephants is around 7,000, of which nearly 4,000 are captive beasts of burden. These enslaved animals can never be reintroduced into wild herds. They bear the psychological and physical wounds of neglect, abuse, malnutrition, and seclusion.

Invasive Alien Species on Islands

Invasive alien species are the major threat to islands by most metrics, and two open access papers published this week highlight this threat in different ways.

Reporter’s Notebook: Voices from the Mekong and Tonlé Sap Lake

Voices and stories from around Tonle Sap Lake and communities affected by the Lower Sesan II dam.

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”

Te Araroa and the Increasing Popularity of Thru-Hikes

By Erika Zambello, based on an article by Dan Hawkins. New Zealand is known for breathtaking scenery, popularized in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie series. Since 1975, citizens have been working toward a scenic, thru-hiking trail to showcase the country, culminating in an official trail that opened in 2011. Today,…

Island-hopping in the Mekong River

Recounting a one-week journey across islands in the Mekong River, near Sambour district, with the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-CAM).

A Win for Both Nature and Fishermen in Mauritius

Last year, the Mauritian government, in partnership with local NGOs and Smartfish, led the first national octopus fishing closure for two months of the year. It went … swimmingly.

Nature Is Making a Comeback. It’s Time to Celebrate.

Legendary conservation biologist Tom Lovejoy shares his thoughts on the progress we’ve made in protecting the wild, and the reasons for continued hope as the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Summit gets under way.

A Fisherman’s Son Who Cannot Swim

Mayur, a young Koli fisherman’s son, never learned to swim because the beaches of Mumbai are too polluted. Few Koli youth want to follow their parent’s footsteps to be fishermen in Mumbai. The consumer demand for fish though is ever on the rise. Mayur teaches me to dig for clams and offers his perspective on Koli culture among shifting tides.

Latest Okavango Wilderness Project Expedition About to Kick Off

When they put the sticker on the Land Cruiser, you know things are about to get good.

Kittens-Sighting Is a Big Leap for Florida Panther Conservation

We just learned that at least two Florida panther kittens were found north of Caloosahatchee River for first time in decades. This is groundbreaking news for the recovery of an endangered big cat species and a clear cause for optimism.