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Some Dams Survive Through Inertia — Time to Take Them Down?

Some Dams Survive Through Inertia — Time to Take Them Down?

The removal of legacy dams, which were first constructed dozens to more than a hundred years ago, is proving to be increasingly popular to restore river flows now that they are no longer serving any purpose for generating power or driving industrial uses. 

Why This Matters:  There is no doubt that a free-flowing river is a healthy river.  As has been much discussed recently, the need to do everything we can to restore and conserve the natural world to stave off the next wave of extinctions and to combat climate change.

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The Business Case For Nature Is Being Made At World Economic Forum

The Business Case For Nature Is Being Made At World Economic Forum

A new report entitled “Nature Risk Rising: Why the Crisis Engulfing Nature Matters for Business and the Economy” that was just released to coincide with the start of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum makes it clear that businesses are more dependent on nature than previously thought, with approximately $44 trillion of economic value generation moderately or highly dependent on nature.

Why This Matters:  As if we needed more reasons why we should save nature, now the World Economic Forum’s experts make it clear that it is in the world’s financial interest to do so.

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One Cool Thing: Pangolins Protected From Poaching In South Africa

The pangolin is the most highly trafficked mammal on Earth — they are poached at a higher rate than elephants, rhinos and tigers combined. Their scales are what the poachers want — they are ground up and used for medicine in China and Southeast Asia. Pangolins are on the brink of extinction — 120,000 were […]

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One Cool Thing: Costa Rican Wildlife

One Cool Thing: Costa Rican Wildlife

Recently Costa Rica made news because it hosts one of the world’s five “Blue Zones,” the places where people live the longest.  I (Monica) got to visit that region of the country last week, but what was more striking to me was all the ways that Costa Rica is a “Green Zone.”  Everywhere you look […]

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Embracing Biodiversity as the Critical Element of Change in 2020

Embracing Biodiversity as the Critical Element of Change in 2020

By Polen Cisneros, Wildlife Crime Program Officer, International Fund for Animal Welfare  As a conservationist and a millennial, it is easy to say that 2019 was rather a disheartening year for nature.  Not only did the current administration weaken certain protections for animals at the risk of extinction, but the 2019 IPBES Report also painted […]

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Nature-Based Climate Solutions Like #30×30 Gaining Traction With New COP Leaders

Nature-Based Climate Solutions Like #30×30 Gaining Traction With New COP Leaders

Yesterday was #HumanRightsDay and the importance of access to and conserving nature as a basic human right was emphasized repeatedly at the UN Climate Meeting in Madrid — sustaining biodiversity is increasingly recognized for its benefits to addressing the climate emergency. And as developing countries are stepping up to fill the leadership void at the Climate Meeting, their leaders are looking for multifaceted climate solutions that conserve biodiversity and provide for sustainable use of natural resources.

Why This Matters:  It is just this simple — without biodiversity, life on Earth for humans is not possible.  But if we started by protecting or restoring 30 percent of the planet by 2030 for nature itself, that would provide huge carbon capture as well as biodiversity benefits.  

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Bonus Biodiversity Interview:  Stephenne Harding, National Geographic Society

Bonus Biodiversity Interview: Stephenne Harding, National Geographic Society

Stephenne Harding is the Senior Director of the Campaign for Nature at the National Geographic Society and is also part of a coalition of environmental groups working to conserve at least 30% of the ocean by 2030.  She spoke to ODP from a key meeting of the United Nations in Kenya happening this week. ODP:  What is […]

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Breakthroughs in Global Protection From Trade for Mako Sharks and Giraffes

Breakthroughs in Global Protection From Trade for Mako Sharks and Giraffes

Delegates from around the world came to the defense of one of the most critically endangered marine species — the mako shark (often targeted for shark fin soup) — moving ahead a global trade ban for final consideration by the U.N. body that deals with trade in endangered species despite opposition to the ban by Japan, Canada, and the United States.  Final approval of the ban is expected later this week.

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The Endangered Species Act Is Now the One That Is Endangered

The Endangered Species Act Is Now the One That Is Endangered

By Beth Allgood, U.S. Country Director, International Fund for Animal Welfare According to a 2019 independent survey conducted on behalf of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), a vast majority of Americans affirmed that it is ‘very important’ for the United States to protect endangered species both domestically and across the globe. Three in […]

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Interview of the Week: Neil Gelinas, National Geographic

Interview of the Week: Neil Gelinas, National Geographic

Neil Gelinas is an award-winning National Geographic documentary filmmaker,  whose most recent work was “Into the Okavango.” ODP: Nature is a beautiful subject, but it cannot talk.  How hard is it to make wildlife documentaries as a result?  NG:  I wouldn’t say I make wildlife documentaries. I make conservation documentaries in which people are the main subjects, […]

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One Cool Thing:  Turtle Power!

One Cool Thing: Turtle Power!

Loggerhead turtles have laid a record number of nests this year on the East Coast of the U.S. from North Carolina to Florida — more than 12,200, smashing the previous record by nearly a thousand nests in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.  And while just the nest numbers alone bode well for the future […]

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Shrinking Protected Areas Causing Biodiversity Concerns to Rise

Shrinking Protected Areas Causing Biodiversity Concerns to Rise

A new report from Conservation International published today in Science documents that governments have removed more than 500,000 square kilometers from protected areas and downgraded the protection for an additional 1.65 million square kilometers, the majority of which are associated with industrial-scale development.

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