Marine plasctic debris and microplastics:Global lessons and research to inspire action and guide policy change

Plastic litter in the ocean can be considered a ‘common concern of humankind’. This study summarizes the state of our knowledge on sources, fate and effect of marine plastics debris and microplastics, and describes approaches and potential solutions to address this multifaceted issue. The study is divided into four main sections: Background, Evidence Base, Taking Action, and Conclusions and Key Research Needs.

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Longevity and survival of the Endangered Seychelles Magpie Robin Copsychus sechellarum

The Seychelles Magpie Robin Copsychus sechellarum was once one of the most threatened birds in the world, but was downgraded from Critically Endangered to Endangered after a long-term recovery programme was successfully implemented. Comprehensive long-term monitoring of this species was conducted on the islands of Cousin and Cousine over an 18-year period. We report here on the species longevity and annual survival at these two sites.

Julie Gane and April Burt Longevity and survival of the Endangered Seychelles Magpie Robin Copsychus sechellarum

Turn Down the Heat

The report Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal is a result of contributions from a wide range of experts from across the globe. The report follows Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience, released in June 2013 and Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided, released in November 2012. 

“Dramatic climate changes and weather extremes are already affecting millions of people around the world, damaging crops and coastlines and putting water security at risk. Across the three regions studied in this report, record-breaking temperatures are occurring more frequently, rainfall has increased in intensity in some places, while drought-prone regions like the Mediterranean are getting dryer. A significant increase in tropical North Atlantic cyclone activity is affecting the Caribbean and Central America. There is growing evidence that warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is locked-in to the Earth’s atmospheric system due to past and predicted emissions of greenhouse gases, and climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable.” Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group

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Our Friends the Pollinators

Nature Kenya’s (BirdLife Partner in Kenya) Insect Committee have made available for free download a pollinators conservation handbook. “Our Friends the Pollinators: A Handbook of Pollinator Diversity and Conservation in East Africa” is written and illustrated  by Dino J Martins. According to the publishers The goal of the book “is to inspire excitement about pollinators, and make the link with food, and people’s livelihoods.”

The book “also aims to create awareness, provide practical information on the diversity of pollinators in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi), and introduce you to a few of them.” An excerpt from the book says: “The relationships between insects and flowers are ancient, intricate, and fragile. Working with pollinators helps us to glimpse, and understand some of the most wonderfully beautiful, and complex interactions on the planet. We expect that the learning shared in this book will help to shape a strong grassroots movement that works for the protection of habitats, better farming practices, and the restoring of pollination services. We hope that our sense of wonder at pollinators, and their interaction with flowers, will pass to future generations through this book.” Download and share the handbook from this link

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