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Environment News

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

'Dead zones' in world's oceans are growing
The Independent (UK)
Marine "dead zones" - oxygen-starved areas of the oceans that are devoid of fish - are one of the greatest environmental problems facing the world, UN scientists warned yesterday.

Prescott urges cash boost for housing
The Guardian (UK)
John Prescott is pressing the chancellor for billions more in the forthcoming three-year spending review for a big housing programme.

Islanders offered £20 to save hedgehogs from extermination
The Independent (UK)
Hedgehogs facing government-controlled extermination on the Outer Hebrides could win a last-minute reprieve because of £20 bounties being offered to islanders for each animal snatched from death.

Warning over new housing policy
The Scottish Executive's commitment to tackle a shortage of affordable rural housing does not go far enough, the Chartered Institute of Housing warned.

Farmhouse lobby calls summit to talk up great outdoors
The Herald (UK)
Research into the impact of country sports on Scotland's economy is piecemeal, fragmented, politicised and often out of date, the Scottish Countryside Alliance said yesterday.

Britain may miss target on disposal of batteries
The Independent (UK)
Britain is in danger of missing a European Union target on the safe disposal of batteries and is throwing away so many that in their active state they would power a torch for more than a million years.

New ideas required to keep North Sea oil gushing
The Guardian (UK)
Urgent action is needed to prevent a slump in North Sea oil production as big companies switch investment in exploration to rival fields around the world, according to a report out today.

Plea over missing whale bones
Zoologists are seeking the public's help as they try to discover how two jawbones disappeared from a 56ft whale washed ashore on an island.

EU debates ways to handle stocks of toxic mercury
Reuters (UK)
The European Union, the world's top supplier of mercury, needs a strategy to cope with a huge stockpile of the highly toxic metal as its main industrial use slowly vanishes, the EU's environment chief said on Monday.

Italy villages fight for life
Perched on a hilltop in the glorious March sunshine, Vallinfreda, to the east of Rome, is a perfect example of picture postcard Italy.

Burma creates huge tiger reserve
The Burmese government has given the go-ahead for the creation of the world's largest tiger reserve.

Ancient apple orchards face bonfire
The Guardian (UK)
Growers plan to dig up rural treasures as payment scheme removes incentives.

Kenyan wins $100,000 for tree plantings in Africa
Reuters (UK)
Kenya's assistant environment minister won a $100,000 prize Monday for leading a campaign to combat deforestation by planting more than 25 million trees across Africa.

Two year extension in funding for community forests
DEFRA - Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (United Kingdom)
Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael today announced an extra two years of funding for Community Forests.

Environmental conditions for farm payments unveiled
DEFRA - Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (United Kingdom)
Proposals for more environmentally sensitive and sustainable farming under a simpler, less bureaucratic system of support in England are published today by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Rural funding streams: a new website
DEFRA - Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (UK)
Defra wants to hear from people who are close to the ground - in local communities, in voluntary groups, from farmers and businesses and local councils - with ideas on how to simplify access to cash and grants.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Revealed: UK zoos caught in rare wildlife trade with dealer
The Observer (UK)
British zoos are trading in some of the world's most endangered species with a controversial wildlife dealer who has been condemned by European animal welfare groups.

HMS 'Scylla' is sunk to create Europe's first artificial reef
The Independent (UK)
A grey ship on a calm grey sea against a grey sky would not ordinarily attract much attention. The monochrome setting off south-east Cornwall, however, was deceptive camouflaging as it hid one of the most historic and unusual maritime events to take place in UK waters: the creation of Europe's first artificial reef.

British warship sunk to make a home for sea life
Reuters (UK)
A decommissioned Royal Navy warship was sunk by controlled explosions off the coast of southwest England on Saturday to create Britain's first artificial diving reef.

Chicken factories accused of relabelling old meat for supermarkets
The Independent (UK)
An investigation has been launched by the Food Standards Agency into claims that three-week-old raw chicken may end up in supermarkets.

20-day-old chicken sold as 'fresh' in supermarkets
The Scotsman (UK)
Chicken labelled fresh and on sale in the country’s leading supermarkets could be up to three weeks old by the time it is bought, leading to a greater risk of bacteria, it has been claimed.

Lost UK butterfly thriving again
The large blue butterfly, which went extinct in the UK in 1979, is making a dramatic comeback after the species was reintroduced by conservationists.

Uranium pond at Sellafield sparks court threat by EU
The Sunday Herald (UK)
The European Commission is threatening to take the British government to court for failing to account for hundreds of tonnes of dangerous radioactive waste at the Sellafield nuclear complex.

Poisoners sought after birds of prey found dead
The Herald (UK)
The remains of 25 protected birds of prey have been found on a country estate in what conservationists yesterday described as one of Scotland's worst wildlife crimes.

World getting 'literally greener'
The world seems to have begun to turn greener, in the strictly literal sense, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

Global warming spirals upwards
The Independent (UK)
Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have jumped abruptly, raising fears that global warming may be accelerating out of control.

Greenhouse gas output still growing

The Herald (UK)
Carbon emissions went up by 1.5% between 2002 and 2003, despite government efforts to cut levels of the gases blamed for global warming.

Soya-powered planes promise greener air travel
New Scientist (UK)
Soya oil is just the thing to give aviation fuel a greener future, believe a group of US biochemists.

Chemical industry urges Government action
Environment Times (UK)
The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has highlighted the growing gap between the UK and other EU member states in the National Allocation Plans for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

New laws will fail to protect dolphins from net deaths
Greenpeace (UK)
Governments from around Europe have failed to agree laws that would give dolphins and porpoises adequate protection from drowning in fishing nets.

EU member states urged to reject genetically modified rice
Greenpeace (UK)
European governments are being urged to reject a genetically modified (GM) rice in order to prevent control of the world's most important staple food falling into the hands of multinational companies.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

BBC wildlife magazine editor quits in dumbing-down row
The Independent (UK)
The BBC was accused of sacrificing quality for cost-cutting yesterday after the resignation of the editor of one of its specialist magazines.

Sea change for tidal power
Nature (UK)
A British company has invented a simple tidal power system that is relatively easy to install and has little impact on its environment.

Gorilla study gives social clues
The western gorilla lives peacefully in human-like social groups, a study shows.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Fresh fear over Scottish salmon
The Herald (UK)
Scientists who raised the alarm over Scottich farmed salmon earlier this year now claim that high level of cancer-causing chemicals, used as flame retardants, are also found in the fish.

Scottish reef wins EU protection
A unique area of cold water coral reefs off the north west coast of Scotland has been given permanent protection by EU fisheries ministers.

Fresh hope on haddock deal averts conflict with skippers
The Scotsman (UK)
Scottish skippers last night drew back from the threat of direct confrontation with the government after being offered fresh hope of a new deal on haddock quotas.

Fishing fleet set to win a u-turn
Daily Record (UK)
Scots fishermen believe they have won a U-turn over crippling Euro rules.

Planning system ‘lets developers break environmental promises’
The Sunday Herald (UK)
Developers across Scotland are getting away with breaking planning promises because local authorities are failing to check up on them.

Car makers secretly lobby EC to reduce air-pollution targets
The Sunday Herald (UK)
All major car manufacturers are secretly lobbying the European Commission (EC) to relax its target for cutting climate-wrecking pollution from exhausts, a leaked document has revealed.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Rescuers struggle to free whale
Rescuers have failed in their latest attempt to rescue a 36-feet-long whale stranded off the Lincolnshire coast.

Back to the table for farm trade talks
It is six months since the World Trade Organisation meeting in Cancun in Mexico

Byers heads climate change task force
AOL News - UK (UK)
A new international task force aimed at tackling climate change is being launched.

Oceans need protection, MPs urge
Urgent government action is needed to protect the sea's environment, an all party committee of MPs has said.

Ministers 'failing to protect Britain's marine habitats'
The Independent (UK)
Rare sea life and ocean habitats around the British Isles are being destroyed because ministers are failing to protect the marine environment, an all-party committee of MPs has warned.

Coke recalls Dasani
Edinburgh Evening News (UK)
COCA-COLA is recalling its entire UK supply of bottled water Dasani.

EU eyes ending tobacco subsidies
European Union agriculture ministers are opening talks on plans to phase out subsidies to farmers growing tobacco.

Bushmeat trade spreads new virus
SciDev.net (UK)
The practice of hunting and eating bushmeat in Central Africa is infecting people with a new virus. While it has not caused illness, it has spread — and scientists are watching carefully.

Leaders debate global policies
The forward-thinking policies of the Welsh assembly will be outlined to hundreds of delegates at a high profile conference in Cardiff later.

Timely reminder on waste
Belfast Telegraph (UK)
Banbridge District Council has launched a new 2004 to 2005 Waste Collection calendar and Recycling Guilde which will be distributed to all households within the district.

''Extinct'' bird storms back
Belfast Telegraph (UK)
An ornithologist from Northern Ireland has been involved in the discovery of an ''extinct'' bird not seen for over 150 years and thought to be as dead as the proverbial Dodo.

London''s air a concern for Lib Dems
This is London (UK)
Levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air have risen dramatically in the capital - threatening an increase in asthma and lung damage, it has been claimed.

Bardsey celebrates another milestone
Countryside Council for Wales (UK)
Bardsey Island comes of age on March 24 as it celebrates 18 years as a National Nature Reserve providing a peaceful sanctuary for birds, marine animals and plants.

10 years of bus in the North York Moors
ANPA - Association of National Park Authorities (UK)
The North York Moors' highly-acclaimed Daffodil bus service is back on the road for the tenth year.

Spring clean for Gelligaer and Merthyr Common
Environment Agency (UK)
The first stage of a project to remove more than 100 tonnes of illegally tipped household rubbish, builders rubble, highly flammable gas bottles, drums, scrap car parts, tyres and hazardous wastes is due to start on 23 March 2004.

Green road driving plans not enough
ANPA - Association of National Park Authorities (UK)
Government proposals to tackle the problem of motorbikes and 4x4 vehicles in the countryside might have little impact in the Lake District National Park.

Joint approach to new access responsibilities
ANPA - Association of National Park Authorities (UK)
A joint working arrangement between the Lake District National Park Authority and Cumbria County Council is planned to ensure that the provisions of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW Act) are implemented consistently throughout Cumbria.

Friday, March 19, 2004

UK wildlife 'heading into crisis'
Two new studies of UK wildlife provide alarming evidence that many animal and plant species in Britain are in sharp decline due to human activity.

Disappearing butterflies may be signs of mass extinction
The Independent (UK)
A milestone study of British birds, butterflies and wild flowers has revealed the strongest evidence yet that we are on the verge of a mass extinction of global wildlife - the sixth mass extinction in the history of life on Earth.

Loss of birds and butterflies may be sign of global extinction
International Herald Tribune Europe (UK)
A detailed survey of birds and butterflies in Britain shows a population decline of 54 percent to 71 percent, a finding that suggests the world may be undergoing another major extinction.

Earth faces sixth mass extinction
New Scientist (UK)
The Earth may be on the brink of a sixth mass extinction on a par with the five others that have punctuated its history, suggests the strongest evidence yet.

Insect deaths add to extinction fears
Nature (UK)
Ecologists have unveiled strong evidence that huge numbers of the world's species are disappearing

Fresh studies support new mass extinction theory
Reuters (UK)
Fears that the earth is undergoing a mass species wipe-out similar to that which destroyed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago gained new ground on Thursday with the publication of two British studies.

Activists in raid to disrupt trade in rainforest timber
The Guardian (UK)
Illegal logging in Indonesia is driving tigers and orang-utans to the edge of extinction while EU governments do little to stop it.

Much ado about almost nothing
The Economist (UK)
The public outcry over genetically modified foods offers several lessons for those working and investing in nanotechnology.

Assembly springs to Welsh Garden's aid
The Guardian (UK)
A lifeline has been thrown to the National Botanic Garden of Wales, which has been facing closure since December.

Dounreay clean-up draws world interest
The Herald (UK)
The world's largest plant for the destruction of liquid metal has begun full operation at Dounreay at a cost of £17m and is attracting close interest from the international nuclear community.

Defra confirms Brucellosis on farm in Cornwall
DEFRA - Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (UK)
Defra has imposed movement restrictions on seven neighbouring livestock holdings in South East Cornwall following an outbreak of brucellosis in a beef suckler herd.

Wave buoys network and database will help flood forecasters
DEFRA - Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (UK)
Wave-measuring buoys which could help warn of an impending flood have been strategically placed around the UK coastline as part of a three-year monitoring project, Environment Minister Elliot Morley has announced.

GM crops: Single vote majority is ''No Clear Mandate''
Friends of the Earth- Scotland (UK)
Friends of the Earth Scotland responds to the debate in the Scottish Parliament in which the vote that would have prevented GM maize from being grown anywhere in the UK was lost by a single vote (59 votes to 60 votes).

Greenpeace calls on government to seize rainforest shipment
Greenpeace (UK)
Greenpeace is demanding that the UK Government seizes a huge cargo of illegal timber from Indonesia''s rainforests, where logging is threatening the survival of orang-utans and tigers.

Doorstep Recycling getting better, but still a long way to go
Friends of the Earth- England, Wales and N.Ireland. (UK)
Friends of the Earth''s survey is the first time that data has been gathered from all local collection authorities on the scale and type of recycling doorstep collections offered in England.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Scientist urges US climate help
The US will have to help combat climate change if extreme weather events are to be avoided, the government's chief scientist has warned

Cultivating an ethical flower trade
A new fair trade system for flowers is due to begin later this year

Greenhouse gases threaten tree species in the Amazon
The Independent (UK)
Pristine parts of the Amazon rainforest that were thought to have escaped the effects of human encroachment have changed dramatically over the past 20 years, scientists have determined

Thirteen dams threatens China's 'Grand Canyon'
International Herald Tribune Europe (UK)
The highest villages in the mountains above the Nu River seem to hang in the air. Farmers grow cabbage and corn nearly a half kilometer up, as if cultivating ski slopes

African lions under threat from Aids
The decline in Africa's lion population has traditionally been blamed on hunting and loss of natural habitat, but scientists now believe they are also falling victim to a form of Aids

UK gardeners hear buzz of early spring
The Herald (UK)
Bumblebees are buzzing, daffodils are blooming and frogs spawning in Scotland before spring has officially sprung, according to the biggest survey of its kind into the effects of global warming.

Power warning
Daily Record (UK)
Former Scottish Secretary Helen Liddell yesterday dismissed reports that the electricity network faces meltdown.

Managing water resources in the Teifi
Environment Agency (UK)
Environment Agency Wales recently published a document explaining how the licensing of water taken from the River Teifi for drinking water, industrial or agricultural use will be managed for the next six years.

Communities and environmment win from the water price review
Environment Agency (UK)
"Communities, as well as the environment, will be winners from the current water price review", Dr. Charlie Pattinson, Director, Environment Agency Wales claimed, as Carwyn Jones, the Environment Minister for Wales, announced guidance on the scope and scale of environmental investments to be made by the water industry between 2005-10.

Fishkill costs company more than £6400
Environment Agency (UK)
On 10 March 2004 Copely Developments pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates to a charge of causing polluting matter, namely wash-water contaminated with a chlorine based cleaning agent, to enter the Melton Brook, Thurmaston.

Restaurant Owner Fined for Flytipping
Environment Agency (UK)
The owner of a Cornish restaurant was today ordered to pay £1,939 in fines and costs for tipping waste in a layby. The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

Agencies join to halt elver crime
Environment Agency (UK)
On Wednesday 10 March 2004 the Environment Agency, Gloucestershire Police, Gloucester City Council and British Waterways announce a new joint campaign to pool resources and information to combat the anti-social behaviour and lawlessness that gives the traditional activity of elver fishing a bad name.

First Cleansweep waste cheat in the dock
Environment Agency (UK)
Cleansweep, the city-wide multi-agency crackdown on illegal waste-carriers has had its first court result.

Enforcement notice served on coke plant
Environment Agency (UK)
The Environment Agency has served a Barnsley coke and chemical plant with an Enforcement Notice.