Biodiversity Media Alliance

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Mike Shanahan's Blog (63)

Borneo’s eco-stranded apes with nowhere to call home

Who’s that hiding in the trees? It’s a Bornean orangutan, an ape with an unhappy history and an uncertain future.

I saw this orangutan and several others when I took a recent boat journey past Kaja Island in the Rungan River of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The 40-plus orangutans on the island are ‘rehabs’ — creatures that have been confiscated from poachers, found orphaned or rescued from homes where as pets they were subjected to a diet of noodles…


Added by Mike Shanahan on February 7, 2012 at 15:17 — No Comments

Golden green grunge for rare red orangutans

It’s a biologist’s dream — a rock band that’s named after plankton and makes conservation cool.

Navicula means small ship in Latin. It is the name shared by an estimated 10,000 species of microscopic algae that are part of the larger group called diatoms that forms the basis of freshwater and marine food chains.

These tiny plankton produce about a quarter of all the oxygen we breathe. They feed the tiny…


Added by Mike Shanahan on January 25, 2012 at 12:50 — No Comments

Millions of long lost logs and a single special tree

If the ground beneath my feet last week could talk, it could tell a long story of land and logging, crime and conservation — the kind of story that defines rainforest politics.

I had come to Sebangau National Park in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia to learn about its potential to protect the Bornean orang-utan, a species whose total population is so small it could not fill all the seats at a World Cup football stadium.

The park is immense. It covers…


Added by Mike Shanahan on January 19, 2012 at 15:12 — No Comments

Game reveals complex links between poverty and threats to apes

There were 50 ape experts in a room and a quick game to play to break the ice. “If you agree with the statement, go to the left side of the room,” said the facilitator. “If you disagree go to the right.”

She then unveiled eight simple words that split the room in two: “Local poverty is the main threat to apes.”…


Added by Mike Shanahan on January 19, 2012 at 15:10 — No Comments

Time for faith in our environment

I’m not religious but I was moved by the force of what Bishop Geoff Davies said as his gentle voice of faith stormed into a thunder that rolled across the room and bounced off its walls.

“It’s extreme heresy,” he boomed. “And it must be proclaimed as such.”

Read the rest of this post at Under the Banyan

Added by Mike Shanahan on January 3, 2012 at 12:55 — No Comments

Q: When is a forest not a forest? A: When no-one knows

Take a look at these two photographs and play spot the difference. 

To my mind, the top photo shows a forest. It is dense and diverse, a home to hundreds of species of trees, hundreds of species of bird and mammals and reptiles and fish, and many thousands of other forms of life that it would take a lifetime to…


Added by Mike Shanahan on October 29, 2011 at 11:36 — 1 Comment

Ask not what you can do for nature… Ask what nature can do for you

In 1997 a British barrister uttered three words that left my sister and me speechless and gave us a glimpse of the future. 

As we walked along a road in Jersey, he stopped and asked: “What is that?” 

His voice was more shrill than normal and his eyes were wide open. He looked like a child who had just seen his first rainbow.

As his arm stretched out to point at a bird that had landed nearby, my sister and I were stunned to realise that he did…


Added by Mike Shanahan on July 19, 2011 at 13:00 — No Comments

The dark history and uncertain future of edible pink gold

Will rising seas flood many shrimp farms out of business and drown what is left of the world’s mangroves, or can these forests play an important role in stabilising the temperature?


Read the rest of this post at Under The Banyan

Added by Mike Shanahan on May 10, 2011 at 16:04 — No Comments

Justice in the Forests: six online films and webinar from IIED

The International Institute for Environment and Development is pleased to share six new films about the future of forests, and announce a forthcoming webinar where you can discuss the films with the team that made them and viewers from around the world.

The films are free for you to use on…


Added by Mike Shanahan on April 19, 2011 at 11:30 — No Comments

Training workshop for African press officers

Are you an African press officer?


If so, check out this capacity-building workshop during the World Conference of Science Journalists in Doha, Qatar in June. There are some travel bursaries available.....


This all-day event aims to improve media coverage relating to African science, particularly in the fields of science and medicine, by providing targeted training and networking for press officers from African research institutes. It will utilise the…


Added by Mike Shanahan on March 11, 2011 at 16:05 — No Comments

Climate Change Communicator of the Year Award

Voting is open for the Climate Change Communicator of the Year award for activities in 2010.


The nominees include our Climate Change Media Partnership programme (set up by IIED, Internews and Panos). You can read our full nomination text below, and you can vote online here:



Added by Mike Shanahan on March 10, 2011 at 9:30 — No Comments

2011 is the International Year of Forests.... Tick... Tock...

2011 is the International Year of Forests, so here is a link to a new post on IIED's Due South blog by Duncan Macqueen — Tick tock — it’s the year of forests

Unknown Object

In it he explains why more than a billion forest-dependent poor will probably not see 2011 that way and why local control is key to the…


Added by Mike Shanahan on January 7, 2011 at 11:46 — No Comments

Watch the webcast of the Biodiversity Media Alliance launch

The Biodiversity Media Alliance held its formal launch event at the COP10 biodiversity conference in Nagoya, Japan yesterday (27 October).

The 30-minute event was filmed and can be watched online here.

The Biodiversity Media Alliance is a partnership between IUCN, Internews and the International… Continue

Added by Mike Shanahan on October 28, 2010 at 7:03 — No Comments

Protecting biocultural heritage in Peru, India, China and Kenya

Today in Nagoya, a COP10 side event will present the findings of a global research project on "Protecting Community Rights over Traditional Knowledge: Implications for customary laws and practices".

The event is hosted by the International Institute for Environment and Development, Asociacion ANDES (Peru), the Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy (China), Ecoserve (India) and ICIPE (Kenya). Food will be provided.

Case studies from Peru, China, India and Kenya will be… Continue

Added by Mike Shanahan on October 27, 2010 at 1:25 — No Comments

UK parliamentarians mark COP10 with early day motion on biodiversity, poverty and climate change

Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom are signing an Early Day Motion on biodiversity and poverty.

The Early Day Motion has just been opened for signatures and the number of MPs signing will grow in the coming days.

It reads:

That this House notes that 2010 is the UN's International Year for Biodiversity; believes that the alarming rate of… Continue

Added by Mike Shanahan on October 26, 2010 at 8:49 — No Comments

If we keep on biting the hand that feeds us, it will slap us in the face

Why is the UN’s big biodiversity meeting in Nagoya, Japan so important? Because the environment and human wellbeing are two sides of the same coin. Read the rest of this post at Under the Banyan.

Added by Mike Shanahan on October 19, 2010 at 4:45 — No Comments

Key role for biodiversity in the battle against poverty and climate change

Nature’s riches can play a major role in poverty eradication, but only if governments and businesses recognise the true economic value of the goods and services our environment provides us.

That’s the central message of a free book published today by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), BirdLife International and Pavan Sukhdev — leader of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity study.

It warns that biodiversity loss is not only an… Continue

Added by Mike Shanahan on October 15, 2010 at 9:30 — No Comments

Call for greater support for media coverage of biodiversity issues

Journalists need more training and greater access to sources and information if they are to effectively tell an under-reported story that has profound implications for livelihoods, health and businesses the world over -- the silent decline in the planet’s biological resources.

So say media specialists at IUCN, IIED and Internews who will formally launch their Biodiversity Media Alliance (BMA) during the conference of parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity on 27 October in… Continue

Added by Mike Shanahan on October 14, 2010 at 10:00 — 5 Comments

Announcements of financial support to CBD LifeWeb Initiatve and protected area solutions




COP 10 to the Convention…

Added by Mike Shanahan on October 12, 2010 at 16:06 — No Comments

The Nagoya—Kuala Lumpur Protocol on Liability and Redress for Damage Resulting from Living Modified Organisms born in Nagoya

Nagoya, 12 October, 2010 - After more than six years of intense negotiations, Parties to the Biosafety Protocol finalized the negotiation of a new treaty known as the "Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety".

Named after two cities where the final rounds of negotiations were held, the new treaty will establish international rules and procedures for liability and redress in case of damage to biological diversity… Continue

Added by Mike Shanahan on October 12, 2010 at 15:49 — No Comments

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