Category Archives: Environment

Plyscraper city: Tokyo to build 350m tower made of wood

The $5.6bn cost of the 70-storey W350 Project is expected to be twice that of a conventional building

A skyscraper set to be built in Tokyo will become the world’s tallest to be made of wood.

The Japanese wood products company Sumitomo Forestry Co is proposing to build a 350 metre (1,148ft), 70-floor tower to commemorate its 350th anniversary in 2041.

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Source: gad

EDF UK profits hit by fall in sterling and nuclear prices

Pound’s decline against euro costs French firm €608m as home energy usage also drops

French state-owned energy firm EDF reported falling profits, including a downturn in the UK due to falling prices for nuclear power, improved energy efficiency among its household customers and the slide in the value of sterling since the Brexit vote.

Profits in the UK division, which includes EDF Energy, slumped by a third to €1.035 (£920m) as sales dwindled by €579m to €8.68bn, partly because UK customers pay their bills in pounds but the company reports its results in euros.

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Source: gad

Dramatic decline in Borneo's orangutan population as 150,000 lost in 16 years

Fresh efforts needed to protect critically endangered animals from hunters and habitat loss as population more than halves

Hunting and killing have driven a dramatic decline in the orangutan population on Borneo where nearly 150,000 animals have been lost from the island’s forests in 16 years, conservationists warn.

Related: Borneo orangutan found riddled with gunshots in latest attack

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Source: gad

Iran urged by UN to respect environment activists after wildlife campaigner death

Officials say Kavous Seyed Emami used endangered Asiatic cheetah surveys as pretext for spying, but no evidence has been cited

UN officials have urged the Iranian government to respect the work of environmental activists following the death in custody last week of wildlife campaigner, Kavous Seyed Emami.

Emami was buried on Monday, but several members of the organisation he founded, the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, remain in jail and the deputy head of the Environmental Protection Organisation, Kaveh Madani, was detained for 72 hours over the weekend.

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Source: gad

How to eat flowers without poisoning yourself

I spent a week adding a floral touch to my meals – but if you don’t know what you’re doing, swiping flowers from the meadow can be a risky business

There are ups and downs in the world of edible flowers. By her own admission, Jan Billington, who grows and sells them from her organic farm in Devon, “smells amazing”. On the downside, she is regularly stung by Italian honey bees and is badly allergic, “although it’s just a matter of swelling”, she says. “It goes down eventually.”

Billington sells seasonal flowers to chefs and cocktail-makers, but more recently she has begun selling to amateur cooks who are hoping to inject a little personality into their cooking. Edible flowers are in the spotlight, or rather the polytunnels (thanks to the frost), because of Instagram, where they are used to zhoosh up food shots, and because of the rise of veganism, where they provide a bit of textural variation.

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Source: gad

God, minerals and mud: thousands flock to Fiji's 'miracle spring'

The impoverished town of Natadradave, home to just 27 families, has become a site of global interest thanks to ‘healing properties’ of its natural pool

The crowds begin to gather before dawn, snaking along with dusty backroads of Tailevu district in eastern Fiji, humid jungle pressing at them from every side.

Ambulances and open-topped trucks bearing stretchers are allowed to pass first, then those who can walk, and finally the healthy arrive, loaded up with empty water bottles to carry home to sick relatives and friends.

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Source: gad

Decline in krill threatens Antarctic wildlife, from whales to penguins

Climate change and industrial-scale fishing is impacting the krill population with a potentially disastrous impact on larger predators, say scientists

The Antarctic, one of the world’s last great wildernesses and home to animals such as whales, penguins and leopard seals, is being threatened by the plight of an animal just a few centimetres long, according to scientists.

Researchers and environmental campaigners warn that a combination of climate change and industrial-scale fishing is threatening the krill population in Antarctic waters, with a potentially disastrous impact on larger predators.

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Source: gad

A gold mine swallowed their village. This Amazon tribe is here to take it back

In 1996, Osvaldo Wuaru and his family arrived on the outskirts of the vast Munduruku Amazon Territory with a crucial mission: set up a village to hold back the invasion of pariwat (non-indigenous) gold miners. Twenty-one years later, it has all but failed, reports Climate Home News

Named Watch Post (the Portuguese acronym is PV), the village has been swallowed by the heavy equipment of hundreds of illegal gold miners (called garimpeiros). What was once a few huts hidden in the Amazon forest now resembles a bombed battlefield.

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Source: gad

Thailand’s Maya Bay, location for The Beach, to close to tourists

The bucket-list beach on the island of Koh Phi Phi Leh became famous when it featured in the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, but environmental concerns mean it will close to tourists from June

It is one of the world’s most famous beaches, thanks to its starring role in Danny Boyle’s film of Alex Garland’s bestselling novel, and is often referred to simply as “the beach”. However, this summer Maya Bay, on the Thai island of Koh Phi Phi Leh, will be closed to tourists as authorities attempt to reverse decades of damage done to the region’s marine environment.

The closure will take place from June to September, during the island’s low season, in order to give its coral reef time to recover. While similar measures have been introduced on other Thai islands – in 2016 local authorities closed Koh Tachai – it is the first time tourists will be forbidden from visiting Maya Bay.

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Source: gad