In carbon sequestration, money grows on trees

Guyana’s tropical rainforests protected under the REDD program provide not just natural resources but an income stream to the country.

Two hours south of Georgetown, Guyana, a paved highway recedes, giving way to a rutted red road gushing through thick rainforest. In its muddiest spots, the road swallows trucks and spits them out at dangerous angles. Many hours later, it leads to an area of protected land called Iwokrama, a … Read the rest

Bats before bedtime

Scientists find new animal species in old rainforests

Deep in the heart of a small South American country called Guyana lies a protected forest. As night falls, you will find this tropical rainforest pulses with life. It is anything but quiet. The whistle of a bird called the screaming piha pierces the thick canopy of trees, as if competing with the chorus of crickets, cicadas and mosquitoes. Other strange creatures … Read the rest

Scientists call for no-fishing zone in Arctic

Nature

Thousands of scientists from 67 countries have called for an international agreement to close the Arctic high seas to commercial fishing until research reveals more about the freshly exposed waters.

Recent Arctic sea-ice retreat during the summer months has opened up some of the waters that fall outside of the exclusive economic zones of the nations that circle the polar ocean. In all, more than 2.8 million square kilometres … Read the rest

Mixed Reviews for Quebec’s Plan Nord

The government of Quebec (Canada) has launched its multibillion-dollar Plan Nord, which will open the vast northern reaches of the province to mining and energy development–and protect 50% of the territory from economic development.

The 1.2-million-square-kilometre region—twice the size of France—is known for its wild rivers, biodiversity, diverse ecosystems and a large swath (about 20%) of Canada’s boreal forest. Boreal forest covers more than 25% of Quebec. More than … Read the rest

Banking on biodiversity

The diversity of life on Earth gives ecosystems the resilience they need to thrive. Yet every day scores of plants and animals go extinct, victims of activities we humans undertake to feed, clothe, house and trans­port ourselves. How can we meet our own needs without destroying that which sustains us?

The west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, has a rugged, involuted shoreline, etched by fjords, sand dunes … Read the rest