Tag Archives: Coastal Issues

Sustainable Conservation in Zanzibar: Not Just Mangroves and Ecosytems

Zanzibar. Photo source: ©© Alecs S.


The sustainable development goals of community conservation in Zanzibar raise more complex issues than just protecting ecosystems. Contingent socio-economic and cultural factors must be taken into account when planning and implementing conservation initiatives if they are to endure, let alone succeed.

The problem investigated by Fred Saunders in his thesis is why community conservation often falls short on its promises to deliver conservation, increase democracy and bring development opportunities to poor people in the rural South. His findings indicate that community conservation projects commonly fail because they are too mired in concern about regulating, or perhaps more accurately constraining, the ‘direct’ relationship between resource use and users.

The thesis argues that participants in community conservation should be seen not just as local rational resource users, as they largely are now, but as people with differentiated socio-economic and cultural interconnections and interests…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

A New Island Emerges From Volcanic Activity in the Red Sea

NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Acquired December 23, 2011.

NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Acquired October 24, 2007

By Michon Scott /NASA Earth Observatory

An eruption occurred in the Red Sea in December 2011. According to news reports, fishermen witnessed lava fountains reaching up to 30 meters (90 feet) tall on December 19.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites observed plumes on December 20 and December 22. Meanwhile, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite detected elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, further indicating an eruption.

The activity in the Red Sea included more than an eruption. By December 23, 2011, what looked like a new island appeared in the region. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured these high-resolution, natural-color images on December 23, 2011 (top), and October 24, 2007 (bottom).

The image from December 2011 shows an apparent island where there had previously been an unbroken water surface. A thick plume rises from the island, dark near the bottom and light near the top, perhaps a mixture of volcanic ash and water vapor.

The volcanic activity occurred along the Zubair Group, a collection of small islands off the west coast of Yemen.

Running in a roughly northwest-southeast line, the islands poke above the sea surface, rising from a shield volcano. This region is part of the Red Sea Rift where the African and Arabian tectonic plates pull apart and new ocean crust regularly forms.

Original Article, NASA

Rio Gears Up For Green Fireworks

Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana, New Year celebration. Photo source: ©© Alex de Carvalho


This year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks on Rio’s famed Copacabana beach, an event expected to draw nearly two million party-goers, will have an environmental theme, officials said.

Press reports said the elaborate firework display would seek to represent solar energy, flora and fauna as well as the wind and optimism…

Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana beach. Photo source: ©© Peteris

Read Full Article, AFP

Philippines Floods: An Expected Shock

mindanao flood philippines
Philippines, Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro 21 December 2011. ECHO expert walks among the destruction to try and meet survivors. Even houses made from brick and concrete could not withstand the force of flood waters. Captions and Photos source: ©© Mathias Eick EU/ECHO / EC Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection


The typhoon that hit Mindanao in the Philippines before Christmas to claim 1,000 lives and leave nearly 50,000 homeless was a shock, but not a surprise. In 2009, campaigners and scientists simulated the effects of a tropical storm on the island, and predicted that the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan would be hit by flash floods. At the time, the prediction was dismissed as alarmist.

The scientists were conducting an exercise as part of a UN strategy for disaster reduction, to which 168 nations signed up in 2005. They did their bit: they identified a natural hazard. But the Philippine government had yet to enact its own disaster management plan; the two coastal cities remained without protection, and catastrophic flooding affected more than 300,000 people.

The lesson is pertinent, but not new…Three years before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, there were warnings about the city’s vulnerability.

Even when we do know about climate-related hazards, we still fail to act…

Such lessons are worth learning. With 80 million new souls on the planet each year, most of them in the developing world, the numbers of potential victims will go on increasing. And as the planet warms, so too does the potential for meteorological disaster…

mindanao flood
Philippines, Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro 21 December 2011. These large trucks were simply smashed and tipped over demonstrating the force of the flood waters and the debris. Captions and Photos: ©© Mathias Eick EU/ECHO / EC Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection

Read Full Article, Guardian UK

Alstom unveils French sites for 6MW offshore wind turbines

Photo credit: ©© Unhindered


Plans to deploy up to 6GW of wind farms off the French coastlines have taken a major step forward, after Alstom earmarked two ports to build its first manufacturing sites entirely dedicated to wind energy.

The French engineering firm today confirmed plans to invest up to €100m (£86m) in Saint-Nazaire in Loire-Atlantique and Cherbourg in Manche, both in France, to build 6MW offshore wind turbines…

Read Full Article, Business Green

Éolien offshore : grande bataille entre Areva et Alstom, Le Figaro
Dix milliards d’euros, 500 éoliennes géantes: le 11 janvier, les industriels déposeront leur offre pour cinq fermes gigantesques au large des côtes françaises.

Iberian Peninsula at Night

iberian peninsula nasa
Image by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 30 crew / NASA.

By William L. Stefanov, Jacobs Technology/ESCG at NASA-JSC

The city lights of Spain and Portugal define the Iberian Peninsula in this photograph from the International Space Station (ISS).

Several large metropolitan areas are visible, marked by their relatively large and brightly lit areas, including the capital cities of Madrid, Spain—located near the center of the peninsula’s interior—and Lisbon, Portugal—located along the southwestern coastline. The ancient city of Seville, visible to the north of the Strait of Gibraltar, is one of the largest cities in Spain. The astronaut view is looking toward the east, and is part of a time-lapse series of images.

The network of smaller cities and towns along the coastline and in the interior attest to the extent of the human presence on the Iberian landscape.

The blurring of city lights is caused by thin cloud cover (image left and center), while cloud tops are dimly illuminated by moonlight. Though obscured, the lights of France are visible near the horizon line on the upper left, while the lights of northern Africa are more clearly discernable at right. The faint gold and green line of airglow—caused by ultraviolet radiation exciting the gas molecules in the upper atmosphere—parallels the horizon (or Earth limb).

The Iberian Peninsula is the southwestern-most of the European peninsulas (together with the Italian and Balkan peninsulas), and includes the Principality of Andorra, as well as the Kingdom of Spain and the Portuguese Republic. The approximately 590,000 square kilometer landmass is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, west, and southwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the east. Its northeastern boundary is marked by the Pyrenees mountain range.

Original Article, NASA

Typhoon Causes Destructives Flashfloods and Casualties, Southern Philippines

Image source: NASA


More than 400 people were killed and an unknown number were missing after a typhoon struck the southern Philippines, causing flash floods and landslides and driving tens of thousands, in the thick of night, from their homes…

Read Original Article, Reuters

Coastal Inundations, Aerial Views, Reuters

Death toll in Philippine floods rises to 436, AP

Canada Pulls Out Of Kyoto Protocol

Photo source: ©© y M.Angel Herrero


Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change Monday, saying the accord won’t help solve the climate crisis. It dealt a blow to the anti-global warming treaty, which has not been formally renounced by any other country…

Read Full Article, AP

What does Canada’s withdrawal from Kyoto protocol mean? Guardian UK
Canada has shown that a legally binding deal does not guarantee countries won’t walk away from their commitments.