Conservation News

Boris Johnson failed to protect biodiversity hotspot, says UN expert

Ocean advocate highlights lack of action over South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands

Boris Johnson did nothing to protect “the most important biodiversity hotspot on the planet,” while foreign secretary, according to the United Nations patron for the oceans.

Lewis Pugh, who in his role raises awareness about the state of the world’s oceans, has worked with three of the rivals in the Tory leadership race – Michael Gove as environment secretary and both Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson as foreign secretaries – but highlighted Johnson’s lack of action.

Related: Tory leadership rivals discuss alliance to stop Boris Johnson

Related: Boris Johnson challenged by Labour over climate science

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Australia's oldest things: how mind-boggling timelines meet the climate emergency | Jeff Sparrow

They were here before us and should live on long afterwards. With 12 years to avert catastrophe, we need to imagine the aeons to come and consider the creatures that outlive us

Wilbur the tortoise has, in all probability, lived more than a hundred years.

“From his size and weight and general health,” says Adam Lee, a reptile keeper at the Melbourne zoo, “we put him at about 110 but there’s no real way of telling with giant tortoises unless you have them from birth or as a hatchling.”

Related: Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth's natural life

Related: UN environment warning: 10 key points and what Australia must do

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English nature's 'jewels in crown' threatened by cuts, says watchdog

Natural England chair bemoans budget cuts that have left conservation body ‘massively depleted’

The reserves and protected places that are the “jewels in the crown” of English nature cannot be managed properly because of budget cuts, Tony Juniper, the chair of Natural England, has said.

The budget for the government’s conservation watchdog has been slashed in half over five years, leaving it “massively depleted”, according to Juniper, the influential former Friends of the Earth campaigner whom the environment secretary, Michael Gove, appointed earlier this year.

Related: Britain’s countryside is dominated by bullies – as Chris Packham has found | George Monbiot

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Sussan Ley: I'll be an environmentalist as minister

MP says she’s prepared to fight for her portfolio – and a priority will be cutting ‘green tape’ for big projects

The new environment minister, Sussan Ley, has declared herself an “environmentalist”, saying she is prepared to fight for the environment around the cabinet table even when colleagues disagree with her.

Ley, who welcomed the Queensland government’s decision on Thursday to give the green light to the Adani coalmine, told Guardian Australia she wanted to see more action on recycling, threatened species and biodiversity protection, and a greater focus on individual action to achieve a better environment.

Related: The new Assistant Environment Minister and the depraved greenists blah blah do they ever shut up? | First Dog on the Moon

To be honest, I am not strongly for or against nuclear power

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Kākāpō: four facts about the world's heaviest parrot – video

The owl parrot is facing an existential threat in the form of a fungal infection that has already endangered one-fifth of the total population. Seven of New Zealand's native kākāpō have died in recent months after contracting the respiratory disease aspergillosis. The nocturnal and flightless parrot ingratiated itself with the world after it attempted to mate with a zoologist's head during a BBC documentary

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