Feature Story

Oceans cover 70% of our planet’s surface. Nearly 50% of the world’s population live in coastal areas and the need to protect marine environments transcends individual communities, ecosystems, or nations.

Strong partnerships are vital, to address the multiple problems that threaten healthy ocean life. 

A maritime bioinvasion

Global shipping is an industry that can make substantial contributions to maintaining ocean health.

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Xinjiang, China’s largest province, is a significant reservoir of biodiversity, with diverse landscapes and rich ecosystems. A vast region of deserts and mountains, Xinjiang sits at the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road trade route linking China and the Middle East, a legacy that can be seen as modernity and tradition merge. 

The Altai Mountains and wetlands are internationally recognised for their extraordinary landscapes, traditional cultures and livelihoods, and unique biodiversity.

As the rivers flow...

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When an entrepreneur designs, makes and markets handbags made of donkey skin, and they become hugely popular, that’s good for business and employment, right? But if the donkey leather is sourced from developing countries with weak environmental laws, what is the socio-economic and environmental impact?

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Challenge

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If ever an island justified the label “paradise” that tourist brochures liberally apply to destinations, it is Saint Lucia.

Shaped like a teardrop, this tiny Caribbean nation has everything. Crescent moon beaches of white sand. Jagged volcanic mountains jutting up from the azure waters. Eclectic biodiversity that manifests in a riot of colour, no more so than in the Saint Lucia Amazon, a spectacular parrot found only on the island.

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For Phub Zem Doya, living in the remote village of Singye in southwest Bhutan, water is a precious resource – one not to be taken for granted.

In her village, climate change has led many water sources to dry up, causing shortages particularly during the dry winter season. 

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Pakistan has less forest cover, only 5%, due to arid and semi-arid climatic conditions in most parts of the country. But despite poor forest cover, Pakistan is highly rich in both ecosystem and species biodiversity where such ecosystems are still intact.

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Located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, Hubei Province is rich in fresh water resources and is known as the province of a thousand lakes.

As its moniker suggests, Hubei boasts wetlands of 1.445 million hectares, accounting for 7.8 percent of China’s whole land.

A refuge and an ecological barrier

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The 1980's textile boom in Mauritius drove many women to work in textile factories. However, when the textile factories closed, women became unemployed and could no longer send their children to school.

"Women were still jobless, staying at home, suffering from domestic violence and having babies almost every year. So in 2006, after meeting with 20 women, all of them unemployed mothers, we decided to use their traditional knowledge about conservation to cultivate medicinal plants, conserve biodiversity and improve their livelihood." - Anooradah Pooran

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Brazil is at the top among the 18 megadiverse countries. It hosts between 15 and 20 per cent of the world’s biological diversity, with more than 120,000 species of invertebrates, about 9,000 vertebrates and more than 4,000 plant species. With this comes huge potential to boost economic growth and social inclusion, but also a huge responsibility.

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