Feature Story

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The Kostanai region of Kazakhstan, also known as the Kostanai oblast, is home to Naurzum State Nature Reserve, a part of the UNESCO heritage site Saryarka in Northern Kazakhstan. The reserve protects 3,077 km2 of steppe, semi-desert, and forest ecosystems distributed in three main areas connected by protected eco-corridors. During the Soviet period between 1920 and 1991, the oblast saw chemical and technological intensification as a result of wheat production.

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The annual Chelsea Flower Show in London draws thousands of flower lovers from around the world who stroll through showy displays and arbors reveling in the orderly exuberance of the English country garden.

This century-old tradition would seem an unlikely stage for the innovative conservation and use of South African biodiversity. Yet this is precisely what attendees of the show walking the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, encountered in the spring of 2011.

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In May, 2001, as delegates gathered in Stockholm for final negotiations on an international treaty to rid the world of a class of particularly harmful and persistent chemicals, they faced a tough choice regarding perhaps the best known of them all.

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In March of 2010, Beijing residents awoke to skies turned an eerie yellow.

A dense fog of wheat-colored dust enveloped the city as choking whirlwinds filled Tiananmen Square, coating cars and bicycles and reducing visibility to near zero. With so many tiny particles in the air the pollution index reached 500 — the worst level possible.

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Cape Verde is an archipelago of ten islands, nine of which are inhabited, and thirteen islets located 500 kilometers west of Senegal in Africa. The country has a land area of 4,033 km2 , and a population of 545,993 inhabitants (World Bank, 2016). Salamansa is a fishing village in Cape Verde with approximately 1,170 inhabitants. It is located north of the island of São Vicente near the city of Mindelo (see figure 2) and it is a rural area where half of the population is primarily engaged in artisanal fishing for their livelihoods.

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When the Portuguese explorer Magellan landed in 1521 on the southern coast of what is now Argentina, the people living there were Tehuelche Indians.

The Tehuelche tended to be tall, at least compared to Europeans of the time, and Magellan took them to be a race of giants. He called them “Patagones,” after the frightening, dog-headed character Patagon in a chivalric novel of the day. The legend that giants bestrode the land henceforth called Patagonia would persist in Europe for centuries.

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The Mediterranean Sea, one of the most distinctive enclosed temperate seas recognized in the list of Global Ecoregions produced by the World Wildlife Fund-WWF, is also home to many marine species listed in Red Data Book of IUCN. In May 2008, the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB) and the Underwater Research Society observed that most of the shallow subtidal macrophytes habitats in the Mediterranean Sea had disappeared affecting hundreds of different species of fishes and invertebrates.

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The tiny village of Ratus sits at a crossroads in central Moldova, about 60 kilometers from the capital, Chisinau.

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Belize’s marine biodiversity is characterized as being globally significant. Belize’s marine protected areas (MPAs) are home to seven United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated protected areas that make up the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which is also a World Heritage Site (UNESCO, 2015). The world heritage site totals 96,300 hectares (ha) and is home to over 500 species of fish, 65 scleraetinian corals, 45 hydroids, and 350 mollusks plus a great diversity of sponges, marine worms, and crustaceans.

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Hout Bay, South Africa, lies in the shadow of Table Mountain, one of the continent’s most distinctive geological features and a symbol of the city of Cape Town.

The town of Hout Bay is in part a well-to-do suburb of that bustling city of some 3 million people and a tourist destination in itself. The body of water that is the town’s namesake is also among the busiest in the Western Cape, with an active, established fishing industry.