Feature Story

Legend has it that centuries ago a flood washed away a princess from Johor, Malaysia.

In his grief, her father ordered his subjects to sea, to return only when they had found his daughter. So goes the creation myth of the Bajau, a Malay people who are among the world’s last sea nomads.

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The most famous medical advice in history actually had nothing to do with medicine.

Benjamin Franklin’s well-worn adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure referred not to illness but fire. Among his many other pursuits, Franklin was a pioneer of public safety and created Philadelphia’s first fire company in 1736.

Franklin’s insight was so powerful, and applied to so many things, that from it we remember a simple and ageless lesson: it is far better to prevent disaster than attempt to deal with the consequence afterward.

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In March 2003, the Government of Sabah announced its approval of the proposed Tun Mustapha Park (TMP), a marine area covering 1.02 million hectares in the northern part of Sabah. The marine protected area (MPA) was previously known as the Kudat-Banggi Priority Conservation Area, and is one of the priority areas identified under the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME) as being globally significant for its high biodiversity and rich natural resources.

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Belitung is a small archipelago situated on the east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. It comprises one main island and several small islands, and is part of Bangka Belitung Islands Province. Due to its rich deposits of tin, Belitung experienced the development of a massive tin mining business that started in the colonial period around the 1850s. The expansion of mining activities on the island led to rapid environmental degradation, eventually damaging 80% of the mangrove forest in Selat Nasik Coast, and producing negative impacts on the livelihoods of the local fisher folks.

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The wealth from some of the largest oil reserves in Central Africa pays for the city’s skyscrapers, hotels, and lush neighborhoods. Water, on the other hand, keeps the lights on. Water, that is, spinning the turbines of two dams on the Mbé River, about 100 kilometers northeast of the city center. About 60 percent of the country’s population, many of whom missed out on the oil boom, lives in Libreville.

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Say the word “coal” and most people think glossy black, slow-burning rocks, the hard stuff that generations of miners dug out of the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States, Shaanxi Province in central China, or Jharkhand in eastern India.

Lignite, while technically a kind of coal, does not fit that image. First of all, it is brown, and crumbly. Lignite burns so fast it just seems to disintegrate. Geologists classify lignite as coal but really it is just peat that never quite hardened. It seems unfinished, like half-fired clay.

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Thousands of years ago, the Nama people of what is now southern Namibia described the enormous desert that stretches for 1,500 kilometers along the Atlantic coast with a stark but telling word; they called it simply Namib, or “vast place.”

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In 1998, the President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, surprised his country and the world with a bold announcement: Brazil would set aside 10 percent of its forests in protected areas, a commitment of 25 million hectares, about half the size of France, most of it tropical rainforest in the Amazon.

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April 7, 2016 - Located in the lush Arima Valley in the northern region of Trinidad, the Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC) is a nonprofit trust established in 1967 and one of the first established in the Caribbean. Its goal is to "protect part of the Arima Valley in a natural state and to create a conservation and study area for the protection of wildlife and for the enjoyment of all."

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The GEF’s support of this project in Morocco helped the further adoption of solar technology across the globe.

In 1999, there were no iPhones, no social media, and landlines were used to connect to the internet. The euro was just born, the first Matrix movie hit theatres, and everyone was waiting for the end of the world that computers were supposed to cause at the change of the millennium.

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