Pope heads to Myanmar and into Rohingya crisis

pope francis
DEPARTURE. Pope Francis boards a plane to Yangon on November 26, 2017 at Rome’s Fiumicino airport. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Pope Francis will arrive in Myanmar hoping to encourage efforts to contain a crisis that has seen many of the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority in the mostly Buddhist Myanmar, forced from their homes

ROME, Italy (Nov. 27, 2017) — Pope Francis set off Sunday, November 26, on his 21st and possibly most delicate overseas trip yet, a 6-day visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh against the backdrop of the unfolding Rohingya refugee crisis. Continue reading Pope heads to Myanmar and into Rohingya crisis

Great Barrier Reef coral-breeding program offers ‘glimmer of hope’

scientists hope to restore damaged coral on the great barrier reef
Scientists hope to restore damaged coral on the Great Barrier Reef. Photograph: Auscape / UIG/Getty Images/Universal Images Group

Project, which could help restore damaged coral populations, has seen success in the Philippines

November 26, 2017 — Scientists have stepped in as environmental matchmakers by breeding baby coral on the Great Barrier Reef in a move that could have worldwide significance. Continue reading Great Barrier Reef coral-breeding program offers ‘glimmer of hope’

Why climate change is creating a new generation of child brides

young teenage brides in the village of nataka on the east coast of mozambique
Young teenage brides in the village of Nataka on the east coast of Mozambique, left to right: Carlina Nortino, 15, Muacheia Amade, 14, Lucia Eusebio, 15, and Fatima Amisse, 14.
Photograph: Gethin Chamberlain/Gethin Chamberlain.

As global warming exacerbates drought and floods, farmers’ incomes plunge – and girls as young as 13 are given away to stave off poverty

November 26, 2017 — It was the flood that ensured that Ntonya Sande’s first year as a teenager would also be the first year of her married life. Up to the moment the water swept away her parents’ Continue reading Why climate change is creating a new generation of child brides

Mexico creates vast new ocean reserve to protect ‘Galapagos of North America’

humpback whales are among the species found in the revillagigedo archipelago
Humpback whales are among the species found in the Revillagigedo archipelago. Photograph: Ullstein Bild/Getty Images

Fishing, mining and new hotels will be prohibited in the ‘biologically spectacular’ Revillagigedo archipelago

November 26, 2017 — Mexico’s government has created the largest ocean reserve in North America around a Pacific archipelago regarded as its crown jewel. Continue reading Mexico creates vast new ocean reserve to protect ‘Galapagos of North America’

Myanmar not yet safe for Rohingya refugee return, says UN

a rohingya refugee looks on in hakimpara refugee camp
NOWHERE TO GO. A young Rohingya refugee looks on in Hakimpara refugee camp in the Bangladeshi district of Ukhia on November 24, 2017. Photo by Munir Uz Zaman/AFP

‘At present, conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State are not in place to enable safe and sustainable returns,’ says UNHCR

GENEVA, Switzerland (Nov. 25, 2017) — Conditions for Rohingya refugees to safely return to Myanmar from Bangladesh are not in place, the UN said Friday, November 24, a day after the two countries announced repatriation would begin in two months. Continue reading Myanmar not yet safe for Rohingya refugee return, says UN

Bicol grade school students trained in disaster response, resilience

a representative from the office of civil defense bicol demonstrates to pupils at the bacacay east central school in albay how to administer first aid
TRAINING. A representative from the Office of Civil Defense Bicol demonstrates to pupils at the Bacacay East Central School in Albay how to administer first aid. Photo by Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler

Bicol is the pilot area for the Office of Civil Defense’s resilience caravan

ALBAY, Philippines (Nov. 24, 2017) — The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol is teaching the next generation of Bicolanos to be prepared should disaster strike in the region. Continue reading Bicol grade school students trained in disaster response, resilience

Queensland farmers suspected to have defied tree clearing controls in ‘deforestation frenzy’

land clearing in wombinoo
Land clearing in Wombinoo. Photograph: Courtesy of the Wilderness Society

Native vegetation was home to several threatened species and was in a Great Barrier Reef catchment

November 24, 2017 — Queensland farmers are suspected of having defied rare federal government intervention and cleared a large swath of land without commonwealth approval, according to conservationists. Continue reading Queensland farmers suspected to have defied tree clearing controls in ‘deforestation frenzy’

Floods in north-west England prompt criticism over missing defences

rebecca till in her flooded property in galgate
Rebecca Till in her flooded property in Galgate. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

Cumbria MP says government is dragging its feet, as torrential rain causes flooding in area hit by Storm Desmond in 2015

November 24, 2017 — Torrential rain has forced dozens of families from their homes and caused disruption across the north-west of England, prompting a local MP to accuse the government of Continue reading Floods in north-west England prompt criticism over missing defences

Black Friday to cause spikes in air pollution and plastic waste

drivers wait to deliver black friday goods at dunstable amazon fulfilment centre
Drivers wait to deliver Black Friday goods at Dunstable Amazon fulfilment centre in the UK. Photograph: Tony Margiocchi/Barcroft Images

The shopping frenzy will see 82,000 diesel delivery vans on UK streets, with plastic toys and electronic goods among the most popular purchases

November 24, 2017 — The online shopping frenzy of the Black Friday weekend will see 82,000 diesel vans and trucks on UK roads, raising concerns of air pollution spikes on residential streets as more than £7bn of purchases are delivered. Continue reading Black Friday to cause spikes in air pollution and plastic waste

Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to start Rohingya return in two months

rohingya refugees wait after crossing the naf river from myanmar into bangladesh
IN LIMBO. This file photo taken on October 09, 2017 shows Rohingya refugees wait after crossing the Naf river from Myanmar into Bangladesh in Whaikhyang on October 9, 2017. Fred Dufour/AFP

It remains unclear how many Rohingya will be allowed back and how long the process will take

YANGON, Myanmar (Nov. 23, 2017) — Bangladesh and Myanmar will start repatriating refugees in two months, Dhaka said Thursday, November 23, as global pressure mounts over a crisis that has forced more than 600,000 Rohingya to flee across the border. Continue reading Bangladesh, Myanmar agree to start Rohingya return in two months