The bioaerosols controversy: From public health to the environment

The bioaerosols controversy: From public health to the environment

In early July, over 200 scientists from 32 countries called for the medical community and national and international bodies to take airborne transmission of Covid-19 seriously. Research shows, they said, “beyond any reasonable doubt” that breathing, talking and coughing releases microdroplets that remain in the air, and Covid-19 particles carried in those microdroplets could infect people several metres distant. They called for measures to prevent such transmission, and said that with lockdown…

250 million coastal dwellers will face rising floods

250 million coastal dwellers will face rising floods

In the next 80 years flooding around the planet’s land masses is likely to rise by almost 50 per cent, endangering many millions of coastal dwellers. If humans go on burning ever greater volumes of fossil fuels, while destroying ever more natural forest, then another 77 million people could be at risk of flooding, a rise of 52 per cent. And these floods – increasingly frequent and extending over greater areas…

Indonesia inches forward on community forest goal, hobbled by pandemic

Indonesia inches forward on community forest goal, hobbled by pandemic

Indonesia has cut back its planned transfer of state forests to local communities this year by half – an area twice the size of Los Angeles – because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Bambang Supriyanto, the ministry’s director general of social forestry and environmental partnership, said social distancing measures from March to June had halted the technical work needed on the ground to…

Vietnam approves US$9 billion project within mangrove reserve

A $9.3 billion residential and tourism development has been approved within the buffer zone of the Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve here in this city of 13 million, Vietnam’s largest urban area. The project was proposed by the Can Gio Tourism Urban Area Joint Stock Company, a subsidiary of Vinhomes, the real estate arm of Vingroup, the country’s largest private company. The Can Gio Tourist City would span 2,870 hectares (7,100 acres),…

‘Inequality intertwined with environmental injustice’: Green groups in Singapore call for fairer treatment of migrant workers

‘Inequality intertwined with environmental injustice’: Green groups in Singapore call for fairer treatment of migrant workers

Amid fresh concerns over the prolonged isolation of Singapore’s dormitory-dwelling migrant workers and their mental health, 23 environmental groups in the country have called for decent working and living conditions for the workers and fair reward for their labour. Highlighting the link between environmental justice and systemic inequalities that migrant workers in Singapore face, the groups said improved dormitory standards do not address other problems the workers face: High recruitment…

Pressure on FSC to address transparency and conflict of interest concerns

Pressure on FSC to address transparency and conflict of interest concerns

The following month, Indonesian non-governmental organisation (NGO) Auriga complained that FSC had shelved investigations into companies linked to illegal forest clearing and was instead focusing its efforts on getting companies that had been kicked out of FSC for violating its rules re-certified. “ If FSC claims it is a brand that people can trust for sustainable forest products then it should be transparent and accountable. Aida Greenbury, sustainability advisor, Indonesian Oil Palm Farmers…