Syrians face toxic time-bomb of radiation, poison and pollution

This article was published by Middle East Eye on February 21, 2017

Syria faces public health catastrophes that will linger for decades due to toxic rubble dust, oil fire pollution and the US-led coalition’s use of depleted uranium weapons on Islamic State targets, campaigners have warned.

The US last week admitted it had fired armour-piercing DU ammunition in its war against IS, and had hit not only military targets but also un-armoured civilian targets such as oil trucks, and despite promising otherwise.

Meanwhile, health and environment experts say rubble and dust produced by years of bombing and fighting in built-up areas could have huge health impacts, as fine particles thrown into the atmosphere cause numerous respiratory illnesses, and add to pollution caused by the bombing of oil infrastructure.

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Resurrected Jeypore ground gecko faces second death sentence

This article was published by Mongabay and Scroll.in

In India — a land that’s home to the regal tiger, the majestic elephant and the flamboyant peacock — gaining the Endangered Species spotlight can be difficult. Equally challenging in a land with 1.3 billion mouths to feed, is the conservation of habitat that is vital to threatened species.

The Jeypore ground gecko (Geckoella jeyporensis) was first noted in India’s Eastern Ghats in 1877, then not seen again and presumed extinct. Rediscovered by scientists in 2010, it exists in just two known areas covering a mere 20km2 of degraded habitat threatened by development.

Conservationists are working with the public and private sectors, and with local communities, urging the creation of “gecko reserves” to protect G. jeyporensis as well as the golden gecko (Calodactylodes aureus). But whether these little reptiles will inspire enough public enthusiasm is anyone’s guess.

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