What to do about the wild animal market in China

The Coronavirus is thought to have emerged in one of the wet markets of Wuhan, China. Much of what went on in these markets was never fully legal. Indeed this $13 billion a year trade has often operated in the grey areas of the law.

However, it has become clear that these are actually rather dangerous. It is one thing to enter a wild area to see the animals that live there. However it is something quite different to go in and kill animals to eat. These wild areas often harbour odd viruses or bacteria and by taking animals alive or dead out of these ecosystems you bring out these threats so that we can contract the illness.

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China has stated that they will aim to hit peak emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060

These statements have been made before, however the Chinese president has reaffirmed them over video-link to the UN general assembly. Currently responsible for around 28% of world emissions this is highly encouraging.

In the past China has agreed to its peak emissions point, but not to its carbon neutral point.

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It would appear the 8th great ape the Tapanuli Orangutan is closer to extinction than we thought

A study has been examining the range of the Tapanuli orangutan and has concluded that they are currently found in only 2.5% of their historic range, having lost the rest of their range to hunting and habitat loss.

A female Tapanalii Orangutan
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Lion population expected to half in the wild during the next 15-20 years

While increasing amounts of land is given to wildlife in southern Africa and the lion population grows, unfortunately in east and central Africa the opposite is happening.

Unfortunately in west and central Africa, the lions (many of these lions are orphaned relict populations of the Asiatic lion, and therefore highly important) tend to live in fragmented and small groups cut off from others of their kind. If humans can reconnect these populations then the dramatic decline that is expected in this region, could be halted.

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Synthetic palm oil brewed like beer? Bill Gates investing in the possibility

Palm oil is a wonder material. Being used in a vast range of different products, it is almost impossible to avoid it in the west. Why should we try? because it has been the cause of much of the rainforest destruction on Sumatra, Borneo and lately even in the last great rainforests of west Africa.

Could we have all the palm oil we want, while at the same time replanting the rainforests which were lost?
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Indonesia has recently changed its rules, designating large areas once protected forests for food production

I wrote the other day, about the ability of brewing palm oil, rather than creating huge estates to grow it. Perhaps these two issues could be combined to solve both problems

Well a few months ago, Indonesia changed its regulations which would allow large areas of protected land to be cleared for food production.

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Dugongs are another animal that benefited from the lockdown

Dugongs, a close relation of the sea cow, have not done well over the last few centuries. In places like Australia they still live in large numbers. In places like Thailand though there are only thought to be about 250 remaining.

They particularly dislike motorboats and often get injured by them. The lockdowns have therefore been an incredible gift to these animals, and it is fascinating to see how quickly their behaviour changes where humans are absent.

A drone shot this image

This herd had about 30 individuals, but it is rare to see such a large herd near land.
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