A new feature on a Finnish news website… and a satirical utilisation of that feature

On 22 March 2019, the local Finnish news outlet Yle Lahti published a little feature about me. (original here). A few days later, a second local Finnish newspaper, Uusi Lahti, used this feature in a satirical cartoon in its printed version. This is a translation of the feature and a translation as well as context …

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A new book!

Along with my wonderful co-editors Yulia Zaika and Ilan Kelman, our book Arctic Triumph: Northern Innovation and Persistence has finally seen the light of day. The book is a compilation of different 'stories' from the Arctic in which not the disaster narrative prevails, but which shows that also positive developments are taking place, despite the …

11.9% of Finland’s wildlife is threatened. What can we do as private citizens?

A recent estimate of the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) places 11.9% of all species endemic to Finland in the category of 'threatened' (IUCN Red List categories VU, EN, CR), which marks an increase of 1.4% since the last assessment carried out in 2009. The report - which at the time of writing is not available …

Death penalty for poachers in Kenya?

Recently, news broke (again) that Kenya was to introduce the death penalty for poachers (the same story ran already in May 2018). According to the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (WCMA), poaching means the "illegal hunting, illegal capturing and illegal harvesting of any wildlife." Kenya lists the African elephant (Loxodonta africana), the White rhino (Ceratotherium simum) …

Animal cultures and human cultures – tools for conservation

A study published yesterday in Science links animal learning patterns with conservation efforts. While knowledge on the cultural learning of whales, seals and other species is not new (see e.g. Whitehead & Rendell, 2014), a strategic link to conservation has not been established. The only exception here is the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), whose …

Commercial Sealers under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

On 17 December 2018 the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNROP). The document, which encompasses 28 articles, is a far-reaching human rights instruments, which combines well-established human rights standards with labour rights, environmental rights and, more specifically, women's rights. Additionally, …

The decline of insects – The canary in the coal mine?

A recent study by Francisco S├ínchez-Bayo and Kris Wyckhuys (2019) in Biological┬áConservation┬áhas shown that the world of insects has been experiencing significant declines over the last decades. In fact, the authors warn that around 40% of insect species are threatened with extinction. Since insects constitute two thirds of all terrestrial species on earth and thus …

Towards a UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants

The 19th of November 2018 marked an important step forward towards an instrument protecting rural people and their livelihoods: in a rather overwhelming vote of 119 in favour, 49 against and 7 abstentions the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural) of the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/C.3/73/L.30 which endorses the draft of the UN Declaration …

Local recognition in the Convention on Biological Diversity

The year 2018 saw several crucially important international conferences for the protection of our planet, such as the Convention on Migratory Species, the Convention on Biological Diversity or the Climate Convention. The United Nations are indeed active in trying to protect the environment. I attended the 14th Conference of the Parties (CoP) of the Convention …