Showing posts from April, 2020

Tobago Beyond Covid-19

Dr Anjani Ganase, marine scientist, talks about new developments for Tobago in the face of climate change and Covid-19. Living with Covid-19, what do you think is the main challenge(s) for business in Tobago? Businesses in Tobago will be hard pressed to recover financial losses in the short term, while trying to secure livelihoods in the long-term against future threats – diseases but also threats related to climate change. While Tobago is the beneficiary of an oil and gas economy, its other natural resource – rich biodiversity and island beauty - has driven a fairly passive tourism industry. Unfortunately, both industries are high risk ventures as the world moves away from fossil fuels., Small islands are also at risk they continue to be ravaged by extreme storm events, flooding and severe water shortages.   It’s time we started protecting our natural environment for our own benefit. If and when, there are visitors again, they can enjoy with u

Coral Bleaching in the time of Covid-19

Dr Anjani Ganase tells us how Covid-19 can bring us closer to freeing our species from its addiction to consumerism and save natural ecosystems   Over the past year, Australia has suffered from climate change fueled bush fires that last longer and burn more intensely than ever. In the past weeks, large sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are also “burning” under another mass coral bleaching event brought on by abnormally high ocean temperatures. This is the third major bleaching disaster in the recent five years and, as many scientists have predicted, the warming climate has caused an increase in the frequency and intensity of coral bleaching events (and bush fires for that matter) that result in mass mortality and loss to livelihoods.  Aerial view of bleached coral reefs (seen by the white colouration underwater) on the Great Keppel Islands, Southern Great Barrier Reef. Photo Credit: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

The Current Pandemic

This pandemic is not the first and will not be the last until there's balance in nature. Anjani Ganase considers recent disease and die-off, and wonders what it will take for Homo Sapiens to understand and respond to the actual causes We are in the midst of crisis - not a social one, but a biological one. The mass spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) that originated from Wuhan China as a result of the virus spilling over from an animal meat used in wildlife trade has now managed to infect the farthest reaches of the world, including isolated tribes in the Amazon, and brought our lives to a literal halt. While we are acutely aware of the diseases that directly impact our lives and livelihoods, we must consider the origins of these diseases as more than simply bad habits or bad luck. This is because the spread of diseases has increased in recent years, and we are not the only victims, but also our livestock and food crops, as well as much wildlife (Cunningham et al 201

The Bona Fide Backyard Birder

Faraaz Abdool encourages us to become very familiar with the nature around during our “stays at home.” Tobago, he assures us, offers prime bird-watching from every vantage point. Photos courtesy Faraaz Abdool There has never been a better time to become a bona fide backyard birder. Worldwide, people are encouraged to occupy themselves during this period of isolation by getting in touch with nature. What’s more fitting than with the birds in your yard or neighbourhood? Birds are everywhere. Just above ten thousand species currently exist. There is no continent on this planet without them and they have conquered almost every habitat. From icecap to desert, they are masters of the air, land and ocean. We can stand anywhere on the planet and be able to see at least one bird. It goes without saying that wherever we live, birds are beckoning us to reconnect with Mother Earth – all we must do is notice them. The unique benefit of backyard birding is that you ca

Stay Home and Explore!

There are many exciting explorations to enjoy from your computer or smartphone as we spend the next few weeks “sheltering indoors.” Dr Anjani Ganase shares some of what’s available on the innovative, constantly evolving Google Earth site.  Click on the collection title to begin your online exploration in Google Chrome! With the advent of satellite and global positioning technology, tech companies, such as Google created online map platforms that allowed user-friendly, bird’s-eye views of our planet along with GPS to show us how to get around. Today, nearly everyone with a smart phone uses GPS to track their location, navigate our cities and roads to avoid traffic or to locate each other in real time. While this is the most recognized purpose of Google Maps, with Google Earth there is hardly a place on earth that cannot easily be viewed from a computer. The primary purpose of Google Earth is to explore. Over the years, as satellite image resolutions improved so too have the capa