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COP21 – the time is now

The UN climate change conference that’s just starting in Paris represents the culmination of decades of complex climate negotiations that first began in 1992. The COP21, as the conference is known, may well be the endgame – our last, best chance to achieve a global, legally binding climate agreement.

Although we desperately need to curb fossil fuel emissions, put a price on carbon, and drive investments in climate-smart practices and technologies, a Paris treaty must take a much bolder approach than simply reducing fossil fuel emissions if it is to make a real difference.

CVASDB3UsAAUNtCIn most of the world, deforestation and agriculture generate far more greenhouse gas emissions than the burning of fossil fuels. Beyond fossil fuel reduction, world leaders must prioritize smart and sustainable land use.

carbondioAs well as to reducing emissions, better land usage is imperative for a sustainable and fair global economy, and protecting the world’s rapidly disappearing forests, habitats and species. The major role forests play in climate protection is now so widely acknowledged that hundreds of major companies have promised to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. As COP21 begins, we hope those attending fully recognise the crucial role rainforests play in the future of our planet. Its not exactly US military rocket science..

#COP21            COP21 – Paris. ORG           21 RAINFOREST FACTS

Making a difference in Costa Rica

IMG_4087[2]Over the past few months I have been working with Brian and Aura Kubicki of the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Centre and to help facilitate a new environmental education initiative at the local primary school in Guayacan. This links in with a new project for us which also includes developing related environmental education for primary school children in Manchester.

Make a Difference logoCo-ordinated through Project Lemur Frog, and supported by the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Museum here at the University Manchester, the project is now in full swing and this week children from the school in Costa Rica visited the Costa Rican Amphibian Centre. Here Brian and Aura ran a special learning practical focused around the amphibians and biodiversity of the rainforest in the area. The day was a wonderful success and all the children had a great time and learning experience.

IMG_4134[2]To find out more about this superb in-country initiative and the new ‘Learning with Lucy’ environmental education project that will be launched here at Manchester Museum in January by His Excellency H.E. Enrique Castillo, the Ambassador of Costa Rica, please follow these 2 links:



Frogs in Madagascar

Having completed my Diploma in Mauritius, I decided to go for a trip to Madagascar before returning to the UK. I spent 3 weeks travelling up the ‘backbone’ of the country North to South, visiting many National and Community Nature Reserves.

Mantella baroni (c) George Sayer

Mantella baroni (c) George Sayer

Madagascar is a place of unbelievable diversity and endemicity, but under immense pressure from a large population heavily reliant on the land. I thought I would introduce some of the frog species I encountered there. Madagascar is a hotspot for frog diversity – it is thought to have over 300 species (266 currently described), of which 99% are endemic.

Mantella madagasariensis (c) George Sayer

The amphibian highlights of the trip were finding these Mantella baroni and Mantella madagascariensis on a rainforest riverbank. Whilst the former is still widespread the latter is decreasing and classed as vulnerable.

The following Images highlight just a few other frogs I saw on the trip.