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COP15: Nations reach ‘historic’ deal to protect nature

COP15: Nations reach ‘historic’ deal to protect nature

Science
BBC/H BriggsBy Helen BriggsEnvironment correspondent in MontrealA new deal to protect nature has been agreed at the UN biodiversity summit, COP 15.The "historic" plan will put 30% of the planet under protection by the end of the decade.There will also be targets for safeguarding vital ecosystems such as rainforests and wetlands.The agreement was finalised in the early hours of Monday in Montreal, Canada.The following points were agreed:Maintaining, enhancing and restoring ecosystems, including halting species extinction and maintaining genetic diversity of populations of wild animals."Sustainable use" of biodiversity - essentially ensuring that species and habitats can provide the services they provide for humanity, such as food and clean water, without being destroyed.Ensuring that the be...
Prince William: Banks must do more to protect environment

Prince William: Banks must do more to protect environment

Business
EPAThe Duke of Cambridge has urged banks to "invest in nature" to help fight global climate change. Speaking at an IMF and World Bank meeting, Prince William said protecting nature continued to play only a small part in combating global warming. He said investing in reforestation and sustainable agriculture were "cost effective" ways of tackling the issue. Banks have come under increasing pressure to step up efforts to help fight climate change.Just this week, Barclays' London headquarters was the target of a protest staged by climate activist group Extinction Rebellion. Members held placards and broke several windows as they called on the bank to stop financing fossil fuel companies.Addressing central bankers and finance ministers at the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund ...
Covid jab probably does protect those around you

Covid jab probably does protect those around you

Health
Getty ImagesThe Covid-19 vaccine blocks pretty much all cases of serious illness - but the government has been much more cautious about saying whether it stops people carrying the virus and infecting others. Until evidence had built up from lots of people being vaccinated, scientists could not say for sure if the jab would stop transmission - and there was concern those vaccinated might stop taking precautions, potentially leading to a rise in infections. But with some now refusing the vaccine in the belief it will not stop them passing on the virus, is this caution becoming counterproductive?A number of people have contacted the BBC, saying they believe the jab could stop them becoming severely ill only. Yet the evidence is moving fast.Protection from the vaccine may not be perfect and pe...
Protect our ocean ‘to solve challenges of century’

Protect our ocean ‘to solve challenges of century’

Science
Getty ImagesProtecting the ocean has a triple whammy effect, safeguarding climate, food and biodiversity, according to new research.A global map compiled by international scientists pinpoints priority places for action to maximise benefits for people and nature.Currently, only 7% of the ocean is protected.A pledge to protect at least 30% by 2030 is gathering momentum ahead of this year's key UN biodiversity summit.The study, published in the scientific journal Nature, sets a framework for prioritising areas of the ocean for protection.Polar seafloor exposed after 50 years of ice coverWhale threats from fishing gear 'underestimated''Forever plant' faces uncertain futureThe ocean covers 70% of the Earth, yet its importance for solving the challenges of our time has been overlooked, said stud...

Studies find having COVID-19 may protect against reinfection

Technology
Two new studies give encouraging evidence that having had COVID-19 may offer some protection against future infectionsBy MARILYNN MARCHIONE AP Chief Medical WriterDecember 24, 2020, 1:30 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleTwo new studies give encouraging evidence that having COVID-19 may offer some protection against future infections. Researchers found that people who made antibodies to the coronavirus were much less likely to test positive again for up to six months and maybe longer.The results bode well for vaccines, which provoke the immune system to make antibodies — substances that attach to a virus and help it be eliminated.Researchers found that people with antibodies from natural infections were “at much lower risk ... on the order of the same kind of...