1. What started as a grassroots initiative through an EU funded LIFE project in Spain is now becoming an official European day. In a ceremony on 15 May 2017 Commissioner for Environment, Karmenu Vella, Chairwoman of the European Parliament's Environment Committee, Adina-Ioana Valean, First Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, and Neil Kerr, Deputy Permanent Representative of Malta signed a joint declaration to proclaim 21st May as the "European Natura 2000 Day", Europe's network of protected areas. It will be celebrated annually across Europe.

  2. On 16 August 2017, Wayne Lotter, 51, was shot and killed by an unknown gunman in the Masaki district of the city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Lotter was a director and co-founder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO that provides conservation and anti-poaching support to communities and governments in Africa. Since starting the organisation in Tanzania in 2009, he had received numerous death threats relating to his work. The PAMS Foundation funded and supported Tanzania’s elite anti-poaching National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU) which was responsible for arrests of major ivory traffickers including Yang Feng Glan, the so-called “Queen of Ivory” and several other notorious elephant poachers. Since 2012, the unit has arrested more than 2,000 poachers and ivory traffickers and has a conviction rate of 80%. The NTSCIU was recently featured in the Netflix documentary The Ivory Game. In a previous interview, Lotter said he believed its work had helped to reduce poaching rates in Tanzania by at least 50%. Lotter rarely took credit for PAMS’ success in helping reduce poaching rates in Tanzania, and was always quick to credit the work of the communities and agencies he worked with. Lotter was a big figure in the international conservation community, having served on the boards of several conservation groups and was the Vice President of the International Ranger Federation.

  3. Tony de Brum saw the effects of rising seas from his home in the Marshall Islands and became a leading advocate for the landmark Paris Agreement and an internationally recognized voice in the fight against climate change. De Brum, who was the Pacific nation's climate ambassador and former foreign minister, died on 22 August 2017 in the capital Majuro. He was 72.