1. Germany’s first offshore wind farm "alpha ventus" officially starts up on 27 April 2010 in the North Sea. Alpha ventus was constructed 45 kilometres off the coast of the island of Borkum.

  2. United Nations peacekeepers in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have airlifted four endangered gorillas to a safer habitat to keep them from being illegally trafficked or eaten before they are released back into the wild. Three young females and a male named – all eastern lowland gorillas – flew by helicopter for 50 minutes on Tuesday with veterinarians and other caregivers from Goma to a village near the heavily forested Tanya Nature Reserve in north Kivu province. The decision to move the gorillas by air was made after scientists said ground transportation would be too difficult and traumatic. The four gorillas, victims of illegal trafficking in wildlife and bushmeat, will be joined in early June by six adolescent orphans flown by MONUC from Rwanda.

  3. Marine species of May 2010 in the International Year of Biodiversity is the diatom Guinardia delicatula.

  4. Germany and Mexico invited environment and climate ministers from 43 countries to attend informal discussions from 2 to 4 May 2010 on the Petersberg near Bonn. The Petersberg Climate Dialogue has brought new momentum to the international climate negotiations. Germany's Environment Minister Röttgen commented at the end of the conference: "These two-and-a-half days of intensive discussions have clearly shown that there is broad consensus among the international community. I am delighted that with the Petersberg Climate Dialogue we have succeeded in holding an open exchange in a constructive atmosphere of trust. This is a good basis for further cooperation and sets us off on the road to an ambitious UN climate agreement."

  5. The children from the student initiative Plant-for-the-Planet are seeking to plant a million trees in every country, each tree symbolizing climate justice. In Germany, their goal has been achieved: On the 4th of May, 2010 the millionth tree was planted on Mt. Petersberg. This occurred alongside the Petersberg climate dialogue, the preparatory meeting for the climate summit in December 2010 in Cancun, Mexico.

  6. On 5 May 2010 the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) and KfW Banking Group celebrated the 30th anniversary of the BMU’s Environmental Innovation Programme. The Programme supports pilot projects applying state-of-the-art technologies in Germany on a large scale. Around 700 million euros have been provided for more than 700 pilot projects since the start of the Programme. The Environmental Innovation Programme was launched in 1979. At the time, the aim was to achieve "blue skies over the Ruhr". At the beginning, the focus of support was on end-of-pipe cleaning technologies, such as air filters and waste water treatment facilities. Today, this focus has shifted to integrated environmental protection measures and activities in the areas of renewable energies and energy efficiency. These projects will improve the environmental situation, contribute to achieving the German Government’s climate protection goals, offer insights for updating environmental legislation and give fresh impetus to economic and employment policies.

  7. To protect water resources and biological diversity, MEPs want the Commission to propose a complete ban on the use of cyanide mining technologies in the EU before the end of 2011. They also believe companies dealing with the management of waste from the extractive industries should be forced to take out insurance to cover costs in the event of an accident and that mining projects in the EU involving cyanide technology should receive no support from the Commission or Member States. In a resolution adopted on 6. May 2010 by 488 votes to 48 with 57 abstentions, Parliament argues that a complete ban "is the only safe way to protect our water resources and ecosystems against cyanide pollution from mining activities". It urges the development and application of safer – in particular cyanide-free – mining.

  8. On 6 May 2010 the German Bundestag adopted the amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). It significantly reduces the feed-in tariffs for solar power generated by installations on buildings and in open spaces as per 1 July 2010. The amendment provides for further reductions of the feed-in tariffs in addition to the original degression rate stipulated in the EEG: 11 per cent for solar farms on land converted from other uses (conversion areas) and 16 per cent for roof installations. At the same time the EEG assumes a much wider expansion of the photovoltaic market than previously expected. The targeted market volume was doubled to 3,500 MW installed photovoltaic peak capacity per annum. The proposed cuts in tariffs are appropriate. The expanded financial incentive for consumers themselves to use the solar power they generated will trigger further technical innovation. In contrast to previous EEG stipulations, open space installations will continue to be promoted beyond 1 January 2015. Conversion areas allowing for tariffs pursuant to the EEG will also comprise land converted from residential building or transport use in addition to land converted from agricultural or military use. Open space installations can now also be promoted in a 100 m wide strip along the kerbside of motorways or rail tracks. The category arable land will not apply beyond 1 July 2010. There will be transitional stipulations for open space installations which have already reached an advanced planning stage.

  9. On 10 May 2010, the third edition of Global Biodiversity Outlook is being launched in a number of cities around the world, including Alexandria, Bonn, Brasilia, Chamonix, London, Manama, Montreal, New York, Nairobi, Panama, and Tokyo. The third edition of Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3), produced by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) confirms that the world has failed to meet its target to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The report is based on scientific assessments, national reports submitted by governments and a study on future scenarios for biodiversity. Subject to an extensive independent scientific review process, publication of GBO-3 is one of the principal milestones of the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity.

  10. In early May 2010, the body of one of the last Javan rhinos in Vietnam was found in Cat Tien National Park . The animal had been shot and its horn removed by poachers. It is now uncertain how many, if any, Javan rhinos are left in Vietnam. Vietnam’s Javan rhinos are one of only two populations of the species left on Earth. Official estimates say there are fewer than 60 Javan rhinos left. The largest population of approximately 40-60 is found in Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, Indonesia. There are no Javan rhinos in captivity in the world.

  11. On 14 May 2010, the “Gardens of the World” in the Marzahn Recreational Park were honored with the British Green Flag Award. The Green Flag Award® scheme is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in England and Wales. It was first launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the best green spaces in the country. The first awards were given in 1997.

  12. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) have started their cooperation in human biomonitoring, in order to improve the knowledge of substances taken up by the human organism. The focus is on substances that might involve increasing exposure of the public at large or can have special relevance to human health without, however, being measurable in the human body with currently available methods. Against this backdrop, there are plans to develop over the next 10 years adequate analytical methods for up to 50 jointly selected substances or substance groups and to apply newly developed methods in relevant studies. Joint activities begin with a three-year trial and pilot phase. The VCI is in charge of the development of detection methods, which the BMU will put to the test in suitable studies. In these efforts, the BMU will closely work with the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA).

  13. Geologists led by Brown University have determined the east African rift lake has experienced unprecedented warming during the last century, and its surface waters are the warmest on record. That finding is important, the scientists write in the journal Nature Geoscience, because the warm surface waters likely will affect fish stocks upon which millions of people in the region depend. The team took core samples from the lakebed that laid out a 1,500-year history of the lake’s surface temperature. The data showed the lake’s surface temperature, 26 degrees Celsius is the warmest the lake has been for a millennium and a half.

  14. On 18 May 2010 a recast of The Directive on energy performance of buildings (2002/91/EC) was adopted in order to strengthen the energy performance requirements and to clarify and streamline some of its provisions (the Directive is expected to be published in the Official Journal in June).

  15. On 18 May 2010 21 member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), and nine leading environmental organizations, unveiled an unprecedented agreement – the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement – that applies to 72 million hectares of public forests licensed to FPAC members. The Agreement, when fully implemented, will conserve significant areas of Canada’s vast Boreal Forest, protect threatened woodland caribou and provide a competitive market edge for participating companies.

  16. Verified emissions of greenhouse gases from EU businesses participating in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) fell 11.6 % in 2009 compared with a 2008, according to the information provided by Member State registries. The drop in emissions is in line with widely held expectations and analyst forecasts provided months ahead of the data release. It is attributed to several factors. Firstly, the reduced economic activity as a result of the recession and secondly, the low level of gas prices throughout 2009 which has made it much more attractive to produce power from gas rather than more emitting coal.

  17. A new Energy Labelling Directive was adopted by the European Parliament on 19 May 2010. The existing Labelling Directive introduced the energy label for household appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, ovens, air-conditioners, dishwashers, washing machines, washer-driers, tumble driers and lamps. The recast of the Directive extends its scope to also cover products in the commercial and industrial sectors in the future. With adoption in Parliament, the directive has been formally adopted and is expected to be published in the Official Journal in June. Member States will have one year to transpose it into national legislation. With the new directive, the existing labelling scale from A-G will be further differentiated by adding the new classes A+, A++ and A+++ on top of class "A".

  18. On 25 May 2010, the tanker Bunga Kelana 3 collided with the bulk freighter, MV Waily, in the Singapore Strait, 13 km southeast of Changi Air Base. An estimated 2,000 tonnes of crude oil may have spilled into the sea.

  19. Norway and Indonesia agreed on 26 May 2010 to enter into a partnership to support Indonesia’s efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation of forests and peat lands. Indonesia will take immediate and decisive action to reduce its forest and peat related greenhouse gas emissions. Norway will support those efforts with one billion USD over the next few years.

  20. The recently-conducted “Synovate and Deutsche Welle Global Study on Climate Change 2010” has shown that people around the world still see global climate change as a major threat and extreme weather conditions as one of the major risks. Synovate surveyed more than 13,000 people from 18 different countries about the potential threats, the effects and the possibilities that exist to counteract climate change. The “Synovate and Deutsche Welle Global Study on Climate Change 2010” is the third survey that Synovate has completed on this subject. Researchers relied on more than 13,000 respondents from 18 countries for the results, which were collected between February and May throughout the world – including Germany, France, Brazil, USA, China and South Africa.

  21. On 27 May 2010 heads of state and government, ministers and other representatives of some 50 countries concluded an agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Around 4 billion dollars has been pledged for the period 2010–2012 for measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. The global forest partnership marks the start of closer global cooperation on reducing deforestation and forest degradation in tropical developing countries. The partnership will support and contribute to the UNFCCC process.

  22. Average June ice extent was the lowest in the satellite data record, from 1979 to 2010. In June, ice extent declined by 88,000 square kilometers (34,000 square miles) per day, more than 50% greater than the average rate of 53,000 square kilometers (20,000 square miles) per day. This rate of decline is the fastest measured for June.

  23. Marine species of June 2010 in the International Year of Biodiversity is the Crassostrea gigas, a Pacific oyster in the Wadden Sea.

  24. The European Aerospace firma EADS presented the world's first airplane thats runs only on algae fuel at the ILA Berlin Air Show (ILA). On June 8, a Diamond Aircraft DA42 New Generation plane powered by 100 percent algae biofuel took part in the flying demonstration, marking the first time that the technology has been used to power a flight.

  25. Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries decided to close the bluefin tuna fishery to purse seiners in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic, due to the exhaustion of the quotas allocated to them. France, Greece and Spain have been informed of this decision which will become effective on 10 June 2010. The closure of the purse seine fishery is necessary to protect the fragile stock of bluefin tuna and to ensure its recovery as envisaged by the recovery plan of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT). The Commission has declared a zero tolerance approach towards overfishing and will take all necessary measures to ensure full compliance across the board.

  26. The Commission decided on 10 June 2010 to encourage industry, governments and NGOs to set up certification schemes for all types of biofuels, including those imported into the EU. It laid down what the schemes must do to be recognised by the Commission. This will help implement the EU's requirements that biofuels must deliver substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and should not come from forests, wetlands and nature protection areas. The rules for certification schemes are part of a set of guidelines explaining how the Renewable Energy Directive, coming into effect in December 2010, should be implemented.

  27. History was made on 11 June 2010 in the South Korean port city of Busan, when delegates from close to 90 countries gave the green light to an Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The independent platform will in many ways mirror the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which has assisted in catalyzing world-wide understanding and governmental action on global warming.

  28. A new biodiversity management handbook for companies was presented by parliamentary state secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry, Ursula Heinen-Esser, at the international business conference "SusCon" (Sustainable Business and Consumption) in Nuremberg on 15 June 2010. Using many examples, the Corporate Biodiversity Handbook gives companies a clear picture of the importance of biological diversity for business. It also shows what companies can do to actively supportthe conservation of biodiversity in practice.

  29. The Jebel al-Zayt oil spill was an oil spill off the Egyptian Red Sea Coast of Hurghada . The spill was caused by a leak from an offshore oil platform in Jebel al-Zayt north of Hurghada and has polluted about 160km of coastline, including tourist beach resorts. The platform began leaking on 16 June 2010, and the leak was sealed by 23 June 2010. The Northern Islands protected area is the most heavily impacted region. These islands are one of the few pristine areas in the northern Egyptian Red Sea, and are of high ecological value.

  30. To combat pollution, climate change, acidification, over-exploitation and biodiversity loss in the Baltic Sea, the EU is to co-fund "BONUS", a seven-year joint R&D programme initiated by Baltic coastal states Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. A plan to match their money with €50 million in EU funds was approved by Parliament on 16 June 2010.

  31. On 18 June 2010 started metroradruhr as the biggest bike sharing system in Germany. Up to 3000 bikes are available to rent in ten cities of the Ruhr: Bochum, Bottrop, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Hamm, Herne, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Oberhausen.

  32. On Saturday, June 19, 2010, oil spread northeast from the leaking Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil appears as a maze of silvery-gray ribbons in this photo-like image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

  33. On 23 June 2010 the IPCC released the final list of selected Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors and Review Editors of its fifth Assessment Report (AR5)in Geneva. 36 climate experts from German universities, research institutes and private companies are among the more than 800 contributors from all regions of the world. This means that almost a third of the candidates nominated by Germany have been selected. In total, IPCC has received more than 3000 nominations from governments and observer organisations. The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) will be published between 2013 and 2014.

  34. The 62nd Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) took place from 21 to 25 June 2010 in Agadir, Morocco. The delegates to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) were unable to reach consensus on a proposal that would see the legitimization of commercial whaling. The moratorium (ban) still stands and Japan, Iceland and Norway continue to whale outside of the sanction of the IWC.

  35. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has granted Greenland the right to hunt humpback whales. Greenland's indigenous people now have the right to add humpbacks to a list of whales they are allowed to hunt, according to a decision made at the end of the International Whaling Commission's annual meeting in Agadir, Morocco on 25 June 2010. They will now be allowed to kill and consume nine of the giant mammals each year through 2012.

  36. On 30 June 2010 the first floating nuclear power station (PATES), the Akademik Lomonosov, set sail from the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in St. Petersburg. Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the state atomic agency Rosatom, said that floating nuclear power stations “open a new era and create new prospects for modernizing the power energy infrastructure of some of the more distant and isolated regions of Russia.” The vessel carrying the plant is scheduled to start operating in late 2012, according to officials.

  37. With the signing of contracts in Berlin at the end of the two-day conference entitled "Financing climate protection in developing countries and threshold countries – instruments and incentives for environmentally-friendly investments in the private sector", the German Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMU) and KfW Entwicklungsbank have taken the first steps to set up an innovative global climate protection fund. The fund provides financial support to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as private households in developing countries and threshold countries for investment in energy efficiency measures and renewable energies. Together, BMU and KfW Entwicklungsbank have promised more than USD 100 million of initial funding. In addition, further funds are also to be raised from public and private investors.

  38. Only 30 eastern North Pacific right whales are left on the planet, making it the world’s smallest population of whales, according to a paper published in the Royal Society Biology Letters on 30 June 2010. Paul Wade, a research biologist at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, and his colleagues used several different methods, including DNA analysis and photo-identification surveys, to count the eastern North Pacific right whales. The estimates all came to very similar conclusions, all pointing to around 30.

  39. Marine species of July 2010 in the International Year of Biodiversity is the Antarctic krill Euphausia superba in the Southern Ocean.

  40. The Commission Regulation (EU) No 271/2010 regarding the new EU organic logo was published in April, 2010, thus making it a legal requirement for all pre-packaged organic products to carry the European Union from 1st July, 2010 onwards.