1. Algal researchers of the German Botanical Society have chosen Ulva lactuca as alga of the year 2015.

  2. The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS) (A/RES/68/232). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

  3. The salt-rich Wadden Sea has been named "Water body type of the Year 2015“. It comprises about 20% of Germany's coastal waters and is located on the country's North Sea coast between the North Sea and East Frisian islands, the mainland and the Jade Bight. Although its condition has greatly improved since 30 years ago, it achieves only "moderate" to "poor" ecological status in the EC Water Framework Directive's classification scheme.

  4. The UK city of Bristol has won the European Green Capital Award for 2015. The award was presented by European Commision at a ceremony in Nantes, France, which currently holds the title, on 14 June 2013.Bristol received recognition for its investment plans in the areas of transport and energy, and especially for its commitment to act as a true role model for the green economy in Europe and beyond. Its communication and social media strategy were also highlighted as a real call to action for its citizens. The Jury considered Bristol’s sustainable community projects to be good examples of citizen engagement to tackle environmental, economic and social issues. The city has committed a budget of EUR 500 million for transport improvements by 2015 and up to EUR 300 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2020. Bristol's transport and urban policies have contributed to achieving better air quality.

  5. Sending a signal for the protection of the Earth to enable future world development: with the presentation of its German Environmental Award, the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) is appealing “to the international community to set a course to ensure the future of humanity by safeguarding the Planet at the upcoming conferences in New York and Paris in 2015,” DBU Secretary General Dr. Heinrich Bottermann stressed on 22 September 2015. The climate and ocean researcher Prof. Mojib Latif and the internationally active global sustainability scientist Prof. Johan Rockström will receive the biggest European environmental prize in Essen on 8 November 2015. Latif has been the director of the research division Oceanic Circulation and Climate Dynamics at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. Among other things, he is a member of the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg, the Deutsche Gesellschaft Club of Rome, and chairman of the German Climate Consortium . In 2001 and 2007, he was a co-author of the World Climate Report of the IPCC. Since 2003, he has been professor at Kiel University. Turning to the other prizewinner, Bottermann said that Rockström has been director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre since 2007. Essentially, resilience is the capacity to withstand external disturbances - the ability to exist as before despite of disturbances as well as to adapt to changing conditions and transform and refine in situations of crisis. A critical and emerging area in resilience research is focused on understanding the risks involved in crossing critical tipping points on the planetary scale, which might undermine the ability for human development. This is a research field where Rockström has made particularly strong contributions. 2015, the DBU has chosen Em. Prof. Michael Succow as the recipient of its “Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award”. He is considered an outstanding figure in nature conservation both nationally and internationally, and his commitment to large areas of wilderness in Germany is viewed as unique. At the time of German reunification, he succeeded, in one stroke and within a very short space of time, in securing 12.1 percent of the territory of the former East Germany with a temporary protected status, and 5.5 percent with a permanent protected status, in the form of national parks, biosphere reserves and nature parks under the national park programme for eastern Germany.

  6. Orchid of the Year 2015 is the Early Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata).

  7. On 20 December 2013, the UN General Assembly 68th Session proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the UN has recognized the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century. It has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society.

  8. Perennial Herb of the Year 2015 is the Sedge (Carex).

  9. Poisonous plant of the year 2015 is the larkspur (Delphinium spp.).

  10. The Mongol Ecology Center (MEC) and the Global Nature Fund (GNF) are working in partnership to bring all stakeholders together to form a more sustainable and equitable future for Lake Hovsgol National Park in Mongolia. In order to draw attention to this important issue, the GNF therefore names Lake Hovsgol “Threatened Lake of the Year 2015”.

  11. Dragonfly of the Year 2015 is the Yellow-winged darter (Sympetrum flaveolum).

  12. Animal of the Year 2015 is the European hare (Lepus europaeus), also known as the brown hare.

  13. Grunewald was chosen as Forest of the Year 2015. Grunewald is a German forest located in the western side of Berlin on the east side of the Havel.

  14. Reptil of the Year 2015 is the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis), also called the European pond terrapin.

  15. Medicinal Plant of the Year 2015 is the Hypericum perforatum commonly known as St John's wort.

  16. Tree of the Year 2015 is the Acer campestre, common name field maple.

  17. Mollusc of the year 2015 is the Glutinous snail (Myxas glutinosa).

  18. Lichen of the Year 2015 is the Psilolechia lucida.

  19. Moss of the Year 2015 is the Goblin's gold (Schistostega pennata) or luminous moss or luminescent moss.

  20. Fish of the Year 2014 is the Huchen or or Danube salmon (Hucho hucho).

  21. Flower of the year 2015 is the Succisa pratensis, also known as Devil's-bit or Devil's-bit Scabious, is a flowering plant of the genus Succisa in the family Caprifoliaceae.

  22. European Spider of the Year 2015 is the Anyphaena accentuata.

  23. Water Plant of the Year 2015 is the Utricularia commonly and collectively called the bladderworts.

  24. Wild bee of the Year 2015 is the Andrena florea.

  25. Microbe of the Year 2015 is the microorganism Rhizobium.

  26. On 22 March 2015, the Global Nature Fund announced, the choice of the Lake schwerin in Mecklenburg Vorpommern as Living Lake of the Year 2015.

  27. The onion (Allium cepa) has been chosen for the Medicinal Herb of the Year 2015 by the NHV Theophrastus.

  28. Soil of the Year 2015 is the Pseudogley.

  29. Bird of the Year 2015 is the is the true hawk (Accipiter gentilis).

  30. Cactus of the year 2015 is the Mammillaria zeilmanniana.

  31. Vampyrella lateritia is the Protozoan of the Year 2015.

  32. Laboratory Animal of the Year 2015 is the rabbit.

  33. Butterfly of the Year 2015 is the Red Underwing (Catocala nupta).

  34. The Endangered Domestic Breed of the Year for 2015 is the German karakul sheep.

  35. Insect of the Year 2015 is the Chalkhill Blue (Polyommatus coridon).

  36. Cave Animal of the Year 2015 is the Cellar Glass-snail (Oxychilus cellarius).

  37. Fungus of the Year 2015 is the Crown-Tipped Coral ( Artomyces pyxidatus).

  38. Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016, the 10th edition of UNEP's annual report, launched on 24 March 2016 by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), says the annual global investment in new renewables capacity, at $266 billion, was more than double the estimated $130 billion invested in coal and gas power stations in 2015. All investments in renewables, including early-stage technology and R&D as well as spending on new capacity, totalled $286 billion in 2015, some 3% higher than the previous record in 2011. Just as significantly, developing world investments in renewables (up 19% in 2015) topped those of developed nations for the first time in 2015 (down 8%). Much of these record-breaking developing world investments took place in China (up 17% to $102.9 billion).

  39. The Federal Environment Agency's (UBA) short-term forecast shows that higher exports of electricity, cooler weather conditions compared to the previous year and lower fuel prices led to a slight increase in greenhouse gas emissions. According to the report there was a rise in emissions of 6 million tonnes to 908 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents, which equates to 0.7 percent, but overall emissions have dropped by 27.2 percent compared to 1990. CO2 emissions have gone down in electricity generation. The share of renewable energies in power generation grew considerably to 30 percent. However, this did not lead to a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions due to the rise in electricity exports which hit a record level of 50 terawatt hours in 2015. The primary cause for the rise in emissions were the cooler weather conditions compared to the previous year which meant there was a greater need for heating energy. Households and other small-scale consumers used natural gas in particular, which increased emissions by 4.5 million tonnes.

  40. More than three people were killed a week in 2015 defending their land, forests and rivers against destructive industries, according to Global Witness. The organisation’s new report, On Dangerous Ground, documents 185 known deaths worldwide last year – by far the highest annual death toll on record and a 59% increase from 2014. Severe limits on information mean the true numbers are undoubtedly higher. The deadliest countries for land and environmental defenders in 2015 were Brazil (50 deaths) and the Philippines (33) - record numbers in both countries - followed by Colombia (26), Peru (12), Nicaragua (12) and Democratic Republic of Congo (11). Major drivers were mining (42 deaths), agribusiness (20), logging (15) and hydropower (15). On Dangerous Ground sheds light on the particular vulnerability of indigenous people, whose weak land rights and geographic isolation make them frequent targets of land and resource grabbing. In 2015, almost 40% of victims were from indigenous groups.