A scientific study [abstract] released in the journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences found that cheetah populations throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia are declining as habitats are encroached by various human actors. The cheetah is now listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List [website], however the study suggests that the cheetah should be defined as ‘endangered.’ The study advises that a new approach to protecting cheetahs will require a holistic approach to conservation that engages rather than alienates local communities.
According to many experts, climate change [JURIST backgrounder] as a result of global greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most pressing and controversial environmental issues facing the international community today. In December US President Barack Obama announced a ban on offshore drilling [JURIST report] in almost 120 million acres of federally owned Arctic and Atlantic waters in an effort to protect the various environmental aspects in these regions, such as endangered and rare species and deep-water corals. In November the Indonesian Central Jakarta District Court rejected a lawsuit [JURIST report] brought by Acehnese community leaders to protect the valuable Leuser tropical forest from exploitation by mining companies despite conservation groups protests that the forest is home two four endangered species of orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers. In October a US federal appeals court ruled [JURIST report] that climate change was sufficient evidence to list bearded seals in Alaska as ‘threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act due to the risk of future loss of habitat.