SEJournal welcomes back from hiatus our WatchDog feature, now recast as an opinion column from Joseph A. Davis, Society of Environmental Journalists’ veteran freedom of information advocate and longtime SEJournal contributor. In part one of a two-parter, find out why we’re relaunching the new column, plus get Davis’ take on government openness (or lack thereof) around coronavirus, as well as more on SEJ’s deep commitment to open information and a rundown of its recent FOI activities. And watch for part two next week.
Central America & the Caribbean
"The Bahamas looks poised to greenlight drilling for oil in waters about 150 miles from South Florida just months after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the island nation and caused a major spill on Grand Bahama island."
"A Costa Rican indigenous defender has been killed by an armed mob while trying to reclaim ancestral land – the latest in a spate of violence targeting native communities in Central America’s safest country."
"The condition of the world’s second-largest coral system, the Mesoamerican Reef stretching from Mexico to Central America, has taken a turn for the worse and faces further threats from climate change, according to a report by a group of scientists."
"CHOLOMA, Honduras — More than 400 people died this year as one of the worst dengue epidemics on record swept through Central America — a type of outbreak that some scientists and public health officials are warning is likely to become more frequent and more widespread because of climate change."
"A Honduran court sentenced seven people to prison terms of up to 50 years Monday for the 2016 murder of indigenous and environmental rights activist Berta Caceres."
As U.S. coal’s comedown continues, our latest Issue Backgrounder takes a close look at the factors behind the industry’s decline and finds a combination of economics, competition and shifting global markets, along with aging technology, politics and environmental pushback. What’s in store for coal in 2020?
"In a good year, Jesús García Ramos can feed his family all year on the corn that he grows in small fields around his home in the Guatemalan village of Quilinco. But this was not a good year."
"Off the coast of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a group of scientists is tearing a reef apart in a feverish attempt to save some of its coral. They are battling a fast-moving, lethal disease that researchers say is unprecedented in the speed with which it can damage large numbers of coral species across the Caribbean Sea."