By Megan Rowling – Thomson Reuters Foundation – December 6, 2015

en African countries have committed to restore 31 million hectares of degraded and deforested land, under a new push to make 100 million hectares productive again by 2030. The AFR100 scheme, launched on Sunday in Paris, will be backed by $1 billion from the World Bank and additional funds from Germany, as well as $545 million in private-sector investment. "Restoring our landscapes brings prosperity, security and opportunity," said Rwanda's Minister of Natural Resources Vincent Biruta. For full story, click here.

By Don Hopey – PowerSource-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – November 28, 2015

A review by an EPA advisory board says that a draft report on hydraulic fracturing did not support the conclusion that shale gas fracking hasn’t caused significant damage to the nation’s water supplies. The draft report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board raises questions about research, the lack of robust data and some of the language of the EPA’s fracking study draft, ordered by Congress to assess the risks to water supplies from hydraulic fracturing. Congress directed the EPA to create the advisory board in 1978 to review the quality and relevance of science the agency used to craft policy and regulations. For full story, click here.

By John Seewer – The Columbus Dispatch – November 27, 2015

New national guidelines are being developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect swimmers and kayakers from growing threats posed by toxic algae in lakes and rivers. The focus will be on people who might swallow water during recreational activities. The EPA issued a report to Congress last week saying that it also will be looking at whether new health advisories are needed on algae toxins in drinking water. For full story, click here.

Reuter – November 25, 2015

The Canadian province of British Columbia signed a memorandum of understanding with Alaska on Wednesday to protect transboundary rivers, watersheds and fisheries and be more involved in major mining developments in each other's territory. Under the agreement, a bilateral group will be created to monitor water quality in transboundary waters. The two regions will also work toward allowing government representatives and scientists to be involved in each other's environmental assessment and permitting processes for mining projects. For full story, click here.

By National Corn Growers Association – Ag Professional – November 20, 2015

The National Corn Growers Association and the Water Environment Research Foundation announced the completion of the Agricultural Best Management Practices Database at the American Water Resources Association’s Annual Conference on Water Resources. Along with other project sponsors, such as the United Soybean Board, this database was developed to create a centralized repository of agricultural best management practice performance studies related to water quality in agricultural areas. For full story, click here.