Save the weird animals: Some of the planet’s rarest and most unusual animals will be the focus of an ambitious conservation project launched today by British scientists. The plan will focus on animals traditionally overlooked by conservationists and will allow the public to track and donate to individual projects via a new website. — The Guardian

Environment ministers have a lot to learn: Environment ministers lack power to lead a fight against global warming at a time when ever more governments portray climate change as one of the biggest threats to the planet, experts say. Environment ministers are sometimes rising stars — German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a stint in the 1990s — but are often far less experienced than cabinet colleagues in charge of issues such as defence, health or education. — ABC News (US)

Drought results in spate of bucket injuries: The constant lugging of buckets from the shower to different sections of the garden is playing havoc with people’s backs. A friend whose daughter is a physiotherapist says she’s starting to see people with “bucket injuries”. — The Age

Bad news for wine: Australia’s winemakers are predicting a dire 2008 vintage, with water allocations down for a second year in major grape growing regions. A newly-established wine task force will meet in Adelaide today to discuss ways to improve production for 2007 and 2008. The industry group will also consider ways to improve existing water entitlements for growers. — ABC News online

Dubai developers go green: Guidelines are being drawn up by the Ministry of Environment and Water for construction companies in order to protect the environment while development is going on. — Gulf News

Peter Fray

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