Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for August 5, 2021. №31

Dear friends and co-fighters,

Welcome to the next issue of Positive News. Let you spread it among your friends and co-fighters in your countries and around the Earth.

I will be glad to receive and publish your positive news from the fields and offices.

Sviatoslav Zabelin, SEU coordinator

 

Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for August 5, 2021. №31

More than 1,000 landowners in East Anglia are taking part in an ambitious rewilding project, which is being led by three farmers.

Each green splodge on the map above represents a promise to nature. A promise to provide it with more space to thrive in a corner of England where wildlife has, as in many places, been pushed to the fringes. East Anglian farmers, homeowners, schools, councils, churches and energy companies are among the landowners who have pinned plots to the ‘map of dreams’, and in doing so committed to setting aside a sliver of land for wildlife. It’s all part of the Wild East campaign, which wants to return 20 per cent of East Anglia (roughly 250,000 hectares) to nature by 2070.

Wild East wants to create more space for nature in East Anglia, where farming dominates. Image: Niklas Weiss Barn owls are among the species that have been spotted on rewilded land. Image: Bob Brewer

The project was launched by three farmers – Hugh Somerleyton, Argus Hardy and Olly Birkbeck – who were motivated to act by the climate emergency, the biodiversity crisis and the sheer joy of watching wildlife thrive in the English countryside.  Read more

Miracles happen in the 72nd municipal district of St. Petersburg: they maintain normal landscaping and fight for the natural nature in the city! For example, snyt, burdock, burdock and other wild herbs are left in the district. They mow only an ordinary lawn, grass along paths, near playgrounds and driveways. All areas of meadow grass are regularly inspected — if the grass is withered, it is mowed down. We also made an experimental meadow lawn here: rye, wheat and barley were planted. Then there is a lot of work to be done on assigning a part of the land the status of a meadow lawn and changing technological maps.

Along the way, a lot of work is being done with residents, who are being explained everything about different grasses, the advantages of perennial plants, care and mowing rules. The initiatives come from the head of the district Pavel Shvets and landscape architect Irina Pavlova. They even held a course on landscape design "Create your own garden", following which the residents independently planted several courtyards. In general, very cool! Read more

Africa’s largest forest reserve was removed from Unesco danger list. On the subject of red lists, Africa’s largest rainforest reserve was removed from Unesco’s register of threatened sites on Monday. Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to rare bonobos and forest elephants (pictured), which have been the subject of conservation efforts in recent years. “Regular wildlife monitoring shows that bonobo populations remain stable within the reserve despite past pressures, and that the forest elephant population has slowly begun to recover,” said Unesco. Salonga was placed on the danger list in 1999 owing to concerns about poaching, pollution and oil prospecting. The DRC has reportedly cancelled oil permits in the park. However, plans are afoot for crude projects at other ecologically sensitive sites in the country. Conservationists are calling for them to be cancelled too.  Read more

Galicia is a dry, fire prone region of northwestern Spain, which is also the continent’s hardest-hit region in terms of wildfires, which are increasing: 2020 saw more acreage burned here than in the previous two years combined. A form of agroforestry where livestock are grazed among trees offers a solution, though: sheep and cattle graze the brush that often ignites during dry times, in an agricultural method called silvopasture. Not only do the trees provide food and cover for livestock, they also sequester carbon and provide habitat for wildlife while boosting farmers’ incomes.

Farms that implement silvopasture have not burned during recent fires, as one researcher tells Mongabay: “Adequate management of the mountains with shepherding could be part of the solution to preventing fires.”Read more

A county in Washington state has become the first such jurisdiction in the US to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure, following a lengthy battle over the impact of oil refineries on the local community. In a vote on Tuesday night, Whatcom county’s council unanimously passed a measure that bans the construction of new refineries, coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuel-related infrastructure. The ordinance also places new restrictions on existing fossil fuel facilities, such as a requirement that any extra planet-heating gases emitted from any expansion be offset. Read more

The ‘world’s most powerful’ tidal turbine went live. A sea-powered turbine, which its makers say is the most powerful in the world, has started producing electricity in Orkney, Scotland. 

Image: Orbital Marine Power

Orbital Marine Power’s turbine can generate enough green energy to power 2,000 homes. The submarine-like facility is anchored out at sea and connected to the grid via an underwater cable.  Orbital CEO, Andrew Scott, said he believed tidal turbines have an important role to play in “tackling climate change while creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector”. Read more

A court in Indonesia has acquitted six villagers in a dispute against a tapioca factory, ruling that the criminal charges, allegedly brought at the behest of the company, were frivolous and could not be used to silence criticism of environmental violations. Experts have hailed the ruling as unprecedented, as it marks the first time in Indonesia’s legal history in which a court has thrown out litigation considered a form of “strategic lawsuit against public participation” or SLAPP. SLAPP typically describes any kind of litigation with little to no merit that’s brought with the aim of censoring, intimidating or silencing critics speaking out against those in power or on issues of public interest.

Kenanga villagers meet with PT Bangka Asindo Agri in 2019. Image courtesy of A Mangatas/Bangka district government.

This particular case revolves around a conflict between villagers on Bangka Island, off the southeast coast of Sumatra, and a tapioca flour mill operated by PT Bangka Asindo Agri (BAA). Since the company began operating in 2017, residents of the village of Kenanga have complained about the pungent stench coming from the waste churned out by the nearby mill. Heti Rukmana, 29, whose house is 700 meters, or less than half a mile, from the factory, said the smell was so foul and intense that she had trouble breathing. Read more

 

 

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Dear friends and co-fighters, Welcome to the next issue of Positive News. Let you spread it among your friends and co-fighters in your countries and around the Earth. Please, send me addresses of your friends and colleagues  to be included into the list. I will be glad to receive and publish your positive news from the fields and offices. If...
Dear friends and co-fighters, Welcome to the next issue of Positive News. Let you spread it among your friends and co-fighters in your countries and around the Earth. Please, send me addresses of your friends and colleagues  to be included into the list. I will be glad to receive and publish your positive news from the fields and offices. If...
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