Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for September 3, 2021. №33

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 September 3, 2021. №33

A patch of purple wildflowers springs out of Peckham Rye like a bruise. Elsewhere, strips of long grass quiver in the wind, breaking up the uniformity of well-cut grass. Poppies, red campion and meadowsweet are among spring’s colourful arrivals. Since May, London’s Southwark council has mowed a third less grass than it normally does and these flowers sprouted by themselves from seeds that had lain dormant in the earth. It is the latest addition to Southwark council’s flower-rich grasslands that have been extended by seven hectares (17 acres) since 1994.

Flowers planted in Bristol Harbourside. The council manages floral meadows at 90 sites across the city. Photograph: Alexander Turner/The Guardian

All over the country, city councils are letting well-manicured grass grow out to create messier spaces for wildlife. Even some Oxbridge colleges are turning their famous lawns into wildflower meadows. Fantastic diversity is lying dormant within our soils, particularly in London parks that have been protected from development for hundreds of years. Many seeds have been waiting underground for decades (a poppy seed can survive for 70 years waiting to germinate) and the eruption of colour shows wildflowers belong in cities just as much as the countryside. “We were just going to see what came up and it’s been much better than we expected,” says Southwark council parks manager Will Walpole. “Peckham Rye common is ancient, nothing significant has been built on it. A lot of these native plants will put seed down and they’ll last for a very long time.” Read more

The city centre store that Ikea had announced last year, has finally opened its doors in Vienna. The sustainable store has no car park and focuses on smaller items. The design of 'Ikea Westbahnhof' is a radical break from the traditional big blue boxes of the home furnishing chain. The seven-storey, grid-shaped building offers an oasis of nature in one of the busiest parts of the Austrian capital. 160 trees were planted on the balconies, which help to keep the interior cool.

Everything else too is geared towards sustainability, with the use of solar panels and hyper-efficient heating. The store is designed for urban shoppers who come on foot, by bike or public transport. There is no dedicated car park. Ikea Westbahnhof focuses primarily on smaller items, selling about 3,000 in total. There is no furniture warehouse, but those who do buy larger items can have them delivered to their homes within 24 hours. Transportation is done by electric trucks. The two upper floors of the building are occupied by a hostel that is operated by the Accor Group. A large sun terrace on the roof is freely accessible and will also function as a space for events. Read more

Namibia's lion population continues to grow steadily, with 2020 statistics indicating that the wildcats' population stands at approximately 800 countrywide. This includes 96 to124 lions in Kunene; 305 to 366 in Etosha; 39 in Kavango; 52 in Zambezi and over 100 on private land. Environment and tourism ministry's spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda in an interview said Namibia's lion population continues to increase despite the threats and challenges. Some of the major threats to lion conservation, Muyunda said, include persecution to livestock farmers in both commercial and communal land; habitat loss and environmental degradation; decreasing prey species mainly due to drought, and diseases. Read more

A pesticide that's been linked to neurological damage in children, including reduced IQ, loss of working memory, and attention deficit disorders, has been banned by the Biden administration following a years-long legal battle. Environmental Protection Agency officials issued a final ruling on Wednesday saying chlorpyrifos can no longer be used on the food that makes its way onto American dinner plates. The move is intended to better protect the children and farmworkers, according to the agency. Farmers have been spraying chlorpyrifos on crops, including strawberries, apples, citrus, broccoli and corn since 1965. Up until 2000, it was also a common household item that was used to keep American homes free from ants, roaches and mosquitos. Read more

Activists Celebrate Win in Fight Against Chemical Oil Dispersants. Federal court orders EPA to update its regulations on the use of toxic chemicals in oil spill responses.

Members of a US Coast Guard Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Team remove oil from a beach in Port Fourchon, Louisiana in May 2010. Gulf Coast residents and response workers were exposed to the toxic mix of oil and chemical dispersants used to clean up the massive oil spill. Many suffer from chronic illness and other debilitating health impacts as a result. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley / US Coast Guard.

This month, a federal district court judge ordered the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update its regulations governing the use of chemical dispersants to clean up oil spills, ruling in favor of a coalition of individuals and environmental groups including Earth Island Institutes’s ALERT Project, the lead plaintiff on the case. For decades, chemical dispersants have been listed on the EPA’s National Contingency Plan (NCP) Product Schedule, a list of products that are available for use in response to oil spills. This, despite well-documented evidence that dispersants are hazardous to humans, marine ecosystems, and wildlife — and that, when mixed with oil, they can be more toxic than oil alone. The lawsuit was filed in early 2020 in the US District Court for the Northern District of California by ALERT, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Cook Inletkeeper, the Center for Biological Diversity, an Alaskan Native health aide, and a Gulf Coast commercial fisher. The plaintiffs sought to require the EPA to update its regulations governing offshore oil spill planning and response to reflect current science and technology — including the science demonstrating that chemical dispersants pose a dire risk to both human health and the environment. Read more

A federal judge on Wednesday threw out Trump administration approvals for a large planned oil project on Alaska's North Slope, saying the federal review was flawed and didn't include mitigation measures for polar bears.

Caribou graze in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska in 2001. U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason has thrown out the Trump administration's approval for a massive oil project on Alaska's North Slope, saying the federal review was flawed and didn't include mitigation measures for polar bears. AP

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason in Anchorage vacated permits for ConocoPhillips' Willow Project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in a 110-page ruling. The Trump administration approved the project in late 2020, and the Biden administration defended the project in court. Rebecca Boys, a ConocoPhillips' spokesperson, said the company would review Gleason's decision "and evaluate the options available regarding this project." Read more

A massive and controversial petrochemical plant in St. James Parish, Louisiana, must complete a rigorous environmental impact statement if it is to obtain a key permit, the Army Corps of Engineers announced Wednesday. The Formosa Plastics plant had been on hold since the fall of last year when the Army Corps suspended an earlier permit in response to a lawsuit brought by local activists.

The EIS could take years to complete and its requirement is a major win for activists fighting to protect their community from the major polluter. "I had to touch myself to see if I'm real," Sharon Lavigne, who founded the group Rise St. James to fight the plant and was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her efforts, told the AP. "Nobody took it upon themselves to speak for St. James Parish until we started working to stop Formosa Plastics," Lavigne said in a statement. "Now the world is watching this important victory for environmental justice." Read more

 

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.
 

 

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...
 

 

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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