Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for October 13, 2021. №35

The human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

The global interactive map "Rights of Rivers".

A new agrobiodiversity zone in Peru.

Dear friends and co-fighters,

Welcome to the next issue of Positive News.

Sviatoslav Zabelin, SEU coordinator

 

Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for October 13, 2021. №35

Human Rights Council. Forty-eighth session. 13 September–8 October 2021.

48/... The human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable
environment. The Human Rights Council,
1. Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, ….

Recognizes the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a
human right that is important for the enjoyment of human rights;
2. Notes that the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is
related to other rights that are in accordance with existing international law;  Read more

International rivers is pleased to announce the launch of the global interactive map "Rights of Rivers". Learn more about the growing, global Rights of Rivers movement. This new map highlights cases, different approaches, and river defenders and groups working on permanent protections for rivers around the world. If you want to add a case or have questions, please send us a message. Our Rights of Rivers Report here.  Learn more and read

The Peruvian government established a new agrobiodiversity zone a tenth the size of its capital, Lima, high in the Andes. Here, in the Marcapata Ccollana community, the 22,679-hectare (55,800-acre) zone is home to 99 varieties of potato that flourish alongside dozens of other root vegetables and a mélange of protein-rich and pest-resistant grains. This Quechua-speaking Indigenous community of 814 people is the fourth to be recognized as an agrobiodiversity reserve by the government of Peru as part of a strategy to preserve the genetic variety of useful plants and their wild relatives where they occur.

A family from Marcapata Ccollana display their potato harvest. Image courtesy of Anahí Oroz/ACCA.

The newly protected area is the result of a joint effort by the Marcapata Ccollana community, environmental nonprofits Amazon Conservation and ACCA, the U.N. Development Programme, and various branches of government including the Peruvian National Protected Areas Service, and the government of the Cusco region where the zone is located. It forms part of a mosaic of high-altitude protected areas, sitting just west from the Ccollasuyo agrobiodiversity zone, declared in late 2020, and bordering Ausangate, another regional conservation area that guards one of Peru’s highest peaks. Read more

President Biden will restore full protection today to three national monuments shrunk by the previous administration, which had also opened the sacred lands up for coal and uranium mining as well as oil drilling. Biden will expand Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in what is now Utah and restore protections from commercial fishing in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the New England coast.

Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. T Schofield / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The decision to restore the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments will also protect the sites' stunning physical beauty and fossil record, as well as substantial Native American history. Read more

A large swathe of the Scottish Highlands stretching between the west coast and Loch Ness is to be rewilded as part of a 30-year project to restore nature. The Affric Highlands initiative aims to increase connected habitats and species diversity over an area of 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres), incorporating Kintail mountain range, and glens Cannich, Moriston and Shiel. Plans include planting trees, enhancing river corridors, restoring peat bogs and creating nature-friendly farming practices. The project has been launched after two years of conversations and meetings between local communities and conservationists from rewilding charity Trees for Life. Similar to the WildEast project in East Anglia, it is a community-led effort to restore nature over a large area, which organisers hope will be a catalyst for social and economic regeneration.

The idea of doing it at scale is that you get a much bigger natural response’ – Alan McDonnell, Trees for Life.Photograph: Chris Aldridge/Trees for Life

“This was once a much more peopled landscape that was rich with wildlife and we think we can find new ways to establish that connection again, today,” said Alan McDonnell, a conservation manager at Trees for Life, and the project leader. “The idea of doing it at scale is that you get a much bigger natural response because you’ve got room for change and dynamism in that landscape.” Read more

Countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine) are taking bold action with the commitment to restore more than 4 million ha of land by 2030 under the Global Bonn Challenge. This was announced today at the Ministerial meeting organized by UNECE and FAO as part of the UN’s Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. This will be add to the 2.5 million ha pledged during the 2018 Ministerial Roundtable on Forest Landscape Restoration in the Caucasus and Central Asia and contribute to the regional ECCA30 initiative under the Bonn Challenge. Launched in 2011 by the government of Germany and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the global effort attempts to bring 350 million ha of degraded and deforested land into restoration by 2030. Read more

The Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro must be held criminally responsible for a “ruthless” assault on the Amazon that has exacerbated the climate emergency and imperilled humanity’s very survival, activists have argued in a petition to the international criminal court.

Bolsonaro is a former paratrooper who has presided over what critics call a historic onslaught against the Amazon and its indigenous inhabitants. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

In a submission to The Hague-based tribunal on Tuesday, legal and scientific experts said the “mass deforestation” unfolding under the rightwing nationalist posed a clear and present danger to Brazil, and to the world. “There is a substantial body of evidence demonstrating the commission of ongoing crimes against humanity within Brazil which requires immediate investigation and prosecution,” the 284-page petition said, pointing to soaring Amazon devastation under Bolsonaro. Read more

A British startup’s innovation to tackle plastic pollution by decomposing the material into a wax that’s digested by nature is making inroads in Asia. Polymateria Ltd., which has a lab on Imperial College London’s campus, has struck a deal with a supplier to 7-Eleven in Taiwan, Polymateria Chief Executive Officer Niall Dunne said in an interview.

Polymateria’s biodegradable cups. Source: Polymateria

The company has also inked a deal worth as much as $100 million to license its technology to Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Corp., one of the world’s biggest petrochemical manufacturers. “We’re targeting the type of plastic that’s most likely to wind up in nature with a solution that doesn’t need any composting technologies to biodegrade or capital expenditure,” Dunne said. “We’re focused on Asia since that’s where a lot of the fugitive plastic is coming from and there aren’t massive waste management systems in place.” Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. in India will also start to use Polymateria’s packaging beginning later this year, he said. The startup also has licensing agreements with other plastics producers in the Philippines and Malaysia.  Read more

 

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