Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for November 13, 2021. №37

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 November 13, 2021. №37

Over 100 leaders, accounting for more than 86% of the world’s forests, committed to work together to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 in the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use.

12 donor countries pledged to provide $12 billion (£8.75 billion) of public climate finance from 2021 to 2025 to a new Global Forest Finance Pledge. This will support action in developing countries, including restoring degraded land, tackling wildfires and advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. In addition, 12 country and philanthropic donors pledged at least $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion) to protect the forests of the Congo Basin. This is the area home to the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, which is critically important to global efforts to address climate change as well as to sustainable development in the region. 14 country and philanthropic donors also pledged at least $1.7 billion from 2021 to 2025 to advance Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ forest tenure rights and support their role as guardians of forests and nature. In addition at least £5.3 billion ($7.2 billion) of private sector funding has been mobilised. Read more

The United States joined Britain, France, Germany and the European Union on Tuesday in a multi-billion dollar partnership to help South Africa finance a quicker transition from coal, that will provide a model for other countries. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the United Nations COP26 meeting in Glasgow that the initiative was valued at $8.5 billion overall and would help move the world toward meeting its climate targets by "choking off international finance for coal".

South Africa, which is the world's 12th biggest emitter of climate-warming gases and heavily reliant on ageing coal-fired power stations for its electricity, said the money would help it deliver on a more ambitious pledge to reduce emissions by 2030. Biden announced U.S. participation in the project at a joint event at COP26 with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who first discussed it last week. Read more

Ecuador will expand the marine reserve encircling the Galápagos Islands, President Guillermo Lasso announced on Nov. 1 at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. The current Galápagos Marine Reserve covers 133,000 square kilometers (51,400 square miles) around its namesake islands, and the extension will protect an additional 60,000 km2 (23,200 mi2).

A diver swims above a massive whale shark in the Galapagos. Image by Shawn Heinrichs / SeaLegacy.

The majority of the addition will be established across the Cocos Ridge, an underwater mountain range on the northeastern side of the Galápagos Islands that forms an important migration highway known as the Cocos-Galápagos Swimway. In one part of the new reserve, all fishing activity will be banned, while another part will only prohibit longline fishing. Read more

A court in Peru has formally dismissed a defamation case filed by an agribusiness company against Yvette Sierra Praeli, a reporter for Mongabay Latam, Mongabay’s Spanish-language bureau that primarily serves Latin America. On Monday, the Fourth Criminal Chamber of Lima ruled by majority to dismiss the aggravated defamation claim presented by Tamshi SAC, a plantation company the Peruvian government has prosecuted for “crimes against the environment” in the Amazon.

Deforestation on the United Cacao plantation in 2013. United Cacao is the parent company of Cacao del Perú Norte SAC, which is now known as Tamshi SAC. Photo by Leoncio Ramirez via Panoramio.

The decision brings to an end a case that began nearly a year ago when Tamshi SAC sued Sierra over a story she published on Mongabay Latam about an investigation led by Alberto Yusen Caraza, a member of the Loreto Specialized Environmental Prosecutor’s Office, that resulted in a July 2019 conviction against three Tamshi officials for environmental crimes. The decision may have broader implications for environmental journalism in Peru, says Sierra’s attorney. Read more

Today, Greenland’s Parliament, Inatsisartut, has passed a bill that will reinstate the uranium ban, which was lifted in 2013. All uranium mining and mining of ores containing more than 100 ppm uranium or other radioactive substances (first and foremost thorium) will be banned in the future. The new uranium act is expected to prevent the big rare earth and uranium mining project at Kvanefjeld from proceeding as well as large scale mining projects at Motzfeldt Sø and Milne Land in Southern Greenland and Safartoq and Tikiussaq in Western Greenland.

Nu er det ikke længere tilladt at forundersøge, efterforske og udnytte uran i Grønland.

Foto: KNR

Until the last minute, it appeared to be touch-and-go for the bill. During the second reading in the the Committee for Trade, Commerce, Mineral and Oil Resources, a majority unexpectedly emerged in the Committee for a referendum on the bill and deletion of its Section 2 on prohibition of other radioactive substances, which would have weakened the bill considerably. However, none of the members of the government coalition broke ranks and the bill was adopted in Parliament with 12 votes against 9. Read more

The heavily forested Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan - which measures its success in "Gross National Happiness" - hasn't made a net-zero pledge, like a growing number of nations. That's because it is already "carbon negative", absorbing more climate-changing emissions each year than it produces. The forests of the thinly populated country of less than a million people absorb more than 9 million tonnes of carbon each year, while its economy, designed to reduce fossil fuel use and waste, produces less than 4 million tonnes. "We are showing the world what we can do if we have the political will," Sonam Wangdi, secretary of the National Environment Commission, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview at the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow. A tiny but growing club of "carbon negative" forest countries is emerging, with Suriname - a small rainforest country north of Brazil - already a member and Panama expected to be certified later this year.

What they have in common is strong protection of their carbon-absorbing forests alongside increasingly tough measures to hold down climate-changing emissions, including efforts to adopt renewable energy, electrify transport and cut waste. Read more

An "open air laboratory" has underlined the value of Scotland's wilderness in holding back climate change. One of the most comprehensive-ever assessments of the carbon held on a Scottish estate has shown that rewilding the landscape to its natural state could help it store more carbon and increase biodiversity. The Bunloit Estate covers 1,200 acres in the hills above Loch Ness. By using drone-mounted lasers to scan trees and surveying the extent and depth of peat, scientists were able to measure the amount of stored carbon. They found the estate held the equivalent of 1.234 million tonnes of carbon. The analysis has already led to radical action, with some trees being cut down for the good of the planet. Figures showed peatland covered in commercial spruce plantations was so dry and damaged that it was releasing more greenhouse gases than the trees were absorbing. By felling the spruce and allowing the peat to return to its natural boggy state there would be a net benefit of 60,000 tonnes of carbon stored over the next 100 years. Read more

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