Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for December 04, 2021. №39

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 as from Bobby Peek and Niels Henrik Hooge this week.

Sviatoslav Zabelin, SEU coordinator

Banner image: Winter came to the European part of Russia exactly on schedule - on December 1. Admire our landscapes, send your photos.

 

Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for December 04, 2021. №39

 

The Belgian parliament has adopted, by a strong majority, a resolution by the Ecolo-Groen parties aimed at recognising an international crime of ecocide. By adopting this resolution, the parliament is making three demands of the Belgian government. 

It asks:

  1. - to initiate a new international treaty of the most proactive countries (a 'coalition of the willing') to prosecute and prevent ecocide at the international level; 
  2. - to propose an amendment to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of The Hague to include the new crime of ecocide (in the same way as crimes against humanity); and
  3. - to report to parliament on the upcoming expert opinion on the inclusion of the crime of 'ecocide’ in the Belgian penal code. Read more

Following intense commercial hunting from the 1930s to the 1950s, scientists and community members are seeing signs that the manatee population in the Amazon is growing. A study carried out in the Piagaçu-Purus Sustainable Development Reserve in the state of Amazonas shows large manatee populations nearby human communities, apparently co-existing in peace.

Threats still remain in the form of poaching and accidental capture; calves that are orphaned or injured in these incidents are taken to rehabilitation centers, but these are low on funding and overcrowded. Read more

Every year, monarch butterflies from all over the western U.S. migrate to coastal California, to escape the harsh winter weather. In the 1980s and '90s, more than a million made the trip each year. Those numbers have plummeted by more than 99% in recent years.

The number of monarch butterflies migrating to California spiked this winter after years of historic lows. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"The last few years we've had less than 30,000 butterflies," biologist Emma Pelton said. "Last year, we actually dropped below 2,000 butterflies. So really an order of magnitude change in a short time period." Pelton works with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and says pesticides and habitat loss play a role in that decline. But this year, the numbers are starting to pick up. Biologists and volunteers across California have already counted more than 100,000 monarchs. Richard Rachman is the coordinator for the Xerces Society's annual Thanksgiving monarch count in Los Angeles County, and has been buoyed by the numbers. "It's kind of magical to just be in this closed-in woodland, and then all of a sudden, poof! You're just like a Disneyland fairy princess surrounded by butterflies," he said. Read more

An Indigenous community in southwest Colombia established a protected reserve in the face of illegal logging, mining and coca cultivation being carried out by criminal groups. The Eperãra Siapidaarã peoples are especially interested in protecting the extremely poisonous golden dart frog, which they historically used in their darts while hunting.

A yellow golden dart frog (Phyllobates terribilis). Image by Harold Puama.

Despite establishing the reserve, the community has more work to do to fend off violent non-state armed groups. Read more

The German energy company RWE won the bid to build the Thor Offshore Wind Farm in the Danish part of the North Sea. It will be the hitherto largest offshore wind farm in Denmark, established a minimum of 22 kilometers off the coast of Thorsminde on the west coast of Jutland. Thor will be able to supply electricity for around 1 million Danish households. Total investment costs have been estimated at around DKK 15.5 billion (appr. 2,1 billion Euros).

RWE will build the wind farm with the largest possible capacity at a minimum price of 0.01 øre/kWh (0.01 øre/kWh is 0.0001 DKK/kWh i.e 0.000013447213 Euros/kWh and 0.0013 c€/kWh). This includes – for the first time - cable costs to the shore and a substation onshore.

It is expected that Thor Offshore Wind Farm will produce electricity from about 2026. With the expected electricity prices, it is anticipated that RWE will pay the Danish government the 2,8 billion DKK (0,38 billion Euros) over very few years. After this, there will be no financial transactions between the government and the winning bidder, and the wind farm will be run on purely commercial terms, without support, for the rest of its anticipated 30-year life. Press Release: Niels Henrik Hooge

Bans on some plastics in the UK have helped cut beach litter to its lowest level in more than 20 years, according to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). Its 2021 Great British Beach Clean recorded an average of 385 items of litter per 100 metres, down from 425 in 2020, 558 in 2019 and 835 in 2014.

However, the organisation warned that plastic and polystyrene still account for 75 per cent of all litter, and called for more plastic items to be banned. “The ongoing downward trend we’re seeing in litter levels on UK beaches is a positive sign that the actions we’re taking at a personal, local and national level are working,” said Lizzie Prior of the MCS. “But we can’t sit back and relax, now is the time for even more ambitious action.” Read more

Developers of what would have been the first LNG export terminal on the West Coast officially abandoned the project on Wednesday. The project developers told FERC they are not pursuing construction of the Pacific Connector pipeline nor the Jordan Cove export terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon, because they were unable to obtain necessary state permits.

The north end of Jordan Cove in Oregon. Alex Derr / Flickr

The move is a win for landowners, Tribes, and conservation groups across Southern Oregon who fought the proposed pipeline and export facility for 17 years. The three-foot-wide, 229-mile-long pipeline would have carried methane-based gas from Canada to the Oregon facility where it would have been shipped to international markets. The at-least $8 billion cancellation is the latest of several LNG projects cancelled or delayed in the past year. Read more

Plans for the proposed Nseleni Independent Floating Gas Power Plant in Richards Bay, South Africa have been stymied by refusals of two of its licence applications by different regulatory authorities. Nseleni's application for an environmental authorisation was refused on 19 November 2021, and the project’s application for a water use license was refused on 25 November 2021. Environmental justice group groundWork filed detailed objections to both licence applications. In the objection to the water use licence application, groundWork was represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER). The refusal of both applications marks a growing trend of success for community and civil society groups in setting aside regulatory approvals for not considering climate and other environmental impacts. “This project appears to be totally in disregard of the urgent need to phase out fossil fuels in the hopes of averting the looming climate crisis,” says environmental justice group groundWork campaigner Avena Jacklin. For contacts Alexis Scholtz-Wheeler ascholtzwheeler@lifeaftercoal.org.za Arial view of proposed site of the NIFPP and associated infrastructure Source  Sahris Scoping Report Bobby Peek

Oil giant Shell has pulled out of the controversial Cambo oil field development west of Shetland. The company had a 30% stake in the field, which has faced sustained criticism from environmental groups.

Shell said the economic case for investment in the North Atlantic project was "not strong enough". Majority stakeholder Siccar Point Energy said it would continue talks with the UK government over the future of the field. Shell said it had carried out "comprehensive screening" before reaching a decision to "ensure the best returns for the business". A spokesperson said: "The economic case for investment in this project is not strong enough at this time, as well as having the potential for delays. 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. 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. 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...
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