Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for January 23, 2022. №42

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.

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

Beginning from this issue we plan to publish photos of Nature Reserves with brief descriptions from all of the world. Welcome to send us photos of your country's Nature Reserves.

Sviatoslav Zabelin, SEU coordinator

 

Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for January 23, 2022. №42

 

Banner image: 105 years ago - January 11, 1917 the first zapovednik, i.e. strict nature reserve, was founded in Russia - Barguzinsky Sable Reserve on the north-eastern coast of the lake Baikal. The original purpose of creation is to preserve the most valuable fur-bearing animal, the Barguzin sable (Martes zibellina), from complete destruction, and to restore its range and abundance, promoting the restoration of sable in the country. Currently, the purpose of the reserve is broader - the preservation and study of typical and unique natural complexes of the north-eastern Baikal region. Since 1986, the reserve has been part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, and since 1996 - part of the World Natural Heritage Site "Lake Baikal". It is located in the south of the North Baikal region of the Republic of Buryatia. It consists of one plot with an area of 374.3 thousand hectares, including 15 thousand hectares - the water area of the lake Baikal and 111.1 thousand hectares are a biosphere landfill that performs the functions of a protected zone with its own special protection regime.

The President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) outlined priorities for the remainder of the 76th session (January-September 2022). In his speech, Abdullah Shahid stressed the importance of international solidarity and urged the world not to lose hope. Describing the priorities of his presidency, proclaimed by him as the "presidency of hope", Abdullah Shahid called on the international community to abandon the policy of inaction, which consists in the "self-soothing belief" that no efforts will lead to positive results anyway.

Among the high-level meetings convening in the coming months, he noted the ‘Moment for Nature’ that will take place in July. Shahid noted that the 76th UNGA session coincides with high-level meetings on biodiversity, desertification, the ocean, energy, and climate, and the Moment for Nature will enable Member States to assess progress holistically. Read more

The most comprehensive survey conducted of elephant numbers in the Central African nation of Gabon since the late 1980s has found elephants occurring in higher numbers than previously thought. The study, which was conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Gabon's National Park Agency (ANPN) and Vulcan using a new non-invasive survey technique, estimates that 95,000 forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) now live in Gabon, confirming it as the principal stronghold for this species, which is considered Critically Endangered by IUCN. The technical improvements enabled a more accurate estimate than previous methods confined to dung counts.

Photo WCS Gabon

The findings provide hope for the future of the species and the impact that conservation-focused policies can have in encouraging wildlife protection if effectively implemented. The study's results, published in the journal Global Ecology and Conservation, mark the first-known DNA-based assessment of a free-ranging large mammal in Africa. Read more

Arabian Oryx Re-Intro Shows Positive Signs in Abu Dhabi. The number of Arabian oryx in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra reserve stands now at 946 animals, 22 percent more than existed four years ago.

A total of 83 calves were recorded, proof of success for the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Arabian Oryx reintroduction program. (Photo courtesy Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi.) Read more

Thanks to the funds collected by WWF Russia, state inspectors and researchers of the Lapland Nature Reserve were able to conduct research to learn more about the state of the wild reindeer population in and outside the Lapland State Reserve. Experts concluded that the number and distribution of reindeer herds in the reserve remained unchanged. At the moment, the population is about 800 individuals. "The most important result of the project is the identified migrations of wild reindeer beyond the borders of the reserve, more than 300 heads living on the territory of 120,000 hectares!" says Valery Irkashev, head of the Murmansk Salmon Foundation.

Elk, deer and a bear already have found safe passage under I-25 using new animal crossings. Tunnels under I-25 south of Castle Rock expected to reduce wildlife-vehicle crashes by 90%. Trying to dodge and weave across six lanes of interstate highway traffic between Colorado’s two largest cities — where 87,000 vehicles a day move through at 75 mph — is not for the faint of heart. And for the wildlife that attempt to cross Interstate 25 south of Castle Rock, it’s often a lethal outcome. Nearly 200 animals — including 119 deer, 18 black bears, 10 mountain lions and one moose — have been struck by motorists over the last 4 1/2 years on the 18-mile stretch of I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs known as the Gap, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage and personal injury costs.

But a $20 million system to reduce those collisions by as much as 90% is now in place: Five wildlife underpasses buttressed by 28 miles of 8-foot-high wildlife fencing on both sides of the highway will allow safe passage for the animals that migrate through the area on a daily basis in search of food, mates and habitat. Read more

The story of Knepp Estate and its rapid evolution from unprofitable agricultural land to a rewilded landscape teeming with endangered species is chronicled in Tree’s prize-winning best-seller, Wilding. It tells how the couple handed their 1,400 hectares of farmland back to Nature: ripping out fences, abandoning the use of pesticides, and introducing free-roaming herds of animals.

“The book was really about the astonishing resurgence of Nature,” Tree explains. “That was beyond any of our imaginings, and even the scientists on our advisory board couldn’t believe the pace of change and uplift of biodiversity.” Wilding ends on this note of hope for the sheer power of Nature to revitalise and recover when given the space. But I’m curious to learn what Tree has been focusing on at Knepp since the book was published three years ago. Successful though their rewilding project has been, Tree says, she’s aware that Knepp on its own is an island. The density and variety of species within Knepp cannot spill out and colonise, because there is a dearth of high-value habitat surrounding the estate. Read more

Footage shows pristine coral reef discovered in ocean's 'twilight zone'. The 3 km-long "twilight zone" reef is one of the biggest on record, according to UNESCO. Read more

Norway blows up hydro dam to restore river health and fish stocks. Campaign by local angling club to free fishes’ migratory routes is part of move across Europe to create free-flowing rivers. A dam that has blocked the Tromsa River in Norway for more than 100 years was blown up with dynamite this week, freeing migratory routes for fish. “It’s a big step,” said Tore Solbakken of Norwegian angling club Gudbrandsdal Sportsfiskeforening, who has campaigned for five years to have the old hydropower plant dam removed. “I’m very happy. It’s all about restoring healthy rivers and fish populations.”

Campaigners say removing the seven-metre dam, in Fåvang, Norway, which has not been used in 50 years, will help fish thrive. Photograph: Rob Kleinjans

The dam’s destruction is part of a trend to remove the obsolete barriers that litter Europe’s waterways. In October, the Open Rivers Programme, a €42.5m project to provide grants to support the removal of small dams and the restoration of river flow across Europe, was launched with the backing of the charitable fund Arcadia. Last month, the European Commission released a guide for member states to identify barriers that could be removed to help achieve the goal of restoring 25,000km of rivers to free-flowing by 2030. 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...
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