Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for February 27, 2022. №44

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.

Welcome to send us photos of your country's Nature Reserves.

Sviatoslav Zabelin, SEU coordinator

 

Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for February 27, 2022. №44

Banner image: The Azov-Sivash National Nature Park, Ukraine was established on February 25, 1993, located in the north of the western part of the water area of the Gulf of Sivash and on the spit of Biryuchy Island, in the territory of the Kherson region.

 

U.S. House of Representatives momentous. All at once, in a single session, in one package—the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 4521)—the House voted to support half a dozen wildlife protection measures. As a result, we’re just steps away from achieving sweeping protections for hundreds of millions of animals worldwide.   Those protections include a total prohibition on the commercial trade in shark fins in the U.S.; a substantial scaling up of U.S.

The House voted to support measures to prohibit the commercial trade in shark fins in the U.S., increase resources to combat wildlife trafficking and phase out large-mesh fishing driftnets—a menace to dolphins, sharks, and sea turtles. cdascher/iStock.com

Fish and Wildlife Service personnel and resources to combat wildlife trafficking and close wildlife markets abroad; a comprehensive marine mammal health and mortality platform to support rescue, response and conservation; and a phase out of large-mesh fishing driftnets—a menace to dolphins, sharks, and sea turtles—in those U.S. waters where they are still in use.  Read more

After 16 years of a fight led mainly by women activists, Mexican communities halted the Zapotillo Dam System, stopping the project of flooding their ancestral lands. For the past 16 years, three small Mexican communities – Temacapulin, Palmarejo and Acasico in Jalisco State- have been struggling against construction of the Zapotillo Dam System, a megaproject involving dams and aqueducts on the Río Verde, one of the most dammed rivers of Mexico. Three generations of Margarita Juarez’s family – her mother, sisters and nephews – have been active in this goliath fight.

Graffiti about free rivers in the street of Temacapulin (Credit: María González – MAPDER)

At stake, the right to continue living in their lands, source of their cultural and social bonds; or to see their ancestral home flooded by a State entrepreneurship. “We could not allow them to expel us from our community. This is a fight for justice, a fight for dignity. This is our home where our grandparents and the ones before them lived in, our roots and memories are here. This piece of land is part of our heritage, culture and tradition. We could never permit this injustice”, said Margarita.   Read more

Two controversial mining concessions on Indigenous land were canceled after Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that residents were not consulted. The municipality of Ixtacamaxtitlán, located in the state of Puebla in central Mexico, has around 7 million ounces of gold and 1.4 billion ounces of silver that a Canadian firm wanted to extract.

Residents of the municipality of Ixtacamaxtitlán spell out “today we fight for life.” Photo via Fundar

While the case is a major win for the Tecoltemi community, the ruling didn’t set a new precedent for understanding Mexico’s mining law, suggesting that similar issues could arise in other Indigenous communities near mining concessions. Read more

A year after a hunger strike brought national attention to a potentially toxic metal shredder in a majority Latino neighborhood in Chicago, the city has announced it will not issue the final permit necessary for the plant to open, calling it an “unacceptable risk”. “In an already vulnerable community, the findings from the [city’s health impact assessment] combined with the inherent risks of recycling operations and concerns about the company’s past and potential noncompliance are too significant to ignore,” said the Chicago department of public health commissioner, Allison Arwady, in a press release.

A climate activist protests the relocation of General Iron, a metal scrapping company, from an affluent neighborhood on the city's North side to the city's Southeast. Photograph: Dominic Gwinn/Zuma Wire/Rex/Shutterstock

The news came late on Friday. Southside Recycling is a metal recycling facility that – with the controversial approval of Mayor Lori Lightfoot – would have processed 2bn pounds of scrap metal a year in the working-class East Side neighborhood, which has been besieged by industrial pollution for more than a century. Its owner, Reserve Management Group (RMG), has a history of violating emissions standards set by the Illinois EPA. Read more

What started as a group effort to find a solution to deforestation has seen a rural community in Kenya successfully regenerate 50% of their once denuded forest by planting at least 300,000 trees in just five years. The efforts of the Mirema Community Forest Association (CFA) caught the attention of the Kenya Forest Service, which stepped in to offer technical and management support.

KFS ranger in charge of Mirema forest Ronald Oloo leading a tree planting exercise in the forest. Image courtesy of Jackson Okata. 

Key to the initiative’s success has been the combination of natural regeneration of existing trees in the forest, and the planting of native, nursery-grown seedlings. The KFS says it now expects the entire 810 hectares (2,000 acres) of the Mirema Forest to be restored by 2027, and is working on exporting the community’s methods to other reforestation projects across Kenya. Read more

The newly designated Isla Ají marine protected area covers over a total of 24,600 hectares (60,800 acres) of coastal, terrestrial and marine ecosystems on Colombia’s Pacific coast. The Naya River Delta, where the protected area is located, is home to a variety of diverse ecosystems, from tropical forests to beaches, mudflats to mangrove forests.

Isla Ají covers 9,425 hectares (23,289 acres) of coastal and terrestrial ecosystems and 15,174 hectares (37,495 acres) of marine ecosystems. Photo via WCS. Due to the area’s high biodiversity, the Naya River delta has always been popular with biologists, who often visit to conduct research. Photo via WCS

The new marine protected area contributes to Colombia’s goal of conserving 30% of its surface by 2030, part of a larger global commitment made by around 70 countries to promote biodiversity through the creation of protected areas. Many of the communities near Isla Ají hope to transition to ecotourism to fulfill their conservation goals, but investment is still in its early stages. Read more

Phase I of ASI’s plan implemented in drought-stricken Kenya as water trucks deliver life-saving water to wildlife. A devastating, year-long drought is ravaging the African nation of Kenya. Rising temperatures due to climate change are undoubtedly the culprit. Countless wild animals, suffering from a severe lack of food and water, have died.

Recently, we informed you of our plan to deploy emergency water trucks to the region. Thanks to your donations, our team successfully carried out Phase I of this operation. We were able to rush emergency water trucks to Kenya’s worst-affected areas and save wild animals who would have otherwise died of thirst. But our work is not finished. ASI is committed to building easily accessible water troughs for the animals and with your help, we will be able to commence construction on this longer-term solution. Your continued support has given diverse species of wildlife a chance to survive. Read more

Wild honeybees still exist in the region of Galicia in the northwest of Spain was shown by biologists Benjamin Rutschmann and Patrick Kohl from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany. The researchers describe where to find the bees' nests and under which conditions they can survive in Biological Conservation, a journal for conservation biology.

Bee colonies also use hollow electricity poles as nest sites (photo from Belgium). Credit: Dimi Dumortier

They started their studies in Galicia in October 2019 at the suggestion of their Spanish colleague Alejandro Machado. The latter had observed swarms of honeybees occupying the inside of hollow electricity poles and apparently thriving there. In order to find out whether the region would support an entire population of wild bee colonies, the researchers searched a 136 square kilometer area for hollow power poles. "We discovered 214 poles," says Rutschmann. For each one, the researchers checked if a honeybee colony lived inside. "In the first year of our investigation, we found 29 colonies." On a second visit in March 2020, they found that 17 of these colonies had survived the winter—"even though they had neither been fed nor treated against parasites." Read more

Entrepreneurs in Africa are finding novel solutions to plastic pollution, turning the stuff into house bricks,  designer textiles, cooking fuel and more. Such innovations are being celebrated by the Afri-Plastic Challenge, which announced its shortlist this week. The prize was launched to help entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa scale up their response to plastic pollution.

In the running for the £1m prize is a Nigerian project that turns plastic waste into designer textiles; a buy-back scheme in Kenya that helps women earn money through plastic recycling; and a Rwandan project that turns plastic waste into school benches. The prize will also offer dozens of grants up to £100,000 to startups with scalable ideas. “The solutions to Africa’s ever-increasing struggle with managing the rising tide of plastic pollution are already out there,” said Constance Agyeman, director of international development at Nesta Challenges, which launched the prize. “The Afri-Plastics Challenge is supporting the most promising sub-Saharan African innovators to refine and scale local ideas to have impact on the continent.” 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. We will be glad to receive and publish your positive news from the fields and offices. Welcome to send us photos of your country's Nature Reserves. Sviatoslav Zabelin, SEU...
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