Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for March 28, 2022. №46

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 March 28, 2022. №46

The State Nature Reserve "Black Lands" is located on the territory of the Republic of Kalmykia, Russia, the area of the reserve is 121900 hectares. The first purpose of the creation of the reserve is to preserve and protect the saiga population, which is on the verge of extinction.

 

The first phase of the project "Regulation of the Syrdarya Riverbed and preservation of the northern part of the Aral Sea", called the "project of the century", provided an opportunity for the socio-economic development of the Kyzylorda region, Kazakhstan.

During the implementation of the project: the dam of the Northern Aral Sea (Kokaralskaya Dam), a complex of Aitek structures, protective dams on the Syrdarya River were built, significant amounts of construction work were carried out at the waterworks of the cities of Kyzylorda, Kazalinsk, dams of the Shardary and Arnasay reservoirs. In this regard, the volume of water flowing into the northern part of the Aral Sea has increased, many biological species of the Aral region have been restored, the provision of irrigation water to farmlands has improved."

1. The capacity of the Syrdarya riverbed has increased from 350 to 700 m3/s.

2. Preservation of the Northern part of the Aral Sea as a geographical climate-forming object: • the drained bottom of the sea was covered with a water mirror with an area of 870 km2 (from 2414 km2 to 3288 km2); • the volume of water in the sea increased by 11.5 km3 (from 15.6 km3 to 27.1 km3); • water mineralization decreased from 23 to 17 g/l;

3. The safety of the operation of the Shardarinsky dam and the stabilization of the operation mode of the Shardarinsky hydroelectric power plant has increased.

4. The ecological and socio-economic situation of the region and the population of the Aral Sea region has been improved. - the development of local fish species has increased and favorable conditions have been created for breeding sturgeon fish species; - the catch volume has increased from 0.4 to 6.0 thousand tons and in the future it is expected to increase the catch of fish to 11.0 thousand tons.

5. The biodiversity of the Kazakh part of the Aral Sea region has been restored. This, in turn, led to the restoration of lakes, which made it possible to develop fisheries. 13 species of fish that had previously disappeared in the sea have been restored. Read more

 

A few months after the landmark Los Cedros decision (see Prieto), Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has ruled on another important case for the Rights of Nature (RoN). For the first time, the Constitutional Court has explicitly recognized that individual animals are protected by the RoN which also include the right to free development of animal behavior. The Court thus takes another major step toward concretizing and further developing the RoN and provides important clarifications regarding the relationship between the RoN and animal rights. RoN have been enshrined in the Ecuadorian constitution since 2008, making it the only country in the world to constitutionally explicitly guarantee RoN (at length Gutmann). Article 71 of the Ecuadorian Constitution (CRE for short) states: “Nature, or Pacha Mama, where life is reproduced and occurs, has the right to integral respect for its existence and for the maintenance and regeneration of its life cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes.” In details

 

In the late 2000s, a commodity boom spurred a rush of land deals in West and Central Africa for palm oil development, raising fears of deforestation and land grabbing. Now, an analysis by Chain Reaction Research, a Washington, D.C.-based financial risk analyst, says that just over a decade later, many of the deals have collapsed in the face of organizing and campaigning by those farmers.

A woman harvests palm fruit in a village near Equatorial Palm Oil’s former concession in Grand Bassa, Liberia. Image courtesy of the Open Government Partnership via Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

Between 2008 and 2019, 27 palm oil projects that were to have covered 1.37 million hectares (3.39 million acres) of land have either “failed or been abandoned” in the region, and of the remaining 2.7 million hectares (6.7 million acres) of forest currently under concession, less than 10% has been converted into plantations. Researchers say that cross-border campaigning and resistance by community land rights organizations is a major reason why the industry has faltered in Africa. Read more

 

According to a new 22-month study, three common coral species in Hawaii may be more resilient to rising ocean temperatures than once thought, and could withstand a temperature increase up to the Paris Agreement tipping point of an average of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, NBC News reported.

A coral reef at Coconut Island, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. Andre Seale / VW PICS / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The new study, “Physiological acclimatization in Hawaiian corals following a 22-month shift in baseline seawater temperature and pH,” conducted by researchers at The Ohio State University, was published in the journal Scientific Reports. The study simulated ocean temperatures and acidity that are expected to be seen in the future and, while the researchers found that as many as half of some of the species didn’t survive, none of the species disappeared. By the end of the study, some of the corals were even thriving. Rowan McLachlan, who was the leader of the study as a doctoral student in earth sciences at The Ohio State University, said the results are cause for optimism about the future survival of corals. “We found surprisingly positive outcomes in our study. We don’t get a lot of that in the coral research field when it comes to the effects of warming oceans,” said McLachlan, who is now doing postdoctoral research at Oregon State University, as reported by Ohio State News. Read more

 

A City and County of Honolulu effort to hold oil companies accountable for climate change impacts that threaten Oahu overcame a major legal obstacle last month. Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Crabtree ruled in favor of the city amid an attempt by Chevron, Sunoco, ExxonMobil, and other defendants to dismiss the lawsuit.

Yenwen / iStock via Getty Images

The move is a key step in allowing the case to proceed to trial. “This is an unprecedented case for any court, let alone a state court trial judge,” Crabtree wrote in his ruling. The Honolulu Board of Water Supply filed the state court case in 2020 with the help of Sher Edling, a national firm that is pursuing similar cases across the country. The plaintiffs argue that the fossil fuel industry engaged in a decades-long campaign of deception to discredit climate science and sow doubt in the mind of the public that fossil fuel production was harming the planet. And now, the lawsuit complaint says, the public is paying the price.  Read more

 

The Ghodaghodi lake complex in western Nepal has been declared the country’s first official bird sanctuary. Conservationists and local officials have welcomed the move, which protects a Ramsar wetland that’s home to more than 360 bird species.

The Ghodaghodi complex, inscribed on the list of globally important wetlands under the Ramsar Convention, comprises a series of lakes, marshes and forest. Image by Shiva Goutam on Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0)

Among the birds found at the site are globally threatened species such as the great hornbill, the lesser adjutant stork, and the Indian spotted eagle. Read more

 

In the Alto Turiaçu Indigenous Territory in Brazil’s Maranhão state, the Ka’apor people have taken the defense of their land into their own hands following years of neglect and corruption by the state. They have created a self-defense force to retake logging sites and access roads from illegal loggers, and established a network of settlements at each site to make their gains permanent.

The strategy has paid off: in the first three years of the effort, from 2013-2016, the Ka’apor burned 105 logging trucks and closed 14 access roads, and managed to reduce the deforestation rate in their reserve significantly. But the illegal loggers, part of criminal organizations linked to local politicians, have reacted with violence against the Ka’apor, resulting in attacks on villages and the murder of five Indigenous people. Read more

 

In the Mexican state of Oaxaca, 22 communities have taken on the challenge of reviving soils depleted by centuries of overgrazing. Over the last two decades, they’ve managed to restore at least 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres), turning many sites into burgeoning forests.The task is especially challenging because the communities are starting from “less than zero” — having to find ways to restore their soil before they can even think about planting trees.

A 2012 photo showing reforestation work being carried out in Loma Larga. Image courtesy of the Coixtlahuaca Commissioner.

The success of the initiative means the communities can now look forward to more options for forest-based livelihood, such as agroforestry or even selling carbon credits. Read more

 

In December of last year, Florida wildlife officials decided on an unprecedented way to try and save the state’s starving manatees: outright feeding them. Now, as the trial feeding program draws to a close with warmer weather, officials say they can count it as a success. “[The manatees have] eaten every scrap of food we’ve put out,” Scott Calleson of the U.S.

Kike Calvo / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

Fish and Wildlife Service told AP News on Wednesday. Florida’s iconic manatees are in the midst of an Unusual Mortality Event (UME), which began in 2020, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). In 2021, more than 1,000 of the marine mammals died, according to FWC data. The UME is caused by the disappearance of seagrass in the manatees’ habitat in the Indian River Lagoon. The manatees tend to winter the lagoon because the nearby Florida Power & Light Plant keeps the water warmer, as EcoWatch reported in December. However, seagrass there has declined by about 58 percent in the last 11 years, mostly because of nutrient pollution from agricultural runoff, which has fed the growth of algae that blocks the light the seagrass needs. Read more

 

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has allocated an additional $300 million toward the Andes-Amazon Initiative to continue biodiversity and forest conservation efforts in the region until 2031. To date, the initiative has been successful in conserving 400 million hectares (988 million acres) of land, about half the size of Brazil, since its establishment in 2003.

The Amazon rainforest. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay.

New targets include ensuring 100 million hectares (247 million acres) of freshwater and forest ecosystems, as well as Indigenous and local communities’ lands, are effectively managed. To safeguard the resilience and health of the Andes-Amazon region’s ecosystems, at least 70% of its historic forest cover must remain intact, a threshold the initiative will exceed if it hits its new targets, says Avecita Chicchón, program director of the Andes-Amazon Initiative. Read more

 

 

 

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