Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for May 14, 2022. №48

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 May 14, 2022. №48

 

Chernobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve is located on the territory polluted during the Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986 in the Kiev region, Ukraine. Due to the absence of anthropogenic influence, the reserve is a place of renewal of the natural biocenosis characteristic of Polesie.

 

U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at protecting old-growth forests on federal lands across the United States. Federal agencies are directed to define, inventory and better protect the nation’s oldest trees by leaning into reforestation commitments and employing nature-based solutions to reduce emissions.

Temperate rainforest in Olympic National Park. Old growth forests have extraordinary carbon storage capacity. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.

The order is part of the Biden administration’s pledge to end natural forest loss by 2030, while restoring at least an additional 200 million hectares [494 million acres] of forests and other ecosystems.The order does not ban the logging of old-growth trees which scientists say is necessary to address deforestation and emissions from the logging industry which emits comparable levels of CO2 to the emissions from coal-burning. Read more

 

In the centre of the Taipei, conservationists with the Friends of Daan Forest Park Foundation have successfully reintroduced fireflies after almost a century. In 2014, the group formed under Wu’s training to restore natural habitats, replace bright streetlights with firefly-friendly globes, and lead tour groups. Their success has led to delegations from Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok visiting to learn from them.

Global populations of firefly are under threat from habitat destruction and pesticides. Photograph: Naomi Goddard/The Guardian

They run the nightly tours during the season, with as many as 500 people on weekdays, and 1,000 at weekends. “It’s a childhood memory for those over 50, and before 2014 many of them thought it would be impossible to see them again,” says Wu. “We brought them back. It’s an ecological miracle.” There is massive community interest. A review of pre-pandemic firefly tourism estimated at least one million people travelled annually to sites across 12 countries to see the fireflies each year, including hundreds of thousands in Taiwan. Conservation groups and guides have worked to minimise the impact, limiting numbers and staggering start times for groups, and encourage people to stick to paths and not use torches, flash photography or wear insect spray. Read more

 

The Biden administration on Monday overturned a controversial Trump-era policy that would have opened new swathes of Arctic Alaska to oil development. The Bureau of Land Management, part of the Department of Interior, resurrected Obama-era management policies in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, a 23-million-acre (9.3 million hectare) area on the western side of Alaska's North Slope. Alaska's oil production has been declining for decades and reached a 45-year low last year.

Permafrost forms a grid-like pattern in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 22.8 million acre region managed by the Bureau of Land Management on Alaska's North Slope, in this undated handout image. USGS/David W Houseknecht /Handout via REUTERS

Those reinstated policies, contained in a plan presented in 2013, allow oil leasing in about half of the reserve while boosting protections for areas considered important to the Arctic ecosystem and to indigenous residents. The plan announced by the administration of former President Donald Trump in 2020, sought to allow oil development on more than 80% of the reserve. It would have allowed leasing even at Teshekpuk Lake, the North Slope's largest lake and an area prized for wildlife that had been protected under rules dating back to the Reagan administration. Read more

 

New forestry laws and improved capacity in Malawi’s courts have improved law enforcement’s ability to fight forestry-related crimes, like illegal charcoal production.

As the government cracks down on the production and transport of illegal charcoal, moving it by bicycle has become one of the main ways to bring illegal charcoal from the forest to the city. From Dzalanyama Forest Reserve, transporters carry loads weighing more than 100kg, pedaling up to 80 kilometers over two days. Image courtesy of Nicholas J Parkinson/MCHF.

Under a new amendment to the country’s Forestry Act, which treats charcoal as a forest product, the government now has the authority to issue stronger penalties, fines and jail sentences. The USAID and UKAID-funded Modern Cooking for Healthy Forests (MCHF) program supports the government in improving its capacity to investigate and prosecute these activities. Read more

 

A South African judge has declared a 2016 decision to allow one of the country’s largest coal mines to expand invalid, saying it failed to secure consent from affected communities. The country’s minister for mineral resources and energy will now have to review an appeal by some community members against the expansion — jeopardizing the mine’s expansion.

Protest against Tendele, 2016. Image by Rob Symon via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The mine’s operation has divided the community, with tensions remaining high after houses of local residents who oppose the mine were burnt down earlier this year. Read more

 

Concerted conservation actions since 2010 have helped halt the decline in vulture populations in Bangladesh. The country was previously home to seven vulture species, but one — the red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus) — has now gone locally extinct, and two others are considered critically endangered. A key threat to the birds was the excessive use of veterinary drugs used in cattle, which proved deadly for the scavengers, but which have since been banned.

A white-rumped vulture. The populations of several vulture species in Bangladesh have stabilized over the past few years, thanks to joint conservation efforts by the country’s forest department and IUCN Bangladesh. Image courtesy of IUCN Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has also declared several “vulture safe zones” across the country, where officials work with local communities to raise awareness about the importance of vultures to the environment and to protect breeding sites and habitats. Read more

 

Protected areas and lands managed by Indigenous and traditional communities have been bulwarks of forest preservation and restoration in the Brazilian Amazon in recent years, a new study shows. It found that rates of native vegetation loss between 2005 and 2012 were 17 times lower in Indigenous territories than in unprotected areas of the Amazon.

Image of the Pirititi Indigenous Territory in Roraima state, by Felipe Werneck/IBAMA.

In conservation units and lands managed by Quilombolas, the descendants of runaway Afro-Brazilian slaves, deforestation rates were about six times lower than in unprotected areas. The study also shows that officially recognized Indigenous and Quilombola territories saw forest regrowth at rates two and three times higher, respectively, than in unprotected areas. 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...
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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