Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for May 27, 2022. №49

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 27, 2022. №49

 

May 27, 1907 was born biologist Rachel Carson. In her landmark 1962 book, Silent Spring (for free), she chronicled the damage — and looming consequences — of human “contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials,” which she called “elixirs of death.” Environmental movement started with this book in USA and worldwide.

 

In July 2021, Mary Jean Feliciano, mayor of Brooke’s Point in the Philippine province of Palawan, was suspended from her post without pay after the country’s Ombudsman’s office ruled she had overstepped her authority in her actions against a nickel mining firm operating in the municipality.

Feliciano used her powers as mayor to issue and enforce cease-and-desist, closure, and demolition orders in 2018 against Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC). Image courtesy of Mary Jean Feliciano via Facebook.

While still under suspension as mayor, Feliciano launched a successful vice-mayoral campaign, winning a landslide victory in the May 9 elections. Feliciano’s running mate also won over the pro-mining interim mayor. Feliciano says the vice-mayoral post will allow her to resume her fight against attempts to change local land use policies, which currently have not zoned any of the municipality to allow for mining. Read more

 

The Legislative Assembly of the State of Mato Grosso in Brazil approved the law draft that prohibits the construction of dams along the entire length of the Cuiabá River. The draft was authored by state deputy Wilson Santos (PSDB) and was created in response to the proposition of six dams on the river that gives its name to the state capital. The proposal was approved with twelve votes and two abstentions and is now going to be sanctioned by the state governor, Mauro Mendes.

“This is a victory for the preservation of the Cuiabá River since the ban on hydroelectric plants will guarantee the river’s hydrological cycle, officially making it a free-flowing river. This bill was a work carried out with several institutions, coordinated by the institution ECOA (Ecology and Action), and becomes an important object of direct protection for the Pantanal and an example for other states in the country”, explains Flavio Montiel, director of International Rivers from Brazil. Read more

 

It’s the beginning of the end for the Eel River dams. On April 14, 2022, PG&E’s 50-year license for the Potter Valley Project dams expired and it will not be renewed. The company will soon begin the process of license surrender, decommissioning, and ultimately dam removal. This is an important first step in the long road we must travel until the dams are removed.

Out of the 1,400 dams in California, a great number are critical to keep our communities safe and operating. But many have outlived their functional lifespan and the ecosystem and economic benefits of removal far outweigh the cost of leaving them in place. Removing the Eel River dams (Scott and Cape Horn) would provide salmon, lamprey, and steelhead, including endangered summer steelhead, access to more than 280 miles of prime spawning and nursery habitat. Although the Eel River once boasted some of the largest salmon runs in California, the river’s salmon and steelhead populations are all listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Water quality throughout the Eel River is listed as impaired under the Clean Water Act for excessive sedimentation and high temperatures. Read more

 

The expansion of an iron ore mine in the Arctic that would have increased shipping and led to the “complete extirpation of narwhal” from the region has been blocked. After four years of consultations and deliberations, the Nunavut Impact Review Board rejected a request from Baffinland Iron Mines Corp asking to significantly increase mining on the northern tip of Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. The area is home to one of the world’s richest iron ore deposits, and the densest narwhal population in the world. The news came as a surprise and a relief to conservationists and community members working to protect the narwhal population and the Inuit who rely on them for subsistence. “I actually cried,” said Chris Debicki, a vice-president and counsel at the conservation organisation Oceans North. “The case against expansion at this moment was too strong and community opposition was too loud.”

The area of the proposed mine expansion on the northern tip of Baffin Island is home to the world’s densest narwhal population. Photograph: David Fleetham/Alamy

The review board issued a statement on Friday saying that the Mary River mine expansion project carried potential for “significant and lasting negative effects on marine mammals, the marine environment, fish, caribou and other terrestrial wildlife, vegetation and freshwater”.

In the Board’s view, these negative effects could also impact Inuit harvesting, culture, land use and food security,” it said. Dan Vandal, Canada’s northern affairs minister, can now decide whether to side with the review board or with Baffinland. He is expected to make his decision within the next three months. Read more

 

In a “historic announcement,” Nepal’s Supreme Court has ordered the government not to build a controversial international airport in the country’s south. The order comes four years after judges issued a stay on the $3.45-billion Nijgadh International Airport Project after activists filed a petition citing environmental concerns. Nijgadh would have become the country’s second international aviation hub. The court annulled the government’s decision to build the international airport in Nijgadh and ordered it to seek an alternative site that meets legal and environmental requirements, said Supreme Court spokesperson Bimal Paudel. “This is a historic win for the cause of the environment in Nepal,” campaigner Shristi Singh Shrestha told Mongabay. “It sets a good precedent for the future as well.” Read more

 

They once lit up summer nights, people read by their luminescence and they’ve been celebrated by everyone from William Shakespeare to Crowfoot, a 19th-century North American chief. But glowworms have had their lights dimmed by a cult of tidiness in the countryside, the loss of wild meadows and light pollution. Now, hundreds of glowworms (Lampyris noctiluca) are being bred in captivity for release in two locations this summer, in an attempt to revive the declining species. More than 500 glowworm larvae have already been set free in the grounds of Elvetham hotel in Hampshire, where wildflower meadows and nature-friendly scrubland is being restored.

Ecologist Pete Cooper breeds glowworms with a method he perfected during the pandemic. Photograph: Handou

Hundreds more larvae, and some glowing adults, will be released at the hotel again this summer, and at Combeshead in Cornwall, a rewilded farm and glamping site. The four-year project is led by the ecologist Derek Gow, who owns Combeshead and has been responsible for successful schemes to return water voles and beavers to the British countryside. Read more

 

England got its second ‘super nature reserve’. Linking fragmented habitats is one solution to the biodiversity crisis – and that’s what England’s newest nature reserve hopes to achieve. 

Created this week, the Somerset Wetlands ‘super nature reserve’ encompasses 6,140 hectares of salt marsh, heath and wetland, where nationally significant populations of birds and insects live. The idea is to improve the quality of those habitats and boost connectivity between them. The project will bring together landowners and other local partners to improve ditches, streams and other waterways that link habitats. “The creation of this very large national nature reserve is an important moment for nature recovery in England,” said Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England. “These wonderful places are needed now more than ever, as we face into the challenges of global warming, wildlife decline and reconnecting people with the natural world.” The Somerset ‘super reserve’ is England’s second. The first was launched in 2020 in Purbeck, Dorset. Read more

 

The number of the Baikal seal Pusa sibirica, endemic to Lake Baikal, which was stopped in 2007, reached about 140-150 thousand individuals, having increased by 20-25 thousand heads in recent years. This was reported to TASS by the head of the Baikal branch of the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO) Vladimir Peterfeld.

"About 140-150 thousand individuals. It has literally increased by 20-25 thousand in five to six years," the agency interlocutor said. He noted that the number of endemic, whose population was under threat, is currently stable, and scientists do not see any serious impacts on it. "But we are concerned that as a result of the gradual increase in the number, an outbreak of morbidity may have occurred. In nature, self-regulation of the number occurs. That is, if no one regulates it, then self-regulation occurs. If in a closed space, in a closed volume, which is Baikal, the number will constantly increase, we understand that the moment will come when self-regulation will occur, that is, mass death," Peterfeld said. Earlier, he told TASS that according to the results of long-term studies, the number of Baikal seals at the level of 90-100 thousand individuals is considered optimal. The Baikal seal is the only seal species in the world that lives in fresh water. It lives in Lake Baikal. Read more

 

In Russia, the accounting of the number of snow leopards has been completed. Experts estimated the number of rare feline species at 73-75 individuals, of which adults — 55-57, kittens — 18 individuals in 9 broods. For comparison: in 2020, 51 individuals were counted in Russia, and in 2018 — 61 individuals of the snow leopard. In 2022, compared with 2020, there is an increase in the number of the species grouping in the Argut River basin and on the Yuzhno-Chuisky Ridge in the Altai Republic. The state of the snow leopard groups on the Tsagan-Shibetu ridge and Shapshalsky ridge in the Republic of Tyva, Sailugem ridge in the Altai Republic is stable.

For the first time, scientists have confirmed the presence of the snow leopard on the Khemchik and Kurtushibinsky ridges along the border of the Republic of Tyva with the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Thanks to the camera traps, experts found out: in the cluster area of the "Shanchy" of the Tyva Natural Park, there are 2 individuals of the snow leopard, which were previously recorded in the neighboring Krasnoyarsk Territory in the Sayano-Shushensky Reserve. Read more

 

New Club of Rome book "Limits and Beyond" is available to purchase. All relevant links to order can be found at the bottom of this page: 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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