Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for June 17, 2022. №50

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 June 17, 2022. №50

 

The Russian Arctic is a national park in the Arkhangelsk Region, established on June 15, 2009.  Located in the northern part of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago and in the Franz Josef Land archipelago, it also includes marine waters around them.

This region is home to the largest "bird nesting bazaars" in the Northern Hemisphere, walrus rookeries, polar bears, bowhead whale, arctic foxes, greenland seals and other animals.

 

Two more palm oil companies in Indonesia that sued a local official for revoking their permits have had their lawsuits rejected. They join a growing list of palm oil firms being held to account for legal and administrative violations that were uncovered in a May 2021 audit of oil palm concessions across West Papua province.

A road made by a palm oil company by clearing the forest in Jayapura Regency, Papua. Image by Asrida Elisabeth/ Mongabay Indonesia.

Four other lawsuits filed on similar grounds by other companies have also been thrown out since December 2021. Activists have welcomed the verdict, saying it’s an opportunity for the government to give the concessions back to the Indigenous communities who live on the land. Read more

 

Three oil companies have canceled their leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  Drilling in the refuge has long been a controversial issue, as the 19.5-million-acre wilderness area is home to 45 species of mammals including polar bears, bowhead whales and caribou and considered sacred by the Indigenous Gwich’in people, according to the Gwich’in Steering Committee. The Anchorage Daily News first reported Thursday that the oil company Regenerate Alaska, a subsidiary of 88 Energy, had canceled its lease on the refuge’s coastal plain, as confirmed by the Bureau of Land Management. “The Bureau of Land Management has a well-established procedure to do this, and last month rescinded and canceled the lease, as requested,” the Interior Department said in a statement reported by the Anchorage Daily News. “The Office of Natural Resources Revenue refunded (the) full bonus bid and first year rentals.”

Caribou in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Johnny Johnson / The Image Bank / Getty Images

At the same time, the paper also reported that Hilcorp and Chevron had spent $10 million to exit older leases to land owned by an Alaskan Native coorporation within the refuge.  Read more

 

Somerset’s ‘super reserve’ is a boon for wildlife and the climate, but also culturally significant. Christian Dunn, senior lecturer in natural sciences at Bangor University, Wales, explains why.

RSPB Ham Wall nature reserve. Credit: Nicholas Allan Innes

Wetlands are the superheroes of the natural world. They are crammed with wildlife, protect our coastlines, keep our rivers clean, and store climate-changing amounts of carbon. Yet through much of history they have been at best ignored and at worst vilified and destroyed. In recent years public campaigns and money have been thrown at tree planting and reforestation, yet hardly a mention was given to restoring the UK’s bogs, swamps and marshes. But a quick scan through famous literature, paintings and even films and TV series will show you how often wetlands feature as the unpleasant, sinister backdrop of dark storylines. Fortunately, things are now changing. This was highlighted with the recent announcement of a 15,000-acre Somerset Wetlands national nature reserve. This is the UK’s second so-called “super reserve” after Purbeck Heaths in Dorset. These reserves take in a mosaic of different habitats, and by linking them all together as part of an entire landscape management plan, it is hoped the region as a whole will benefit. Read more

 

A bill to conserve endangered species — from the red-cockaded woodpecker to the snuffbox mussel — was passed by the U.S. House in a 231-to-190 vote on Tuesday.

The Recovering America's Wildlife Act would create an annual fund of more than $1.3 billion, given to states, territories, and tribal nations for wildlife conservation on the ground. While threatened species have been defined and protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1973, that law does not provide robust funding to proactively maintain their numbers.

The monarch butterfly species is one of thousands which states have flagged for conservation, but have limited resources to support. Matt Slocum/AP

The effort comes as scientists and international organizations sound the alarm about accelerating species decline. "Too many people don't realize ... that roughly one-third of our wildlife is at increased risk of extinction," said lead House sponsor Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, echoing a recent study about climate change. Read more

 

Some positive news for the species in Asia, where they have been the subject of conservation efforts. A census of the one-horned rhino in India and Nepal revealed that the population has risen to 4,014.

Image: Aditya Pal

“For a species that was once perilously close to extinction, numbering fewer than 100 individuals, this recovery is truly remarkable,” said Nina Fascione, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation. The greater one-horned population increased by 274 since the last count, helped by a ‘baby boom’ during the pandemic when protected areas were closed to visitors. Read more

 

The government of Indonesia’s Papua province has recommended that district officials revoke the permits of 35 of the 54 oil palm concessions operating there. These concessions cover a combined 522,397 hectares (1.29 million acres) of land, and are being targeted for revocation because of a range of administrative violations by the license holders. If revoked, the large swaths of forests still standing inside these concessions could be saved from being cleared and converted into plantations, and returned to Indigenous communities, activists say. The move by the Papua government mirrors a round of revocations ordered last year by the government of neighboring West Papua province, which has also successfully warded off lawsuits filed by affected companies. Read more

 

A California judge has ruled that a state pesticide spraying program must end because it did not fully consider the impacts on public health or warn people of those risks. The ruling was issued by the Superior Court of California – County of Sacramento May 19 in response to a lawsuit brought by the City of Berkeley and 11 environmental and public health groups, including the Environmental Working Group (EWG). 

Pesticide spraying in California. Sandy Huffaker/ Corbis / Getty Images

“The court was right to rule against the Department of Food and Agriculture’s outrageous effort to keep the public in the dark about how and when it plans to spray toxic pesticides and to downplay the risks these chemicals pose to pollinators, the environment and the health of those who live near farm fields,” EWG California director of government affairs Bill Allayaud said in a press release. Read more

 

Despite the persistent pandemic-induced supply chain challenges, construction delays, and record-level raw material and commodity prices, renewable capacity additions in 2021 increased 6% and broke another record, reaching almost 295 GW.

This growth is slightly higher than the forecast last year in the IEA’s Renewables 2021. Globally, the 17% decline in annual wind capacity additions in 2021 was offset by an increase in solar PV and growth in hydropower installations. The expansion of bioenergy, concentrated solar power (CSP) and geothermal was stable in 2021 compared with 2020. In terms of speed of growth, renewable capacity’s year-on-year increase last year was slower, following an exceptional jump in 2020 when Chinese developers rushed to connect projects before the phase out of subsidies, especially for onshore wind. Read more

 

Bristol is no stranger to solar panels. Around 30MW of solar PV has already been installed on rooftops across the city, allowing businesses, schools, community centres and residents to benefit from renewable energy.

In 2015, Bristol became the UK's first ever European Green Capital. Image: Steelfish                     

But according to Bristol’s Centre for Sustainable Energy, that’s a mere 6 per cent of what’s possible. Working to increase that figure is Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC). It provides organisations with free solar panels, and supports on a myriad of projects that are expanding the city’s green energy supplies. Since 2011, BEC has raised £14m through bond and share offers, and loans. It’s installed over 9MWp (mega watt peak refers to the maximum potential output of power) of solar and battery assets – enough to power more than 3,000 homes – and channelled over £300,000 of community benefit payments into local social and environmental initiatives. It’s not bad going for an organisation that was established by volunteers. People who, as communications manager Jess Gitsham puts it, “just wanted to take some action to address climate challenges”. 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...
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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