Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for July 10, 2022. №51

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 July 10, 2022. №51

The Far Eastern Marine Biosphere State Nature Reserve in the Peter the Great Bay of the Sea of Japan established on March 24, 1978, is an object of marine natural heritage. The reserve is the only one in Russia, 98% of the area of which is the water area. It is home to more than 5,000 species of plants and animals.

 

Reforestation initiatives are more popular than ever, with thousands of projects across the globe led by private companies, nonprofits, institutions, governments and communities. So how can an investor or donor decide what projects to support? What kinds of questions should be asked to assess tree-planting projects and ensure they deliver the results they promise?

A moment during a Waddilove High School tree-planting project in partnership with the Scouts Association of Zimbabwe in 2019. Image courtesy of Shamiso Mupara.

To help address these questions, Mongabay partnered with Vizzuality to bring greater transparency to the reforestation landscape. Reforestation.app is a user-friendly tool for reforestation experts, practitioners and supporters to connect with projects through improved transparency and access to information. Recently updated, Reforestation.app features a revamped user interface, improved search and filter functionalities, and step-by-step guidance to help people identify projects that align with diverse motivations and interests. Read more

 

Environmentalists hailed this week what they called a potentially groundbreaking law to restore affected ecosystems across Europe. The draft Law on Nature Restoration, which was submitted by the European Commission on June 22, will require the member States of the European Union to revive forests, wetlands, marine and other territories affected by human development.

The European Commission estimates that more than 80 percent of habitats on the continent are in "unsatisfactory" condition. Conservationists argue that restoring these ecosystems is crucial in the fight against climate change and in order to save species from extinction. "This proposal paves the way for Europe, but it also serves as an inspiration for other regions around the world," said Thierry Lucas, representative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Coordinator for Ecosystem Management in Europe, "This is the first proposal of its kind, as it will make the restoration goals legally binding."

 

Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus quoyi) of the Southern Hemisphere were brought to near extinction by twentieth century industrial whaling. For decades, they had all but disappeared from previously highly frequented feeding grounds in Antarctic waters. Our dedicated surveys now confirm their return to ancestral feeding grounds, gathering at the Antarctic Peninsula in large aggregations to feed. We report on the results of an abundance survey and present the first scientific documentation of large fin whale feeding aggregations at Elephant Island, Antarctica, including the first ever video documentation. We interpret high densities, re-establishment of historical behaviours and the return to ancestral feeding grounds as signs for a recovering population. Recovery of a large whale population has the potential to augment primary productivity at their feeding grounds through the effects of nutrient recycling, known as 'the whale pump'. The recovery of fin whales in that area could thus restore ecosystem functions crucial for atmospheric carbon regulation in the world's most important ocean region for the uptake of anthropogenic CO2Read more

 

The Spix’s little blue macaw, Cyanopsitta spixii, went extinct in the wild when the species’ lone wild representative suddenly disappeared in October of 2019 (more here, also; ref & ref). Despite the presence of several very small populations that had been secreted away in cages around the world, the future looked bleak for this highly desired, incredibly rare parrot. However, things may be improving for this species, thanks to a global collaboration between scientists, conservation biologists, veterinarians, aviculturists and local Indigenous peoples.

 

 

 

Adult Spix's little blue macaw (Cyanopsitta spixii) in flight. Credit: Tim Flach, image use by permission

 

 

After decades of planning and work, eight adult captive-bred little blue macaws were released back into their former range in Brazil on 11 June 2022, and another 12 individuals are being prepared for release in December 2022. These parrots are the first wave in a captive breeding and reintroduction program that is set to take place over the next 20 years. Read more

 

Residents of Sangihe Island in Indonesia have won a lawsuit against a Canadian-backed company planning to mine gold on their island. In its ruling, the court in the city of Manado declared the environmental permit issued to miner PT Tambang Mas Sangihe (TMS) and ordered the local government to revoke it. The judges found that the permit was issued without following the proper procedures, and that the environmental impact analysis was inadequate.

Activists and locals in Sangihe island showing their opposition of mining by PT Tambang Mas Sangihe. Image courtesy of Save Sangihe Island Movement.

The victory comes a month after another court, in Jakarta, rejected a separate lawsuit by the villagers seeking to have TMS’s mining contract revoked; the court said the case was outside its jurisdiction. Read more

 

A federal judge on Tuesday restored a wide swath of Endangered Species Act protections gutted by the Trump administration. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in Northern California comes as the Biden administration is working on replacement rules for the Trump rollbacks and means the protections will be restored while the review process continues, AP News explained. “The court spoke for species desperately in need of comprehensive federal protections without compromise,” Earthjustice attorney Kristen Boyles said in a statement from the plaintiffs emailed to EcoWatch.

Bald eagles are a famous Endangered Species Act success story. Andy Morffew / CC BY 2.0

“Threatened and endangered species do not have the luxury of waiting under rules that do not protect them.” Earthjustice represented the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Parks Conservation Association, Wild Earth Guardians and the Humane Society of the United States in a lawsuit to block the Trump regulations passed in 2019. The lawsuit targeted five regulations in particular, according to AP News. Read more

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by German company Bayer AG to dismiss legal claims by customers who assert one of its products — glyphosate-based Roundup weedkillercauses cancer. The multinational chemical and pharmaceutical company could potentially owe billions of dollars in damages, reported Reuters. The decision by the Supreme Court meant a verdict by a lower court that had upheld $25 million awarded to Edwin Hardeman — a California resident and Roundup consumer who blamed Bayer’s weedkiller for his cancer after using it at his home for 26 years — was left intact. In 2015, Hardeman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and contended that Bayer hadn’t given a warning as to the cancer risks of glyphosate, The Washington Post reported. “Now thousands of other cancer victims can continue to hold Monsanto accountable for its decades of corporate malfeasance,” lawyers representing Hardeman, Jennifer Moore and Aimee Wagstaff said in a statement, as reported by The Washington Post. Bayer acquired Monsanto, the original maker of Roundup, in 2018. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the herbicide glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015. The weedkiller is still approved for use in the U.S., Europe and other places, reported BBC News. Parts of the European Union have banned the herbicide, according to Deutsche Welle. Read more

 

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has taken a unique decision to withdraw from the construction of two controversial dams in Ixquisis, Guatemala. Both ENDS has supported our partner AIDA for many years in its fight against the dams. Tamara Mohr and Pieter Jansen explain why this decision is so exceptional.

The river is still flowing free. Photo by AIDA

In 2018, AIDA filed a complaint before the IDB on behalf of the indigenous communities and called upon the bank to withdraw their funding for the Pojom II and San Andrès dams. In 2019 the bank started their investigation. The decision to withdraw is the outcome of this investigation. Read more

 

The supreme court of Brazil has ruled that the Paris Agreement, an international treaty adopted in 2015 to limit global warming to 2°C or, preferably, 1.5°C, is a human rights treaty that must take precedence over national laws. Brazil is the first country to declare such a ruling. In the case PSB et al. v. Brazil (on Climate Fund) (ADPF 708), Brazil’s supreme court stated that the Paris Agreement is a “supranational” human rights treaty.

People walk by the Atlantic Ocean on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Changes in Rio's climate, including temperature and sea level rise, are projected to be the most dire of all cities in South America, according to the Urban Climate Change Research Network. Mario Tama / Getty Images

The case was filed by four political parties (the Workers’ Party, Socialism and Liberty Party, Brazilian Socialist Party and Sustainability Network) after the government failed to distribute money from the national Climate Fund (Fundo Clima) since 2019. The fund was initially set up in 2009. Read more

 

Millions of acres of Amazon rainforest should now be safe from mining, after Ecuador’s government agreed to prohibit extraction projects on protected and Indigenous land. The commitment was made last weekend following 18 days of protests that turned violent and crippled the Ecuadorian economy. The government also promised to halt a decree that sought to double oil production across the country. 

Image: Kiyoshi

Amazon Frontlines, a non-profit that advocates for Indigenous peoples, described the outcome as “a historic victory for the climate and Indigenous rights”. It added: “We must now remain vigilant and keep up the pressure to ensure the government stays true to its commitments.” The news follows a 2021 ruling by Ecuador’s highest court, which said plans to mine in a protected could forest violated the rights of nature.  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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