Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for July 14, 2023. №59

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Sviatoslav Zabelin, SEU coordinator


Digest of Socio-Ecological Union International for July 14, 2023. №59

The Ustyurt State Nature Reserve of the Republic of Kazakhstan was established on July 12, 1984 on an area of 223.3 thousand hectares to protect desert landscapes on the Ustyurt plateau. Geographically, the territory of Ustyurt is included in the Iran-Turan subdistrict of the Afro-Asian desert region, and the reserve is located at the junction of the Ustyurt and Mangyshlak districts of the southern desert subzone. The highest point of the reserve is located on the Western chink of Ustyurt in the area of the Kugusem well (+340 m above sea level.m.), the lowest is in the northern part of Kenderlisor (-52 m).


The EU must have restoration measures in place by 2030 covering at least 20% of its land and sea areas, say MEPs. Following a debate on Tuesday, Parliament today adopted its position on the EU nature restoration law with 336 votes in favour, 300 against and 13 abstentions. A vote to reject the Commission’s proposal did not pass (312 votes to 324 and 12 abstentions). MEPs underline that restoring the ecosystem is key to combating climate change and biodiversity loss, and reduces risks to food security.

Nature restoration supports the recovery of damaged ecosystems and bring more nature and biodiversity back everywhere. © J. Lund AdobeStock

They stress that the draft law does not impose the creation of new protected areas in the EU nor block new renewable energy infrastructure as they added a new article underlining that such installations are overwhelmingly in the public interest. Parliament highlights that the new law must contribute to reaching the EU’s international commitments, in particular the UN Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity framework. MEPs support the Commission’s proposal to put restoration measures in place by 2030 covering at least 20% of all land and sea areas in the EU. Read more


Community members in Ecuador’s Intag Valley have won a court case to stop the Llurimagua copper mining project, with the court ordering the revocation of mining licenses from Chile’s Codelco and Ecuador’s ENAMI EP. The Llurimagua mining concession is in the Tropical Andes, the world’s most biodiverse hotspot, home to dozens of threatened and endemic species, including two near-extinct frog species. A provincial court recognized that the mining companies violated the communities’ constitutional right to consultation and the rights of nature guaranteed by Ecuador’s Constitution since 2008.

The decision is a significant win for the Intag communities, who have resisted mining for nearly 30 years, and sets an important precedent for protecting constitutional and environmental rights, as well as sends a message to investors that Ecuador is not a safe bet for mining operations. Read more


Brazil’s environmental authority has rejected Petrobras’s request to drill its first well at an offshore oil frontier known as the Equatorial Margin, delivering a major setback to the state-controlled oil company’s exploration plans. Ibama, as the agency is known, highlighted the extreme social and environmental sensitivity of the biologically diverse region that is home to indigenous lands, mangroves, coral reefs and endangered species. It has been a controversial location for drilling and has drawn concern from Brazil’s environment minister, Marina Silva. “There is no doubt that Petrobras was offered every opportunity to remedy critical points of its project, but it still presents worrying inconsistencies for safe operations in a new exploratory frontier of high social and environmental vulnerability,” the regulator’s president Rodrigo Agostinho said in the decision. Read more


It’s a critical time for lion conservation as the species declines across Africa. Globally, the lion population has dropped by 43% over the past 21 years. Lions are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN, with the species facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. In many of the lion’s core ranges across Africa, populations have plummeted due to, among other reasons, habitat fragmentation and poaching.