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Mongabay’s What-To-Watch list for March 2022

  • In February, Mongabay covered agroforestry among Costa Rica’s Indigenous people, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, the environmental problems of human sewage, and the unanticipated downsides of the solar energy sector in India.
  • Watch a rare video where chimpanzees are seen being medical practitioners, and how dedicated rangers are protecting endangered apes in the forests along the Nigeria-Cameroon border.
  • Get a peek into the various segments of the environment across the globe. Add these videos to your watchlist for the month and watch them for free on YouTube.

Scientists have observed yet another behavior in chimpanzees that shows the similarities between them and us. Chimpanzees in Gabon were seen applying insects on each other’s wounds as medicine, and the scientists caught it on video. These African apes, along with gorillas, are endangered in their natural habitat; along the Nigeria-Cameroon border, watch how patrolling rangers are protecting the forests’ threatened wildlife.

Mongabay’s series Chasing Deforestation explored deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in the new episode, specifically the deforestation driven by grazing pastures made for herds of domestic water buffalos. Another continued series, Mongabay Explains, covered the subject of human waste and solutions to the long-term effects of sewage on the environment.

Mongabay-India explored the downsides of the solar energy sector, the long-time favorite solution for the ever-increasing global energy needs. Watch three videos that explain how maintenance issues, lack of access to power, and poor financial planning have left the communities living around solar parks to suffer the snags in the solar industry.

Add these videos to your watchlist for the month and watch them for free on YouTube.

Rare footage shows chimpanzee putting insect on wound

Scientists observed for the first time chimpanzees in Gabon, West Africa, applying insects to their wounds and the wounds of others. In a new study, researchers suggest that this prosocial behavior in apes may be related to empathy in humans.

Read more: The chimp doctor will see you now: Medicating apes boost the case for conservation

Ghost villages of India’s east coast

Several houses along the eastern Indian coast have been impacted by exposure to constant sea erosion, cyclones and other environmental factors. Those living there have abandoned these houses that now lie dilapidated. These villages are now called Ghost villages.

Read more: Environment factors push people out of their homes on India’s east coast, leaving behind ‘ghost villages’

Madagascar’s fishers and industrial trawlers compete near the shore

Madagascar in July imposed a prohibition on industrial trawlers fishing in waters within 2 nautical miles (3.7 kilometers) of the country’s coast. Small-scale fishers, who for years have clashed with the industrial vessels, welcomed the new rule, but say the trawlers are largely ignoring it.

Read more: Madagascar’s small fishers cheer new trawl-free zone, but do trawlers obey it?

Patrols cooperate to protect endangered apes on the Cameroon-Nigeria border

The rugged, isolated forests along the Nigeria-Cameroon border support a vast array of wildlife, including Cross River gorillas, Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees, and forest elephants. Historically, limited law enforcement in the border zone has left the ecosystem vulnerable to hunting and logging.

Read more: On Nigeria-Cameroon border, joint patrols throw a lifeline to threatened apes


Bribri women’s agroforestry maintains forests and Indigenous culture in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica’s Talamanca region, Indigenous Bribri women are championing sustainable agroforestry practices in a tradition that stretches back for millennia. Known as fincas integrales, it’s a system that mimics the diversity and productivity of the forest: timber trees provide shade for fruit trees, which in turn shelter medicinal plants, amid all of which livestock and even wildlife thrive.

Read more: For Costa Rica’s Indigenous Bribri women, agroforestry is an act of resistance and resilience


Buffalo frenzy grips the Brazilian Amazon ft. Ana Ionova

Chasing Deforestation is a series that explores Earth’s most threatened forests through satellite data and reporters on the ground. In the second episode, your host, Romi Castagnino, takes you to the forests of Autazes in the Brazilian Amazon. We do a deep dive into the history and social dynamics that shaped the region over the last century.

Read more: Indigenous lands under siege as buffalo frenzy grips the Amazon


How to deal with the global human sewage problem?

The problem of human sewage is enormous on a global scale and has devastating effects on the environment and human beings. In this episode of Mongabay Explains, we try to understand the problem and show some of the solutions being implemented around the world.

Read more: Innovative sewage solutions: Tackling the global human waste problem


What went wrong in Odisha’s first solar village?

In 2015, Barapitha village in Odisha got electrified with solar energy and declared as the first 100 percent solar village of the state. Before 2015, the village was unelectrified. Within three years, due to maintenance issues, the system failed and residents shifted to grid connected energy, where the source of energy is not identified.

Read more: In Odisha’s first solar village, maintenance issues plague the mini solar plant

The irony of living next to one of India’s largest solar parks: Power cuts in Pavagada

Pavagada Solar Park or Shakti Sthala is one of India’s largest solar parks. But the villages around it that leased land to the project face regular power cuts. Watch how lack of access to solar power in project-affected villages brings out striking similarities between the handling of solar and fossil fuel-based energy systems.

Read more: Given land for power, Pavagada residents now powerless

What price did the landowners and the landless pay for Pavagada solar park?

Pavagada Solar Park spreads across 13,000 acres. The land wasn’t purchased but leased from landowners for 28 years. The project has had positive impacts on some families and negative impacts on some, especially marginalized communities.

Read more: Pavagada solar park busts notions of renewable energy as inherently good

Banner image of a chimpanzee by Rabenspiegel via Pixabay.