- Mongabay’s May videos show how communities in the Philippines and Jordan are restoring landscapes to fight climate change, and how India’s landscapes are changing and affecting communities around rivers and coasts.
- Watch the sloths in Costa Rica using bridges, humans fighting for bees’ rights, and how renewable energy is helping with women empowerment in India.
- 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.
Across the world, communities with a strong connection to the environment are taking up projects to restore landscapes or participating in planting native trees to conserve biodiversity. In Jordan, environmentalists, with the help of volunteers, are planting Miyawaki-style ‘baby’ forests, while in the Philippines, a community’s aggroforestry land survived the brunt of Typhoon Rai last year.
Mongabay-India covered the stories of how communities are affected by various factors: in the Himalayan Spiti valley, illegal sand mining has changed the course of the river, leaving many people landless. In the south, a coastal village in Kerala is getting eroded due to extreme weather and rising sea level. Women in several villages in Jharkhand state are using solar energy to run their enterprises.
Mongabay also covered humans helping wildlife in new ways. In Costa Rica, conservationists have built bridges for sloths to move from tree to tree without having to face the dangers on the ground. In another part of Costa Rica, a couple has initiated legal proceeding to conserve native bees.
Add these videos to your watchlist for the month and watch them for free on Mongabay’s YouTube channel.
Bridges in the sky carry sloths to safety in Costa Rica
The Sloth Conservation Foundation, created by British zoologist Rebecca Cliffe, is working to preserve the future of the world’s slowest mammals in Costa Rica. The group is building rope bridges to allow the arboreal animals to cross cleared patches of forest safely. Without these bridges, the sloths would have to come down to the ground to cross from one tree to another, putting them at risk of being run over by a car or attacked by dogs, or else they could be electrocuted going over power lines. The bridges are a temporary solution while the organization works on reforestation measures to ensure there’s sufficient suitable habitat for sloths.
Read more: Bridges in the sky carry sloths to safety in Costa Rica
Solar mini-grids enabling women entrepreneurship in Jharkhand, India
Solar mini-grids are encouraging enterprises in Jharkhand’s Gumla district. Several women from these villages have come forward to start small-scale machine-based rural enterprises that run on solar energy. The women have formed self-help groups (SHGs) or independently, have started mustard processing machines, flour mills, and other small enterprises to increase their income.
Read more: Solar mini-grids fuel women-led enterprises in Jharkhand’s Gumla district
For a beekeeping couple in Costa Rica, pesticides are killing the buzz
For decades, Guillermo Valverde Azofeifa and Andrea Mora Montero have kept Melipona stingless bees in their garden, a task that is becoming more difficult. Their home has become surrounded by plantations growing monocultures of pineapple, oil palm and cassava. When these crops are sprayed with pesticides, the couple’s bees often die. They worry the fumes may also affect the health of their children. The two beekeepers have now initiated legal proceedings to save these native pollinators in Costa Rica, a country that, despite its environmentally friendly reputation, has one of the highest rates of pesticide use in the world.
Read more: For a beekeeping couple in Costa Rica, pesticides are killing the buzz
In India, Kerala’s eroding coast and lives
Chellanam, a coastal village in central Kerala, has been facing the brunt of an increasingly erratic monsoon, floods, and cyclones. The low-lying region gets inundated with seawater, and waves crash into a dilapidated seawall sending stones flying into homes. Shanghumugham, another coastal village in south Kerala is rapidly losing the beach to erosion. Fishers are losing land to the sea, affecting their homes and livelihood.
Read more: Hard constructions continue to erode Kerala’s coastline, leaving communities stranded
RESTORATION EFFORTS BY COMMUNITIES
How an ancient Japanese technique is helping to restore native flora in Amman, Jordan
Since 2018, a Jordanian architect and a Japanese environmentalist have planted three tiny forests in Amman, Jordan. These are some of the first forests in the Middle East to be designed according to the Miyawaki method, a technique for growing mature forests in a matter of decades at virtually any scale. In a country with just 0.03% tree cover and where tree planting is increasingly popular but knowledge about native vegetation is scattered, the effort involved extensive research and experimentation to identify and propagate native plants.
Read more: In Jordan, the Middle East’s first Miyawaki-style ‘baby’ forests take root
Restored forest survives typhoon thanks to community efforts in the Philippines
he Macatumbalen Community-Based Forest and Coastal Management Association, based in the Philippine province of Palawan, has replanted and managed 1,850 hectares of local forests since 2002. When Typhoon Rai struck Palawan in December 2021, the community’s forest was devastated, harming not just the ecosystem but also the livelihood of local people, who depend on agroforestry and harvesting of forest products like honey and rattan.
Read more: Devastated by a typhoon, community foresters in the Philippines find little support
Clean Energy Talks: Where is India on the green hydrogen map?
Green hydrogen has emerged as an attractive and viable technology that has received tremendous support both from the government and the industry. It is turning out to be a key component of India’s ambitious renewable energy plan, even though India has a target of production of only five million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030. Mongabay-India’s eighth Clean Energy Talks webinar explored the feasibility of green hydrogen and its importance in India’s energy transition story.
EXTRACTIVE PROJECTS AFFECT LOCAL POPULATIONS
When sand mining alters a river, flooding farmlands in India’s Spiti
Illegal extraction of sand in the Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh affects the course of the Spiti river and in turn, people’s lives. Over-extraction of sand can have dire impacts on river ecosystems. The Spiti river has changed course over the years due to illegal mining, inundating farmlands, and leaving many people landless. A large proportion of people here survive on only one farming season. This video story displays the transformation of the river through the years, while also narrating the plight of the residents affected, and their demand for clarity in sand mining law, to save their lands.
Banner image: A brown-throated three-toed sloth sloth (Bradypus variegatus). Image by Diego Gómez via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).