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

A herd of European bison. Image by Gregoire Dubois via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

  • Mongabay’s July videos show how Indigenous communities in Brazil are recovering native crops, why a coastal developmental project in India is facing protests, how the weather can be used to control forest fires in the Amazon, and other issues globally.
  • Two Mongabay YouTube series — Chasing Deforestation and Mongabay Webinars — released new episodes, about Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem and about how to cover oceans and fisheries, respectively.
  • 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.

In July, Mongabay covered news about actions taken up by Indigenous communities in Brazil, reforestation efforts in the U.K., waste management in India, and other news from across the world.

Traditional crops play a huge part in keeping Indigenous traditions alive. In one of Brazil’s biggest cities, a Guarani Indigenous community has reclaimed degraded land from monoculture and are planting over 200 varieties of ancestral plants. Elsewhere in Brazil, another Indigenous group, a network has 55 Indigenous communicators from 15 ethnic groups, has won an award for fighting fake news and misinformation, especially regarding COVID-19.

A video by Mongabay-India shows how a road construction project and port development in India’s west coast in Karnataka are ignoring important olive ridley sea turtle nesting sites and native fisher community rights. From other parts of India, we can see the struggles against the ever-increasing waste and landfills, and the possible solutions.

In wildlife conservation news, we get to see inside the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Sierra Leone, where rescued western chimpanzee orphans are cared for. In England’s woodlands, which were once home to many families of European bison, a restoration project has released bison again in the hopes of rewilding the space.

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

An upcoming port is shrinking space for olive ridley turtles & fishing community in Karnataka, India

India’s Karnataka state is keen to accelerate a port-led model of development with the impetus of the Sagarmala project, hoping to attract a number of private investments. It has one major port and 12 minor ports under different stages of development. The port-led model, however, ignores people living in the vicinity of proposed constructions.

In the coastal Honnavar, a four-kilometre-long road under construction on a beach at Kasarkod-Tonka is threatening the traditional dry fish business and the livelihood of over 2,000 fisherwomen. The upcoming port and the corresponding road and railway network could destroy a turtle nesting region in Honnavar in Uttara Kannada district.

Read more: Karnataka’s port-development spree ignores coastal communities’ concerns

Guarani recover their ancestral crops in Brazil’s biggest city

At the southern end of the São Paulo city limits, a Guarani Indigenous community has reclaimed degraded land once used for eucalyptus monoculture. After collecting seeds from communities in other states and countries, the Guarani have more than 200 varieties of native plants, free of any genetic modification. The crops include nine types of corn, 15 types of sweet potato, four types of peanut, as well as fruits native to the Atlantic Rainforest. Guarani society is built around agriculture, and the recovery of these ancient planting traditions is bringing the community together in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Read more: In São Paulo, Indigenous Guarani unite over their reclaimed farming tradition

Inside Sierra Leone’s Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Just past the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone, lies the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Part of a network of sanctuaries in West Africa, Tacugama provides a home for orphaned western chimpanzees, which are critically endangered. Mongabay’s Ashoka Mukpo visited Tacugama in April and sat down with Bala Amarasekaran, the sanctuary’s founder.

Read more: Inside Sierra Leone’s Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Indigenous reporters awarded for fight against fake news in the Amazon

Brazilian Indigenous communications network Rede Wayuri has won the 2022 Rule of Law Award from the World Justice Project (WJP). Using word of mouth, radio, and mobile messaging apps, the network plays a key role in fighting fake news, particularly misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccines in the Rio Negro region of the Brazilian Amazon. The network has 55 Indigenous communicators from 15 ethnic groups, disseminating information in at least four native languages (Baniwa, Tukano, Nheengatu and Yanomami), in addition to Portuguese, in a region the size of Nicaragua.

Read more: Indigenous reporters awarded for fight against fake news deep in the Amazon

As the Amazon burns, only the weather can ward off a catastrophe, experts say

The Brazilian Amazon saw the highest number of fires for the month of June in 15 years, with 2,562 major fires detected, an increase of 11.14% over 2021. The first half of the year had 7,533 major fires, the most since 2019, according to data from the national space research institute. On June 23, the Brazilian government issued a decree banning the use of fires to manage forests throughout the country for the next 120 days.

Read more: As the Amazon burns, only the weather can ward off a catastrophe, experts say

CHASING DEFORESTATION

Can we save the Leuser Ecosystem?

The third episode of Chasing Deforestation focuses on the Leuser Ecosystem on Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra, a world biodiversity hotspot that has been fighting palm oil-driven illegal logging for decades. Rudi Putra, an Indonesian biologist and conservationist, and Wagini, a villager in Indonesia’s Aceh province, share their experiences of how illegal deforestation has impacted their lives and what they are doing to help recover the areas destroyed.

RESTORATION AND REWILING PROJECTS

Wild bison roam England once again

This year, a $1.4 million project has just released a herd of bison in ancient English woodland, bringing back an animal that hadn’t been in the country for millennia. The European bison is expected to help regenerate the forest and boost insect, bird and plant life. Bison rewilding projects are springing up across Europe, contributing to the species’ conservation status improving from vulnerable to near threatened.

Read more: Wild bison, taking over Europe and North America, will once again roam England

WASTE MANAGEMENT

Struggles and solutions in waste management from Gurugram, India: Waste to energy plant/Waste segregation

Municipal authorities have proposed a waste-to-energy plant to handle the mounting pile of waste in Gurugram. The project has been faced with resistance from local communities and activists with fears of pollution in addition to the existing groundwater pollution caused by the landfill. Many countries across the world have realised the limitations of WTE plants and are now shifting focus to reducing waste and segregating at the source. While waste segregation is implemented poorly in Indian cities by authorities and residents, an apartment complex in Gurugram shows the way. The residents strictly adhere to waste segregation practices and have set up a composting unit that has reduced their contribution to the Bandhwari landfill.

Living in the shadows of a waste mountain: Bandhwari landfill, India

Health impacts, water contamination, economic dependence – The 40-metre high mountain of waste at Bandhwari has changed the lives of people around it. The landfill located near the Delhi and Haryana border gets thousands of tonnes of unsegregated waste every day. Experts point out the non-compliance of rules at the landfill site and highlight the socio-economic disadvantages that arise due to improper waste management.

Read more: Can a waste-to-energy plant address piling concerns from a landfill site?

MONGABAY WEBINARS

How To Cover Oceans & Fisheries

This 5th edition of Mongabay’s free webinar series highlights the global impacts on oceans, and the intersection of fisheries management, law and regulations. The expert panel featured William Cheung, Dyhia Belhabib, and Colin Schultz.

RENEWABLE ENERGY IN INDIA

Clean Energy Talks: What does India need to meet its 2030 renewable energy targets?

In 2015, India announced an ambitious plan of installing 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity. Since then, the targets have only gotten bolder and stronger. India is now eyeing an ambitious goal of 450 GW by 2030. In this webinar we will examine issues that pose challenges to India achieving its 450 GW target and clarify the steps that are urgently required to ensure the country continues this path.

Banner image: A herd of European bison. Image by Gregoire Dubois via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).