- In August, Mongabay covered a mangrove restoration project in the Philippines and an Indigenous community’s effort to domesticate a rare flower. We also released videos showing the connection between climate change and extinction, and climate change and clean energy.
- Watch how the cocaine industry is impacting the environment, how the Mediterranian countries are dealing with invasive crabs, and why avocado farms aren’t all that palatable in Mexico’s agricultural sector.
- 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.
Agriculture and food production across the world share an intricate relationship with both their immediate environment and larger factors like climate change. In August, Mongabay released videos about food that’s become invasive and food sources affected by outside elements, among other environmental news.
While invasive and disruptive, but also edible and tasty, blue crabs are changing the seafood scene in the Mediterranian countries, a mangrove region in the Philippines that was once abundant with seafood is fast losing its fishes and crabs. In Mexico, the many avocado plantations are taking up so much water that the Indigenous medicinal herb farms stand endangered. Meanwhile in Brazil, iron mining is contaminating the water sources and fields of coffee and sugarcane that have won international awards.
A new video series by Mongabay, Consumed, tracks the environmental impact of consumer products through their lifecycle. This time, it was about cocaine. Another series, Mongabay Explains, focused on three Californian species that are threatened due to the climate crisis in the new episode.
The Bay of Bengal is an active participant in cyclones every year, affecting all the countries in the region. But India’s Odisha state is especially prone to storms, and Mongabay-India explains the science behind this.
Collecting data from deep the wild is as crucial for conservation and understanding as it is difficult. Gabon has proved to be a great testing ground for camera-trapping and AI development.
Watch more videos ranging from a unique flower helping out Indigenous communities to the impact of climate change on clean energy industries. Add these videos to your watchlist for the month and watch them for free on Mongabay’s YouTube channel.
What is the environmental impact of cocaine?
Cocaine is one of the world’s most widely used illicit drugs, but what are the environmental consequences of this infamous white powder? Production, transit, and consumption of the drug are exacting a heavy environmental toll, impacting tropical forests, waterways and the people and species that rely on them.
Read more: All coked up: The global environmental impacts of cocaine
Why is India’s Odisha coast prone to cyclones?
Professor Pratap Mohanty of Beramphur University explains the reasons behind cyclones and coastal erosion along the coast of Odisha and its impact on coastal communities at large.
Mediterranean nations take differing approaches to invasive crabs
Two invasive blue crab species have recently settled in the Mediterranean. Both species are voracious predators that disrupt bottom habitats, shred fishers’ nets and ruin their catches. They’re also edible. Mediterranean countries are considering whether to target the invasive crabs to control them, or embrace and even protect them as a new socioeconomic resource for the future.
Read more: Love ‘em and loathe ‘em: Mediterranean grapples with tasty, voracious invasive crabs
INDIGENOUS AGROFORESTRY PRACTICES
Indigenous agroforestry dying of thirst amid a sea of avocados in Mexico
A rich tradition of cultivating and collecting medicinal plants in Mexico’s Michoacán state is at risk, as the Indigenous community behind it loses access to water. Avocado farms – mostly supplying the U.S. market – dominate water resources in the town of Angahuan, forcing Indigenous P’urhépecha healers to buy clean water by the gallon from shops to keep their medicinal plants alive.
Read more: Indigenous agroforestry dying of thirst amid a sea of avocados in Mexico
CAMERA TRAP CLIPS
Camera traps advance alongside Gabon’s conservation efforts
Rich in forests and biodiversity, the Central African country of Gabon has long proved a fruitful testing ground for camera-trap technology. Snapshots of species once thought extinct in the country, such as the lion, have helped inform conservation policy, including the establishment of national parks and protection of vast swaths of forest. But the wealth of data generated means there are large data sets from various projects that researchers just don’t have the resources or time to sift through — which is why Gabon has also become a testing ground for artificial intelligence tools to aid in that task.
Read more: In Gabon, camera-trap developers find the ideal proving ground for their craft
How can climate affect an ecosystem? The case of three species in California
A new episode of “Mongabay Explains” delves into the biodiversity crisis in California, which is known to be one of the most biodiverse states in the U.S., hosting about 6,500 animal species, subspecies and plants. California has been bearing the brunt of climate change in recent years as wildfires and drought transform the land. The film focuses on three species that are being negatively affected by the climate crisis: California tiger salamanders, acorn woodpeckers, and monarch butterflies. The filmmaker says California is the “poster child of what’s happening to our ecosystems around the world.”
Read more: Biodiversity underpins all, as California is finding out the hard way
RESTORATION EFFORTS BY COMMUNITIES
Philippines mangrove rehabilitation
According to historical accounts, the fisheries of Malampaya Sound in the Philippines’ Palawan province were once so rich it was difficult to wade to shore without stepping on crabs. This bounty fueled migration to the area from across the Philippines, and by the turn of the 20th century, much of the areas’ mangroves had been cleared or degraded, leading to a decline in fish catches.
Read more: Healthy mangroves build a resilient community in the Philippines’ Palawan
How a scientist and an Indigenous leader domesticated the unique Inirida flowers from Colombia
The Inírida flower, known as flor de Inírida, grows in a small area along the Colombian-Venezuelan border. An indigenous leader and botanist successfully worked together to domesticate this rare and little-known flower. Its conservation helps ensure the long-term protection of other species while offering potential bioremediation against contaminated soil. Inírida’s commercialization plays a vital role in the region’s green economy, bringing in revenues for Indigenous families.
Read more: How a rare Colombian flower cultivated with Indigenous know-how is changing lives
EXTRACTIVE PROJECTS AFFECT LOCAL POPULATIONS
Traditional communities’ prize-winning coffee and cachaça at risk from Brazil mine
Brazil Iron’s mining operations in Bahia state have silted up springs and spread toxic dust across coffee and sugarcane fields belonging to traditional communities. The coffee beans grown in Piatã municipality have won prestigious international awards, while the cachaça sugarcane liquor made in neighboring Abaíra municipality has earned a designation of origin seal because of its exceptional quality. But now both coffee growing and cachaça making — sources of cultural and economic importance in the region — are under threat from the contamination of fields and water sources.
Read more: Traditional communities’ prize-winning coffee and cachaça at risk from Brazil mine
RENEWABLE ENERGY IN INDIA
A hurdle to India’s clean energy targets
A recent study by scientists at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune projects that climate change is likely to impact the potential of solar and wind energy in India in the next 50 years.
Read more: Climate change could impact India’s renewable energy potential over the next 50 years
Banner image: A fisher uses his fishing net along the mangrove waters in Malampaya Sound in the Philippines. Image by Keith Fabro for Mongabay.