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

A bearded pig

A bearded pig in Borneo. Image by michel candel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

  • Mongabay dove into research and talked with experts to answer a question more and more people are asking now: should we have kids? The latest episodes of Mongabay’s Problem Solved explains how having, or not having, more children effects the environment and climate change.
  • Another Mongabay series Candid Animal Cam takes a peek into the lives of the migrating bearded pigs of Southeast Asia, while Mongabay Explains shows us why the Earth’s water cycle is nearing breaking-point.
  • In Brazil, a record number of Indigenous candidates are running in the general elections this month and farmers have turned into firefighters. In Mexico, Indigenous communities are fighting drought with water wells.
  • 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.

Is simply having fewer children really a viable solution to the climate crisis? Mongabay dove into research and talked with experts to find the answer to the question more and more people are asking now. The latest episodes of Mongabay’s Problem Solved explains how having, or not having, more children can effect the environment and climate change.

In September, Mongabay spoke with some of the 186 Indigenous candidates running in Brazil’s general elections this month to fight for their rights. The Indigenous Zapotec communities in Mexico have created hundreds of water infrastructure projects to conserve water in the drought-stricken Oaxaca Valley.

The Brazil Pantanal, which is the world’s largest tropical wetland, has been ravaged by major wildfires since 2020. The farmers and cattle ranchers of the region, along with local nonprofits, have turned into volunteer firefighters to protect their unique lands. Meanwhile, in southern Brazil, dwindling fish species have returned thanks to legal actions taken by fishers and scientists against trawling.

In India, the government took a significant step in wild cat conservation with Project Cheetah, where they repopulated the habitat of India’s now-extinct Asiatic cheetah with its African cousin. Listen to Mongabay-India‘s podcast episodes about the country’s clean energy and power sector on the Mongabay-India YouTube channel here on Everything Environment.

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

Wildlife lover and artist records 5 decades of change on iconic U.K. river

As a youngster in the 1960s, Janet Marsh spent hours beside England’s Itchen River closely observing the teeming life of the small English stream. In 1979, she published her “nature diary,” profiling the life of her beloved river with exquisite watercolor illustrations along with astute observations. Decades later, Marsh revisits the river with Mongabay, noting that the motorway itself, though noisy, hasn’t caused widespread damage, with wildlife proving resilient. Far more harmful has been steady human development, with pollution from fish farms, septic tanks and cropland runoff all gradually killing the river.

Read more: Wildlife lover and artist records 5 decades of change on iconic U.K. river

INDIGENOUS FIGHT FOR RIGHTS

With rights at risk, Indigenous Brazilians get on the ballot to fight back

A record 186 Indigenous candidates are running in Brazil’s general elections this month, up 40% from the 2018 elections. Candidates and activists say the surge is pushback against the increased attacks on Indigenous rights, lands and cultures under the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro. Only two Indigenous individuals have ever been elected to Congress, but Brazil’s main Indigenous coalition hopes to improve this representation with a coordinated campaign to support Indigenous candidates.

Read more: With rights at risk, Indigenous Brazilians get on the ballot to fight back

PROBLEM SOLVED

Will having fewer kids save the climate?

The planet continues to climb towards 1.5° Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit) of warming above pre-industrial levels, and activists, scientists, and everyday citizens alike are urging any solution to reduce carbon emissions and keep our global average temperature below 1.5. Literally any day now, the global population is expected to crest eight billion people. Given recent research that shows the single most effective action any human can take to mitigate their climate impact is to have one less child, many potential parents are asking themselves (and each other) “should I have kids?” In this episode of Problem Solved, we dive into the research and speak with a climate scientist, journalist, and reproductive rights specialist about this complicated personal question.

Read more: Is having fewer kids the answer to the climate question? | Problem Solved

What Is ‘Carbon Inequality?’

Individual actions to reduce carbon emissions don’t necessarily solve the systemic problems that contribute to climate change, but they do highlight the growing problem of ‘carbon inequality.’ Research shows that the single biggest action any individual could take to reduce their carbon emissions is to choose not to have an additional child. However, carbon emissions are unequal around the world. So, is simply having fewer children really a viable solution to the climate crisis?

CANDID ANIMAL CAM

The only pig species known to migrate

Did you know that bearded pigs are the only pig species known to migrate? For most of the year, bearded pigs live in one location in a stable family group, but once a year, hundreds of them come together to partake in a large migration.

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

Fish return to Southern Brazil after trawling ban

Small- and large-scale fishers report an increase in the volume and variety of fish species in the Patos Lagoon and the coast of Rio Grande do Sul state. Such abundance came after a bill banning motorized trawling on the state’s coast was passed and signed into law. Drafted by fishers and scientists and passed unanimously in the state parliament, the law goes against the interests of President Bolsonaro’s allies. Appointed to the Federal Supreme Court by Bolsonaro, Justice Kassio Nunes Marques overturned the Court’s prevailing view and suspended the effects of a previous ruling. On a date yet to be scheduled, the Court’s plenary session will have the final word.

Read more: Fish return to Southern Brazil after trawling ban

RESTORATION EFFORTS BY COMMUNITIES

Drought hits Oaxaca communities and Indigenous leaders fight it with water wells

Sixteen Indigenous Zapotec communities in Mexico have created over 579 water infrastructure projects to conserve water in the Oaxaca Valley – a region impacted by recurrent droughts. Significant success in harvesting water has been realized, however, farmers still struggle to have enough water due to lack of rain. Last year, the Mexican government recognized their efforts and gave communities a concession to manage water resources locally. Communities are still waiting to know when they will officially receive the concession. Just a few women hold leadership positions in these communities. They have been involved in water conservation projects since a severe drought hit the region 17 years ago and hope to enhance gender equality in the region.

Read more: On the frontlines of drought, communities in Mexico strive to save every drop of water

Fires in the world’s largest wetland turns Brazilian farmers into firefighters

Fires in 2020 ravaged an area larger than Belgium in the Brazilian Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland, killing at least 17 million animals and leaving locals without water. Several initiatives by local nonprofits are taking on the challenge of protecting this unique region by educating residents about fire hazards and training Pantanal cattle ranchers as volunteer firefighters. Experts say fire alerts in the Pantanal are down by 91% so far this year compared to the same period in 2020.

Read more: Fires in the world’s largest wetland turns Brazilian farmers into firefighters

MONGABAY EXPLAINS

Why scientists say Earth’s water cycle is nearing breaking-point?

The hydrological cycle is a fundamental natural process for keeping Earth’s operating system intact. Humanity and civilization are intimately dependent on the water cycle, but we have manipulated it vastly and destructively. Recent research has indicated that modifications to aspects of the water cycle are now causing Earth system destabilization at a scale that modern civilization might not have ever faced. That is already playing out in extreme weather events and long-term slow-onset climate alterations, with repercussions we don’t yet understand. To increase our chances of remaining in a “safe living space,” we need to reverse damage to the global hydrological cycle with large-scale interventions.

Read more: Beyond boundaries: Earth’s water cycle is being bent to breaking point

 

Banner image: A bearded pig in Borneo. Image by michel candel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).