- In February, Mongabay covered how conservationists in Ukraine are working through the war, how remote communities in the Amazon are using solar energy, and the benefits of introducing agroecology in India’s coconut plantations.
- Indigenous political representatives and lawmakers in Brazil discussed with Mongabay the issues they are about to start tackling now that the government and political intentions have changed.
- In Mongabay’s latest episodes of Mongabay Sessions, host Romi Castagnino spoke with the ‘Wildcat’ documentary team about rescuing a baby ocelot from the black market and releasing it in the wild.
- 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.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, conservation biologists have been forced to implement new solutions to protect their conservation legacy. Watch how Ukraine’s forest guardians are preserving nature in dangerous conditions.
Meanwhile in Brazil, with the recent changes in the government, Indigenous lawmakers, political representatives and anthropologists discuss climate change, environment, mining, rights, land struggles and Indigenous wellbeing.
Mongabay-India covered two stories along India’s western coastal states. In Maharashtra state, local fishers are facing depleted fish stocks in the seas due to trawlers with advanced fishing methods. In Kerala state, where coconut plantations are prevalent, farmers are experimenting with integrating other crops in between to improve farm productivity.
Mongabay’s Romi Castagnino spoke with Harry Turner and Samantha Zwicker of the documentary Wildcat about their roles in rescuing an orphaned baby ocelot from the black market and about pet trade.
Add these videos to your watchlist for the month and watch them for free on Mongabay’s YouTube channel.
Ukraine’s forest guardians: preserving nature in war
The Polissky and Drevliansky Nature Reserves in Ukraine, renowned for their high levels of biodiversity, have been left scarred by a year of conflict in the country. On the Ukraine-Belarus border, conservation work has become dangerous and difficult, mines are a constant threat and communication with Belarusian peers has been disrupted. As the threat of a new invasion from Belarus looms, conservationists do what they can to continue their vital work.
Read more: Amid war, Ukrainian biologists fight to protect conservation legacy
Malvan fishers face a diminishing fish catch
Fishers on the coast of Malvan are witnessing low fish catch. They attribute this to the increase in indiscriminate fishing by trawlers from nearby states. The use of LED lights and small meshed nets during mechanized trawling traps a lot of small fish as bycatch wiping out a generation of fish population and also affects marine biodiversity. Adding to their woes, the World Trade Organization recently proposed a ban on fishing subsidies in a bid to curb Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and over fished stocks by banning subsidy provisions for developing and least developed countries (LDCs).
Read more: Artisanal fishers struggle in Malvan
Releasing orphaned ocelots back into the wild
In this episode of Mongabay Sessions, Romi Castagnino talks with Harry Turner about his role in the documentary ‘Wildcat.’ The film is set in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest and follows the emotional journey Harry and Samantha Zwicker take when rescuing an orphaned baby ocelot from the black market and preparing him for its release back into the wild.
Rescuing baby ocelots and the pet trade
In this episode of Mongabay Sessions, Romi Castagnino talks with Samantha Zwicker about her role in the documentary ‘Wildcat.’ The film is set in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest and follows the emotional journey Samantha and Harry Turner take when rescuing an orphaned baby ocelot from the black market and preparing him for its release back into the wild.
Off-Grid Amazonian communities turn to solar
Despite the Amazon region producing more than a quarter of the energy in Brazil, many indigenous and riverside communities still live off the grid and rely on expensive diesel generators for energy. Communities, like Terra Firme in Rondônia state, are turning to renewable energy like solar power to provide 24 hour electricity and help create jobs.
Read more: Electricity day and night: Solar power is changing isolated Amazon communities
POLLUTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Seven decades of environmental racism in the Blackest area of Salvador, Brazil
Since the 1950s, an area with one of the largest Black populations in the state capital of Bahia has suffered damages to the health of its people and ecosystem as a result of nearby operations of a port, an industrial complex and an oil refinery.
Read more: Tide Island: seven decades of environmental racism in Salvador
INDIGENOUS LEADERS AND POLITICS
‘If Brazil starts with us, why did we arrive last?’: Q&A with Indigenous lawmaker Célia Xakriabá
Indigenous lawmaker Célia Xakriabá says the fight for the climate emergency was key to her election to Brazil’s Congress last year, which drew votes from people with a completely different political party alignment. “We were not only elected by progressive people [voting]. It is the environmental issue, the issue for life, the issue of the right to water, the issue of the right to food without poison [pesticides]” — issues that she tells Mongabay must go beyond the progressive parties.
Read more: ‘If Brazil starts with us, why did we arrive last?’: Q&A with Indigenous lawmaker Célia Xakriabá
‘I want to see Indigenous territories free of invasions’, says Joenia Wapichana
In this video interview two weeks before the health disaster outbreak in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory, Joenia Wapichana, the first Indigenous woman named president of Brazil’s national Indigenous affairs agency, Funai, says one of her priorities at the institution is the expulsion of 20,000 illegal gold miners from the area. “Indigenous health is a chaos there. Children are dying of malaria and malnutrition. So, it is not simply a matter of removing the miners, but you have to take immediate action to ensure security there,” she tells Mongabay at Funai’s headquarters in Brasília.
Read more: Joenia Wapichana: ‘I want to see the Yanomami and Raposa Serra do Sol territories free of invasions’
From ‘objects of study’ to active voices: Brazilian Indigenous anthropologists turn the tables
Three Indigenous women leaders who are also artists and anthropologists are reshaping the relationship between the peoples anthropologists study and those who do the studying. A meeting with the leader of the Scottish Green Party provided an opportunity to understand the connections between Scotland’s highland clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries and the land struggles faced by Brazil’s Indigenous peoples today.
Read more: Brazilian Indigenous anthropologists turn the tables from ‘objects of study’ to active voices
FARMERS TURN TO AGROFORESTRY
Transforming coconut plantations has many benefits
Apart from pure coconut plantations, many farmers are engaging in combining different crops combinations along with coconut. Coconut-based integrated farming, which allows for other agricultural crops to grow under the canopy, not only offers scope for improving crop biodiversity and farm productivity, but also a means to sequester carbon, according to a new study based in Kerala.
Read more: Coconut-based integrated farming could help sequester carbon, improve farm productivity: study
Banner image of an ocelot by MTSOfan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).