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Saturday's Good News

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Celebrating the start of the weekend with a global round up of positive news nuggets.


Alessandra Korap Munduruku
Credit: Goldman Prize
Leadership and Resolve

Alessandra Korap Munduruku organized community efforts to cancel mining applications by British mining company Anglo American in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. In May 2021, the company announced that it had withdrawn 27 research applications to mine inside Indigenous territories, including the Sawré Muybu Indigenous Territory, which contains more than 400,000 acres of rainforest. The decision protects a critically threatened area of the Amazon - the world’s largest rainforest and a globally significant carbon sink - from further mining and deforestation. As a result of her leadership and resolve, Alessandra is one of the winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize 2023.


Catastrophe Averted

Remember that stranded oil tanker in hostile, rebel-held waters off Yemen? In fact, it was scarcely by mainstream media, so you may have missed it. Anyway, thanks to an heroic UN led initiative, over a million barrels of oil have now been removed, averting disaster. Almost all the oil is now aboard a replacement tanker, preventing a 'monumental environmental and humanitarian catastrophe.'


Step pyramid discovered in Kazakhstan
Credit: L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University
Surprising Discovery

A large hexagonal step pyramid has been discovered in the most unlikely place: the grassy steppes of Kazakhstan. While typical of Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Meso-american, Nubian, and some South and East Asian cultures, the nomadic horse tribes of the steppe are not known for monumental stone pyramidal architecture. Nevertheless, dating back 4,000 years ago to the Bronze Age, the step pyramid (or is it a steppe pyramid?) is 500 square meters in area, and is described by a national team of archaeologists as a “sophisticated and complex structure.”


EU Air Pollution

Air pollution in Europe continues to fall, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency. Between 2005 to 2021, particulate emissions fell by 27 percent, and emissions of sulphur dioxide fell by 80 percent, even as GDP increased by almost 50 percent. Thirteen of the bloc's member states have now met their respective 2020-2029 targets.


California coast
Credit: Robert Schwemmer | NOAA
US Marine Sanctuary

For more than a decade, says NPR, the Chumash tribe have led a campaign to create a marine sanctuary off the California coast. Now their vision might be nearing reality, as over 18,000 km2 (6,950 square miles) of ocean could soon become the largest national marine sanctuary in the continental United States, as well as one of the first federal sanctuaries spearheaded by a Native American tribe.


Clean Water

In the last 12 months, an NGO called Evidence Action has installed over 24,000 new chlorine dispensers in Uganda and Malawi, bringing its total network to more than 52,000 dispensers providing 9.8 million people with access to safe water, more than double the number of only 18 months ago.


Progress in Brazil

The recent slowing of deforestation is part of a broader wave of progress in Brazil, reports The Economist. Lula’s administration is close to finalising a major tax reform, FDI and agricultural productivity are rising, grain exports are filling the gap created by Russia's food terrorism, renewable energy investment is increasing, and solar is rapidly growing.

 

“When you stand in front of an audience, remember ‘ABC XYZ’: Always be cheerful. And examine your zip.” Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

 
On this Day

19 August 1848: New York Herald is the first major eastern newspaper to report the discovery of gold in California.

 





 
Mood Booster

A rare look inside the Bank of England's gold vaults.



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