Concluding the week with an eclectic bundle of uplifting news nuggets.
International delegates at the Our Ocean Conference have committed nearly $20 billion to ocean conservation, including funding for expanding and improving marine protected areas and biodiversity corridors, reports Mongabay. Panama, this year's host, also announced it will add 93,389 km2 (36,050 square miles) to its Banco Volcán MPA, bringing the country’s total marine protection to over 54 percent. Panama was the first Latin American country to host an Our Ocean conference.
High Seas Treaty Agreed: It has been almost two decades in the making but on March 4 in New York, after days of gruelling round-the-clock talks, UN member states finally agreed on a treaty to protect the high seas. Read on...
In 1995, as a plainclothes officer with the Boston Police Department, Michael Cox was assaulted by fellow officers who thought he was a gang member. Unable to get an apology, he sued and won a $1.3 million settlement. Despite that fight, he was able to salvage his career and rise in rank, managing various divisions before moving on in 2019 to lead the Ann Arbor, Michigan, Police Department. He has now been chosen as Boston police commissioner, and is expected to bring much-needed change, culturally and administratively. “I’ve worked to change policing since [the assault] occurred,” he said during his swearing-in, “and I will continue to do all I can to make sure that no Black or brown person, or any individual, no matter their gender identity or race, is a victim of any kind of unconstitutional policing.” For the past six months, he has been holding meetings with community members to formulate a plan to address all the concerns.
US Clean Energy
Clean energy to make up 84 percent of new US power capacity in 2023. Solar, wind, nuclear and grid batteries will account for nearly all power plant construction, with batteries beating gas for the first time, reports Canary Media.
King Knights Queen
Less than a year after the late Queen appeared on screen tapping out the beat of We Will Rock You over tea with Paddington Bear, the man who wrote the song - and whose band shared her moniker - has attended Buckingham Palace to receive a knighthood. Queen's guitarist Brian May was given the honour for services to music and charity. Arise Sir Brian!
Numbers of whooper swans are predicted to double in the UK by 2030, thanks to efforts to protect the wetlands where they spend the winter. The wild bird, known for its trumpet-like call, flies in from Iceland to overwinter across the country. Scientists say the swan is benefitting from special protection in nature reserves and that this offers hope that setting aside 30 percent of the planet for nature can help reverse decades of biodiversity loss. "The big message is that nature reserves can operate as very good protectors of wildlife," Prof Stuart Bearhop of the University of Exeter told BBC News. "If we could get 30 percent of the world protected - and protected in the right way - we are going absolutely in the right direction."
Albania's Vjosa river has just been declared Europe's first wild river National Park. It is one of the last free-flowing wild rivers left on the continent. Flowing from the Pindus mountain range in Greece to the Adriatic Sea in Albania, the Vjosa runs through 300 km (200 miles) of unspoiled wilderness and is completely free of artificial barriers like hydropower dams. These rivers and streams are home to more than 1,100 wildlife species. "Maybe Albania does not have the power to change the world, but it can create successful models of protecting biodiversity and natural assets and we are proud to announce the creation of this first National Park on one of the last wild rivers in Europe," says Albania's Minister of Tourism and Environment.
"You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think."
On this Day
17 March 1992: Nearly 69 percent of white South African voters backed F.W. de Klerk's reforms - which included the repeal of racially discriminatory laws - and effectively endorsed the dismantling of apartheid.
Since it was lip-synced by Rebecca Ferguson in the movie of The Greatest Showman, here's the real singer Loren Allred performing Never Enough on the David Foster show.