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Shaggy, skittish, saved: the Spanish sheep brought back from the brink
20 October 2021 - Thanks to a local vet and a group of concerned ecologists, the churra lebrijana breed has been rescued from extinction. Numbers of the breed -- indigenous to Andalusia -- had dwindled to about two dozen animals. The hardy sheep had long carved out an existence on the marshy lowlands of the Guadalquivir river, adapting to a landscape that swings from months of flooding to prolonged drought. As humans expanded their footprint, however, the marshes shrank from 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres) to less than 30,000 and the sheep were pushed out. (more)

US: University of Kentucky to buy solar power from new facility
20 October 2021 - The University of Kentucky will purchase 44 percent of the output of a new 125-megawatt solar power facility, through an agreement with its electricity provider, Kentucky Utilities Company, the university said. The McCracken County facility is expected to be online in 2025. Four other organizations, including the University of Louisville, also plan to buy power from the project. (more)

Earthshot Prize: Costa Rica wins 1m British pounds from William's Earthshot prize
19 October 2021 - Two best friends who grow coral and the country of Costa Rica are among the winners of the first ever Earthshot Prizes. The annual awards were created by the Duke of Cambridge [Prince William] to reward people trying to save the planet. There were five winners announced in London, each receiving 1m British pounds. (more)

Winners of Prince William's Earthshot environmental prize announced
19 October 2021 - The inaugural winners of Prince William's Earthshot Prize include the country of Costa Rica, an Indian organization that creates fuel from agricultural waste, and a coral farming group in the Bahamas. The prize, a Nobel-like award founded by the Duke of Cambridge and renowned British naturalist David Attenborough, aims to inspire innovative solutions to the most pressing environmental challenges currently facing the planet. (more)

US: Ground broken on North Carolina tiny home village for homeless
19 October 2021 - Rain throughout the morning on October 9 didn't stop a group of about 100 people from gathering to volunteer and celebrate the groundbreaking for a new community coming to Wilmington -- a tiny home village serving chronically homeless people. The project will cost $4.3 million and is funded entirely by donations. (more)

California vineyards that once used only toxic chemicals to protect vines now use nesting owls
18 October 2021 - Napa Valley vintners are increasingly turning towards owls for their pest control, and away from super toxic pesticides. Barn owls in particular, but also hawks and other birds of prey, known as raptors, are being welcomed onto vineyards across California -- and scientists studying the impact of these strategies are finding encouraging results. (more)

Morality demonstrated in stories can alter judgment for early adolescents
18 October 2021 - An important lesson in the moral education of children could be as close as the book in their hands. Stories matter. And they can play a role in shifting the importance of particular moral values in young audiences, according to the results of a new study. The study looks at how exposure to media content featuring specific moral values (care, fairness, loyalty, and authority) might influence the weight kids place on those values. (more)

Indigenous TikTokers use social media to honor their cultures
17 October 2021 - Many Indigenous TikTokers have become famous for celebrating their diverse cultures and traditions from around the world. Now, they're educating audiences and advocating for their people using their newfound fame. (more)

Indigenous TikTok creators use platform to 'bridge the gap' between cultures
17 October 2021 - TikTok, the popular video app known for sparking dance challenges and lip syncs, is taking on a new meaning with Indigenous creators who are using the platform to share their culture with new audiences. James Jones, known as 'Notorious Cree' on TikTok, began posting videos at the start of the pandemic to keep himself occupied. His content often showcases history lessons on Indigenous culture, traditional regalia, and hoop dancing. Now well into 1.1 million followers, the Edmonton resident has become a well-known creator online. (more)

Afghan women launch school for refugees on U.S. army base
16 October 2021 - On an army base in the U.S. Midwest, dozens of Afghan refugee children sit with colouring books and pencils spread across their desks -- listening intently as they are taught maths, English, and how to prepare for life in the United States. The hundreds of children living temporarily at the Fort McCoy base in Wisconsin are among 53,000 Afghans who left their country ... in August and are being housed on military bases across the United States. (more)

Rooftops to railways: neighbourhoods race to hit net zero climate goals
16 October 2021 - From Tokyo to London, community-driven green projects aim to speed up carbon neutrality in cities. Ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November, engineering company Arup and the C40 Cities network have launched a guidebook for urban planners, policy makers, and citizens on how to make city neighbourhoods cleaner and greener. Here are six examples of neighbourhoods worldwide planning and implementing solutions to tackle carbon emissions. (more)

Trams, cable cars, electric ferries: How cities are rethinking transit
15 October 2021 - Urban transportation is central to the effort to slow climate change. It can't be done by just switching to electric cars. Several cities are starting to electrify mass transit. Berlin, Bogota, and several other cities are taking creative steps to cut gas and diesel from their public transit systems. Berlin is reviving electric tram lines that were ripped out when the Berlin Wall went up. Bogota is building cable cars that cut through the clouds to connect working-class communities perched on faraway hills. (more)

Donors pledge $223M aimed at reducing methane emissions
14 October 2021 - A coalition of philanthropic donors said Monday [11 October] they will spend more than $220 million to reduce global methane emissions, the largest private commitment ever toward this effort. The announcement for the funding says the money will support the diplomatic effort spearheaded by the U.S. and the European Union to lower methane emissions and reduce warming by at least 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2050. The two entities had announced an agreement last month aimed at cutting their emissions of methane 30 percent by the end of this decade. (more)

US: Two locations are first in West Virginia program to protect rare species
14 October 2021 - Two West Virginia locations have been added to a new program to protect rare plant and animal species. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says Bald Knob and the Canaan Valley wetlands are the first sites in the state's Natural Areas Program. The program places extra protection on areas with significant conservation needs under the agency's administration. Both areas are within the Canaan Valley Resort State Park. (more)

France to give Abomey Palace artifacts back to Benin
13 October 2021 - France will give back to Benin artworks that were taken from the former French colony's Royal Palaces of Abomey, which has since become a UNESCO World Heritage site, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday [8 October]. Macron said that 26 works will be given back to Benin at the end of October in the presence of Benin President Patrice Talon. (more)

Lithuania: AUGA group introduces hybrid biomethane and electric tractor
12 October 2021 - AUGA group, based in Lithuania, one of the largest vertically-integrated organic food companies in Europe, has introduced world's first hybrid biomethane and electric tractor -- AUGA M1. The AUGA Group CEO stated, 'We are ready to provide consumers around the world with food at no cost to nature. By eating such food, people themselves will make a positive impact on climate change daily. And we are sure that more and more people want to live like this.' (more)

On Indigenous Peoples' Day, celebrating Earth's unsung environmental stewards
12 October 2021 - The second Monday of October marks Indigenous Peoples' Day in multiple cities and states across the U.S. Originally juxtaposed against Columbus Day, celebrated at the same time, the day was set aside to honor Indigenous peoples and their cultures within the country and ecosystems their ancestors have stewarded for millennia. In the U.S., and across the world, the traditional knowledge and active participation of Indigenous peoples in biodiversity conservation efforts has been shown to be highly effective in safeguarding high conservation value areas -- at a fraction of the cost of other conservation measures. (more)

Clean energy specialists ride across the U.S. to showcase the effectiveness of solar power
11 October 2021 - Electric bicycles have been making their way across country as part of a clean energy initiative. The two men riding the bikes plan to travel across the U.S. to showcase the power of solar energy. The two are a dynamic duo that have been doing something most of wouldn't imagine, riding their bikes for 53 days. Sushil Reddy and Luis Fourzan are taking the term, 'road trip,' quite literally. The project is the SunPedal Ride. Reddy came up with this idea to ride E-bikes across the country to raise awareness on solar energy, electric mobility, and healthy living. They've already covered 2,200 miles in 50 days. (more)

Children who eat more fruit and veggies have better mental health, UK research finds
10 October 2021 - New research finds that children who eat more fruit and veg have better mental health. The study is the first to investigate the association between fruit and vegetable intakes, breakfast and lunch choices, and mental wellbeing in UK school children. The research team studied data from almost 9,000 children in 50 schools. They found that the types of breakfast and lunch eaten by both primary and secondary school pupils were significantly associated with wellbeing. (more)

Tanzania: Organic farming pays, attests young investor in spice crops
9 October 2021 - Maurice Awiti owns 273 acres of arable land in Tanzania where he is active in organic spice farming. His main focus is on black pepper -- the most traded spice is the world -- but also grows cardamoms, cloves, ginger, turmeric, vanilla and cinnamon, which he processes and sells mostly in European market, as well as in Kenya next-door, and in the domestic market. (more)

BeeHero raises $15 million to save the bees
8 October 2021 - BeeHero, an Israeli agritech startup which develops technology to save bees, has announced it has raised a $15 million Series A from venture capital funds. It also has partnered with leading researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture and at the University of California Davis on this endeavor. To date, BeeHero has raised $24 million in total. The Israeli agritech startup is the fourth largest pollination provider in the U.S. and will use the funds to recruit additional staff for its Silicon Valley offices. (more)

UK: Invisible Studio installs waterside bee house at Somerset hotel
8 October 2021 - Invisible Studio has unveiled the Beezantium, a lakeside apiary for honey bees in the grounds of hotel The Newt in Somerset. With a hive built into its walls, the Beezantium is designed to house a bee colony, but also serve as an exhibition centre for hotel guests and visitors. (more)

People want to do right by nature. They just need a nudge, study shows
7 October 2021 - Subtle messaging and cues can encourage tourists to engage in behaviors that protect the marine ecosystem, a new study says. The study authors urged stakeholders in the tourism sector to apply these approaches as a simple effort to reduce local impacts on the environment, particularly marine ecosystems. (more)

Spain bans plastic wraps for fruit and vegetables to reduce waste
6 October 2021 - Spain's Ministry for Ecological Transition is currently drafting a decree which will ban plastic wrap for produce sold in stores weighing under 1.5 kilograms (about 3.3 pounds). The ban will go into effect in 2023. The edict hopes to encourage shoppers to buy in bulk or use reusable packaging. The new decree is also considering ways to make drinking water readily accessible and decrease the use of plastic water bottles. Plastic cups may also be regulated. (more)

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