Greta Thunberg asks leaders to do more for our climate in a podcast written during lockdown: the pandemic has taught us how to face a global emergency, she says.
Borneo, indigenous and environmental activists celebrate: the mine won’t go ahead
After a legal battle that lasted two years, Indonesia’s Supreme Court has revoked the permit to mine for coal in the forests of South Kalimantan in Borneo.
The province of South Kalimantan, in the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, has one of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet and is home to numerous at-risk species, such as the orangutan (Pongo pugmaeus). This region, like the rest of Indonesia, is threatened by deforestation and mining.
Hulu Sungai is the only one of the province’s nine districts that hasn’t been hit by the destruction brought by coal mines and palm oil plantations. In December 2017, however, the Indonesian government granted Indian mining company PT Mantimin Coal Mining (MCM) permission to operate in the area.
Borneo, fighting the mine
The government’s decision immediately caused an uproar among local peoples and environmental groups worried about the ecological impact of coal mining. More than two years later, activists have won their battle against the mine. The Indonesian Supreme Court has in fact ruled in their favour, revoking the permission originally granted to MCM.
How residents defeated the Indian coal giant
Local residents received assistance from Walhi, Indonesia’s largest and oldest environmental protection NGO. They sued the mining company and the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. The line of defence was centred around a violation related to the granting of the permit, which in these situations also requires the approval of the local population.
Alongside the legal proceedings, opponents of the mine created a full-blown movement vehicled through a hashtag – #SaveMeratus – honouring the Meratus mountains, a verdant mountain range in South Kalimantan. What is more, activists delivered over a thousand handwritten letters to Indonesian President Joko Widodo calling for justice.
Support from local officials
Resistance to the mine wasn’t limited to local residents and environmental activists: local officials and civil servants also joined the fight, having been opposed to mining projects in the district for years. “The people of Central Hulu Sungai have already agreed that government long-term plans should protect forests, so that we can prosper with agriculture and ecotourism and without mines and palm oil”, Muhammad Yanni, director of the district’s environmental office, told Mongabay.
Black Lives Matter spokesperson Trahern Crews tells us about Minneapolis, the US city that has become a symbol of racism, police brutality and inequality.
Bangladesh suffered widespread damage as a result of Cyclone Amphan. Yet the Sundarbans mangrove forest acted as a natural barrier protecting the country from further destruction, as it has done countless times before.
A historic win for the Ashaninka of Brazil as they receive compensation for deforestation on their land
On top of a 2.4 million dollar compensation, the indigenous Ashaninka people will receive an official apology from the companies who deforested their lands in the 1980s.
Milan has announced one of Europe’s most ambitious mobility schemes, known as Strade Aperte (open roads). Its goal is to reduce cars in phase 2 of the lockdown by increasing bike lanes and pedestrian areas.
Earth Day is celebrated all over world on 22 April to raise awareness about the central issue uniting all of humanity: protecting our common home. This year marks the 50th anniversary.
The tapir was reintroduced into Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, the country’s most at-risk ecosystem. The species can play a key role in the forest’s recovery.
Forests are home to 80 per cent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. This year’s International Day of Forests highlights the urgent changes needed to save them.
A spotlight on Licypriya Kangujam, the eight-year-old Indian climate change activist raising her voice against climate change inaction and whose tireless campaigning has even led two Indian states to adopt climate change as a school subject.