Poachers in Africa are encroaching on wildlife land and killing rhinos in travel hot spots now devoid of visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Seed sharing is illegal in many American states
Seed sharing has been banned in some American states, perhaps at the behest of pressures from powerful multinationals in the agricultural sector.
Seed sharing is a practice as ancient as agriculture itself, legacy of a time in which the life of humankind was inextricably linked to the earth. This practice acts as a guarantor of biodiversity and local food security.
Seeds are not simply future plants, they withhold primordial knowledge and are collective goods distant from the logic of profit maximisation that characterises patented seeds.
Yet seed sharing, an innocuous and, in fact, beneficial activity, is considered illegal in a number of areas of the United States. In some states, permits are necessary to sell seeds, which must also be correctly labelled and tested. The problem with these laws is that they have been written to regulate the commercial seeds sector, not exchange within local communities, which are thus penalised.
Seed sharing and seed libraries, structures in which you can borrow books as well as vegetables seeds that you will give back in the spring, extracting them from your garden’s harvest, are important sharing tools and help preserve ancient species as well as biodiversity.
Public access to seeds has decreased since the 1980s, when a Supreme Court ruling established that a living organism can be patented. This choice went to the advantage of multinationals, which have elaborated standardized “uniform and stable” seeds, created to be re-bought, in that they deteriorate rapidly and cannot be re-planted. It it thus obvious that seed sharing and seed libraries are considered by powerful agricultural companies to be obstacles to their monopoly in seed management.
Banning and outlawing nature, because it is of seeds that we are talking about, is something so arrogant that it seems almost grotesque. An unjust law is a form of violence to which one has the right to rebel, publicly and non-violently, Henry D. Thoreau said in his essay Civil Disobedience.
Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has contributed two million dollars to a fund to protect Virunga National Park in Congo from threats such as terrorism, the coronavirus and poaching.
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.
For the first time in seventeen years, Iceland’s two main whaling companies won’t resume whale hunting. The announcement concerns this year’s season but could carry into the future.
The relationship between the coronavirus and wildlife is complex: while the pandemic may lead to a reduction in the illegal trade in wild animals, it may also encourage it in other respects.
The largest coral reef in the world is severely threatened by climate change, but researchers are developing strategies that could contribute to saving the Great Barrier Reef.
NGO Free the Bears has opened a mountain sanctuary for moon bears in Laos. With the government’s help, it aims to close all bile farms by 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a planetary wake-up call from the Earth to humanity. On Earth Day, over 500 organisations launched a global call for urgent action with the health and wellbeing of all peoples and the planet at its core.
Pollution in India has fallen drastically without the fumes of cars and factories. It’s been thirty years since the Himalayas were last visible from such a distance.