Olivia here with my July news digest. I hope everyone is having a great summer!
Keep reading for the latest news on the impact of climate change on indigenous communities, human-wildlife conflict, habitat restoration, marine conservation, and environmental policy.
One negative consequence of climate change is its disproportionate impact on specific groups of people. A new study by the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) found that women living in indigenous communities in Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Columbia are exposed to dangerously high mercury levels. These levels are so high because of chemicals produced from gold mining leaching into and contaminating rivers that these communities use for food. Find out more about the problem and possible solutions at Mongabay.
A new report by WWF and UNEP has demonstrated that conflicts between people and animals--including people killing animals as a self-defense measure--are one of the largest threats to wildlife species. For example, more than 75% of the world’s wild cat species have been affected by human-animal conflict. Learn more about this often-overlooked issue at UN.
Fortunately, there is hope for some threatened species. In the Columbian Andes, La Mesenia-Paramillo Nature Reserve has constructed a wildlife habitat corridor, connecting about 247,000 acres of forest with the main Andean chain, to allow previously isolated populations to interact. This incredibly biodiverse region has lost 75% of its natural habitat over time. However, as a result of the effort, several species have already been restored, including red-bellied grackles and yellow-eared parrots. Read more here.
Deep-sea environments still remain very much a mystery to us, yet they play an important part in regulating our environment. A new study demonstrates the vital role seafloor-dwelling microbes play in consuming methane, a process that helps regulate Earth’s temperature. These microbes live on porous rocks and consume methane 50 times faster than microbes living in sediment, proving how important the ocean is in minimizing the effects of climate change. Find out more at SciTechDaily.
In light of the devastating recent drought that has ravaged the western US, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, has asked Californians to cut their water usage by 15%. This request was prompted by the recent heat waves in the state and low water levels in local reservoirs. Find out more about this issue and how residents can reduce water usage at The Guardian.
Looking at more local news, Massachusetts has enacted a climate law that aims to establish a net-zero greenhouse gas emission limit by 2050. This legislation updated Massachusetts’ Environmental Justice Policy and was signed in March but just went into effect a few weeks ago. This policy aims to help the state transition towards increasing its renewable energy usage, a change that will start to take place as soon as this year. Find out more at Boston.com.
That’s all for this month's news digests! Keep your eyes out for Kate’s news digest at the beginning of August.