Democratic Republic of the Congo plants more than 800 million trees between 2019 and 2023

Good news for humankind!

The world’s latest milestones for climate, justice, peace, health, and more

April 22 – 28 2024 C.E.

Democratic Republic of the Congo plants more than 800 million trees between 2019 and 2023

Ten percent of the world’s tropical forests are found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). But the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the DRC is losing 1.2 million acres of forest every year. To help address this, a Congolese government program aspired to plant 1 billion trees between 2019 and 2023, aiming to strengthen climate resilience, alleviate poverty and protect biodiversity, and achieved 90% of their goal.

Dominica’s High Court ends the country’s ban on being gay in historic ruling

The High Court of Dominica, an island nation in the Caribbean, has overturned a colonial-era law banning same-sex relations between consenting adults after a gay man filed a lawsuit claiming the ban was unconstitutional. The ruling stated that the constitution guarantees that a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his right to assemble and freely associate with other persons and that this “must necessarily include the freedom to enter into and maintain intimate relationships without undue intrusion by the State.”

U.S. President Joe Biden announces $7 billion in federal solar power grants

President Biden marked Earth Day by announcing $7 billion in federal grants for residential solar projects serving 900,000-plus households in low- and middle-income communities. The projects are expected to eventually reduce emissions by the equivalent of 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and save households $350 million annually, according to senior administration officials.

‘NATURE’ becomes an official streaming artist to raise millions for conservation

Through the new “Sounds Right” project, ‘NATURE’ itself is registered as a streaming artist on major music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. This allows the Earth’s audio cameos to bring in money for protecting the environment worldwide. Streaming royalties earned by ‘NATURE’ will be collected by the EarthPercent conservation nonprofit, which hosts the Sounds Right Conservation Fund. The money will go to rights-based projects that focus on the world’s most biodiverse and threatened regions.

Maine becomes trans sanctuary state

Maine Gov. Janet Mills has signed a new law that makes the state a sanctuary state for transgender people, abortion providers, and patients. The new law provides “protections to persons who seek, health care practitioners who provide and those who assist health care practitioners in providing gender-affirming health care services and reproductive health care services” that are legal in Maine.

Brazil’s President Lula creates two new Indigenous territories, bringing total to 10

The Cacique Fontoura reserve will be in Mato Grosso state and the Aldeia Velha territory will be in Bahia state. They will cover a combined total area of almost 132 square miles. Speaking at a ceremony in Brasilia, Lula said Indigenous peoples should be patient as he seeks to fulfill his pledge of creating 14 new territories. Last year, he demarcated six territories in April and two more in September.

U.S. President Joe Biden limits oil drilling across 13 million acres of Alaskan Arctic

Future oil and gas drilling will be limited across more than 13 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the nation’s largest expanse of public land, under a sweeping Biden administration plan aimed at protecting sensitive ecosystems and wildlife. In a separate move, the Department of the Interior has announced that it will block a controversial road crucial to operating a planned copper and zinc mine in northern Alaska, saying it would threaten Indigenous communities and fragment wildlife habitat.

New types of mosquito bed nets could cut malaria risk by up to half, trial finds

Nets treated with two types of insecticide rather than one were trialed in 17 African countries where malaria is endemic between 2019 and 2022. During clinical trials when a net was coated with the insecticides pyriproxyfen or chlorfenapyr, alongside pyrethroid, malaria transmissions were reduced by between 20% and 50%. More than 600,000 people died from malaria in 2022 and 249 million people were infected, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization.

Plastic-choked rivers in Ecuador are being cleared with conveyor belts

Created by the tech start-up Ichthion, the Azure system’s simple design has the capacity to stop and collect around 80 tonnes of plastic per day. The Azure system is a boom device that stretches across the river to stop objects floating on the surface. It extends two feet down into the water, allowing fish and other organisms to move freely below, and is placed at an angle allowing the natural water flow to direct all debris into one corner of the riverbank.

India aims to achieve debris-free space missions by 2030

Low Earth orbit is littered with about 30,000 objects larger than a softball and millions smaller than a centimeter. A bombshell study found unexpectedly high amounts of vaporized metals polluting Earth’s stratosphere, which is home to the fragile ozone layer, whose chemical makeup can be altered by satellite material. Another study posted to the preprint server arXiv suggested that debris from burning satellites could be altering our planet’s magnetic field.

The Belgian Congo establishes Albert National Park, Africa’s first national park (1925 C.E.)

Now known as Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the park was established to protect forest habitats for local gorilla populations. In 1979, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Humanity ends net deforestation and transitions into net reforestation (2030 C.E. ???)

Fulfilling their 2021 pledge, the world’s nations begin growing back global forest cover through massive mobilization of conservation and tree planting efforts. The increased tree coverage worldwide proves an immensely potent tool in the fight against climate change and a boon for biodiversity and ecosystem services worldwide.

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