E.U. passes landmark law to restore 20% of Europe’s degraded land and sea by 2030

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

February 26 – March 3 2024 C.E.

E.U. passes landmark law to restore 20% of Europe’s degraded land and sea by 2030

The European Parliament has approved the Nature Restoration Law – setting a target for the E.U. to restore at least 20% of its land and sea areas by 2030, and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050. With over 80% of European habitats in poor shape, the E.U. Nature Restoration Law aims to restore degraded ecosystems in all Member States, help achieve the E.U.’s climate and biodiversity objectives and enhance food security.

President Biden brokers $1 billion deal with Oregon, Washington, 4 Columbia River tribes to revive Northwest salmon population

The plan brokered by the Biden administration pauses long-running litigation over federal dam operations and represents the most significant step yet toward eventually taking the four Snake River dams down. The plan will strengthen tribal clean energy projects and provide other benefits for tribes and other communities that depend on the Columbia Basin for agriculture, energy, recreation and transportation, the White House said.

American Psychological Association takes a stand against bans on gender-affirming care for minors

The resolution was approved by the organization’s Council of Representatives by a 153–9 vote, with one abstention, and represents a major refutation by the largest psychological association in the world of many of the anti-trans talking points that have been used to bolster efforts to ban gender-affirming care in states across the U.S.

Bangladesh bans capture and exploitation of wild asian elephants

In a “landmark” ruling, Bangladesh’s High Court has suspended all licenses for the adoption of critically endangered wild elephants, meaning they can no longer be legally taken into captivity or exploited. The ban to protect the approximately 200 wild elephants remaining in Bangladesh was welcomed by animal rights groups. Nearly half the elephants are living in captivity.

The Dominican Republic reforests a fifth of the country in 10 years

Plan Yaque, founded in 2009, brings together 30 organizations to conserve the Yaque River basin, the Dominican Republic’s lifeline. The plan’s simplicity rests in convincing landowners that reforestation is not only an ecological need but also beneficial to their well-being. By 2019, Plan Yaque and other environmental efforts have restored 18 percent of damaged land, ranking as Latin America’s second-largest land recovery.

79% of Crohn’s disease patients in remission after early intervention

Led by researchers from the University of Cambridge, a clinical trial examined the effectiveness of giving the immunotherapy drug infliximab earlier, as soon as possible after diagnosis. They employed what’s called a ‘top-down’ strategy, meaning the drug was given straight after diagnosis regardless of the patient’s symptom severity. They found that this early intervention significantly reduces complications of this often debilitating disease, including the need for surgery by a factor of 10.

South Australia fast-tracks 100% renewables target to 2027

The South Australia state government says it has fast tracked its target of “net 100%” renewables to 2027 – rather than 2030 – as a result of the state’s new wind and solar developments and its ambitious hydrogen plans. “Net” 100% renewables means producing enough wind and solar to meet the annual demand figure.

E.U. Parliament votes to criminalize most serious cases of ecosystem destruction

The European Union has become the first international body to criminalize the most serious cases of environmental damage that are “comparable to ecocide.” Ecosystem destruction, including habitat loss and illegal logging, will now be punished with tougher penalties and prison sentences. Member countries will have two years to put the updated directive into national law.

U.K. quits treaty that lets fossil fuel firms sue governments over climate policies

The U.K. will quit the controversial energy charter treaty (ECT) after efforts to align it with net zero emissions plans failed. The treaty allows fossil fuel investors to sue states for lost profit expectations in an opaque corporate arbitration system set up to protect fossil fuel investors in the former Soviet economies in the 1990s.

U.S. federal district court orders removal of Washington State’s Electron Dam

A federal district court recently ruled that a large portion of Electron Dam must be removed from the Puyallup River in Washington because the dam harms fish protected under the Endangered Species Act. Electron Dam has been harming Chinook salmon, steelhead, and trout for nearly 100 years.

Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovenia agree to establish world’s first five-country protected area to conserve “Europe’s Amazon” (2011 C.E.)

The five countries signed a historic declaration to establish a trans-boundary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to protect their shared nature and wildlife along the Mura, Drava, and Danube rivers, “Europe’s Amazon.” The declaration paves the way for creating the world’s first five-country protected area and, with an overall size of about 800,000 hectares, Europe’s largest riverine protected area.

E.U. restores 90% of its degraded habitats (2042 C.E. ???)

In 2024, over 80% of European habitats were deemed to be in “poor” conidition. After a major political commitment to restore habitats in that same year, E.U. member states make huge strides and ultimately meet their 2050 goal eight years early in a major win for endangered species, climate action, ecosystem services, and human recreation.

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