E.U. pledges €3.5 billion to protect world’s oceans

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April 15 – 21 2024 C.E.

E.U. pledges €3.5 billion to protect world’s oceans

At the Our Ocean Conference in Greece, the European Union demonstrated its strong engagement for international ocean governance by announcing 40 commitments for action for 2024. These actions will be funded by €3.5 billion from various E.U. funds, including €1.9 billion for sustainable fisheries in Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Poland, and Portugal.

Brazil boosts protection of Amazon mangroves with new reserves in Pará state

Brazil’s Pará state has now protected almost all of its Amazonian coastline after establishing two new conservation units that make up the world’s largest and most conserved belt of mangroves. The environmental victory came after President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed the decree for the two reserves on March 21, placing an additional 184,600 acres of mangrove ecosystems under federal protection.

Japan “fossil fuel dinosaur” launches massive 20GW global renewables platform

Jera, Japan’s largest power company and one of the largest thermal power producers in the world, has announced the launch of a major new global renewables business, becoming the latest fossil giant to act on the existential threat of net zero to its business model. Based out of the U.K., the new company – called Jera Nex – will be tasked with delivering on Jera’s stated ambition to develop a massive 20GW of renewable capacity by 2035, enough to power millions of homes.

Nigeria becomes world’s first country to introduce ‘revolutionary’ meningitis vaccine

Nigeria has become the first country to roll out a “revolutionary” five-in-one vaccine against meningitis, the World Health Organization has announced. The Men5CV vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria that cause the disease. Known by the brand name MenFive, it provides broader protection than the vaccine currently used in much of Africa.

Thousands of people in the U.K. to receive landmark trials for dementia blood tests

Thousands of people across the U.K. who are worried about their memory will receive blood tests for dementia in two trials that doctors hope will help to revolutionize the low diagnosis rate. Teams from the University of Oxford and University College London will lead the trials to research the use of cheap and simple tests to detect proteins for people with early stages of dementia or problems with cognition, with the hope of speeding up diagnosis and reaching more people.

Greece becomes first E.U. country to ban bottom fishing in marine protected areas

Greece will start with national marine parks, where bottom fishing will be banned “by 2026.” Then, it will be prohibited “in all marine protected areas by 2030.” This method of fishing, decried by environmental associations, involves dragging heavy nets along the seabed, damaging ecosystems and releasing carbon trapped in the seabed.

British Columbia agrees to hand a million acres of land back to the Haida Nation

For centuries, the Haida people have known that the impenetrable forests and bountiful waters of Haida Gwaii – “the islands at the boundary of the world” – were both a life-giving force and their rightful home. Now, after decades of negotiation, the province of British Columbia has come to the same conclusion: the title over more than 200 islands off Canada’s west coast should rightfully be held by the Haida Nation.

Massachusetts becomes first U.S. state to blanket pardon low-level marijuana charges

Gov. Maura Healey’s first-in-the-nation plan to issue a blanket pardon for simple marijuana possession was met with the unanimous approval of the Governor’s Council. According to Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, who chairs the Governor’s Council, the body’s vote means that anyone charged with a misdemeanor crime of marijuana possession before March 13 of this year is cleared of that crime with immediate effect.

Germany shuts down seven coal power stations at end of winter

Seven coal-fired power stations in Germany were shut down over Easter as the need for the power declined, power generators RWE and LEAG say. Five had been taken out of the reserve by the German government to cope with a shortfall in gas supplies through the winter, and a further two had been allowed to continue operating after their scheduled shutdown date, the companies said.

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 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.

Western Australia’s Western Rock Lobster industry becomes world’s first fishery to be certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (2000 C.E.)

A fishery that obtains Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditation has met the world’s leading benchmark for sustainable management and provides consumers with certainty and assurance that the products they buy are sourced, harvested, and fully traceable through the chain of custody from ocean to plate. The fishery has maintained continuous certification since that time.

International community achieves “30×30” goal of protecting 30% of world’s oceans by 2030 (2030 C.E. ???)

After a decades-long effort, more than 30% of the world’s oceans are now formally protected in Marine Protection Areas (MPAs) limiting fishing, underwater drilling, and other damaging activities. The achievement helps secure the planet’s incredible marine biodiversity while also helping to ensure plentiful fisheries for generations to come.

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