Peak oil returns, planetary boundaries crossed and a big win for Indigenous rights

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For how much longer will our planet remain livable? From the climate crisis to chemical pollution, we’re overstretching the Earth’s limits, and cracks are starting to show.

This month on Landscape News, get the latest on planetary boundaries, find out how to sponsor the ocean, wade into the carbon capture debate, and much more.

Don’t forget: Next week, join us and thousands of like-minded people in forging a new vision for Earth at the GLF Nairobi 2023 Hybrid Conference. The event is free to attend online, with a wide range of discounts available to attend in person, so grab your ticket now!

The High Seas Biodiversity Treaty aims to protect biodiversity in the open ocean. Marek Okon, Unsplash

This month on Landscape News

The E.U. recently made headlines with its new nature restoration law, but it’s not alone: here are five ways governments are protecting nature across the globe.

The world’s first commercial octopus farm is set to open in Spain. But will it be ethical – or even sustainable?

In India, urban farming has been booming ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s why.

And in Fiji, farmers are turning to a fiddly yet highly profitable crop: vanilla.

Did climate scientists really predict an ice age? Here are 10 myths about the climate crisis you should know how to debunk.

Lastly, here are the winners of the GLF Nairobi Photo Competition, showcasing what climate adaptation looks like on the ground.

What we’re reading

An aerial landscape view of Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, U.K. via envato

Climate

Between June and August, the climate crisis affected about 98 percent of humanity – including much of the southern hemisphere, where winter was unusually warm.

Then, in September, severe flooding affected 10 countries in 12 days, including Libya, where two dams collapsed, killing thousands. Experts blame both conflict and the climate crisis.

Meanwhile, the UN’s first climate ‘report card’ shows us falling well behind. Global emissions would have to be reduced by a staggering 43 percent by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

For all the hype around carbon capture technologies, what if the key lies in this bacteria that lives in the Mediterranean Sea?

A woman with a solar panel in Yanonge, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Axel Fassio/CIFOR, Flickr

People

In a landmark case for Indigenous rights, Brazil’s Supreme Court has ruled to enshrine claims to ancestral lands – rejecting a controversial legal argument pushed by agribusiness.

The decision will be welcome news for the planet, too: Indigenous Peoples are experts at stewarding their lands, as illustrated by their efforts to tackle illegal mining and wildfires in the Amazon.

Six young Portuguese activists are taking 32 countries to the European Court of Human Rights. Expect another pivotal ruling within the next year or so.

Amid high prices and frequent outages, households across Sub-Saharan Africa are choosing to live off-grid and generate their own solar energy instead.

A worker at a salmon farm (not the same farm that suffered a recent breach). via envato

Planet

It’s not just the climate that’s in trouble: humanity has already breached six out of nine “planetary boundaries,” according to a new report (more on that here).

If earthworms were a country, they would be the world’s fourth largest grain producer – contributing roughly one slice of each loaf of bread produced.

What makes wildlife thrive in cities? Here’s how urban biodiversity works, and how it can benefit humans, too.

In Iceland, thousands of farmed salmon have escaped into the wild. Now, they could devastate wild salmon populations.

Sulfur miners working in Java, Indonesia. via envato

Business

Should rainforest conservation projects be used for carbon offsetting? A new report weighs in on the debate.

Demand for fossil fuels will peak this decade – but not soon enough to prevent climate catastrophe, says the head of the International Energy Agency.

The world’s largest carbon capture plant is set to be completed in 2025. Will it make a difference, or is it mere greenwashing?

Indonesia’s mining industry is cleaning up its act – at least, as far as energy is concerned. Could the IT sector do likewise?

The Africa Climate Summit 2023, held in Nairobi, Kenya. KRCS-Denis Onyodi / Climate Centre, Flickr

Policy

This week, the U.A.E. is holding an annual oil and gas conference – less than two months before it hosts COP28.

Australia will hold a referendum next week on the creation of an Indigenous “Voice to Parliament.” Here’s what’s at stake.

You can now sponsor the ocean. The Pacific island nation of Niue has launched a scheme allowing individuals and businesses to pay USD 148 to protect one square kilometer for the next 20 years.

At the Africa Climate Summit, African leaders called for global carbon taxes and debt relief to help their countries cope with the climate crisis.

Medellín, Colombia’s second-largest city, is renowned for its ‘green corridors.’ Here’s what other cities around the world could learn from the initiative.

Article tags

activismAfricabiodiversityclimate changefinancefoodGLF Nairobilandscape restorationlandscapesnature-based solutionspolicyrestorationscience

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