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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Turtles return to a beach that was once the dirtiest in India

For a long time, Mumbai’s Versova Beach was considered the most waste-ridden beach in India. In recent years, however, enthusiastic volunteers have decided to transform the situation. Their success is demonstrated by the fact that turtles have returned to the beach – for the first time in decades.

As the local population had used this coastline as an illegal waste dump for decades, a few years ago the area looked much more like a landfill than a beach. Afroz Shah, a young lawyer, finally had enough of the eyesore: in 2015 he teamed up with a few friends and began to clear up the waste on the beach.

As the weeks went by, increasing numbers of locals joined in the effort, although they were practically attempting the impossible. Thanks to their perseverance and the press coverage about their work, a few months later more than a thousand volunteers were clearing waste at Versova Beach (including employees of local companies, schoolchildren and even Bollywood film stars).

An inspiring video about clearing waste from Versova Beach Video: YouTube/Great Big Story

The end result is almost unbelievable: the enthusiastic citizens have removed almost ten thousand tonnes of waste from the beach, and they still keep on cleaning it to maintain its new condition. The UN has called the initiative “the world’s largest beach cleanup project” and it has awarded the Champion of the Earth prize to Afroz Shah.

The best evidence of their success is that in 2018, Olive Ridley turtles have returned to nest at the beach.

After twenty years, turtles return to Versova Beach Video: YouTube/The Quint (Photo on the opening page: www.mumbailive.com)
Further information: The Guardian

IKEA takes the next step to enable a more sustainable living

During Democratic Design Days, IKEA presented and announced several initiatives towards becoming people and planet positive. These include a new collection using waste plastic recovered from the Mediterranean, a prototype plant-based alternative to the meatball and an urban plant-growing collaboration with designer Tom Dixon.

Sports apparel from oceanic plastic waste

The cooperation between Adidas and the environmental protection organisation Parley for the Oceans began four years ago. It was in 2015 that they joined forces to create the Parley UltraBOOST running shoes, which have the special feature of being made from plastic waste fished out of the oceans and recycled polyester.

Shaping attitudes the Danish way: free kayaking in return for picking up waste

Protecting our waters against pollution is in all our interests. It is no accident that an increasing number of initiatives are trying to engage society at large in taking part in the protection of the environment. The Danish NGO GreenKayak, for instance, offers free kayaking in locations around Northern Europe and all they ask in return is that kayakers should pick up waste they find in the water along the way.

Climate change could destroy mankind by 2050

We have known for a long time that global warming is jeopardising the future of humanity on planet Earth. However, a new study about the survival chances of the human species paints a bleaker picture than seen ever before: unless we do everything to avoid such a fate, we could be on the brink of extinction in 30 years.

Hungarian Innovation Launched in Africa

The soil conditioner presented at the 2016 Budapest Water Summit has received a green light in Kenya. The product of Water & Soil Ltd., which offers a 6-20 percent increase in productivity in agriculture without irrigation and a 50 percent water saving in irrigation agriculture has received a distribution licence.

EU to start huge budget war against climate change

The European Commission has proposed an EU budget of over €168 billion (more than HUF 53.8 trillion) for 2020 for a more competitive European economy, the creation of jobs, combating climate change and for promoting solidarity and security.

80 countries may ramp up climate pledges

According to a UN statement issued on 28 May, some 80 countries wish to increase their voluntary climate pledges under the Paris Agreement. This is a much needed step, as scientists believe that even if all countries complied 100% with their 2015 pledges, it would not be enough to avert a climate crisis.

Is it possible to reverse desertification in the Sahara?

Earth’s largest desert keeps growing, with more and more land falling victim to desertification each year. According to a new study, however, we may be able to do something about the destruction of nature, there is a chance to stop the process.

Seagrass: a solution to many problems

A new study has measured the importance of the role that seagrass plays in reducing the coastal erosion that is becoming an increasingly severe problem with sea level rise. What’s more, that’s only one of the benefits of the plant – claims the article published on the MIT website.

A Swiss scientist prints 3D coral reefs

Ulrike Pfreundt, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, has used a 3D printer to create structures that can be used to build artificial coral reefs with more resilient corals.

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