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

Climate protection zones in Vienna

The Austrian capital has decided to introduce climate protection zones where fossil fuels will no longer be used in the future.

Can Antarctic ice be saved?

Scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research believe that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could be saved using artificial snow. The experts propose a solution involving pumping sea water onto glaciers and spreading it using snow cannons. However, implementing the project would be a highly complex operation.

The ocean and a goldsmith in cooperation

“If we broke it, we have to fix it ourselves,” says jewellery designer Dóri Visy, who has made a special collection from ocean waste. Her jewellery, called Ocean Glass, are made from bits of broken glass ground smooth by the waves.

Attenborough on climate change: We cannot be radical enough

The famous British naturalist and documentary film-maker attended the British parliament’s business, energy and industrial strategy committee on 9 July, where he gave evidence, among other things, about the importance of the role to be taken by young people.

Stylish designer furniture made of plastic fished out of the water

According to its founder, Marius Smit, the Plastic Whale group based in Amsterdam is “the first professional plastic-fishing company in the world.” They remove several tonnes of plastic waste from the city’s famous canals every year. But what happens next?

Paris declares climate emergency

The municipal government of the French capital has urged politicians to honour the undertakings of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Using sunlight to clean water

Researchers at the University of Szeged are working on a nanotechnological water treatment device. Their innovation may provide clean water for millions worldwide in the future.

Leonardo DiCaprio helps create new environmental alliance

Leonardo DiCaprio, the Hollywood star famous for his environmental activism, has joined billionaire investors and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth to found a new non-profit world organisation for environmental protection.

World’s largest floating solar park to be built in Singapore

Solar farms installed in agricultural areas and solar panels fitted to the roofs of buildings are no longer a rarity these days. Their efficiency, however, is not optimal, and occupying crop land isn’t a very practical solution, either. In China and Singapore, attempts are being made to maximize the production of renewable energy by using waterborne, floating photovoltaic power generation systems.

The UN Secretary General urges immediate action to avoid a climate catastrophe

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, UN Secretary General António Guterres emphasised that the process of climate change is happening faster than predicted.