The Guarani Mbya people are working to restore the once-vast Atlantic Forest, which has been largely lost to development. Gaining official tenure of their lands, they hope, will boost their efforts, which range from planting native trees to reintroducing pollinators.
It was 2016 when Jurandir Jekupe noticed the bees were gone.
Their nests were once common in Yvy Porã, the Guarani Mbya village where Jekupe grew up and still lives. Continue reading →
Facing a giant budget deficit, Mayor Eric Adams proposed cuts to New York libraries. But they play an outsize role in the city, offering services and safety.
The children’s room at the Macomb’s Bridge branch in Upper Manhattan; below, the entrance and canopy outside refer to the original landmarked architecture. Justin Kaneps for The New York Times Image
A city is only as good as its public spaces. The Covid-19 pandemic was another reminder: For quarantined New Yorkers, parks, outdoor dining sheds and reopened libraries became lifelines.
But now Mayor Eric Adams wants to slash funds for parks ($46 million) and for libraries ($13 million this fiscal year, more than $20 million next), and the City Council is debating the dining sheds. The sheds need regulation and the city budget needs to be cut by perhaps $3 billion. That said, if you don’t find the current political conversation shortsighted, you might want to do what I recently did and check out some of the library branches that have opened since the start of 2020. I visited three of them — each one a boon for its neighborhood, and money well-spent. Continue reading →
The artist invited the community in Newark to reimagine objects that would otherwise be destined for a landfill — to look at them in a fresh, imaginative way.
“Spirit Catcher” by Willie Cole is made of thousands of water bottles held together with metal wire and sculpted to resemble a chandelier. Rachel Vanni for The New York Times
NEWARK — The artist Willie Cole has created two colossal new sculptures and generated a provocative group exhibition stemming from an unusual open call asking artists to transform objects destined for landfill into something imaginative and new. Continue reading →
They’re more likely to listen to people they trust.
Rooftop solar panels can save people money on their electricity bills. And those savings can mean a lot — especially for people with low incomes, who might have to choose between paying for utilities or buying food or medicine…
In Anne Lamott’s book on writing, she tells a great story about facing tasks that seem overwhelming. Her 10-year-old brother was doing a big school project on birds, and as the deadline loomed, he became paralyzed by how much he still had to do. His father put his arm around him and gave him a piece of advice, “Bird by bird, buddy,” he told him. “Just take it bird by bird.”
This useful life lesson takes literal form in All That Breathes, a wonderful new documentary that arrives on HBO and HBO Max garlanded with international awards. Directed by Shaunak Sen — and ravishingly shot by Ben Bernhard — this inspiring film takes us inside the lives of two ordinary seeming Muslim brothers in Delhi who are actually extraordinary in their dedication to doing good in a city teetering on the edge of apocalypse.
The brothers are named Saud and Nadeem, the former friendly, the latter a little grumpy. Continue reading →
The archives of the McMillan Memorial Library are being digitized. Kenyans are also being invited to bring items such as photographs or letters to create an archive anchored in collective memory. Patrick Meinhardt/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Maize is arguably the single most important crop in the world and is rivalled only by soybeans in terms of versatility. That said, it is, along with sugar cane and palm oil, among the most controversial crops, proving particularly so to critics of industrial agriculture. Although maize is usually associated with the Western world, it has played a prominent role in Asia for a long time, and, in recent decades, its importance in Asia has soared. For better or worse, or more likely for better and worse, its role in Asia seems to be following the Western script. Continue reading →
From Ethiopia’s highlands to Siberia to the Australian rainforest, there are thousands of sacred forests that have survived thanks to traditional religious and spiritual beliefs. Experts say these places, many now under threat, have ecological importance and must be saved.
Governments from across the world made grand promises last month at the biodiversity conference in Montreal to save nature by protecting 30 percent of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030. Continue reading →
For hundreds of years the Vlach herders in Greece and the Balkans have moved livestock to high mountain pastures for the summer months. But their numbers are dwindling as their arduous existence is threatened by soaring costs and a lack of state support
Kostas and Fotini walk with the family’s mare in front of the prehistoric cave of Theopetra village
Every spring in the Thessalian plains of central Greece, in the shadow of the mountains, an ancient and sacred migration of humans and goats takes place. Continue reading →
To Indigenous leader Levi Sucre Romero, carbon credit markets have failed to respect Indigenous people and their key role in protecting their lands. In an e360 interview, he talks about how carbon brokers have taken advantage of local communities and why that must change.
Indigenous protesters at the opening ceremony of the UN biodiversity conference in Montreal this month. ANDREJ IVANOV / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
In a world where carbon credit markets are taking advantage of Indigenous people and their forests, the United Nation is losing its leadership on combating climate change, says Indigenous leader Levi Sucre Romero.
In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Romero, who is from Costa Rica and is coordinator of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests, calls out the “carbon cowboys” — the brokers who he says are wrecking efforts to allow Indigenous communities to have ownership of the carbon credits generated on their land, and who, by acting unscrupulously and secretively, are undermining global hopes of using nature to mitigate climate change. Continue reading →
We collect and convert NOLA’s glass bottles — which have been crammed into our landfills for decades — into functional products: sand and glass cullet. These precious materials have an array of applications, from coastal restoration to flood prevention to eco-construction.
Early each year, as the days begin to get a bit longer and the first signs of spring crop up in Central Park, Ros Joyce and Talo Kawasaki, volunteers from OrigamiUSA and the designers of the Museum’s Origami Holiday Tree start planning for the year ahead.
They begin combing the Museum’s halls in search of inspiration—going from floor to floor to decide on a perfect theme and to find just the right exhibits to re-create as origami models on the tree. Continue reading →
The atoll nation of Vanuatu is threatened by rising seas. “We had to learn how to manage our unimportance,” its president said. Mario Tama/Getty Images
This story has a familiar ring to it, if you are familiar with the history of Costa Rica going back to colonial times. Never a particularly “important” part of the empire, it thereby avoided many pitfalls typical of other countries in Latin America, and evolved into a stable democracy with progressive ideas and goals and achievements. We wish this little country in the Pacific comparable success by thinking outside the box, as its president says:
Emergency supplies being distributed after Cyclone Harold in 2020. International Federation of Red Cross, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
It wants a top international court to weigh in on whether nations are legally bound to protect against climate risks.
Nikenike Vurobaravu presides over a tiny country with a large hand in climate diplomacy.
Rising sea levels threaten the very existence of his Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu and its population of just over 300,000 people. Its best defense, he says, it to raise its voice creatively in international diplomatic talks. Continue reading →
Tucked into quintessential suburbia, the Hempstead Plains Preserve is a small sliver of the grassland that once covered a vast area of Long Island. New research shows that thoughtfully planted yards and gardens can bolster the biodiversity in such urban wildland fragments.
Volunteers remove invasive Chinese bushclover from the Hempstead Plains Preserve at Nassau Community College. FRIENDS OF HEMPSTEAD PLAINS
The Hempstead Plains Preserve is a place where you can imagine the presence of creatures past. Birdfoot violets, now gone, once colored the landscape with a wash of purple in spring. The heath hen, a large grouse that went extinct 90 years ago, performed its elaborate courtship dances on the Plains.
On a late afternoon in October, the slanting autumn sun lit up in a blaze of gold the grasses and wildflowers on this narrow, 19-acre sliver of land — almost all that is left of the tallgrass prairie that once covered more than 50 square miles at the heart of Long Island, New York, a fish-shaped island that stretches east into the Atlantic Ocean. Continue reading →
Leaving aside the question of why so many of the world’s most important historical artifacts are in London, rather than where they originated, the curator in the video above is charming. And the man in the photo just below to the right is his counterpart in the place where this particular artifact originated. My interest in board games is much less well informed, but like Mr. Mofaq I have an interest in their revival, so Deb Amlen’s article in the New York Times is appreciated:
Hoshmand Mofaq, an Iraqi artist, pondered his next move on one of the Royal Game of Ur boards he designed. Mr. Mofaq is part of a group who hope to popularize and return the game to the Iraqi people as part of their cultural heritage. Shwan Mohammed/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
For 4,600 years, a mysterious game slept in the dust of southern Iraq, largely forgotten. The passion of a museum curator and the hunger of young Iraqis for their cultural history may bring it back.
It is the end of a long, hot day of selling your wares in a market in ancient Mesopotamia, around 2,400 B.C., and you are looking for a way to unwind.
Netflix will not be invented for another four and a half millenniums, but as luck would have it, a pub lies ahead in the distance. A beer and a round of the Middle East’s favorite game is just the thing to pick you up. The thrill of the game is irresistible: It is impossible to predict who will win in this race to get your pieces to the end of the board, even in the last few moves.
One of the boards of the Royal Game of Ur excavated in the 1920s, on display at the British Museum. The British Museum, via Commons.wikimedia.org
You sit down across from your opponent, who offers you the first turn. You pick up the four-sided dice and shake them in your fist. Maybe this time the rumored fortunetelling aspect of the game will bless you with a spate of good luck and prosperity. Continue reading →
Study, led by Harvard ecologist, lays out five policies to boost levels of absorption as six states lower emissions
A major new report suggests that with a handful of strategies New England’s 32 million acres of forests, which cover about three-quarters of the region, could eventually come close to absorbing 100 percent of all the carbon produced by the six states. Continue reading →
Note: Green areas show land that is mostly covered by trees, based on an analysis of satellite imagery. Source: Jefferson Fox, Jamon Van Den Hoek, Kaspar Hurni, Alexander Smith and Sumeet Saksena.By Pablo Robles
An effort decades in the making is showing results in Nepal, a rare success story in a world of cascading climate disasters and despair
KANKALI COMMUNITY FOREST, Nepal — The old man moved gingerly, hill after hill, cutting dry shrubs until he was surrounded by trees that had grown from seedlings he had planted two decades ago. He pointed to a row of low peaks above the Kathmandu valley that were covered with dense foliage. Continue reading →
A community turns on itself over the aptly named Mammoth solar project, a planned $1.5bn power field nearly the size of Manhattan
When proposals for the largest solar plant ever conceived for US soil started to gather pace – a plan that involves spearing several million solar panels into the flat farmland of northern Indiana – something in Connie Ehrlich seems to have snapped. Continue reading →