A mountain gorilla cradling her young - A reference to one of the Eco Friendly News Highlights of the week featured in this issue.
Nov 16, 2023
weekly eco news

From Legislative Victories to Captivating Wildlife Discoveries - 1st Issue

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EU’s proposed Nature Protection Law advances after negotiations

A reference to EU Nature Protection Law with Green eco light bulb with grass, plant growing inside the light bulb, and European Union Flag..

Over 80 percent of European habitats are in poor shape. Luckily, lawmakers clinched a deal over the controversial law that will help protect and restore these degraded ecosystems. 

Tabled under the European Green Deal, this section is the EU’s response to the global agreement to protect 30 percent of the world’s land and seas by 2030. The latest negotiations watered down the promise to 20% of lands and seas by 2030 and removed some provisions related to farmland. However, the legislation still binds countries to 90% of land and seas restored by 2050, as set in the original plans. 

Though short of the global target, this agreement is a step forward to a better planet. Safeguarding nature is critical to reverse the decline of our ecosystems and their valuable services. 

Read more about the details of this landmark deal on The Guardian.

‘Lost’ bizarre mammal spotted in Indonesia mountains

the western long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijnii) specimen in Australian musuem.

Battling leeches, broken bones, and the dense vegetation of the Cyclops Mountains, Oxford researchers rediscovered a species of the long-beaked echidna. 

Feared extinct, this particular species, named after the well-known naturalist and narrator, Sir David Attenborough, was last documented in 1961. With over 80 remote trail cameras at varying elevations, the exploration team captured more than a dozen pictures and multiple videos of this unique creature. 

Adorned with hedgehog quills and a hard tubular nose, similar to anteaters, the echidna lays eggs and produces milk through its skin. Echidnas shared the planet with the dinosaurs over 200 million years ago. They are considered primitive mammals, along with their platypus cousins. 

“These species are the sole guardians of 200 million years of evolutionary history,” said James Kempton, a biologist at the University of Oxford who led the exploration, to the New York Times.  “To protect that unique and fragile evolutionary history is extremely important.” 

In a world on the brink of its sixth extinction crisis, this revelation brings hope to wildlife conservation. Our planet is resilient. 

Discover more findings, including new species of spiders and amphibians, from Expedition Cyclops in the New York Times.

First U.S. carbon capture plant opens

A carbon capture plant by the Heirloom Carbon Technologies company.

Thousands of trays, filled with a powerful white compound, reach for the skies at a new carbon capture plant in California. This faculty will vacuum the carbon dioxide from our atmosphere in hopes to reverse the damage done to the planet. The brains behind this carbon time machine: Heirloom Carbon Technologies. 

Heirloom speeds up one of Earth's natural processes to remove this harmful greenhouse gas. This process goes like this: Powdered calcium oxide acts as a sponge to absorb carbon dioxide. This reaction creates limestone. The limestone is reheated, which releases the carbon. It is then stored in concrete. The powdered material can be reused to capture carbon over and over again, meaning a more sustainable operation. 

With the need to remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the skies, this technology could be a critical, yet expensive tool in the fight against climate change. Other corporations, such as JPMorgan, can purchase these carbon credits to meet climate promises. 

Learn more about this climate technology at the New York Times and REUTERS.

Oysters: An ally in the fight against climate change

Oyster bed on the rock under the sunlight.

As a common marine mollusk, oysters helped protect the planet for the last 200 million years – their services unnoticed until now. These shelled superheroes can capture carbon emissions, improve water quality, create habitats, and protect coastlines from erosion and storm surge. 

Each day, a single oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water, while extracting and storing the carbon to create their shells. Formed by their shells, oyster reefs create a home for a diverse number of animals and reduce the impact of waves.

Oysters are also a sustainable source of protein. Natural beds no longer supply the demand for these low-impact snacks, only well-managed farm operations. 

Recently, many nonprofit organizations, like the Billion Oyster Project, began restoration projects to build back natural oyster reefs and promote the vital role of these marine mollusks, mostly through the support of volunteers. The best climate solutions are rooted in nature. 

Learn more about these humble heroes on National Geographic and the World Wildlife Fund

Ninth species supported through tracking bracelets

A mountain gorilla cradles its young in forest.

Each morning, following trails of crushed leaves and parted vegetation, Fossey Fund researchers hike into the jungle to find their assigned gorilla families. 

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund performs these daily checks to protect this endangered species from poachers and other threats and continue their scientific research to improve conservation strategies. Founded in 1967, the organization now protects more than half of the mountain gorilla groups in Rwanda. 

In partnership with the Fossey Fund, Falho released the Traverse Gorilla bracelet this month to support their mission to save these special primates. The newest addition shares the personalized story of a gorilla and an exclusive tracking map to follow their movements through their African habitat. Similar to other Falho partners, 10% of proceeds will go towards their mission to saving gorillas in Rwanda and the Congo jungles.

Falho’s goal is to educate and excite customers about wildlife conservation with a tangible product that tracks their favorite species in the wild.  This is the ninth species that the company supports through their products. Other species include polars bears, turtles, and giraffes. 

Learn more about their conservation work on the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.