Positive Eco News From August 2021: There’s Still Hope

With the raging wildfires across Europe, snow in Brazil and rain for possibly the first time on Greenland’s ice sheet, it may seem like there are no positive stories when it comes to the health of our planet right now. 

But not all is lost. We’ve scaled the web to bring you some light at the end of the tunnel. With fundraisers for Africa’s vulnerable surpassing $1m, renewable energy becoming mainstream and sightings of a tiny creature thought to be extinct, it’s reassuring to learn that there are some roses among the thorns.

Yes, we’ve got a lot of work to do to help our planet survive, but there is hope. Read on for a dose of happy news to take away that eco-anxiety for the next few minutes.

Rainforest

Credit – Unsplash.com

Prints for Wildlife raises $1,094,400 in just one month to support Africa’s wildlife and communities

Over 170 world-renowned and emerging wildlife photographers got together to sell their prints for the second year running, in a fundraising bid named Prints for Wildlife, to support Africa’s most vulnerable and affected landscapes and communities.

With tourism driving huge funding to the continent, communities and national parks have seen catastrophic decline since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the revenue streams for many screeching to a devastating halt.

The fundraiser, founded in 2020 by Pie Aerts and Marion Payr, aims to send vital funds to these areas, through the sale of stunning photographic prints.

As they state on their website; “Just because we cannot travel to these parks, it doesn’t mean we can’t provide meaningful support – and all help in our own way.”

100% of profits (after printing/handling costs) go directly to African Parks, an association that manages over 1.4 million hectares of wild landscape, making it the largest NGO in Africa.

4500 people bought prints during the one month sale, with prints ranging from $100 to $300 a piece, allowing critical work to continue in supporting wildlife and communities across the continent.

Get a glimpse of some of the stunning works that were sold on Prints for Wildlife’s Instagram.

IKEA paves the way for renewable energy in Sweden

Furniture giant IKEA will begin selling renewable energy to homes in Sweden this September, while making it simple to use and monitor by a dedicated mobile app.

Customers will be able to purchase their sustainable energy from wind and solar parks, and will even have the option to sell back unused, surplus electricity, making this a giant step in reducing carbon emissions within the home.

IKEA explained: “We want to make electricity from sustainable sources more accessible and affordable for all.

“[We want] to build the biggest renewable energy movement together with co-workers, customers and partners around the world, to help tackle climate change together.”.

Although plans are limited to Sweden to begin with, head of sustainability at IKEA Sweden, Jonas Carlehed, has said that they hope to roll out this new offer, named STRÖMMA, to all markets, contributing to IKEA’s mission to become “climate positive”.

Bojan Stupar, Sales Manager IKEA Sweden, said: “Providing solar and wind power at a low price to more people feels like the natural next step on our sustainability journey.”.

Impressive work, IKEA! We’re excited to see this head to the UK. Would you purchase renewable energy in this way?

Wind Turbine

Credit – Unsplash.com

Rare Chapman’s pygmy chameleon has been thriving under the radar of Malawi’s forests

Listed as critically endangered and widely thought to be extinct, the tiny, Chapman’s pygmy chameleon has been found in Malawi.

At just 2.2 inches fully grown, this miniature reptile is one of the rarest and smallest chameleon species, and had not been sighted since 2016. An estimated 80% of their habitat, the rainforests of Malawi Hills, has been destroyed due to agriculture over the last 40 years, so it was thought to be unlikely the species had survived.

On a research trip made possible by a crowdfunding effort from many chameleon loving supporters, a group of adult and juvenile chameleons were found in two of the five remaining forest patches in the Malawi Hills and also in the Mikundi area 75 kilometres away!

Javan rhino calves reported in Indonesia, sparking hope for almost extinct species

In both April and June of this year, separate sightings of Javan rhino calves have been reported in Indonesia.

Of the five rhino species, Javan rhinos are the most threatened, with the population previously dropping to just 50 across the world in 2010. The entire species now solely live in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park after being poached out of other native lands, Northeast India and Southeast Asia.

The two new additions have raised the figure, and as of 2021, there are now 73 rhinos, (40 males and 33 females), which is hugely exciting for the future of this population.

The Indonesian environment ministry said: “The steady natural birth of the Javan rhinoceros in Ujung Kulon National Park indicates the success of the full protection policy implemented across its habitat in the park,”.

This goes to show that conservation can work. We’re delighted that the two new calves (named Helen and Luther!) are thriving – here’s to many more!

Which positive eco news stories from this month did you discover? Let us know on Instagram @wearthlondon!