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England to Plant 130,000+ Trees to Fight Climate Change
The plan, announced Sunday, will allow individuals, local governments, non-governmental organizations and charities to apply for grants from the Urban Tree Challenge Fund. As a challenge fund, the grants will match what the applicants themselves are able to offer for the planting of trees and continued care during their first three years of life.
"Trees are vital in the fight against climate change, which is why we must go further and faster to increase planting rates," Environment Secretary Michael Gove said in a statement announcing the £10 million fund, as reported by The Independent.
The initiative is part of the government's pledge to plant one million trees by 2022, Sky News reported. But this plan focuses specifically on the benefits of urban trees. They can absorb noise, reduce the risk of flooding, and increase mental health and well-being, according to The Guardian.
"There is an increasing understanding of the role that trees and woodlands play in helping to make our towns and cities better places for people and nature to thrive," England's Community Forests Chair Paul Nolan said, as The Independent reported.
Applications will be administered by the Forestry Commission, which will assess them based on the social and environmental benefits they will provide. Applications will open this week, the government said.
"I am delighted the Forestry Commission have been asked to deliver the Urban Tree Challenge Fund," Forestry Commission Chair Sir Harry Studholme told Sky. "The fund is an important part of the work that the Forestry Commission is doing to expand England's tree and woodland cover. It allows us to plant more trees much closer to where people live and work, and where the many benefits of trees make the most difference. We look forward to lots of new planting happening this autumn."
The fund forms part of the UK government's "Year of Green Action," which is in turn part of its 25- year environment plan designed to provide an environmental legacy to future generations. However, the overall plan has been criticized by some experts for being short on details and less ambitious than current EU law, a concern as the UK prepares to exit Europe.
- Arbor Day Foundation to Plant 100 Million Trees by 2022 - EcoWatch ›
- Scientists Create First Ever Map of 'Wood Wide Web' - EcoWatch ›
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The world awakened to the hole in the ozone layer in 1985, which scientists attributed it to ozone-depleting substances. Two years later, in Montreal, the world agreed to ban the halogen compounds causing the massive hole over Antarctica. Research now shows that those chemicals didn't just cut a hole in the ozone layer, they also warmed up the Arctic.
Formosa Plant May Still Be Releasing Plastic Pollution in Texas After $50M Settlement, Activists Find
On the afternoon of Jan. 15, activist Diane Wilson kicked off a San Antonio Estuary Waterkeeper meeting on the side of the road across from a Formosa plastics manufacturing plant in Point Comfort, Texas.
After Wilson and the waterkeeper successfully sued Formosa in 2017, the company agreed to no longer release even one of the tiny plastic pellets known as nurdles into the region's waterways. The group of volunteers had assembled that day to check whether the plant was still discharging these raw materials of plastics manufacturing.
Malaysia Sends Plastic Waste Back to 13 Wealthy Countries, Says It Won’t Be 'the Rubbish Dump of the World'
The Southeast Asian country Malaysia has sent 150 shipping containers packed with plastic waste back to 13 wealthy countries, putting the world on notice that it will not be the world's garbage dump, as CNN reported. The countries receiving their trash back include the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Canada.