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7-Mile ‘Bee Corridor’ of Wildflowers Will Feed London’s Pollinators This Summer
It's a scary time for the world's pollinators. A study published in February warned that more than 40 percent of the world's insects could go extinct within the next 30 years. Another study published in Nature in March found that a third of wild pollinator species in the UK had declined since 1980.
But one North London council has a plan to fight this trend: a seven-mile "bee corridor" of wildflowers seeded through Brent Council's parks and green spaces.
"Bees and other insects are so important for pollinating the crops that provide the food that we eat," Brent Councillor Krupa Sheth told London's Evening Standard. "We must do all we can to help them to thrive."
The corridor will combine 22 wildflower meadows and should be in bloom this summer. The flowers will help not only bees, but also butterflies, dragonflies and moths.
"The team curated the mix of wildflowers with bees and other insects in mind, choosing varieties that would attract these pollinators," Projects Manager Kelly Eaton said, as BBC News reported.
That mix included ragged robin, cowslip and common poppy. Workers are currently plowing the selected meadows and will then begin planting. The council said it believed the initiative was the first of its kind in London, according to The Independent.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn called the corridor a "fantastic initiative" in a Tweet Monday.
The decline in wildflowers and other natural habitat in the UK has been cited as one reason for the decline in pollinators. Since World War II, more than 97 percent of the country's wildflower meadows have disappeared, The Independent reported. Other likely reasons for the decline of bees and other pollinators are pesticide use and climate change, according to the March study.
Brent Council announced the plan the same week as a major UN report on biodiversity, which warned that human activities had caused wild mammal populations to fall 82 percent since 1980, halved the space occupied by natural ecosystems and continue to threaten one million species with extinction, according to The Independent.
"The loss of species, ecosystems and genetic diversity is already a global and generational threat to human well-being," UN Biodiversity Chief Robert Watson said ahead of the report's release. "Protecting the invaluable contributions of nature to people will be the defining challenge of decades to come."
In this context, the "bee corridor" could be seen as a small part of the solution.
"I'm proud of Brent's commitment to boost biodiversity in the borough and look forward to seeing the meadows in full bloom in just a few months' time," Sheth said, as The Independent reported.
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By Jessica Corbett
Even after the world's largest economies adopted the landmark Paris agreement to tackle the climate crisis in late 2015, governments continued to pour $77 billion a year in public finance into propping up the fossil fuel industry, according to a report released Wednesday.
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By Tanika Godbole
Southeast Asia is one of the biggest sources of plastic waste from land to the ocean, and Thailand is among the top five contributors. In January, Thailand placed a ban on single-use plastic, and was looking to reduce its plastic waste by 30% this year.
Food Delivery<p>One of the biggest contributors to the plastic problem is food delivery. As people have been housebound, their tendency to order food delivery has risen, resulting in increased usage of plastic containers and wrapping material.</p><p>Grab, a Singaporean food delivery app, saw a surge of 400% in orders. Other such apps like Line Man and Foodpanda Thailand, too, have seen a rise of 300% and 50% in their orders, respectively.</p><p>Waste from a single delivery could contain several plastic items such as containers, seasoning packets, beverage holders, chopsticks, spoons, forks and so on.</p><p>"Plastic containers for food are often contaminated, the waste separation and collection are not systematic, and there is no regulation on waste separation and enforcement," said Wijarn Simachaya, President of TEI.</p>
Waste Management<p>While countries across North America, Europe and Japan also contribute high levels of plastic waste, they have relatively efficient waste management systems in place.</p><p>The Thai government had released a "Plastic Waste Management Road Map," to phase out the use of plastic by 2030. One of the initiatives of this plan was the single-use plastic ban that has been enforced since January.</p><p>According to data released by the Department of Environment and Quality Promotion, an average person in Thailand uses about 8 plastic bags per day, which adds up to 200 billion per year.</p>
Widespread<p>Some say the pandemic has merely brought to the surface an already existing problem for the country. Experts believe that greater awareness and lifestyle changes among the masses could help address this issue.</p><p>The effects of plastic waste are long term. The pollution affects the oceans, aquatic life and also humans.</p><p>"Plastic pollution may also be contaminating the air that we breathe every day. Plastics do not biodegrade, therefore once they are introduced into an animal's system, they will stay there for a long time. Therefore, consuming these plastics leads to malnutrition, digestive blockage and slow poisoning effects due to plastic's heightened toxicity," Simachaya told DW.</p><p>While the pandemic may have been a setback to Thailand's struggle to eliminate plastic waste, Simachaya believes a change in awareness and habits will lead to a gradual decrease in plastic waste.</p><p>Thailand is slowly starting to ease lockdown rules. While it is too premature to say whether the plastic waste levels are expected to go down, some delivery outlets have started offering bio-degradable containers and cutlery. Some online shopping companies are also giving the option of receiving packages without the use of plastic.</p>
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The U.S. death toll from the new coronavirus surpassed 100,000 Wednesday, even as all 50 states begin to reopen.
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Corporations that flouted environmental regulations and spewed pollutants into the air and dumped them into waterways will not be required to pay the fines they agreed to during the pandemic, according to The Guardian.
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By Hans Nicholas Jong
The Indonesian government has backed down from a decision to scrap its timber legality verification process for wood export, amid criticism from activists and the prospect of being shut out of the lucrative European market.
Viruses, pollution and warming ocean temperatures have plagued corals in recent years. The onslaught of abuse has caused mass bleaching events and threatened the long-term survival of many ocean species. While corals have little chance of surviving through a mass bleaching, a new study found that when corals turn a vibrant neon color, it's in a last-ditch effort to survive, as CBS News reported.
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