Highlights

Highlights

Jelsa workshops: medicinal plants

Published in Highlights
Jelsa hosted a programme of workshops aimed at farmers and service providers. A series of lectures within the Mediterranean Medicinal Plants project ran from February 10th to March 12th in Jelsa's Town Hall, attracting dedicated audiences of up to about 30 people.

Vrboska celebrates 400 years of the Weeping Cross

Published in Highlights
The miracle of Vrboska's Weeping Cross dates back to 1614. This year's 400th anniversary was celebrated in style by Vrboska.
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  • Scientists say restoring the lush habitats would boost wildlife, protect coasts and store carbon

    The UK has lost more than 90% of the lush seagrass meadows that once surrounded the nation, research has found.

    Scientists described the decline as catastrophic, but the latest analysis also shows where the flowering plants could be restored. A resurgence of seagrass meadows would rapidly absorb the carbon dioxide that drives the climate crisis and provide habitats for hundreds of millions of fish, from seahorses to juvenile cod.

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  • Equivalent falls in emissions over a decade required to keep to safe limits of global heating, experts say

    Carbon dioxide emissions must fall by the equivalent of a global lockdown roughly every two years for the next decade for the world to keep within safe limits of global heating, research has shown.

    Lockdowns around the world led to an unprecedented fall in emissions of about 7% in 2020, or about 2.6bn tonnes of CO2, but reductions of between 1bn and 2bn tonnes are needed every year of the next decade to have a good chance of holding temperature rises to within 1.5C or 2C of pre-industrial levels, as required by the Paris agreement.

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  • Cross-party environmental audit committee welcomes decision but urges Treasury to go further

    The chancellor has changed the remit of the Bank of England’s interest rate-setting monetary policy committee to include a duty to support the government’s net zero carbon ambition alongside its longstanding responsibility to keep inflation in check.

    Rishi Sunak made the change to reflect the importance of environmental sustainability, he said.

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  • The pygmy hog is still endangered but a reintroduction programme in Assam, India, has given it a greater chance of survival

    The greyish brown pygmy hog (Porculasalvania), with its sparse hair and a streamlined body that is about the size of a cat’s, is the smallest wild pig in the world, and also one of its rarest, appearing on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list as endangered.

    Named after the sal grasslands where they were first found, they once thrived in the lush plains of the sub Himalayas from Nepal to Uttar Pradesh. But today, there are thought to be less than 300 in the wild, in Assam, India.

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  • Ojok Okello is transforming his destroyed village into a green town where social enterprises responsibly harness the shea tree

    The village of Okere Mom-Kok was in ruins by the end of more than a decade of war in northern Uganda.

    Now, just outside Ojok Okello’s living-room door, final-year pupils at the early childhood centre are noisily breaking for recess and a market is clattering into life, as is the local craft brewery, as what has become Okere City begins a new day.

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  • The energy industry is like a smoker who goes from one pack a day to two – but claims they’re quitting because they switched to filtered cigarettes

    The United Nations campaign Race to Zero recently published a paper identifying 20 pathways to reach net zero carbon emissions. In December, the British Oil & Gas Authority published a requirement that oil and gas development be “consistent with net zero” (despite approval of new offshore permits). BP, Shell and other multinational companies have all now published their “net zero” pathways.

    Related:The climate crisis can't be solved by carbon accounting tricks | Simon Lewis

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  • Drivers of decline likely to be habitat loss, intensive farming, climate change and light pollution

    Moths in Britain have declined in abundance by a third over the past 50 years, according to a new study.

    The declines of 39% in the abundance of larger moth species over southern Britain and a 22% fall across northern Britain add to the picture of calamitous declines in flying insects in the industrialised world.

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  • Government reversed a ban on a neonicotinoid earlier this year - but says chemical was not needed

    A pesticide which reduces bee populations and was to be used in England’s sugar beet fields this year will not be used after recent cold weather killed off virus-transmitting aphids.

    The government broke an explicit pledge earlier this year when it reversed a ban on a product containing the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam, sanctioning its emergency outdoors use this year because of the threat posed by a virus after pressure from the National Farmers’ Union and British Sugar.

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  • Area to be seeded with 70 grass and flower species and planted with native trees to create wood pasture

    A “rewilding” of arable fields by HS2 will create 127 hectares (314 acres) of wood pasture, wetlands and flower-rich grassland using chalk taken from tunnelling under the Chilterns.

    The new wildlife haven will be founded upon all 3m tonnes of chalk that are to be excavated from the high-speed railway’s 10-mile Chilterns tunnel, with construction starting in May.

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  • Confining rivers creates valuable agricultural land but can lead to greater flood risk downstream

    For many of us across the UK it has felt like another wet winter; yet again homes have flooded and politicians are under pressure to improve flood protection. Engineering our rivers and building defences might bring reassurance, but recent research shows that doing nothing is often more effective at reducing flooding.

    George Heritage and Neil Entwistle from the University of Salford studied the River Caldew in Cumbria; responsible for three major floods in Carlisle since 2010. Their results, published in the journal Water, show that the straightening, deepening and widening of the river has increased the rate at which sediment whooshes downstream, dumping its load in Carlisle and increasing the chances of overflow there. But where this upstream river maintenance has been relaxed they found the river has reverted to wandering, depositing more sediment upstream and reducing the clogging up in Carlisle.

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