• Sonia Ghiggioli

News you have probably missed...

In any given day we are bombarded by news. For those that watch commercial TV, listen to commercial radio stations or read commercial papers, you may think that our society revolves around politics, work or other such social constructs. We become myopic with the news that is delivered to us. When we look outside our own backyards we find that societies are governed by food, water and the natural environment and there is a whole lot going on there.

I would like to share some environmental news from around the world from this week that you may have missed...

Dam Removals

In parts of the world where dams have been constructed, the river system below has suffered extreme environmental effects. Work is happening throughout the world to remove whole dam systems in order to recharge river systems and protect them from ongoing destruction. Animals, plants and people benefit from the community's choice to remove dam infrastructure.

Big news globally is that the largest river restoration project in the world is underway in California, USA. "The Klamath River restoration project is one of the biggest dam removals in the world so far, particularly in terms of price tag. The JC Boyle, Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, and Iron Gate dams are all slated for removal under the plan."

It is becoming common place as remedial work to restore our waterways.

Seed Sovereignty

Species loss is an issue throughout the world. When we look at food we eat a small portion of the actual foods that grow around the globe. Our diets are quite limited. In some regions there are restrictions placed on farmers for the types of foods they can grow and peasant farmers, those without the financial or social power are usually the ones who are restricted to grow what they are told to grow.

Often they are made to grow using trademarked seed which is at a higher premium and also has further restrictions placed on the farming methods used. These trademarked seeds are owned by corporations whose sole purpose is to sell more of their own seed. Peasant farmers in particular have traditional methods of seed saving their open pollinated seed, that is seed that can be grown each year true to type.

Trademarked seed is often infertile and cannot be saved for the following season. The farmers have to purchase more seed each time they want to plant. "The declaration, the product of some 17 years of diplomatic work led by the international peasant alliance La Via Campesina, formally extends human rights protections to farmers whose "seed sovereignty" is threatened by government and corporate practices."

Sinking Cities, Rising Water

Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia an island archipelago that sits North West of Australia through the equatorial line in the Indian and Pacific Oceans is sinking at a rate of approximately 25cm (1 inch) per year. The city of Jakarta is home to around 10 million people, over a third of the whole Australian population. It is a high rainfall region close to the sea and the city was built on swamp land with around 13 rivers surrounding it. Similar to many over populated cities, there is traffic congestion, pollution and the city is impacting on the surrounding environment.

The President, Joko Widodo wants to move the city to improve its structure and build a new city based on green ideals. His focus is to move all Government buildings and employees to the new city on the back of a two decade long program to decentralise policy and finances to the municipalities. Although they have not decided upon a place for it as yet, and the idea seems to be gaining traction.

It may be their only hope as "Jakarta is also one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world.

Researchers say that large parts of the megacity could be entirely submerged by 2050. North Jakarta sunk 2.5m (eight feet) in 10 years and is continuing to sink an average of 1-15cm a year."

UK Declaration of Environment and Climate Emergency

It only takes one Western culture to break free from the pack for change to roll along. This week the UK declared a climate emergency after weeks of climate activism throughout the country.

What is a climate emergency declaration? "While there is no precise definition of what constitutes action to meet such an emergency, the move has been likened to putting the country on a “war footing”, with climate and the environment at the very centre of all government policy, rather than being on the fringe of political decisions."

While the details are yet to unfold, what we do know is that this is the beginning of a new time for global politics and our environment.

Photo Courtesy of Barefoot FarmHer
UK Declares Environment and Climate Emergency

Organic Matters Foundation

More good news is that there are organisations around the world who are collaborating under the one banner, regenerative farming. One such organisation is the Organic Matters Foundation who specialise in soil education. We know that soil is alive. In one single teaspoon of soil, approximately 1 gram, it is estimated that there are billions of microbes. These microbes are mixed species and include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, ameoba and earthworms to name a few.

We now fully understand that the role of microbes in our soil helps sequester carbon from the air. They are micro-natural-factories are require an understanding of farming practices to put them to work. When their populations breed, we can sit back knowing the carbon levels in the soil are increasing, it is quite simple.

Take a look at their website to see how you can help.

Regenerative Farming - Chipotle Advertisement

I would like to leave you with this video about regenerative farming which incidentally was made to brand a food producer.

Try to get out in nature and take a look around. Have a great long weekend for Labour Day!


Sonia Ghiggioli







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