Home river Bioblitz, plus global environmental justice documentaries online. It’s World Gorilla Day eve, and a New Decade for Water!
Home River Bioblitz, Global Environmental Justice Docs Online, World Gorilla Day, A New Decade for Water!
UNITED NATIONS’ NEW DECADE FOR WATER
In the runup to World Rivers Day, this Sunday, September 26th, I’d like to touch upon an initiative established by the UN back in 2016. In December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution “International Decade (2018–2028) for Action – Water for Sustainable Development” to help put a greater focus on water during ten years.
Emphasizing that water is critical for sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger, UN Member States expressed deep concern over the lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene and over water related disasters, scarcity and pollution being excarcebated by urbanization, population growth, desertification, drought and climate change.
Access to water and sanitation is a precondition to life and a declared human right. Water is vitally important to sustainable development – from health and nutrition, to gender equity and economics. Over the coming years, our water-related challenges will become more urgent. The increasing demands of a growing population and rapidly developing global economy, combined with the effects of climate change, will exacerbate lack of access to water and sanitation for domestic uses. In fact, many experts argue that an unpredictable supply of water could constrain socio-economic progress in the future.
In order to accelerate efforts towards meeting water-related challenges, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2018-2028 as the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”. The Water Action Decade will commence on World Water Day, 22 March 2018, and will end on World Water Day, 22 March 2028.
Why does this matter to us? Well, This is an extension of The United Nations General Assembly’s 2005-2015 as the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’.The more you know…
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE DOCUMENTARY COLLECTION
It’s been said that we are at a historical juncture where an increased need for simultaneously global and local humanistic awareness of environmental issues built from various fields of inquiry is more urgent than ever.
According to Amity Doolittle, Professor of Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, “the field of environmental justice asks for fair treatment of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, economic capacity, national origin and education level with respect to environmental politics and their implementations.”
In the spirit of unity, in pulling together to examine in depth the issues related to social, ecological, political and environmental justice, The Global Environmental Justice documentary project provides significant educational resources to do precisely that.
The Global Environmental JusticeDC collection contains dozens of videos covering all aspects of environmental justice from Agribusiness to Toxic Waste and beyond. Thanks to supporters like the Henry Luce Foundation, the collection continues to grow.
Why does the work of Global Environmental Justice Documentary Collection matter to us?
In the words of Sue WEEgand, Saint Mary’s College, “Capturing ecological, social, and public health crises, these documentaries bring the neglected stories of marginalized communities to light….the films are insightful and will enhance students’ environmental literacy and inspire advocacy.”
There are Teachers Guides to facilitate classroom learning. Each guide contains:
- Why the film was chosen
- Suggested subject areas
- The environmental justice aspect of the film
- A description of the scenes or chapters
and much more.
Two caveats. You do have to register to join, and most of the titles are primarily available for Colleges and Universities. One has to contact the folks at Global Environmental Justice Documentary Collection to get approval if you’re a K-12 instructor or a non-profit institution. Okay, that made three caveats.
Anyhoo, totally worth the look.
DEEPER DIVE: GEJC
HOME RIVER BIOBLITZ
Do you know what a bioblitz is? A bioblitz is a communal citizen-science effort to record a wide variety of species on a specific location within a certain timeframe. Bioblitzes are a way to connect people to their environments, zooming in to details they normally pass by and at the same time generating useful data for science and conservation.
The mission of bioblitzes is to show the importance of free-flowing rivers. It is a communal citizen-science effort to connect people to their local river environments and non-human inhabitants. The first bioblitz occurred on World Rivers Day 2020.
This year, From September 24 to 26 (World Rivers Day), 2021, people around the world will go out to explore their local rivers and collect important biological data. This is the second annual Home River Bioblitz. Last year, over 500 people collected biodiversity data around more than 40 rivers.
For the uninitiated, a home river bioblitz is an amazing global citizen science event. There are also many other events and activities that will celebrate the historical, cultural, natural and recreational values of great rivers. There will also be tours, art-related projects, virtual and in-person performances, and river clean-ups (which can follow whatever COVID-19 protocols that may be in place).
Also, HomeRiverBioBlitz collects and archives the reporting found by the citizen scientists and weaves them all together on its Bioblitz Hotspots and story map.
To find out more, Surf on over to theclimate.org/episodes and click on the link for it, in the Deeper Dive section of this story.
SEPTEMBER 24TH IS WORLD GORILLA DAY
Tomorrow, September 24th is World Gorilla Day. World Gorilla Day provides an opportunity for people all over the world to come together to celebrate gorillas and commit to taking action to protect gorillas in the wild.Why does World Gorilla Day matter to the rest of us primates?
It’s about biodiversity. Gorillas aren’t dying by human hand directly. They’re dying because humans are destroying their habitats in the name of development. Given gorillas are mostly vegetarian—with the odd termite colony or ant hill thrown in, that means loss of local, indigenous, biodiverse vegetation. No Bueno.
A bunch of organizations is collaborating on WGD 2021.
For instance, To coincide with World Gorilla Day, the World Wildlife Federation would like to invite us to get to know more about this critically endangered species and how they desperately need our help. WWF has four simple – and fun – ways to show support this #WorldGorillaDay; from learning more about this incredible species, to crafting a colourful gorilla mask or purchasing a striking gorilla badge! Check it out on their website. Surf on over to theclimate.org/episodes and click on the links in the Deeper Dive section
AND PASA – the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance—the largest association of wildlife centers in Africa, which has members in Cameroon, Congo and Gabon, provides care and protection for gorillas in both sanctuary and rehabilitation settings. For this World Gorilla Day, we spotlight the work that these members do to rescue gorillas and protect their habitats including examining threats to gorillas and what individuals can do to make a difference in the lives of these magnificent great apes.