GoBarefoot: Here is a list of some of the top environmental and climate stories that made the news in August 2016.
– July declared the hottest month: Did you feel hotter than normal in July? NASA announced that July 2016 was the hottest month ever recorded in 136 years! Records indicated that the long term warming began in October 2015, which was linked to rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
– Rio, Green Olympics: This month was all about the Olympics, participating athletes, thrilling competitions, and the medals. This year’s Olympics at Rio however also had another focus: bringing into limelight environment and climate change. The opening ceremony highlighted Rio’s commitment to deliver ‘Green Games for a Blue Planet’, with a smaller Olympic cauldron that burnt less oil, the importance of trees highlighted by the performers, and an eye-opening video on the effects of climate change. Each athlete was also presented with a native seed to be planted in what is going to become an Athlete’s Forest in Brazil. While this has managed to raise awareness, Rio also faced some local environmental issues such as the sewage flowing into Guanabara Bay, where sailing events took place.
– Earth Overshoot Day: On August 8th of this 2016, we as humans have consumed the ecological resources and services that was meant to last us for the whole year. Overshoot day is calculated by Global Footprint Network by dividing Earth’s bio capacity (production of biomaterials and absorption of Carbon Dioxide) by human’s yearly usage and multiplied by 365 days. Since we are using more resources than the Earth can generate, it’s time to make changes and #PledgeForYourPlanet.
– Indian women-army protect a rare bird: Hargilla or the great adjutant stork once soared widely among the sky in Southern Asia. Now, due to deforestation, the storks have been marked as an endangered species by the IUCN with only around 1000 birds believed to be present in parts of India and Cambodia. The Hargilla Army consists of 70 local women in the Dadara, Pasariya, and Singimari villages of North-East India, who are fighting to save the species. They have successfully developed the biggest adjutant nesting colony to protect the species by spreading awareness about the bird’s importance in the ecosystem, food chain, and Hindu mythology. Collective action has led to the reduction in the cutting down of trees that serve as Hargilla’s home and ultimately save the species.