GoBarefoot: Here is a list of some of the top environmental and climate stories that made the news in July 2016.
1. Plastic Free July – This initiative was started in 2011 by a regional council in Perth, Australia to raise awareness about the effects of single-use plastics and eliminate its usage. This initiative quickly spread across the world, with over 36,000 people in 85 countries adopting Plastic Free July in 2015.
This month, Morocco and France joined countries like Bangladesh, Brazil, China and some countries in Africa to impose a ban on certain kind of plastic bags.
Find more economical, healthier and sustainable alternatives to your daily single use plastics here.
2. South China Sea damage – In a case between Philippines and China over sovereign rights, the tribunal ruled that China had caused irreparable damage to the marine environment of the South China Sea. This is because the large scale construction of artificial islands through reclamation and the illegal harvesting of giant clams had caused depletion of coral reefs and marine biodiversity in the area. Harming the marine ecology of the sea by China was an infringement to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
3. Ozone layer recovering – Scientists have discovered that the ozone layer over Antarctica is closing up. The hole in the ozone layer was first discovered in the 1980s, with research linking the cause to the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in old refrigerators and aerosols. The following ban on CFCs issued by most countries around the world has been pinpointed as the reason behind the healing of the ozone layer, proving the power of global collective action.
4. India set to break record – Over 49.3 million tree samplings were planted by over 800,000 volunteers in Uttar Pradesh on July 11th. This was a commendable effort by the country as part of their commitment at the Paris Climate Conference to reforest 12% of its land using $6 billion. With regular care and watering, these samplings would grow to help the state address issues of pollution, improve micro-climate and land use.