3 June 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

Indonesia: Expanding Palm Oil Operations Bring Harm
Human Rights Watch, 03 Jun 2021

The harm a palm oil plantation in western Kalimantan, Indonesia, is causing to the surrounding communities and the environment demonstrates the government’s failure to enforce its own policies and laws, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. There has been no improvement in government protection of residents and the land, and in fact new laws could facilitate the abuses.

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India brings forward by 2 years 20% ethanol blend to gasoline
Reuters, 02 Jun 2021

India's government will bring forward to 2023 from 2025 the possibility of fuel companies selling gasoline containing up to 20% of ethanol (E20), according to brokers and a publication in the country's official gazette on Wednesday.

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Chemical cargo ship sinks off Sri Lanka, fouling rich fishing waters
Reuters, 02 Jun 2021

A cargo ship carrying tonnes of chemicals sank off Sri Lanka’s west coast, its navy said on Wednesday, and tonnes of plastic pellets have fouled the country’s rich fishing waters in one of its worst-ever marine disasters. The government on Wednesday suspended fishing along an 80-km (50-mile) stretch of the island's coastline, affecting 5,600 fishing boats, and hundreds of soldiers have been deployed to clean affected beaches.

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Uganda joins the rights-of-nature movement but won’t stop oil drilling
National Geographic, 02 Jun 2021

Carving through equatorial East Africa, the Albertine Rift supports some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet. This colossal network of mountains, valleys, wetlands, and savannah comprises just over one percent of the African continent’s landmass, yet claims more than half of its birds, 40 percent of its mammals, and some 500 species of plant and animal found nowhere else.

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Can Biden’s Justice40 plan deliver a fairer environment for people of color?
The Guardian, 02 Jun 2021

Administration is pledging to route 40% of the benefits of climate and environment spending to disadvantaged communities, but getting it right will be difficult. Indigenous farmers in the Isleta Pueblo, south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, have long relied on crops of corn and green chiles fed by the Rio Grande river, but amid a water crisis in the western US they are facing warnings to skip planting crops entirely –which could be devastating for the community’s 2,500 residents.

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Climate crisis is suffocating the world’s lakes, study finds
The Guardian, 02 Jun 2021

The climate crisis is causing a widespread fall in oxygen levels in lakes across the world, suffocating wildlife and threatening drinking water supplies. Falling levels of oxygen in oceans had already been identified, but new research shows that the decline in lakes has been between three and nine times faster in the past 40 years. Scientists found oxygen levels had fallen by 19% in deep waters and 5% at the surface.

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Climate lawsuits snowball as South Americans seek a healthy environment
Reuters, 01 Jun 2021

A landmark lawsuit filed against Guyana’s government, arguing that oil production fuels climate change, could bolster legal action as court cases involving energy companies and state authorities surge, according to lawyers and environmentalists. The constitutional claim - the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean - asserts that oil exploration and production led by U.S. oil major ExxonMobil off the South American country’s coast is unconstitutional, said the case’s lead lawyer Melinda Janki.

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