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The riskiest cities, 5 reasons to limit global warming, and African drylands – Landscape News

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Around 1 million species could face extinction in the coming decades – but how many people actually care? Quite a lot, it turns out.

This week on Landscape News, learn what that means for the planet – and for the half a billion livelihoods at risk due to land degradation in Africa. Which is to say, join us 2–3 June at GLF Africa: Restoring Africa’s Drylands to learn how we can address these challenges.

Plus, cicadas, carbon offsets, Belgian fries and more in this news roundup.

LANDSCAPE NEWS

A woman carries freshly harvested cotton in Burkina Faso. Ollivier Girard, CIFOR
A woman carries freshly harvested cotton in Burkina Faso. Ollivier Girard, CIFOR

At the fully digital GLF Africa conference, you’ll hear from renowned speakers like Nigerian entrepreneur Ndidi Nwuneli, Ghanaian reggae star Rocky Dawuni and UNCCD head Ibrahim Thiaw.

Brief yourself ahead of the event on everything you need to know about drylandsthe glory of the cactus pear, and the discovery of 1.8 billion trees that have been hiding in plain sight.

We also recently launched GLFx, a global community to spark local action for sustainable landscapes. Meet our trailblazing chapters in NairobiCape TownVeracruz and Lilongwe – and consider starting your own.

The UN released its Second World Ocean Assessment recently, with more than 1,000 pages of the most current ocean science we have. Read our summary here

How much carbon can a mangrove forest store? We now know the answer, and it’s propelling blue carbon markets.

PEOPLE

Leonardo DiCaprio, right, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, U.S. for a documentary on climate change. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Flickr
Leonardo DiCaprio, right, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, U.S. for a documentary on climate change. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Flickr

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is leading a USD 43 million pledge to help restore the Galápagos Islands.

Globally, some 46 million migrants, refugees and internally displaced people have been excluded from COVID-19 vaccination programs.

Thousands of climate activists are taking to the streets of France to demand greater climate action.

A Brazilian judge has ordered the government to demarcate the lands of the Piripkura tribe, which has just three surviving members.

Take a virtual trip to Kalmykia in Russia’s North Caucasus, where the steppe is slowly morphing into a desert under the pressures of overgrazing and the climate crisis.

And in this short essay, an Aboriginal Australian writer reflects on the meaning of the ‘outback.’ 

PLANET

Brood X cicadas live most of their life underground, until they emerge to the surface, shed their skins and mate. Geoff Livingston, Flickr
Brood X cicadas live most of their life underground, until they emerge to the surface, shed their skins and mate. Geoff Livingston, Flickr

For the first time in 17 years, billions of cicadas are emerging from underground across the eastern U.S. for a monthlong mating season.

Environmental groups have lost a crucial court case in Uganda. A tropical forest home to 34 mammal species, including 600 chimpanzees, will be razed to build a sugar cane plantation.

Sierra Leone has sparked outrage after striking a USD 55 million deal with China to build an industrial fishing harbor on 100 hectares of beach and protected rainforest.

Coal was once the mainstay of Ukraine’s Donbas region. After seven years of war, abandoned mines are now flooding with toxic water and causing gas explosions.

Belgium is the world’s biggest producer of frozen fries – but the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the country’s overreliance on industrial potato farming.

BUSINESS

A cumulative total of 8 billion metric tons of have been produced worldwide. Brian Yurasits, Unsplash
A cumulative total of 8 billion metric tons of have been produced worldwide. Brian Yurasits, Unsplash

Just 20 companies are responsible for 55 percent of the world’s plastic waste, with ExxonMobil, Dow and Sinopec named as the three worst offenders.

To reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the world must stop investing in new oil, gas and coal projects now, says the International Energy Agency.

Many airlines now offer carbon offsets to promote ‘carbon-neutral flying.’ But just how credible are these claims?

These architects in Senegal are swapping concrete for raw earth, a low-carbon material that can keep buildings naturally cool in hot weather.

CLIMATE

The Arctic region is current warming due to climate change at twice the rate as the rest of the world. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Flickr
The Arctic region is current warming due to climate change at twice the rate as the rest of the world. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Flickr

India’s western state of Gujarat has been whipped by its strongest ever cyclone, forcing more than 200,000 people to evacuate.

After months of drought, Taiwan is rationing water, drilling new wells and releasing cloud-seeding chemicals to make it rain.

And now, five reasons to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius:

POLICY

Jakarta was ranked as the city most threatened by environmental risks in the world, especially for flooding. Hendra A Setyawan, Kompas
Jakarta was ranked as the city most threatened by environmental risks in the world, especially for flooding. Hendra A Setyawan, Kompas

Here are the 100 cities facing the greatest environmental risks, 99 of which are in Asia.

China, which accounts for 37 of those cities, is looking to turn a dying oil town into a mecca for renewable energy.

The U.S. has revealed its plans to conserve 30 percent of its lands and waters by 2030. It has also approved its first-everoffshore wind farm.

Despite surging deforestation in the Amazon, Brazil’s lower house of Congress has approved a bill to deregulate infrastructure, mining and agriculture projects.

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