Environmental recklessness is causing PIRACY

Here's your Ours to Save newsletter for the fortnight beginning 13th September.

🌏 Thanks for signing up to support small, purpose-driven media. See below for your stories for the next two weeks. 🌏

Can Iran and Iraq cooperate to avert local environmental disaster? 🤝

Hur al-Azim Wetland, the largest lagoon in the southwest of Iran, is drying up. The scenes are apocalyptic.

Khuzestan is a southwestern province of Iran, on the border of Iraq. It is home to 80% of Iran’s oil, 60% of its gas, and also to around one third of a once-vast body of water: the Hur al-Azim Wetland.

Historically, the shores of this wetland have hosted buffaloes, flamingos and diverse plant species. Local villagers have shaped their livelihoods around it. Up until the mid-1990s, its water could reach 10 metres in depth.

However, a combination of factors – including dam construction and oil extraction – have conspired to threaten the existence of the Hur al-Azim Wetland.

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Susty Vibes is inspiring climate action with pop culture 💡

Meet the community teaching young Nigerians about their homeland's biodiversity – and why everyone should help to preserve it.

For the last five years, Susty Vibes has been using pop culture to encourage Nigeria’s young people to live sustainably and empower its women. It has held over 300 street clean-ups and 50+ sustainability events, and has collaborated with more than 300 private and public sector organisations. 

Ours to Save spoke to the team about Nigeria’s ever-changing climate, how their projects are specifically designed to engage the youth population, and why government leaders in Africa need to prioritise sustainability. 

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As kids return to school in Silvertown, young lungs are at risk 🫁

Campaigners against dust pollution have just secured a key victory. But implications for the health and safety of local children mean change can't come soon enough.

This week saw celebration and commiseration for one particular East London community. Residents of Silvertown, Newham, have been engaged of late in a battle for clean air. The wider borough has been found to have the ‘most toxic air in the UK’, but Silvertown is specifically dealing with heavy dust and sand pollution. This is fallout from the several concrete and recycling plants that sit uncomfortably alongside family homes in the area. 

“It's created a health time bomb, and even as a healthy young person I'm seriously considering relocating if this site is allowed to remain open,” says a resident of Boxley Street. “There is no way I would raise a child in the area whilst the levels of dust and pollution, that are directly caused by this facility, are so high.” 

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To deal with piracy, we need to look to its environmental causes 🏴‍☠️

There is compelling evidence that piracy has an ecological cause before it is a social problem. 

Maritime piracy is one of the most significant risks faced by the global shipping industry, with an estimated US$16 billion being spent each year to cover mitigation and recovery costs. This includes added insurance premiums, cargo theft and - of course - ransoms. 

A landmark study from Georgetown University has elucidated how piracy might best be tackled in the future. It indicates that small-scale fisheries often turn to piracy in order to compensate for the loss of income caused by foreign overexploitation of local fish stocks. 

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👋 See you next week!