What does green activism look like now?

Here's your Ours to Save newsletter for the fortnight beginning 30th August.

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Across the UK, environmental direct action begins again in earnest 

A nation shaken by COVID-19 and a new bill clamping down on freedom of speech and association, asks: what does environmental activism look like now? 

If the ruby-red water of the Buckingham Palace Fountain is anything to go by, no-holds-barred environmental protest is back. Extinction Rebellion is now midway through its first major civil disobedience campaign since last September. And it’s a big one, specifically targeting those institutions at ‘the root of the climate and ecological crisis’. 

From die-ins, occupations and drenching buildings in red paint, to marches, crisis talks, carnivals, and digital activism, the ‘Impossible Rebellion’ is as all-encompassing as it is showstopping. But will it be effective? 

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'Costing the livelihood of thousands of fishermen in the Mediterranean'

With Lebanon paralysed by economic collapse, Bahr Bala Plastic is attempting to remedy its waste management crisis.

Fisherman Idriss Atris clearly remembers his childhood on the shores of Saint Simon, a coastal town south of Beirut, where he caught mussels, clams and sardines a few metres away from his family home. Nowadays, only a few dead fish lie amongst the trash on the sandy beach, unable to survive amidst chemical and plastic pollution.

Marine life in Lebanon is increasingly threatened by a trash crisis which emerged in 2015, after decades without a comprehensive waste management strategy.

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These women are spearheading the shift to green energy

From Thailand to Ghana, women around the world are carving out a niche for themselves in the field of sustainable energy.

Globally, 1 in 3 businesses are owned by women. Sustainable energy, which is climbing rapidly to the top of government agendas, is a sector where female entrepreneurs have created a niche for themselves. Though they remain underrepresented, renewable energy employs 32% women – compared to 22% in the overall energy sector. 

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COVID-19 devastated India's sanitation strategy

Through it all, S.A.F.E's Vikrant Tongad has been devising solutions to unsustainable water usage for both individuals and government.

In 2013, Vikrant Tongad established S.A.F.E (Social Action for Forest Environment). He had lived through the consequences of water depletion – caused in part by the extraction of groundwater for construction in India. As a result of his efforts, groundwater extraction for construction was banned, saving countless litres of water. 

Tongad has spent much of the past decade campaigning for greater water sanitation and conservation in India. Ours to Save spoke to him about developing government policies, the impact of COVID-19 on water sanitation, and what the future of ecological activism could look like. 

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