A plan was hatched to bring Dalmatian pelicans back to the UK, shipping eyed a greener future and Scotland made period products free, plus more positive news stories
One of the planet’s largest birds could be poised for a UK comeback. The enormous Dalmatian pelican, which has a wingspan of almost 12ft, has become the latest target for rewilding advocates.
Conservationists are already restoring the bird’s wetland habitat in East Anglia, where, according to environmentalist and author Benedict Macdonald, there are several sites at which the species could be reintroduced.
The Dalmatian pelican was a common sight in the UK until about 2,000 years ago, when it was wiped out by hunting and habitat loss. “They were, and could be again, our greatest living bird,” said Macdonald.
Image: Thomas Millot
Scotland made history this week by becoming the first nation in the world to guarantee free and universal access to period products.
Campaigners welcomed the move, claiming Scotland was setting a “bloody great example” for other nations to follow.
“Scotland’s decision is a major win for menstrual equity, recognising that the needs of women and people who menstruate matter, and providing products accordingly, for everyone who needs them,” said the charity, Bloody Good Period. “We now need the same kind of decisive leadership and action that we’ve just seen in Scotland, throughout the UK.”
On Monday Positive News reported on the upstart cargo companies that are transporting goods across oceans the old-fashioned way – by sailboat – to reduce the carbon emissions of the shipping industry.
Three days later, the Swedish shipbuilder Wallenius Marine announced its intention to construct a giant sailboat capable of transporting thousands of electric vehicles across the Atlantic Ocean using wind power.
The shipbuilder claims its Oceanbird vessel, which is in the design phase, and will have giant steel wings instead of canvas sails, could set sail as early as 2024. It follows a successful test this week of a fully functioning model.
Image: Wallenius Marine
The air in Europe is getting cleaner, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA), which announced this week that efforts to reduce pollution have prevented around 60,000 premature deaths per year since 2009.
However, the EEA’s latest data show that almost all Europeans still suffer from air pollution, leading to about 400,000 premature deaths across the continent annually.
“The EEA’s data prove that investing in better air quality is an investment for better health and productivity for all Europeans,” said Hans Bruyninckx, the agency’s executive director. “Policies and actions that are consistent with Europe’s zero pollution ambition lead to longer and healthier lives and more resilient societies.”
Image: Adam Vradenburg
It is a diligent geographer who can point out Tristan da Cunha on a map. One of the world’s most remote archipelagos, the British overseas territory in the South Atlantic is on few people’s radars.
However, its profile has been elevated in recent days after the government there announced that it was going to create the world’s fourth largest marine sanctuary, covering an area almost three times the size of the United Kingdom.
Fishing, mining and other extractive activities will be banned in the 265,347 square miles surrounding the islands, which are home to whales, penguins and tens of millions of albatrosses.
Image: Ilse Orsel
Main image: Birger Strahl