On Your Doorstep Issue 1 - Page 4

From the Washingon Post

Villagers protected a sacred forest outside Delhi

Just outside of New Delhi, the Mangar Bani forest, with its thick cover of trees, dozens of chirping birds, wild leopards and rare species of insects and flowers, survived untouched for centuries because the local villagers believed it was a sin to cut its trees. But in recent years, neighbouring Gurgaon — called “a suburb on steroids” — has experienced frenzied urban sprawl.

An explosion of luxury condos, office buildings, tollways, malls and nightclubs threatens to swallow hundreds of acres of Mangar Bani. Real estate companies and residents argued in India’s National Green Tribunal, known as the green court: Is Mangar Bani a forest, farmland or just a bunch of arid rocks? The designation was crucial to its future.

Now, after almost six years of intense battle in courts, government departments and on the streets, citizens have managed to save the 677-acre Mangar Bani sacred grove from builders, even though developers own dozens of acres of forestland. The state government has declared it a no-construction zone.

From the New York Times

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature. But just how a visit to a park or other green space might alter mood has been unclear. Does experiencing nature actually change our brains in some way that affects our emotional health?

From the Guardian

Rainforest facts everyone should know

Did you know that rainforests are our best defense against climate change? Not only do they regulate global temperatures, they also stabilize local climates and limit the earth’s reflectivity, which in turn stabilizes ocean currents, wind patterns and rainfall.

Or that rainforests are home to more than half the world’s animal species. Bengal tigers, jaguars and orangutans are just a few of the magical creatures found in rainforests. Sadly, many of them are fighting extinction, and their continued existence is crucial to maintaining the balance of the rainforest’s marvelously efficient — but delicate — ecosystems?

You can find all nine facts, provided by the Rainforest Alliance, in the full Guardian article.


News from the Front Line

Welcome to our inaugural news summary page. While stories of environmental destruction are necessary, they need to be balanced with good news. In this section, we'll share stories about environmental successes from around the world: villages fighting to save their trees, communities rallying to clean up water supplies, cities adding green spaces, companies bending to the wishes of their consumers and improving their corporate environmental behaviours, and much more.

image (c) New York Times