Environmental Developments

     Jake Johnson, "'Code Red for Humanity': IPCC Report Warns Window for Climate Action Is Closing Fast: 'The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk," Common Dreams, August 9, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/09/code-red-humanity-ipcc-report-warns-window-climate-action-closing-fast, reported, " A panel of leading scientists convened by the United Nations issued a comprehensive report Monday that contains a stark warning for humanity: The climate crisis is here, some of its most destructive consequences are now inevitable, and only massive and speedy reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can limit the coming disaster.
     Assembled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—a team of more than 200 scientists—the new report (https://www.ipcc.ch/assessment-report/ar6/) represents a sweeping analysis of thousands of studies published over the past eight years as people the world over have suffered record-shattering temperatures and deadly extreme weather, from catastrophic wildfires to monsoon rains to extreme drought .
     The result of the scientists' work is a startling assessment of the extent to which human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, has altered the climate, producing "unprecedented" planetary warming, glacial melting, sea level rise, and other changes that are wreaking havoc in every region of the globe— wiping out entire towns, imperiling biodiverse ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon rainforest , and endangering densely populated swaths of the world.
     'This report is a reality check,' said Valérie Masson-Delmotte, a climate scientist at the University of Paris-Saclay and co-chair of the panel that produced the report . 'We now have a much clearer picture of the past, present, and future climate, which is essential for understanding where we are headed, what can be done, and how we can prepare.'
     One central finding of the new analysis is that the Paris accord's goal of limiting global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is in serious danger as policymakers fail to take the necessary steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
     Each of the past four decades, according to the report, has been successively warmer than any preceding decade dating back to 1850, atmospheric CO2 has soared to levels not seen in two million years, and 'global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least the mid-century under all emissions scenarios considered.'
     'Global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century,' the IPCC panel warns, 'unless deep reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades.'
     'Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes already set in motion—such as continued sea level rise—are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years,' reads the report, which was approved by 195 member nations of the IPCC.
     'However,' the report emphasizes, 'strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would limit climate change. While benefits for air quality would come quickly, it could take 20-30 years to see global temperatures stabilize.'
     Panmao Zhai, another co-chair of the IPCC working group, stressed that 'stabilizing the climate will require strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net-zero CO2 emissions.'
      'Limiting other greenhouse gases and air pollutants, especially methane, could have benefits both for health and the climate,' Zhai added. IPCC report graphic
     The new report, the first of three installments, was released just weeks before world leaders are set to gather in Glasgow for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which activists view as a pivotal moment for the global climate fight.
      'Many see COP26 as our last, best chance to prevent global temperatures from spiraling out of control,' Dorothy Grace Guerrero of Global Justice Now wrote last month. 'Unfortunately , we are not yet on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the threshold that scientists agree will prevent the most dangerous climate impacts. Failure to reach this goal will take a disproportionate toll on developing countries.'
     António Guterres, secretary-general of the U.N., said in a statement Monday that the IPCC's latest findings are 'a code red for humanity.'
      'The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk,' said Guterres. 'Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible.'
     'There is a clear moral and economic imperative to protect the lives and livelihoods of those on the front lines of the climate crisis,' Guterres continued. 'If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today's report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success./
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      Jessica Corbett, "Latest UN Climate Report Delivers 'Another Thundering Wake-Up Call: 'Climate change is no longer a future problem. It is a now problem," said the UNEP executive director. "The clock is ticking loudly,'" Common Dreams, October 26, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/26/latest-un-climate-report-delivers-another-thundering-wake-call, reported, " Countries' current climate pledges put the world 'on track for a catastrophic global temperature rise' of about 2.7°C, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned Tuesday, calling a new report released ahead of a key summit 'another thundering wake-up call.'
      The Emissions Gap Report 2021 (https://www.unep.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2021), an annual assessment from the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP), comes as world leaders prepare to meet in Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday for COP 26. They are set to discuss efforts to meet the Paris climate agreement, which aims to keep global temperature rise this century "well below" 2°C, preferably limiting it to 1.5°C.
     However, c ountries' latest Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), along with other commitments made for 2030, suggest the international community will blow past both of those targets without more ambitious action to slash emissions, according to the UNEP report.
      'The emissions gap is the result of a leadership gap,' Guterres declared in his Tuesday address, noting that the report 'shows that countries are squandering a massive opportunity to invest Covid-19 fiscal and recovery resources in sustainable, cost-saving, planet-saving ways.'
     'Scientists are clear on the facts. Now leaders need to be just as clear in their actions,' he said. 'They need to come to Glasgow with bold, time-bound, front-loaded plans to reach net-zero.'
      'To decarbonize every sector—from power, to transport, farming, and forestry. To phase out coal," the U.N. chief continued. 'To end subsidies for fossil fuels and polluting industries. To put a price on carbon, and to channel that back to creating green jobs. And obviously, to provide at least $100 billion each year to the developing world for climate finance.'
      'Leaders can still make this a turning point to a greener future instead of a tipping point to climate catastrophe,' said Guterres. 'The era of half-measures and hollow promises must end.'
     Various assessments released before the summit in Scotland have underscored the necessity of bold and immediate action, including the latest from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as the World Meteorological Organization's announcement Monday t hat carbon dioxide concentrations in 2020 hit levels not seen for roughly three million years [for even as COVID reduced the amount of new greenhouse gasses being put into the atmosphere the total continued to rise, as these gasses only slowly are removed from the atmosphere.
     Reflecting 'a world of climate promises not yet delivered,' the new UNEP report also serves as a call to action, particularly for rich nations most responsible for the climate emergency.
      The report details how parties to the Paris agreement have put forth -insufficient' climate plans. The NDCs for 2030, if continued throughout this century, would still lead to a global temperature rise of 2.7°C beyond pre-industrial levels. Achieving nations' net-zero pledges 'would improve the situation, limiting warming to about 2.2°C' by 2100.However, Group of 20 (G20) nations—the world's top economies—'do not have policies in place to achieve even the NDCs,' the report says , and making changes to meet the 2030 commitments would not be enough to put countries on a 'clear path towards net-zero.'
     Meanwhile, this year 'thousands of people have been killed or displaced and economic losses are measured in the trillions,' the report highlights, pointing to 'extreme weather events around the world—including flooding, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, and heatwaves.'
     As Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP, put it: 'Climate change is no longer a future problem. It is a now problem.'
      To stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, we have eight years to almost halve greenhouse gas emissions: eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately deliver the cuts,' Andersen said. 'The clock is ticking loudly.'
      'The world has to wake up to the imminent peril we face as a species,' she added, calling on countries to urgently implement policies to meet existing commitments. 'It is also essential to deliver financial and technological support to developing nations—so that they can both adapt to the impacts of climate change already here and set out on a low-emissions growth path.'
     The report factors in new or updated NDCs from 121 parties, responsible for just over half of planet-heating emissions, submitted by the end of September as well as pledges from China, Japan, and South Korea—though countries continue to put forward plans in the lead-up to the summit.
     Alok Sharma, incoming COP 26 president, noted Tuesday that previous analyses projected 'commitments made in Paris would have capped the rise in temperature to below 4°C.'
     'So there has been progress, but not enough,' he said, referencing the new report. 'That is why we especially need the biggest emitters, the G20 nations, to come forward with stronger commitments to 2030 if we are to keep 1.5°C in reach over this critical decade.'
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      Jake Johnson, "'What Betrayal Looks Like': UN Report Says World on Track for 2.7°C of Warming by 2100: 'Whatever our so-called 'leaders' are doing,' said Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 'they are doing it wrong,'" Common Dreams, September 17, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/17/what-betrayal-looks-un-report-says-world-track-27degc-warming-2100, reported, " The United Nations warned Friday that the planet is barreling toward 2.7°C of warming by the end of the century, a nightmare scenario that can be averted only if policymakers take immediate and sweeping action to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
      Even if the 191 parties to the Paris climate accord meet their current commitments, global greenhouse gas emissions will still rise 16% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, according to a new report published by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
      'Failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of lives and livelihoods.'
     The goal of the 2015 Paris agreement is to limit global warming to below 2°C—and preferably to 1.5°C—above pre-industrial levels. An analysis released earlier this week found that the climate targets and actions of just one country—The Gambia—are in line with the critical 1.5° goal.
     'This is what betrayal looks like,' Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted in response to the latest U.N. findings. 'Whatever our so-called 'leaders' are doing, they are doing it wrong.'
      Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of U.N. Climate Change, said in a statement that the international community must 'peak emissions as soon as possible before 2030 and support developing countries in building up climate resilience.'
     'The 16% increase is a huge cause of concern,' said Espinosa. 'It is in sharp contrast with the calls by science for rapid, sustained, and large-scale emission reductions to prevent the most severe climate consequences and suffering, especially of the most vulnerable, throughout the world.'
     The U.N. analysis came as U.S. President Joe Biden met with world leaders and announced that the United States is partnering with the European Union in an effort to cut methane emissions—a powerful driver of global warming—by nearly 30% by the end of the decade.
     In its landmark report last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasized that a 'strong, rapid, and sustained' reduction in methane emissions is necessary to prevent the worst of the planetary crisis.
     The IPCC also estimated that keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels would require a 45% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030—a mark that the international community is currently on track to miss badly, according to the new U.N. report.
     António Guterres, the secretary-general of the U.N., said in a statement Friday that 2.7°C of planetary heating would be 'catastrophic" and that world leaders are "rapidly running out of time' to act.
     'This is breaking the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5°C goal of the Paris agreement,' said Guterres. 'Failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of lives and livelihoods.'
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      Jon Queally, "Key Global Systems Need 'Complete U-Turns' to Avoid 'Disastrous Tipping Points' for Planet: Which system changes are 'on track,' meaning transformation is 'occurring at or above the pace required to achieve" global climate goals? According to a new report: None," Common Dreams, October 28, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/28/key-global-systems-need-complete-u-turns-avoid-disastrous-tipping-points-planet, reported, " A new global assessment out Thursday has found that across the vast number of key systems in human society—including energy, manufacturing, transportation, agricultural, and finance—not a single one is transforming fast enough to mitigate the " code red " warnings that scientists and experts have issued on the planetary climate emergency.
     The new report—titled ' State of Climate Action 2021 ' (https://files.wri.org/d8/s3fs-public/2021-10/state_climate_action_2021.pdf?VersionId=7_yAkMO7ZmP156drPZ8LSQ8JM21F_Z1c)— assessed whether the world is 'doing enough' to achieve the climate goals of the 2015 Paris agreement by translating 'the transformations required to keep global temperature rise to 1.5ºC into 40 indicators of progress' based on goals set for achieving meaningful changes by 2030 and 2050, such as phasing out coal, halting deforestation, and ramping up both public and private funding to halt the crisis.
     Published under the Systems Change Lab, the report was a joint effort between the High-Level Climate Champions, Climate Action Tracker, ClimateWorks Foundation, the Bezos Earth Fund, and the World Resources Institute. The findings of the report, say its authors, are deeply troubling. According to a joint commentary, the researchers conclude that, 'to date, none of the 40 indicators assessed are on track to reach 2030 targets .' Assessment of progress
      With emissions from sectors with among the largest emissions—namely agriculture, automobiles, and deforestation—'moving in the wrong direction" to meet international targets, Kelly Levin, chief of science at the Bezos Earth Fund and one of the report's co-authors, told the Guardian that this reality must be rapidly altered.
     'We need complete u-turns from these areas,' said Levin. 'With climate change you can't just head in the right direction, you need to do it at pace. Without that, we will reach disastrous tipping points
.'
     In the joint commentary, the report's authors conclude that while the situation is dire, all is far from lost—especially if urgency among world leaders—both in the public and private sectors—is immediately ramped up:
     Our ever-shrinking carbon budget does not accommodate delay. Should we fail to act now and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise unabated, warming could climb to between 3.3 degrees C and 5.7 degrees C (5.9 degrees F and 10 degrees F) above preindustrial levels by 2100 — temperatures that would intensify the catastrophic impacts far beyond anything seen so far
.
     But if we can make a true step-change in ambition and action, as we’re beginning to see in some corners of the world, at COP26 and beyond, we can bring the enormous task of holding global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C within reach and secure a safer, more prosperous and equitable future for all.
      The 'encouraging news,' according to the report, 'is that we're not starting from a standstill—the majority of indicators (25) are moving in the right direction, albeit too slowly. Of the remaining 15 indicators, recent progress has stagnated for three, change is heading in the wrong direction entirely for another three, and the remaining nine lack sufficient data to assess progress.'
     Ani Dasgupta, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, said, 'While there are encouraging signs of progress across many sectors, it is clear that the climate crisis is still outpacing our response. This report is a call to action for policymakers, CEOs and others to take the bold, unprecedented action necessary to point us toward a safer and fairer future.'"


     A paper published in Nature Communications, in July 2021, examines where the greatest numbers of deaths are likely to occur from global warming if greenhouse gas emissions are not greatly reduced. The projection is that most global warming deaths would occur in hotter and poorer locations that have produced few greenhouse gas emissions (John Schwartz, "New Study examines Human Toll of Carbon," The New York Times, July 30, 2021).


     International Crisis Group (ICG), "Getting Conflict into the Global Climate Conversation," Q&A / Global 5 November 2021, https://www.crisisgroup.org/global/getting-conflict-global-climate-conversation, commented, " World leaders are meeting in Glasgow to talk about what to do to ameliorate the mounting climate crisis. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Ulrich Eberle and Andrew Ciacci explain why these discussions cannot neglect questions of war and peace.
      What have we learned so far from COP26, the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change? We have learned, sadly, that global leaders were right to lower expectations over the past few weeks. COP26 is not yet over, of course, but its opening days have provided plenty more evidence that governments are not going to do what is necessary to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control. Moreover, even if they can agree on how to do so in the remaining days, and then follow through with it, the effects of climate change are already here, as seen across the world in recent years with one heat record broken after another, as well as floods, droughts and other extreme weather. Climate change today is also fuelling violence and instability in some parts of the world, and we can expect to see that trend worsen.
     Emissions are the headline issue in Glasgow. The most realistic climate forecast scenarios cast doubt on the 2015 Paris Agreement’s aim to keep global warming well below 2 degrees, and preferably to 1.5 degrees, over pre-industrial levels by the century’s end . The path to 'keep 1.5 alive' is to reach global net zero (that is, to balance the additions and removals of greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere) by 2050 . In order to do that, the world needs to get halfway there by 2030. Based on commitments so far, there seems to be little chance that governments will agree to and then implement the necessary steps.
      The conference has three other goals that, with the effects of climate change already here, are no less important. First is adaptation, meaning how to make the effects of climate change less dangerous and onerous for those who bear them. Second is raising money to finance the necessary changes, both for adaptation and for mitigation, which refers to steps to reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions to limit the severity of climate change. Third is increasing cooperation and finalising the 'Paris rulebook' to formalise how countries go about pursuing these objectives. How these goals play out over the course of the week that remains of the conference will be crucial for much of the world, but for conflict-affected countries in particular.
      Is climate-induced violence on the COP agenda?
      No. Climate-induced violence – often put in the catch-all category of ' climate security', referring to how climate change affects matters of peace and security – is not on the agenda in Glasgow. Organisers had other priorities, with reducing emissions at the top of the list. But they also omitted climate security because it does not fit with the COP’s aim to advance shared solutions to shared problems. Negotiations would be even harder were questions of war and peace on the agenda.
      A debate in the UN Security Council over a climate security resolution illustrates the divisions among states over how to deal with the issue of climate security and the bright line some governments draw between climate and conflict. Most Council members are keen to pass the resolution, which aims to create a baseline for discussions of how climate change shapes international peace and security. While the Security Council has addressed the question in certain cases, it does not systematically predict, assess and respond to such climate-related risks. China, Russia and India, however, oppose the Security Council’s involvement. Along with other critics, they are suspicious of initiatives that they believe could lead to what they see as meddling in states’ internal affairs. With such powerful opposition, there is little chance that the resolution will get through.
      Most people concerned with climate security speak about climatic distress as a ' threat multiplier ' or 'risk multiplier' – meaning that climate change exacerbates political, social and economic tensions, thereby raising conflict risk. This notion is correct, but it has inadvertently provoked a backlash. The 'multiplier' language implies that factors other than climate are more essential in the security equation. Opponents in the Council and elsewhere exploit this implication to suggest that discussions of climate change belong elsewhere in the UN system, whereas UN Security Council deliberations should be reserved solely for the underlying, fundamental drivers.
      Not dealing with climate security in the Security Council is a mistake. The evidence tying climate change to conflict is growing quickly , even if the link is not yet as widely understood as the connection between human activity and climate change. It took the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change nearly 30 years to reach the degree of certainty it expressed in its August report that human activity causes climate change. Many people could die needlessly if major powers wait to accept that climate change increases risks of conflict – and to act accordingly.
      Is it a problem to leave conflict off the COP agenda?
      Not necessarily. The issue is not whether climate security figures as an official agenda item. The issue is whether COP26 negotiators take account of conflict dynamics in their talks about achieving the conference’s aims. Most important in this regard are adaptation and climate finance. It is hard to imagine encouraging sustainable agriculture, slowing deforestation and helping preserve nature writ large without dealing with the conflicts that wrack so many of the countries affected by climate change.
     Climate change and conflict do not exist in isolation from each other. The countries most exposed to climate change are disproportionately affected by conflict, and many of the countries suffering from both often suffer as well from poor governance – all of which stand in the way of adaptation and mitigation measures. Half of the most climate-fragile countries in the world also face conflict and crisis today, according to Crisis Group’s calculations.
     War, of course, can render countries or parts thereof completely inaccessible. But it can interfere with adaptation in other ways, too, and effective interventions will often need to deal with highly local conflict dynamics. Consider the following examples:
      Conflict shapes the way people use and share land. In South Sudan, flooding in September led to the displacement of 500,000 people . Among them were Dinka herders, who were forced to migrate south to the Equatoria region, which is still subject to the ravages of civil war, as the insurgency there has not signed on to the peace deal between the two main belligerents – namely, the forces aligned with President Salva Kiir or Vice President Riek Machar. Equatorian elites have long been hostile to the Dinka ethnic group because it has exercised national power since independence in 2011. Now, wide-scale displacement is further straining inter-ethnic relations due to land and resource competition in areas where Dinka are resettling.
      Well-intentioned climate adaptation can do harm if local security ramifications are ignored. To take one example: in the Mopti region of Mali , new wells, drilled by the government and its partners to benefit nomads in arid areas, drew in farmers who gradually asserted rights to the land. Grievances stemming from the failure to regulate land use contributed to the rise of jihadist and self-defence groups in the areas.
      Climate policy needs to account for realities on the ground, particularly conflict realities. In Colombia , deforestation has accelerated since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgency declared a unilateral ceasefire in 2015. The FARC had protected forests, partly out of ecological conviction, but more because the tree cover hid them from state authorities. Since the peace deal, other armed groups have taken over and cleared woodland for farming and ranching, as have big companies that often cooperate with criminal elements. Poor peasants likewise have found themselves with few options other than those causing forest loss. Colombia, unlike many other countries, at least has a plan to stop deforestation. But enforcement is lagging, in large part because of the challenges of dealing with these groups.
      Inaction on conflict can provoke a vicious circle. Neglecting conflict dynamics can mean that environmental crises spiral, which in turn exacerbates conflict. Across the Sahel, climatic distress has led to a breakdown of traditional land use arrangements, aggravating farmer-herder disputes and displacing hundreds of thousands. In Nigeria , these climatic trends have also exacerbated ethnic tensions between farmers and herders, contributing to the death of thousands since 2015. Given the tensions, land reforms and settlement projects have mostly failed in recent years. Even the central government’s plan to modernise the livestock sector, in a bid to adapt to climate change and to curb violence, faces an uphill battle for widespread implementation. It may prove to be too little, too late.
      As these examples show, climate change is happening to no small extent in conflict-plagued countries where the risks attending adaptation are especially high. Efforts to help communities adapt in places where armed conflict actors exploit environmental resources or even just raise the overall risk of violence, will look quite different than they would in peaceful areas. In conference conclusions, COP26 delegates should acknowledge the importance of reckoning with conflict in order to achieve the conference’s own stated goals.
      Climate finance prefers safer bets, which is why a disproportionately small share of adaptation money flows to conflict-affected areas. States must grapple with this challenge if they are to reach those suffering in the most fragile environments. As the International Committee of the Red Cross puts it, they must ensure that financing is “ fit for purpose”. Aligning climate finance with development priorities was already a goal for COP26. Moving forward, a goal should be aligning it with conflict prevention and resolution priorities as well.
      Many climate security advocates want it on the agenda for COP27, likely to be held in Egypt. Should it be?
     It will be hard to get climate security on the official agenda for CO
P 27, for all the reasons it was not on the agenda in 2021. In addition, should the present conference generate less action on emissions than hoped, as seems likely, there will be all the more pressure to focus on that headline issue. Since climate security, by definition, relates to matters of international peace and security, its proper home is the UN Security Council. At present, the climate security draft before it appears dead, but its advocates should continue to bring climate security issues before the Council for piecemeal treatment, even if the path to its systematic incorporation into the Council’s agenda is blocked for the time being.
     The key is not that climate security has formal billing
on the COP27 agenda, but rather that it is threaded throughout relevant parts of the agenda. The delegates need to take account of climate-induced violence as it relates to the conference’s objectives, chiefly adaptation and finance. Most fundamentally, they need to understand that it is impossible to effectively treat climate fragility and conflict dynamics on separate tracks in the many places where they overlap and that are already feeling some of the most extreme impact of climate change. A leader-level event on COP27’s margins, convened by the host, might help encourage this degree of literacy, and highlight the importance of climate security figuring significantly in adaptation discussions."


     International Crisis Group (ICG), "How Climate Change Fuels Deadly Conflict," December 9, 2021, commented, "The UN Security Council is preparing to vote on a climate security resolution tabled by Ireland and Niger, possibly as soon as Monday. Crisis Group supports the resolution and urges the Council to approve it.
      This explainer details our understanding of the links between climate and conflict. The relationship of climate change to deadly violence is a complex one – which is precisely why we believe the Council should engage, not avoid, the subject. The resolution's main provisions include systematic UN analysis of climate risks to peace and security, more attention to climate change by peacekeeping and diplomatic missions, the sharing of data and building platforms to provide “real-time” information. These are unmitigated goods, regardless of how one views the exact nature of the climate-conflict nexus.
     Climate change, it is often said, is a threat multiplier. This undoubtedly is true, but Crisis Group's Future of Conflict Program takes the next step of analysing the relevant conflict drivers and solutions at a granular level. This explainer demonstrates how we blend local research with climate science and state-of-the-art quantitative methods to unpack the specific pathways leading from climatic distress to conflict – and from there, to formulate policy recommendations that address the root causes of conflict
."
     Visual Explainer at: https://globalclimate.crisisgroup.org.


      Kenny Stancil, "'Monster' Antarctic Glacier at Risk as Key Ice Shelf Faces Collapse Years Earlier Than Expected: 'What we're seeing is already enough to be worried about,' said one researcher," Common Dreams, December 13, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/12/13/monster-antarctic-glacier-risk-key-ice-shelf-faces-collapse-years-earlier-expected, reported, " The ice shelf holding back one of Antarctica's most perilous glaciers is eroding from below due to higher ocean temperatures, prompting scientists to warn Monday that this key reinforcement could shatter in the next three to five years—a development that would threaten millions of people with intensifying sea level rise.
     'Until recently, the ice shelf was seen as the most stable part of Thwaites Glacier, a Florida-sized frozen expanse that already contributes about 4% of annual global sea level rise,' the Washington Post reported. 'Because of this brace, the eastern portion of Thwaites flowed more slowly than the rest of the notorious 'doomsday glacier.''However, recent satellite imagery shared during Monday's annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union shows numerous cracks that stretch diagonally across the surface of the floating ice wedge.
     Comparing the newly discovered weaknesses to cracks in a windshield, Erin Pettit, a glaciologist at Oregon State University said that 'this eastern ice shelf is likely to shatter into hundreds of icebergs.'According to the Post:
     The failure of the shelf would not immediately accelerate global sea level rise. The shelf already floats on the ocean surface, taking up the same amount of space whether it is solid or liquid.
      But when the shelf fails, the eastern third of Thwaites Glacier will triple in speed, spitting formerly landlocked ice into the sea. Total collapse of Thwaites could result in several feet of sea level rise , scientists say, endangering millions of people in coastal areas.
     In 2019, a team of researchers estimated that the fossil fuel-driven climate crisis is putting Thwaites at increased risk of hitting a tipping point that could eventually cause sea levels to surge by 20 inches.
     The Post reported Monday that even if the newly discovered fractures 'don't cause the shelf to disintegrate, it is likely to become completely unmoored from the seafloor within the next decade' because 'the warming ocean is loosening the ice shelf's grip on the underwater mountain that helps it act as a brace against the ice river at its back.
     Other researchers from the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration expressed concerns about the so-called 'grounding zone,' where the landed portion of the glacier meets the floating shelf, which juts out into the sea and undergoes an accelerated melting process due to relatively warmer water.
     Scientists fear that if Thwaites were to lose its protective ice shelf, it 'may become vulnerable to ice cliff collapse, a process in which towering walls of ice that directly overlook the ocean start to crumble into the sea, 'the Post noted.
     Although this process has not yet been observed in Antarctica, University of St. Andrews glaciologist Anna Crawford has developed models indicating that Thwaites—which she called 'kind of a monster'—is susceptible to ice cliff collapse, even if it is not likely to occur in the immediate future.
     'What we're seeing is already enough to be worried about,' said Crawford.
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      Jim Tankersley, Katie Rogers and Lisa Friedman, "With Methane and Forest Deals, Climate Summit Offers Hope After Gloomy Start: Agreements to reduce methane gas emissions and protect the world’s forests were reached Tuesday at the U.N.-sponsored meeting, as President Biden chided the leaders of Russia and China for not showing up," The New York Times, November 3, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/02/world/europe/climate-summit-methane-forests.html, reported that while other critical issues were not acted upon, methane reduction and forest preservation agreements wee signed. On Methane, the Biden administration announced that EPA is moving to limit emissions.
     "Soon after that announcement, administration officials said that 105 countries had signed the Global Methane Pledge , a commitment to reduce methane emissions 30 percent by 2030, including half of the world’s top 30 methane-emitting countries, and that they expected the list to grow."
     "The leaders of more than 100 countries also pledged on Tuesday to end deforestation by 2030, agreeing to a sweeping accord aimed at protecting some 85 percent of the world’s forests, which are crucial to absorbing carbon dioxide and slowing the rise in global temperatures
."
     Among the greatly greenhouse gas polluting countries not attending the meeting were China, Russia, Australia and India.
      The question now is to what extent these pledges, and others will be kept, and whether more and faster action can soon be taken round the world to make up for critical deficiencies in the pledges and actions to dates of numerous nations."


      Andrea Germanos, "Indonesia Walks Back Deforestation Commitment Days After Signing Global Pledge: The deal was already under fire from climate groups who warned its weak framework could greenlight 'another decade of forest destruction,'" Common Dreams, November 5, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/05/indonesia-walks-back-deforestation-commitment-days-after-signing-global-pledge, " Hopes that a deforestation pledge signed by over 120 countries at the ongoing COP26 summit could protect ' the lungs of our planet ' further dimmed after Indonesian officials suggested that the country won't actually follow through on the commitment.
     'The ongoing development of [the president's] era should not cease in the name of carbon emissions or in the name of deforestation,' Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar wrote on social media. 'Forcing Indonesia to zero deforestation in 2030 [is] obviously inappropriate and unfair."
     Indonesia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar cast further doubt on the country's commitment to the pledge, asserting in a statement that "the declaration issued does not refer at all to the 'end [of] deforestation by 2030.'"


      Jake Johnson, "Global Alliance Launches With the Goal of Bringing About the 'End of Oil and Gas:' 'Costa Rica and Denmark and those that have joined them in the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance are changing the game,'" Common Dreams, November 11, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/11/global-alliance-launches-goal-bringing-about-end-oil-and-gas, reported, "In what environmentalists hope will mark a ' turning point ' in the global climate fight, a coalition of nations led by Costa Rica and Denmark formally launched the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance on Thursday with the stated goal of halting all new drilling and ultimately phasing out fossil fuel production for good.
     Announced at the tail end of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, BOGA represents the world's first coordinated diplomatic initiative aimed at keeping planet-warming fossil fuels in the ground, advocates said."We are hearing the world outside these walls and we note that the science is clear: We really need to accelerate action."
     'Costa Rica and Denmark and those that have joined them in the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance are changing the game," Catherine Abreu, executive director of Destination Zero, said in a statement. "They're authoring a new definition of climate leadership, one that no longer allows countries to hide behind flashy pledges while continuing to pump out coal, oil, and gas.'”
      Lisa Friedman, Hiroko Tabuchi and Winston Choi-Schagrin, "Climate Change Is a ‘Hammer Hitting Us on the Head,’ Developing Nations Say: Leaders of vulnerable countries, as well as activists, said Monday’s blistering United Nations report must galvanize global action. But major emitters are dragging their heels," The New York Times, August 10, 2021, 8 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/09/climate/climate-change-UN-report.html, reported that the UN report calling on the urgency to act quickly and much to avoid the worst impacts of climate change "only underscored the challenge ahead: getting the world’s biggest polluters and its most vulnerable countries to cooperate against a grave global threat."
     " The report prompted outrage among some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, whose leaders demanded that rich, industrialized powers immediately reduce their planet-warming pollution, compensate poor countries for the damages caused and help fund their preparations for a perilous future."


      Brad Plumer, Blacki Migliozzi and Nadja Popovich, "How Much Are Countries Pledging to Reduce Emissions?" The New York Times, November 1, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/11/01/climate/paris-pledges-tracker-cop-26.html, reports how much various countries had pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as of the beginning of COP-26.


     In late July 2021, France passed legislation containing a variety of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce environmental degradation. Many environmentalists complained, that while the measures were an improvement on existing policy, they fell considerably short of what is desperately needed quickly to limit the damage of global warming (Aurelien Breeden, "France Passes Climate Law, But Critics Say It's Weak," The New York Times, July 21, 2021).


      The government of Greece is moving toward complete green energy seeing a rapid carbon free change a necessity for its economy and quality of life ( Liz Alderman, "Greece Is Getting Rewired for the Future: As climate change bears down, Greece is upending its sources of energy and trying to reshape its economic destiny," The New York Times, November 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/29/business/greece-green-energy-climate-eu.html).


      Despite efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially, China continues to increase coal production and burning to meet increasing demands for energy for its economy, seriously putting its climate targets at risk (Keith Bradsher, "China Hurries to Burn More Coal, Putting It's Climate Goals at Risk," The New York Times, September 29, 2021,


      For the first time, sections of the Amazon rain forest are emitting more carbon dioxide than they are absorbing. Most of the emissions come from forest fires, the great preponderance of which are set by farmers and ranchers clearing land ("The Amazon Hits a Tipping point," This Week, August 6, 2021).


      The Gulf Stream and other Atlantic Ocean currents are slowing down with climate change, and could shift bringing drastic changes of climate (Heather Murphy, "System of Currents Is Slowing, Study Finds," The New York Times, August 6, 2021).


      Christopher Flavelle and Kalen Goodluck, " Dispossessed, Again: Climate Change Hits Native Americans Especially Hard. Many Native people were forced into the most undesirable areas of America, first by white settlers, then by the government. Now, parts of that marginal land are becoming uninhabitable," The New York Times, June 27, 2021, October 28, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/27/climate/climate-Native-Americans.html , gives numerous examples of Native Communities in the U.S. catastrophically being hit by climate change.
      An article giving examples of the impacts of climate around the world is Devi Lockwood, "Local Portraits of Climate Change," The New York Times, August 15, 2021).


      Christopher Flavelle, Julian E. Barnes, Eileen Sullivan and Jennifer Steinhauer, "Climate Change Poses a Widening Threat to National Security: Intelligence and defense agencies issued reports warning that the warming planet will increase strife between countries and spur migration," The New York Times, October. 21, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/climate/climate-change-national-security.html, reported " Worsening conflict within and between nations. Increased dislocation and migration as people flee climate-fueled instability. Heightened military tension and uncertainty. Financial hazards.
     The Biden administration released several reports Thursday about
climate change and national security, laying out in stark terms the ways in which the warming world is beginning to significantly challenge stability worldwide."


      Alan Rappeport and Christopher Flavelle, "U.S. Warns Climate Poses ‘Emerging Threat’ to Financial System: A Financial Stability Oversight Council report could lead to more regulatory action and disclosure requirements for banks," The New York Times, October 21, 2011, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/us/politics/climate-change-cost-us.html, reported, " Climate change is an 'emerging threat' to the stability of the U.S. financial system, top federal regulators warned in a report on Thursday, setting the stage for the Biden administration to take more aggressive regulatory action to prevent climate change from upending global markets and the economy.
     The report, produced by the Financial Stability Oversight Council, is the clearest expression of alarm to date about the risks that rising temperatures and seas pose to the economy and could herald sweeping changes to the kinds of investments made by banks and other financial institutions."


      Jon Queally, "White House Climate-Related Financial Risk Report Denounced as 'Pitiful' Failure," Truthout, October 22, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/white-house-climate-related-financial-risk-report-denounced-as-pitiful-failure/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=f5eae084-8ba3-49e9-9978-3932132228ff, reported, "After months of waiting , environmental groups responded with disappointment tinged with outrage late Thursday after the White House released a report on the financial risks associated with the climate crisis — a document critics say would have been promising at some earlier point in history but that falls “pitifully” short given the urgency of the crisis and just ahead of a major U.N.-backed summit kicking off at the end of the month.
     'It’s extremely disappointing to see this long-awaited report be so watered down by what can only be described as climate apathetic
FSOC members,' said Jeff Hauser, executive director of the Revolving Door Project, in response to the ' Report on Climate-Related Financial Risk' issued by the Financial Stability Oversight Council, which was created via executive order by President Joe Biden in May and chaired by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
     While the FSOC said in a Thursday statement that climate is 'an emerging and increasing threat to U.S. financial stability,' critics say the determinations and recommendations put forth by the report are woefully inadequate give the scale of the crisis and the timeline that scientists and experts have made clear.
     The report, according to Hauser, 'fails to mention fossil fuels as the key driver of climate risk. It offers no specific timelines for any of its recommendations. And it does not include specific policy recommendations beyond disclosing and assessing risk. A terse summary of the report would read ‘it’s good to notice that our planet is burning, but we won’t do anything to fix it.'”


      Christopher Flavelle, "6 Aspects of American Life Threatened by Climate Change: Two dozen federal agencies flagged the biggest dangers posed by a warming planet. The list spreads across American society," The New York Times, October 7, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/07/climate/climate-threats-federal-government.html, reported, " Less food. More traffic accidents. Extreme weather hitting nuclear waste sites. Migrants rushing toward the United States, fleeing even worse calamity in their own countries.
     Those scenarios, once the stuff of dystopian fiction, are now driving American policymaking. Under orders from President Biden, top officials at every government agency have spent months considering the top climate threats their agencies face, and how to cope with them.
     On Thursday, the White House offered a first look at the results, releasing the
climate-adaptation plans of 23 agencies , including the departments of Energy, Defense, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Transportation and Commerce. The plans reveal the dangers posed by a warming planet to every aspect of American life, and the difficulty of coping with those threats."
     The plans of each of the 23 agencies are at: https://www.sustainability.gov/adaptation/. The White House statement about the release of the plans is at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/10/07/fact-sheet-biden-administration-releases-agency-climate-adaptation-and-resilience-plans-from-across-federal-government/.


      Jake Johnson, "Study Warns 'Luxury' Pollution by the Global Mega-Rich Is Imperiling the Planet, Common Dreams, "The emissions from a single billionaire spaceflight would exceed the lifetime emissions of someone in the poorest billion people on Earth." Common Dreams, November 5, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/05/study-warns-luxury-pollution-global-mega-rich-imperiling-planet, reported, " The richest people on the planet, representing a small sliver of the total population, are emitting carbon dioxide at a rate that's imperiling hopes of keeping global heating below 1.5°C, prompting fresh calls for government action to rein in ' luxury ' pollution and combat the intertwined crises of inequality and climate change.
     New research by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) shows that by 2030, the carbon footprints of the wealthiest 1% of humanity are on track to be 30 times larger than the size compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century, the Paris Agreement's more ambitious temperature target.
      If current trends continue, the richest 1% will account for 16% of global CO2 emissions in 2030.
     The carbon emissions of the poorest half of the global population, meanwhile, 'are set to remain well below the 1.5°C-compatible level,' according to the analysis, which was commissioned by Oxfam International and published Friday. The planet has already warmed by roughly 1.1°C, and scientists have said any heating beyond 1.5°C would have destructive consequences worldwide.
      'The emissions from a single billionaire spaceflight would exceed the lifetime emissions of someone in the poorest billion people on Earth' Nafkote Dabi, Oxfam's climate policy lead, said in a statement. "A tiny elite appear to have a free pass to pollute. Their oversized emissions are fueling extreme weather around the world and jeopardizing the international goal of limiting global heating.""The emissions of the wealthiest 10% alone could send us beyond the agreed limit in the next nine years," Dabi added. "This would have catastrophic results for some of the most vulnerable people on Earth who are already facing deadly storms, hunger, and destitution." Oxfam graphic on carbon emissions
     Authored by Tim Gore, head of the Low Carbon and Circular Economy program at IEEP, the new research paper notes that 'while carbon inequality is often most stark at the global level, inequalities within countries are also very significant.'
     'They increasingly drive the extent of global inequality, and likely have a greater impact on the political and social acceptability of national emissions reduction efforts
,' the paper reads. 'It is therefore notable that in all of the major emitting countries, the richest 10% and 1% nationally are set to have per capita consumption footprints substantially above the 1.5 C global per capita level.'
      To slash the outsized planet-warming emissions of the global rich, the study calls on policymakers to pursue restrictions on mega-yachts, private jets, and recreational space travel . In a paper published last month, French economist Lucas Chancel estimated that "an 11-minute [space] flight emits no fewer than 75 tonnes of carbon per passenger once indirect emissions are taken into account (and more likely, in the 250-1,000 tonnes range)."
      'At the other end of the distribution, about one billion individuals emit less than one tonne per person per year,' Chancel observed. 'Over their lifetime, this group of one billion individuals does not emit more than 75 tonnes of carbon per person. It therefore takes a few minutes in space travel to emit at least as much carbon as an individual from the bottom billion will emit in her entire lifetime.'
      In addition to targeting sources of 'luxury carbon consumption,' the analysis by IEEP and SEI also proposes restrictions on 'climate-intensive investments like stock-holdings in fossil fuel industries.'
      'The global emissions gap to keep the 1.5°C Paris goal alive is not the result of the consumption of most of the world's people: it reflects instead the excessive emissions of just the richest citizens on the planet,' Gore said in a statement. '" It is necessary for governments to target measures at their richest, highest emitters the climate and inequality crises should be tackled together.'
     Emily Ghosh, a scientist at SEI, agreed, arguing that 'carbon inequality must urgently be put at the center of governments efforts to reduce emissions.'
     'Our research highlights the challenge of ensuring a more equitable distribution of the remaining and rapidly diminishing global carbon budget,' said Ghosh. 'If we continue on the same trajectory as today, the stark inequalities in income and emissions across the global population will remain, challenging the equity principle at the very heart of the Paris Agreement.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      President Biden announced, September 21, 2021, that he was seeking to have the U.S. double its annual aid to developing nations for fighting climate change to around $11.4 billion by 2024 (Somini Sengupta and Rick Gladstone, "U.S. Vows to Double Aid to Fight Climate Woes," The New York Times, September 22, 2021).


     "Negotiators Strike a Climate Deal, but World Remains Far From Limiting Warming: Some activists called the agreement in Glasgow disappointing, but it established a clear consensus that all countries need to do much more," The New York Times, November 13, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/13/climate/cop26-glasgow-climate-agreement.html, reported, " Diplomats from nearly 200 countries on Saturday struck a major agreement aimed at intensifying global efforts to fight climate change by calling on governments to return next year with stronger plans to curb their planet-warming emissions and urging wealthy nations to “at least double” funding to protect poor nations from the hazards of a hotter planet.
      The new deal will not, on its own, solve global warming, despite the urgent demands of many of the thousands of politicians, environmentalists and protesters who gathered at the Glasgow climate summit. Its success or failure will hinge on whether world leaders now follow through with new policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. And the deal still leaves vulnerable countries far short of the funds they need to cope with increasing weather disasters."
      Although the deal moved in wanted directions, critics pointed out that even if kept it was still not enough, and its true meaning will depend on the follow up of the countries involved.


      Brad Plumer and Lisa Friedman, "China and the United States Join in Seeking Emissions Cuts: As nearly 200 nations struggle over global climate negotiations, the world’s two biggest polluters sign an agreement, but it was short on details," The New York Times, November 10, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/10/climate/climate-cop26-glasgow.html, reported, " The United States and China announced a joint agreement Wednesday to 'enhance ambition' on climate change, saying they would work together to do more to cut emissions."


      Brett Wilkins, "'Unsettling': New Study Reveals Arctic Ocean Warming for Over a Century: 'It is possible that the Arctic Ocean is more sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought,' said one of the study's authors," Common Dreams, November 24, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/24/unsettling-new-study-reveals-arctic-ocean-warming-over-century, reported, " New research published Wednesday revealed the Arctic Ocean has been warming for decades longer than scientists previously understood, raising fresh concerns as the polar region faces the growing threat of a total loss of the seasonal ice that is crucial to the survival of the imperiled marine ecosystem.
     'We're talking about the early 1900s, and by then we've already been supercharging the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.'
     A study (https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abj2946) published in Science Advances found that 'the recent expansion of Atlantic waters into the Arctic Ocean'—a phenomenon knows as 'Atlantification'—offers 'undisputable evidence of the rapid changes occurring in this region.'"


     Henry M. Paulson Jr., "We’re Living Through One of the Most Explosive Extinction Episodes Ever," The New York Times, September 30, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/30/opinion/animal-extinction.html, commented, " Twin crises afflict the natural world. The first is climate change. Its causes and potentially catastrophic consequences are well known. The second crisis has received much less attention and is less understood but still requires urgent attention by global policymakers. It is the collapse of biodiversity, the sum of all things living on the planet.
     As species disappear and the complex relationships between living things and systems become frayed and broken, the growing damage to the world’s biodiversity presents dire risks to human societies
.
      The extinction of plants and animals is accelerating, moving an estimated 1,000 times faster than natural rates (https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cobi.12380) before humans emerged (see article for details)."


      Andrea Germanos, "Updated Extinction Assessment Drives Fresh Call to 'Save Life on Earth:' 'Every new look at extinction shows that we're running out of time to save wildlife and ultimately ourselves,'" Common Dreams, December 9, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/12/09/updated-extinction-assessment-drives-fresh-call-save-life-earth, reported, " The Biden administration was told Thursday it must act urgently to address the biodiversity and climate crises following the release of an updated global assessment that showed the number of species at risk of extinction now tops 40,000.
     'Every new look at extinction shows that we're running out of time to save wildlife and ultimately ourselves,' said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity.
      The update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (https://www.iucn.org/news/species/202112/dragonflies-threatened-wetlands-around-world-disappear-iucn-red-list) documents a decline in Earth's dragonflies and damselflies, finding 16% out of over 6,000 species are at risk of extinction amid a deterioration of their freshwater breeding grounds in Asia, the Americas, and Europe. The report says the losses are driven by numerous factors including the climate crisis and land clearance for construction and agricultural crops like palm oil.
     Out of the 142,577 species evaluated in 2021 by the IUCN, the analysis found an estimated 28% are threatened with extinction
.
     As Dr. Ian Burfield, a global science coordinator for Bird Life International, noted in a statement, 'The plight of dragonflies is indicative of a wider crisis threatening many wetland species,' including major declines in wetland birds over recent years.
     Curry similarly c alled dragonflies 'not only gorgeous' but 'species that tell us a lot about the health of rivers and wetlands. The serious threats they face are a huge red flag that we have to do better.'
     'The ongoing damming of rivers and loss of wetlands,' she said, 'wipes out wildlife and harms humans with increased risks of flooding and diseases
.'
     The plummeting numbers of dragonflies and damselflies is perhaps unsurprising in light of the vast scope of wetland destruction. Despite their crucial role the water cycle and biodiversity, approximately 85% of the world's wetlands have been lost over the past 300 hundred years. That same percentage of loss is true for the U.S. and Canada, though the rate of loss appears to be on the decline.
     'The loss of these critical habitats,' Dr. Thomas E. Lacher, Jr., Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M University, said of wetlands, 'will have severe impacts on amphibians and migratory birds globally, 'noting their 'exceptional levels of biodiversity in an extremely small land area.'
     With the new 'Red List' data—and in light of ongoing threats including the climate crisis and toxic pesticides driving an " insect apocalypse"—Curry said President Joe Biden must urgently set the U.S. on a new course in terms of energy production and environmental protection.
      'The Biden administration has to muster the political will to move away from dirty fossil fuels, change the toxic ways we produce food, curtail the wildlife trade, and halt ongoing loss of habitat,' she said. 'We actually can do these things.'
     'We can and must save life on Earth,' Curry added. 'In the face of the federal failure to act while the planet melts down around us, individuals, cities, and states have to protect wildlife and fight climate change.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Jessica Corbett, "Meat and Dairy Industry 'Fanning the Flames' of Climate and Biodiversity Crises: Report: Bolstering the case for urgent policy change, the sector's top 20 companies collectively produce more planet-heating emissions than some fossil fuel giants and European countries," Common Dreams, September 7, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/07/meat-and-dairy-industry-fanning-flames-climate-and-biodiversity-crises-report, reported, " A report released Tuesday by European campaigners highlights how the global industrial animal farming sector, backed by billions from major financial institutions, is fueling the intertwined climate and biodiversity crises—and what policymakers can do to better protect people and the planet.
     
Meat Atlas 2021 (pdf)—published by Friends of the Earth Europe, its German arm Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz, and the Berlin-based Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung—says the food sector is responsible for 21% to 37% of planet-heating emissions, over half of which comes from industrial animal farming.
     Along with featuring 'facts and figures about the animals we eat,' the report explains that scientists have been 'stressing for over a decade that a climate- and biodiversity-friendly diet contains less than half the amount of meat consumed in industrialized countries today.'
     'However, an ambitious and dedicated political shift in agriculture and food policy to tackle the climate crisis seems far away," the report continues. 'The food and farming sector in industrialized countries, which accounts for about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, is far from doing its fair share to reduce them."
     Leaders at the three groups behind the atlas argue in its introduction that 'contrary to what politicians might claim, laws and regulations can steer our consumption decisions in favor of sustainability and health. There are numerous instruments for this: fiscal, informational, and legal.'
     'European and national food strategies should contain such instruments, as well as those which support sustainable livestock breeding and a transition of the industry towards more locally embedded models in order to create fair and sustainable food environments,' the trio writes. 'They should also reinforce environmental and social laws as well as animal welfare legislation in order to shift the focus of current industrial meat production to quality instead of quantity.'
     The atlas uses several data points to make the case that industrial farming is wreaking havoc on the planet—including findings from 2018 that 'just five meat-and-milk giants, JBS, Tyson, Cargill, Dairy Farmers of America, and Fonterra, produce more combined emissions per year than major oil players like Exxon, Shell, or BP. Taken together, 20 livestock firms are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than Germany, Britain, or France.'
      Although some animal farming industry giants are privately owned, the atlas acknowledges, 'others are at least partially listed on the stock exchanges' and 'financial firms are major investors, underwriters, and lenders to the sector.'
      More than 2,500 investment banks, private banks, and pension funds poured $478 billion into meat and dairy firms from 2015 to 2020, the report says, emphasizing that BlackRock, Capital Group, Vanguard, and the Norwegian government pension fund are among the top investors.
      'While many financiers have made commitments to environmental policies and targets,' the atlas explains, =the impacts of industrial-scale agriculture are yet to be regulated across financial and legal platforms.'Meat Atlas 2021 also explores various other aspects of the industry including consolidation, trade policies, pandemic risk, land conflicts, water use, pesticides, and microbial resistance. According to the report, key takeaways include:
     More than one billion people around the world earn their living by keeping livestock. Traditional and nature-friendly animal husbandry is coming under pressure from industrialized agriculture.
     Almost two-thirds of the world's 600 million poor livestock keepers are women. They face disadvantages because they have limited access to land, services, and farm ownership.
      Conflicts over land are on the rise, in part because of industrial meat production. More and more people are being killed for defending the right to land.
      The use of antibiotics in animal husbandry is resulting in more and more microbial resistance. This threatens the effectiveness of antibiotics, one of the most important types of treatment in human medicine.
      The leading producers of fodder crops are among the largest users of pesticides—which contaminate groundwater and harm biodiversity.
      'Industrial meat farming is fanning the flames of climate crisis and biodiversity collapse while threatening the health of farmers, workers, and consumers—the evidence is resounding,' said Stanka Becheva, food and agriculture campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, in a statement Tuesday.
     Though Becheva took aim at the European Union's policymakers in particular, her message about what changes are needed has broader applicability.
     'The E.U. needs to curb this insatiable industry, but right now its leaders are just eating out of Big Agribusiness' hand.' she said. 'Europe must act to clamp down on deforestation and human rights violations in supply chains, facilitate the switch to more plant-based diets, and redirect billions of euros of subsidies and finance to small sustainable farmers.'
     Surveys suggest such moves would be popular, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung president Barbara Unmüßig pointed out Tuesday.
     'As the polls in this Meat Atlas 2021 show, the younger generations in Germany—but also in other countries—share this critical assessment: They no longer accept the meat industry's business model,' Unmüßig said.
     'More than 70% of German young adults are willing to pay more for meat if the production conditions change fundamentally,' she explained. 'But the most decisive result: a huge majority of over 80% see politics in the duty to finally set binding conditions for a climate-friendly agriculture, better animal husbandry and a climate-friendly diet.'
     Meat production 's expected to increase by another 40 million tonnes a year by 2029,' which 'would take the total output to around 366 million tonnes a year, unless policy changes intervene,' according to the atlas. 'Although 80% of the growth is likely to take place in the Global South, the biggest producers will remain China, Brazil, the USA, and the members of the European Union.'
     Noting that 'the economic interests of the meat industry, which is worth billions, and the refusal of politicians to reform strategically and coherently are keeping us on a tortuous path overstretching the ecological limits of the planet,' Unmüßig warned that 'the way things are, we will need to reduce meat production by half.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Jake Johnson, "IEA Sends Clear Message to World Leaders: Stop Investing in New Oil and Gas: 'It is now beyond doubt that there is no need for further coal, oil, and gas exploration if we are to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change,'" Common Dreams, October 13, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/13/iea-sends-clear-message-world-leaders-stop-investing-new-oil-and-gas, reported, "Just over two weeks out from the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the International Energy Agency on Wednesday delivered a straightforward and urgent message to world leaders: Fossil fuels must stay in the ground if planetary warming is to be limited to 1.5°C by the end of the century.
     The IEA's formal recognition of the 1.5°C target—the most ambitious aim of the Paris climate accord—was hailed as a "major shift" in the right direction for the influential agency, whose annual World Energy Outlook (WEO) report is often used as a resource by policymakers and businesses across the globe."


      Andrea Germanos, "'Really Fantastic': Europe's Largest Pension Fund Announces Fossil Fuel DivestmentIt's 'a huge victory for the climate, human rights, and all life on Earth,' said one activist," Common Dreams, October 26, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/26/really-fantastic-europes-largest-pension-fund-announces-fossil-fuel-divestment, reported, " Climate campaigners are cheering Wednesday in response to the news that Dutch pension fund ABP—the fifth-largest in the world—is divesting its assets from fossil fuel producers."


     But European Union's move to full green energy will not be easy. The wealthier countries have moved well to get off coal, but still rely heavily on now high price natural gas, mostly coming from Russia, while they transition to wind and solar, and France builds nuclear power stations. That last switch is a challenge to do rapidly. The poorer EU nations still rely heavily on coal, and need significant help to get off ( Melissa Eddy and Somini Sengupta , " An Electricity Crisis Complicates the Climate Crisis in Europe: Prices for power have soared, and some politicians are now trying to use that as a lever to slow action on climate change, a strategy with far-reaching consequences," The New York Times, October 29, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/29/climate/europe-energy-crisis-cop.html).
      A bright spot on facing climate change in Europe is Greece, which has been moving rapidly to switch to wind and solar, though there is resistance from coal miners and others feeling threatened by the change and billions in investments still are needed to finance the shift to green energy independence, which the government sees as an economic necessity ( Liz Alderman, "Greece Is Getting Rewired for the Future: As climate change bears down, Greece is upending its sources of energy and trying to reshape its economic destiny," The New York Times, October 29, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/29/business/greece-green-energy-climate-eu.html).


      Liz Alderman and Stanley Reed, "Europe Revisits Nuclear Power as Climate Deadlines Loom: While wind and solar ramp up, several countries, including France and Britain, are looking to expand their nuclear energy programs. Germany and others aren’t so enthusiastic," The New York Times, November 29, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/29/business/nuclear-power-europe-climate.html, reported, "
      European countries desperate for a long-term and reliable source of energy to help reach ambitious climate goals are turning to an answer that caused earlier generations to shudder: nuclear power.
     Poland wants a fleet of smaller nuclear power stations to help end its reliance on coal. Britain is betting on
Rolls-Royce to produce cheap modular reactors to complement wind and solar energy. And in France, President Emmanuel Macron plans to build on the nation’s huge nuclear program ."


      Brett Wilkins, "Climate Movement Hails 'Mind-Blowing' $40 Trillion in Fossil Fuel Divestment Pledges: 'Institutions around the world must step up now and commit to joining the divest-invest movement before it is too late—for them, for the economy, and for the world,'" Common Dreams, October 26, 2021 , Over the past decade, nearly 1,500 investors and institutions controlling almost $40 trillion in assets have committed to divesting from fossil fuels—a remarkable achievement that climate campaigners applauded Tuesday, while warning that further commitments and action remain crucial."


      Eshe Nelson, " The Bank of England adds green criteria to its corporate bond purchases," The New York Times, November 5, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/11/05/business/jobs-report-stock-market-news#the-bank-of-england-adds-green-criteria-to-its-corporate-bond-purchases, reported, " The Bank of England said it would change the rules for its corporate bond purchases to meet green goals, including permanently excluding debt from coal mining companies. The move is the latest in a spate of initiatives by financial institutions that they say will transform the financial system to support net zero-carbon targets.
      The central bank said Friday its purchases would be 'tilted' toward strong climate performers, and all companies would need to meet certain climate criteria to have their bonds considered for the corporate bond-buying program, such as meeting climate disclosure requirements and public emission reduction plans for energy and utilities companies. The new rules will come into force later this month."


      Andrea Germanos, "In World First, New Zealand Law Will Force Banks to Disclose Climate Impacts of Investments: 'This is a landmark day," October 21, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/21/world-first-new-zealand-law-will-force-banks-disclose-climate-impacts-investments, reported, " New Zealand officials on Thursday heralded passage of a groundbreaking law requiring financial institutions to disclose climate-related risks.
     'This is a landmark day,' Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said in a speech to Parliament.
     At issue is the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, which had its third reading Thursday.
      A summary of the measure from the Business Ministry touts the bill as a step toward making the country's "financial system more resilient" and reaching New Zealand's goal of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. According to the ministry, the goals of the bill are to:
     ensure that the effects of climate change are routinely considered in business, investment, lending, and insurance underwriting decisions;
     help climate reporting entities better demonstrate responsibility and foresight in their consideration of climate issues; and
     lead to more efficient allocation of capital, and help smooth the transition to a more sustainable, low emissions economy.
     A joint
statement Thursday from Clark and Climate Change Minister James Shaw frames the bill, which will require the annual disclosures starting in 2023, as the first of its kind across the globe.
     'This bill will require around 200 of the largest financial market participants in New Zealand to disclose clear, comparable, and consistent information about the risks, and opportunities, climate change presents to their business," Clark said in the statement. "In doing so, it will promote business certainty, raise expectations, accelerate progress and create a level playing field
.'
     Shaw, for his part, said the measure would 'encourage entities to become more sustainable by factoring the short, medium, and long-term effects of climate change into their business decisions.'"


      Eshe Nelson, "Britain Turns to Bankers to Blaze a Green Trail: The financial industry will be relied on to meet climate goals. NatWest, a lender to oil giants, provides a template," The New York Times, December 5, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/02/business/natwest-britain-climate-bankers.html, reported, " NatWest, formerly the Royal Bank of Scotland, has made the unlikely transformation from substantial financier of the oil and gas industry to a leader in green finance, whittling down its fossil fuel exposure and pledging to funnel 100 billion pounds, or $133 billion, into sustainable-energy projects in the next four years."
     "Since Brexit, Britain’s financial industry has lost some of its luster, as London can no longer be used as a hub for European business. The Treasury, determined to maintain the nation’s eminence, is exploring other ways to attract investors, including loosening the rules for listing companies to attract founder-led tech start-ups and backing financial technology companies. But green finance could also be an answer." The British government has said that it seeks to become , “the world’s first net-zero-aligned financial center (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-uk-will-be-the-worlds-first-net-zero-financial-centre).


      Stanley Reed, "A Major Persian Gulf Oil Producer Tries to Burnish Its Climate Credentials: Trying to attract investors and retain customers, the United Arab Emirates says it will step up its efforts to cut emissions," The New York Times, November 3, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/30/business/uae-net-zero-cop26.html, reported, "For more than a decade he [Sultan Al Jaber of the UAE] has tried to position the Persian Gulf state as a leader on environmental issues, acting at the behest of Abu Dhabi’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
     In the latest of these initiatives, the United Arab Emirates pledged to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the first government in the region to make such a statement. It joins a growing list of countries making long-range commitments that are difficult to evaluate."


      Michael Corkery and Julie Creswell, "C orporate Climate Pledges Often Ignore a Key Component: Supply Chains: Many companies do not account for the emissions from their supply chains, which can be a significant majority of their contributions to greenhouse gases," The New York Times, November 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/02/business/corporate-climate-pledge-supply-chain.html, reported, "For nearly 30 years, the pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb has proclaimed it’s been setting and meeting ambitious targets around energy and greenhouse gas emissions. These days, those goals include being 'carbon neutral'by 2040."
     Numerous other large firms, including, Caterpillar, Texas Instruments, Exxon Mobil and the Walt Disney Company have all made similar claims concerning reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
     "But something is missing from these lofty corporate goals: any accounting of significant emissions from their supply chains or waste from their products. For some companies, those can total as much as 95 percent of their overall contributions to greenhouse gases."


     " Simon Romero, In Arizona, Drought Ignites Tensions and Threatens Traditions Among the Hopi The tribe has survived for more than a thousand years in the arid mesas. The megadrought gripping the Southwest is testing that resilience," The New York Times, October 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/02/us/arizona-megadrought.html, " Alarmed by the two-decade drought that has dried up springs, withered crops and killed cattle, the Hopi Tribal Council ordered ranchers in August to slash their herds in a bid to preserve water supplies and avoid the cruelty of an even larger death toll.
     But an outcry by Hopi cattlemen, who say they are providing families with locally raised food, compelled the council to rescind its edict, a decision that has unleashed a fierce discussion across the reservation over what traditions to safeguard in a time of climate change. The tensions involve farmers who need water to grow crops and ranchers who need water for their cattle
. Some Hopi leaders say the tribe should do everything it can to preserve dry farming, a tribal tradition in which crops grow despite scant rainfall through drought-resistant seeds, small fields and terraced gardens."


     Jake Johnson, "'All of the Sirens Are Going Off': NOAA Says July Was Hottest Month Ever Recorded: 'This is not the new normal. Extreme temperatures and deadly weather will only get worse if we continue business-as-usual,'" Common Dreams, August 13, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/13/all-sirens-are-going-noaa-says-july-was-hottest-month-ever-recorded, reported, "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday that July 2021 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, a finding that comes just days after a United Nations scientific panel warned that humanity is running out of time to prevent the worst consequences of the climate emergency.
      'All of the sirens are going off,' Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted in response to NOAA's announcement. 'It is wildly important that Congress take strong, comprehensive action as soon as possible to meet the threat of climate change.'
     In a press release, NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information noted that with the inclusion of data from last month—which was marked by devastating wildfires across the globe, from California to Turkey to Siberia to Canada—'it remains very likely that 2021 will rank among the world's 10 warmest years on record.'
     'In this case, first place is the worst place to be,' NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. 'July is typically the world's warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded. This new record adds to the disturbing and disruptive path that climate change has set for the globe.' NOAA graphic
     Based on records dating back to 1880, NOAA's new analysis finds that the combined land and ocean surface temperature in July 2021 was 1.67°F higher than the 20th century average of 60.4°F. Last month's global surface temperature was just slightly higher than that of July 2016, a temperature that was tied in both 2019 and 2020.
      'During the month, temperatures were much warmer than average across parts of North America, Europe, northern and southern South America, northern Africa, the southern half of Asia, Oceania, and parts of the western and northern Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans,' the U.S. government agency found.`In just the Northern Hemisphere, the land-surface temperature last month was the highest ever recorded in July—an "unprecedented" 2.77°F above the 20th century average.
      'The seven warmest Julys have all occurred since 2015," NOAA observed. " July 2021 marked the 45th consecutive July and the 439th consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average. Climatologically, July is the warmest month of the year. With July 2021 the warmest July on record, at least nominally, this resulted in the warmest month on record for the globe."
      NOAA's findings align with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's warning on Monday that the planet's temperature is rising at an 'unprecedented' rate—a trend the U.N. body said can only be reversed by massive and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels.
     'This is not the new normal,' the climate advocacy group Friends of the Earth
tweeted in response to NOAA's findings. 'Extreme temperatures and deadly weather will only get worse if we continue business-as-usual. Meanwhile, every year our government is still throwing billions of tax dollars into the corporations fueling this climate crisis.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Becky Ferreira, "A Warning Sign of a Mass Extinction Event Is on the Rise, Scientists Say: Toxic microbial blooms thrived during the Great Dying, the most severe extinction in Earth's history, and they are proliferating again due to human activity," Vice.com, September 21, 2021, https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvzqg5/a-warning-sign-of-a-mass-extinction-event-is-on-the-rise-scientists-say, reported, " If you live near a freshwater river or lake, odds are good that you have seen warning signs about harmful algal and bacterial blooms posted on its shores. Alarmingly, a new study reports that these blooms may be early indicators of an ongoing ecological disaster, caused by humans, that eerily parallels the worst extinction event in Earth’s history.
     Some 251 million years ago, the end-Permian event (EPE), popularly known as the 'Great Dying,' wiped out nearly 90 percent of species on Earth, making it the most severe loss of life in our planet’s history.
     Ominous parallels of that upheaval are now showing up on Earth, according to a team led by Chris Mays, a postdoctoral researcher and palaeobotanist at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm. The researchers found that toxic algal and bacterial blooms during the Great Dying are similar to a recent microbial proliferation in modern lakes and rivers—a trend that has been linked to human activities such as greenhouse gas emissions (especially carbon dioxide), deforestation, and soil loss."


      Kenny Stancil, "These 10 Imperiled Species in US Are Hanging by a Thread in Face of Climate Threat: 'Plants and wildlife are going extinct at an unprecedented rate, and it's way past time for our elected leaders to take bold action to protect our planet and all its inhabitants,'" Common Dreams, December 15, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/12/15/these-10-imperiled-species-us-are-hanging-thread-face-climate-threat, reported," A new report (https://www.endangered.org/assets/uploads/2021/12/Last-Chance-Top-Ten-ESC.pdf) released Wednesday by the Endangered Species Coalition details the plight of 10 rapidly vanishing species in the United States that are already suffering the destructive consequences of the global climate emergency—characterized by rising temperatures that bring increasingly frequent, prolonged, and intense heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods.
     'Without sufficient and vibrant biodiversity, we lose the resources... to support life.'
      Animals being 'pushed to the edge of extinction in our warming world' include the Diamondback terrapin; Elkhorn coral; Florida Key deer; Maui parrotbill; Mexican long-nosed bat; Monarch butterfly; Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog; and Western ridged mussel.
     Plants that are increasingly at risk of being wiped off the face of the Earth due to extreme weather driven
primarily by fossil fuel emissions include the Ka palupalu o Kanaloa and the Whitebark pine."


      Andrea Germanos, "''This Is an Emergency': Oxfam Says Rich Nations' $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough: 'Time is running out for rich nations to build trust and deliver on their unmet target,'" Common Dreams, October 25, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/25/emergency-oxfam-says-rich-nations-100-billion-climate-pledge-not-good-enough, reported, " Rich nations will likely be three years late in starting to fulfill their pledged $100 billion in annual funds to help developing nations tackle the climate emergency, according to a document out Monday, sparking outcry from advocates for climate justice.
     'Developing countries have put up with accounting tricks, delays, and broken promises for far too long.'
     'It's disappointing to see rich countries fall short again on their $100 billion climate finance promise," tweeted The Elders, a human rights organization made up of former global leaders. 'This is not enough to build trust ahead of COP 26,' the United Nations climate summit beginning Oct. 31.
     'We need to see a clear commitment to release all funds owed," the group added, "and a major increase in adaptation finance.'
     The Climate Finance Delivery Plan (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-cop26-presidency-publishes-climate-finance-delivery-plan-led-by-german-state-secretary-flasbarth-and-canadas-minister-wilkinson-ahead-of-cop26) was published Monday by the U.K. COP presidency. At issue is a commitment made in 2009 by developed nations—those most responsible for causing the climate emergency—for $100 billion a year of climate aid to begin in 2020."


     Jason Begauy, "Montana tribes banded together during fire season: It has been an early and severe fire season across the state, of the 2,000 wildfires this year, more than half were human caused," ICT, August 25, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/montana-tribes-banded-together-during-fire-season, reported that even by late August 2021 Montana was experiencing an unusually bad fire season, threatening its reservations, as the Nations collaborated in meeting them, " Residents in three separate Montana reservations banded together to save homes, lives and cultural sites as wildfires scorched nearly 200,000 acres on and near tribal lands in the last two weeks."
     There were no reported fatalities in any of the fires. And so far, only one home, the reported source of the Fort Belknap fire, was reported destroyed. Rains and cooler temperatures throughout the end of the week and through the weekend helped curtail the flames. However, forecasts called for a return to hot, dry weather."
      It has been an early and severe fire season. The state of Montana has seen more than 2,000 wildfires so far in 2021. Of those fires, 1,392 were human caused. The state currently ranks fourth nationwide in acreage burned this year."


     World War Zero stated in an E-mail, August 25, 2021, "This week, yet another California fire is blazing and threatening hundreds of communities (https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/2021/08/caldor-fire-scorches-california/?emci=6103f9d5-d205-ec11-b563-501ac57bf4cb&emdi=4eb44cf2-e205-ec11-b563-501ac57bf4cb&ceid=1763602), as authorities scramble to contain it. Still, our must-read content is all about those who may see the worst of climate change -- our children and grandchildren. A new report from UNICEF estimates that one billion children are at extreme risk of climate impacts (https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/2021/08/one-billion-children-at-extreme-risk-of-climate-impacts/?emci=6103f9d5-d205-ec11-b563-501ac57bf4cb&emdi=4eb44cf2-e205-ec11-b563-501ac57bf4cb&ceid=1763602). The good news? The kids are fighting back. Hear their voices in Front Lines: https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/?emci=6103f9d5-d205-ec11-b563-501ac57bf4cb&emdi=4eb44cf2-e205-ec11-b563-501ac57bf4cb&ceid=1763602."


     World War Zero stated in an E-mail, August 25, 2021, "This week, in the wake of another round of dire climate warnings, with little time to spare and even smaller margins for error, government and business leaders are taking encouraging steps in the fight against climate change.
      Climate News -- Edition #14, https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/category/news/?emci=e1ff2a9a-3213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&emdi=f64c246c-d213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&ceid=1763602
     In California, carbon emissions and climate-exacerbated extreme weather team up to create a vicious cycle: a historic drought is poised to worsen the state’s carbon footprint . As water becomes harder to come by, the state may have to rely on energy intensive processes, like desalination, to sustain itself, and its crops (https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/2021/09/california-s-drought-could-worsen-climate-change/?emci=e1ff2a9a-3213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&emdi=f64c246c-d213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&ceid=1763602).
     The threat to farming doesn’t stop there . Soaring temperatures threaten the yield of staple crops, like corn and rice . They may also reduce cows’ milk production, and food consumption by pigs, threatening global food supply (https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/2021/09/changing-climate-changing-cropland/?emci=e1ff2a9a-3213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&emdi=f64c246c-d213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&ceid=1763602).
     And last, Nature magazine (https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/2021/09/keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground-and-avoid-disaster/?emci=e1ff2a9a-3213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&emdi=f64c246c-d213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&ceid=1763602) warns that curbing fossil fuel extraction should begin in earnest now in order to avert the worst of climate change. Scientists warn that 90% of coal and 60% of oil reserves must remain in the ground by 2050, or dramatic and dangerous temperature rise will continue at a breakneck pace.
     And now for the good news...  
     The
EPA unveiled plans to regulate PFAS -- carcinogenic 'forever chemicals' (https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/2021/09/epa-new-pfas-limits-but-environmental-advocates-say-more-action-is-needed/?emci=e1ff2a9a-3213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&emdi=f64c246c-d213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&ceid=1763602) that accumulate in the environment and our bodies.  
     In the private sector, hospitality companies are teaming up with the World Wildlife Foundation to reduce food waste -- which account for 8% of worldwide greenhouse emissions (https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/2021/09/wwf-teams-up-with-hotels-to-measure-and-reduce-food-waste/?emci=e1ff2a9a-3213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&emdi=f64c246c-d213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&ceid=1763602).  
     And in Congress, leaders are proposing that $2.6 billion be set-aside to fund climate research . $765 million would fund climate adaptation and resilience strategies, while the rest would help with extreme weather forecasting, and climate related research at the EPA, NOAA, and NASA (https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/2021/09/usd2-6-billion-proposal-for-federal-climate-research/?emci=e1ff2a9a-3213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&emdi=f64c246c-d213-ec11-981f-501ac57ba3ed&ceid=1763602)."


      Henry Fountain, "Impact: High Carbon Dioxide Emissions: From June to August, the blazes emitted far more planet-warming carbon dioxide than in any other summer in nearly two decades, satellite data shows," The New York Times, September 21, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/21/climate/wildfire-emissions-climate-change.html?campaign_id=54&emc=edit_clim_20210922&instance_id=41055&nl=climate-fwd%3A&regi_id=52235981&segment_id=69629&te=1&user_id=2984790c14170290245238c0cd4fd927, reported that California wildfires in 2021 have produced double the carbon dioxide of those of 2020, and far more than in previous years. " This wildfire season so far in California has been extraordinary, producing thousands of fires — including one that, at nearly a million acres burned, is the largest single fire in state history — and spewing so much smoke that air quality has been affected thousands of miles away."
     The Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service, a European Union-financed agency, which estimates emissions based on satellite measurements available since 2003, said, California fires released more than 75 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in three months of summer 2021.
     " That’s a small amount compared with annual worldwide CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels, which are expected to total about 33 billion tons this year. And most of the CO2 emitted by wildfires may, over time, be offset as vegetation recolonizing burned areas uses CO2 to grow. Still, any additional amount of CO2 in the atmosphere contributes to warming."
     " Overall, fires in the Western United States released 130 million tons of CO2 this summer, according to the agency’s estimates. This included about 17 million tons in Oregon, more than 10 times the amount released last year. The Bootleg fire, which burned more than 400,000 acres in July and August, was one of the largest in Oregon history. The Dixie fire in Northern California is that state’s largest."


      And still in mid-October, another California wildfire exploding quickly, " The Alisal Fire is rapidly growing near Santa Barbara," NPR, October 13, 2021, https://www.npr.org/2021/10/13/1045578784/alisal-fire-california-reagan-western-white-house, reported, "A major coastal highway remained closed Wednesday and evacuation orders were in place from a growing blaze driven by intense winds that raised the risk of wildfires in much of California.
     More than 200 firefighters battled the Alisal Fire, which covered 21 square miles (54 square kilometers) along coastal Santa Barbara County and was only 5% contained, county fire officials said."


     Jessica Corbett, "'The Burning of Fossil Fuels Is Killing Us,' WHO Warns in COP 26 Report: 'Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity,' the U.N. agency says. 'While no one is safe from the health impacts of climate change, they are disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.'" Common Dreams, October 11, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/11/burning-fossil-fuels-killing-us-who-warns-cop-26-report, reported, "Looking toward the United Nations summit scheduled for the end of the month, a top U.N. agency on Monday released a report (https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/cop26-special-report) that makes a 'health argument for climate action' and calls on governments and policymakers to urgently tackle the emergency.
     'The burning of fossil fuels is killing us,' warns the World Health Organization (WHO) report, noting that the practice is 'causing millions of premature deaths every year through air pollutants, costing the global economy billions of dollars annually, and fueling the climate crisis
.'
     In the foreword, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlights that human-caused global heating is impacting droughts, extreme heat, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires.
      'Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity,' says the report. 'And while no one is safe from the health impacts of climate change, they are disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.'
     'Protecting people's health from climate change requires transformational action in every sector, including on energy, transport, nature, food systems, and finance,' the report continues. 'The public health benefits from implementing these ambitious climate actions far outweigh their costs.'
     Tedros, in a statement Monday, said that 'the Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on the intimate and delicate links between humans, animals, and our environment.'
     'The same unsustainable choices that are killing our planet are killing people,' the agency leader added, underscoring how important COP 26—the upcoming U.K.-hosted summit that will be held in Glasgow, Scotland—is to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
      'WHO calls on all countries to commit to decisive action at COP 26 to limit global warming to 1.5°C—not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it's in our own interests," he said. "WHO's new report highlights 10 priorities for safeguarding the health of people and the planet that sustains us."Those priorities, explained at length in the report, are:Commit to a healthy recovery;Our health is not negotiable;Harness the health benefits of climate action;Build health resilience to climate risks;Create energy systems that protect and improve climate and health;Reimagine urban environments, transport, and mobility;Protect and restore nature as the foundation of our health;Promote healthy, sustainable, and resilient food systems;Finance a healthier, fairer, and greener future to save lives; andListen to the health community and prescribe urgent climate action.
     The report comes a few weeks after the WHO updated its guidelines on air quality for the first time in over 15 years, warning that 'air pollution is now recognized as the single biggest environmental threat to human health' and the burden of disease attributable to it is 'estimated to be on a par with other major global health risks such as unhealthy diet and tobacco smoking.'
     Pointing to the new standards—which reflect the impact of fossil fuels on humans—Dr. Maria Neira, WHO's director of environment, climate change, and health, said Monday that 'it has never been clearer that the climate crisis is one of the most urgent health emergencies we all face.'
     'Bringing down air pollution to WHO guideline levels, for example, would reduce the total number of global deaths from air pollution by 80% while dramatically reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change,' she said. 'A shift to more nutritious, plant-based diets in line with WHO recommendations, as another example, could reduce global emissions significantly, ensure more resilient food systems, and avoid up to 5.1 million diet-related deaths a year by 2050.'"


      Jessica Corbett, WHO's New Air Pollution Guidelines Reflect Deadly Toll of Fossil Fuels," Common Dreams, October 11, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/11/burning-fossil-fuels-killing-us-who-warns-cop-26-report, reported, "The new report was released alongside an open letter from 450 organizations representing over 45 million health workers, along with more than 3,400 individuals from 102 different countries."As health professionals and health workers, we recognize our ethical obligation to speak out about this rapidly growing crisis that could be far more catastrophic and enduring than the Covid-19 pandemic," the letter says of the climate emergency."We call on the leaders of every country and their representatives at COP 26 to avert the impending health catastrophe by limiting global warming to 1.5°C," the letter adds, "and to make human health and equity central to all climate change mitigation and adaptation actions."The letter, which provides examples of how the climate emergency is already impacting human health and specific recommendations for moves that policymakers can pursue, concludes that "these climate actions must be taken now to protect the planet, and the health, well-being, and prosperity of all people alive today and for generations to come."
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Kenny Stancil, "2,180+ Scientists Worldwide Demand 'Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty:' 'Every fraction of a degree of warming is doing us harm,' said one of the open letter's signatories. 'This means that every day we delay cessation of fossil fuel burning, we come closer to catastrophe.'" Common Dreams, September 14, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/14/2180-scientists-worldwide-demand-fossil-fuel-non-proliferation-treatym reported, " As the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly begins Tuesday amid an unrelenting wave of extreme weather , thousands of academics from around the globe are urging governments to negotiate an international treaty to bring about a rapid and just transition away from coal, oil, and gas—"the main cause of the climate emergency."
     In an open
letter delivered on Monday, 2,185 scientists from 81 countries write: 'We, the undersigned, call on governments around the world to adopt and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (https://fossilfueltreaty.org), as a matter of urgency, to protect the lives and livelihoods of present and future generations through a global, equitable phase out of fossil fuels in line with the scientific consensus to not exceed 1.5ºC of warming.'
     Characterizing the climate crisis as 'the greatest threat to human civilization and nature,' the letter notes that 'the burning of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and gas—is the greatest contributor to climate change, responsible for almost 80% of carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial revolution.'"


     " President Xi Jinping of China stated, September 21, 2021, that China would cease building coal fired power plants abroad, which have been part of its foreign investment program (Somini Sengupta and Rick Gladstone, "China Pledges to Stop Building Coal-Burning Power Plants Abroad," The New York Times, September 22, 2021).


      Alexander C. Kaufman, "Activists Call It A ‘False Solution.’ But UN Scientists Say We Need To Suck Up CO2. The latest global climate report makes clear we need to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and “planting trees” won’t be enough" Huff Post, August 14, 2021, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/un-ipcc-carbon-removal_n_6116c65ee4b0454ed70da0ba, reported, "A United Nations-led panel of scientists delivered a grim prognosis this week: The planet is, on average, 2 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than it was in the last century, and even if we magically halted all emissions tomorrow, humanity has spewed enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to lock in dangerous climate effects for the next 30 years.
     Avoiding climate catastrophe at this point would require removing carbon from the atmosphere. The Earth naturally absorbs carbon when plants and algae photosynthesize. But the
long-awaited report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a consortium of scientists representing virtually every country, makes clear that averting catastrophe now will require us to develop measurable, surefire ways to suck CO2 from the air and return it to the ground."


      Steven Erlanger and Somini Sengupta, "Europe Unveils Plan to Shift From Fossil Fuels, Setting Up Potential Trade Spats: The proposal would impose tariffs on some imports from countries with looser environmental rules. It would also mean the end of sales in the European Union of new gas- and diesel-powered cars in just 14 years," The New York Times, July 14, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/world/europe/climate-change-carbon-green-new-deal.html?campaign_id=54&emc=edit_clim_20210714&instance_id=35319&nl=climate-fwd%3A&regi_id=52235981&segment_id=63444&te=1&user_id=2984790c14170290245238c0cd4fd927, reported, "In what may be a seminal moment in the global effort to fight climate change, Europe on Wednesday challenged the rest of the world by laying out an ambitious blueprint to pivot away from fossil fuels over the next nine years, a plan that also has the potential to set off global trade disputes.
     The most radical, and possibly contentious, proposal would impose tariffs on certain imports from countries with less stringent climate-protection rules. The
proposals also include eliminating the sales of new gas- and diesel-powered cars in just 14 years, and raising the price of using fossil fuels."
     The EU plan calls for reducing its emissions of greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent of 1990 levels by 2030
."


      The old, obsolete power grid in the United States, in some locations, is already unable to handle the new requirements of green energy, in some instances making solar and other installations useless, and seriously retarding the needed rapid green energy growth. A huge current critical need is for power grid upgrade nation-wide. "Old Power Gear Is Slowing Use of Clean Energy and Electric Cars: Some people and businesses seeking to use solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles find they can’t because utility equipment needs an upgrade," The New York Times, October 28, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/28/business/energy-environment/electric-grid-overload-solar-ev.html reported, " President Biden is pushing lawmakers and regulators to wean the United States from fossil fuels and counter the effects of climate change . But his ambitious goals could be upended by aging transformers and dated electrical lines that have made it hard for homeowners, local governments and businesses to use solar panels, batteries, electric cars, heat pumps and other devices that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
     Much of the equipment on the electric grid was
built decades ago and needs to be upgraded . It was designed for a world in which electricity flowed in one direction — from the grid to people. Now, homes and businesses are increasingly supplying energy to the grid from their rooftop solar panels."


     "Recent discovery may give solar cells 1,000% more power," mining.com, September 23, 2021, https://www.mining.com/recent-discovery-may-give-solar-cells-a-thousand-times-more-power/, reported, "Lopburi solar farm in Thailand. (Reference image by Asian Development Bank, Flickr).
     Researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg achieved an increase in the photovoltaic effect of ferroelectric crystals by a factor of 10 by creating crystalline layers of barium titanate, strontium titanate and calcium titanate, which they alternately placed on top of one another.
     Their findings, which were published in the journal Science Advances, could significantly increase the efficiency of solar cells."


      Jenna Mcguire, "Climate-Driven Weather Disasters Increased Fivefold Over Past 50 Years: UN AgencyReport finds extreme weather has killed more than 2 million people and cost $3.64 trillion in economic damages since 1970," Common Dreams, September 1, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/01/climate-driven-weather-disasters-increased-fivefold-over-past-50-years-un-agency, reported, " The number of extreme weather disasters driven by the climate crisis has increased fivefold over the past 50 years, killing more than two million people and costing $3.64 trillion in total losses, a United Nations agency said on Wednesday.
     The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says its "Atlas" report (https://library.wmo.int/index.php?lvl=notice_display&id=21930#.YS__5S1h2in) is the most comprehensive review of mortality and economic losses from extreme climate and weather incidents ever produced. It surveyed some 11,000 events between 1970 and 2019.
     The report highlights major catastrophes such as Ethiopia's 1983 drought—the single most fatal event with 300,000 deaths—and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which was the most economically costly, with losses of $163.6 billion.
     The report finds that from 1970 to 2019, weather, climate, and water hazards accounted for 50% of all disasters, 45% of all reported deaths, and 74% of all reported economic losses.
      'The number of weather, climate, and water extremes are increasing and will become more frequent and severe in many parts of the world as a result of climate change," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
     'That means more heatwaves, drought, and forest fires such as those we have observed recently in Europe and North America. We have more water vapor in the atmosphere, which is exacerbating extreme rainfall and deadly flooding. The warming of the oceans has affected the frequency and area of existence of the most intense tropical storms,' Taalas continued.
     The report finds that more than 91% of the two million deaths occurred
      in developing countries
, where there is weaker infrastructure and warning systems. The leading cause of death was drought, followed by storms, floods, and extreme temperatures.
     While deaths from extreme weather events have decreased almost threefold from 1970 to 2019 due to improved disaster reporting, economic losses are rapidly skyrocketing.
     According to the report, economic losses have increased sevenfold, surging from $175.4 billion in the 1970s to $1.38 trillion in the 2010s.An average of $202 million in damage occurred every day from 1970 to 2019, storms being the most prevalent cause of damage, resulting in the largest economic losses around the globe.
      Three of the costliest 10 disasters occurred in 2017: Hurricanes Harvey ($96.9 billion), Maria ($69.4 billion), and Irma ($58.2 billion).
     The report reveals crucial lessons from the past 50 years and makes a number of recommendations to governments, including:Review hazard exposure and vulnerability considering a changing climate to reflect that tropical cyclones may have different tracks, intensity, and speed than in the past;Strengthen disaster risk financing mechanisms at national to international levels, especially for least developed countries and small island developing states and territories;Develop integrated and proactive policies on slow-onset disasters such as drought.
     'More lives are being saved thanks to early warning systems but it is also true that the number of people exposed to disaster risk is increasing due to population growth in hazard-exposed areas and the growing intensity and frequency of weather events,'
said Mami Mizutori, special representative of the secretary-general for disaster risk reduction and head of U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
     'More international cooperation is needed to tackle the chronic problem of huge numbers of people being displaced each year by floods, storms, and drought,' Mizutori added. 'We need greater investment in comprehensive disaster risk management ensuring that climate change adaptation is integrated in national and local disaster risk reduction strategies
.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Julia Conley, "Environmental Threats Rapidly Becoming 'Single Greatest Challenge to Human Rights': UN: The planetary crisis is 'impacting a broad range of rights, including the rights to adequate food, water, education, housing, health, development, and even life itself,' said the U.N.'s top rights expert," Common Dreams, September 13, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/13/environmental-threats-rapidly-becoming-single-greatest-challenge-human-rights-un, reported, The climate crisis and other environmental calamities are quickly becoming the greatest threat to human rights across the globe, the United Nations' top rights expert said Monday.
     At the 48th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet warned that 'the triple planetary crises of climate change, pollution, and nature loss is directly and severely impacting a broad range of rights, including the rights to adequate food, water, education, housing, health, development, and even life itself.'
      'A s these environmental threats intensify, they will constitute the single greatest challenge to human rights in our era,' she said.
     Bachelet's comments came weeks after the U.N. identified Madagascar's current hunger crisis as quickly becoming the world's first famine driven almost entirely by the climate crisis, as the heating of the planet has caused the country's years-long drought.
     'Extreme and murderous climate events' have been recorded in regions across the world, Bachelet said, pointing to record-breaking rainfall and flash flooding in countries including Germany, Turkey, and China; an Arctic heat wave that scientists linked to a cold snap in North America that led to a deadly deep freeze and power outage in Texas; and 'interminable drought' across much of the world that has displaced millions.
      Such crises are intensifying conflicts in places including northern Africa's Sahel region, where desertification and long droughts—often followed by dangerous flash flooding—have run up against 'weak governance of natural resources; long-standing patterns of poverty and inequalities; inadequate access to basic services; and high rates of youth unemployment and discrimination against minorities, women and girls.'
      'These trends compel people into displacement, aggravate conflicts and political instability, and fuel recruitment by violent extremist groups,' said Bachelet. 'In such a situation it should be clear that there can be no purely military solution to the conflicts in the region.'
     Environmental threats have led to the displacement of four million people across the Sahel region
, according to the U.N., with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) saying the area is facing 'an exceptional crisis.'
     The commissioner also identified countries including China, India, and Bangladesh as facing widespread 'disaster displacement,' with 20 million people in Bangladesh expected to be forced from their homes by 2050 as 17% of the country becomes "submerged by rising sea levels.'"Forecasts of this gravity and impact—including on displacement—cannot be ignored by any policymaker, anywhere," Bachelet said. 'They will have cascading economic, social, cultural, and political effects that will impact every society in the world.'
     In addition to the long-term effects of drought and the heating of the planet driven by continued fossil fuel extraction, the commissioner noted that a ir pollution—'fueled by the same patterns of unsustainable consumption and production as climate change'—is responsible for an estimated one in six of all premature deaths around the world.
      The 33 countries found to be at 'extremely high risk' for hazards including air pollution, according to a report issued by UNICEF last month, emit only 9% of global carbon emissions and are home to 2.2 billion children—meaning those countries least responsible for the climate crisis are most at risk for the human rights threats it is causing.
     As Bachelet made her statement on the climate emergency's effect on human rights, Amnesty International joined more than 1,000 civil society groups in calling on the Human Rights Council to 'recognize a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a universal human right.'
     'Governments' failure to act on climate change in the face
of overwhelming scientific evidence may well be the biggest intergenerational human rights violation in history,' said Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International. 'As the primary global human rights body, the HRC must use all the tools at its disposal to counter the crisis. We call on all states to support recognition of the right to a healthy environment, at the U.N. and at national level. Those who do not will be on the wrong side of history and standing against the common future of humanity'
     Bachelet looked ahead to the 2021 U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP 26), taking place in Glasgow, Scotland in November, where she said she will be 'strongly advocating more ambitious, rights-based and inclusive climate action.'
     The commissioner's statement amplified a call from more than 100 nations in the Global South earlier this year in which government officials and experts demanded $100 billion in climate financing and net-zero emissions targets 'with end-dates well before 2050' in order to 'take responsibility' for rich nations' disproportionate role in causing the planetary emergency.
     'States' human rights obligations require them to cooperate toward the progressive realization of human rights globally, and this clearly should include adequate financing by those who can best afford it of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage,' said Bachelet.
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). "


     "
So Many Dimensions’: A Drought Study Underlines the Complexity of Climate: Low rainfall has caused a humanitarian crisis in Madagascar, but common assumptions about drought didn’t hold up to scrutiny," The New York Times, December 1, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/01/climate/climate-change-madagascar-drought.html, reported that the two consecutive years of severe drought ruining harvests and bringing a huge humanitarian crisis does not appear to be caused by climate change, according to recent scientific analysis. "Rainfall in the hard-hit south of Madagascar naturally fluctuates quite a lot, the researchers said, and they did not find that a warming climate was making prolonged droughts significantly more likely ."


      Jessica Corbett, "Climate Emergency May Displace 216 Million Within Countries by 2050: World Bank" 'The Groundswell report is a stark reminder of the human toll of climate change, particularly on the world's poorest—those who are contributing the least to its causes,'" Common Dreams, September 13, 2021, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/36248, reported, " Underscoring the necessity of immediate and sweeping action to take on the climate emergency, a World Bank report revealed Monday that 216 million people across six global regions could be forced to move within their countries by midcentury.
      Groundswell Part 2: Acting on Internal Climate Migration (https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/36248) includes analyses for East Asia and the Pacific, North Africa, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, building on a modeling approach from a 2018 report that covered Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.
      'The Groundswell report is a stark reminder of the human toll of climate change, particularly on the world's poorest—those who are contributing the least to its causes,' said Juergen Voegele, vice president of sustainable development at the World Bank, in a statement.
      The report's highest projection is for Sub-Saharan Africa, which could see up to 86 million internal climate migrants by 2050, followed by East Asia and the Pacific (49 million), South Asia (40 million), North Africa (19 million), Latin America (17 million), and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (five million). The 216 million figure is a worst-case scenario total for the six regions, Voegele explained in the report's introduction.
     'It's important to note that this projection is not cast in stone," he wrote. " If countries start now to reduce greenhouse gases, close development gaps, restore vital ecosystems, and help people adapt, internal climate migration could be reduced by up to 80%—to 44 million people by 2050.'"


     "A low-carbon economy is cheaper than the costs of climate change, a report says," The New York Times, September. 22, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/22/business/europe-climate-change-cost.html, reported that a new European Central Bank report again exposes the extremely high financial and human cost of failing to act quickly and uffiecienty on climate change. "Banks and companies in the eurozone risk economic loss and financial instability, the central bank said Wednesday as it published the results of its first economy-wide climate stress test (https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpops/ecb.op281~05a7735b1c.en.pdf?278f6135a442cd0105488513e77e3e6d), part of a major effort by policymakers to support the transition to a net-zero carbon world.
      By the end of the century, more frequent and severe natural disasters could shrink the region’s economy by 10 percent if no new policies to mitigate climate change are introduced, the report said. By comparison, the costs of transition would be no more than 2 percent of gross domestic product."


      Brett Wilkins, "2020 Was Deadliest-Ever Year for Environmental Defenders: Report: 'Fighting the climate crisis carries an unbearably heavy burden for some, who risk their lives to save the forests, rivers, and biospheres that are essential to counteract unsustainable global warming." Common Dreams, September 13, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/13/2020-was-deadliest-ever-year-environmental-defenders-report, reported, " A record 227 environmental defenders were murdered last year—with over half of these killings perpetrated in Colombia, Mexico, and the Philippines—according to a report published Monday by Global Witness.
     The international human rights group, which has been tracking and reporting lethal attacks on environmental activists since 2012, said it recorded an average of more than four such killings per week in 2020, 'making it once again the most dangerous year on record for people defending their homes, land and livelihoods, and ecosystems vital for biodiversity and the climate.'
      'A grim picture has come into focus—with the evidence suggesting that as the climate crisis intensifies, violence against those protecting their land and our planet also increases,' Global Witness said in an introduction to the report (pdf). "It has become clear that the unaccountable exploitation and greed driving the climate crisis is also driving violence against land and environmental defenders."
      The 227 lethal attacks represent a 7% increase over the 212 deaths recorded by Global Witness in last year's report. As in 2019, Colombia witnessed the highest number of slain land defenders, with 65 murders reported, followed by Mexico with 30 killings—a 67% increase from 2019—and the Philippines, where 29 activists were murdered.
     Brazil, with 20 slain land defenders, and Honduras, which saw 17 such killings, rounded out the top five deadliest countries for environmental activists. On a per capita basis, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, and the Philippines were the five deadliest nations for land defenders last ye
ar.
     According to the report, 'over a third of the attacks were reportedly linked to resource exploitation—logging, mining, and large-scale agribusiness—and hydroelectric dams and other infrastructure," although "this figure is likely to be higher as the reasons behind these attacks are often not properly investigated nor reported on.'
      Once again, native land defenders were disproportionately targeted, 'with over a third of all fatal attacks targeting Indigenous people, despite only making up 5% of the world's population."
      'Indigenous peoples were the target of five of the seven mass killings recorded in 2020,' the publication added. " In the most shocking of these, nine Tumandok Indigenous people were killed and a further 17 arrested in raids by the military and police on the 30th of December on the island of Panay in the Philippines. Numerous reports state that these communities were targeted for their opposition to a mega-dam project on the Jalaur river."
     Additionally, ' 28 of the victims killed in 2020 were state officials or park rangers, attacked whilst working to protect the environment.' Such attacks were documented in eight countries: Brazil, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Uganda.
      Global Witness partially blames rapacious corporations, which are "operating with almost complete impunity," for lethal attacks on land defenders.
     'Because the balance of power is stacked in the favor of corporations, and against communities and individuals, these companies are seldom held to account for the consequences of their commercial activities,' the report states. 'It's rare that anyone is arrested or brought to court for killing defenders. When they are it's usually the trigger-men—the ones holding the guns, not those who might be otherwise implicated, directly or indirectly, in the crime.'
     The report recommends that governments pass laws to 'hold corporations accountable for their actions and profits.' It also urges the United Nations, through its member states, to ' formally recognize the human right to a safe, healthy, and sustainable environment.'
     Additionally, countries should 'protect land and environmental defenders in the context of business by ensuring effective and robust regulatory protection of the environment, labor rights, land rights, Indigenous peoples' rights, livelihoods, and cultures,' while 'any legislation used to criminalize defenders should be declared null and void.'
     The report also calls on businesses 'to ensure they are not contributing to or profiting from human rights and land rights harms across their supply chains and operations.'
     Global Witness senior campaigner Chris Madden said in a statement that governments must 'get serious about protecting defenders,' and that companies must start 'putting people and planet before profit.'
     Madden called the new report 'another stark reminder that fighting the climate crisis carries an unbearably heavy burden for some, who risk their lives to save the forests, rivers, and biospheres that are essential to counteract unsustainable global warming.'
      Meanwhile, land defenders fight on—and instead of deterring activism, the attacks often motivate even greater action.
     'People sometimes ask me what I'm going to do, whether I'm going to stay here and keep my mother's fight alive,' said Malungelo Xhakaza, the daughter of South African activist Fikile Ntshangase, who was shot dead in her home in front of her family last October after helping lead the campaign against the Tendele Coal Mine.
     'I'm too proud of her to let it die,' Xhakaza added. 'I know the dangers—we all know the dangers. But I've decided to stay. I'm going to join the fight.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Brett Wilkins, "Concern Grows for Mexican Land Defender Irma Galindo Barrios, Missing Nearly 3 Weeks: 'Her disappearance adds to the already long list of attacks... which from December 2018 to July 2021 have claimed the lives of 93 human rights defenders who have been assassinated,'" Common Dreams, November 16, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/16/concern-grows-mexican-land-defender-irma-galindo-barrios-missing-nearly-3-weeks, reported, "Human rights defenders in Mexico's Oaxaca state and beyond are demanding the safe return of an Indigenous forest defender who disappeared nearly three weeks ago after years of activism against illegal logging and corrupt local officials who enable and profit from it.
      'Irma has revealed the depredation of the forest, as well as the corruption and collusion between loggers and authorities who illegally act against those who defend the territory.'
     Irma Galindo Barrios, a 38-year-old Mixteca woman from Mier y Terán in San Esteban Atatlahuca municipality, was last seen alive on October 27, according to the National Network of Human Rights Defenders in Mexico (RNDDHM). She was meant to attend the Government Mechanism to Protect Human Rights Defenders and Journalists conference in Mexico City, but never arrived."


      The Federal Court of Australia agreed with 8 petitioning teenagers that the country must protect its young people from climate change, in prohibiting the environmental minister from expanding the Vickery Coal Mine in New South Wales" Cultural Survival Quarterly, December 2021).


      Brad Plumer, "Fossil-Fuel Use Could Peak in Just a Few Years. Still, Major Challenges Loom: The world has made progress in the fight against climate change, with wind, solar and other clean technologies taking off. But more is needed to avert catastrophe, a new report finds," The New York Times, October 13, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/13/climate/global-fossil-fuel-use.html, reported, " Clean energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles are advancing so rapidly that the global use of fossil fuels is now expected to peak by the mid-2020s and then start declining, the world’s leading energy agency said Tuesday.
     But there’s a catch: The transition away from coal, oil and natural gas still isn’t happening fast enough to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, the agency said, at least not unless governments take much stronger action to reduce their planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions
over the next few years"


     Brad Plumer, "Fossil Fuel Drilling Plans Undermine Climate Pledges, U.N. Report Warns: Countries are planning to produce more than twice as much oil, gas and coal through 2030 as would be needed if governments want to limit global warming to Paris Agreement goals." The New York Times, October 20, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/climate/fossil-fuel-drilling-pledges.html, reportee, " Even as world leaders vow to take stronger action on climate change, many countries are still planning to dramatically increase their production of oil, gas and coal in the decades ahead, potentially undermining those lofty pledges, according to a United Nations-backed report released Tuesday.
     The report looked at future mining and drilling plans in 15 major fossil fuel producing countries, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada, China, India and Norway. Taken together, those countries are currently planning to produce more than twice as much oil, gas and coal through 2030 as would be needed if governments want to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels
."


     President Biden had to reduce his $3.5 trillion build back better plan to $1.85 trillion to try to get something passed in Congress. With negotiations still in progress in the Senate, on October 28, 2021, here is what the reduced plan does on the environment.
Tony Romm , Amy Goldstein and Dino Grandoni , " Here’s what is in the $1.85 trillion Biden budget plan : Taxes, climate, health care and child care would all see substantial changes if Democrats approve the package," The Washington Post, October 28, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/10/28/biden-spending-plan-what-is-in-it/, reported on the environment, " The Biden administration aims to secure $555 billion in spending to address climate change , an amount the White House says makes the bill the biggest clean energy investment in the nation’s history.
     The bulk of the clean energy measures come in the form of tax breaks for companies and consumers that install solar panels, improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and purchase electric vehicles. The EV tax credit in particular could lower the cost of such a vehicle by $12,500
for a middle-class family, according to the administration.
     Additional financial incentives for making the wind turbines and other clean energy equipment domestically
and in union-organized factories.
     A new Civilian Climate Corps to hire perhaps 300,000 young people
to restore forests and wetlands and guard against the effects of rising temperatures."
      Cut from the original $3.5 billion proposal, "Clean energy: Many of the aggressive steps Biden and other Democrats hoped to take to further cut emissions, including a comprehensive program to reward electric utilities for switching to renewable energy, have fallen out of the plan due to opposition from Manchin, who represents a coal heavy state. The legislation alone is unlikely to allow the country to meet Biden’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half below 2005 levels by the end of the decade."
     As of December 15, even the reduced proposal had failed to pass the Senate.


      Andrea Germanos, "In Step Toward 'Ensuring a Liveable Climate,' US Announces Boost to Offshore Wind: Interior Secretary Deb Haaland says expansion is crucial to solving climate crisis and building clean energy economy," Common Dreams, October 14, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/14/step-toward-ensuring-liveable-climate-us-announces-boost-offshore-wind, reported, " The Biden administration announced Wednesday an expansion of the nation's offshore wind capacity, revealing plans for up to seven leases off the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts by 2025.
     'Climate change is the challenge of our lifetime,' Interior Secretary Deb Haaland tweeted Wednesday.
     'Stakeholders and advocates like those in the offshore wind industry are a crucial part of the solution,' she said, 'and will help us achieve a clean energy economy.'
     A statement from the Interior Department says the forthcoming lease sales by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) are part of the administration's previously announced goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030.
      'By developing offshore wind across the country, we can take bold steps toward repowering our nation with renewable energy.'
     The sales would be for wind farms in the Gulf of Maine, New York Bight, Central Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico, and off the coasts of the Carolinas, California, and Oregon
, the department said."


     First Nations Development Institute reported in an October 1, 2021 E-mail, "Calling on Indigenous Knowledge to Track Climate Change in California"
      A new report from California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment shares insights from eight tribes in the state on their own indicators of climate change in their ancestral lands, reports CapRadio. The article describes how tribal members know from their elders 'what the land used to look like and, therefore, can track through non-academic evidence how it’s changed.' Researchers say these perspectives are integral to understanding climate change but have for too long been disregarded because of the 'extremely academic-based' approach of Western science. Read more: https://www.capradio.org/articles/2021/09/22/how-indigenous-knowledge-is-changing-the-way-california-tracks-the-effects-of-climate-change/?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.jdI0qqZM4kku8bBdsvFS-OA.rJ-IngRjUaEW__KYEbU3w4g.lmI3XtEPrZEiNtFqSmntm6Q."


     Natasha Brennan, "Nooksack Indian Tribe talks climate plan: 'Protecting the climate is more than just a smaller carbon footprint, it is an action. It is a gift that we can give our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren for generations to come'," ICT, October 25, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/nooksack-indian-tribe-talks-climate-plan, reported, " The Nooksack Indian Tribe [of Washington State] has contracted to study the impacts of climate change, timber harvests, temperature change and sediment loading on stream temperature, mass wasting (or slope movement), summer flows and winter glacial retention since 2010 and has created adaptation plans for fish, fish habitats, wildlife, Indigenous foods, water supply and water quality.
     The tribe and Whatcom County environmental leaders met via Zoom on Oct. 14, to discuss the Tribe’s Climate Adaption Plan
. The group highlighted key actions to mitigate climate change and ways the community can help to an audience of over 70 community members."


      Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport, "Amid Extreme Weather, a Shift Among Republicans on Climate Change: Many Republicans in Congress no longer deny that Earth is heating because of fossil fuel emissions. But they say abandoning oil, gas and coal will harm the economy," The New York Times, August 14, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/climate/republicans-climate-change.html, reported that amid all the climate change damage of extreme weather many Republican "Members of Congress who long insisted that the climate is changing due to natural cycles have notably adjusted that view, with many now acknowledging the solid science that emissions from burning oil, gas and coal have raised Earth’s temperature.
     But their growing acceptance of the reality of climate change has not translated into support for the one strategy that
scientists said in a major United Nations report this week is imperative to avert an even more harrowing future: stop burning fossil fuels. Instead, Republicans want to spend billions to prepare communities to cope with extreme weather, but are trying to block efforts by Democrats to cut the emissions that are fueling the disasters in the first place."


     Aatish Bhatia and Nadja Popovich, "These Maps Tell the Story of Two Americas: One Parched, One Soaked: The country, like most of the world, is becoming both drier and wetter in the era of climate change. It depends where you live," The New York Times, August 24, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/08/24/climate/warmer-wetter-world.html, reported, A map of the world

Description automatically generated with medium confidence Change in annual average precipitation, in inchesIn the last 30 years, compared to the 20th centuryGreen is wetter, Brown is driershades of color show range:–4 in.–20+2+4"Source: NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information"


      The following extreme weather reports, though many, are only a sample of the extreme weather events that have been occurring that are consistent with global warming. While only a few of these events can be directly tied to global warming, the pattern of increasing severity of weather and weather related (such as wild fires and landslides) events, and the increasing number of extreme weather and weather related events clearly are related to global warming.
     
     " In New York City, a tropical storm delivered record-breaking rains this weekend. Heavy downpours caused devastating flash floods in central Tennessee, tearing apart houses and killing more than 20 people. Yet, California and much of the West remained in the deepest drought in at least two decades, the product of a long-term precipitation shortfall and temperatures that are much hotter than usual.
     This divide, a wetter East and a drier West, reflects a broader pattern observed in the United States in recent decades,
" which is caused by global warming induced climate change.


     In late October both the U.S. Northeast and Northwest were hit by unusually strong and wet storms. In the East, Michael Gold, "Heavy Rain Soaks New York as Storm Pounds the Northeast. With the storm system lingering into Wednesday morning, meteorologists continued to warn of the potential for heavy winds and flash flooding," The New York Times, October 27, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/26/nyregion/new-york-rain.html, reported, " The storm dumped more than three inches of rain in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Tuesday, with more expected [up to five inches] through the night. But as of Tuesday evening, it had yet to match the intensity of the deluge brought by the remnants of Hurricane Ida last month.
      Ellen Barry, "Nor’easter Brings Hurricane-Force Winds to Massachusetts: After battering the New York area, the storm knocked out electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers across New England on Wednesday," The New York Times, October 27, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/27/us/cape-cod-noreaster.html reported, " Hurricane-force winds from an early-season nor’easter swept through coastal New England on Wednesday, a day after battering the New York City area , sending trees crashing onto power lines and cutting electricity to hundreds of thousands of households.
     The winds, which gusted to 94 miles per hour on Martha’s Vineyard in the pre-dawn hours, picked up a small aircraft at the New Bedford Regional Airport, lifting it over a fence and onto a roadway, and peeled the roof off an apartment building in Quincy, Mass., snapping the eight-inch bolts that held it down."
     Power was out for almost 500,000 households in New England.


      Kenny Stancil, "In 2021, US on Pace for Most Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters Since Records Began: 'What we are seeing now with these increasing disasters is with just one degree of warming on our planet,' said one scientist. 'We have to choose now between bad or terrible outcomes,'" October 12, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/12/2021-us-pace-most-billion-dollar-weather-disasters-records-began, reported, " The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday in its latest monthly report (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/202109) that the United States endured 18 ' billion-dollar weather and climate disasters ' https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/) through the first nine months of 2021, putting this year on pace to be among the worst for such catastrophes.
     For decades, scientists have sounded the alarm that extreme weather would become more frequent and intense amid the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency. With 18 calamities costing at least $1 billion already on the books and three months to go, 2021 is second only to 2020, when there were 22 such events
."


     As a tropical storm moved up the U.S. East Coast, in August 2021, dumping a record of up to 3 inches of rain an hour in some cases, as climate change slows such storms and increases their rainfall, there was record flooding killing at least 20 people in Tennessee and serious flooding further East . Christopher Flavelle , "How Government Decisions Left Tennessee Exposed to Deadly Flooding: Choices about building rules, insurance programs, flood maps and more put residents at higher risk, according to climate and disaster experts." The New York Times, 26, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/26/climate/tennessee-flood-damage-impact.html, reported, "The floods that killed at least 20 people in Tennessee last weekend arrived with shocking speed and force — seemingly a case study of the difficulties of protecting people from explosive rainstorms as climate change gets worse...."


     At the end of August 2021, Louisiana was hit by one of the most powerful storms ever known to hit the Gulf Coast. It hit as a category 4 hurricane, almost 5, and while it dropped to a category 2 by the time it reached inland to New Orleans. Climate change bringing hotter air and Gulf water meant that the storm more quickly and fully strengthened as it moved toward land, carried much more water, and moved more slowly inland dropping huge amounts of rain, at times 3 to 4 inches an hour, and continuing the storm surge for a longer period than used to be the case, causing great flooding and significant damage "New Orleans Without Power as Hurricane Ida Batters Louisiana: Ida weakened after it came ashore but continued to threaten the state as areas lost power and heavy rain flooded low-lying regions," The New York Times, August 31, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/08/29/us/hurricane-ida-live-updates-new-orleans-louisiana, reported, " Hurricane Ida battered Louisiana on Sunday with an onslaught of harsh winds and floodwaters, leaving nearly a million people without power including much of New Orleans and at least one person dead.
     The hurricane made landfall as a powerful Category 4 storm, which weakened to a Category 2 storm on Sunday night with maximum winds of 105 miles per hour. It sent hundreds of thousands of people scrambling to evacuate, and left countless others bracing for survival, in an eerie echo of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in Louisiana 16 years ago to the day."
      Power is expected to be out for up to several weeks in many areas in very hot weather as damage will take some time to be assessed, and those who evacuated are asked by the Louisiana governor to stay away from home until conditions eventually are improved. In addition, water service has been interrupted or greatly reduced in many areas of Louisiana and this may remain the case for some time. The storm continued north as a tropical depression dropping huge amounts of rain and causing flooding.


      Ida also shut down for what could be a considerable time a large piece of the U.S. oil industry, which is located along the Gulf coast, raising gas prices. More serious, Hiroko Tabuchi, " Lack of Power Hinders Assessment of Toxic Pollution Caused by Ida," The New York Times, September 1, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/climate/hurricane-ida-toxic-pollution.html, reported, " A fertilizer plant battered by Hurricane Ida belched highly toxic anhydrous ammonia into the air. Two damaged gas pipelines leaked isobutane and propylene, flammable chemicals that are hazardous to human health. And a plastic plant that lost power in the storm’s aftermath is emitting ethylene dichloride, yet another toxic substance.
     Early incident reports filed with the federal authorities are starting to paint a clearer picture of the damage wrought by the hurricane
to Louisiana’s industrial corridor , complicating relief efforts and adding to the conditions that make it perilous for residents to return .
     An analysis of facility records and power outage data shows that at least 138 industrial sites that handle large amounts of hazardous substances are in and around parishes that have completely lost power, forcing facilities to rely on precarious backup power systems
." It will take some time to assess the extent of the toxic pollution resulting from Ida.


     "Tribes ‘still feeling effects’ of Hurricane Ida: 'The damage in our tribal communities is overwhelming and we do not yet have a full grasp on the impacts,'" ICT, August 30, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/tribes-still-feeling-effects-of-hurricane-ida, reported on. Hurricane Ida.
     "Prior to the hurricane making landfall, the United Houma Nation in Louisiana, urged its citizens to fill out a 'check-in form' on the tribe's website. The tribe intends to use the form to most efficiently communicate with those affected by the storm and the information will also help to receive relief funds.
      'The damage in our tribal communities is overwhelming and we do not yet have a full grasp on the impacts. We pray for everyone to find peace and calm in a safe place soon,' the tribe posted. 'Tomorrow is time to roll up the sleeves and get to work. A small group stayed at the tribal office in Houma to be on the ground immediately. We have damage, but an intact roof. We will be working on clean up and assessing the full damage in the light of day to relay your needs to funders and other resources. Many of you evacuated out of town and are looking for word about the community. We will provide updates as soon as we can.'”
     " In the neighboring state of Mississippi, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians partially activated its Emergency Operation Center on Sunday.
     Despite the hurricane being downgraded to a tropical storm, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians remain hopeful the worst has passed.

     'We are still feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Ida as she pushes through our northern Tribal communities, and we are hopeful that our Tribal lands are not heavily impacted
,' the tribe's statement says. 'We extend our prayers to all our neighbors and Tribes in the Louisiana regions who have been hit hard by Hurricane Ida.'”


     "After Hurricane Ida, Oil Infrastructure Springs Dozens of Leaks," The New York Times, Blacki Migliozzi and Hiroko TabuchiSept. 26, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/09/26/climate/ida-oil-spills.html, reported, "When Hurricane Ida barreled into the Louisiana coast with near 150 mile-per-hour winds on Aug. 30, it left a trail of destruction. The storm also triggered the most oil spills detected from space after a weather event in the Gulf of Mexico since the federal government started using satellites to track spills and leaks a decade ago."
     [On line, the article shows a time flow changing map from space of Oil spills seen after Hurricane Ida]
     "In the two weeks after Ida, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a total of 55 spill reports, including a spill near a fragile nature reserve. It underscores the frailty of the region’s offshore oil and gas infrastructure to intensifying storms fueled by climate change."


     Ida also caused an oil spill off the Louisiana, discovered by satellite, with the source of the spill and its size not yet determined on September 4, 2021 ( Hiroko Tabuchi and Blacki Migliozzi , "Satellite Images Find ‘Substantial’ Oil Spill in Gulf After Ida: Satellite and aerial survey images show oil spreading off the coast of an oil and gas hub in Louisiana," The New York Times, September 4, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/04/climate/oil-spill-hurricane-ida.html).
      Blacki Migliozzi and Hiroko Tabuchi, "After Hurricane Ida, Oil Infrastructure Springs Dozens of Leaks," The New York Times, September 26, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/09/26/climate/ida-oil-spills.html, reported, " When Hurricane Ida barreled into the Louisiana coast with near 150 mile-per-hour winds on Aug. 30, it left a trail of destruction . The storm also triggered the most oil spills detected from space after a weather event in the Gulf of Mexico since the federal government started using satellites to track spills and leaks a decade ago."
     With 55 oil spils, “That’s unprecedented, based on our 10 year record,” said Ellen Ramirez, who oversees NOAA’s round-the-clock satellite detection of marine pollution, including oil spills. 'Ida has had the most significant impact to offshore drilling. since the program began
, she said."
      The Gulf oil infrastructure is increasingly unable to cope with climate change as it brings more and more fierce storms.
      As Ida, by then a tropical depression continued north, with its global warming caused greater than previous water content and slow movement, it continued to cause tremendous downpours for considerable time resulting in much serious, and sometimes much more rapid flooding than in previous major rainstorms. This included in New York state where one town took the heaviest flooding in many year, but much more rapidly than previously, while New York City and vicinity was hard hit. Julia Conley, "'I'm Asking for a Green New Deal!' At Least 14 Dead as Floods Devastate New York City Area: 'I never want to hear anyone say that a Green New Deal is too expensive ever again,' said one scientist as New York City ground to a halt," Common Dreams, September 2, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/02/im-asking-green-new-deal-least-14-dead-floods-devastate-new-york-city-area, reported, " Desperate calls for far-reaching climate action came from New York City Wednesday night and into Thursday as the city and the surrounding area was inundated with the remnants of Hurricane Ida—causing partial building collapses, severely flooded subway stations and homes, and the deaths of at least 14 people .
     'I'm asking for a Green New Deal!' tweeted Ellen Sciales, communications director for the Sunrise Movement, as she shared a video showing several feet of water flooding her own home.
     A two-year-old was among those who were found unconscious by emergency workers in homes in New York and New Jersey, after authorities responded to calls about flooding.  
     'When do we start caring about the climate crisis and stop pretending like we've done enough in New York?' asked Democratic New York state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi in response to a video of a flooded subway station.  
      All of the city's subway lines were suspended Wednesday night.
      As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said last month, the warming of the planet is causing hurricanes to dump more rain on impacted areas when the storms hit. The atmosphere can hold 7% more water for every 1.8 ° Fahrenheit (1 ° Celsius) of warming, increasing precipitation. The planet is already about 2 ° Fahrenheit warmer than it was in the 19th century as a result of fossil fuel extraction.
      New York City saw a record-breaking 3.24 inches of rain in a single day on Wednesday, and at least 7.2 inches of rain inundated Newark, New Jersey. Nearly 250,000 people in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut were without power on Thursday morning.
     Videos showed flooding at Newark Liberty International Airport, where many flights were canceled or delayed.  
     One terminal looked "like a giant swimming pool," Dr. Lucky Tran of the March for Science tweeted.
      'I never want to hear anyone say that a Green New Deal is too expensive ever again,' Tran tweeted, referring to the legislation proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) that would create more than a million jobs and put people to work upgrading U.S. infrastructure, shifting to 100% renewable energy, retrofitting buildings, and taking other actions to mitigate the climate crisis.
     Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx, said she was going door-to-door in her district Thursday morning to find out how residents were affected.
     As the city was drenched Wednesday night, the congresswoman denounced members of both major political parties who have claimed in recent years that a Green New Deal is 'unrealistic.'
     New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for the state as the rain fell, but as Fossil Free Media director Jamie Henn tweeted, 'What we really need is for [President Joe Biden] to declare a national climate emergency and do everything in his power to address this crisis.'
      Instead of saying the flooding was caused by Hurricane Ida, Henn added, policymakers and the press alike 'should be saying names like 'Exxon,' 'Chevron,' and 'Shell.''
      'We need to keep connecting the dots back to the corporations that are fueling this crisis,' Henn added.
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Andy Newman, "43 Die as Deadliest Storm Since Sandy Devastates the Northeast: A huge volume of rain overwhelmed the region’s infrastructure, showing the lethal impact of climate change," The New York Times, September 3, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/02/nyregion/ida-flooding-nyc.html, reported, " Three days after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, its weakened remnants tore into the Northeast and claimed at least 43 lives across New York , New Jersey and two other states [Pennsylvania and Connecticut] in an onslaught that ended Thursday and served as an ominous sign of climate change’s capacity to wreak new kinds of havoc.
      The last storm this deadly in the region, Sandy in 2012, did its damage mostly through tidal surges. But most of this storm’s toll — both in human life and property damage — reflected the extent to which the sheer volume of rain simply overwhelmed the infrastructure of a region built for a different meteorological era.
     Officials warned that the unthinkable was quickly becoming the norm
."


      Climate change has raised oceans and slowed, and in some cases widened, storms, increasing flooding. In October 2021, the Mid-Atlantic U.S. coast experienced record flooding from tidal surge from a slow moving storm (Sophie Kasakove, "High Tidal Surges Bring Record Floods to the Mid-Atlantic Coast," The New York Times, October 12, 2021).


      Climate change has increasingly been bringing longer and more deadly tornado seasons in the U.S., including, Rick Rojas, Jamie McGee, Laura Faith Kebede and Campbell Robertson, "Tornadoes Tear Through South and Midwest, With at Least 70 Dead in Kentucky: Power was out across the region on Saturday, and severe storms were expected to continue," The New York Times, December 12, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/11/us/kentucky-deadly-tornadoes.html, reported, " Rescue workers across the middle of the country combed through wreckage for survivors on Saturday after a horde of tornadoes ripped a catastrophic swath from Arkansas through Kentucky. Scores of people were killed in the storms, and officials warned that the toll was almost certain to rise as they sifted through the ruins.
      The tornadoes tore through at least six states on Friday night, including Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, said Bill Bunting, the operations chief at the Storm Prediction Center, part of the National Weather Service. They crumbled metal like paper, swatted down concrete buildings and threw a freight train off its track."
      One massive tornado a mile wide stayed on the ground a previously unheard of 277 miles in Kentucky. At least 70 people died in Kentucky, alone, with the count very likely to rise as more bodies are found. Power was out for hundreds of thousands of people across the region, and more severe weather was forecast.


      Andrea Germanos, "'Our Atmosphere Is Broken': US Tops Record for Hurricane-Force Winds in a Day:' 'The last Dust Bowl stemmed from degradation of the soil,' said writer and activist Bill McKibben. 'This time it's the climate we've upended,'" Common Dreams, December 16, 2021, ttps://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/12/16/our-atmosphere-broken-us-tops-record-hurricane-force-winds-day, "The United States on Wednesday had the most hurricane-force gusts ever recorded in a single day after an after an " off the charts " storm system tore through the central part of the country, bringing tornadoes and triggering widespread power outages, dust storms, and warnings of the climate emergency.
     'This is just the kind of thing that happens when you're in the process of breaking the planet's climate system.'
     The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center said there were 55 such wind events throughout the day, more than ever seen at least since current record-keeping began in 2004."


      Salote Soqo, Joshua Leach, "Climate Change Is Triggering a New Refugee Crisis—Inside the US: More than 1.2 million Americans are currently displaced from their homes because of climate change impacts—including increasingly severe storms, wildfires, and flooding," Common Dreams, September 22, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/09/22/climate-change-triggering-new-refugee-crisis-inside-us, reported, "The headlines in recent weeks read like signs of an impending apocalypse. Sixteen years to the day since Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, the Louisiana coast was again battered by Hurricane Ida, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the state. Wildfires in California have blanketed the western U.S. with smoke, prompting mass evacuations. In New York, floodwaters poured into the subway and through the windows of basement apartments .
     As the
Environmental Protection Agency recently reported , climate change will continue to disproportionately impact people of color, a startling fact that illustrates some worrying patterns.
     While scientists and journalists are quick to point out that no single disaster can be traced directly to climate change, one thing is clear: storms, wildfires, floods, and related hazards are all becoming more frequent and severe as the planet warms. The worse these climate impacts become, the more people will be forced to move between borders, destabilizing fragile countries and contributing to the rise of xenophobic politicians who undermine the tenets of an inclusive society. Widespread drought and crop failure in Central America, for instance, continue to force people to pull up stakes and make the dangerous journey north to the United States, and far-right politicians have been quick to exploit their suffering to capitalize on misguided fears of immigration.
     But here's the thing: climate-forced displacement isn't just something happening in foreign countries. Instead, it's increasingly occurring here at home, and already forcing hundreds of thousands of Americans to flee their homes, in many cases permanently. As the Environmental Protection Agency recently reported, climate change will continue to disproportionately impact people of color, a startling fact that illustrates some worrying patterns. Most noticeably, these communities will bear the brunt of environmental racism as they are forced to engage with a federal government that does little to prioritize funding to help these communities adapt, rebuild, and/or relocate.
     When U.S. politicians discuss the possibility of 'climate migration,' many think of people being forced to abandon their homes in small island nations or desert countries due to rising sea levels or severe droughts. While these problems are real—and call for political action grounded in human rights—an exclusive focus on international migration can be misleading. After all, as the World Bank has noted, the vast majority of climate-related displacement occurs inside—not between—national boundaries.
     The United States, in this regard, is no exception.
More than 1.2 million Americans are currently displaced from their homes because of climate change impacts—including increasingly severe storms, wildfires, and flooding. Looking at the past decade, the numbers become even more startling. The United States has been hammered by at least 910 ecological disasters in the last 10 years, with nearly 8 million people losing their homes as a result. Recent reporting suggests that some 50 million Americans will be affected by climate migration in the decades ahead.
      These impacts are felt by Americans from all walks of life, from inhabitants of beach towns in places like the Outer Banks, North Carolina, to residents of inland California and the Pacific Northwest being forced to flee their homes or change their daily lives because of deadly wildfires and historic heatwaves. As with other natural hazards, these effects fall hardest on people already deprived of resources. No one is truly 'safe' from climate change, but the impact will hit some communities harder than others.
     A case in point is the experience of Americans Indians and Alaska Natives. Of all U.S. residents, Indigenous people—like other communities of color—have often contributed least to the climate crisis in terms of net fossil fuel consumption. Yet, Indigenous communities from Alaska to Louisiana have borne the brunt of first-wave climate migration in the United States due to the inundation of low-lying coasts, shoreline erosion, and the melting of the Arctic permafrost.
     Historically, genocide, settler violence, and forced assimilation policies uprooted generations of Indigenous people from their ancestral homes. Many of these communities survived and even flourished in spite of these attacks; now they face a renewed threat in the form of a climate crisis they did so little to cause.
      The Alaska Native village of Kivalina, for example, currently sits on land to which the federal government forced them to relocate to in the 1950s . Now, that land is melting beneath their feet. The village has been negotiating with the federal and state governments for years about the need to relocate yet again, but so far policymakers have not provided the resources that would enable them to do so.
      The Biden administration can and should take immediate steps to help respond to climate migration that is already happening—both abroad and inside the U.S.
      The administration should begin by listening to the communities already facing climate displacement. A number of these frontline communities have crafted concrete policy recommendations for the administration and Congress, including increased federal funding for adaptation-in-place and relocation, and addressing racial disparities in the distribution of federal disaster relief funds.Biden can also act on his own to solve a problem that internal government watchdogs first raised more than a decade ago. In 2009, the Government Accountability Office warned that there is currently no lead federal agency tasked with managing climate displacement when it occurs. Biden could remedy this by creating a new Cabinet-level position or interagency working group to shoulder this task.
     Figuring out how to help people being forced out of their homes by climate change won't be easy, but it's a problem we need to confront head-on. Our country's most historically dispossessed communities are already being hit. Left unaddressed, increasingly large parts of the U.S. will soon be as well.
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


     "Climate Change Is Bankrupting America’s Small Towns: Repeated shocks from hurricanes, fires and floods are pushing some rural communities, already struggling economically, to the brink of financial collapse." The New York Times, September 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/02/climate/climate-towns-bankruptcy.html, reported, " Climate shocks are pushing small rural communities like Fair Bluff, many of which were already struggling economically, to the brink of insolvency. Rather than bouncing back, places hit repeatedly by hurricanes, floods and wildfires are unraveling: residents and employers leave, the tax base shrinks and it becomes even harder to fund basic services."
     "Their gradual collapse means more than just the loss of identity, history and community. The damage can haunt those who leave, since they often can’t sell their old homes at a price that allows them to buy something comparable in a safer place. And it threatens to disrupt neighboring towns and cities as the new arrivals push up demand for housin
g."


      It was not only hurricanes that caused major, though more localized flooding, in the U.S., as with climate change, the West was hit more frequently by strong thunderstorms in the summer of 2021, which combined with the aftermath of widespread wildfires. For example, Tierna Unruh-Enos "Flood Watches Continue in West As Mudslide Closes Interstate: More Rain In Forecast For Southwestern States Triggers Flood Warnings," The Paper, August 2nd, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/08/flood-watches-continue-in-west-as-mudslide-closes-interstate/, reported, " Mudslides from heavy rains caused “extreme damage” to a major interstate and left it blocked with piles of boulders and logs, Colorado transportation officials said Sunday, as forecasters warned of more flash floods in the coming days across the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin regions.
     The flood risk was elevated for many areas of the West where recent wildfires burned away vegetation and left hillsides more susceptible to erosion
, the National Weather
     Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado, was closed with no word on when it might re-open after being pounded by flash floods over a three-day period. Lanes in both directions remained blocked by debris that flowed out of the burn scar from a wildfire last year in the Grizzly Creek area."


     "Western US Faces Future Of Prolonged Drought Even With Stringent Emissions Control: Southwestern North America Can Expect More Of The Extended, Severe Drought The Area Has Experienced In The Last Two Decades Even Under The Mildest Climate Warming Scenarios, New Research Finds, But Curbing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Is Still Key To Limiting Severity," AGU, September 8, 2021, https://news.agu.org/press-release/western-us-faces-future-of-prolonged-drought-even-with-stringent-emissions-control/, Three maps of the contiguous United States show While the risk of intense single-year droughts increases as greenhouse gas emissions increase in the model results, the risk of multi-year droughts is high regardless of the emissions scenario, a new study found
     " While the risk of intense single-year droughts increases as greenhouse gas emissions increase in the model results, the risk of multi-year droughts is high regardless of the emissions scenario, according to a new study in Earth’s Future.
Credits: NOAA Climate Program Office / Hunter Allen and Anna EshelmanAGU press contact:
Liza Lester, +1 (202) 777-7494, news@agu.orgNASA press contact:
Peter Jacobs, +1 (240) 517-0397 peter.jacobs@nasa.govNOAA press contact:
Alison Stevens +1 (703) 727-7560 alison.stevens@noaa.govContact information for the researchers:
Ben Cook, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, benjamin.i.cook@nasa.gov


      Seasonal summer rains have done little to offset drought conditions gripping the western United States, with California and Nevada seeing record July heat and moderate-to-exceptional drought according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Now, new research is showing how drought in the region is expected to change in the future, providing stakeholders with crucial information for decision making.
      The western United States is headed for prolonged drought conditions whether greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb or are aggressively reined in, according to the new study published in the, Earth’s Future , AGU’s peer-reviewed journal for interdisciplinary research on the past, present and future of our planet and its inhabitants.However, the new study also showed the severity of acute, extreme drought events and the overall severity of prolonged drought conditions can be reduced with emissions-curbing efforts compared to a high-emissions future. This is important information for decision-makers considering two tools they can use to reduce climate impacts: Adaptation and mitigation. Bar graphs compare risk of single-year and 21-year drought events under low, medium and high emissions senarios.As greenhouse gas emissions increase and Earth’s temperature rises, new research forecasts the southwestern United States will become drier, with the risk of future soil moisture deficits increasing as emissions increase. From figure 8 of the new study.
Credits: NOAA Climate Program Office / Anna Eshelman."


     Following the killer, climate change caused, heat waves that hit western North America in June 2021, CNN and the Weather Chanel confirmed the prediction, Paul Huttner, "Extreme heat wave likely next week across Upper Midwest," NPR News, July 14, 2021, https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/07/14/condition-red-extreme-heat-wave-likely-next-week-across-upper-midwest, reported, " The Weather maps are flashing bright red next week for what could be the most intense heat wave of summer. If current forecast models pan out, some parts of the Dakotas and western Minnesota could see as much as a week of 100-degree temperatures. And temperatures may reach the 100-degree mark in the Twin Cities late next week." - which they did for several days in Minnesota and the Dakotas.
     Climate Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported in mid-September 2021 that 5 Western States had suffered the hottest June to August weather in the 127 yeas of record keeping, in 2021, extending east from California and Oregon through much of the Rockies and Southwest. The record hot weather and drought were predicted to continue into the fall, expanding eastward into Nebraska, parts of Minnesota, and across New Mexico into much of Oklahoma and Texas. Over all, there was no end in sight for the western drought (Henry Fountain, "Climate Scientists Predict Hot Weather into Fall and Growing Drought," The New Yok Times, September 17, 2021).


     In North Dakota, especially, severe drought was forcing ranchers to sell off cattle before they starve (Henry Fountain, "A State So Dry Ranchers Are Selling Cows Before They Starve," The New York Times, October 12, 2021).
     The same situation occurred in much of Western Canada (Vjosa Isai and Brtt Gundlock, "Canadian Farmers Race to Save cattle from Drought," The New York Times, August 5, 2021).


     A heat wave across the Southwest in mid-June 2021, brought record 120 degree Fahrenheit temperature to Phoenix, AZ, June 19 (Acuweather.com, http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/phoenix-az/85004/weather-forecast/346935).
     
The far Western United States and much of British Colombia were under a heat dome for two weeks in July 2021 sending temperatures to record levels for many days as high as 116 degreed in Portland, OR, and 121 in British Columbia in the usually much cooler North. The event, which scientists agree could not have occurred without global warming, has led to hundreds of heat deaths, destroyed crops, killed perhaps hundreds of million of sea creatures in coastal waters, and spurred a large number of wildfires. Moreover, after a few days respite, as of July 13 temperatures in the far west were on the rise again. The heat is also a threat to a huge number of species in rivers, streams and lakes. While the heating was less serious in the East and Midwest, records were broken for hottest days and nights there too, many in the first part of July, and in the hottest June on record (see for example, Catrin Einhorn , " Like in ‘Postapocalyptic Movies’: Heat Wave Killed Marine Wildlife en Masse: An early estimate points to a huge die-off along the Pacific Coast, and scientists say rivers farther inland are warming to levels that could be lethal for some kinds of salmon," The New York Times, July 12, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/09/climate/marine-heat-wave.html?campaign_id=54&emc=edit_clim_20210714&instance_id=35319&nl=climate-fwd%3A&regi_id=52235981&segment_id=63444&te=1&user_id=2984790c14170290245238c0cd4fd927; Henry Fountain , " Climate Change Drove Western Heat Wave’s Extreme Records, Analysis Finds: A rapid analysis of last week’s record-breaking heat found that it would have been virtually impossible without the influence of human-caused climate change ," The New York Times, July 12, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/07/climate/climate-change-heat-wave.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article; and Aatish Bhatia and Winston Choi-Schagrin, "Why Record-Breaking Overnight Temperatures Are So Concerning: Nights are warming faster than days across most of the U.S., with potentially deadly consequences: Daytime temperatures: 1,238 Records Broken; Nighttime temperatures: 1,503 records broken," The New York Times, July 9, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/09/upshot/record-breaking-hot-weather-at-night-deaths.html?campaign_id=54&emc=edit_clim_20210714&instance_id=35319&nl=climate-fwd%3A&regi_id=52235981&segment_id=63444&te=1&user_id=2984790c14170290245238c0cd4fd927).
      Nadja Popovich and Winston Choi-Schagrin, "Hidden Toll of the Northwest Heat Wave: Hundreds of Extra Deaths," The New York Times, August 11, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/08/11/climate/deaths-pacific-northwest-heat-wave.html, reported, " During the deadly heat wave that blanketed Oregon and Washington in late June, about 600 more people died than would have been typical, a review of mortality data for the week of the crisis shows.
     The number is three times as high as the states’ official estimates of heat-related deaths so far. It suggests that the true toll of the heat wave , which affected states and provinces across the Pacific Northwest, may be much larger than previously reported."


     Gwynne Ann Unruh, "Are Monsoons Making A Dent in the Drought? Only a Strong Monsoon Will Bring New Mexico Out of Its Water Shortage." The Paper, July 16th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/07/will-monsoons-make-a-dent-in-drought/, reported, " The raindrops that are falling in New Mexico are a mere drop in the bucket to what is needed to replenish the diminished aquifers, rivers and depleted reservoirs around the state. The acequias are running dry and rivers that have delivered water for decades are not being recharged. While it’s pretty normal for dry climates to go through severe droughts and then bounce out of them with really wet seasons, it will take a strong monsoon season to pull our Enchanted Land out of this drought."


     With the Monsoons,
heavy rains in New Mexico are local, but with climate change, there has been an increase in the intensity and occurrence of some strong storms . "U.S. Highway Covered in Feet of Mud for Miles," The Weather Chanel, July 16, 2021, https://weather.com/news/weather/video/new-mexico-highway-covered-in-4-feet-of-mud-for-7-miles, reported, "Highway 70 near New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range is covered in mud for miles following last weekend’s heavy rainfall ."


      As the record hot summer continued in the Southwest into mid-September 2021, as of September 14, northern and central New Mexico have been experiencing at least 10 days of record high, and near record high, temperatures, and the forecast was for that to continue for at least several more days (NPR news).


     In Arizona, continuing extreme drought has caused the Hopi Tribal Council to order herds to be thinned, bringing protest from herders, while a sharp debate has flared about whether, and if so how, to change agriculture on the reservation in the face of record dryness (Simon Romero, "Unrelenting Drought Ignites Tensions in Arizona's Hopi Mesas," The New York Times, October 12, 2021).


      Jim Robbins, "Prairies on Fire in Montana Amid a Record December Heat Wave: Two dozen homes and businesses burned in the town of Denton as unseasonably warm temperatures descended from the Great Plains to the Mid-Atlantic," The New York Times, December 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/02/us/montana-wildfire-drought.html, reported, " Record-high temperatures and powerful winds have sparked a series of unusual December prairie fires in Montana, one of a series of late-season fires across the country amid an unusually warm approach to the winter season.
     The worst of the fires ripped through the small farming town of Denton, about 85 miles east of Great Falls, burning at least two dozen homes and businesses and sending several grain elevators up in flames
."


      The drought has caused wells in some places in California to run dry, including in Mendocino, forcing people to import expensive water. This situation is likely to get worse. Overall though, California has enough water for careful use across the state, but Los Angeles and vicinity have purchased huge amounts of water rights from the wetter northern portion of the state, and the infrastructure has been built to carry it to the south. With climate change, there is a need to redirect some of that water to dried up and drying places further north (Thomas Fuller, "Small Towns Grow Desperate for Water in California: The drought is revealing for California that perhaps even more than rainfall it is money and infrastructure that dictate who has sufficient water during the state’s increasingly frequent dry spells," The New York Times, August 13, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/14/us/drought-california-water-shortage.html).
     The water level in Lake Orville was falling so low, in July 2021, that it was dropping toward the point where the reservoir's hydroelectric dam could no longer generate electricity (Miriam Pawel, "California Wakes Up," The New York Times, October 12, 2021).


     
As of July 13, John Antczak And Christopher Weber, "Wildfires Threaten Homes, Land Across 10 Western States," The Paper, July 13th, https://abq.news/2021/07/wildfires-threaten-homes-land-across-10-western-states/, reported, " Wildfires that torched homes and forced thousands to evacuate burned across 10 parched Western states on Tuesday, and the largest, in Oregon, threatened California’s power supply.
     Nearly 60 wildfires tore through bone-dry timber and brush from Alaska to Wyoming, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Arizona, Idaho and Montana accounted for more than half of the large active fires."
The Bootleg Fire in Southwest Oregon was by far the largest of the blazes, having burned at least 40 homes and other structures and was threatening others, plus a major power line, moving into California as it grew rapidly.
     
      Livia Albeck-Ripka and Melina Delkic, "Dixie Fire Is Now Second Largest in California History: The fire blazing across Northern California has burned more than 463,000 acres," The New York Times, August 9, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/08/us/dixie-fire.html, reported, " The Dixie Fire ravaging Northern California over the weekend has become the state’s second largest on record.
     Cal Fire, the state firefighting agency, on Sunday reported that the blaze, which has burned for 25 days, had burned more than 463,000 acres
. Butte, Lassen, Plumas and Tehama Counties were affected, including the Lassen Volcanic National Park, which is known for exotic hydrothermal sites. So far, there have been no deaths reported, and thousands of people have evacuated." At least one town had been burned down, and others were threatened by the still spreading fire on August 9, 2021.


      Livia Albeck-Ripka, Thomas Fuller and Jack Healy, "The Ashes of the Dixie Fire Cast a Pall 1,000 Miles From Its Flames: The megafires of the West are sending out giant clouds of smoke and leaving a footprint much larger than the evergreen forests they level and the towns they decimate," The New York Times, August 10, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/09/us/dixie-fire-california.html, reported, "Summer after summer, California, a global leader in battling air pollution from vehicles, sends giant clouds of haze filled with health-damaging particles across the country. Even as far as Denver, 1,100 miles to the east, the fire has helped create a pall of noxious smoke during an already scorching summer.
     By one measure, wildfires — intensified by drought and
climate change — are the largest source of potentially deadly air pollution in California. And in recent weeks, the accumulating haze and smoke from California’s fires and high ozone levels have turned the air in Salt Lake City and Denver into some of the dirtiest in the world , more harmful than Delhi’s or Beijing’s on many recent days."
     Many localities across the U.S. often suffer from the smoke, varying from day to day. Health problems have been caused by smoke polluted air in the Southwest, Midwest and the North East, including some bad air quality days in New York City and Boston. On some days schools in some Utah municipalities had to cancel outdoor activity
. And recent research indicates that smoke may become more toxic the longer it is in the air.
     The direct fire damage and the smoke harm are likely to continue as fire season's get longer and threaten to eventually extend throughout the year. Already on August 10, CNN reported 4 new large fires springing up and spreading in Oregon. The fires are also increasing global warming, both by the CO 2 entering the atmosphere from burning and by reducing the number of trees and other plants that absorb the CO 2 and release oxygen.


      Natasha Lasky, reported on World War Zero, August 24th 2021, https://worldwarzero.com/magazine/2021/08/caldor-fire-scorches-california/?emci=6103f9d5-d205-ec11-b563-501ac57bf4cb&emdi=4eb44cf2-e205-ec11-b563-501ac57bf4cb&ceid=1763602, "Last week the Caldor Fire in California (https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2021/8/14/caldor-fire/) grew to 24 times its size in two days and forced more than 10,000 residents to evacuate El Dorado County. As of this morning, the fire has scorched 126,182 acres, destroyed 637 structures (including hundreds of homes), is only 20 miles from South Lake Tahoe , and is only at 11% containment. 'The unfortunate thing is that these fires continue to get bigger ,' Cal Fire Director Thom Porter said Wednesday at a press conference. "But we're surging resources into communities to protect and reduce the impact."


      Vjosa Isai, "And in western Canada, "Canadian wildfires could intensify from a looming heat wave," The New York Times, August 9, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/09/world/canada/canada-wildfires.html, reported that even as wildfires have also been relentless in western Canada, a coming next heatwave may make them worse in mid-August. "In recent months, a series of near-relentless heat waves and a deepening drought linked to climate change have helped to fuel exploding wildfires.
     In Manitoba,
a drought has forced livestock farmers to consider selling some or all of their cattle. With rising temperatures in the forecast, northwestern Ontario is also bracing for a possible outbreak of fires later this week, its provincial forest fire service said in a Twitter post."
     As of August 12, there were some 300 wildfires burning vast areas of British Colombia ("British Columbia Battles Nearly 300 Wildfires at Once. Here’s How: The Canadian authorities are urging residents to obey evacuation orders during the worst wildfire season since a devastating one in 2018," The New York Times, August 12, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/12/world/canada/british-columbia-wildfires.html).


     Julia Conley, "From California to Greece to Siberia, Wildfires Rage Worldwide—and More Expected: 'It's not a wildfire season anymore,' said one journalist, 'it's a wildfire year,'" Common Dreams, August 11, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/11/california-greece-siberia-wildfires-rage-worldwide-and-more-expected, reported, " Officials from the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. to Southern Europe are warning of extreme heatwaves expected in the coming days, sparking fears of even more wildfires like those that have laid waste to millions of acres worldwide in recent weeks, including in Oregon, California, Greece, Turkey, and Siberia.
      The prime minister of Portugal warned Wednesday that with temperatures expected to reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit this week , officials are bracing for potential wildfires like the ones that killed more than 100 people in 2017.
      In Spain, the national weather service warned that a heatwave could bring temperatures as high as 111 degrees Fahrenheit.
     More than 5,000 miles away in the northwestern U.S., Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency Tuesday as the state prepared for its second major heatwave of the summer, less than two months after extreme heat was linked to more than 60 deaths there. Seattle authorities were also opening cooling stations and preparing to protect bridges and roads from heat damage.
      Temperatures are expected to climb into the hundreds in the typically temperate region, in 'a direct result of the climate crisis' according to Oregon state climatologist Larry O'Neill.
     'This would be kind of a heatwave that maybe we experience every two to three years in the past, but this will be the second strong one this summer," O'Neill told The Guardian.
     In neighboring California, the Dixie Fire, which had torn through more than 500,000 acres over the past four weeks as of Tuesday, is still active in four counties due to dry conditions, according to Cal Fire.The wildfire is now the second-largest in California's history and has destroyed sacred sites of the Native American Maidu community, razed nearly 1,000 homes and other structures, and decimated the historic town of Greenville, home to more than 1,000 people.
      The blaze has also sent smoke and ashes more than 1,000 miles from the flames, raising fears of toxicity in the coming weeks.
     On the other side of the globe in Siberia, more than 190 forest fires have forced widespread evacuations, with smoke drifting as far as the North Pole for the first time in history.
      Emergency workers have given up on fighting nearly 70 additional fires that have burned through nearly 8,000 square miles, making the fires 10 times as large as the Dixie Fire and bigger than the wildfires that have raged in recent days in Turkey, Greece, Italy, and other countries combined.
      Fires that have spread for nine days across the Greek island of Evia are gradually being brought under control by nearly 900 firefighters, but the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece faced more fires on Wednesday and authorities in Evia are now left struggling to help hundreds of newly displaced people.
     As of Tuesday, an extreme heatwave like the one Portuguese, Spanish, and American officials are now warning of was contributing to nearly 600 wildfires burning in 'all corners' of the country, leading to what Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called a 'disaster of unprecedented proportions.'
     On the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, at least 65 people have been killed in wildfires that have burne d in Algeria's mountainous Kabyke region over the past two days.
      The wildfires, driven by the climate crisis and the continued extraction of carbon-emitting fossil fuels, are also worsening the planetary emergency by releasing even more carbon into the atmosphere, according to Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.
     'Already by mid July, the total estimated emissions is higher than a lot of previous years' totals for summer periods, so that's showing that this is a very persistent problem,' Parrington told CNN last month.
     The latest fires come on the heels of Monday's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the urgent need to rapidly cut down on greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the disastrous consequences of the climate crisis.
     As Josh Saul, climate and disasters reporter for Bloomberg, said in a video he posted to Twitter on Tuesday, the prevalence of fires across the globe and in a wide variety of climates, starting weeks earlier this year than in previous years, shows annual 'wildfire seasons' are a thing of the past.
     'With hotter temperatures and dryer conditions lasting longer into the fall and winter than they used to, the fire season is also lasting longer,' Saul said.
     'It's not a wildfire season anymore, it's a wildfire year
,' he added.
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      The harm from wildfires can remain for years after the fires are out. Rains may bring mud and landslides, and they, and ongoing erosion can contaminate drinking water (Henry Fountain, "Wildfires Remain an Urban Threat Long After the Flames Are Out," The New York Times, June 25, 2021).


     The Southern Ute Tribe's website (https://www.southernute-nsn.gov) in late June reported several fires that were later fully contained or burned out without destroying or damaging structures or causing human injury, "18 Fires Break out on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Suppression Efforts Continue on the Dry Gulch Area Fires."
     Since the dry lightning storm that hit the Fort Lewis Mesa area Friday afternoon and evening on June 18, 2021, 31 separate fires have been discovered. Of those, 9 are reported to be controlled/contained/out, and 10 controlled.
     Currently, the largest fire is the Iron Springs Fire, 37 7.008, -108 4.506 (LAT/LON), which is 10 acres in size. Ground crews and a Type 2 helicopter have been working the fire, and spot fires, throughout the day.
     Weather will continue to be hot, dry and windy. High temperatures between 85 & 95 degrees, humidity below 14% after 1200, and wind gust up to 30 MPH. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for tomorrow. Thunderstorms with dry lightning are not expected tomorrow afternoon.
     Smoke is visible from the CO Hwy 140 corridor. Individuals should avoid County Road 136 and the west end of County Road 100. Smoke will be visible to the local communities. For The cause of the Dry Gulch Fire Area is the result of the recent lightning storm . The Tribe is coordinating with local agencies to ensure the safety of the public and to minimize the impact of the fire."
      Henry Fountain, "In a First, U.S. Declares Shortage on Colorado River, Forcing Water Cuts," The New York Times, August 17, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/16/climate/colorado-river-water-cuts.html, reported, "With climate change and long-term drought continuing to take a toll on the Colorado River, the federal government on Monday for the first time declared a water shortage at Lake Mead, one of the river’s main reservoirs.
      The declaration triggers cuts in water supply that, for now, mostly will affect Arizona farmers. Beginning next year they will be cut off from much of the water they have relied on for decades. Much smaller reductions are mandated for Nevada and for Mexico across the southern border."
     If current weather trends continue, as expected, the 40 million people in the West who rely on the Colorado River for water will face increasing reductions in the river's waters.


      The continuing impact of drought in the U.S. South West has been broad, including that New Mexico's centuries old and critical irrigation canals have been drying up (Simon Romero, "Humble But Vital, New Mexico's Fabled Canals Are Running Dry," The New York Times, August 17, 2021).


     Alex Hasenstab, "Massive Pacific Northwest storm causes power outages, downed trees," OPB, October 24, 2021, https://www.opb.org/article/2021/10/24/storm-to-cause-winds-up-to-65-mph-along-pacific-northwest-coast/, reported, " A huge storm with high winds and rain wreaked havoc on the Pacific Northwest on Sunday, causing numerous power outages throughout the region.
     Before the weekend, the weather service predicted the storm could produce the lowest barometric pressure every recorded off the Pacific coast. By Sunday afternoon, it looks like that record had been set : https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2021/10/a-record-storm-and-power-outages-begin.html.
     Wind gusts topping 60 mph downed trees on Interstate 90 east of Seattle and cut power to at least 49,000 customers in the metro area and around Puget Sound, KOMO-TV reported. Around 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Portland General Electric was reporting more than 23,000 customers without power.
      In California, Neil Vigdor and Alyssa Lukpat, "The two storms, a 'bomb cyclone' and an 'atmospheric river,' caused flash floods in parts of the Bay Area and Northern California, and blanketed the Sierra Nevada in heavy snow, The New York Times, October 26, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/24/us/bomb-cyclone-california-atmospheric-river.html, reported very heavy rain causing flooding, stranding motorists, and cutting electric power while in the Sierra Nevada, very heavy snow fell, slowing traffic.
      Sacramento in the month of October averages about an inch of rain, said. This 5.44" is actually close to what we could see from October through December. ' We almost had 3 months' worth of rain in one day,' he said ( @kcraFinan: https://twitter.com/kcranews/status/1452784376362659846?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1452784376362659846%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kcra.com%2Farticle%2Flive-coverage-storm-northern-california-sacramento-region-rain-forecast-updates-radar%2F38045534).
      Folsom lake level up nearly 16’ since weekend rain and snow. But scene at Brown’s Ravine shows how much more needed. In 2019 on same date, lake level was 45’ higher ( @kcranews: https://twitter.com/KCRATeSelle/status/1453014734689603586?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1453014734689603586%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kcra.com%2Farticle%2Flive-coverage-storm-northern-california-sacramento-region-rain-forecast-updates-radar%2F38045534)."


      In Washington state the unprecedented rain and flooding caused huge long-term losses for the state's major dairy industry. Cattle were drowned, facilities destroyed or damaged and feed and other supplies lost which have been even harder to replace because of COVID initiated supply chain problems. When you put together the flood, drought and fire damage to agriculture across the U.S. and abroad from increasing climate change a major increase in food scarcity and price rise is exposed. (Kirk Johnson, "‘Just Total Chaos’: Floods Bring Death and Devastation to Dairies: Near-record flooding in Washington State drowned cattle, demolished homes and damaged equipment. Broken supply chains are making it even harder to recover," The New York Times, December 6, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/06/us/washington-floods-dairy-farmers.html).


      Jessica Corbett, "'We Are in a Climate Emergency': Historic Floods in BC, Washington Follow Scientists' Warnings: 'It definitely matches what the climate models show for the future around here—hotter, dryer summers and wetter winters... Our infrastructure isn't designed for that,'" Common Dreams, November 16, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/16/we-are-climate-emergency-historic-floods-bc-washington-follow-scientists-warnings, reported, " After a summer that featured the ' world's most extreme heatwave in modern history ,' which experts linked to human-caused global heating, the Pacific Northwest was inundated with floodwaters Monday, fueling fresh calls for ambitious action to combat the climate emergency.
      The recent [very heavy and previously rare] rain and subsequent flooding—which came on the heels of the COP26 climate summit in Scotland—led to evacuations, power outages, rescues, school closures, and stranded vehicles in Washington state and British Columbia, Canada."


      The extreme heat over a substantial period of summer 2021 in the Pacific Northwest brought fears that oysters and other shellfish may have been injured, as some that were harvested were suffering bacterial infection, leading to warnings not to eat raw shellfish (Michael Levenson, "Officials Fear Northwest 'Heat Dome' Tainted Oysters," The New York Times, July 24, 2021).


      The repeating extreme weather - deadly heating and dryness bringing huge wildfires, alternating with super storms causing damaging and disrupting for some time flooding - appear to be an indication of what the new normal is becoming in British Columbia, and indeed likely to get worse as climate change intensifies ( Ian Austen, "Sifting Through Mud, Flooded Canadians Fear Next Disaster," The New York Times, November 29, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/29/world/canada/british-columbia-floods-storm.html).


     "Raizal Organizations Submit Report to United Nations on How Climate Change is Adversely Impacting Human Rights," Cultural Survival, December 3, 2021, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/raizal-organizations-submit-report-united-nations-how-climate-change-adversely-impacting, Contact: Fanny Howard Trees and Reefs Foundation
frhoward11@gmail.com reported, " In an effort to draw attention to the impact of climate change on their human rights, the Raizal people submitted a report to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) today. The report is in response to a U.N. Human Rights Council’s resolution asking the Secretary-General to consult Member States and other relevant stakeholders on the adverse impact of climate change on the full and effective enjoyment of human rights of people in vulnerable situations. The Raizal’s report, submitted by the Trees and Reefs Foundation with the support of several other Raizal organizations , highlights the serious human rights concerns surrounding climate change for Indigenous and coastal Peoples.
     As an Indigenous Peoples whose homeland is the Archipelago of San Andres, Old Providence, and Santa Catalina in the Caribbean Sea, the Raizal already feel the adverse impacts of climate change on their ability to fully enjoy their human rights, rights such as the rights to food, water, culture, housing, life, and self-determination. The most recent and devastating example of this impact are Hurricanes Eta and Iota which swept through the Caribbean last year. These two powerful hurricanes hit these islands within two weeks of each other. The Raizal are still struggling to rebuild houses, access their traditional and cultural food sources and get hold of clean drinking water.
      Even though oceanic communities contribute negligible greenhouse gas emissions, they are among the most vulnerable populations to the impacts of climate change. The report to the OHCHR explains that the Raizal peoples are among these vulnerable populations which are experiencing the most damaging climate impacts because they are an Indigenous community living on small islands and reliant on their territories and natural resources to sustain themselves as a distinct Peoples. The Raizal are already encountering sea level rise, powerful and frequent storms and changing rainfall patterns. These climate change-related effects are altering ecosystems, natural resources such as fresh water and soil, and biodiversity – aspects of life that are essential to the Raizal’s independence, culture, and survival as a people.
     The Raizal Peoples rely on the region’s vast marine biodiversity for their traditional livelihoods. With limited fresh water and arable land, dependence on the sea is crucial to the right to life, food, and culture. Fishing, however, continues to decline due to overfishing and ecosystem degradation from anthropogenic sources of pollution and climate change-related destruction. Additionally, the resources of the Archipelago’s inhabited islands have suffered tremendously from the increase of non-Raizal population. The report ends by listing adaption measures and disaster preparedness and response plans which must be supported by Colombia and implemented in coordination with the Raizal."


     Daniel Politi, " An Economic Lifeline in South America, the Paraná River, Is Shriveling: The continent’s second-largest river is drying up amid the biggest drought in 70 years, upending ecosystems, trade and livelihoods," The New York Times, September 5, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/04/world/americas/drought-argentina-parana-river.html, reported, " The Paraná’s reduced flow, at its lowest level since the 1940s, has upended delicate ecosystems in the vast area that straddles Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and left scores of communities scrambling for fresh water.
      In a region that depends heavily on rivers to generate power and to transport the agricultural commodities that are a pillar of national economies, the retreat of the continent’s second-largest river has also hurt business, increasing the costs of energy production and shipping.
     Experts say deforestation in the Amazon, along with rain patterns altered by a warming planet, are helping fuel the drought
."


      In Brazil's northeast, a combination of long-term dry heating and the impact of the production of tiles has slowly been turning the farming region into a desert (Jack Nicas, "Transforming Brazil's Fertile Northeast Into a Desert, in Slow motion," The New York Times, December 3, 2021).


      Melissa Eddy, "Hundreds Missing and Scores Dead as Raging Floods Strike Western Europe: Strong rains caused rivers to burst their banks and wash away buildings in Belgium and Germany, where at least 1,300 remained missing. Homes and streets in the Netherlands and Switzerland also flooded," The New York Times, July 16, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/15/world/europe/flooding-germany-belgium-switzerland-netherlands.html, reported on unprecedented weather, "Following a day of frantic rescue efforts and orders to evacuate towns rapidly filling with water unloosed by violent storms, the German authorities said late Thursday that after confirming scores of deaths, they were unable to account for at least 1,300 people.
     That staggering figure was announced after swift-moving water from swollen rivers surged through cities and villages in two western German states, where the death toll passed 90 on Friday in the hardest-hit regions and other fatalities were expected."
     The flooding also occurred along the Meuse River in Belgium, where 11 people died, Holland and Switzerland. More rains were expected, as of July 16, with the likelihood the flooding would worsen.


     Nadine Schmidt, Frederik Pleitgen, Barbara Wojazer and Jeevan Ravindran, "More than 150 people still missing in German floods unlikely to be found, officials fear, CNN, July 22, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/22/europe/germany-belgium-europe-floods-death-climate-intl/index.html, reported that after record rains brought on by climate change, "A week after severe flooding hit western Europe, devastating Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, German officials said Thursday they fear the 158 people still missing there may not be found.
     The death toll from the floods has risen to at least 205 across the continent, while a total of at least 176 people remain accounted for. Belgium accounts for 32 deaths and 18 missing
, according to its national crisis center." Especially in Germany, the unprecedented floods caused tremendous damage to buildings, roads, rail lines and other infrastructure, causing many officials to think that some long inhabited areas are no longer livable with climate change.


      And previously unusual, but now normal with climate change, heavy rains were also devastating at the East end of Europe. "Floods devastate northern Turkey, killing at least 27 and leaving dozens missing," The New York Times, August 13, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/13/world/europe/floods-turkey.html, reported, "Flash floods in northern Turkey have killed at least 27 people, and left many other local residents missing and hundreds homeless , as rescue workers scrambled to evacuate those affected by the disaster and reach villages that had been cut off by the waters and lost power."
      Flash Floods in Turkey Kill 59, and Dozens Are Still Missing: The death toll rose to at least 59 a fifth day after the disaster, and more than 70 people remain missing," The New York Times, August 15, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/15/world/europe/turkey-floods.html, reported, "The death toll in the flash floods that roared across northern Turkey has risen to 59, with dozens of people still missing and many villages still cut off, almost a week after the disaster first struck , officials said."


      England also suffered from unprecedented floods and drought in late spring and early summer 2021 (Isabella Kwai, "Between Heat and Floods England Endures Extremes," The New York Times, July 29, 2021).


      Amid unprecedented heat and drought, in July 2021, the Mediterranean Island of Sardinia was swept by huge wildfires devouring forests, pastures and villages in "an unprecedented disaster" (Gaia Panigiani, "Residents Evacuated as Wildfires Ravage Sardinia in 'Disaster Without Precident,'" The New York Times, July 27, 2021)


     
Gaia Pianigiani, "Sicily Registers Record-High Temperature as Heat Wave Sweeps Italian Island: A monitoring station on the island reported a temperature of 119.84 Fahrenheit, 48.8 degrees Celsius, on Wednesday. If verified, it would be the highest ever recorded in Europe" The New York Times, August 12, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/12/world/europe/sicily-record-high-temperature-119-degrees.html, reported, " The Italian island of Sicily may have set a modern record for the hottest day ever recorded in Europe, with a monitoring station near the ancient city of Syracuse in the southeast recording a scorching 48.8 degrees Celsius, or 119.84 Fahrenheit.
     The temperature, recorded Wednesday by the Sicilian Meteorological Information Service for Agriculture, still needs to be verified by the World Meteorological Organization. If confirmed, it would top the previous record of 48 degrees set in Athens in July 1977, experts said."


      In northern Turkey, unusually heavy rains caused serious flooding, with early reports indicating at least 27 dead, many others missing and hundreds homeless ("Flooding Leaves at Least 27 Dead and Dozens Missing in Turkey," The New York Times, August 14, 2021).


     In Egypt, in November 2021, extremely heavy rain caused exceptionally heavy and broad flooding that wept four-inch scorpions, known as Deathstalkers, from their burrows in the Aswan area and into villages, where on the first night at least 503 people were bitten, at least three of whom died (Vivian Yee and Nada Rashwan, "Plague Strikes Egypt: Sudden Floods, Then 4-Inch Scorpions called Deathstalkers," The New York Times, November 16, 2021).


     
Amy Qin and Amy Chang Chien , "As Floods Ravage China, 14 Die After Bus Falls Off Bridge: The casualties come amid violent inundations in the country that have left a total of at least 29 people dead and displaced more than 120,000 across northern areas," The New York Times, October 12, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/12/world/asia/china-bus-flooding-dead.html, reported, "For the second time in three months, China is grappling with the aftermath of violent floods caused by days of unusually intense rains that have left at least 29 people dead and displaced more than 120,000 across northern parts of the country ."


      As Monsoons in the Indian subcontinent have become heavier with global warming, increasingly serious flooding has been occurring. In late July 2021, the increased rains brought a serious landslide in western India that killed at least nine people while flooding killed hundreds amid great destruction (Karan Deep Singh, "Hundreds Die as Monsoons Deluge Towns in West India," The New York Times, July 16, 2021).


      Emily Schmall, "Dozens Drown in India and Nepal as Monsoon Season Fails to End: The death toll continued to rise on Wednesday as landslides and flooding damaged homes and stranded thousands of people," The New York Times, October 20, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/world/asia/india-nepal-floods-landslides.html, reported, " Unseasonably heavy rainfall has destroyed crops, washed away bridges and killed dozens of people across India and Nepal in a reminder of the devastation caused by a changing climate.
     The death toll continued to rise
on Wednesday as landslides and flooding damaged homes and stranded thousands of tourists flocking to vacation spots and pilgrimage sites during Hinduism’s festive season, which coincides with the fall harvest.
      'Historically October is the start of post-monsoon,' said R.K. Jenamani, a senior scientist from India’s meteorological department. 'But this time what happened was that western disturbances were very, very intense.'”


     In Bangladesh, Unusually heavy monsoon rains turned Rohingya Refugee Camps into torrenting rivers, killing at least 11 people, at first reports, and seriously impacting some 13000, in July 2021 (Karan Deep Singh, "Fatal Floods Wreck Camps for Rohingya in Bangladesh," The New York Times, November 21, 2021).


      Japan was hit by extremely record rains, in early July 2021, triggering a landslide in the resort town of Atami. Four people were initially found dead and more than 80 were missing ("Landslide Hits Japanese City; 80 Are Missing," The New York Times, July 6, 2021).


      War and a changing climate with lessening spring rains and more drought have reduced agriculture, and more intense rain has increased flooding, which combined with the war have produced a huge humanitarian crisis, compounded by the Taliban's difficulty in carrying out government services and their international isolation (For example: Somini Sengupta, "War and Climate Change Collide in Afghanistan," The New York Times, August 30, 2021).


     Iran has been suffering for several years with rising temperature and increased drought which in summer 2022 has resulted in a severe water shortage, adding to the country's U.S. sanctions related economic and political difficulties (Farnaz Fassihi, "Severe Water Shortages Add Volatile Element to Challenges in Iran
," The New York Times, November 21, 2021).


      South Sudan has been having increased rains over the last few years leading to the worst flooding in parts of the country in 60 years, causing suffering and hardship for many of the 11 million people in the area (Lynsey Addario, "Vaccine Arrival in South Sudan Is Cold Comfort," The New York Times, November 21, 2021).


      Julia Conley, "'Unprecedented': Madagascar on Verge of World's First Climate-Fueled Famine: 'These people have done nothing to contribute to climate change,' said one U.N. official. 'They don't burn fossil fuels... and yet they are bearing the brunt of climate change,'" Common Dreams, August 25, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/25/unprecedented-madagascar-verge-worlds-first-climate-fueled-famine, reported, " Climate experts are warning the current extreme food shortage in southern Madagascar, following a dearth of rain for the last four years, has driven the country to the brink of the world's first famine driven almost entirely by the climate emergency.
     The United Nations estimates that 30,000 people in the country are facing 'level five' food insecurity, defined as a 'catastrophe or famine' according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification. With Madagascar's regular pre-harvest 'lean season' looming, many more are expected to face catastrophic hunger in the coming months.  
      'These are famine-like conditions and they're being driven by climate, not conflict,' Shelley Thakral, senior communications specialist for the World Food Program, told the BBC.
      'This is unprecedented,' Thakal added. ' These people have done nothing to contribute to climate change. They don't burn fossil fuels... and yet they are bearing the brunt of climate change.'
     In interviews with the press , families in farming communities across the southern part of the country have described foraging for cactus leaves and insects including locusts in order to avoid starvation as they struggle to grow crops.
     'I clean the insects as best I can but there's almost no water,' a mother of four named Tamaria, in the village of Fandiova, told the BBC.
      Madagascar was identified in the latest report (pdf) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a country that was expected to face an increase in agricultural and ecological drought, particularly if global policymakers fail to rapidly work to eliminate fossil fuel extraction and reduce the heating of the planet.
     Dr. Rondro Barimalala, a scientist from Madagascar who works at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, said the current crisis in his home country is clearly linked to the climate emergency.
     'With the latest IPCC report we saw that Madagascar has observed an increase in aridity. And that is expected to increase if climate change continues,' Barimalala told the BBC. 'In many ways this can be seen as a very powerful argument for people to change their ways.'
     The U.N.'s most senior official in the country, resident coordinator Issa Sanogo, recently described traveling through southern Madagascar and witnessing the crisis:
      'n the town of Amboasary Atsimo, about 75 per cent of the population is facing severe hunger and 14,000 people are on the brink of famine.
     This is what the real consequences of climate change look like, and the people here have done nothing to deserve this. Nevertheless, I have seen that they are ready to take up the challenge, with our immediate and medium-term support, and get back on their feet.
     [...]
     [T]hese people have been significantly affected by sandstorms; all of their croplands are silted up, and they cannot produce anything.'
     'We are in danger of seeing people who have endured the prolonged drought enter the lean season without the means to eat, without money to pay for health services, or to send their children to school, to get clean water, and even to get seeds to plant for the next agricultural season,' Sanogo said. 'If we don't act soon, we will face a much more severe humanitarian crisis.'
     Considering Madagasans' 'negligible contribution to the climate crisis,' tweeted the Environmental Justice Foundation, the current catastrophe represents 'an appalling climate injustice.'
     'Everyone should have a safe place to live,' the group said. 'Wealthy countries must step up and cut emissions now.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."
      A later published study that the drought in Madagascar was likely not directly related to climate change, but was part of a rotating pattern of weather that periodically shifted for the island.


      Damien Cave, "First Fires, Then Floods: Climate Extremes Batter Australia: Many of the same areas that suffered through horrific bush fires in 2019 and 2020 are now dealing with prodigious rainfall that could leave some people stranded for weeks, The New York Times, December 11, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/11/world/australia/flooding-fire-climate-australia.html, reported, " Life on the land has always been hard in Australia, but the past few years have delivered one extreme after another, demanding new levels of resilience and pointing to the rising costs of a warming planet. For many Australians, moderate weather — a pleasant summer, a year without a state of emergency — increasingly feels like a luxury.
      The Black Summer bush fires of 2019 and 2020 were the worst in Australia’s recorded history. This year, many of the same areas that suffered through those epic blazes endured the wettest, coldest November since at least 1900. Hundreds of people, across several states, have been forced to evacuate. Many more, like Ms. Southwell, are stranded on floodplain islands with no way to leave except by boat or helicopter, possibly until after Christmas."


      Dianna Hunt, Joaqlin Estus and Richard Arlin Walker, "Homelands in peril: Climate change forces a growing number of Indigenous people to choose between culture and destruction," ICT, October 27, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/homelands-in-peril (Editor’s Note: This story is part of an ICT Covering Climate Now reporting series on climate migration called CCNow, which can be followedd at ICT), reported that in Southern Louisiana near Barataria Bayou, that pushes toward the Gulf of Mexico, on the United Houma Nation people are leaving for higher ground. Rodriguez, a Houma citizen, 'is among tens of thousands of tribal citizens across Indian Country forced to choose between staying in their ancestral lands or moving out to protect themselves from the devastation wreaked by climate change."
      'Indigenous peoples along coastal areas and waterways across the United States from Alaska to Florida and California to Maine are facing floods, rising sea levels, coastal erosion and increasingly powerful hurricanes. Those in the Southwest and Plains have been hit with unprecedented drought, wildfires, heat, lowered water tables and depleted waterways. They’re all facing loss of habitat and a reduction in traditional food sources for people, livestock and wildlife."
      At least six tribal communities have already made firm plans to move. In other cases, such on the Houma Nation, on which 1000 homes suffered damage from Hurricane Ida, in August 2021, those who cannot afford to rebuild after the last climate disaster are moving away, a loss to themselves and the community. At Houma, many people are repairing homes, but a great many were damaged beyond repair and must be rebuilt or abandoned. With more and more, and more stronger storms, hitting the gulf coast, while the Gulf waters are rising and the land being increasingly washed away, Ida was a repeating experience, and soon there will not be dry ground on which to repair or rebuild.
      Other Louisiana Nations have been having the same experience, with many of their citizens already moving or planning to do so, including the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indian Tribe, which has lost 98 percent of its land mass and at least 75 percent of its residents since 1955 amidst continuing storm destruction and land loss. To help meet the situation, the state of Louisiana, assisted by federal funding, purchased 515 acres some 40 miles north of the coast in Shriever, Louisiana, to relocate tribal citizens. There, as of October 2021, 15-20 houses were under construction, with 39 families are expected to be moved in by spring 2022. Quite a few had left their communities earlier for nearby towns in part to escape the repeating destruction, and in part to find work, as their old occupations, including shrimp and sea food harvesting, had been washed away by climate change.
      Further East along the coast, the Seminole Tribe of Florida Seminoles, especially in its traditional home in the Everglades, has been suffering from increasingly powerful hurricanes, rising sea levels and erosion combined with heat and periodic drought. Moving North along and near the Atlantic Coast rising oceans, increased severe storms and other previously usual extreme weather have taken a significant toll. The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, for example, has suffered from increased flooding of the Lumbee River and the upland coastal plains, while being damaged by unprecedented hurricanes. The overall impact of the shifting climate on the Nation, Lumbee citizen Dr. Ryan E. Emanuel stated, will have, "have serious implications for the tribe,” including on hunting, fishing, foraging, basket-making, pottery, medicinal plants and religion. “We value those swamps and we value those wetlands,” Emanuel told Indian Country Today. “The flooding makes it difficult for us to stay close to our waters. Our ancestors fished, boated, relied on the water a lot more than we do now ... We (now) have a hard time forming bonds with the rivers and swamps.”
      In Alaska, numerous costal Native villages have been hit hard by rising seas, as well as melting ice and other aspects of the especially rapid climate change that has been damaging to people all over the state, especially to Natives and others who live by full or partial substance. Melting ice and tundra make hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering difficult and dangerous in many areas, while habitat and wildlife ways are changing.
     Among the Alaskan villages hard hit by a warming climate is the Southwest Alaska Yup’ik village of Newtok. The ice that protected the village from storms has been rapidly disappearing, allowing wave action tear away the ground, moving the ocean inland more than a mile, while the melting of the permafrost has caused once firm ground to sink and shift. Barges are no longer able to land with supplies or to transport people, and the riverbank is eroding the runway on which small planes land, a vital connection to the outside. In the last decade the village, which stands between two rivers, has flooded several times, with a storm in fall of 2005 washing away land behind the village, so that it has become an island. More recently, the nearest riverbank has been eroding land at about 100 feet a year, until it is coming close to major community buildings. Congress has approved a site for the village of around 350 people to move to nearby Mertarvik, on erosion resistant Nelson Island, which is within the village's traditional territory.
      Three other Alaska Native villages, Kivalina, Shishmaref and Shaktoolik, have been found by the U.S. government to become uninhabitable within the next five years. But as fall 2021, only Newtok had made substantial progress in moving to a new, long-term safe, location. Other Alaska Native villages have been suffering from erosion as well. For example, the Yup'ik village of Akiak recently moved six homes being undermined by the Kuskokwim River, and like others, its members have found climate change reducing their harvesting of sea life and game.
     Along the Pacific Northwest coast, in Washington state, the Quinault Nation community of Taholah was flooded in 2021 and, as the coastline washes away, is increasingly vulnerable to storm surges, tsunamis and the ever-rising ocean. A new village site is under construction a half mile from the present location, on higher ground considered safe for the foreseeable future. Taholah plans toc complete its move by 2030, and has been assisted by U.S. government funding, and additional relocation funds are being considered by Congress.
      The Quileute Tribe in La Push, Washington also had experienced flooding in their increasingly vulnerable location by the shore, and also is in the process of moving to higher ground, financial help for which is also under consideration by Congress. Some citizens of the tribe plan to continue to live in the present village site, which since ancient times has been the location for the nation's sea harvesting. Other western coastal tribes also impacted by rising seas and more powerful storms, as well as by climate change reducing their traditional harvests.
     Among those nations reporting reduced land and/or sea wildlife harvesting, or a shifting in habitats and in wildlife location and behavior as a result of changing climate, in Oregon and Idaho are the five tribal nations that make up the Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation — Burns Paiute Tribe, Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribes, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall, and Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley. In northeastern Oregon, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation report that their traditional foods are being impacted by warming temperatures, while heat, drought and smoke from wildfires have been reducing the Tubatulabal Tribe of California’s Kern Valley to access to traditional foods, as well as generally lowering the quality of life.
     The increase in number size, intensity of western wildfires over longer and longer periods of time have also been harmful to many nations, both from smoke and from direct threat and damage. For example, Hundreds of families in the Flathead Indian and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations, and in the Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana were evacuated and tribal citizens worked to save homes and sacred sites as 200,000 acres were consumed by flames, in summer 2022.
     In the Southwest, severe drought and heat have made farming more difficult, causing the Hopi, among others to discuss if, and how, they might change the way they farm. And often when it does rain, it is in, at times, previously unknown torrents causing flooding. Wild fires have also been a threat and problem, including from choaking and health impacting smoke from the huge fires further west. At times and places across the region, the hot dryness has caused corn to die in the fields, sheep and wildlife to forage farther for food and drink, while some herds have been reduced of necessity and families have been forced to wait in lines to get water for their homes.


      Meghan Sullivan, "‘Drastic changes’: Sea ice levels affecting seal hunting: Seal hunting is an Inupiaq tradition that isn’t just food security, but is also part of community bonding and generational ties," ICT, September 15, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/drastic-changes-sea-ice-levels-affecting-seal-hunting, reported, " a recently released research project about climate change’s impact on the regional ugruk. The study revealed an unignorable trend: Kotzebue’s seal hunting season has shrunk about one day per year over the last 17 years, primarily due to a decline in sea ice."


      Kenny Stancil, "A Quarter of All 'Critical' US Infrastructure at Risk From Flooding: Report: 'Our nation's infrastructure is not built to a standard that protects against the level of flood risk we face today, let alone how those risks will grow over the next 30 years as the climate changes,' said one expert," Common Dreams, October 11, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/11/quarter-all-critical-us-infrastructure-risk-flooding-report, reported, " Underscoring the need to slash greenhouse gas emissions and invest in public goods to better prepare communities across the United States for escalating extreme weather, a new report released Monday finds that one-quarter of the nation's "critical" infrastructure is already susceptible to flooding that renders it inaccessible, with risks projected to increase in the coming decades.
     Described as the first-ever nationwide evaluation of community-level vulnerability to flooding, the report— Infrastructure on the Brink (https://firststreet.org/research-lab/published-research/highlights-from-infrastructure-on-the-brink/),compiled by the First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research group that specializes in environmental risk assessment—highlights localities where housing, commercial real estate, transportation networks, schools, hospitals, power plants, and other pieces of infrastructure face operational flood risk in 2021.
      The analysis also explores how spatial patterns of flood risk are expected to change over the next 30 years, as the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency exacerbates sea-level rise and extreme rainfall events, which pose direct and indirect threats to the safety and well-being of people throughout the U.S.
     'It is clear, now more than ever,' the report states, 'that the ways and places in which we live are likely to continue to be impacted by our changing environment. One of the most important implications in this development is the vulnerability of our national infrastructure.'
     Using a unique national database that contains parcel-level flood risk information—combining hazards, exposure, and vulnerability—as well as over 20,000 flood adaptation measures, the report maps Americans' current and future flood risks based on their proximity to coasts and flood plains plus the estimated impacts of flood-damaged infrastructure at the broader scales of neighborhoods, zip codes, cities, and counties.
     As the authors note, 'Individuals whose homes were spared the impact of a particular flood event are increasingly likely to find their local roads, businesses, critical infrastructure, utilities, or emergency services affected.'
     The report assesses risk to (1) residential properties; (2) roads; (3) commercial properties; (4) critical infrastructure (airports, fire stations, hospitals, police stations, ports, power stations, superfund/hazardous waste sites, water outfalls, and wastewater treatment facilities); and (5) social infrastructure (government buildings, historic buildings, houses of worship, museums, and schools).
     Defining risk as 'the unique level of flooding for each infrastructure type relative to operational thresholds,' the report finds:
     Risk to residential properties is expected to increase by 10% over the next 30 years with 12.4 million properties at risk today (14%) and 13.6 million at risk of flooding in 2051 (16%);
     Two million miles of road (25%) are at risk today and that is expected to increase to 2.2 million miles of road (26%) over the next 30 years (a 3% increase over the next 30 years);
     Commercial properties are expected to see a 7% increase in risk of flooding from 2021 to 2051, with 918,540 at risk today (20%) and 984,591 at risk of flooding in 30 years (21%);
     Currently, 35,776 critical infrastructure facilities are at risk today (25%), increasing to 37,786 facilities by 2051 (26%), a 6% increase in risk; and
     Compounding that risk, 71,717 pieces of social infrastructure facilities are at risk today (17%), increasing to 77,843 by 2051 (19%), an increase of 9% over that time period.
     The report comes in the wake of several highly destructive flooding events that affected various parts of the U.S. this summer, including one in
Tennessee in August as well as the inundation of New York City's subway system in July and again in September during Hurricane Ida —deadly and costly disasters that exposed how ill-prepared the country is to reduce extreme weather-related infrastructure damage and the ensuing consequences.
     The new analysis also points to earlier catastrophes, such as Hurricane Sandy, which hit the New York City metropolitan area in 2012 and "flooded hospitals, crippled electrical substations, overwhelmed wastewater treatment centers, and shut down power and water to tens of millions of people."
     Our nation's infrastructure is not built to a standard that protects against the level of flood risk we face today, let alone how those risks will grow over the next 30 years as the climate changes
," Matthew Eby, founder and executive director of the First Street Foundation, said in a statement.
     'This report highlights the cities and counties whose vital infrastructure are most at risk today and will help inform where investment dollars should flow in order to best mitigate against that risk,' Edy added.According to the report:
     There are significant differences at the county and city level in the amount of risk that exists today and into the future. Most importantly, there are a group of counties and cities that have persistent patterns of vulnerability across multiple dimensions of physical risk from flooding. These areas tend to be in regions with well-established flood risk, such as coastal flood plains along the Gulf and Southeastern coasts of the U.S., but also in less well-known flood zones, such as in the Appalachian Mountain regions of West Virginia and Kentucky.
     To that point, 17 of the top 20 counties in the U.S. which are most at risk (85%) are in the states of Louisiana, Florida, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Additionally, the top cities at risk of flooding persistently show up in the states of Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and South Carolina. The analysis further uncovered a high degree of vulnerability in some of the major population centers in the U.S., including New Orleans, Miami, Tampa, Charleston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
      Even as extreme storms and material insecurity become more common and severe—rendering continued inaction far more expensive than prevention—congressional Republicans and a handful of conservative Democratic lawmakers swimming in corporate cash continue to fight against the Build Back Better Act , a President Joe Biden-endorsed proposal to invest trillions in strengthening climate action and expanding the nation's relatively underdeveloped welfare state.
     Opposition to greening the nation's physical infrastructure and improving its social infrastructure increases disaster vulnerabilities and worsens impacts, particularly in marginalized communities, experts say, although the inverse—simultaneously addressing the intensifying crises of climate and inequality—is also possible.
     'The decarbonization question, the infrastructure question, and the inequalities question are the same question," Daniel Aldana Cohen, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, tweeted last week. "Only an epic struggle from the left, combining mass organization, mobilization, and technical expertise—across borders—can provide a good answer in the 2020s.'
     
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Julia Conley, "Africa's Disappearing Glaciers Signal 'Irreversible' Threat to Earth System: Report: The authors of a U.N. report urge greater investment in climate adaptation and weather services on the continent," Common Dreams, October 19, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/19/africas-disappearing-glaciers-signal-irreversible-threat-earth-system-report, reported, " A new United Nations-backed report reveals the extent of Africa's 'disproportionate vulnerability' to the climate emergency, with the continent's three glaciers expected to disappear entirely in the next two decades as the population faces the increasingly dire effects of the heating of the planet.
      'Total deglaciation' of the glaciers of the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is expected by the 2040s, while the Mount Kenya massif could lose its ice caps a decade sooner, 'which will make it one of the first entire mountain ranges to lose glacier cover due to human-induced climate change, ' according to the State of the Climate in Africa 2020 report (https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=10833).
     'In sub-Saharan Africa, climate change could further lower gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 3% by 2050.'
      The loss of the three glaciers in East Africa, which are retreating at faster rates than the global average, 'signals the threat of imminent and irreversible change to the Earth system,' said World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
     'Administrative barriers' currently put long term observation efforts at the mountains' summits at risk of being abandoned, according to the report by the WMO, the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission for Africa, and other agencies—but the authors noted that "investing in climate adaptation, early warning systems, and weather and climate services can pay off.'
      'In sub-Saharan Africa, climate change could further lower gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 3% by 2050," wrote Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, commissioner for rural economy and agriculture at the AUC. "This presents a serious challenge for climate adaptation and resilience actions because not only are physical conditions getting worse, but also the number of people being affected is increasing."
     While the loss of the three glaciers could have significant adverse effects for tourism revenue, investing in climate adaptation would cost $30 to $50 billion annually over the next decade, or 2% to 3% of the GDP, while sparking economic development and generating 'more jobs in support of economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.'
      As African nations' economies face long-term threats from the climate emergency, the report notes that millions of people's lives are already being upended on the continent by the effects of the warming planet.
     More than 800,000 people were affected by severe flooding in the Sudan last year; 155 deaths were reported there and 285 were reported in Kenya due to the flooding, which scientists have linked to heavier rainfall resulting from the warming atmosphere.
     South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Chad were among several countries that reported significant displacement due to drought, flooding, and other climate crisis impacts last year, while in Madagascar, as
Common Dreams reported in August, 'famine-like conditions have been driven by climate change.'
      With each flood or drought in sub-Saharan Africa, said the WMO, food insecurity increases by 5% to 20%.
      Central African countries reported extreme events including landslides and heavy rainfall which led to economic losses and the collapse of Palar Bridge in Cameroon.
      While Africa's 54 countries are responsible for less than 4% of fossil fuel emissions, the report estimates that by 2030, up to 118 million people on the continent will be exposed to drought, floods, and extreme heat fueled by the continued extraction of oil, gas, and coal advanced by the Global North.
      'This will place additional burdens on poverty alleviation efforts and significantly hamper growth in prosperity,' the report said.
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Nadja Popovich and Brad Plumer, "Who Has The Most Historical Responsibility for Climate Change?" The New York Times, November 12, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/11/12/climate/cop26-emissions-compensation.html, reported, " One of the biggest fights at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow is whether — and how — the world’s wealthiest nations, which are disproportionately responsible for global warming to date, should compensate poorer nations for the damages caused by rising temperatures.
     23 rich, developed countries
are responsible for half of all historical CO2 emissions.
     More than 150 countries
are responsible for the other half." The details with charts are in this article in print and on line.
     Rich countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan and much of western Europe, account for just 12 percent of the global population today but are responsible for 50 percent of all the planet-warming greenhouse gases released from fossil fuels and industry over the past 170 years
."
     Over that time, Earth has heated up by roughly 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit), fueling stronger and deadlier heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires. Poorer, vulnerable countries have asked richer nations to provide more money to help adapt to these hazards."


     Dan Egan, "The climate crisis haunts Chicago’s future. A Battle Between a Great City and a Great Lake," The New York Times, July 7, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/07/07/climate/chicago-river-lake-michigan.html?campaign_id=54&emc=edit_clim_20210714&instance_id=35319&nl=climate-fwd%3A&regi_id=52235981&segment_id=63444&te=1&user_id=2984790c14170290245238c0cd4fd927 reported that Climate Change has been bringing a serious threat to both Chicago and Lake Michigan. For about 300 years, the lake maintained close to the same level. But that has changed. In 2014, it reached record lows. More recently, with record precipitation in the middle of North America the level has been rising beyond its usual highs. If the level rises high enough, it will overflow the lock separating the Chicago River from Lake Michigan. The river is heavily polluted by sewage that flows into it from Chicago’s storm sewers. If the waters mix, the lake, a major source of drinking water will be seriously polluted. Increasingly heavy downpours could have the same result if they raise the river level high enough. To attempt to prevent that disaster, the city has been constructing a huge network of underground storage tanks to capture up to billions of gallons sewage tainted water when downpours occur. In addition , if the level of the lake falls low enough, it will reverse the course of the Chicago River with its sewage into the lake. Finally, if the lake level rises sufficiently, it cause serious flooding in the relatively flat and low level city.


      Saul Elbein, "Seeking tribal sovereignty through solar," The Hill, December 8, 2021, https://thehill.com/policy/equilibrium-sustainability/584824-seeking-tribal-sovereignty-through-solar?rl=1&bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.jAYeqA8JWck2L_OFM1_G0BA.rG9RAYASebEeM7bVI_zKuMg.lcdYwbzQ4AkeEghG will26DkivA, reported, " A group of Midwestern Native American “solar warriors” is working to help tribes break cycles of energy poverty and what they call “colonial exploitation” with access to locally controlled, low-cost renewable power.
     Recently rebranded the Indigenized Energy Initiative (IEI), they serve as a kind of utility incubator that assists with the creation of new solar installations, including offering education on construction and how to secure federal funds
."


     Positive Energy Solar reported in a November 1, 2021, " Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced that we [New Mexico] are aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The announcement was made on day one of our state’s first-ever Climate Summit (https://www.facebook.com/login/?next=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FNMSierraClub%2Fposts%2F10158442388398434) which took place October 25-26. You can hear her announcement in the recording of the Climate Summit (2:33:35). The Governor intends to push for this initiative by codifying it into law in the January 2022 legislative session. Also on the legislative agenda will be clean fuel standards, as well as the introduction of a hydrogen hub act, intended to help decarbonize New Mexico’s transportation sector with new technology." But this hydrogen production facility would use fossil fuels to produce the hydrogen and thus is green friendly and is opposed by environmentalists.
     By putting net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 into law in 2022, New Mexico will continue aiming for its goals in becoming a national leader in sustainability and the clean energy transition. Governor Lujan-Grisham will be representing our climate-action leading state on the world stage at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place thru Nov. 12 in Scotland.
     More good clean energy news…Did you know that the city of Santa Fe is working toward becoming a 100% renewable city by 2040? We had the privilege to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the city’s sustainability initiatives that will help Santa Fe bring their green goals to fruition.Among the many projects are 2.75MW of solar that Positive Energy Solar will be integrating throughout the city. Beyond the significant environmental benefits, these projects will help to lower energy costs for the city and its taxpayers.
     See the coverage on KRQE right here: https://www.krqe.com/news/politics-government/city-of-santa-fe-adding-solar-arrays-to-some-facilities/?fbclid=IwAR1YxgTqeWtzBDbMJ7SAdEPhhJSo-5ZGWcyinsMQPV5qYOfK0c5rqHYVjDM."


     " Solar farm in desert restores ecosystem, boosts green economy," reporting, "Once totally barren and called the 'sea of death,' China's 7th largest desert Kubuqi takes on a new look after years of green efforts. Follow Xinhua's Zhao Zehui to a solar farm in Kubuqi to explore how it combines planting, breeding and green power generation," on YouTube, Oct 21, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uv-Yw9MZFE.


      Christopher Flavelle, "Climate Change Is Bankrupting America’s Small Towns: Repeated shocks from hurricanes, fires and floods are pushing some rural communities, already struggling economically, to the brink of financial collapse," The New York Times, September 5, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/02/climate/climate-towns-bankruptcy.html, reported, " Climate shocks are pushing small rural communities like Fair Bluff, many of which were already struggling economically, to the brink of insolvency. Rather than bouncing back, places hit repeatedly by hurricanes, floods and wildfires are unraveling: residents and employers leave, the tax base shrinks and it becomes even harder to fund basic services.
     That downward spiral now threatens low-income communities that were in the path of Hurricane Ida and those hit by the recent flooding in Tennessee — hamlets regularly pummeled by storms that are growing more frequent and destructive because of climate change." And for residents of these towns, the impact is strongly negative. If they stay jobs, income and supportive service are reduced, and if they move, the value of their property has been reduced making it more difficult to sell and get a new start elsewhere.
      Hiroko Tabuchi, "For Many, Hydrogen Is the Fuel of the Future. New Research Raises Doubts: Industry has been promoting hydrogen as a reliable, next-generation fuel to power cars, heat homes and generate electricity. It may, in fact, be worse for the climate than previously thought," The New York Times, August 12, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/12/climate/hydrogen-fuel-natural-gas-pollution.html, reported, "... a new peer-reviewed study (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ese3.956) on the climate effects of hydrogen, the most abundant substance in the universe, casts doubt on its role in tackling the greenhouse gas emissions that are the driver of catastrophic global warming .
     The main stumbling block: Most hydrogen used today is extracted from natural gas in a process that requires a lot of energy and emits vast amounts of carbon dioxide. Producing natural gas also releases methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas."
     Thus, " Blue Hydrogen," that the natural gas industry wishes to produce, and for which many billions of dollars have been allocated in the 2021 infrastructure bill to produce it, is more harmful than helpful for meeting global warming.


      The Biden Administration and European Nations have stated a plan to use tariffs and import requirements to favor steel and other meals made with low carbon emissions, prohibiting entry of materials made with high greenhouse gas emissions (Ana Swanson, "Steel Plan Links Trade with Climate," The New York Times, November 4, 2021).


      Niraj Chokshi, Matthew Goldstein and Erin Woo, "Biden’s Electric Car Plans Hinge on Having Enough Chargers: The United States has about 100,000 public chargers, far fewer than Europe and China. It needs 10 times as many, auto experts say, to complete the switch from combustion engine vehicles," The New York Times, September 7, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/07/business/energy-environment/electric-vehicle-charging-stations.html, reported, " In President Biden’s vision of a green future, half of all new cars sold in 2030 will be electric. But something really basic is standing in the way of that plan: enough outlets to plug in all those cars and trucks.
     The country has tens of thousands of public charging stations — the electric car equivalent of gas pumps — with about 110,000 chargers. But energy and auto experts say that number needs to be at least five to 10 times as big to achieve the president’s goal. Building that many will cost tens of billions of dollars, far more than the $7.5 billion that lawmakers have set aside in the infrastructure bill
."


      Jonathan Weisman, Emily Cochrane and Catie Edmondson, "House Passes $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill, Putting Social Policy Bill on Hold: Progressives who had threatened to sink the measure agreed to support it after extracting a promise from moderates that they would ultimately back the social safety net and climate bill," The New York Times, November 6, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/05/us/politics/house-infrastructure-reconciliation.html, reported, " The House passed a $1 trillion bill on Friday night to rebuild the country’s aging public works system , fund new climate resilience initiatives and expand access to high-speed internet service, giving final approval to a central plank of President Biden’s economic agenda after a daylong drama that pitted moderate Democrats against progressives." The Prsident was expecte to quickly sign the bill.
     "It will provide $550 billion in new funds over 10 years to shore up roads, bridges and highways, improve internet access and modernize the nation’s power grid. The measure also includes the United States’ largest investment to prepare for climate change: $50 billion to help communities grapple with the devastating fires, floods, storms and droughts that scientists say have been worsened by global warming."
     Meanwhile, the $1.85 trillion social safety net and climate change bill was put on hold.


      A listing of what a number of states were likely to use the infrastructure bill money for is in Shawn Hubler, Emily Cochrane and Zach Montague, "This Is Where the States Want Billions in Infrastructure Funding Spent: The plan finally approved on Friday will address transportation, water, broadband, energy and public safety needs that have been building for years, sometimes decades," The New York Times, November 6, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/06/us/states-infrastructure-bill-funding.html. A listing of what New Mexico might use these funds for is in "Roads, Transit, Internet: What’s In The $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill For New Mexico? New Mexico legislators weigh in on their additions to the bill," The Paper, November 7, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/11/roads-transit-internet-whats-in-the-1-trillion-infrastructure-bill-for-new-mexico/.


      Jonathan Watts, Ashley Kirk, Niamh McIntyre, Pablo Gutiérrez and Niko Kommenda, "Half world’s fossil fuel assets could become worthless by 2036 in net zero transition: $11tn fossil fuel asset crash could cause 2008-style financial crisis, warns new study." The Guardian, November 4, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2021/nov/04/fossil-fuel-assets-worthless-2036-net-zero-transition. reported, "A bout half of the world’s fossil fuel assets will be worthless by 2036 under a net zero transition, according to research (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-021-00934-2).
      Countries that are slow to decarbonise will suffer but early movers will profit; the s tudy finds that renewables and freed-up investment will more than make up for the losses to the global economy."


      Brad Plumer, "Energy Department Aims to Slash Cost of Removing Carbon from the Air: Scientists say carbon removal may be needed to avert the worst effects of climate change. But it still needs to be much cheaper and more reliable," The New York Times, November 6, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/05/climate/glasgow-carbon-removal-climate.html, reported, " The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday unveiled its biggest effort yet to drastically reduce the cost of technologies that suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, in a recognition that current strategies to lower greenhouse gases may not be enough to avert the worst effects of climate change.
     At the United Nations climate summit, Jennifer Granholm, the energy secretary, said that her agency would invest in research in the nascent field of carbon removal, with a goal of pushing the cost under $100 per ton by 2030
. That’s far below the price tag for many current technologies, which are still in early stages of development and can currently cost as much as $2,000 per ton."


     " Study: Recycled Lithium Batteries as Good as Newly Mined:  Cathodes made with novel direct-recycling beat commercial materials," IEEE, October 15, 2021, https://spectrum.ieee.org/recycled-batteries-good-as-newly-mined. reported, that as the lithium recycling industry is beginning to expand, with auto makers initially unsure of how good recycled batteries are, ' Lithium-ion batteries, with their use of riskily mined metals, tarnish the green image of EVs. Recycling to recover those valuable metals would minimize the social and environmental impact of mining, keep millions of tons of batteries from landfills, and cut the energy use and emissions created from making batteries.'
      A new study by Wang and a team including researchers from the US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC: http://www.uscar.org/guest/teams/12/U-S-Advanced-Battery-Consortium-LLC), and battery company A123 Systems, shows that battery and carmakers needn't worry. The results, published in the journal Joule, shows that batteries with recycled cathodes can be as good as, or even better than those using new state-of-the-art materials."


     " 13 Battery Gigafactories Are Coming To the US By 2025 (electrek.co), Slashdot, Posted by BeauHD, December 28, 2021, https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/21/12/28/2152236/13-battery-gigafactories-are-coming-to-the-us-by-2025, reported, " schwit1 shares a report from Electrek: There are 13 new battery cell gigafactories coming online in the US by 2025, according to the Department of Energy. These factories are ushering in a new era of battery production in the US. [...] Now the Department of Energy has issued a report listing all the battery factory projects in the US: "In addition to electric vehicle battery plants that are already in operation in the United States, 13 additional plants have been announced and are expected to be operational within the next 5 years. Of the 13 plants that are planned, eight are joint ventures between automakers and battery manufacturers. Many of these new plants will be located in the Southeast or Midwest."


     Gilberto Neto and Ruth Maclean, "Waste From Mine in Angola Kills 12 Downstream in Congo, Minister Says: Toxic metals from Angola’s largest diamond mine spilled into the Kasai River in July, sickening thousands and causing an 'environmental catastrophe,' researchers said.." The New York Times, September, 3, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/03/world/africa/mine-waste-angola-congo.html, reported that a toxic leak from Angola's largest diamond mine, run by Catoca, a joint venture owned by the Angolan state mining company, Endiama, and the Russian mining giant Alrosa, has not only thousands of killed fish while fouling an ecosystem, but downstream in Congo has killed at least 12 people and 'caused about 4,500 people got sick from diarrhea as a result of the pollution and nearly one million were affected overall,' said Eve Bazaiba, Congo’s minister of environment and sustainable development."


      A dark aspect of moving to green energy is that a great deal of highly polluting mining is required to provide necessary minerals, especially for batteries for electric cars and energy storage. Fortunately, at least for some of the minerals, recycling of them is a growing option, as indicated above. At the moment, however, and international rush to mine cobalt, and to gain advantage and perhaps control of that market, is underway ( Dionne Searcey, Michael Forsythe and Eric Lipton, "Race To The Future: A Power Struggle Over Cobalt Rattles the Clean Energy Revolution: The quest for Congo’s cobalt, which is vital for electric vehicles and the worldwide push against climate change, is caught in an international cycle of exploitation, greed and gamesmanship," The New York Times, November 20, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/20/world/china-congo-cobalt.html).


      Coral Davenport, "Biden Crafts a Climate Plan B: Tax Credits, Regulation and State Action: The new strategy could deeply cut greenhouse gases that are heating the planet but it will still face considerable political, logistical and legal hurdles," The New York Times, October 22, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/22/climate/biden-climate-plan.html, reported, " After losing the centerpiece of his climate agenda just a week before heading to a major global warming summit, President Biden intends to make the case that the United States has a new plan that will still meet its ambitions to sharply cut greenhouse gases that are warming the planet.
     The administration’s strategy now consists of a three-pronged approach of generous tax incentives for wind, solar and other clean energy, tough regulations to restrict pollution coming from power plants and automobile tailpipes, and a slew of clean energy laws enacted by states
."
     Theoretically the plan could achieve what has been blocked in Congress, but it is unlikely to succeed. Regulations could take years to establish and surmount court challenges, while many states are unlikely to collaborate, and there are other difficulties as well.


      Hiroko Tabuchi, Biden Outlines a Plan for Cleaner Jet Fuel. But How Clean Would It Be? Some biofuels may contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in ways that can significantly reduce, and sometimes offset, their advantages over fossil fuels, studies have shown," The New York Times,
     September 13, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/13/climate/sustainable-jet-fuel-biden.html, reported, "At first glance, it’s a big step forward in curbing climate change. In a deal announced Thursday , the Biden administration and the airline industry agreed to an ambitious goal of replacing all jet fuel with sustainable alternatives by 2050, a target meant to drive down flying’s environmental toll.
     As early as 2030, President Biden said, the United States will aim to produce three billion gallons of sustainable fuel — about 10 percent of current jet fuel use — from waste, plants and other organic matter, reducing aviation’s emissions of planet-warming gases by 20 percent and creating jobs."
     The question to be answered over time is how green the new biofuels will actually be, considering not only how much greenhouse pollution they produce when consumed, but also how much greenhouse gas pollution occurs in producing those fuels
.
     
      Brett Wilkins, "Indigenous Leaders Hail Biden's Proposed Chaco Canyon Drilling Ban as 'Important First Step': 'We are most hopeful that this action is a turning point where the United States natural resource management planning philosophy focuses on the protection of all living beings,'" Common Dreams, November 15, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/15/indigenous-leaders-hail-bidens-proposed-chaco-canyon-drilling-ban-important-first, reported, "A coalition of Southwestern Indigenous leaders on Monday applauded President Joe Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland following the announcement of a proposed 20-year fossil fuel drilling ban around the sacred Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico—even as the administration prepares to auction off tens of millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas extraction later this week."


      Hannah Grover, "Groups express concerned about hydrogen hub push," New Mexico Political Report, October 11,2011, https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2021/10/11/groups-express-concerned-about-hydrogen-hub-push/?mc_cid=82b102dd0c&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported that there is a push by supporters to gain approval for a hydrogen fuel cell production facility in New Mexico, "Supporters of hydrogen power say it can create good-paying jobs while also providing zero-emission energy, but some environmental advocacy groups are concerned about a proposal to create a hydrogen hub in New Mexico."
      Opponents point out that this method of producing hydrogen is environmental counterproductive as it requires fossil fuels to produce the hydrogen. Hydrogen is only a viable fuel when it requires no, or very little, fossil fuel to produce.


     "Biden to Restore Three National Monuments in Utah and New England: President Biden is restoring Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah and a marine monument off the New England coast, all severely reduced by former President Donald J. Trump," The New York Times, October 7, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/07/climate/bears-ears-grand-staircase-escalante-biden.html, reported, " President Biden is expected to announce on Friday that he will use his executive authority to restore sweeping environmental protections to three major national monuments that had been stripped away by former President Donald J. Trump, according to two people familiar with the matter.
     Mr. Biden will reinstate and slightly expand the original 1.3 million acre boundaries of
Bears Ears National Monument , and restore the original 1.8 million acre boundaries of Grand Staircase-Escalante, two rugged and pristine expanses in Utah that are defined by red rock canyons, rich wildlife and archaeological treasures.
      He will also restore protections covering the Atlantic Ocean’s first marine monument, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, an expanse of sea canyons and underwater mountains off the New England coast."


     
Ivan Penn , " California Panel Backs Solar Mandate for New Buildings: A state agency voted to require many new commercial structures, along with high-rise residential projects, to have solar power and battery storage," The New York Times, August 11, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/11/business/energy-environment/california-solar-mandates.html, reported, "California regulators voted Wednesday to require builders to include solar power and battery storage in many new commercial structures as well as high-rise residential projects. It is the latest initiative in the state’s vigorous efforts to hasten a transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources ."


     " Fishing, recreation advocates topple critical Trump-era Clean Water Act federal power grab," Western Environmental Law Center , October 22, 2021 , https://westernlaw.org/fishing-recreation-advocates-topple-critical-trump-era-clean-water-act-federal-power-grab/, reported, "Late last night, fishing and recreation advocates won a significant victory for clean water when a federal district court threw out (vacated) a critical Trump Clean Water Act rule. Today’s order from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California restores state and Tribal authority to ensure federally permitted activities in rivers and lakes comply fully with state and tribal law. The Biden administration had planned to revise the rule to an unknown degree through a years-long public process. This court decision erases the Trump rule completely and immediately.
     The Trump-era rule implementing section 401 of the Clean Water Act allowed federal agencies to approve large projects against state and Tribal wishes, including fossil fuel pipelines, hydropower, industrial plants, wetland development, and municipal facilities. Today’s order from Judge William H. Alsup restores the broad authority of states and Tribes to halt such projects, and alternatively to impose conditions on them, and restores opportunities for robust public participation in permit decisions.
     'The Trump administration took an industry wish list and ran with it, trampling over state and Tribal authority and public rights to clean water in the process,' said Sangye Ince-Johannsen, attorney at the Western Environmental Law Center. 'We feel vindicated by this win today. The court’s order immediately restores an essential clean water safeguard—and the careful balance of state and federal power to protect clean water—that Congress intended when it wrote the Clean Water Act.'
     'The Trump administration’s unlawful 401 rules abandoned the Clean Water Act’s commitment to provide a voice for states and communities to protect and manage their rivers and streams, allowing potentially harmful projects to escape critical local review,' said Jennifer Marshall, general counsel for American Rivers. 'We’re proud to have played a role in protecting the rights of states and Tribes to defend clean water safeguards.'
     'The rule changes would have devastated California’s ability to manage its rivers,' said Redgie Collins, legal and policy director at California Trout. “We are relieved hydroelectric projects must still comply with local and state rules to provide flowing water and protect fish.'
     The Trump administration’s rule change is distinct from its rollbacks to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule, which excluded many waterbodies across the country from the Clean Water Act’s safeguards, and was also recently invalidated by a federal court. Together these two court decisions restore both (1) the Clean Water Act’s broad application to waters across the nation, and (2) state and Tribal authority to ensure their standards and laws apply to those waters.
     'We are thrilled to have defended the Clean Water Act from an attack that would have undermined the public’s ability to protect rivers and communities from harms to the environment and recreation opportunity at hydropower dams and other federally-licensed energy projects' said Bob Nasdor, American Whitewater legal director. “This victory restores our access to information, time for review, and ability of the states to protect water quality that we’ve counted on for the past 50 years to ensure our rivers are safe, healthy, and accessible.'
     'Today’s victory is not just a win for clean water, it also restores important, basic rights of democracy to participate in public review for permitting,' said Nic Nelson of Idaho Rivers United. “Importantly, this ruling also represents an inverse from the previous administration’s attempt to subvert states’ rights and Tribal authority and oversight.”
     Photos for media use available
here : http://defendcleanwater.org/media/.
     Contacts
:
     Sangye Ince-Johannsen, Western Environmental Law Center, 541-778-6626, sangyeij@westernlaw.org
     Amy Souers Kober, American Rivers, 503-708-1145, akober@americanrivers.org
     Bob Nasdor, American Whitewater, 617-584-4566, bob@americanwhitewater.org
     Nic Nelson, Idaho Rivers United, 208-596-0395, nic@idahorivers.org
     Walter “Redgie” Collins, California Trout, 415-748-8755, rcollins@caltrout.org"


     The Washington Environmental Council, Synthesi s December 2, 2021, https://waenvironment.cmail19.com/t/ViewEmail/i/24DD8D919CFEDC042540EF23F30FEDED/4FDCB9C5661E177F6CBD507C784BD83B?alternativeLink=False, reported, "In November, the [Washington] Forest Practices Board voted to initiate rulemaking to limit timber harvests near streams in western Washington. The rulemaking will adopt rules for harvests on private timber lands to protect water temperature, in response to a 2018 scientific study that demonstrated the current rules are not maintaining water temperature on millions of acres of land. Before the meeting, we held a workshop for volunteers and sent hundreds of letters to the Forest Practices Board urging them to initiate rulemaking. We’re pleased that the Board has recognized the need for a new rule, but urgency is needed to protect cool stream temperatures. We’ll continue to work with the Adaptive Management Program to adopt a new rule as quickly as possible to protect the clean, cool water vital to all our unique aquatic species across the state."


     "Board Decides Tacoma LNG Facility Can Operate Despite Flawed and Dangerous Analysis in Air Permits," Washington Environmental Council, November 22nd, 2021, https://wecprotects.org/news/board-decides-tacoma-lng-facility-can-operate-despite-flawed-and-dangerous-analysis-in-air-permits/, CONTACTS:
     Jan Hasselman, Senior Attorney, Earthjustice, 206-629-8752, jhasselman@earthjustice.org
Zachary DeWolf, Communications Director, Washington Environmental Council
206-771-4207, zachary@wecprotects.org
     "Today, the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) ruled that Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) air permits, issued by Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA), given to the Tacoma Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility were adequate, in spite of misleading and inaccurate information used to evaluate the project. This is a disappointing decision for the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and community organizations, represented by Earthjustice, that had challenged PSE’s air permits for the facility, presenting information that PSCAA issued the permits based on flawed and inadequate environmental analysis that dramatically underestimates the climate impacts of the project. They had requested the Board require PSCAA to conduct a new environmental analysis and permitting process based on best available science and an accurate assessment of the facility’s climate impacts.
     The Puyallup Tribal Council shared this statement: 'We are pleased that the board required detailed monitoring of certain emissions, and our legal and technical teams are evaluating what that means for future operations. However, we are profoundly disappointed the board upheld the remainder of the permit. We expect the decision will embolden companies that start projects that feed climate change and put vulnerable communities at risk.'
     Jaimini Parekh, Earthjustice Northwest attorney representing the environmental organizations that appealed PSCAA’s permits, said: 'Today , the PCHB put Washington State on a path toward catastrophic global climate change by blessing the build out of fossil fuel infrastructure that will keep the Puget Sound shipping industry addicted to fracked gas for decades to come.'
     Todd Hay, President of Advocates for a Cleaner Tacoma, said: 'Today the PCHB failed the citizens of Washington state to act as a safeguard against faulty environmental analysis. By PSCAA’s own report and admission, this LNG facility will be more harmful for climate change than doing nothing, yet the ruling today allows it to operate. It literally is adding more fuel to the wildfires and extreme temperatures that are burning up our region. How can this possibly be allowed?'
     Barb Church, longtime resident and member of the social justice organization The Conversation shared her reflections: “First, I’d like to acknowledge that we are on the occupied, ancestral lands of the Puyallup Tribe. We are extremely disappointed with the court’s decision. Puget Sound Energy & PSCAA were able to manipulate results by using 2007 data and ignoring the health and safety risks for local residents. This decision fits into a century’s old pattern of systemic racism that has used legal and illegal means to target and marginalize the Puyallup Tribe’s culture and their sovereign Treaty Rights and BIPOC communities.”
     Mark Vossler, MD, WPSR. As health care professionals, we are appalled with the decision by the PCHB to allow the Tacoma LNG facility. Whether we are talking about local risks from explosions, fires, and toxic chemicals in the water and air, or talking about the global climate crisis made worse from upstream fracking and methane leaks, we simply cannot afford to continue our use of fracked gas.
     Sr. Jessica Zimmerle, Program & Outreach Director of Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light, said: 'People of faith have been in a prayerful stance of solidarity supporting the Puyallup Tribe and co-litigants’ appeal of PSE’s immoral project. We are incredibly disappointed that the PCHB failed to make the right decision to require further review of this dirty and dangerous fracked gas facility.'
     Background: During the trial this past April, the Puyallup Tribe and community groups brought forward a number of expert witnesses who highlighted deep flaws in the environmental review for the PSE LNG project, which resulted in the inaccurate evaluation that this facility would be a net improvement to greenhouse gas emissions. The project would, in fact, lock in decades of increased use of fracked gas and hinder a shift to clean energy alternatives. Experts also explained how changes in the project design raised serious safety concerns, which were ignored by regulators.
      The Tacoma LNG refining facility, located on the Tacoma Tideflats on the ancestral territory of the Puyallup Tribe, is capable of refining and storing 8 million gallons of LNG. The project has faced years of fierce opposition from the the Puyallup Tribe and the local community who cite climate, health, and safety concerns from the facility as well as permitting agencies’ failure to consult with the Puyallup Tribe. They also cite PSE’s willful misrepresentation of the facility as clean energy and illegal construction of the facility prior to receiving proper permits.
     The Puyallup Tribe and community groups have up to 30 days to file an appeal of this decision by the PCHB."


      " Proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals project was last of seven Pacific Northwest coal terminals proposed since 2010," Washington Environmental Council, June 28, 2021, https://wecprotects.org/news/u-s-supreme-court-dismisses-last-legal-appeal-for-washington-state-coal-export-proposal/, reported, "Today, the United States Supreme Court officially dismissed the coal industry’s last remaining legal appeal of Washington State’s 2017 decision to deny water quality permits for the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export terminal, signaling the official end of the project."


      Clifford Krauss, "As Western Oil Giants Cut Production, State-Owned Companies Step Up: In the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, government-owned energy companies are increasing oil and natural gas production as U.S. and European companies pare supply because of climate concerns," The New York Times, October 14, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/business/energy-environment/oil-production-state-owned-companies.html, reported, "After years of pumping more oil and gas, Western energy giants like BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Chevron are slowing down production as they switch to renewable energy or cut costs after being bruised by the pandemic.
     But that doesn’t mean the world will have less oil. That’s because state-owned oil companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America are taking advantage of the cutbacks by investor-owned oil companies by cranking up their production
."
     Matthew Daly, "Biden Sets Out Oil, Gas Leasing Reform, Stops Short of Ban," The Paper, November 26th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/11/biden-sets-out-oil-gas-leasing-reform-stops-short-of-ban/, reported, " The Biden administration on Friday recommended an overhaul of the nation’s oil and gas leasing program to focus on areas that are most suitable for energy development and raise costs for energy companies to drill on public lands and water.
     The lo ng-awaited report by the Interior Department stops short of recommending an end to oil and gas leasing on public lands, as many environmental groups have urged. But officials said the report would move toward a more responsible leasing process that provides a better to return to U.S. taxpayers for oil and gas drilling on the nation’s vast public lands and waters."
     Environmentalists were very concerned that the report said little about climate change and did not make permanent the moratorium on gas and oil drilling
while the report was being completed.


     Taylor McKinnon, tmckinnon@biologicaldiversity.org, "Interior Department Announces Federal Coal Review, First Step Toward Ending Federal Leasing Program," Center for Biological Diversity, August 19, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2021/08/19/interior-department-announces-federal-coal-review-first-step-toward-ending," reported, "The Biden administration today announced the launch of a long-overdue formal climate review of the federal coal program. President Biden has paused federal oil and gas leasing pending a climate review of that program.
     The Interior Department will be taking public comments on the review until Sept. 20.
     'We can’t save life on earth unless we end coal mining, and this is a critical first step,' said Taylor McKinnon, a senior campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. 'A scientific review will show that the federal coal leasing program must end. The Biden administration can’t claim to care about the climate emergency and land conservation while auctioning off more public land for filthy coal mines. If Biden officials needed any more evidence, the latest U.N. report makes clear that the world is burning and it’s long past time to stop locking in any new federal fossil fuels.'
     Today’s Interior Department action follows years of litigation by conservation groups challenging the Trump administration’s abandonment of a 2016 federal coal leasing moratorium and climate review. In May tribal and environmental groups went to court to challenge the Biden administration’s decision to defend Trump’s policy continuing coal leasing on public lands.
     In January , 574 climate, conservation, Indigenous, religious and business groups sent then-President-elect Biden text for a proposed executive order to use the full force of the law to ban new fossil fuel leasing and permitting on federal public lands and waters. In February the Biden administration issued an executive order pausing oil and gas leasing onshore and offshore pending a climate review of federal fossil fuel programs, including coal.
      Federal fossil fuel extraction harms people, land and wildlife across the country. Numerous reports and analyses have shown that climate pollution from the world’s already-producing oil, gas and coal developments would push warming past 1.5 degrees Celsius. Those analyses, including one by the International Energy Agency, show that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees requires halting new fossil fuel extraction and investment in new fossil fuel projects, like federal fossil fuel leasing.Background
      Fossil fuel production on public lands causes about a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. Peer-reviewed science estimates that a nationwide federal fossil fuel leasing ban would reduce carbon emissions by 280 million tons per year, ranking it among the most ambitious federal climate-policy proposals in recent years.
      Oil, gas and coal extraction uses mines, well pads, gas lines, roads and other infrastructure that destroys habitat for wildlife, including threatened and endangered species. Oil spills and other harms from offshore drilling have done immense damage to ocean wildlife and coastal communities. Fracking and mining also pollute watersheds and waterways that provide drinking water to millions of people.
      Federal fossil fuels that have not been leased to industry contain up to 450 billion tons of potential climate pollution; those already leased to industry contain up to 43 billion tons. Pollution from the world’s already producing oil and gas fields, if they’re fully developed, would push global warming well past 1.5 degrees Celsius.
     ###
     At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive."


      Hannah Grover, "Archaeology Southwest report finds lack of tribal consultation in oil and gas leasing," New Mexico Political Report, August 23, 2021, https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2021/08/25/archaeology-southwest-report-finds-lack-of-tribal-consultation-in-oil-and-gas-leasing/?mc_cid=626b40d000&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported, " Oil and gas development on federal lands has prioritized development over protection of cultural sites and has occurred with inadequate tribal consultation, according to a new report authored by Paul Reed ("Oil and Gas Leasing in the West," https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/wp-content/uploads/Oil-and-Gas-Leasing-Paper_Reed-2021.pdf), a preservation archaeologist with Archaeology Southwest."


      Jessica Corbett, "'Momentous Win': Years of Local Opposition Defeats PennEast Pipeline: Opponents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey cheer 'cancellation of this unneeded, dangerous fracked gas pipeline,'" Common Dreams, September 27, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/27/momentous-win-years-local-opposition-defeats-penneast-pipeline, reported, " Environmental and public health advocates on Monday celebrated the demise of a proposed fracked gas pipeline across Pennsylvania and New Jersey after PennEast decided to cease development because of difficulties acquiring certain state permits."
     Previously, in June 2021, The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote allowed the U.S. to delegate its power of eminent domain, permitting the PennEast Pipeline Company to seize land owned by the State of New Jersey for its Pipeline (Adam Liptak, "Justices BackPipeline's Ability to Seize Land Owned by New Jersey," The New York Times, June 30, 2021).


     Stop Pipeline 3 reported in a November 6, 2021 E-mail, " Just shortly after Enbridge announced completion of the Line 3 pipeline construction, we are already seeing their pollution heading downriver. It’s infuriating.  
     This week, the big news all the papers are talking about is COP26. Representatives from governments around the world are coming to talk about their commitments to fighting climate change. Minnesotans Against Line 3 will also be there, to talk about the Line 3 fight and remind the politicians that commitments aren’t worth much without accountability.
     While there, some of the leaders of the resistance to this pipeline and leading Minnesota climate advocates will present a panel discussion of the international community. If you’d like to watch live or catch the video afterward, here are the details:
     What: Indigenous Resistance on Minnesota's Line 3 Pipeline
     When: Tuesday November 9, 5:00 AM Central Time
     Where: U.S. Climate Action Center -- Glasgow, Scotland and online: https://www.facebook.com/events/562040831692118/
      This panel discussion will take place at the COP26 talks because the consequences of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline with its carbon equivalent of 50 new coal plants go well beyond Minnesota. The panel will discuss how the Indigenous led resistance effort that continues to oppose Line 3 represents the kind of growing, deeply rooted resistance to fossil fuels that will be necessary for the people and the planet to survive.
     The panel will also look at the damage that Enbridge’s tar sands oil pipeline has already wrought in northern Minnesota, including the breaching of at least 3 aquifers, including one that has been hemorrhaging 100,000 gallons of water a day since it was pierced in January, covered up, and not reported until late this year and the ongoing frac-outs
, including those photographed by Ron Tunney in this email’s header and below."


      Ian Austen, "2 Canadian Journalists Arrested at Indigenous Protest Are Freed on Bail: Journalist groups denounced the arrest of a photographer and a filmmaker covering an Indigenous pipeline protest in British Columbia," The New York Times, November 22, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/22/world/canada/canada-indigenous-journalist-arrests.htmlm reported, " Two journalists arrested at an Indigenous protest against a pipeline last week in western Canada were released Monday on bail, but journalism groups in the country condemned the decision to continue with contempt charges against them.
     Amber Bracken, who is a photographer, and a filmmaker, Michael Toledano, were arrested Friday as they covered a protest by Indigenous Canadians against construction of a natural gas Pipeline" on Wet’suwet’en First Nation land."


      Neil Vigdor and Melina Delkic, "‘Major’ Oil Spill Off California Coast Threatens Wetlands and Wildlife: A pipeline failure sent at least 126,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific off the coast of Orange County, creating a 13-square-mile slick. Dead fish and birds washed ashore in some areas," The New York Times, October 3, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/03/us/pipeline-broken-oil-pacific-ocean.html, reorted, " A pipeline failure off the coast of Orange County, Calif., on Saturday caused at least 126,000 gallons of oil to spill into the Pacific Ocean, creating a 13-square-mile slick that continued to grow on Sunday, officials said.
     Dead fish and birds washed ashore in some places as cleanup crews raced to try to contain the spill, which created a slick that extended from Huntington Beach to Newport Beach."
     The cause of the spill was not yet known. It occurred about three miles off shore.


      Hannah Grover, "Report documents PFAS use in fracking in New Mexico," New Mexico Political Report, July 16, 2021, https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2021/07/16/report-documents-pfas-use-in-fracking-in-new-mexico/?mc_cid=a108eda8b9&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported, " Physicians for Social Responsibility released a report this week that found PFAS chemicals, also known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or chemicals that could break down into PFAS have been used in fracking operations in 1,200 wells in half a dozen states, including New Mexico.
     PFAS chemicals have a broad range of applications and can be found in household objects including non-stick cookware. In recent years, there has been growing concern about the potential health impacts of these 'forever chemicals,' which do not break down under normal environmental conditions."


     Jerry Redfern, "Rise in New Mexico earthquakes likely triggered by oil industry," New Mexico Political Report, September 30, 2021, https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2021/09/30/rise-in-new-mexico-earthquakes-likely-triggered-by-oil-industry/?mc_cid=e63c5bc90e&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported, " New Mexico’s oil and gas regulators and scientists are on alert after a dramatic increase in earthquake activity in southern New Mexico — an increase likely triggered by oil and gas industry injection wells in the Permian Basin.Since 2018 the number of small quakes of magnitude 1 or greater in the basin has risen from about 40 to nearly 500 in 2020, and over that period quakes of magnitude of 2 or greater rose from none to 158, according to data from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources."
      The increased earthquakes in southern New Mexico, more recently reported partially resulting from the injecting of highly polluted water from fracking into deep wells in Texas, that are in the same basin where oil and gas drilling has increased in New Mexico, are only one of the serious problems stemming from oil and gas extraction in the state. Serious air pollution, causing health problems for residents near drilling sites, increases in global warming from a huge cloud of highly warming methane from fracking and leaks in gas storage and transportation, water pollution, and using up of increasingly scarce usable water in the drying up Southwest are all serious results of the extraction (Gwynne Ann Unruh, "Risk of Earthquakes Caused by Oil and Gas Increasing: New Mexico Deciding Whether It Wants to Be Left 'Holding Santa’s Bag of,'” The Paper, November 30th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/11/risk-of-earthquakes-caused-by-oil-and-gas-increasing/).


      Jake Johnson, "'Resounding' Climate Win as Judge Blocks Alaska Drilling Project Defended by Biden:' We must keep Arctic oil in the ground if we want a livable planet for future generations,'" Common Dreams, August 19, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/19/resounding-climate-win-judge-blocks-alaska-drilling-project-defended-biden, reported, " A federal judge on Wednesday tossed out construction permits for a sprawling, multibillion-dollar Alaska oil drilling project that the Trump administration approved and the Biden Interior Department defended in court earlier this year, infuriating Indigenous groups, climate advocates, and scientists.
     In a 110-page decision (pdf: https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/21045581/210818-willow-order.pdf), Judge Sharon Gleason of the U.S. District Court for Alaska ruled that the Trump administration failed to adequately consider the climate impacts of the Willow project, which—if completed—would produce up to 160,000 barrels of oil a day over a 30-year period.
     Specifically, Gleason deemed 'arbitrary and capricious' the Bureau of Land Management's failure to include potential greenhouse gas emissions from foreign oil consumption in its analysis of the project, which was planned by ConocoPhillips. Gleason also faulted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for not detailing how polar bears would be protected from the massive fossil fuel initiative, which would include the construction of several new oil drilling sites and hundreds of miles of pipeline."


      Julia Conley, "'Groundbreaking' Win as Court Rules USFWS Can't Ignore Climate Impacts on Joshua Tree: The ruling represents a step forward "for all climate-imperiled species whose fate relies upon the service following the law," said advocacy group WildEarth Guardians," Common Dreams, September 22, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/22/groundbreaking-win-court-rules-usfws-cant-ignore-climate-impacts-joshua-tree, reported, " A federal court in Los Angeles this week ruled that under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the law when it failed to list the Joshua tree as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act—a decision that the Biden administration has continued to defend.
     The U.S. District Court in the Central District of California said in its ruling (pdf: https://pdf.wildearthguardians.org/support_docs/Joshua_Tree_order.pdf) on Monday that the USFWS now has one year to reconsider its decision and must take into account all scientific evidence, including climate change models, when deciding whether the Joshua tree should be protected under the ESA."


      Andrea Germanos, "Who's Next?': Quebec Declares End to Fossil Fuel Extraction in Province: 'In Canada and around the world, the pressure to end the expansion of oil and gas production will only continue to grow,'" Common Dreams, October 20, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/20/whos-next-quebec-declares-end-fossil-fuel-extraction-province, reported, Climate campaigners are welcoming Quebec Premier François Legault's Tuesday announcement that his government has decided to put an end to any further fossil fuel extraction in the province.
     'This is the climate leadership we need.'
     'This is excellent news,' said Patrick Bonin, climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace Canada, in a statement.
     Legault's announcement—that the government 'decided to definitively renounce the extraction of hydrocarbons on its territory'—came during the conservative's speech to a new parliamentary session in which he covered a range of topics from the healthcare system to "national cohesion" to a Covid-19 recovery plan.
     Calling the development 'a wise decision,' Bonin added that the government "should not compensate oil and gas companies, which are largely responsible for the current climate crisis.'"


     Brett Wilkins, "'It's a Sea of Oil': Outrage in Trinidad Over Latest Spill Destroying Ecosystem, Fishery: 'There have been in excess of 377 oil spills since 2015 and no one has ever been charged or prosecuted. Every drop of hydrocarbon has an ever-lasting impact on our marine ecosystem,” Common Dreams, August 13, 2021," https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/13/its-sea-oil-outrage-trinidad-over-latest-spill-destroying-ecosystem-fishery, reported, " Fishers and environmentalists expressed outrage this week over what they called the inadequate response by Trinidad and Tobago's government and one of the country's leading fossil fuel companies to the latest of hundreds of reported oil spills there in recent years.
     'What is going to happen to the fisherfolk? What will be the environmental impacts, and what will this do to fishing in the Gulf?'—Imitiaz Khan, Carli Bay Fishing Association
     Earlier this week Trinidad and Tobago's Environmental Management Authority (EMA), Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI), and Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) announced they were investigating the spill, which Paria Fuel Trading Company Limited said originated from a leak in a pipeline near its Pointe-a-Pierre refinery last weekend, according to the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian."


      Stanley Reed, "Scotland’s Oil Industry Is Fading as Wind Energy Beckons: Oil and gas production in the North Sea is not the economic juggernaut it once was. Can floating wind turbines offer an alternative?" The New York Times, September 27, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/27/business/scotland-oil-wind-energy.html, reported, " Oil output from the British North Sea [off Scotland] has been on a steady slide for two decades, and production last year was around one-third of its peak in 1999. Natural gas production in the region is also falling — a problem in recent weeks as gas prices have skyrocketed, causing utility bills to jump. Jobs connected to the offshore oil industry have fallen nearly 40 percent over the last five years, according to Oil and Gas UK, a trade group." Meanwhile, costs of shutting down hundreds of no longer used drilling platforms and dried up wells may soon reach some $68 billion, more than the remaining wells are earning.
     "For many, the growth of renewable energy in Scotland, especially the fleets of wind turbines along its coastline, may provide a pathway for gradually replacing oil and gas
. Globally, turbines at sea still account for less than 1 percent of power generation, but the business in 2020 attracted $29 billion in investment, 8 percent of the global total for renewable energy, according to Heymi Bahar, an analyst at the International Energy Agency."


      Kenny Stancil, "Fossil Fuel Expansion in Africa 'Not Compatible With a Safe Climate Future': Report, 'There is now little to gain and everything to lose from building new fossil fuel projects," said Oil Change International,' Common Dreams, October 14, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/14/fossil-fuel-expansion-africa-not-compatible-safe-climate-future-report, reported, " Fossil fuel corporations have plans to expand dirty energy extraction in Africa—proposing more than a trillion dollars worth of new oil, gas, and coal projects over the next three decades—even though such an undertaking would exacerbate climate chaos and create "stranded assets that leave behind unfunded clean-up, shortfalls of government revenue, and overnight job losses."
     That's according to a new report (http://priceofoil.org/2021/10/14/the-skys-limit-africa/) published Thursday by Oil Change International in partnership with Oilwatch Africa, Africa Coal Network, 350Africa.org, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, WoMin African Alliance, and Center for International Environmental Law.
      'Fossil fuel industry plans to sink USD $230 billion into the development of new extraction projects in Africa in the next decade—and USD $1.4 trillion by 2050—are not compatible with a safe climate future,' note the authors, who advocate instead for a just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy."


      An increasing number of cities around the world have been expanding electric mass transportation to reduce auto use and cut carbon emissions (Somini Sengupta, "Cities Embrace Vision if Electric Mass Transit," The New York Times, October 3, 2021).


      Germany has begun equipping highways with overhead electric lines to power or recharge batteries of electrical powered trailer and other trucks, greatly cutting emissions (JackEwing, "Electric Highways? Germany is Trying," The New York Times, November 6, 2021).


     The U.S. Department of Energy, in November 2021, announced its largest effort to date to research into finding was to lower the cost to of pulling carbon out of the air (Brad Plumer, "Energy Department to Invest in Carbon Renewal Research," The New York Times, August 5, 2021).


      The United States is at a decision point on solar and wind power delivery. Should the emphasis be on a massive nationwide power grid built around large solar and wind power producers, with less emphasis on roof top and other individualized green power producers; or should the country emphasize roof top and similar power production supplemented with more limited large scale green energy creation and a huge power grid. Just what should the balance be is at a decision point, intentional, or to be made in fact, by what specific development decisions and policies unfold (Ivan Penn and Clifford Kraus, "U.S. Confronts Critical Choices on Power Lines," The New York Times, July 7, 2021).


      Christina Kwauk and Amanda BragaMonday, "3 platforms for girls’ education in climate strategies," Brookings Institution, September 18, 2017, https://www.brookings.edu/research/3-platforms-for-girls-education-in- climate-strategies/, found that education of girls was an essential element in effectively adapting to climate change. The report can be downloaded at: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/platforms-for-girls-education-in-climate-strategies.pdf/
     The report noted. "The most vulnerable and least skilled members of these populations, largely women and girls, experience most acutely the impact of climate change, particularly extreme weather events. Evidence shows that natural disasters lower women’s life expectancy more than men’s, and in some cases women and girls make up as much as 90 percent of those killed in weather-related disasters. Further, women and girls are increasingly vulnerable to human trafficking or to sexual assault in crowded shelters or camps when they survive. They are also often excluded from participating in decision making within the household and community, or in risk-reduction activities that could expose them to life-saving information, resources, and skills."
     "Climate change increases humanity’s vulnerability to the shocks of weather-related disasters; it also exacerbates existing gender inequalities that obstruct opportunities for girls’ and women’s social and economic empowerment. The negative effects of climate change have direct implications for programs and policies that target positive life outcomes for marginalized and vulnerable girls. Ignoring this and how girls and women can be change agents in the push for climate action can backfire. It could halt or reverse some of the progress made toward achieving cross-cutting targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes advances related to Goals 1 (no poverty), 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 10 (reduced inequalities), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), and 13 (climate action)."


     Posted by Editor David , "A fter 47 Years, US Power Company Abandons Still-Unfinished $6 Billion Nuclear Power Plant," Slashdot, September 26, 2021, https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/21/09/26/0130228/after-47-years-us-power-company-abandons-still-unfinished-6-billion-nuclear-power-plant, reported, "America's federally-owned electric utility, the Tennessee Valley Authority, has spent billions of dollars with nothing to show for it, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
      'Nearly 47 years after construction began on the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant in Northeast Alabama, the Tennessee Valley Authority is giving up its construction permit for America's biggest unfinished nuclear plant and abandoning any plans to complete the twin-reactor facility ...'Giving up the construction permit at Bellefonte signals the end of any new nuclear plant construction at TVA with only seven of the 17 nuclear reactors the utility once planned to build ever completed.... Since the 1970s, a total of 95 nuclear reactors proposed to be built by U.S. utilities have been canceled due to rising construction costs, slowing power demand and cheapening power alternatives.
     The NRC now regulates 93 remaining commercial nuclear reactors at 56 nuclear power plants, including TVA's Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear plants in East Tennessee and the Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Athens, Alabama. Collectively, those nuclear plants provide more than 40% of TVA's power and over 20% of the nation's electricity supply... TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said in the past two decades, the growth in power demand in the Tennessee Valley has continued to slow as more energy efficiency measures have been adopted and the price of natural gas, solar power and additional hydroelectric generation has declined in competition with nuclear.'"


     Arlyssa Becenti, "Navajo Nation pushes for radioactive waste remnants to be removed. The United Nuclear Corporation is asking to transfer 1 million cubic yards of mine waste to a spot still near the Nation," ICT, October 24, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/navajo-nation-pushes-for-radioactive-waste-remnants-to-be-removed, reported, " Navajo Nation continues to hold strong on its stance against radioactive waste being dumped near its lands, while also pushing for the waste to be removed completely," and is objecting to a new plan to dump radioactive waste just outside its reservation.
     "Dariel Yazzie is the supervisor at Navajo Superfund Program within the Nation’s EPA. He said they are asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to come back 'and make more of an effort to convey at a higher level to the community what is in the draft environmental impact statement.'
      The corporation that owns the [The Church Rock uranium mill] site asked to amend its source material license for its former uranium mill northeast of Gallup. The ​Nuclear Regulatory Commission prepared an environmental impact statement as part of its review of this request. If the license is amended, that would allow the corporation to transfer about 1 million cubic yards of mine waste from its northeast mine to a location that’s less than a mile from the uranium mill site and still on Navajo Nation trust land just south of the reservation."


      Kenny Stancil, "Nearly 42,000 Sources of Toxic 'Forever Chemicals' Put US Drinking Water at Risk: Study: 'It is critical that the EPA start regulating PFAS—now,' said one scientist," Common Dreams, October 12, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/12/nearly-42000-sources-toxic-forever-chemicals-put-us-drinking-water-risk-study, " Bolstering calls for stronger PFAS regulations and more testing, a new analysis released (https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/12/nearly-42000-sources-toxic-forever-chemicals-put-us-drinking-water-risk-study) Tuesday finds nearly 42,000 potential sources of toxic 'forever chemicals' that could contaminate drinking water in communities throughout the United States.
     In their peer-reviewed study (https://awwa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/aws2.1252), which was published in a special issue of Water Science, Environmental Working Group (EWG) scientists examined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Enforcement and Compliance History Online database to identify potential sources of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution in the nation's surface and drinking water.
     According to their investigation, solid waste landfills, wastewater treatment plants, electroplaters and metal finishers, and petroleum refiners were the facilities that appeared most often as possible sources of PFAS contamination.
     Dubbed ' forever chemicals' because they don't break down and can persist in the environment and bioaccumulate over time, PFAS are a class of synthetic compounds that have been linked to adverse health outcomes, including a weakened immune system, reproductive and developmental harms, and an increased susceptibility to cancer, among other negative effects.
      EWG researchers point out that discharges of PFAS with industrial wastewater are a major driver of surface and drinking water pollution—putting the health of tens of millions of Americans in jeopardy. Despite these risks, the paper notes, the vast majority of water systems nationwide lack both the technology and the funds to filter out forever chemicals.
      'It is critical that the EPA start regulating PFAS—now,' David Andrews, the lead author of the study and a senior scientist at EWG, said in a statement. 'Every community in the U.S. is likely affected by PFAS contamination, but those living near or downstream from industrial facilities may be more at risk.'
     'Our investigation identifies a huge number of potential sources of contamination,' Andrews continued. 'It also provides a framework for deciding where and what to test so we can end releases into the environment.'
     The paper includes case studies of data available from California and Michigan, which show that PFAS pollution is common at a variety of sites, heightening the importance of widespread testing for forever chemicals in wastewater.
     'The results from states like Michigan show there is a wide variety of sources of PFAS in surface water,' said Andrews. 'Many landfills and industrial sites release PFAS at detectable concentrations that may exceed state limits or health guidelines for PFAS in water.'
     He added that 'it is urgent that ongoing releases of PFAS be identified. We need to stop nonessential uses of PFAS and use filters to reduce these compounds from our water.'
     Getting forever chemicals out of the country's water supplies 'remains a nationwide challenge,' EWG stressed, 'but it's one that can be met through comprehensive tests of surface water and drinking water, along with tests of wastewater from potential PFAS sources.'
     In July, the U.S. House passed the PFAS Action Act of 2021 , which would improve the federal oversight and facilitate the cleanup of forever chemicals, but the U.S. Senate has yet to take up the legislation.
     In the meantime, EWG implored the Biden administration to 'use the EPA's powers to regulate as many industrial categories of PFAS discharges as possible,' calling the agency's proposal to regulate just some releases of forever chemicals into the nation's drinking water inadequate "to end the pollution flowing from companies."
     Scott Faber, EWG's senior vice president for government affairs, said that 'we need to turn off the tap of PFAS pollution from these industrial discharges, which affects more and more Americans every day. That's the first step.;
     'The second step is for the EPA to set a national PFAS drinking water standard,' said Farber. ;And the third is to clean up legacy pollution
.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Kenny Stancil, " US House Passes Bill to Protect Drinking Water, Environment From Forever Chemicals," Common Dreams, July 21,2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/07/21/us-house-passes-bill-protect-drinking-water-environment-forever-chemicals, reported, "The U.S. House on Wednesday passed the PFAS Action Act of 2021 , a bill that, if passed by the U.S. Senate, would improve the regulation and facilitate the cleanup of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances—long-lasting synthetic chemicals that pose a threat to public and environmental health.
     H.R. 2467, introduced by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) in April, passed by a margin of 241-183. Twenty-three Republicans joined nearly every Democrat in supporting the bill to protect people and ecosystems from harmful PFAS, also known as " forever chemicals" because they persist and bioaccumulate for years on end. Five Republicans and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) abstained."


     Environmental Action stated in an October 24, 2021 E-mail, " The Biden administration is poised to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
      From moose to otters to gray wolves, the 1 million acres of Boundary Waters wilderness is teeming with life. Ever since a Trump administration rollback, this wildlife has been threatened by the prospect of dangerous copper-nickel mining.The mining procedure's process of crushing rock for ore can leach sulfide and heavy metals, poisoning ecosystems. The Boundary Waters wilderness is essentially one big interconnected system of streams and lakes -- which means that if these toxins hit its waters at any point, they could quickly spread through the entire system. 1
      But this move by the Biden administration could be the start of a 20-year mining ban in the area surrounding the Boundary Waters, protecting the wildlife and water that flows through this extraordinary wilderness. 2
     This announcement is a win for clean water, conservation, and all the people and wildlife that cherish this precious wilderness.
     This is the first step toward securing a 20-year ban on mining around the Boundary Waters, which would halt the proposed Twin Metals mining project.3 While the study is underway, there will be no new leases granted for any mining or mining-related activities.
      The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will work together to complete a careful environmental analysis to determine whether the ecosystem is harmed by mining near the Boundary Waters. They will also survey public opinion to decide whether or not to allow mining in the area.
     Environmental Action and our supporters sent more than 55,000 messages to politicians urging them to protect the Boundary Waters, and our message has been heard. With activists like you by our side, we'll keep working to make sure this wilderness is fully and permanently protected.
     Thank you for protecting our wilderness,
     The Environmental Action team
      P.S. Protecting our public lands is one of our most important campaigns, but we can't do it without the support of activists like you. Donate today to ensure we can keep working to protect our special places -- from the Boundary Waters to the Tongass National Forest.
     1. Jennifer Bjorhus, " Federal judge hands Twin Metals major win in fight over mining near Boundary Waters," Star Tribune, March 18, 2020.
     2. Steve Karnowski, " Biden administration move could block Minnesota copper mine," AP News, October 20, 2021.
     3. Steve Karnowski, " Biden administration move could block Minnesota copper mine," AP News, October 20, 2021."


      David Gelles and Emily Steel, " How Chemical Companies Avoid Paying for Pollution: DuPont factories pumped dangerous substances into the environment. The company and its offspring have gone to great lengths to dodge responsibility," The New York Times, October 20, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/business/chemours-dupont-pfas-genx-chemicals.html, reported, " GenX is part of a family of chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. They allow everyday items — frying pans, rain jackets, face masks, pizza boxes — to repel water, grease and stains. Exposure to the chemicals has been linked to cancer and other serious health problems.
     To avoid responsibility for what many experts believe is a public health crisis, leading chemical companies like Chemours, DuPont and 3M have deployed a potent mix of tactics
.
     They have used public charm offensives to persuade regulators and lawmakers to back off. They have engineered complex corporate transactions to shield themselves from legal liability. And they have rolled out a conveyor belt of scantly tested substitute chemicals that sometimes turn out to be just as dangerous as their predecessors."


      Russell Contreras, Andrew Freedman, "The Toll of Environmental Racism, Axios, September 18, 2021, https://www.axios.com/authors/rcontreras/, reported, "In August 2015, Steve Benally walked out of his Halchita, Utah, home on the Navajo Nation and heard a warning: Don't use the water. The Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, had spilled toxic wastewater into the Animas River watershed.
     The big picture: Benally would lose his harvest and suffer from secondary health effects, highlighting just one of the environmental dangers some Native Americans, Black Americans and Latinos face from pollution and poor government oversight.
     Details
: Study after study shows communities of color are exposed to more air and water pollution, lead poisoning and toxic waste than more affluent, white neighborhoods. A few examples: https://www.axios.com/authors/rcontreras/."


      Brett Wilkins, "Doctor Who Revealed Flint Lead Crisis Calls Benton Harbor Emergency More 'Environmental Injustice:' Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha says the Michigan city's water crisis is another example of 'how a predominantly poor and minority population disproportionately suffers the burden of environmental contamination,'" Common Dreams, October 12, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/12/doctor-who-revealed-flint-lead-crisis-calls-benton-harbor-emergency-more, reported, " As the people of Benton Harbor, Michigan are being advised to drink only bottled water due to lead contamination in the city's pipes, the doctor whose research revealed Flint's lead crisis described similarities between the two emergencies, which she called examples of 'environmental injustice' in an interview published Monday.
     The 9,700 residents of Benton Harbor—85% of whom are Black and nearly half of whom are poor—were
told last week to not use tap water for drinking, cooking, or bathing after lead concentrations up to 60 times the federal limit were first detected three years ago. That's a higher level of contamination than Flint suffered during its five-year crisis."


      Kenny Stancil, "'Invisible Toxic Cocktail' in Tap Water Across US Due to 'Regulatory Capture': Analysis: A new database reveals 'widespread contamination from toxic substances such as arsenic, lead, and the 'forever chemicals' known as PFAS in the drinking water of tens of millions of households,'" Common Dreams, November 3, 2021, https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/what-about-lead.php?pws=NM3510701, reported, " Millions of people throughout the United States "are unwittingly drinking water that includes an invisible toxic cocktail made up of contaminants linked to cancer, brain damage, and other serious health harms," according to the Environmental Working Group, which updated its nationwide Tap Water Database (https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/) on Wednesday.
     'Our government needs to wake up to the fact that clean water is a human right.'
      'EWG's Tap Water Database offers a panoramic view of what drinking water quality looks like when the federal office meant to protect our water is in an advanced stage of regulatory capture,' Environmental Working Group (EWG) president Ken Cook said in a statement.
      'The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water has demonstrated for decades that it is utterly incapable of standing up to pressure from water utilities and polluters to protect human health from the dozens of toxic contaminants in America's drinking water," said Cook.
     EWG's unique database—assembled over the course of multiple years by researchers who collected and analyzed test data from nearly 50,000 water systems in the U.S.—reveals 'widespread contamination from toxic substances such as arsenic, lead, and the 'forever chemicals' known as PFAS in the drinking water of tens of millions of households in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.'
     The 'comprehensive consumer tool' enables individuals to 'enter a ZIP code into the database and see a report of the type and amount of toxic chemicals detected in that location's drinking water. They can also see safety assessments developed by EWG scientists about the adverse health effects associated with exposure to those contaminants.'
     EWG stressed that its database 'underscores the need for stricter federal water quality standards and a massive injection of funding for badly needed water infrastructure improvements across the country.'
     'The U.S. tap water system,' EWG added, 'is plagued by antiquated infrastructure and rampant pollution of source water, while out-of-date EPA regulations, often relying on archaic science, allow unsafe levels of toxic chemicals in drinking water.
'"


      Jessica Corbett, "WHO's New Air Pollution Guidelines Reflect Deadly Toll of Fossil Fuels: 'What matters most is whether governments implement impactful policies to reduce pollutant emissions, such as ending investments in coal, oil, and gas and prioritizing the transition to clean energy,' said a Greenpeace scientist," Common Dreams, September 22, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/22/whos-new-air-pollution-guidelines-reflect-deadly-toll-fossil-fuels, reported, " Bolstering arguments for rapidly phasing out fossil fuels to not only combat the climate emergency but also potentially save millions of lives annually, the World Health Organization on Wednesday updated its guidelines on air quality for the first time in over 15 years.
      'The burden of disease attributable to air pollution is now estimated to be on a par with other major global health risks such as unhealthy diet and tobacco smoking, and air pollution is now recognized as the single biggest environmental threat to human health,' says (pdf: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/345329/9789240034228-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y) the United Nations agency's new Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs).
     Since the previous guidelines were issued in 2005, a growing body of research has strengthened experts' understanding of how polluted air affects human health, even at low levels.
     While the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that exposure to air pollution causes at least seven million premature deaths per year, some research suggests the true toll is even higher. A study published in February estimated that fossil fuel-related air pollution alone killed about 8.7 million people in 2018, accounting for 18% of global deaths that year.
     'Air pollution is a threat to health in all countries, but it hits people in low- and middle-income countries the hardest,' WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement announcing the AQGs Wednesday.
     'WHO's new Air Quality Guidelines are an evidence-based and practical tool for improving the quality of the air on which all life depends,' Tedros added. 'I urge all countries and all those fighting to protect our environment to put them to use to reduce suffering and save lives.'
     Laura Corlin, an epidemiologist at Tufts University who studies the health effects of air pollution, detailed some of the changes in the AQGs for The Conversation on Wednesday:
      The WHO cut in half its recommended limit for exposure to PM2.5, tiny particles commonly produced by cars, trucks, and airplanes, and a major component of wildfire smoke , lowering the average maximum exposure from 10 micrograms per cubic meter per year to 5.
     It also tightened the limits for gaseous air pollutants like nitrogen dioxide that are produced when fossil fuels are burned by vehicles and power plants. The WHO now recommends limiting nitrogen dioxide to one-quarter of the previous level, from 40 to 10 micrograms per cubic meter.
     Corlin also highlighted the health benefits of limiting PM2.5 levels in line with the new guidance.
      Along with helping to prevent low birth weights , research shows cutting pollution levels decreases the chances of heart attacks and cardiovascular-related deaths , lung cancer , and Alzheimer's disease , she explained. Further, the World Bank estimates that reducing the health burden related to air pollution exposure could save $225 billion in labor productivity and $5 trillion in health-related costs each year.
      'Countries can improve their air quality by moving to cleaner sources of energy and cutting out fossil fuels, which are a major source of PM2.5. Electric vehicles can help reduce traffic-related air pollution,' the expert wrote, encouraging governments to take action.
     In a Wednesday tweet, Dr. Aaron Bernstein, interim director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, similarly called on governments to commit to a 'healthier future" by agreeing to phase out fossil fuels at COP 26, a U.N. climate summit for world leaders that's set to kick off in Scotland on October 31.
     
Air pollution from #fossilfuels causes children to have asthma, it causes pneumonia, it causes women to have babies born prematurely, & it increases the risks of people dying from #COVID19. At ‪#COP26, the world must urgently commit to healthier future & phase out fossil fuels.
     Every year, exposure to ‪#AirPollution is estimated to cause million premature deaths and result in the loss of millions more healthy years of life.
     [WHO's guidelines recommend air quality levels to protect health and save lives around the world are at: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/22/whos-new-air-pollution-guidelines-reflect-deadly-toll-fossil-fuels,
     Aidan Farrow, a Greenpeace International air pollution scientist based at the United Kingdom's University of Exeter, also demanded urgent action, noting a Greenpeace India analysis (pdf) that found last year air quality in all of the world's 100 biggest cities didn't meet WHO's new guidelines.
     'The science is unequivocal—exposure to air pollution, even at low levels, shortens lives and has serious implications for public health,' Farrow said. 'The WHO has strengthened its guidelines incorporating new advances in research, but these targets for clean air are meaningless if they aren't addressed with government action.'
      'What matters most is whether governments implement impactful policies to reduce pollutant emissions, such as ending investments in coal, oil, and gas and prioritizing the transition to clean energy,' he said. "The failure to meet the outgoing WHO guidelines must not be repeated."
     Emphasizing that "there is no safe level of air pollution exposure," because even at low levels it can lead to lung cancer, stroke, diabetes, and death, Farrow argued that policies "must prioritize health and strive for continuous air quality improvements in all places."
     Greenpeace India air pollution campaigner Avinash Chanchal noted that 'we have all the economically viable tools we need to solve the air pollution crisis.'
      'In most parts of the world, it is more cost effective to develop renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, than to keep burning coal, oil, or gas, even before taking the economic burden of air pollution into account,' Chanchal said. 'At this point, addressing air pollution is a question of political will, not technology.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Ivan Penn, "From 4% to 45%: Energy Department Lays Out Ambitious Blueprint for Solar Power: The department’s analysis provides only a broad outline, and many of the details will be decided by congressional lawmakers," The New York Times, September 8, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/08/business/energy-environment/biden-solar-energy-climate-change.html, reported, " The Biden administration on Wednesday released a blueprint showing how the nation could move toward producing almost half of its electricity from the sun by 2050 — a potentially big step toward fighting climate change but one that would require vast upgrades to the electric grid."
     "Such a large increase, laid out in
the report , is in line with what most climate scientists say is needed to stave off the worst effects of global warming. It would require a vast transformation in technology, the energy industry and the way people live."
      To achieve the goal would require doubling the amount of solar energy the U.S. produces every four years. The announced plan is only an outline, with the details needing development which must be backed by the continuing significant political will to achieve the target."


      Lisa Friedman, "Biden Orders Federal Vehicles and Buildings to Use Renewable Energy by 2050: Under an executive order, the federal government would phase out the purchase of gasoline-powered vehicles, and its buildings would be powered by wind, solar or other clean energy," The New York Times, December 9, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/08/climate/biden-government-carbon-neutral.html, reported, " President Biden on Wednesday set in motion a plan to make the federal government carbon neutral, ordering federal agencies to buy electric vehicles, to power facilities with wind, solar and nuclear energy, and to use sustainable building materials.
     In a series of executive orders, Mr. Biden directed the government to transform its 300,000 buildings, 600,000 cars and trucks, and use its annual purchases of $650 billion in goods and services to meet his goal of a federal government that stops adding carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2050."


      Brad Plumer, "Energy Department Targets Vastly Cheaper Batteries to Clean Up the Grid: The Biden administration's push for more wind and solar power poses big challenges. New types of energy storage could help — but only if they get much cheaper," The New York Times, July 14, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/climate/renewable-energy-batteries.html, reported, " The Energy Department on Wednesday announced a new effort to tackle one of the toughest technical challenges facing President Biden’s push for an electric grid dominated by solar and wind power — namely, what to do when the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing.
     The government is chasing a promising but uncertain solution: a low-cost way to store electricity generated by the sun or wind for hours, days or even weeks at a time, saving it for when it’s most needed. That goes far beyond what current batteries can do. While dozens of companies are working on different ideas for so-called 'long-duration energy storage,' most are still too expensive to be useful."


      Julia Conley, "In 'Landmark' Decision, EPA Finalizes Rule Cutting Use of Super-Pollutant HFCs: The regulation will drastically curb the use of 'the most potent super-pollutants known to mankind at the moment,' one climate campaigner said," Common Dreams, September 23, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/23/landmark-decision-epa-finalizes-rule-cutting-use-super-pollutant-hfcs, reported, " The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday finalized a rule long pushed for by climate campaigners that slashes the use of chemicals identified as 'super-pollutants' that are commonly used in air conditioners and refrigerators.
     'I applaud President Biden's actions to cut down these super-pollutants while strengthening our ability to compete in a global clean energy market.'—Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
     The Biden administration announced (https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/09/23/biden-climate-rule-hydrofluorocarbons/) a new rule requiring the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) be cut by 85% over the next 15 years, implementing a measure in the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, which was passed by Congress last year." HFC's are potent greenhouse gasses.


     "Victory for great gray owls and forests in Oregon!" The Western Environmental Law Center, October 14, 2021, https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Victory-for-owls--plus-new-climate-advocacy.html?soid=1102253797647&aid=Doj9SNIdI1k, reported, " We won a recent victory for forests and great gray owls in Oregon. The Griffin Half Moon timber project would have logged more than 900 acres home to perhaps the largest and most well-known population of great gray owls in southwest Oregon. We successfully argued the Bureau of Land Management’s assessment did not consider the effects of logging on this at-risk owl. We are elated to have protected not only the forest, but also this iconic owl."


     Jack Ewing, "The World Wants Greenland’s Minerals, but Greenlanders Are Wary: The island has rare elements needed for electric cars and wind turbines. But protesters are blocking one project, signaling that mining companies must tread carefully," The New York Times, October 1, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/01/business/greenland-minerals-mining.html, reported, " As global warming melts the ice that covers 80 percent of the island, it has spurred demand for Greenland’s potentially abundant reserves of hard-to-find minerals with names like neodymium and dysprosium. These so-called rare earths, used in wind turbines, electric motors and many other electronic devices, are essential raw materials as the world tries to break its addiction to fossil fuels," on which China supplies almost all the world demands.
     "Global superpowers are jostling for influence. Billionaire investors are making big bets. Mining companies have staked claims throughout the island in a quest that also includes nickel, cobalt, titanium and, yes, gold."
     But there is significant resistance among Greenlanders, especially among its significant Indigenous population.


      Hannah Grover, "Restoration project proposals sought for rivers impacted by Gold King Mine spill," New Mexico Political Report, July 30, 2021, https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2021/07/30/restoration-project-proposals-sought-for-rivers-impacted-by-gold-king-mine-spill/?mc_cid=4f6c5fa551&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported, " As the sixth anniversary of the Gold King Mine spill approaches, the New Mexico Office of the Natural Resources Trustee is seeking proposals for restoration projects along the impacted river system in the northwest part of the state."
      "The $1 million of funding for these projects comes from a larger settlement that the state of New Mexico reached with Sunnyside Gold Corporation—the owner of mining claims in the Gold King Mine area—in January."
      The Gold King Mine spill into the Animas River in Colorado negatively impacted Southern Ute, Ute Mountain and Navajo Nation farmers and other river water users.


      Julia Conley, "Billions of People Could Live Years Longer If Policymakers Reduce Air Pollution: Study: In the northern part of India, where nearly 250 million people live, the average person could live eight years longer if air pollution was reduced," Common Dreams, September 1, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/01/billions-people-could-live-years-longer-if-policymakers-reduce-air-pollution-study, reported, " A new study released Wednesday by researchers at the University of Chicago showed that air pollution is cutting short the average global citizen's life by more than two years, with people in parts of the world dying as many as eight years earlier than they would without exposure to pollution.
      The burning of coal is the biggest driver of deadly air pollution, according to the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI: https://aqli.epic.uchicago.edu/pollution-facts/), and people in countries around the world could live longer lives if policymakers drastically reduced fossil fuel emissions and ensured exposure to pollution was kept below the amount deemed acceptable by the World Health Organization.
      In India, the average person could live six years longer if pollution from some of the smallest particulate matter (PM 2.5) was reduced to acceptable levels. In the northern part of the country—home to 248 million people—life expectancy would increase by eight years.
      More than 500 million people in places including Nepal, Peru, and Indonesia would live an average of five years longer if their governments were to comply with the guidelines, and more than one billion people would live at least three years longer on average.  
      'There is no greater current risk to human health' than air pollution, said Prof. Michael Greenstone of the university's Energy Policy Institute, who led the study (https://aqli.epic.uchicago.edu/pollution-facts/).  
     The research revealed 'very worrying data,' Kwame McKenzie of the health policy charity Wellesley Institute said.
     PM 2.5 pollution shortens more lives around the globe than smoking, unsafe water and poor sanitation, car accidents, and HIV/AIDS, according to the research.
     The WHO recommends that atmospheric levels of PM 2.5—fine matter which can travel down the respiratory tracts and into the lungs and even the bloodstream if a person is exposed—are limited to 10 micrograms per cubic meter. The researchers found that the average global citizen is exposed to concentrations of 32 micrograms per cubic meter.
     The researchers noted that relatively little attention has been paid to the public health threat posed by air pollution around the world, particularly in parts of the Global South where policymakers and NGOs are focused on other public health crises:
     The health discourse in Sub-Saharan Africa has centered on infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. About 10% of health expenditures in the region go towards combating HIV/AIDS or malaria. However, a comparison shows that particulate pollution’s impact on life expectancy is no less serious. In Nigeria, air pollution is second only to HIV/AIDS in terms of its impact on life expectancy—shaving off more years than malaria and water and sanitation concerns. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is second only to malaria. In Ghana, it ranks as the deadliest of these threats, while in Cote d’Ivoire it shortens life by about the same amount as those communicable diseases.
     The researchers emphasized that it's within policymakers' control to improve pollution levels and life expectancy, as China has in recent years. The country has reduced pollution levels by nearly 30% since 2013 and has added 1.5 years to the average life expectancy.
      In the U.S., the study says, air pollution was reduced by about 66% since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, and Americans' life expectancy has gone up since then by 1.6 years.
      'The improvements that China was able to bring about in such a short period of time: six or seven years or so,' Kenneth Lee, director of the AQLI, told The Hill. 'Whereas, it took decades for the U.S. to make those changes."
      In the U.S., the researchers noted, a feedback loop has emerged in recent years as wildfires fueled by the climate crisis have grown larger and more common.
      'In the U.S., millions have been adversely affected by hazardous wildfire smoke during the severe western wildfire seasons of the past few years,' Axios reported (https://www.axios.com/air-pollution-global-life-expectancy-report-fb6a821c-95aa-4671-8005-caac8be0e69b.html). 'On Tuesday, as a veil of smoke could be seen on satellite imagery enshrouding areas from Nevada to Nebraska, for example.'
      'The combustion of the same fossil fuels that releases life-threatening air pollution also involves the release of greenhouse gases that increase the odds of disruptive climate change,'" according to the report.
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      In Utah, and particularly in the Salt Lake City area, the combination of heavy smoke from wildfires, at times making the city one of the world's most air polluted urban areas, and toxic dust, from dried up areas of the Salt Lake carrying the residue of industrial and agricultural chemicals which flowed into the lake, but are now exposed by catastrophic drought that has been shrinking the lake considerably, have posed health and comfort problems that have been reducing what had been booming economic activity ( Simon Romero, "Booming Utah’s Weak Link: Surging Air Pollution: A red-hot economy, wildfire smoke from California and the shriveling of the Great Salt Lake are making Utah’s alarming pollution even worse," The New York Times, September 7, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/07/us/great-salt-lake-utah-air-quality.html).


     "
Scientists Will Begin Collecting Water Data In Southwest: Data Will Help Predict Rain and Snowfall During Megadrought," The Paper, August 26th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/08/scientists-will-begin-collecting-water-data-in-southwest/ reported, "The U.S. Department of Energy on Tuesday announced a new kind of climate observatory near the headwaters of the Colorado River that will help scientists better predict rain and snowfall in the U.S. West and determine how much of it will flow through the region ."


     Justin Schatz, "STUDY: Heat Disparity Apparent In ABQ Between Low-Income and Upper-Income Neighborhoods: Lower-Income Neighborhoods Suffer From Significantly Hotter Summer Temperatures," The Paper, November 28, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/11/study-heat-disparity-apparent-in-abq-between-low-income-and-upper-income-neighborhoods/, reported, "The City of Albuquerque released results from last summer’s Urban Heat Watch Campaign this week, where the city collected the temperatures from 67,662 temperature hotspots around the city. The campaign intended to mitigate urban hot spots and reduce heat disparities in lower-income communities that have been traditionally neglected by previous tree-planting efforts. Areas with a denser canopy, often in more affluent neighborhoods in the bosque, were nearly 15 degrees cooler than those with sparse cover, usually found Downtown or around interstates. Map

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     A major explosion and following fire at an industrial waste dump in the German city of Leverkusen, in late July2021, caused a huge health threat as toxic smoke spread over the city (Christopher F. Schuetze, "City in Western Germany Faces 'Extreme Threat' of Tosxic Smoke After Deadly Explosion The New York Times, July 28, 2021).


      Raphael Minder, "How a Stunning Lagoon in Spain Turned Into ‘Green Soup’: Tons of dead fish have washed ashore in recent years from the Mar Menor, a once-crystalline lagoon on the Mediterranean coast that has become choked with algae. Farm pollution is mostly blamed," The New York Times, October 17, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/17/world/europe/spain-lagoon-pollution-mar-menor.html, reported, "The Mar Menor, a saltwater lagoon on the coast of southeastern Spain, was long renowned for its natural beauty, drawing tourists and retirees to its pristine warm shallows and the area’s gentle Mediterranean climate.
     But over the past few years, the idyllic lagoon has come under threat. Tons of dead fish have washed ashore as the once-crystalline waters became choked with algae."
     The growth of the toxic algae is attributed to agricultural runoff from nitrate fertilizer and warming of the water from global warming
.


     The Sea of Marmara in Turkey has been degrading for years from a clear, deep green, sea full of fish because of phosphorus and nitrogen in pollution combining with rising water temperatures from global warming. In 2021, a slimy film covered much of the water, reducing fish catches by 80 percent (Carlotta Gall, " The Sea of Marmara, a ‘Sapphire’ of Turkey, Is Choking From Pollution: A slimy secretion has coated harbors and beaches and smothered marine life. Warming waters are part of the problem'," The New York Times, July 9, 2021).


     In India, the Yamuna River, which is a main source of water for the capital, and in which, following Hindu tradition, many people pray, is heavily polluted, endangering those in contact with it (Mujib Mashal and Hari Kumar, "Hindus Pray in River Whose Water Is Holy but Polluted The New York Times, November 12, 2021).


     Sarah Hume, "Following Predictions of Global Climate Chaos, Indigenous Representatives Discuss Sustainability Initiatives," July 24, 2021, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/following-predictions-global-climate-chaos-indigenous-representatives-discuss-sustainability, reported, "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects that we have less than 12 years to avoid a definite future of catastrophic consequences. The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the core United Nations platform to discuss these repercussions. There, representatives review the global sustainable development goals set for 2030 and follow-up with nations about their commitments to combat climate change.
     On July 6, 2021, Indigenous representatives gathered at a side event in line with the 2021 High Level Political Forum to discuss their initiatives towards fostering biodiversity and sustainability. The webinar, Live: Solutions from Indigenous Peoples for the Sustainable and Resilient Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic (https://www.facebook.com/IPMGSDG/videos/782362982381172/), hosted four speakers, each involved with an organization focused on promoting Indigenous and environmental rights. It was co-organized by the The International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB), the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC), and the Indigenous Peoples Major Group for Sustainable Development ( IPMG), which coordinates the participation of Indigenous Peoples in global conversations about climate action. Each speaker discussed the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which urge for clean energy, no poverty or hunger, responsible consumption, and widespread climate action.
      Speakers noted that COVID-19 is a prime example of the importance of human-nature relationships. The virus is a zoonotic disease— caused by germs spread between animals and humans— demonstrating the interconnectedness of all beings. The health of nature directly influences the health of humans. We, after all, are nature as well. Speaker Joan Carling (Kankanaey) highlighted that Indigenous values prioritize this interconnectedness and harmony. There are 476.6 million Indigenous Peoples across 93 countries, making up 6.2 percent of the global population. Indigenous communities protect 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity, manage or hold tenure over 25 percent of the world’s land surface, and care for at least 24 percent of the total carbon stored above ground in the world’s tropical forests, yet only 10 percent of Indigenous land is legally recognized.
     Joan Carling, an Indigenous activist from the Cordillera, Philippines, highlighted that the United Nations’ acknowledgment of Indigenous ecological practices is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Carling is currently the co-convenor of the Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group (IPMG) for Sustainable Development and works directly with Indigenous organizations and networks across the globe. She began the webinar with an introduction to Indigenous Peoples, including worldwide commonalities, challenges, and sustainable solutions that are incorporated into Indigenous values. She also talked about new challenges that are a direct result of the pandemic.
      Two of the biggest challenges that Carling noted were due to COVID-19 and the nature of the Sustainable Development Goals. Because the pandemic has shifted many events to occur virtually— including this event— many people cannot participate if they do not have access to technology. Indigenous participation is limited because of a lack of facilities and infrastructure in some rural areas. Carling stressed that the United Nations must find a way to ensure that Indigenous Peoples can still effectively participate in all meetings. Another worry arises from the innate qualities of the Sustainable Development Goals. Participation in these goals is voluntary for nations. States are not required to implement climate change actions, nor are they held accountable if they do not fulfill the goals as promised.
     Yet, in order to achieve success in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals globally, Indigenous Peoples must be recognized as protagonists in each step of the implementation process across all of the goals. Indigenous Peoples’ key contributions to environmental protection and sustainable development include innovations such as non-timber forest products, worldviews of interconnectedness and responsibility, and the use of flora and fauna for good health. Carling stated that governments must recognize these contributions and fight bias in order to respectfully include Indigenous Peoples in their decision making.
     Joji Carino (Ibaloi-Igarot), the webinar’s second speaker, agreed. She presented the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) vision: 'By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored, and wisely used, maintaining ecosystems services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.' Indigenous Peoples already have this vision, Carino noted, but the mainstream economic systems need to be transformed to move towards the 2050 vision.
     Joji Carino is Ibaloi from the Cordilleras Highlands of the Philippines. She is the Senior Policy Adviser of the Forest Peoples Programme, and has helped to organize networks of Indigenous Peoples to create their own Community Based Monitoring and Information Systems. Carino noted that the Convention of Biodiversity has further created milestones to be reached by 2030. Carino discussed a few of the most important milestones regarding the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
      One notable target, known as the ‘ 30x30 Initiative ’ is to protect and conserve, by the year 2030, at least 30 percent of the planet (land and water) with a special focus on areas particularly important for biodiversity. Because Indigenous Peoples protect 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity, these regions are most often customary lands of Indigenous communities. This milestone must be accompanied by very strong human rights frameworks and recognition of customary lands to protect Indigenous Peoples from outside land-grabbing, says Carino.
     She also drew attention to a milestone seeking to ensure that quality information, including traditional knowledge, is available to decision makers and the public for the effective management of biodiversity. 'This target is actually giving equal attention to science as well as Indigenous knowledge,' she said. 'However, it does not make clear the safeguards to use and access traditional knowledge to make this a reciprocal and respectful relationship.'
     When asked how audience members could participate, Carino suggested doing grassroots advocacy to address governmental challenges, which in turn influence UN negotiations. She further noted that it is quite easy for organizations to register as observers for the UN High Level Political Forum and the UN Biodiversity Conference if you would like to participate further.
     The third speaker, Graeme Reed, discussed advancing Indigenous-led solutions to address the climate crisis. Reed is from Canada, of mixed Anishinaabe and European descent. He is a Senior Advisor at the Assembly of First Nations, focusing especially on climate action, environmental assessment, and energy. In Indigenous worldviews, Reed expressed, climate action encompasses a wide variety of topics. Not only does it include food security and sovereignty, but also Indigenous knowledge systems and the revitalization of language and culture. All of these are connected and must be addressed. Language, for example, is a manifestation of worldview. If a community has a word for an idea that is indescribable in other languages, it demonstrates what is important to that community. It means that this concept will be prioritized and protected. In this way, Indigenous sovereignty and climate action are directly linked. Systems must be transformed to not only accommodate Indigenous worldviews, but to empower and responsibly use Indigenous knowledge and practices.
     Basiru Isa, an Indigenous youth activist from Cameroon, expanded on this point by recognizing how Indigenous Peoples contribute to sustainable development by consciously not over-exploiting landscapes and by mitigating carbon emissions through forest protection. He further provided recommendations for achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Isa suggested that the United Nations implement international human rights frameworks and hold states accountable, recognize and protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights to land, and establish effective ways for Indigenous Peoples to fully participate in all stages of UN negotiations.
     Each panelist expressed their solidarity with all Indigenous communities during the hardships of the pandemic. They also expressed the necessity of partnerships between Indigenous communities, conventions, and caucuses. This work is already in action and will continue to strengthen Indigenous involvement in the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals."


     "Western Resource Advocates (WRA), https://westernresourceadvocates.org, wrote in a December 9, 2021 E-mail, " WRA is aiming to protect 50% of Western land by 2050 — and, as a step to get us to that ambitious target, we have an interim goal of protecting 30% of land by 2030.
     Thanks to advocates like you, we made crucial state-level progress toward this goal in 2021.
     In May, the Nevada legislature passed a resolution encouraging the state to achieve 30x30, making it the first state in the nation to take legislative action on this goal. In August, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order setting a state 30x30 goal.
     These wins show how state-level action will be crucial to achieving 30x30, and then 50x50. WRA is committed to working on the ground, at every level where decisions get made, to follow the science and secure new land and water protections. But we can’t continue this work without the support of our donors."


      Hannah Grover, "Governor signs 30×30 executive order," New Mexico Political Report, August 25, 2021, https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2021/08/25/governor-signs-30x30-executive-order/?mc_cid=626b40d000&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported, " Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order Wednesday that aims to set aside 30 percent of the state’s lands and waters by 2030 for conservation and another 20 percent for climate stabilization."


      Despite the pledge of Brazil's President to end Amazon deforestation at COP-26, in 2021, it reached a 15 year high (Manuela Andreoni, "Deforestation of Amazon Hits 15 Year High," The New York Times, November 30, 2021).


     In Nicaragua, growing the major crop of coffee has become more difficult and uncertain because of climate change bringing rising temperatures, new pests, uncertain rainfall, draught mixed with flooding and other problems (Tatiana Schlossberg, "The Coffee Business Wrestles with Climate Change," The New York Times, November 6, 2021).


      Despite government pledges to stop it, deforestation in Indonesia continues for new coffee farms whose growth is driven by high world-wide demand (Wyatt Williams, "The Case of the Disappearing Jungle," The New York Times Magazine, August 15, 2021).


      Brett Wilkins, "'A Wake-Up Call': Study Finds Extinction Risk for 30% of Tree Species: 'Strengthened action is urgently required to prevent further species extinctions and restore damaged and degraded ecosystems.'" Common Dreams, September 1, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/01/wake-call-study-finds-extinction-risk-30-tree-species, reported, " Nearly a third of the world's tree species are at risk of extinction largely due to agriculture, logging, and, increasingly, the global climate emergency, according to a report published Wednesday by a U.K.-based conservation group.
      Botanic Gardens Conservation International's (BGCI) landmark State of the World's Trees report (pdf: https://www.bgci.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/FINAL-GTAReportMedRes-1.pdf) found that 17,500 types of trees—or about 30% of the planet's total species—face the prospect of extinction, with 440 species having fewer than 50 individuals left in the wild. At least 142 tree species are recorded as extinct in their natural habitats.
     The study's authors utilized data collected through the Global Tree Assessment and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to determine that 'the main threats to tree species are forest clearance and other forms of habitat loss, direct exploitation for timber and other products, and the spread of invasive pests and diseases.'
      'Climate change is also having a clearly measurable impact,' the report notes, adding that the effects of the planetary emergency are 'likely to be more widespread, as climate change is also impacting the fire regime of many habitats as well as impacts of pests and diseases,' while 'severe weather' threatens more than 1,000 tree species.
     BGCI secretary general Paul Smith said in a statement that 'this report is a wake-up call to everyone around the world that trees need help.'
     'Every tree species matters—to the millions of other species that depend on trees, and to people all over the world,' Smith added. 'For the first time... we can pinpoint exactly which tree species need our help, so policymakers and conservation experts can deploy the resources and expertise needed to prevent future extinctions.'
     According to the report, Madagascar has the world's highest number of threatened tree species (1,842), followed by Brazil (1,788 species) and Indonesia (1,306 species).
     The study concludes that 'strengthened action is urgently required to prevent further species extinctions and restore damaged and degraded ecosystems. Such action will provide responses to both the biodiversity crisis and climate change emergency.'
     'Forestry, biodiversity conservation, and climate change policies and mechanisms are already in place but need to be adhered to and implemented with greater resolve and commitment
,' the authors stress, urging steps including boosting conservation efforts, combating illegal logging, tree-planting and species recovery efforts, education, and better public policy and legislation.
     'It is crucial that we use the information now available to manage, conserve, and restore threatened tree species and tree diversity,' the report states. 'This will prevent extinction both of trees and the associated plants, animals, and fungi that depend on them, sustain livelihoods, and ensure the ecological health of the planet.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


     International Crisis Group (ICG), "Broken Canopy: Deforestation and Conflict in Colombia," Report  91 / Latin America & Caribbean 4 November 2021, https://www.crisisgroup.org/latin-america-caribbean/andes/colombia/091-broken-canopy-deforestation-and-conflict-colombia, commented, " Colombia’s vast forest is fast receding, partly because guerrillas and criminals are clearing land for farming, ranching and other pursuits. These unregulated activities are causing both dire environmental harm and deadly conflict. Bogotá should take urgent steps to halt the damage.
      Principal Findings
      What’s new? Deforestation has surged in Colombia since the FARC rebels put down their weapons following a 2014 ceasefire and 2016 peace accord. Other insurgents and criminal groups have stepped up economic activities – ranching, logging, mining and coca growing – that accelerate loss of woodland and jungle in areas the guerrillas once controlled.
      Why does it matter? By enabling economic activities that provide income to insurgents and criminals, deforestation helps them engage in fresh cycles of rural violence, hinders the state in its efforts to control territory, and prevents Colombia from meeting core goals on environment protection.
      What should be done? Bogotá should refocus its campaign against environmental crime to target economically empowered actors driving deforestation rather than impoverished loggers. It should implement peace accord commitments for rural areas, especially concerning land registration and restitution, and build a stronger natural resource management system, drawing on community involvement and technical assistance.

     Executive Summary

     In the five years following its historic 2016 peace accord, Colombia has seen a surge of forest razing and land clearance amid continuing unrest in the countryside. The rate of tree loss, which greatly lowers the country’s chances of meeting its zero-deforestation goal by 2030, is tied to conflict and violence. These ties are complex. Deforestation began to rise soon after the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which had operated mostly from rural areas, declared a ceasefire in December 2014. It then gathered steam after the 2016 accord was signed. The rebels’ departure from their strongholds provided an opportunity for other insurgencies and organised crime to assert control. With state authority in the countryside still feeble, those groups pushed back the forest to expand enterprises like coca growing, cattle ranching, illegal gold mining and logging, sometimes working with legal businesses. To arrest the damage, Bogotá should fix its approach to prosecuting environmental crime, implement peace accord commitments relating to the environment and urgently bolster its natural resource management systems.
     In many ways, the FARC ran roughshod over the environment during its five-decade insurgency. But there was a clear difference between them and the current crop of violent outfits operating in rural Colombia. In areas where FARC rebels operated, they tended to restrict deforestation. One reason was that thick tree canopies helped prevent the state from spotting their encampments from the air, allowing them to move more freely. But as they implemented a late 2014 ceasefire and prepared to sign the 2016 accord, the guerrillas also for the most part stopped limiting land clearance. Deforestation rose sharply, spearheaded or abetted by new and old armed actors, often in bruising competition with one another. These actors included the National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia’s last remaining insurgents; FARC dissidents (ie, former fighters who have reneged on the peace process and returned to arms); and criminal groups that inherited many of the structures once belonging to right-wing paramilitaries.
      At the front line of [Colombia’s] receding forest, … small-hold farmers are coerced or coopted into doing the armed groups’ bidding.
      Deforestation, however, is not solely the handiwork of illegal bands. Tens of thousands of internally displaced people and other conflict victims, many of them desperately poor, have been swept up in the push to clear Colombia’s woodlands for remunerative uses. Often having lost their land to violent groups, these farmers have been forced to find ways of surviving by clearing forest and creating new livelihoods in far-flung places. At the front line of the country’s receding forest, some of these small-hold farmers are coerced or co-opted into doing the armed groups’ bidding while others are paid small amounts for their labours.
      Cattle ranching stands out as the single biggest cause of deforestation. Feeding into legal supply chains, it now causes more tree loss than coca, illicit logging or illegal gold mining. On paper at least, ranching is a normal business, but illegal actors engage in it, and the state has been unable to rein in many corrupt and criminal practices within the sector. Land used for grazing is often obtained illegally or located in environmentally protected territories. Profits frequently enrich criminal groups that terrorise local people and perpetuate conflict.
      While the current level of rampant forest clearance in Colombia is driven by a mix of armed and criminal groups, licit actors and deep structural problems – notably the country’s profound socio-economic inequality and the state’s chronic weaknesses – Bogotá is far from helpless to stop it. The government has at its disposal tools and strategies that can help it check unregulated deforestation and blunt the adverse consequences thereof. One is law enforcement. Colombia’s campaign to fight environmental crime, Operation Artemisa, has flagged as a result of high costs, and been the object of some public wrath. It has lost support in part by tending to go after individual farmers rather than tackle the more pressing and difficult work of targeting the big bosses behind deforestation. But a new comprehensive law should enable Bogotá to remedy these mistakes by increasing punishment for the financial backers behind environmental crimes.
     Another potential mechanism for bringing about change is the 2016 peace accord. Carrying out its environmentally focused provisions has been difficult, due to financial constraints, the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of high-level political support. But implementation is of critical importance. At the heart of that agreement is a set of measures that would go a long way toward addressing the causes of deforestation. The steps under way toward creation of a new land registry could help clarify property ownership and use throughout the country, while a land fund that builds on the progress made since passage of the 2011 Victims’ Law could enable families whose property was seized by armed groups to re-establish farms. In combination, these two reforms have the potential to help staunch the drive to clear more forest by providing more formal deeds to existing farmland.
     Also of relevance, the accord looked to strengthen the Campesino Reserve Zones, where unused or inefficiently used land is distributed for ownership to small-hold farmers; contemplated participatory mechanisms for communities to design sustainable development plans; pledged to create a program to encourage coca growers to substitute licit crops; and envisaged a zoning plan to help manage land use, among many environmental features.
     Largely unregulated land clearance, which offers a thoroughfare for armed and criminal groups to get richer and reach deeper into remote territory, is a double threat to Colombia. On one hand, it is an impediment to the country’s prospects for peace. On the other hand, accelerating tree loss, in Colombia and elsewhere, is a threat to the environment and those who depend on it. Deforestation increases the country’s vulnerability to climate change by exacerbating exposure to the effects of extreme weather, which already disproportionately harm the country’s poorer and more neglected people. Soil degradation will magnify the effects of flooding and droughts brought on by climate change, as well as knock-on disasters like landslides
.
     Growing deforestation, which is likely to be a core concern addressed at COP26, the UN climate summit under way in Glasgow, is also at odds with Colombia’s ambitious climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Shortfalls in reaching these goals will not only cause reputational damage but also negatively affect access to donor funding. Better management of the country’s natural resources will require collection of more reliable data, establishment of more effective controls, and fluid dialogue between state authorities and rural populations that have been living in environmentally protected areas, sometimes over several generations, as to their future livelihoods and use of woodland.
      Standing by while the farthest reaches of Colombia are cleared for illicit profit risks feeding cycles of violence. Averting this outcome will depend in large part on confronting the many interests pushing the agricultural frontier outward."


      Climate change is already seriously impacting agriculture around the world, including in Europe. For example, the wine producing region of Jura in France has been devastated by climate change. Ceylan Yeginsu, "Climate Change Threatens Wine, and a Way of Life, in Jura: Extreme weather has ruined grape crops throughout this small French region known for natural wine. 'If it continues like this, how will we continue to make Jura wine? I really don’t know,” said one winegrower," The New York Times, November 4, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/03/travel/jura-wine-climate-change.html, reported from Jura, "
      'We lost 85 percent of our crop compared to last year,' said Fabrice Dodane, 49, the owner of Domaine de Saint-Pierre, a small wine producer that specializes in organic viticulture. 'It is truly a disaster, and people are angry because there is so much demand but not enough wine to sell.'”


      Jack Nicas, "A Slow-Motion Climate Disaster: The Spread of Barren Land: Brazil’s northeast, long a victim of droughts, is now effectively turning into a desert. The cause? Climate change and the landowners who are most affected. Climate change is intensifying droughts in Brazil’s northeast, leaving the land barren. The phenomenon, called desertification, is happening across the planet," The New York Times, December 3, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/03/world/americas/brazil-climate-change-barren-land.html, reported, " Much of Brazil’s vast northeast is, in effect, turning into a desert — a process called desertification that is worsening across the planet.
     Climate change is one culprit. But local residents, faced with harsh economic realities, have also made short-term decisions to get by — like clearing trees for livestock and extracting clay for the region’s tile industry — that have carried long-term consequences
."


      Jessica Corbett, "'Victory for Environmental Justice': Review Ordered for Proposed Cancer Alley Plastics Complex: 'I am hopeful that this is the nail in the coffin of Formosa Plastics in St. James Parish," said the head of Louisiana Bucket Brigade.'" Common Dreams, August 19, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/19/victory-environmental-justice-review-ordered-proposed-cancer-alley-plastics-complex, reported. " Environmental justice and climate campaigners celebrated after a federal official on Wednesday ordered a detailed review of the impacts of a massive Formosa Plastics complex set to be built on over 2,000 acres in an area of Louisiana long known as ' Cancer Alley .'"
     "The EPA Has Finally Banned the Toxic Pesticide Chlorpyrifos From Food," Earth Justice, August 18, 2021, August 18, 2021, https://earthjustice.org/brief/2021/chlorpyrifos-ban-pesticide-industry-pressure-epa. reported, " The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just took a huge step toward protecting kids and farmworkers from a toxic pesticide linked to lifelong intellectual disabilities. On August 18, the agency announced that it will ban chlorpyrifos from all food crops. Earthjustice represented health, labor, and learning disability organizations in a successful legal battle to win this much-needed protection.
      Why is the ban a major victory for public health?Developed by the Nazis for warfare, organophosphate pesticides like chlorpyrifos were repurposed for agriculture.
     Now chlorpyrifos is widely used and, as the EPA’s own scientific reviews have found, unsafe. Decades of studies have linked in-utero exposure to chlorpyrifos and other organophosphates to reduced IQ, attention disorders, and autism in kids .
     Chlorpyrifos enters our bodies through the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the food we eat, including fruits and vegetables from cilantro to oranges to raisins. Farmworkers who use the pesticide or simply enter fields where it has been sprayed are particularly at risk.
     'I didn’t understand just how terrible these toxic chemicals can be until my son, Isaac, was born with a mental disability,”
activist and former farmworker Claudia Angulo wrote for Earthjustice in 2018. “I am sure that chlorpyrifos damaged my son's brain for life.'An Earthjustice lawsuit led to the ban on all food uses of chlorpyrifos.
     If the EPA cannot ensure that a pesticide won’t harm children, the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act requires the EPA to ban uses of the pesticide on food.
     On behalf of health, labor, and learning disability organizations, Earthjustice sued the EPA in 2019 for shirking this duty.
     In April 2021, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Earthjustice and its clients, and ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to either ban all food uses of chlorpyrifos, or figure out how to regulate it in a way that protects people, including those vulnerable populations.
     In its decision, the court wrote: 'The EPA’s egregious delay exposed a generation of American children to unsafe levels of chlorpyrifos … But the EPA’s time is now up.'Public support for a chlorpyrifos ban helped move the needle, even as chemical companies pushed hard to keep the pesticide on the market.
     As our case worked its way through the courts, more than 350,000 Earthjustice supporters sent messages to their political representatives asking them to ban the toxic chemical.
     This public pressure moved states like Hawai’i, California, Oregon, and New York to adopt their own chlorpyrifos bans in the last few years. In addition, the largest U.S. producer of chlorpyrifos stopped making the pesticide.
     The show of support for a ban was especially critical as pesticide manufacturers urged the EPA not to ban chlorpyrifos from all foods. Recent reporting by the Intercept documents how wealthy and powerful chemical companies have often been able to sway the EPA to approve hazardous products by using the tobacco playbook and pushing inaccurate studies. This time, that didn’t happen.What comes next?
     Chlorpyrifos is one of many organophosphate pesticides that have been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders and even death. The EPA must protect people from the health harms of all these pesticides.The EPA is currently reviewing the safety of two dozen organophosphate pesticides and must complete its review by October 2022.
     To learn more about the health risks of organophosphates and what foods present the highest risk of exposure, read Earthjustice’s recent report (https://earthjustice.org/features/organophosphate-pesticides-united-states)."


     " Coral Davenport, "Biden to Restore Protections for Tongass National Forest in Alaska: Former President Donald J. Trump invited mining and logging to a vast wilderness of bald eagles, black bears and 800-year-old trees. President Biden is reversing course," The New York Times, July 14, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/14/climate/tongass-roadless-rule-alaska.html, reported, "The Biden administration is moving to restore full environmental protections for Tongass National Forest in Alaska , reversing an attempt by former President Donald J. Trump to introduce logging and mining in pristine sections of one of the world’s largest intact temperate rain forests."


     Justin Schatz ,"Secretary Haaland Returns to NM To Celebrate Largest Private Land Donation In US History: Sabinoso Wilderness Area Nearly Doubles In Size After Expansion," The Paper July 19, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/07/secretary-haaland-celebrates-expansion-of-wilderness-area/, reported: "Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland returned to New Mexico on Saturday along with US Sen. Martin Heinrich and US Rep. Teresa Ledger Fernandez, to celebrate the historic expansion of the Sabinoso Wilderness Area , a vast wilderness of mesas, pinons, and juniper forests located in the northeast corner of San Miguel County. The expansion of the rugged wilderness is the end of a 15-year push by Heinrich to protect this landscape and serves as a launch for a greater effort by the Biden administration to restore 30 percent of America’s land and water by 2030 through the America The Beautiful initiative."
     This was made possible by the largest private land donation to the federal government in history, doubling the size of the Sabinoso Wilderness area and increasing access to it.


      Andrea Germanos, "'Incredibly Important' Victory for Nation's Honey Bees by California High Court: 'With this ruling, the bees in California are getting much-needed relief just as we're seeing some of the worst signs of colony collapse.'" Common Dreams, December 7, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/12/07/incredibly-important-victory-nations-honey-bees-california-high-court, reported, " The bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor is no longer approved for use in California after a ruling by a state superior court that environmental advocates say represents a win for pollinators and the nation's food system.
     In a statement Monday noting that 'just about every commercial honey bee colony in this country spends at least part of the year in California,' Steve Ellis, president of the Pollinator Stewardship Council, called the ruling 'incredibly important for pollinators' because 'removing systemic insecticides such as sulfoxaflor will help ensure honey bees have a healthy future.' That's especially crucial, he said, in light of recent 'astounding losses' to honey bee colonies."


     International Crisis Group (ICG), "Broken Canopy: Deforestation and Conflict in Colombia," Report  91 / Latin America & Caribbean 4 November 2021, https://www.crisisgroup.org/latin-america-caribbean/andes/colombia/091-broken-canopy-deforestation-and-conflict-colombia, commented, " Colombia’s vast forest is fast receding, partly because guerrillas and criminals are clearing land for farming, ranching and other pursuits. These unregulated activities are causing both dire environmental harm and deadly conflict. Bogotá should take urgent steps to halt the damage.
      Principal Findings
      What’s new? Deforestation has surged in Colombia since the FARC rebels put down their weapons following a 2014 ceasefire and 2016 peace accord. Other insurgents and criminal groups have stepped up economic activities – ranching, logging, mining and coca growing – that accelerate loss of woodland and jungle in areas the guerrillas once controlled.
      Why does it matter? By enabling economic activities that provide income to insurgents and criminals, deforestation helps them engage in fresh cycles of rural violence, hinders the state in its efforts to control territory, and prevents Colombia from meeting core goals on environment protection.
      What should be done? Bogotá should refocus its campaign against environmental crime to target economically empowered actors driving deforestation rather than impoverished loggers. It should implement peace accord commitments for rural areas, especially concerning land registration and restitution, and build a stronger natural resource management system, drawing on community involvement and technical assistance.

     Executive Summary

     In the five years following its historic 2016 peace accord, Colombia has seen a surge of forest razing and land clearance amid continuing unrest in the countryside. The rate of tree loss, which greatly lowers the country’s chances of meeting its zero-deforestation goal by 2030, is tied to conflict and violence. These ties are complex. Deforestation began to rise soon after the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which had operated mostly from rural areas, declared a ceasefire in December 2014. It then gathered steam after the 2016 accord was signed. The rebels’ departure from their strongholds provided an opportunity for other insurgencies and organised crime to assert control. With state authority in the countryside still feeble, those groups pushed back the forest to expand enterprises like coca growing, cattle ranching, illegal gold mining and logging, sometimes working with legal businesses. To arrest the damage, Bogotá should fix its approach to prosecuting environmental crime, implement peace accord commitments relating to the environment and urgently bolster its natural resource management systems.
     In many ways, the FARC ran roughshod over the environment during its five-decade insurgency. But there was a clear difference between them and the current crop of violent outfits operating in rural Colombia. In areas where FARC rebels operated, they tended to restrict deforestation. One reason was that thick tree canopies helped prevent the state from spotting their encampments from the air, allowing them to move more freely. But as they implemented a late 2014 ceasefire and prepared to sign the 2016 accord, the guerrillas also for the most part stopped limiting land clearance. Deforestation rose sharply, spearheaded or abetted by new and old armed actors, often in bruising competition with one another. These actors included the National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia’s last remaining insurgents; FARC dissidents (ie, former fighters who have reneged on the peace process and returned to arms); and criminal groups that inherited many of the structures once belonging to right-wing paramilitaries.
      At the front line of [Colombia’s] receding forest, … small-hold farmers are coerced or coopted into doing the armed groups’ bidding.
      Deforestation, however, is not solely the handiwork of illegal bands. Tens of thousands of internally displaced people and other conflict victims, many of them desperately poor, have been swept up in the push to clear Colombia’s woodlands for remunerative uses. Often having lost their land to violent groups, these farmers have been forced to find ways of surviving by clearing forest and creating new livelihoods in far-flung places. At the front line of the country’s receding forest, some of these small-hold farmers are coerced or co-opted into doing the armed groups’ bidding while others are paid small amounts for their labours.
      Cattle ranching stands out as the single biggest cause of deforestation. Feeding into legal supply chains, it now causes more tree loss than coca, illicit logging or illegal gold mining. On paper at least, ranching is a normal business, but illegal actors engage in it, and the state has been unable to rein in many corrupt and criminal practices within the sector. Land used for grazing is often obtained illegally or located in environmentally protected territories. Profits frequently enrich criminal groups that terrorise local people and perpetuate conflict.
      While the current level of rampant forest clearance in Colombia is driven by a mix of armed and criminal groups, licit actors and deep structural problems – notably the country’s profound socio-economic inequality and the state’s chronic weaknesses – Bogotá is far from helpless to stop it. The government has at its disposal tools and strategies that can help it check unregulated deforestation and blunt the adverse consequences thereof. One is law enforcement. Colombia’s campaign to fight environmental crime, Operation Artemisa, has flagged as a result of high costs, and been the object of some public wrath. It has lost support in part by tending to go after individual farmers rather than tackle the more pressing and difficult work of targeting the big bosses behind deforestation. But a new comprehensive law should enable Bogotá to remedy these mistakes by increasing punishment for the financial backers behind environmental crimes.
     Another potential mechanism for bringing about change is the 2016 peace accord. Carrying out its environmentally focused provisions has been difficult, due to financial constraints, the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of high-level political support. But implementation is of critical importance. At the heart of that agreement is a set of measures that would go a long way toward addressing the causes of deforestation. The steps under way toward creation of a new land registry could help clarify property ownership and use throughout the country, while a land fund that builds on the progress made since passage of the 2011 Victims’ Law could enable families whose property was seized by armed groups to re-establish farms. In combination, these two reforms have the potential to help staunch the drive to clear more forest by providing more formal deeds to existing farmland.
     Also of relevance, the accord looked to strengthen the Campesino Reserve Zones, where unused or inefficiently used land is distributed for ownership to small-hold farmers; contemplated participatory mechanisms for communities to design sustainable development plans; pledged to create a program to encourage coca growers to substitute licit crops; and envisaged a zoning plan to help manage land use, among many environmental features.
     Largely unregulated land clearance, which offers a thoroughfare for armed and criminal groups to get richer and reach deeper into remote territory, is a double threat to Colombia. On one hand, it is an impediment to the country’s prospects for peace. On the other hand, accelerating tree loss, in Colombia and elsewhere, is a threat to the environment and those who depend on it. Deforestation increases the country’s vulnerability to climate change by exacerbating exposure to the effects of extreme weather, which already disproportionately harm the country’s poorer and more neglected people. Soil degradation will magnify the effects of flooding and droughts brought on by climate change, as well as knock-on disasters like landslides
.
     Growing deforestation, which is likely to be a core concern addressed at COP26, the UN climate summit under way in Glasgow, is also at odds with Colombia’s ambitious climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. Shortfalls in reaching these goals will not only cause reputational damage but also negatively affect access to donor funding. Better management of the country’s natural resources will require collection of more reliable data, establishment of more effective controls, and fluid dialogue between state authorities and rural populations that have been living in environmentally protected areas, sometimes over several generations, as to their future livelihoods and use of woodland.
      Standing by while the farthest reaches of Colombia are cleared for illicit profit risks feeding cycles of violence. Averting this outcome will depend in large part on confronting the many interests pushing the agricultural frontier outward."


      Kenny Stancil, "Court Ruling on US Border Militarization Called 'Win for Wildlife': 'This is a win for wildlife and communities along the border, where the government has behaved as if the laws don't apply,' said one environmental lawyer," Common Dreams, August 24, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/24/court-ruling-us-border-militarization-called-win-wildlife, reported, "Social and environmental justice advocates welcomed a federal judge's ruling Monday that two U.S. agencies broke the law by not conducting an analysis of potential ecological harms associated with increased militarization along the U.S.-Mexico border.
     Monday's ruling (pdf: https://biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/border_wall/pdfs/Border_wall_supplemental_nepa_peis_esa_order_082123.pdf) found that officials at both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to prepare an updated and detailed environmental impact statement for the U.S.-Mexico border enforcement program.
     The court's decision stems from a 2017 lawsuit filed by U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and the Center for Biological Diversity."


      Jessica Corbett, "'Justice Is With Us!': Climate Groups Cheer French Court Order to Cut Emissions: 'We owe this... to the unprecedented mobilization of the 2.3 million people who supported the Case of the Century,'" Common Dreams, October 14, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/14/justice-us-climate-groups-cheer-french-court-order-cut-emissions, reported, " Climate campaigners across France celebrated Thursday after the administrative court of Paris ordered the French government to honor its commitments to cut planet-heating emissions and 'repair the ecological damage for which it is responsible' by the end of next year.
     The Case of the Century, or l'Affaire du Siècle, was launched three years ago by four advocacy groups: Oxfam France, Notre Affaire à Tous, Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme, and Greenpeace France.
     'We won,' tweeted Oxfam France executive director Cécile Duflot. 'The state must not only make up for the delay but also repair the damage!'
     Greenpeace, in a tweet, called the court's ruling 'another significant step forward in the growing wave of climate litigation around the world.'
     The coalition behind the case also welcomed the development, noting that any future president who doesn't respect the country's climate commitments would not only expose the French people to 'the increasingly devastating and costly impacts of climate change,' but also risk additional court cases.
      'From today forward, any slippage on the greenhouse gas reduction trajectory can be punished by the courts in the event of another delay,' the coalition said. 'The state now has an obligation to achieve results for the climate."'
     'We owe this necessary break with climate policy such as it is now to the judges who took up the climate issue and to the unprecedented mobilization of the 2.3 million people who supported the Case of the Century,' they added, acknowledging signers of a related petition.
     Supporters of the case gathered in Paris Thursday morning with large letters that read: 'Climate: justice is with us!'
      France—a signatory to the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which aims to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C by 2100—has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The court found that from 2015 to 2018, France overshot its national carbon budget by 15 million tons of CO2 equivalent, and ordered the government to make up for it by December 31, 2022.
      The new ruling follows a February decision that found France was failing to meet its climate commitments. At the time, Oxfam's Duflot called the ruling a 'historic victory' that 'sets an important legal precedent' and expressed hope that the 'breakthrough' would lead the courts to 'compel the government to take further steps to reduce emissions and ensure that France is living up to its commitments,' a wish that was fulfilled Thursday.
     Agence France-Presse noted that the latest decision also comes after a July ruling in which 'France's highest administrative court, the Council of State, ordered the government to take measures by March 31, 2022, to honor its commitments in terms of greenhouse gas reductions.'
     As Greenpeace France director Jean-Francois Julliard toldjournalists on Thursday: 'Now the court system is becoming an ally in our fight against climate change.'
     Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)."


      Damien Cave, "In Australia, It’s ‘Long Live King Coal’: The country has fallen behind other developed nations in its commitment to slashing carbon emissions. Neither fires nor international pressure has pushed it away from coal and other fossil fuels, The New York Times, October 21, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/world/australia/australia-coal-fossil-fuel-carbon.html, reported, " At a time when climate change and those who fight it demand that coal be treated like tobacco, as a danger everywhere it is burned, Australia is increasingly seen as the guy at the end of the bar selling cheap cigarettes and promising to bring more tomorrow.
     Along with koalas, kangaroos and beaches, the country — the world’s third-largest exporter of fossil fuels — is becoming known for refusing to clean up its act."


      Jessica Corbett, "In First for Australia, Court Orders Government Agency to Take Climate Action: One nonprofit said the decision in a case brought by bushfire survivors 'should send a chill through the state's most polluting industries, including the electricity and commercial transport sectors.'" Common Dreams, August 26, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/26/first-australia-court-orders-government-agency-take-climate-action, reported, " In a case brought by bushfire survivors against an Australian state's environmental regulator, a court found Thursday that the government agency must take action to address the climate emergency—a first-of-its kind and potentially precedent-setting ruling for the fire-ravaged nation."
     "Preston ordered the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) 'to develop environmental quality objectives, guidelines, and policies to ensure environment protection from climate change' in the Australian state.
     Though Preston found that the EPA has not fulfilled its legal duty to ensure such protection, he said the agency 'has a discretion as to the specific content of the instruments it develops' and his order 'does not demand that such instruments contain the level of specificity contended for by BSCA, such as regulating sources of greenhouse gas emissions in a way consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels."


      Catrin Einhorn, "The Most Important Global Meeting You’ve Probably Never Heard Of Is Now: Countries are gathering in an effort to stop a biodiversity collapse that scientists say could equal climate change as an existential crisis," The New York Times, October 14, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/climate/un-biodiversity-conference-climate-change.html, reports that the World Biodiversity Conference was taking place in Kunming, China to try to reach agreement on a world approach to protecting biodiversity which goes hand in hand with limiting climate change, a factor in the future of biodiversity, and vice versa. For the meeting, " The working draft includes 21 targets that act as a blueprint for reducing biodiversity loss. Many are concrete and measurable, others more abstract. None are easy. They include, in summary:Create a plan, across the entire land and waters of each country, to make the best decisions about where to conduct activities like farming and mining while also retaining intact areas.Ensure that wild species are hunted and fished sustainably and safely.Reduce agricultural runoff, pesticides and plastic pollution.Use ecosystems to limit climate change by storing planet-warming carbon in nature.Reduce subsidies and other financial programs that harm biodiversity by at least $500 billion per year, the estimated amount that governments spend supporting fossil fuels and potentially damaging agricultural practices.Safeguard at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030."
      Indigenous people and organizations are very concerned about the outcome of the conference, many hoping for an expansion of the agenda in practice, while fearful of failing to reach at least the draft goals, and the possible increased loss of land and living conditions as habitats degrade ( Somini Sengupta, Catrin
     Einhorn
and Manuela Andreoni, "There’s a Global Plan to Conserve Nature. Indigenous People Could Lead the Way: Dozens of countries are backing an effort that would protect 30 percent of Earth’s land and water. Native people, often among the most effective stewards of nature, have been disregarded, or worse, in the past," The New York Times, Published March 11, 2021, Updated October 14, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/11/climate/nature-conservation-30-percent.html).
      Kenny Stancil, "'Embarrassing': US Absent as World Joins Together to Protect Biodiversity: 'It reinforces the notion that the U.S. is a fair-weather partner when it comes to environmental conservation, including issues of climate change,' said one critic," Common Dreams, October 15, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/10/15/embarrassing-us-absent-world-joins-together-protect-biodiversity, reported, " As the United Nations Biodiversity Conference wrapped up Friday, critics are once again pointing to the glaring absence of the United States from negotiations to strengthen an international treaty to restore and protect the variety of life on Earth that has been ratified by every country except the U.S.
      'The world cannot afford for China and the U.S. to not find ways to work together to address climate change and nature loss.'
      The U.S. did send a team to this week's meeting, which was hosted by China and attended in-person and virtually because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—a crisis that has highlighted the need to reform humanity's relationship with nature.
      U.S. delegates, however, had no official say and could only observe, as diplomats from around the globe debated how best to update the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and hashed out strategies to safeguard the world's flora, fauna, and ecosystems, which are increasingly under threat due to the relentless quest to maximize profits at all costs.
      The resulting " Kunming Declaration "—a pledge that was welcomed by conservation advocates, who also emphasized the urgent need to match words with bold and concrete policies—sets the stage for the development of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework , which governments are scheduled to negotiate further in January 2022 and adopt next May at part two of the U.N. Biodiversity Conference." Some environmentalists said the declaration was a good start, but more was needed, quickly.
     ' Kunming Declaration,' of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference, October 13, 2021, https://www.cbd.int/doc/c/99c8/9426/1537e277fa5f846e9245a706/kunmingdeclaration-en.pdf.
     " Declaration from the High-Level Segment of the UN Biodiversity Conference 2020 (Part 1) under the theme: 'Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth'
(Edited Final Version)
     We, the Ministers and other heads of delegations, having met in Kunming, Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China, in person, and remotely, on 12 and 13 October 2021, on the occasion of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference,1 at the invitation of the Government of the People's Republic of China,
     Recalling the relevance of the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity: 'Living in harmony with nature',
     Recalling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and recognizing that its full achievement across the environmental, social and economic dimensions is necessary to enable the realization of the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity;
     Emphasizing that biodiversity, and the ecosystem functions and services it provides, support all forms of life on Earth and underpin our human and planetary health and well-being, economic growth and sustainable development,
      Concerned that the ongoing loss of biodiversity jeopardizes achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and other international goals and targets,
      Recognizing that progress has been made in the last decade, under the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, but deeply concerned that such progress has been insufficient to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets,
      Acknowledging with grave concern that the unprecedented and interrelated crises of biodiversity loss, climate change, land degradation and desertification, ocean degradation, and pollution, and increasing risks to human health and food security, pose an existential threat to our society, our culture, our prosperity and our planet,
     Comprising: the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, and the fourth meeting of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization.
     Recognizing that these crises share many underlying drivers of change,
Recognizing also that the main direct drivers of biodiversity loss are land/sea use change, overexploitation, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species,
      Acknowledging that indigenous peoples and local communities contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity through the application of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices, and through their stewardship of biodiversity on their traditional lands and territories, Recognizing also the important roles played by women and girls, and youth,
     Stressing, therefore, that urgent and integrated action is needed, for transformative change, across all sectors of the economy and all parts of society, through policy coherence at all levels of government, and the realization of synergies at national level across relevant Conventions and multilateral organizations, to shape a future path for nature and people, where biodiversity is conserved and used sustainably, and the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources are shared fairly and equitably, as an integral part of sustainable development
,
     Noting that a combination of measures are needed to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity, including actions to address land and sea use change, enhance the conservation and restoration of ecosystems, mitigate climate change, reduce pollution, control invasive alien species and prevent overexploitation, as well as actions to transform economic and financial systems and to ensure sustainable production and consumption, and reduce waste, recognizing that none of these measures alone, nor in partial combinations, is sufficient and that the effectiveness of each measure is enhanced by the other,
     Noting the call of many countries to protect and conserve 30% of land and sea areas through well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2030,
     Reaffirming the Cancun Declaration on Mainstreaming the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity for Well-Being and the Sharm el Sheikh Declaration on Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet,
     Recalling the UN Summit on Biodiversity in September 2020, with the theme 'Urgent action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development',
     Taking note of the theme of the UN Biodiversity Conference 2020: “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth”,
      We declare that putting biodiversity on a path to recovery is a defining challenge of this decade, in the context of the UN Decade of Action for Sustainable Development, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and the UN Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, requiring strong political momentum to develop, adopt and implement an ambitious and transformative post-2020 global biodiversity framework that promotes the three objectives of the Convention in a balanced manner, We Commit to:
     1. Ensure the development, adoption and implementation of an effective post- 2020 global biodiversity framework, that includes provision of the necessary means of implementation, in line with the Convention, and appropriate mechanisms for monitoring, reporting and review, to reverse the current loss of biodiversity and ensure that biodiversity is put on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest, towards the full realization of the 2050 Vision of “Living in Harmony with Nature”;
     2. Support, as appropriate, the development, adoption and implementation of an effective post-2020 Implementation Plan, and Capacity Building Action Plan, for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety;
     3. Work across our respective governments to continue to promote the integration, or “mainstreaming” of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into decision-making including through the integration of the multiple values of biodiversity into policies, regulations, planning processes, poverty reduction strategies and economic accounting, and strengthen cross- sectoral coordinating mechanisms on biodiversity;
     4. Accelerate and strengthen the development and update of the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, to ensure the effective implementation of the post 2020 global biodiversity framework at national level;
     5. Improve the effectiveness, and increase the coverage, globally, of area-based conservation and management through enhancing and establishing effective systems of protected areas and adopting other effective area-based conservation measures, as well as spatial planning tools, to protect species and genetic diversity and reduce or eliminate threats to biodiversity, recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities and ensuring their full and effective participation;
     6. Strengthen sustainable use of biodiversity for meeting the needs of people;
     7. Actively enhance the global environmental legal framework and strengthen environmental law at national level, and its enforcement, to protect biodiversity and to combat its illegal use, and to respect, protect and promote human rights obligations when taking actions to protect biodiversity;
     8. Step up our efforts to ensure, through the Convention, the Nagoya Protocol and other agreements as appropriate, the fair and equitable benefit-sharing arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, taking into account the context of digital sequence information on genetic resources;
     9. Strengthen measures, and their implementation, for the development, assessment, regulation, management, and transfer, as appropriate, of relevant biotechnologies, with a view to promote the benefits and to reduce the risks, including those associated with the use and release of living modified organisms which are likely to have adverse environmental impacts;
     10. Increase the application of ecosystem-based approaches to address biodiversity loss, restore degraded ecosystems, boost resilience, mitigate and adapt to climate change, support sustainable food production, promote health, and contribute to addressing other challenges, enhancing One Health and other holistic approaches and ensuring benefits across economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, through robust safeguards for environmental and social protection, highlighting that such ecosystem-based approaches do not replace the priority actions needed to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement;2
     11. Step up actions to reduce the negative effects of human activities on the ocean to protect marine and coastal biodiversity and strengthen the resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems to climate change;
     12. Ensure that post-pandemic recovery policies, programmes and plans contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, promoting sustainable and inclusive development;
     13. Work with ministries of finance and economy, and other relevant ministries, to reform incentive structures, eliminating, phasing out or reforming subsidies and other incentives that are harmful to biodiversity, while protecting people in vulnerable situations, to mobilize additional financial resources from all
12. Ecosystem-based approaches may also be referred to as “Nature based solutions” as per SBSTTA recommendation 23/2, paragraph 4”. sources, and align all financial flows in support of the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
     14. Increase the provision of financial, technological and capacity building support to developing countries necessary to implement the post 2020 global biodiversity framework and in line with the provisions of the Convention;
     15. Enable the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities, women, youth, civil society, local governments and authorities, academia, the business and financial sectors, and other relevant stakeholders, and encourage them to make voluntary commitments in the context of the Sharm el Sheikh to Kunming Action Agenda for Nature and People, and to continue to build the momentum for the implementation of the post 2020 global biodiversity framework;
     16. Further develop communication, education and public awareness tools on biodiversity to support changes in behaviour towards the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
     17.Further enhance collaboration and coordinate actions with ongoing multilateral environmental agreements, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and the biodiversity-related conventions, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other related international and multilateral processes, to promote the protection, conservation, sustainable management and restoration of terrestrial, freshwater and marine biodiversity, while contributing to other sustainable development goals, aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
.
      Brett Wilkins, "US Must Tackle Marine Plastics Pollution 'From Source to Sea': Report: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study found that the U.S. is responsible for about a quarter of the plastics that enter the world's oceans each year," Common Dreams, December 1, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/12/01/us-must-tackle-marine-plastics-pollution-source-sea-report, reported, " The United States is the world's leading marine plastics polluter and should devise a 'national strategy' by the end of next year to address the crisis, according to a new report published Wednesday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
     'We can no longer ignore the United States' role in the plastic pollution crisis, one of the biggest environmental threats facing our oceans and our planet today.'
     The congressionally mandated report—entitled Reckoning With the U.S. Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste (https://www.nap.edu/read/26132/chapter/1)—revealed that at least 8.8 million tons of plastics enter the world's oceans each year, with about a quarter of that amount coming from the United States."


     Rachel Nuwer, "A Taste for Pangolin Meat and the Fall of an African Wildlife Cartel: Yunhua Lin and associates had turned Malawi into an ivory, rhino horn and pangolin scale trafficking hub. His prison sentence could aid the fight against poaching," The New York Times, October 18, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/18/science/malawi-poaching-wildlife.html, reported, " Hundreds of poachers are arrested each year for killing elephants, rhinos, pangolins and other animals in Africa. Yet the problem persists, because there is always a ready supply of desperate men to take the place of those put behind bars. Higher-level criminals, on the other hand — those who really drive the international illegal wildlife trade — almost always evade justice."
      A significant event that may be a beginning of change occurred in Malawi as a new law enforcement approach has led to the arrest and conviction of a high ranking leader in a poaching organization, Yunhua Lin, sentenced to serve up to 14 years in prison, after which he is to be deported to China.


     In June 2021, residents of Maine were struggling with a vast invasion of invasive poisonous caterpillars, contact with whose hairs can cause painful rashes, and in some cases breathing problems (Jese Jimenez, :Maine Residents Grapple with Infestation of Poisonous Caterpillars," The New York Times, June 14, 2021).


      Hannah Grover, "Drought limits the ability for an endangered fish to reach adulthood," New Mexico Political Report, August 10, 2021, https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2021/08/11/drought-limits-the-ability-for-an-endangered-fish-to-reach-adulthood/?mc_cid=7c96d71edc&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported, " The Rio Grande silvery minnow once swam up and down the Rio Grande, even venturing into the Pecos River. But now its range is limited, in part due to humans, and the drought conditions that have led to reduced spring runoff are limiting the number of wild fish that live long enough to spawn."
     "The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is installing fish passages to help the silvery minnows cross the dams. Archdeacon said those passages are needed, but are only one part of the solution."
     "And, if there isn’t a good snowpack, the spring runoff that is needed for successful spawning won’t be sufficient."


     Victoria Petersen, "Record Salmon in One Place. Barely Any in Another. Alarm All Around. Historically low runs on the Yukon River have devastating impacts for Alaskans relying on the fish for sustenance and tradition, but Bristol Bay is seeing more sockeye than ever before. Historically low chinook and chum salmon runs on the Yukon River are alarming people in the nearly 50 nearby villages who rely on the fish to fill their freezers for the winter," The New York Times, August 12, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/12/dining/wild-alaskan-salmon.html, reported, "This summer, fishers in the world’s largest wild salmon habitat pulled a record-breaking 65 million sockeye salmon from Alaska’s Bristol Bay, beating the 2018 record by more than three million fish.
      But on the Yukon River, about 500 miles to the north, salmon were alarmingly absent. This summer’s chum run was the lowest on record, with only 153,000 fish counted in the river at the Pilot Station sonar — a stark contrast to the 1.7 million chum running in year’s past. The king salmon runs were also critically low this summer — the third lowest on record. The Yukon’s fall run is also shaping up to be sparse.
     The reduction in salmon in the river system appears to be a result of climate change. It poses a major economic and cultural threat to numerous Native communities for whom salmon from the rivers in central to their diet and culture. This summer, some salmon processors are donating excess fish to the needed communities. Scientists hypothesize that warming waters have increased the numbers salmon in the bay while reducing their numbers on the rivers
."


     "Report: Sharks Headed For Extinction: 37 Percent of Sharks Are Endangered," The Paper, September 7th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/09/report-sharks-headed-for-extinction/, reported that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature announced that, " The world’s sharks and rays have seen declines in their populations since 2014 and more and more are now threatened with extinction, according to a new red list released Saturday at a global conference aimed at protecting dwindling species.
     The Komodo dragon is now listed as endangered, notably because of rising sea levels and rising temperatures in its Indonesian habitat. Ebonies and rosewoods threatened by logging were among trees put on the list for the first time this year
.
     There are signs of hope, too – fishing quotas have allowed several tuna species to be put on the 'path to recovery,' according to the announcement from The International Union for the Conservation of Nature."
     About 37% of sharks and rays, world wide, are currently considered in danger an increase of 33% ince 2014. The increase is primarily from Overfishing, a loss of habitat and climate change. Since 1970, oceanic shark populations have decreased by 71%.

     Progress in reviving tuna populations and a number of other species “is the demonstration that if states and other actors take the right actions … it is possible to recover,” said IUCN director Bruno Oberle.


      Vaquitas, a Gulf of California Porpoise, is declining toward extinction, because they are drowned by illegal nets used by fisherman (Catrin Einhorn, "A Gulf of California Porpoise Is on the Brink of Extinction," The New York Times, November 24, 2021).


      Catrin Einhorn, "Climate Change Is Devastating Coral Reefs Worldwide, Major Report Says: The world lost 14 percent of its coral in just a decade, researchers found," The New York Times, October 4, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/04/climate/coral-reefs-climate-change.html, reported, " The world lost about 14 percent of its coral reefs in the decade after 2009, mainly because of climate change, according to a sweeping international report (https://gcrmn.net/2020-report/) on the state of the world’s corals."
     “'Coral reefs are the canary in the coal mine telling us how quickly it can go wrong,' said David Obura, one of the report’s editors and chairman of the coral specialist group for the International Union for Conservation of Nature."
     " Especially alarming, the report’s editors said, is the trajectory. The first global bleaching event occurred in 1998, but many reefs bounced back. That no longer appears to be the case." But the report indicated that many reefs may yet survive or come back if quick and sufficient action is taken on climate change.


      Brett Wilkins, "Wildlife Defenders Cheer Restoration of Migratory Bird Protections Gutted Under Trump: "'The world is on the brink of a sixth mass extinction,' said the director of one advocacy group. 'Enforcing conservation laws like the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is vital,'" Common Dreams, September 29, 2021, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/09/29/wildlife-defenders-cheer-restoration-migratory-bird-protections-gutted-under-trump, reported, " Wildlife conservationists on Wednesday welcomed the U.S. Department of the Interior's imminent reversal of a Trump administration attempt to roll back a key law credited with saving the lives of millions of migratory birds each year.
     'Oil and gas companies must be held accountable when their actions lead to wildlife deaths."
—Jennifer, Rokala, Center for Western Priorities
     In a statement, the Interior Department said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take 'a series of actions to ensure that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) conserves birds today and into the future.'"


      As human activity is well into bringing on mass animal and plant extinctions, Catrin Einhorn, "Protected Too Late: U.S. Officials Report More Than 20 Extinctions: The animals and one plant had been listed as endangered species. Their stories hold lessons about a growing global biodiversity crisis," The New York Times, September 29, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/28/climate/endangered-animals-extinct.html. reported, " The ivory-billed woodpecker, which birders have been seeking in the bayous of Arkansas, is gone forever, according to federal officials. So is the Bachman’s warbler, a yellow-breasted songbird that once migrated between the Southeastern United States and Cuba. The song of the Kauai O’o, a Hawaiian forest bird , exists only on recordings. And there is no longer any hope for several types of freshwater mussels that once filtered streams and rivers from Georgia to Illinois.
     In all, 22 animals and one plant should be declared
extinct and removed from the endangered species list, federal wildlife officials announced on Wednesday."


     WildEarth Guardians reported in a November 10, 2021 E-mail, "Determined campaign secures big win for Canada lynx: Threatened wild cats keep Endangered Species Act protections, finally get a recovery plan," " WildEarth Guardians and our allies have just secured a groundbreaking legal settlement that will aid the recovery of Canada lynx—iconic wild cats endangered by climate change and habitat fragmentation.
     As a result of relentless pressure by Guardians, our allies, and supporters like you, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has abandoned plans to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the struggling snow cat in the contiguous U.S. The agency will now initiate recovery planning for the species."


      Catrin Einhorn, "Manatees, Facing a Crisis, Will Get a Bit of Help: Extra Feeding: In a first, wildlife officials have decided to provide food for the mammals, which have suffered catastrophic losses in Florida waters over the last year," The New York Times, December 7, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/07/climate/manatees-florida-feeding.html, reported, "The starving manatees are easy enough to spot. You can see their ribs through their skin. They surface to breathe more than normal. Those most in need appear off balance, listing to one side.
      As manatee deaths spike and Florida rescue centers fill up with malnourished animals, federal and state wildlife officials are trying something new in an urgent effort to help the species through the winter: They will provide food, as needed, at a key location on the state’s east coast where hundreds of manatees cluster when water temperatures drop." Feeding of wildlife by humans is usually harmful so it is only being taken because the manatee situation is so dire.


      Karen Zraick, "11 Million New Oysters in New York Harbor (but None for You to Eat): The oysters, which act as nonstop water filters, were added to the Hudson River as part of an ongoing project to rehabilitate the polluted waterways around the city," The New York Times, December 10, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/10/us/oysters-new-york-hudson-river.html. reported, "The restoration of New York Harbor has reached a new milestone as 2021 draws to a close: 11.2 million juvenile oysters have been added in the past six months to a section of the Hudson River off the coast of Lower Manhattan, where they are helping to filter the water and creating habitats for other marine life.
     The bivalves will not be headed to a serving platter: The waters are still too polluted to eat from freely, after absorbing centuries’ worth of trash, sewage and industrial waste. But the water quality in the area is steadily improving, and oysters — which were once so prevalent in the waters that they served as a staple in New Yorkers’ diets — are playing a key role in the shift."


      Increasing temperatures in Arizona are stressing and threatening saguaro cacti, which previously were well attuned survivors in the hot dry desert (Simon Romero, "Saguaros Like It Hot, But Maybe Not Quite This Hot," The New York Times, October 12, 2021).


     The Washington Environmental Council reported. December 15, 2021, https://waenvironment.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/i/59C955D07B0003942540EF23F30FEDED/4FDCB9C5661E177F6CBD507C784BD83B?alternativeLink=False, "We’re writing to share an update with you — last week, the Department of Ecology reached a decision extend the Clean Water Act Assurances for a third time, giving the Adaptive Management program another year to make changes needed to maintain cool water temperature.
     Over the last couple of months, we've sent a series of emails about Washington State’s Adaptive Management Program, which is intended to protect aquatic species and water quality on roughly 8 million acres of forests. In the case of water quality, as long as the program is adapting to new scientific findings, the state Department of Ecology issues Clean Water Act Assurances to the program. This confirms compliance of forest harvest activities with the state water quality standards. Over the last few years, science has indicated cool stream temperatures are not being maintained across a large portion of the landscape. This finding was coincident with the Assurances expiring in 2019.
      To give the program sufficient time to make adjustments to protect water quality, Ecology extended the Assurances until December 2021. The extension came with clear benchmarks that would lead Ecology to support extending the Assurances. As we wrote to you, the program was unable to meet these benchmarks, and has made no serious progress towards meeting the benchmarks. As a result, we felt that Ecology should not extend the Assurances for a third time, which would signal the program was out of compliance and hopefully lead to faster work on rule development."


     In Indonesia, on the island of Sumatra, an important effort is in progress in moving to change the inhuman and anti-Indigenous approaches of some major conservation organizations. These have been stuck in a now long disproven Western Nineteenth century notion that people are separate from Nature, and people - almost always Indigenous - should be removed from their homelands in conservation areas, where, in fact, they have been, the best conservationists. The effort on Sumatra centers on collaborating with the Indigenous people of the area who do the conservation work (Matt Stirn, "Fleeting Glimpses of Indonesia’s Endangered Orangutans: On the island of Sumatra, a devoted group of conservationists is grasping for a solution that will benefit both the animals and the people who live around them," The New York Times, August 2, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/02/travel/sumatra-orangutan-conservation.html).


     "Increasing Native Producer and Community Access to Quality Water Resources," First Nations Development Institute, visited October 16, 2021, https://www.firstnations.org/projects/increasing-native-producer-and-community-access-to-quality-water-resources/?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.jWzASPUWZ30mS2FRuBn5Aww.rEXKMstz9E0a2PHyatuIfwg.l2hRvE4nQ-UqGatWrQ03E_g, reported, " A critical component of Stewarding Native Lands is preserving and protecting Native resources such as water. To regain control of water quality and watershed management, the Increasing Native Producer and Community Access to Quality Water Resources project partners First Nations with two Native American, community-based organizations to implement community-focused conservation planning and practices to protect this important resource.
     The project is made possible by the USDA Conservation Innovation Grant to support Native agricultural producers to create, implement and sustain water quality improvement and conservation strategies, along with matching funds from the Hearst Foundation.
     Beginning in 2021, the project specifically supports the organizational, programmatic, and technical capacity of one Tribal Lands Operations Department and one Tribal Natural Resource Department to address watershed issues.
     Through the project, two First Nations’ community partners – Lands Operations Department, White Mountain Apache Tribe, and Natural Resource Department, Pueblo of Jemez – will be able to:Further engage Native agricultural producers in conservation planning, conservation practices, and water quality improvement.
     Support the development and sustainable implementation of conservation plans by Native agricultural producers to demonstrate positive environmental, economic, and social effects.
     Promote community-focused, effective water quality, watershed management and conservation practices by Native American community groups and producers
."


     "Conservation Strategies in Action at White Mountain Apache," First Nations Development Institute E-mail, October 29, 2021, reported, "During a site visit last week , First Nations Program Officer Leiloni Begaye saw first-hand the great work going on at White Mountain Apache, Lands Operation Department. With recent funding through First Nations’ Stewarding Native Lands program, this community is doing vegetation sections and ecological site descriptions on the Canyon Day Range Unit -- grassroots efforts that are imperative in their overall work to create, implement, and sustain a conservation strategy and ensure ongoing stewardship of natural resources."

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U.S. Developments


     Many of the reports in this issue of U.S. government legislation, agency action, and court decisions are informed by electronic flyers from Hobbs, Straus, Dean and Walker, LLP, 2120 L Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037, http://www.hobbsstraus.com. Reports from Indian Country Today Media Network, from the web, are listed as from ICTMN.

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Presidential Actions


     Darlene Superville "Biden Signs Executive Order To Combat Crime and Trafficking On Native Lands: Order Signed At Tribal Nations Summit," The Paper, November 15th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/11/biden-signs-executive-order-to-combat-crime-and-trafficking-on-native-lands/, reported, " President Joe Biden on Monday ordered several Cabinet departments to work together to combat human trafficking and crime on Native lands, where violent crime rates are more than double the national average.
     Speaking at a White House summit on tribal nations, Biden signed an executive order tasking the Justice, Homeland Security and Interior departments with pursuing strategies to reduce crime. Biden also asked the departments to work to strengthen participation in Amber Alert programs and national training programs for federal agents and appoint a liaison who can speak with family members and advocates."


     Melina Delkic, "Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Explained: Many cities and states are observing the day. Here’s some of the history behind it," The New York Times, October 11, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/11/us/indigenous-peoples-day.html, reported, " President Biden has proclaimed Monday, Oct. 11, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, becoming the first U.S. president to formally recognize the day."
     "Over the past several years, states including Alaska and New Mexico have adopted the holiday, choosing to forgo Columbus Day celebrations and heeding calls from Indigenous groups and other residents not to celebrate Christopher Columbus, the Italian navigator the holiday is named for, who they say brought genocide and colonization to communities that had been in the United States for thousands of years. Many around the country, however, still celebrate Columbus Day or Italian Heritage Day as a point of pride in Italian culture." Indigenous Peoples’ Day is not yet a federal holiday, but there is a bill in Congress to make it one.


     " A Proclamation on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, 2021," President Biden, October 8, 2021, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/10/08/a-proclamation-indigenous-peoples-day-2021, proclaimed, " Since time immemorial, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians have built vibrant and diverse cultures — safeguarding land, language, spirit, knowledge, and tradition across the generations. On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, our Nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the Federal Government’s trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations.
     Our country was conceived on a promise of equality and opportunity for all people — a promise that, despite the extraordinary progress we have made through the years, we have never fully lived up to. That is especially true when it comes to upholding the rights and dignity of the Indigenous people who were here long before colonization of the Americas began. For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures. Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society.
      We also recommit to supporting a new, brighter future of promise and equity for Tribal Nations — a future grounded in Tribal sovereignty and respect for the human rights of Indigenous people in the Americas and around the world.
     In the first week of my Administration, I issued a memorandum reaffirming our Nation’s solemn trust and treaty obligations to American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Nations and directed the heads of executive departments and agencies to engage in regular, meaningful, and robust consultation with Tribal officials. It is a priority of my Administration to make respect for Tribal sovereignty and self-governance the cornerstone of Federal Indian policy. History demonstrates that Native American people — and our Nation as a whole — are best served when Tribal governments are empowered to lead their communities and when Federal officials listen to and work together with Tribal leaders when formulating Federal policy that affects Tribal Nations.
      The contributions that Indigenous peoples have made throughout history — in public service, entrepreneurship, scholarship, the arts, and countless other fields — are integral to our Nation, our culture, and our society. Indigenous peoples have served, and continue to serve, in the United States Armed Forces with distinction and honor — at one of the highest rates of any group — defending our security every day. And Native Americans have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working essential jobs and carrying us through our gravest moments. Further, in recognition that the pandemic has harmed Indigenous peoples at an alarming and disproportionate rate, Native communities have led the way in connecting people with vaccination, boasting some of the highest rates of any racial or ethnic group.
      The Federal Government has a solemn obligation to lift up and invest in the future of Indigenous people and empower Tribal Nations to govern their own communities and make their own decisions. We must never forget the centuries-long campaign of violence, displacement, assimilation, and terror wrought upon Native communities and Tribal Nations throughout our country. Today, we acknowledge the significant sacrifices made by Native peoples to this country — and recognize their many ongoing contributions to our Nation. On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we honor America’s first inhabitants and the Tribal Nations that continue to thrive today. I encourage everyone to celebrate and recognize the many Indigenous communities and cultures that make up our great country.
      NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 11, 2021, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all public buildings on the appointed day in honor of our diverse history and the Indigenous peoples who contribute to shaping this Nation.
     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth."
      Kalle Benallie, "White House announces new tribal nations summit date: For two days tribal nations will gather to discuss Indian Country’s issues, policy initiatives and goals," ICT, October 27, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/white-house-announces-new-tribal-nation-summit-date, reported, "The dates are finally set. All 574 federally recognized tribal nations will have the chance to take part in the White House Tribal Nations Summit in November."
     The meeting was set for November 15-16, 2021, with virtual participation included. "Six panels and a listening session, with high-level administration officials, will center on issues prevalent to Indian Country: Combating COVID-19 in Indian CountryNative American education and Native languagesPublic safety and justice Climate change impacts and solutions in Indian CountryTribal treaty rights and sacred landsEconomic development and workforce development/infrastructure, housing and energy."


      Kalle Benallie, "Day 1 takeaways from tribal nations summit: The first White House summit on tribal nations since the Obama administration is taking place this year virtually with hopes of next year’s being in person," ICT, November 15, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/day-1-takeaways-from-tribal-nations-summit, reported, "President Joe Biden came out and expressed his hope that the next summit will be in person and presented five new initiatives.
     Tribal Treaty Rights Memorandum of Understanding
     Sacred Sites Memorandum of Understanding
     Indigenous Knowledge Statement and Establishment of Interagency Working Group on Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge
     Greater Chaco Landscape Mineral Withdrawal."
     "Improving Public Safety and Criminal Justice for Native Americans and Addressing the Crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People.”
     "Interior
Department, Federal Partners Commit to Protect Tribal Treaty Rights," U.S. Department of the Interior, November 15-16, 2021, https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/interior-department-federal-partners-commit-protect-tribal-treaty-rights. stated, "During today’s White House Tribal Nations Summit, President Biden announced that the Department of the Interior and 16 other federal agencies have formally committed to protecting Tribal treaty rights in agency policymaking and regulatory processes.
      The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) affirms the federal government's commitment to enhancing interagency coordination and collaboration to protect treaty rights and to fully implement federal government treaty obligations. In addition to the Interior Department, the MOU was signed by the Departments of Agriculture, Justice, Defense, Commerce, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, State, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and the Environmental Protection Agency, Council on Environmental Quality, Office of Personnel Management, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
     'Tribal Nations entered into treaties, in part, to protect their way of life and inherent rights to natural resources of cultural, economic, and subsistence importance,' said Secretary Deb Haaland. 'It is our obligation to honor these treaty rights and incorporate Tribal interests into our decision-making, so that Tribal rights regarding everything from hunting and fishing to health care and education are protected.'
      The MOU commits the agencies to working together to consult and coordinate with federally recognized Tribes on:
     Supporting the creation, integration, and use of a searchable and indexed database of all treaties between the United States government and Tribal nations, to facilitate understanding and compliance with our treaty obligations;
     Enhancing the ongoing efforts to integrate consideration of Tribal treaty and reserved rights early into the federal decision-making and regulatory processes to ensure that agency actions are consistent with constitutional, treaty, reserved, and statutory rights;
     Developing, improving, and sharing tools and resources to identify, understand, and analyze Tribal treaty and reserved rights that may be adversely impacted or otherwise affected by agency decision-making, regulatory processes or other actions or inaction
.
     Treaty-protected rights to use and access to natural and cultural resources are a vital part of Tribal life and are of deep cultural, economic, and subsistence importance to Tribes. Many treaties protect not only the right to access natural resources, such as fisheries, but also protect the resource itself from significant degradation."
     "White House Commits to Elevating Indigenous Knowledge in Federal Policy Decisions," The White House, November 15, 2021, https://www.whitehouse.gov/ceq/news-updates/2021/11/15/white-house-commits-to-elevating-indigenous-knowledge-in-federal-policy-decisions/, stated, "White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and Council on Environmental Quality release first-of-its kind memorandum (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/111521-OSTP-CEQ-ITEK-Memo.pdf) to initiate new federal guidance on Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge
     Today, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) jointly released a new memorandum that commits to elevating Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ITEK) in federal scientific and policy processes. ITEK is a body of observations, oral and written knowledge, practices, and beliefs that promotes environmental sustainability and the responsible stewardship of natural resources through relationships between humans and environmental systems. It is applied to phenomena across biological, physical, cultural and spiritual systems. This announcement coincides with the Biden-Harris Administration’s inaugural Tribal Nations Summit and comes as the Administration continues to expand its efforts to highlight Native voices across the Federal Government.
     This new memorandum formally recognizes ITEK as one of the many important bodies of knowledge that contributes to the scientific, technical, social, and economic advancements of the United States and our collective understanding of the natural world.
     'Indigenous Knowledge should inform Federal decision making,' said the President’s Science Advisor and OSTP Director Dr. Eric Lander. “This effort will give Federal agencies the tools they need to ensure Indigenous knowledge is appropriately considered and elevated.'
      'Tribal and Native communities have stewarded these lands since time immemorial,' said CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory. 'Their voices and their expertise are critical to finding solutions to address the climate crisis, an issue that disproportionately affects Tribal and Native communities. Today’s commitment will help ensure that Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge is a part of decision making across the Federal Government for the betterment of people and the planet.'
     'The Federal Government has never embraced Indigenous knowledge in such a broad, comprehensive way before,” said Libby Washburn, Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs and citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. “This new guidance is a reflection of President Biden’s commitment to a strong Nation-to-Nation relationship that is built on respect and cooperation.'
      Specifically, the OSTP-CEQ memorandum:Recognizes ITEK as a form of knowledge that can and should inform Federal Government decision making where appropriate and commits to improving Federal engagement with Tribal Nations and Native communities around ITEK.
     Creates an Interagency Working Group on Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge, which will initiate a process to develop government-wide guidance for Federal agencies on elevating ITEK, with Tribal consultation, Native community engagement, as well as agency, expert, and public input.Highlights ongoing examples of ITEK collaboration between Tribal Nations, Native communities, and the Federal Government
.
      More on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitments to Indigenous Peoples:
     Earlier this year, the Biden-Harris Administration committed to strengthening the relationship between the Federal Government and Tribal Nations and to advancing equity for Indigenous people, including Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Indigenous people of the U.S. territories. An executive order on Tribal consultation directed federal agencies to develop robust plans for ensuring meaningful Tribal consultation on agency work that may affect Tribal Nations and the people they represent.
      Guidance on Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge for Federal agencies is expected to be released in 2022."


      Kalle Benallie, "Day 2 takeaways from tribal nations summit: The last day of the summit concludes until next year," ICT, Nov. 16, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/day-2-takeaways-from-tribal-nations-summit, reported, "At the listening session, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Laguna Pueblo, announced the first Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee at the Department of Interior. It will allow tribal leaders to have a forum directly with Haaland and future secretaries."
     "Biden- Harris Administration Brings Arctic Policy to the Forefront with Reactivated Steering Committee & New Slate of Research Commissioners," The White House, September 24, 2021 , https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/news-updates/2021/09/24/biden-harris-administration-brings-arctic-policy-to-the-forefront-with-reactivated-steering-committee-new-slate-of-research-commissioners/, stated, "Today, the Biden-Harris Administration took major actions toward protecting and advancing United States’ interests in the Arctic region by reactivating a critical steering committee and adding a slate of dedicated Arctic experts to its team. These actions will strengthen the Administration’s science-based approach to tackling climate change, enhancing the United States’ national and economic security, and fostering coordination – particularly with Indigenous Peoples – in the Arctic region.
     Specifically, the Administration is:
      Reactivating the Arctic Executive Steering Committee (AESC), a mechanism to advance U.S. Arctic interests and coordinate Federal actions in the Arctic. The AESC will also facilitate the implementation of the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area, including by standing up the Northern Bering Sea Task Force and Tribal Advisory Council. These structures reinforce collaborative partnerships—particularly with Alaska Native communities—and harness science and Indigenous Knowledge to inform management and policy.
     Hiring Ambassador David Balton as AESC Executive Director and Raychelle Aluaq Daniel as AESC Deputy Director, to ensure that trusted experts are at the helm to lead effective outreach and inclusion in the work of the AESC. As the former Ambassador for Oceans and Fisheries, Balton brings decades of experience in managing U.S. foreign policy issues relating to the Arctic. A Yup’ik who grew up in Tuntutuliak, Alaska, Daniel previously served the Department of the Interior by advancing Tribal climate resilience policy and agency coordination. She brings a wealth of expertise in bridging Indigenous Knowledge and science.
     Appointing six highly qualified, diverse Commissioners to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC), underscoring the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensuring that USARC’s focus on scientific research goals and objectives for the Arctic are derived from a broad range of expertise and perspectives. One-third of the appointed Commissioners are Indigenous Peoples, one-half are women, and two-thirds are residents of Alaska. The United States depends upon the USARC Commissioners to provide insightful guidance and rational, unbiased assessments of actions to maintain our position as an Arctic nation guided by science.
     The legislation that established the USARC specifies there shall be four Commissioners with academic or research experience, two who bring industry perspectives, and one Indigenous representative. The six Presidentially appointed Commissioners are:
     Ms. Elizabeth 'Liz' Qaulluq Cravalho, from Kotzebue, Alaska, currently serves as vice president of lands for NANA, a for-profit Alaska Native corporation located in northwest Alaska. She has served as a member of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission that advises the Alaska Legislature, and brings an industry perspective.
 
     Mr. David Kennedy, the previous USARC Chair and a national expert in the field of emergency pollution response and development of innovative technology, brings over 50 years of experience and leadership in science, government, environmental management, and development of legislation and national initiatives.
 
     Dr. Mark Myers brings additional industry expertise through his considerable experience as a North Slope sedimentary and petroleum geologist for the oil and gas industry, the U.S. government, the State of Alaska, and the University of Alaska. He previously served as the 14th director of the U.S. Geological Survey.
     Dr. Jacqueline (“Jackie”) Richter-Menge, is a former senior research civil engineer from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory, an expert in ocean and sea-ice science and innovative uses of technology in the Arctic Observing Network and the Submarine Arctic Science Program.  
     Dr. Mike Sfraga is a researcher focused on the social, economic, environmental, and security impacts of a changing Arctic geography, the inaugural co-lead of the State Department’s Fulbright Arctic Initiative, and Director of the Polar Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He will serve as the new Chair of the Commission.
     Ms. Deborah Vo, from St. Mary’s on the Lower Yukon River, brings experience as a city manager, tribal administrator, executive director of the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council, manager of rural energy planning for the state, and a program officer for the Rasmuson Foundation. She brings Indigenous perspectives to the Commission as well as expertise on tribal governance, health care, and community development.
     'I’m pleased to welcome the new AESC and USARC leadership because they understand the critical role the Arctic region plays in our nation’s future security and prosperity,” said OSTP Deputy Director for Climate & Environment Dr. Jane Lubchenco. “Whether working to address the climate crisis, implementing policy to keep the region secure, consulting with Indigenous communities, or growing U.S. partnerships in the Arctic, there is no better team to lead this effort.'
     These announcements follow the recent release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I Sixth Assessment Report, which makes clear the climate drivers underway, justifying urgent need for greater global action on climate change and the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November. No region in the world has undergone more dramatic climate change than the Arctic, particularly impacting Indigenous Peoples, rural communities, and Alaska residents.
     In addition to tackling the climate crisis, the Administration’s new leaders will advance U.S. national security and economic security interests in the Arctic to keep the region secure and stable, and to address emerging issues relating to Arctic shipping, communications, and other economic drivers in the Arctic. USARC Commissioners will also oversee a bold research strategy, based on sound science and Indigenous knowledge, that strives to preserve Arctic cultures, foster wise stewardship and use of natural resources, and understand and adapt to climate change.
     Fundamental to every aspect of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Arctic policy is sound science and strong collaboration and cooperation with Indigenous Peoples to ensure that those who are impacted most – and whose ways of life are most threatened by rapidly changing living conditions – have a seat at the table.
     'The United States has a wide variety of critical interests in the Arctic, a region that is undergoing profound change on many levels,' said AESC Executive Director Ambassador David Balton. 'Our new team will work tirelessly to ensure our nation can pursue those interests in a coordinated and far-sighted manner.'
     'The Biden-Harris Administration understands that sound Arctic policy must be shaped by input from Indigenous Peoples and the communities facing the impacts of climate change,' said AESC Deputy Director Raychelle Aluaq Daniel. 'I’m proud to join a team that takes seriously its commitment to inclusive, equitable leadership and will do all I can to help advance policy that preserves the Arctic for generations to come.'
     'Changes in the Arctic, while they appear distant, impact our national security, climate security, and availability of resources essential to our wellbeing,' said National Academy of Sciences President Dr. Marcia McNutt. “I am very pleased that the White House and OSTP are taking these important steps to develop the best science-based policy for the Arctic incorporating Indigenous Knowledge and international cooperation.”

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Congressional Developments


     "Senate Set to Take Up Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill with Tribal Provisions," Hobbs-Straus, General Memorandum 21-005, August 2, 2021, https://www.hobbsstraus.com/general_memo/general-memorandum-21-005/, reported, "After substantial negotiations with the Biden Administration, a bipartisan group of Senators has produced a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure bill titled the 'Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.' The Senate is set to vote on the bill and amendments later this week but it is unclear when the House may consider the measure. The House is currently expected to be in recess until September 20, 2021, but may reconvene to address this legislation. The bill includes a five-year surface transportation reauthorization and would make investments in transportation, drinking water and wastewater, broadband, climate resiliency, environmental remediation, and electrical transmission. It includes tribal provisions. We attach President Biden’s statement on the bill as well as the White House fact sheet.
     Some tribal-specific provisions include:
     A five year reauthorization of the Tribal Transportation Program with stepped increases in funding from the Highway Trust Fund starting at $578.4 million per fiscal year in FY 2022 and reaching $627.9 million per fiscal year in FY 2026;
     A five year reauthorization of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Indian Reservation Drinking Water Program at $50 million per fiscal year;
     A five year reauthorization of grants to Alaska to improve sanitation in rural and Native villages with stepped increases in funding from $40 million per fiscal year in FY 2022 to $60 million per fiscal year in FY 2026;
     An additional $2 billion, to remain available until expended, for grants for the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program;
     The establishment of a $2.5 billion 'Indian Water Rights Settlement Completion Fund' to remain available until expended and to be used by the Secretary of the Interior for approved Indian water settlements;
     $216 million for 'tribal climate resilience, adaptation, and community relocation planning, design, and implementation of projects which address the varying climate challenges facing tribal communities across the country'; and
     $3.5 billion appropriated for Indian Health Facilities to remain available until expended for the provision of domestic and community sanitation facilities for Indians
."
     "July 28, 2021
      Statement by President Joe Biden on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
     I am pleased to join a bipartisan group of United States Senators and announce our deal to make the most significant long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century.
     I want to thank the bipartisan group for working together and the committee chairs for raising their ideas and concerns with me, Vice President Harris, and members of the Cabinet.
     This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function, deliver, and do big things. As we did with the transcontinental railroad and the interstate highway, we will once again transform America and propel us into the future.
     This deal makes key investments to put people to work all across the country—in cities, small towns, rural communities, and across our coastlines and plains.
     It will put Americans to work in good-paying, union jobs repairing our roads and bridges. It will put plumbers and pipefitters to work replacing all of the nation’s lead water pipes so every child and every American can turn on the faucet at home or school and drink clean water—including in low-income communities and communities of color that have been disproportionally affected by dangerous lead pipes.
     Americans will build transmission lines and upgrade our power grid to be more resilient and cleaner. Americans will strengthen our infrastructure, like our levees, in the face of extreme weather like superstorms, wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, and heat waves.
     American workers will make a historic investment to install the first-ever national network electric vehicle charging stations and undertake critical environmental clean-ups.
     This bipartisan deal is the most important investment in public transit in American history and the most important investment in rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago. It will deliver high speed internet to every American.
     And, we’re going to do it without raising taxes by one cent on people making less than $400,000 a year—no gas tax increase and no fee on electric vehicles.
     This agreement will help ensure that America can compete in the global economy just when we are in a race with China and the rest of the world for the 21st Century.
     And, it comes at a critical time. We are emerging from this pandemic with an economy that is back from the brink. We are seeing the fastest job growth on record. We are experiencing the fastest economic growth in nearly four decades.
     Everyone from unions to business leaders and economists left, right, and center believe the public investments in this deal will mean more jobs, higher productivity, and higher growth for our economy over the long term. Experts believe that the majority of the deal’s benefits will flow to working families. Of course, neither side got everything they wanted in this deal. But that’s what it means to compromise and forge consensus—the heart of democracy. As the deal goes to the entire Senate, there is still plenty of work ahead to bring this home. There will be disagreements to resolve and more compromise to forge along the way. But the bottom line is—the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America that will help make our historic economic recovery a historic long-term boom.
     July 28, 2021
      FACT SHEET:
      Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
     Today, the President and the bipartisan group announced agreement on the details of a once-in-a-generation investment in our infrastructure, which will be taken up in the Senate for consideration. In total, the deal includes $550 billion in new federal investment in America’s infrastructure. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will grow the economy, enhance our competitiveness, create good jobs, and make our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just.
     The deal will create good-paying, union jobs. With the President’s Build Back Better Agenda, these investments will add, on average, around 2 million jobs per year over the course of the decade, while accelerating America’s path to full employment and increasing labor force participation. President Biden believes that we must invest in our country and in our people by creating good-paying union jobs, tackling the climate crisis, and growing the economy sustainably and equitably for decades to come. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will deliver progress towards those objectives for working families across the country. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal:
     ● Makes the largest federal investment in public transit ever
     ● Makes the largest federal investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak
     ● Makes the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system
     ● Makes the largest investment in clean drinking water and waste water infrastructure in American history, delivering clean water to millions of families
     ● Ensures every American has access to reliable high-speed internet
     ● Helps us tackle the climate crisis by making the largest investment in clean energy transmission and EV infrastructure in history; electrifying thousands of school and transit buses across the country; and creating a new Grid Development Authority to build a clean, 21st century electric grid
     The President promised to work across the aisle to deliver results for working families. He believes demonstrating that democracies can deliver is a critical challenge for his presidency. Today’s agreement shows that we can come together to position American workers, farmers, and businesses to compete and win in the 21st century.
      Roads, Bridges, and Major Projects
     One in five miles, or 173,000 total miles, of our highways and major roads and 45,000 bridges are in poor condition. Bridges in poor condition pose heightened challenges in rural communities, which often may rely on a single bridge for the passage of emergency service vehicles. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest $110 billion of new funds for roads, bridges, and major projects, and reauthorize the surface transportation program for the next five years building on bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization bills passed out of committee earlier this year. This investment will repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians. The bill includes a total of $40 billion of new funding for bridge repair, replacement, and rehabilitation, which is the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. The bill also includes a total of $17.5 billion for major projects that are too large or complex for traditional funding programs but will deliver significant economic benefits to communities.
      Safety
     America has one of the highest road fatality rates in the industrialized world. The deal invests $11 billion in transportation safety programs, including a new Safe Streets for All program to help states and localities reduce crashes and fatalities in their communities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians. It will more than double funding directed to programs that improve the safety of people and vehicles in our transportation system, including highway safety, truck safety, and pipeline and hazardous materials safety. Public Transit
     America’s transit infrastructure is inadequate – with a multibillion-dollar repair backlog, representing more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems in need of replacement. The deal invests $39 billion of new investment to modernize transit, and improve accessibility for the elderly and people with disabilities, in addition to continuing the existing transit programs for five years as part of surface transportation reauthorization. This is the largest Federal investment in public transit in history, and devotes a larger share of funds from surface transportation reauthorization to transit in the history of the programs. It will repair and upgrade aging infrastructure, modernize bus and rail fleets, make stations accessible to all users, and bring transit service to new communities. It will replace thousands of transit vehicles, including buses, with clean, zero emission vehicles. And, it will benefit communities of color since these households are twice as likely to take public transportation and many of these communities lack sufficient public transit options.
      Passenger and Freight Rail
     Unlike highways and transit, rail lacks a multi-year funding stream to address deferred maintenance, enhance existing corridors, and build new lines in high-potential locations. The deal positions Amtrak and rail to play a central role in our transportation and economic future. This is the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago. The deal invests $66 billion in rail to eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor, and bring world-class rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic. Within these totals, $22 million would be provided as grants to Amtrak, $24 billion as federal-state partnership grants for Northeast Corridor modernization, $12 billion for partnership grants for intercity rail service, including high-speed rail, $5 billion for rail improvement and safety grants, and $3 billion for grade crossing safety improvements.
      EV Infrastructure
     U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle (EV) sales is only one-third the size of the Chinese EV market. The President believes that must change. The bill invests $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers.
     This is the first-ever national investment in EV charging infrastructure in the United States and is a critical element in the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan to accelerate the adoption of EVs to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs. The bill will provide funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop. Federal funding will have a particular focus on rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach communities.
      Electric Buses
     American school buses play a critical role in expanding access to education, but they are also a significant source of pollution. The deal will deliver thousands of electric school buses nationwide, including in rural communities, helping school districts across the country buy clean, American-made, zero emission buses, and replace the yellow school bus fleet for America’s children. The deal invests $2.5 billion in zero emission buses, $2.5 billion in low emission buses, and $2.5 billion for ferries. These investments will drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, creating jobs and supporting domestic manufacturing, while also removing diesel buses from some of our most vulnerable communities. In addition, they will help the more than 25 million children and thousands of bus drivers who breathe polluted air on their rides to and from school. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other health problems that hurt our communities and cause students to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities.
      Reconnecting Communities
     Too often, past transportation investments divided communities – like the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans or I-81 in Syracuse – or it left out the people most in need of affordable transportation options. In particular, significant portions of the interstate highway system were built through Black neighborhoods. The deal creates a first-ever program to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure. The program will fund planning, design, demolition, and reconstruction of street grids, parks, or other infrastructure through $1 billion of dedicated funding.
      Airports, Ports, and Waterways
     The United States built modern aviation, but our airports lag far behind our competitors. According to some rankings, no U.S. airports rank in the top 25 of airports worldwide. Our ports and waterways need repair and reimagination too. The bill invests $17 billion in port infrastructure and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies. Modern, resilient, and sustainable port, airport, and freight infrastructure will support U.S. competitiveness by removing bottlenecks and expediting commerce and reduce the environmental impact on neighboring communities.
      Resilience and Western Water Infrastructure
     Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads wash out, airport power goes down, or schools get flooded. Last year alone, the United States faced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each – a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion. People of color are more likely to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other climate change-related weather events. The deal makes our communities safer and our infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber attacks, with an investment of over $50 billion. This includes funds to protect against droughts and floods, in addition to a major investment in weatherization. The bill is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history.
      Clean Drinking Water
     Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water. The deal’s $55 billion investment represents the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history, including dedicated funding to replace lead service lines and the dangerous chemical PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl). It will replace all of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines. From rural towns to struggling cities, the deal invests in water infrastructure across America, including in Tribal Nations and disadvantaged communities that need it most.
      High-Speed Internet
     Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected. Yet, by one definition, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds – a particular problem in rural communities throughout the country. The deal’s $65 billion investment ensures every American has access to reliable high-speed internet with an historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment, just as the federal government made a historic effort to provide electricity to every American nearly one hundred years ago.
     The bill will also help lower prices for internet service by requiring funding recipients to offer a low-cost affordable plan, by creating price transparency and helping families comparison shop, and by boosting competition in areas where existing providers aren’t providing adequate service. It will also help close the digital divide by passing the Digital Equity Act, ending digital redlining, creating a permanent program to help more low-income households access the internet, and establishing a new program to help low-income households obtain the devices required to access the internet.
      Environmental Remediation
     In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now idle – sources of blight and pollution. 26% of Black Americans and 29% of Hispanic Americans live within 3 miles of a Superfund site, a higher percentage than for Americans overall. Proximity to a Superfund site can lead to elevated levels of lead in children’s blood. The deal invests $21 billion in environmental remediation, making the largest investment in addressing the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods in American history, creating good-paying union jobs in hard-hit energy communities and advancing economic and environmental justice. The bill includes funds to clean up superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned gas wells. Power Infrastructure
     As the recent Texas power outages demonstrated, our aging electric grid needs urgent modernization. A Department of Energy study found that power outages cost the U.S. economy up to $70 billion annually. The deal’s $73 billion investment is the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history. It upgrades our power infrastructure, including by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy. It creates a new Grid Deployment Authority, invests in research and development for advanced transmission and electricity distribution technologies, and promotes smart grid technologies that deliver flexibility and resilience. It invests in demonstration projects and research hubs for next generation technologies like advanced nuclear reactors, carbon capture, and clean hydrogen. Offsets
     In the years ahead, the deal, which will generate significant economic benefits, and it is financed through a combination of redirecting unspent emergency relief funds, targeted corporate user fees, strengthening tax enforcement when it comes to crypto currencies, and other bipartisan measures, in addition to the revenue generated from higher economic growth as a result of the investments."


     The Sierra Club reported in a November 19, 2021 E-mail, "This week President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. The new law includes an unprecedented $11.3 billion in abandoned mine land (AML) funding for communities in coal mining regions like Appalachia that for decades have dealt with dangerous hazards and water polluted by acid mine drainage.
     In the 40-year history of the AML program, only $6 billion has been distributed to states and tribes for mine cleanup. The new $11.3 billion boost expands what's possible for restoring the environment at mine sites abandoned decades ago, creating thousands of jobs in the process." [ Hopefully this will include a good deal of funding to finish cleaning up uranium contamination on Navajo and other Native land].


      Morissa Zuckerman, "Build Back Better Act: Out of the House, On to the Senate," Sierra Club, November 19, 2021, https://www.sierraclub.org/articles/2021/11/build-back-better-act-out-house-senate, reported, " After months of negotiations, the House of Representatives (finally!) passed the Build Back Better Act despite opposition from every single Republican member. Next up: on to the Senate and President Biden’s desk -- more on that below.
     It’s hard to overstate the significance of this bill. If passed and implemented, it will be transformative. It represents the United States’ biggest investment in climate action in history, and our biggest investment in social programs since the New Deal.
     With over 130 different investments in climate and environmental justice on a scale never before seen in Congress and a slew of social policies, Build Back Better will make life better for people who are struggling to make ends meet by investing in childcare, education, healthcare, elder care and more. This bill is a testament to the intersectional social movements that joined together to put forward this vision and fought to make it possible.
     Share our graphics to help spread the word about what's in this transformative bill, and the real-world benefits it will bring to our lives:
      And -- in this time of unprecedented crises of income inequality, racial injustice, climate emergency, and a faltering democracy, the investments that were cut are real losses. How do we celebrate the victories we’ve fought so hard for, while holding the enormity of what is still needed?
      The Current Reality
     As more and more Americans feel the growing impacts of climate change and scientists continue to ring the alarm bell about the need for urgent action, the policies in this bill put the United States on a path to cutting climate pollution in half by 2030, meet our international climate goals, and advance racial, economic, and environmental justice. It will transform the way we power our homes, buildings, and vehicles, reduce electricity costs, protect our communities from flooding, replace lead pipes poisoning our water, and create millions of good-paying jobs.As more and more Americans face economic insecurity without a basic social safety net while wealthy special interests who rig the rules get richer, the Build Back Better Act will invest in childcare, pre-K and higher education, support home care for older Americans and people with disabilities, expand Medicare and Medicaid, and more.
     Here are just a few of the real-world benefits of Build Back Better:
      5 million families will gain access to clean water by replacing toxic lead pipes
     800,000 people who live in public housing will benefit from upgraded living conditions, including lower energy costs and protections from extreme wea
ther
      The Gwich'in people will win protection of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas drilling -- a big victory in their fight to protect their way of life
      More than 60,000 buses' worth of children will breathe cleaner air as we replace diesel school buses with clean electric vehicles
     The average homeowner will find it $7,000 cheaper to install solar on their roof as wind and solar power expand into our communities at more than twice the current speed

      150,000 workers will get family-sustaining manufacturing jobs to produce wind, solar, and other clean energy goods, and
     300,000 workers will get good jobs through a Civilian Climate Corps that helps communities clean up pollution and adapt to climate change

     … and so much more. Check out our full fact sheet on tangible benefits [below and at: https://www.sierraclub.org/sites/www.sierraclub.org/files/Build-Back-Better-Act-factsheet.pdf].
      People Power Made All the Difference
     As we celebrate these victories and confront the reality of the long fight ahead, let’s remember that people power made this possible and people power will be the way we continue to move towards justice.Broad, intersectional movements put forward the initial vision for this bill before many thought these kinds of policies were possible. Movements joined together across differences to help elect President Biden and progressive champions who advocated for this legislation in Congress and fought to keep it as ambitious as possible. Movements will continue organizing through a final vote to get this bill over the finish line. And movements will continue building power to fight for the crucial policies that were cut.
     In the last few months, Sierra Club organizers and volunteers hosted 177 events across the country ranging from press conferences, rallies, lobby meetings, to at-home and virtual action parties. We drove over 30,000 phone calls and 100,000 emails to the White House and our Members of Congress, thousands of social media posts, and called more than 5,000 people in key districts. We have been proud to work alongside a broad coalition of partners who have courageously held hunger strikes and sit-ins, risked arrest, traveled thousands of miles to try to meet with their Senators, and protested on kayaks to highlight the urgency of this moment and the need for transformative action.
     Together, we must continue organizing to ensure that this bill is passed, and then fully implemented at the state level so these investments reach the communities they have been promised to. We must reform our democracy and protect the fundamental right to vote, and ensure that our elected officials are accountable to their constituents. Then, we will continue organizing everyday in our communities and at the ballot box to build a world where all of us, whether white, Black or brown, can thrive.
     Congress Needs to Catch Up, The American People are Ready to Build Back Better
     This bill will shape our economy and society for decades to come, changing the lives of millions of people and generations after us. Passing the Build Back Better Act will move us towards the vision of a more just and livable future, and will open up the door to more transformative policies in the next few years.And yet -- I want to honor and acknowledge that many of us may be feeling the sting of losing key provisions during these last months of negotiations.
      Despite overwhelming support from the public (across party lines) and 96% of the Democratic party, special interests and the politicians that listened to them managed to strip vital programs out of the bill with no regard for the will of the people. Some of our elected officials received huge amounts of campaign money from the fossil fuel industry during these negotiations -- deeply unethical and undemocratic conflicts of interest that must not be allowed to continue.
     Against us are corporations and polluters and the politicians in their pockets -- the greedy few who want nothing more than to squeeze as much profit out of our planet and our communities as possible, for as long as they can. That includes every Congressional Republican, who refused to even engage with their colleagues on the possibility of transformational legislation.
     But on our side are the majority of the people in our country who, no matter our differences, want a lot of the same things. On our side is a movement of movements -- filled with racial justice, union, climate, health equity, and immigrants’ rights allies. On our side are the powerful progressive champions we elected into Congress who held the line again and again to make sure Build Back Better made it through.On our side is hope, and solidarity, and determination.
      The fight is not over.
     Now, all eyes are on the Senate
to bring this transformative bill across the finish line. We’re counting on President Biden to help deliver the majority in the Senate to enact his historic agenda that he has assured the public will be there. We will soon launch the last leg of this fight to notch a victory worthy of the history books.We have always known the fight for a Green New Deal would not be an easy one. We knew it would be more than one bill, and we knew it would require action at every level of government. Today we can feel proud at how far we’ve come and allow these victories to fuel us for the fight ahead.As we fight to secure the wins of this landmark legislation, the challenges we face only highlight the urgent need to reform our democracy so that our elected officials are accountable to us, and so our government reflects the will of the people.
      What's NextFrom here, the bill will head through a series of Congressional procedures in the Senate. This includes the Byrd Bath (a rule requiring that provisions included in budget reconciliation, the process through which Build Back Better will be passed, must relate to the federal budget), an amendment process, followed by a floor debate and a final vote. Once the Build Back Better Act has passed the Senate, it will be sent back to the House for a final vote to pass the updated version of the bill with the Senate’s changes. Finally, it will head to President Biden's desk for his signature.
     The timeline on all this is -- clearly -- subject to change. But Congressional leadership has said they’re hoping to have it signed and sealed in the next few weeks.Bookmark this page, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and keep an eye out for our press releases to stay in the loop as things evolve.
     Here’s what you can do to help get the Build Back Better Act over the finish line:Call your Senators and ask them to pass Build Back Better. Text 'SENATORS' to the number 69866 to be connected.
      Share our graphics on social media
      Email your Member of Congress
     Share this blog with two friends!
     Read on to learn more about what’s in this historic bill, and the impact it will have on our climate and our communities:
      SWEEPING PACKAGE OF CLEAN ENERGY AND CLEAN TRANSPORTATION TAX INCENTIVES that are a game changer for the clean economy in the United States, and a game changer for climate action at home and abroad. The investment in the 10-year, $300 billion tax incentive package will dramatically expand access to clean electricity like solar, electric vehicles, efficiency and electrification improvements for homes and workplaces, and clean manufacturing, forming the backbone of the Build Back Better Act’s climate action and accounting for a major reduction in carbon emissions nearing our national goals. Turbocharging investments in clean electricity and energy efficiency are key to saving the average household $500 annually in lower energy costs.
      BOLD INVESTMENTS IN CLEAN ENERGY MANUFACTURING that would slash industrial pollution, create good manufacturing jobs, and bolster the supply chains we need for a swift transition to 100% clean energy.
      ADDITIONAL MAJOR CLIMATE ACTION INVESTMENTS INCLUDE: transportation investments that would expand access to union-built electric vehicles, clean public transit and passenger rail; retrofits of homes and schools to cut pollution and energy costs; a methane emissions reduction program; natural climate solutions that provide protection for communities from heat waves and storms while growing carbon sinks; new investments to slash industrial pollution and boost manufacturing of clean energy goods; and a Civilian Climate Corps that would help communities clean up pollution and adapt to the climate crisis.
      ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE INVESTMENTS including environmental and climate justice grants, nationwide lead service line replacement, electrification of diesel school buses, funding for cleaning up dirty ports and heavy-duty trucks, community investments to close the nature equity gap, funding for pollution monitoring and cleanup, robust support for equitable and sustainable community development, and increased investments for community engagement under the National Environmental Policy Act.
      PROTECTS THE COASTAL PLAIN OF THE ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE from oil and gas drilling and safeguards the way of life of the Gwich’in people by repealing the 2017 drilling language included in the 2017 Tax Act.
      FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES ABROAD AND AT HOME: Based on estimates from the President’s budget, the Act’s repeal of international fossil fuel subsidies included in the package would represent a potential $86.2 billion in revenue over the next decade. Still, the failure to repeal domestic fossil fuel subsidies is a shortcoming that can and must be addressed by Congress.
      INVESTMENT IN CHILDREN AND CAREGIVING that would reduce racial inequities in access to opportunity in early childhood within participating states. It guarantees access to voluntary, free preschool programs for all 3- and 4-year-olds in these states, and expands the Child Tax Credit for 2022, which is expected to lift 4 million children above the poverty line. It will help eliminate long standing waitlists for services critical to aging adults, veterans and people with disabilities.
      EXPANDING AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE (and more at: https://www.healthcareforamericanow.org/build-back-better-framework-expands-health-care-access-and-affordability-while-requiring-wealthiest-to-pay-more-fair-taxes/) to reduce premiums for more than 9 million Americans by extending the expanded Premium Tax Credit, deliver health care coverage to up to 4 million uninsured people in states that have locked them out of Medicaid, and help older Americans access affordable hearing care by expanding Medicare.
      STRENGTHENING THE MIDDLE CLASS by making the “most significant single investment in quality, stable, affordable homes for the country’s lowest-income people in history,” taking another step in addressing college affordability and investing in HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions, cutting taxes for 17 million low-wage workers by extending the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, and advancing equity through investments in maternal health, community violence interventions, and nutrition, in addition to better preparing the nation for future pandemics and supply chain disruptions. ...and more."
     " Real-World Benefits of the Build Back Better Act’s Historic Climate Investments
      The Build Back Better Act includes more than 130 programs that would invest nearly $600 billion in climate action, clean energy jobs, and environmental justice. Collectively, these unprecedented investments would put us firmly on the path to achieve President Biden’s goal of cutting climate pollution in half by 2030 while creating hundreds of thousands of family-sustaining jobs and advancing racial, economic, and environmental justice.
     What tangible benefits would families and communities see from these investments? To name just a few examples, the Build Back Better Act would:
     Clean Transportation

     • Make public buses and metro lines cleaner, more frequent, and more accessible for affordable housing residents 1
     Convert more than 60,000 diesel school buses to clean electric buses so schoolchildren can breathe clean air 2
     Cut the price of an electric vehicle by $12,500 for working and middle class families while supporting electric vehicle manufacturing at unionized U.S. factories 3
     Help build a half million electric vehicle charging stations in communities nationwide 4
     Convert 70% of U.S. Postal Service mail trucks to clean electric vehicles to reduce air and climate pollution in your neighborhood 5
     Build new high-speed rail lines like the one that will allow people to go from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes by train instead of driving in traffic for four hours 6
     Cut the price of an electric bike by up to $900 for working and middle class families while boosting the benefits that employers offer for biking to work 7
     Help cut toxic air pollution at ports from trucks, ships, and machinery 8
     Help reconnect neighborhoods — primarily in Black and Latinx communities — that have been divided for decades by highways that reinforce systemic racism and spur pollution 9
      Clean Water
     • Help replace over 5 million lead service lines — about half of the national total — to deliver clean water to communities nationwide 10
     • Reduce toxic runoff from old stormwater systems during heavy downpours 11
     Clean Electricity

     • Help the average family save about $500 each year in utility bills 12
     More than double the speed of wind and solar power expansion, bringing renewable energy to millions of additional homes each year13 Make it $7,000 cheaper on average to install solar panels on your rooftop14
     Boost access to renewable energy in low-income and Indigenous communities by covering 40-50% of the cost of solar and wind projects 15
     Offer churches, hospitals, schools, local governments, and other nonprofits the opportunity to install wind and solar power for 30% less than the normal cost 16
     Make the electric grid more reliable so that communities don’t experience disastrous grid failures like the one that killed over 100 people in Texas last February when a cold snap knocked out power for over 4 million homes 17
      Community Resilience
     • Support community-led efforts to clean up toxic pollution, adapt to climate change, and achieve healthier living standards in neighborhoods that have endured environmental injustice 18
     Create new jobs, support workers, and clean up pollution in communities that have been depen- dent on fossil fuels and communities where factories have closed 19
     Boost water supplies for communities experiencing increasing droughts 20
     Create more than 300,000 good jobs in a new Civilian Climate Corps that helps communities clean up pollution and adapt to climate change 21 Lands Protection
     • Protect the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas drilling, in support of the Gwich’in people’s fight to protect their way of life 22
     Protect forests for people to enjoy, for ecosystems to thrive, and for a more livable climate23
     Cultivate urban green spaces to protect children and communities from extreme temperatures 24
     Protect wetlands that shield coastal communities from hurricanes and storms 25 Protect coastal communities from oil spills and toxic pollution by banning new offshore oil and gas drilling in the
     Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico 26 Healthy Buildings
     • Enable working and middle class families to save up to $8,000 while weatherizing their homes to reduce utility bills and pollution 27
     Make it up to $10,000 cheaper to convert your home from fossil fuel-based to electricity-based heating and cooling to slash air and climate pollution 28
     Upgrade living conditions for more than 800,000 people who live in public housing, including cutting energy costs and offering protections from storms, flooding, and other extreme weather 29
     Remove lead-based paint and other health and environmental hazards from about a half million low-income homes 30
      Clean Manufacturing
     • Create more than 150,000 family-sustaining jobs by helping to establish and retool factories to manufacture electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and other clean energy goods 31
     • Reduce air and climate pollution from factories that produce steel, cement, and other energy- intensive construction materials 32
      Regenerative Agriculture
     • Enable more than 60,000 farmers to switch to renewable energy and machinery that uses less energy 33
     • Support the efforts of more than 200,000 farmers to protect healthy soil so as to increase harvests, reduce the impacts of droughts, and trap more climate pollution 34
     Sierra Club National 2101 Webster Street, Suite 1300 Oakland, CA 94612 (415) 977-5500 Sierra Club Legislative 50 F Street, NW, Eighth Floor Washington, DC 20001 (202) 547-1141 sierraclub.org facebook.com/SierraClub twitter.com/SierraClub
      Endnotes 1 Section 110001 of the Build Back Better Act 2 Jobs to Move America estimates that it would cost $29.7 billion to fully electrify 250,000 school buses, or about $119,000 per bus. The Build Back Better Act includes $5 billion for electrification of school buses and other heavy-duty vehicles (Section 30101) while the bipartisan infrastructure bill includes an additional $2.5 billion (another $2.5 billion in the bipartisan bill is not counted, as it is also available for fossil fuel buses). The combined $7.5 billion will support the electrification of over 63,000 buses, using the Jobs to Move America cost estimate. That is about 13% of the nation’s estimated 500,000 school buses. 3 Section 136401 of the Build Back Better Act 4 The White House estimates that a $15 billion investment could build about 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations. The
Build Back Better Act includes $7.283 billion for electric vehicle charging stations (Sections 30431 and 136405) and the bipartisan infrastructure bill includes an additional $7.5 billion. The combined $14.783 billion nearly meets the White House’s estimate of the investment needed for a half million charging stations. 5 The Build Back Better Act includes $6 billion to electrify U.S. Postal Service (USPS) vehicles (Section 80003). USPS estimates this investment will be sufficient to electrify 70% of its mail delivery vehicles. 6 Section 110006 of the Build Back Better Act. See here for more information on the Houston to Dallas high-speed rail line. 7 Sections 136406 and 136407 of the Build Back Better Act 8 Section 30102 of the Build Back Better Act 9 Section 110003 of the Build Back Better Act 10 TheEnvironmentalProtectionAgency(EPA)estimatesitcosts $4,700 on average to replace a lead service line. The Build Back Better Act includes $9.97 billion for lead service line replacement (Sections 30301 and 12002) and the bipartisan infrastructure deal includes an additional $15 billion. The combined $24.97 billion would replace more than 5.3 million lead service lines, using EPA’s average cost estimate. EPA estimates there are 6-10 million lead service lines nationwide, while the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates there are 10-13 million. Using 10 million as a mid-range estimate, the two bills would replace about half of all lead service lines nationwide. 11 Section 110015 of the Build Back Better Act 12 TheRhodiumGroupestimatesthatthecleanenergytaxcredits, energy efficiency investments, and other initiatives in the Build Back Better Act, combined with additional new policies, would save the average household about $500 in annual energy costs by 2030. 13 The Rhodium Group estimates that the wind and solar tax credits in the Build Back Better Act could support an average of 65 gigawatts of wind and solar power deployment per year for 10 years, which is more than double the record of 30 gigawatts deployed in 2020. 14 The Build Back Better Act offers a 30% refundable tax credit to homeowners for the installation of rooftop solar and other clean electricity equipment (Section 136302). The median cost of a residential solar photovoltaic system is currently nearly $25,000. This tax credit would reduce that cost by more than $7,400. 15 Section136803oftheBuildBackBetterAct 16 Section136104oftheBuildBackBetterAct 17 Sections30451,30452,30454,and136105oftheBuildBackBetter Act. See here and here for more information on the Texas power failure. 18 Section30202oftheBuildBackBetterAct 19 Sections30444and110009oftheBuildBackBetterAct 20 Sections 70801, 70802, 70803, and 70804 of the Build Back Better Act 21 The White House estimates that the Build Back Better Act’s $30 billion for the Civilian Climate Corps (Sections 26001, 26002, and 70703, among others) will create about 300,000 good jobs. 22 Section 71201 of the Build Back Better Act
23 Section 11003 (among others) of the Build Back Better Act 24 Section 70706 of the Build Back Better Act
25 Section 70201 of the Build Back Better Act
26 Section 71301 of the Build Back Better Act
27 Section 30411 of the Build Back Better Act
28 Section 30412 of the Build Back Better Act29 The Build Back Better Act includes $65 billion for public housing improvements (Section 40001), including upgrades to boost energy and water efficiency and climate resilience. A report by the McHarg Center and Data for Progress estimates that upgrading the nation’s entire public housing stock would cost between $119 billion and $172 billion. Using the mid-range estimate of $146 billion, the Build Back Better Act will upgrade about 45% of the nation’s public housing units. With 1.8 million people living in public housing nationwide, that investment suggests benefits for more than 800,000 public housing residents. 30 The Build Back Better Act includes $5 billion to remove lead paint and other health and safety hazards in low-income homes (Section 40102). Based on EPA figures, the average cost for removing lead paint from a home is estimated at $10,000. Using this estimate, the Build Back Better Act could remove lead paint in about 500,000 low-income homes. 31 The Build Back Better Act includes more than $16 billion in tax credits, grants, and loans for firms to manufacture electric vehicles, solar and wind components, battery storage, and other clean energy goods (Sections 136504, 136501, 30442, and 30443). Recent economic modeling from the University of Massachusetts Amherst finds that every $1 million in public spending on electric vehicle manufacturing creates 8.7 jobs while every $1 million in public spending on wind and solar manufacturing creates 10 jobs. Using these ratios, the Build Back Better Act’s more than $16 billion in clean manufacturing investments are expected to create more than 150,000 job-years. 32 Sections 136502, 30471, and 80008 (among others) of the Build Back Better Act 33 The Build Back Better Act includes $2.02545 billion for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which offers grants and loans to farmers and rural small businesses for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects (Section 12005). In fiscal year 2020, 1,586 farmers and rural small businesses received over $51 million in grants under REAP, yielding an average grant size of over $32,000. Using the same average, the Build Back Better Act’s more than $2 billion for REAP would yield more than 62,000 grants and loans. 34 The Build Back Better Act includes $22.3 billion for agricultural conservation investments, including funding for four programs to back farmers’ efforts to support healthy, carbon-trapping soil (Section 15002). The White House estimates that such investments in the bill “'could reach roughly 130 million cropland acres per year, representing as many as 240,000 farms.'”


     Portia K. Skenandore-Wheelock, Congressional Advocate
Native American Advocacy Program, "Native American Legislative Update," Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), October 2021, https://fcnl.actionkit.com/mailings/view/19837?t=1&akid=19837%2E30420%2E2zbuYX, reported, Welcome to FCNL's Native American Legislative Update! NALU is a monthly newsletter about FCNL's Native American policy advocacy and ways for you to engage members of Congress.


      Bill Advances to Protect Native American Cultural Heritage
     On Oct. 13, the House Committee on Natural Resources advanced the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony (STOP) Act of 2021 (H.R. 2930) by unanimous consent. This bipartisan bill would prohibit the export of Native American cultural items that were illegally obtained, provide for the return of items, and double criminal penalties for individuals convicted of selling or purchasing human remains or illegally obtained cultural items.
     'Throughout history, Native American cultural items such as human remains, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony have been looted and sold to collectors in our country and abroad,' said Rep. Leger Fernández (NM-3) during an earlier hearing on the bill. 'The STOP Act gives Tribes, Pueblos, and Nations a tool to close the door on the illegal exportation of cultural objects.'
     Brian D. Vallo, governor of the Pueblo of Acoma, also testified on how the STOP Act can close gaps in current federal law that traffickers take advantage of to sell and export cultural items. 'Whatever intrinsic beauty these items possess and whatever monetary value they may generate for traffickers, that is not their intended purpose,' he said. 'These items are essential to our way of life. We have prioritized protecting our tangible cultural heritage because we believe that, without their presence, we cannot continue our way of life.'
      Similar legislation (S. 1471) has been approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and is awaiting action by the full Senate.
      Senate Confirms Muscogee Nation Citizen as Federal District Judge
     On Oct. 5, the Senate voted 55-44 to confirm Lauren J. King to a lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, a state with 29 federally recognized tribes. King is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation based in Oklahoma.
     She taught federal Indian law at the Seattle University School of Law, served as a pro tem appellate judge for the Northwest Intertribal Court System, and was partner at a Seattle law firm. King is the first Native American to serve as a federal district judge in the state of Washington, and the fourth Native American judge actively serving on the entire federal bench.
      Bill Tracker
      Remove the Stain Act (H.R. 2226):
     On Sept. 23 , the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4350) which included the Remove the Stain Act as an amendment. This bill would rescind each Medal of Honor awarded to U.S. Cavalry members who participated in the 1890 massacre of hundreds of Lakota people at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The Senate is expected to pass its version of the NDAA next month (S. 2792).
      Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021:
     On Oct. 5, t he Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the renewal and strengthening of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and heard testimony from Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. The House passed their VAWA reauthorization bill (H.R. 1620) in March; the Senate has yet to introduce a bill."


     Portia K. Skenandore-Wheelock, Congressional Advocate
Native American Advocacy Program, "Native American Legislative Update," Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), August 2021, https://fcnl.actionkit.com/mailings/view/18911?t=1&akid=18911%2E30420%2EBWme8V, reported, " Joint Commission to Address Violent Crime Takes Shape
      The Interior and Justice Departments are consulting with tribal leaders and soliciting nominations for a joint commission to address violent crime. As required by the Not Invisible Act, the commission should at least 28 federal and non-federal members.Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said, “The membership of the Commission must represent a diverse range of expertise, experience and perspectives, and we will consult with Tribal leaders who know best what their communities need to make them safer.”
     The Commission will hold hearings, take testimony, and receive evidence to develop recommendations for the federal government to combat violent crime against tribal citizens and within tribal lands.Lawmakers Call for Trauma-Informed Resources as Interior’s Initiative Starts
      Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-03), and 19 other members of Congress signed a letter (https://www.warren.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2021.08.12%20Letter%20to%20IHS%20re%20protections%20for%20boarding%20school%20survivors%20and%20communities%20(1).pdf) to the Indian Health Service (IHS) as the government begins to investigate Indian boarding schools (https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-health-education-e4f2ebe6a635e02c904362fc75914e89). The letter, supported by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and the National Indian Health Board, reads:
      'We urge IHS to consider potential protections for those experiencing trauma from the Indian Boarding School Policies and the revelations that will continue to emerge during the course of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. This revisiting and exploration of the boarding school era could be traumatic for survivors, their families, and their communities.'
     Trauma-informed care that is culturally appropriate may include a hotline for survivors and other mental and spiritual programs.
      Bill Tracker
      S. 989 Native American Language Resource Center Act:
     On Aug. 4, this bill to establish, operate, and staff a Native American language resource and training center was approved by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and moves to the full Senate for further consideration.
      S. 1402 Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act:
     On Aug. 4, this bill t o direct the president to review whether federal agencies are complying with requirements to promote the use of Native American languages was also approved by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and moves to the full Senate for further consideration.
      H.R. 5008 Frank Harrison, Elizabeth Peratrovich, and Miguel Trujillo Native American Voting Rights Act of 2021 (NAVRA):
     On Aug. 13, this bipartisan bill to protect the right to vote and ensure equal access to the electoral process for Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and voters living on tribal lands was introduced by Reps. Davids (KS-03) and Tom Cole (OK-04) in the House and referred to committee. The Senate companion bill, S. 2702, introduced by Sen. Lujan (NM), was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary."


      "S. 2541, a bill 'To authorize the reclassification of the tactical enforcement officers (commonly known as the 'Shadow Wolves') in the Homeland Security Investigations tactical patrol unit operating on the lands of the Tohono O'odham Nation as special agents' would reclassify this unit of Tohono O'odham Nation members acting as a border patrol as special agents and expand the unit: (3) expanding comparable units referred to in section 2(3) to appropriate areas near the international border between the United States and Canada or the international border between the United States and Mexico, with the approval and consent of the appropriate Indian tribe; and (4) determining the best process for expanding the reach of the Shadow Wolves Program to include historically and culturally significant areas for Tribal communities that are not located on Tribal lands." " Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Ordered to be reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute favorably. ( All Actions: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/2541/all-actions?overview=closed#tabs) (congress.gov, visited December 9, 2021, https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/2541/text).


     "Warren, Davids, Cole Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Seek Healing for Stolen Native Children and Their Communities," Elizabeth Warren, September 30, 2021, https://www.warren.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/warren-davids-cole-reintroduce-bipartisan-bill-to-seek-healing-for-stolen-native-children-and-their-communities, stated, "Today, on the National Day of Remembrance for U.S. Indian Boarding Schools, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, Congresswoman Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-Okla.), reintroduced The Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act , legislation that seeks healing for stolen Native children and their communities. Originally introduced last year with then-Congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), this bill would establish a formal commission to investigate, document, and acknowledge past injustices of the federal government's Indian Boarding School Policies. This includes attempts to terminate Native cultures, religions, and languages; assimilation practices; and human rights violations. The commission would also develop recommendations for Congress to aid in healing of the historical and intergenerational trauma passed down in Native families and communities and provide a forum for victims to speak about personal experiences tied to these human rights violations." The bill text is at: https://www.warren.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Truth%20and%20Healing%20Commission_9.30.21_FINAL.pdf.


      H.R.5008 - Frank Harrison, Elizabeth Peratrovich, and Miguel Trujillo Native American Voting Rights Act of 2021117th Congress (2021-2022) was introduced in the House, August 13, 2021, by Representatives Sharice Davids and Tom Cole and referred to the House Administration and Judiciary Committees (https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5008/text?r=1&s=1).
     Nancy Marie Spears, "Oklahoma looks at new Native voting rights bill: The right to vote is 'a constitutional right for everybody,'" ICT, September 15, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/oklahoma-looks-at-new-native-voting-rights-bill, said of the bill (a summary of which was not yet posted on the Congressional website as of December 15, though the whole bill is), the " bill addresses voting problems on reservations and tribal service areas. Another obstacle to Indigenous voters is that some states, such as Montana, require a physical address to register to vote. Many tribal citizens who live on tribal land have a PO box.
     Other states prohibit hand-delivering other people’s ballots. Indigenous residents of reservations often share cars, sometimes needing family members or friends to deliver the ballots for them or their families.
     This would allow states like Oklahoma to have funds necessary to implement polling places near tribal land or service areas, and tribes would now have a say in where to put them. Tribes will also be notified directly of the number of voting locations in their communities, Bailey said."


     Brooke Newman, "Tribal leaders bring litany of needs to hearing: 'Investment in education, healthcare, and the wellbeing of those in Indian country are long overdue,'" ICT, June 22, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/tribal-leaders-bring-litany-of-needs-to-hearing, reported that a the House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on June 17, 2021 (https://naturalresources.house.gov/imo/media/doc/SCIP%20Hrg%2006.17.21%20-%20Testimony%20-%20Mr.%20Grinnel%20(IHS).pdf), leaders of numerous tribes and federal agency officials spoke of the tremendous needs of most Indian nations.
     For example, Hopi Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma stated on the federal governments promises to fix the tribe’s only detention center. “Nearly four years later, there is no broken ground, only broken promises.”
     "Jason Freihage, a deputy assistant Interior secretary, testified that tribal schools alone face a $823.3 million maintenance backlog. But Freihage said that of [86 schools in poor status, 73 do not currently have funding for major replacement or repair projects.'
     He went on to outline hundreds of millions in road, water, public safety, broadband and economic development projects that are needed to 'improve infrastructure in Indian Country.”
     Randy Grinnell, deputy director for management operations for the Indian Health Service. quoted a 2016 report finding that tribes required a total of $14.5 billion in health facility projects – an update of that report this year could show the need is now at an estimated $22 billion.
      Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. conveyed that his nation's hospital in Sells is more than 50 years old, has limited bed space and is only able to provide basic services, while it needs $225 million in repairs and has been on an IHS “funding priority list for over 20 years.” He reported that IHS has begun funding the project, but it cannot be completed until at least 2024. He noted that the Bureau of Indian has been slow in meeting the nation's Santa Rosa Day school long-standing problems, saying “The BIE reports planning for the Santa Rosa Project is now complete and will begin this year with estimated completion in June 2023. While we appreciate that there has been progress made, the fact that our children attended school for years in an unsafe and unhealthy facility is unacceptable.”
     Similar testimony was made by other Indian leaders, including representatives of the Muscogee, Winnebago and Couer d’Alene tribes – who shared similar stories.


     "Chair Grijalva, 10 Other Members Send Letter to President Biden, DOJ Requesting Clemency for Indigenous Activist Leonard Peltier," Natural Resources Committee, October 8, 2021, https://naturalresources.house.gov/media/press-releases/chair-grijalva-10-other-members-send-letter-to-president-biden-doj-requesting-clemency-for-indigenous-activist-leonard-peltier, stated, " Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today sent a letter with 10 other House lawmakers to President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting the expedited release of and clemency for renowned American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier. The letter is available at https://bit.ly/3DsQ5KD.
     Mr. Peltier, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, was arrested in connection with the murders of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents in 1977 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Following a trial that was riddled with evidentiary and procedural concerns, Mr. Peltier was sentenced to two life sentences.
     As the authors of today’s letter note, Mr. Peltier’s trial included issues such as 'a critical alleged eyewitness later retracting her testimony and admitting that the FBI had threatened her” and revelations following a Freedom of Information Act ruling in 1980 that “the prosecution had withheld documented evidence that might have assisted Mr. Peltier’s case.'
     Despite these civil rights violations, Mr. Peltier was never granted a fair retrial. Currently housed at Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Florida, he has served more than 43 years in federal prison. Today, at 77 years old, he suffers from severe health conditions such as diabetes and an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
     As an Indigenous rights activist, Mr. Peltier worked to draw attention to systemic issues facing American Indian and Alaska Native communities during the 1970s, including federal treaty rights violations, discrimination, and police brutality.
     Individuals and groups who have called for Mr. Peltier’s release include Amnesty International, the National Congress of American Indians, the late Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Parliament, the Belgian Parliament, the Italian Parliament, the Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rigoberta Menchú, seven other Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Rage Against the Machine, Pete Seeger, Carlos Santana, Harry Belafonte, Gloria Steinem, and Robert Redford.
     A recent petition calling for his release gathered more than 275,000 signatures. Even former U.S. Attorney James H. Reynolds, who oversaw Mr. Peltier’s original conviction, has written to President Biden requesting clemency for Mr. Peltier. Last year, Chair Grijalva co-led a similar clemency request letter with then-Representative Deb Haaland, now Secretary of the Interior.The full list of signatories includes:Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)Rep. Jesús G. "Chuy" García (D-IL)Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO)Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO)Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA)Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM)Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM)Press ContactDavid Shen(202) 225-6065 or (202) 860-6494 mobile"


     "WWF accused of deceit, cover-ups and dishonesty in US Congressional Committee hearing," Survival International, October 27, 2021, https://www.survivalinternational.org/news/12683, reported, "- Committee chair 'frustrated, exasperated, incredulous at WWF’s failure to take responsibility' for human rights abuses

     - Independent expert underlines 'continued impacts of colonialism in conservation'


     - He accuses WWF of 'shocking deception' and warns 'WWF won’t change their behavior unless forced to do so'

     An
unprecedented hearing by the US House Natural Resources Committee has seen WWF’s reputation shredded by Representatives from both parties, and independent experts, and a denunciation of the “fortress conservation” model that leads to human rights atrocities.
     The organization was subjected to unprecedented attack for its involvement in human rights abuses, and refusal to take responsibility for them
.
     Survival International’s Fiore Longo called it 'the conservation industry’s equivalent of the Abu Ghraib scandal – a moment from which it will never recover.'
      The hearing was prompted by exposés by Buzzfeed News and many other investigations, including testimonies from Indigenous people collected by Survival International over many years, that laid bare WWF’s involvement in human rights abuses, particularly in Africa and Asia.
      Dozens of Indigenous and local people have been raped, murdered and tortured by rangers funded by WWF , which has known about the abuses for decades but done little to address them. The abuse stems directly from a conservation model that sees the removal of Indigenous and local communities when their land is seized to create conservation areas. Other organizations have also been implicated in similar abuses, including the Wildlife Conservation Society and African Parks .
      Professor John Knox, who led a WWF-commissioned review into human rights violations in WWFprojects, told the hearing: 'I’ve been very disappointed by the failure of WWF to make a break with their past… WWF’s leadership is still in a state of denial about its own role in fortress conservation and human rights abuses.'
     He called on the organization to apologize [for its involvement in past human rights abuses] and take responsibility [for its failures], and castigated WWF for misleading the committee: “WWF’s statement to this sub-committee takes quotations from the panel’s report out of context, and thereby gives a false impression of the panel’s findings. It is frankly shocking…
     'These allegations have also highlighted the continued impacts of colonialism in conservation: The old way of doing conservation, Westerners coming into a country, setting up a national park with strict borders and ridding the area of its inhabitants, is still causing conflict today.'
     Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D) said: 'I’m absolutely shocked by the human rights violations and treatment of local and Indigenous communities that have been reported today… It’s devastating to hear' that US funds have contributed to 'truly heinous atrocities.'
     Committee Chair Rep. Jared Huffman (D) condemned Ginette Hemley, WWF’s Senior Vice-President of Wildlife Conservation, who represented the organization at the hearing after its President and CEO in the US, Carter Roberts, declined to testify. Huffman also criticized WWF’s failure to take responsibility for the abuses they funded: '… International conservation funding is potentially being put at risk because so many people are frustrated and exasperated and incredulous about WWF’s failure to take responsibility. You wouldn’t answer a simple Yes/ No question about whether you bear any responsibility, much less provide [an] apology…'
     He said: 'From the beginning, WWF has focused on elaborate excuses to distance themselves from the allegations'… and behaved 'as if the problem is just bad PR for WWF.'
     Rep. Cliff Bentz (R) also lambasted the organization: 'WWF has been irresponsible – their testimony is embarrassing. They need to step up and admit that they are at fault… The word colonialism comes to mind.'
     The head of Survival’s Decolonize Conservation campaign, Fiore Longo, said today: 'This was the conservation industry’s equivalent of the Abu Ghraib scandal, a total demolition of what little remained of WWF’s reputation. Again and again their hard-wired instinct to cover up, avoid blame, and pretend they’re changing while carrying on with business as usual, was exposed for all to see.'
     Survival’s Director Caroline Pearce said today: 'As John Knox said, WWF is not unique in how it behaves: this kind of abuse is deeply embedded in the traditional conservation model, which is directly in conflict with human rights and particularly Indigenous rights. For decades it has been not just ignored but supported by huge, establishment conservation organizations, who pull in massive governmental and corporate funding while turning a blind eye to atrocities against Indigenous and other local communities. Their theft of vast areas of Indigenous lands in the name of nature conservation is, as Rep Bentz said, a modern colonialism that is finally and ruthlessly being exposed.
     'This must be a wake-up call, not just to WWF’s celebrity supporters like Leonardo DiCaprio and Prince William, but also to philanthropic and corporate backers throwing money at fortress conservation supposedly to “protect” 30% of the earth: these organizations and their conservation model are toxic. With COP26 about to start, a true path to securing environmental sustainability and biodiversity requires a rights-based approach – and, in particular, Indigenous land rights being recognized – and does not go through conservation NGOs for whom abuse is a feature, not a bug
.'”

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Federal Agency Developments


     "Office of Management and Budget to Hold Tribal Consultation on the FY 2022 Budget Request," Hobbs-Straus General Memorandum 21-004, July 2, 2021, https://www.hobbsstraus.com/general_memo/general-memorandum-21-004/, reported, "The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is inviting Tribal leaders to a consultation on July 15, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET on the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget. The registration link is here. OMB is also accepting written comments submitted to tribalconsultation@omb.eop.gov by no later than July 23, 2021.
     The attached invitation explains that while feedback on the FY 2022 Budget will help to guide the formulation of the President’s FY 2023 Budget, OMB also 'intends to hold a separate Tribal consultation later this year specifically to inform the FY 2023 Budget formulation process.' OMB states that Tribal leaders and their designees are invited to provide comments and recommendations on the following:
     The FY 2022 President’s Budget proposals to reclassify Contract Supports Costs, Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act Section 105(l) Leases costs, and enacted Indian Water Rights Settlements payments as mandatory beginning in FY 2023.
     Other feedback on the FY 2022 President’s Budget for programs and activities serving and benefitting Tribal governments, organizations, and communities.
     Ensuring adequate and stable funding by considering options for a potential mandatory funding proposal for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service in future President’s Budgets. OMB will conduct another consultation on the President’s FY 2023 Budget, which will include this topic, in 2021, but this July session can start the process of seeking Tribal Leaders’ views on some of the major questions around developing such a proposal.
     How OMB can improve Tribal funding transparency, such as through changes to OMB’s annual Native American Funding Crosscut.
     Please let us know if we may provide additional information about OMB’s Tribal consultation on the President’s FY 2022 Budget Request or if we may provide assistance preparing talking points or written comments."


     "Office of Management and Budget to Hold Tribal Consultation on the FY 2023 Budget Request," Hobbs-Straus General Memorandum 21-006, September 9, 2021, https://www.hobbsstraus.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/GM_21-006_OMB_to_Hold_Tribal_Consultation_on_the_FY_2023_Budget_Request.pdf, reported, "The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is inviting Tribal leaders to a consultation on Thursday, September 23, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET on the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Budget. The registration link is here. OMB is also accepting written comments submitted to tribalconsultation@omb.eop.gov by no later than October 4, 2021.
      OMB states that Tribal leaders and their designees are invited to provide comments and recommendations on the following: Specific feedback on the highest priority programs and activities recommended for investment in the FY 2023 budget, including associated funding levels. OMB says that Tribal leaders’ feedback on the treatment of these programs and activities in the FY 2023 President’s Budget in the context of those included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure bill, see our GM 21-005 of August 2, 2021) and the Budget Reconciliation process will be particularly helpful.
      Specific technical assistance needs to support the effective use of existing resources, such as through the American Rescue Plan Act (COVID-19 relief), as well as future resources, such as those included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Budget Reconciliation process.
     Op tions for a potential mandatory funding proposal for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service (IHS), including input on the analytical considerations in setting the level for mandatory funding and how this funding should grow in subsequent years.
      Barriers to improvement of water infrastructure for IHS and other tribal and Federal facilities."


     "Interior Department to hold tribal consultations on the Federal Boarding School Initiative: Tribal governments, Alaska Native Corporations, and Native Hawaiian organizations invited to provide feedback on key issues for inclusion in Department report," News Release, U.S. Department of the Interior, September 30 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/the-press-pool/nterior-department-to-hold-tribal-consultations-on-the-federal-boarding-school-initiative, stated, " The Department of the Interior today announced it would begin Tribal consultations as the next step of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies.
     In June, Secretary Deb Haaland announced (https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/secretary-haaland-announces-federal-indian-boarding-school-initiative) the Federal Boarding School Initiative directing the Department, under the supervision of Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland, to prepare a report detailing available historical records, with an emphasis on cemeteries or potential burial sites, relating to the federal boarding school program in preparation for future action.
     In letters to Tribal leaders today, Interior invited Tribal governments, Alaska Native Corporations, and Native Hawaiian organizations to provide feedback on key issues for inclusion in the Department’s report and help lay the foundation for future site work to protect potential burial sites and other sensitive information.
     'I launched the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative to begin the long healing process that our country must address in order to build a future we can all be proud to embrace. As we move forward, working with Tribal Nations is critical to addressing this legacy with transparency and accountability,' said Secretary Deb Haaland.
     'Tribal consultations are at the core of this long and painful process to address the inter-generational trauma of Indian boarding schools and to shed light on the truth in a way that honors those we have lost and those that continue to suffer trauma.'
     'Engaging Tribes is a necessary step as we work to shed light on what happened at federal boarding schools and chart our path forward,' said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. 'These conversations will not be easy, but they are critical as we truly investigate the legacy that these institutions left behind.'
     To facilitate discussion during the consultations, participants are requested to address the following topics:Appropriate protocols on handling sensitive information in existing records;
     Ways to address cultural concerns and handling of information generated from existing records or from potential sitework activities;
     Potential repatriation of human remains, including cultural concerns and compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act;
     Future policy and procedure implementation to protect burial sites, locations, confidential information, and culturally sensitive information;
     Management of sites of former boarding schools;
     Privacy issues or cultural concerns to be identified as part of the Initiative; andOther issues the Department should address in its review.
     Formal consultations mark a new phase in the ongoing work of this initiative. Agency staff are currently compiling decades of files and records to facilitate a proper review to organize documents, identify available and missing information, and ensure that records systems are standardized. The Department is also building a framework for how it will partner with outside organizations to guide the next steps of review. In addition, leaders are working with the Indian Health Service to develop culturally appropriate support resources for those who might experience trauma resulting from the initiative. This work will build towards the submission of a final written report on the investigation to the Secretary by April 1, 2022."


      Beth Warden, "Federal Report shows inadequate investigation harming search for Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women," Dakota News Now, November 2, 2021, ttps://www.dakotanewsnow.com/2021/11/03/federal-report-shows-inadequate-investigation-harming-search-missing-murdered-indigenous-women/, reported, "A report released by the Government Accountability Office is putting a spotlight on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and the agencies tasked to find them.
     The report from the GAO states that the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior have fallen behind in forming a joint commission to organize a better way to track reports and investigate missing or murdered Indigenous women."


      Finding the procedures in implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) inefficient in returning remains and items to Indian nations, the Department of the Interior was reviewing them, in August 2021, with an eye to amending the regulations to speed returns (Zachary Small, "Native American Remains Await a Return," The New York Times, August 7, 2021). Susan Montoya Bryan, "Deb Haaland Seeks To Rid US of Derogatory Place Names," The Paper, November 28, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/11/deb-haaland-seeks-to-rid-us-of-derogatory-place-names/, reported, "U .S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Friday formally declared 'squaw' a derogatory term and said she is taking steps to remove it from federal government use and to replace other derogatory place names.
     Haaland is ordering a federal panel tasked with naming geographic places to implement procedures to remove what she called racist terms from federal use
."


     "Deb Haaland Signs Montana Tribes Water Rights Compact," ICT, September 23, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/742c1637-e434-fbef-9325-3b6201bd5934/9.23.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported that implementing a 2015 congressional act, " Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes water rights compact on Friday, settling a decades-long battle over thousands of individual water rights in Montana and on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The deal also created a $1.9 billion trust to settle claims and refurbish the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project in Montana.
     The tribes have claims to more than 10,000 water rights beyond their reservation land. The compact offered a deal where the tribes relinquished their claims to most of the water outside of the reservation.
     In exchange, the tribes will receive 211 water rights on their reservation, 10 water rights outside of the reservation and co-ownership of 58 other water rights, along with the funding."


      Mark Walker and Chris Cameron, "After Denying Care to Black Natives, Indian Health Service Reverses Policy: The shift comes as the Biden administration pressures Native tribes in Oklahoma to desegregate their constitutions to comply with treaty obligations," The New York Times, October 8, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/08/us/politics/indian-health-service-freedmen.html, reported, " The Indian Health Service announced this week that Black Native Americans in the Seminole Nation, known as the Freedmen, will now be eligible for health care through the federal agency, which previously denied them coronavirus vaccinations and other care.
      The shift in policy comes as the Biden administration and members of Congress are pressuring the Seminole and other Native tribes in Oklahoma to desegregate their constitutions and include the Freedmen, many of whom are descendants of Black people who had been held as slaves by the tribes, as full and equal citizens of their tribes under post-Civil War treaty obligations ." Some Oklahoma Tribes with separate Black rolls already have included those related to them as tribal member.


      Mark Walker, "Indian Health Service ‘Willfully Ignored’ Sexual Abuse by Doctor, Report Finds: The independent inquiry, kept private until now, says agency leaders feared that addressing accusations of misconduct by a pediatrician would be ‘awkward,’" The New York Times, October 5, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/05/us/politics/indian-health-service-willfully-ignored-sexual-abuse-by-doctor-report-finds.html, reported, " An independent report commissioned by the Indian Health Service found that officials at the federal agency silenced and punished whistle-blowers in an effort to protect a doctor who sexually abused boys on several Native American reservations for decades.
     At the same time, the report, written early last year but kept private until now, found that members of I.H.S. management 'willfully ignored or actively suppressed any efforts to address the dangers themselves.'”


     "Much-Needed Indian Medical Center May Be Constructed Near Gallup," The Paper, November 10th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/11/much-needed-indian-medical-center-may-be-constructed-near-gallup/, reported that, with the Indian Health Service facility, built in the 1950s subject to many complaints for its lack of infrastructure and equipment , the Indian Health Service (IHS) "has entered into an agreement with the Navajo Nation to assess whether a location on the eastern outskirts of Gallup is the most suitable site for construction of a new medical center.
     Indian Health Service spokesperson Jenny Notah said $17 million has been appropriated for planning and evaluation work for the project.
     The balance of the projected cost of $615 million awaits congressional appropriation, Notah told the Gallup Independent."


     "Economic Development Administration Final Rule Expands the Definition of Tribal Entities Eligible to Receive Certain Grants to Include For-Profit Tribal Corporations," Hobbs-Straus General Memorandum 21-007, September 24, 2021, https://hobbsstraus.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/GM_21-007_EDA_Final_Rule_Expands_the_Definition_of_Tribal_Entities_Eligible_to_Receive_Certain_Grants.pdf, reported, "On September 24, 2021, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce published a final rule (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/09/24/2021-20633/permitting-additional-eligible-tribal-entities) in the FEDERAL REGISTER to expand the definition of Tribal entities eligible to receive grants under the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (PWEDA) to include for-profit Tribal corporations so long as they are wholly owned by, and established exclusively for the benefit of, a Tribe. Previously, EDA's regulations limited the types of eligible tribal entities to non-profits. The final rule is effective today.
     Background. The PWEDA was enacted to provide grants for public works and development facilities, other financial assistance and the planning and coordination needed to alleviate conditions of substantial and persistent unemployment and underemployment in economically distressed areas and regions. PWEDA defines 'Indian Tribe' as any Indian tribe, band, nation, pueblo, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or Regional Corporation (as defined in or established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians. 42 U.S.C. 3122(7). Further, 'Indian Tribes', as defined by PWEDA, are eligible for a 100% grant rate, across all of EDA's PWEDA programs.
     Reasoning. The notice explains that, 'In deference to the special government-to- government relationship that exists between the U.S. Government and [Indian tribes] and recognizing their sovereign interest in determining their own organizational arrangements, EDA has historically interpreted the term 'Indian Tribe' broadly to include a range of Tribally controlled entities in addition to an Indian tribe's primary governing body ... [including] a non- profit Indian corporation (restricted to Indians), Indian authority, or other non-profit Indian tribal organization or entity; provided that the Indian tribal organization or entity is wholly owned by, and established for the benefit of, the Indian Tribe or Alaska Native Village.' However, in the notice EDA states they were not able to find supporting language or documentation that explains the previous 'non-profit' limitation in the older regulations.
     In the notice EDA acknowledges that, 'Under Federal policies of self-determination, Tribes play a similar role as state and local governments and are generally responsible for providing basic services within the Tribe (e.g., roads, water, electricity, and telecommunications). To generate revenue to provide these services, Tribes can create corporations to participate in the private marketplace through tourism, manufacturing, and services sectors.'
     Change Made by the Final Rule. EDA explains in the notice that, 'Under the new definition of 'Indian Tribe,' a for-profit entity may be eligible for EDA assistance provided that it is wholly owned by a Tribe and organized for the benefit of the Tribe. Eligibility is not limited to any particular type of entity. Indian corporations, Section 17 corporations, state-chartered corporations, and Limited Liability Corporations (among others) are all potentially eligible."


     " Truth And Healing Commission On Indian Boarding School Policies In The U.S., "The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, visited November 20, 2021, https://boardingschoolhealing.org/truthcommission/?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.j7n9nqw-kqkKmyrca3TtTog.rzt2ZI6Ejr06hiI2ygqVJkA.lBAI_yLrMuU2WGLQqbigXWg, reported.
     " Why a Truth and Healing Commission
     We have a right to know the truth of what happened in Indian boarding schools in the United States.
     Over the course of a century, hundreds of thousands of our children were taken or coerced away from our families and Tribes and forced to attend government-sanctioned Indian boarding schools. These schools were tools of assimilation and cultural genocide, resulting in the loss of language and culture and the permanent separation of children from their families. To date, there has never been an accounting of:
     the number of children forced to attend these schools;
     the number of children who were abused, died, or went missing while at these schools; and
     the long-term impacts on the children and the families of children forced to attend Indian boarding schools.
     We have a limited amount of time to hear directly from survivors and record their stories. A Congressional Commission is needed to locate and analyze the records from the 367+ known Indian boarding schools that operated in the U.S. A Commission would also bring together boarding school survivors with a broad cross-section of tribal representatives and experts in education, health, and children and families to fully express and understand the impacts of this federal policy of Indian child removal.
     'We are in a moment in history where the wound of unresolved grief from Indian boarding schools is being ripped wide open. The truth is being unearthed and yet so much more is still unknown. It is time for a federal Truth Commission to provide answers to the thousands of relatives of those children who were taken, went missing, or died at these schools. The Truth and Healing Commission on U.S. Indian Boarding School Policies will be the beginning of profound healing for the Indigenous Peoples of this country.'
     - Christine Diindiisi McCleave, CEO of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
     NABS was formed in 2012, in part to advocate for the establishment of a federal commission on U.S. Indian Boarding Schools, similar to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Canada’s Residential Schools. For years, NABS has been part of a grassroots movement of Native academics, researchers, tribal leaders, and boarding school survivors and descendants who are seeking truth, justice, and healing. The work to introduce a congressional commission has been underway for almost a decade. Download Commission Fact Sheet The announcement by U.S. Interior Secretary Debra Haaland of the Department of the Interior’s Federal Indian Boarding School Truth Initiative in June this year is an important first step in the federal government taking accountability for revealing the truth, but we believe a Congressional Commission is the most comprehensive approach to developing a complete picture of the ongoing impact Indian boarding schools have had on generations of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people. This is critical to providing a path toward healing for individuals, families and Tribal communities that have endured the devastating consequences of Indian boarding school policies.
     NABS has conducted independent research for nearly 10 years and has identified at least 367 schools that operated in the U.S. We only know the location of records for 38% of the 367 schools and only a fraction of those records have been analyzed.Read our publication Healing Voices Volume 1: A Primer on American Indian and Alaska Native Boarding Schools in the U.S.
     Key Provisions of the Bill
     Examines the location of children
     Documents ongoing impacts from boarding schools
     Locates church and government records
     Holds culturally-appropriate public hearings to collect testimony from survivors and descendants.
     Institutional knowledge gathering from subject matter experts
     Shares findings publicly
     Provides a final report with a list of recommendations for justice and healing
     How to Support
     Resolutions: Work on having your Tribal Nation, organization, city, or other legislative bodies pass a resolution in support of a Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding Schools. If you are interested in templates for a resolution, please see the "resolutions" section below.
     Political engagement: We encourage you to reach out to your Tribal Council, Senators, Representatives, national, state, and local politicians and speak with them about the history of Indian Boarding Schools, how they have impacted your family, and what you would like to see done on the topic. You can set a meeting with legislators, send emails, or start a letter or phone campaign.
     Spread the word: Share posts from @nabshc on Instagram and Twitter. Help build the grassroots movement for #TruthJusticeHealing from Indian boarding schools."


     "Departments of the Interior, Education, and Health & Human Services Launch Multi-Agency Initiative to Protect and Preserve Native Languages: Interagency efforts will align federal language preservation programs to ensure the viability of Native languages," IndianZ.Com, https://www.indianz.com/News/2021/11/15/biden-administration-announces-native-language-initiative/, November 15, 2021, https://www.indianz.com/News/2021/11/15/biden-administration-announces-native-language-initiative/, reported, The following is the text of a November 15, 2021, news release from the Department of the Interior .
     " The U.S. Departments of the Interior, Education and Health and Human Services launched a new interagency initiative today to preserve, protect, and promote the rights and freedom of Native Americans to use, practice, and develop Native languages.
     The announcement was made as part of the 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit, which brings government officials and leaders from federally recognized Tribes together to discuss ways the federal government can invest in and continue to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship and ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come.
      The three agencies joined five others in signing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to further the Native American Languages Act of 1990 by establishing new goals and programs that support the protection and preservation of Native languages spoken by federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes, Native Hawaiians, and other Native American groups in the United States. The MOA reaffirms the establishment of an annual national summit on Native languages, which will take place this year on November 18-19, 2021."


     "Reclamation awards $9.9M to tribes for drought response: The Bureau of Reclamation awarded funds to 31 tribes in 12 states, for drought response water projects, through the Native American Affairs Technical Assistance to Tribes Program," Water World, November 29, 2021, https://www.waterworld.com/drinking-water/infrastructure-funding/press-release/14214649/reclamation-awards-99m-to-tribes-for-drought-response, reported, "Last week, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced that 31 tribes in 12 states will receive $9.9 million for drought response water projects through the Native American Affairs Technical Assistance to Tribes Program.
     The funding will be provided to Tribes as grants or cooperative agreements. The projects selected are:Big Valley Treatment Plant Improvements, $350,000 (California)Chemehuevi Wastewater Extension, $400,000 (California)Cherokee Mankiller-Soap Water Study, $400,000 (Oklahoma)Choctaw Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer Study, $199,844 (Oklahoma)Choctaw Blue River Water Supply Analysis, $56,020 (Oklahoma)Cow Creek Water Resource Assessment, $399,748 (Oregon)Fallon Paiute-Liner Appraisal Study, $379,000 (Nevada)Fort Belknap Spring & Well Improvements, $300,000 (Montana)Havasupai Bar Four Treatment System Improvements, $406,000 (Arizona)Hopi Power Extension, $368,733 (Arizona)Isleta Pueblo Mound Rio Erosion Control, $150,000 (New Mexico)Jemez Pueblo Pecos Diversion Dam Improvements, $250,000 (New Mexico)Klamath Stock Watering Wells, $375,000 (Oregon)Lower Brule Sioux Water Meters Installation, $398,265 (South Dakota)Navajo Nation Many Farms Feeder Improvements, $300,000 (Arizona/Utah)Nez Perce Bedrock Creek Restoration, $95,613 (Idaho)Nez Perce Little Salmon R. Restoration, $87,589 (Idaho)Nez Perce LOP Exchange Well Design, $140,000 (Idaho)NW Shoshone OGOI Laterals, $142,340 (Utah)NW Shoshone OGOI Pipe Improvements, $135,945 (Utah)NW Shoshone SCADA System, $40,000 (Utah)Oglala Sioux Kyle Pumphouse Electrical Improvements, $162,508 (South Dakota)Oglala Sioux No.9 Pumphouse Improvements, $15,109 (South Dakota)Oglala Sioux Brotherhood Booster Pump Improvements, $33,005 (South Dakota)Oglala Sioux Slim Buttes Booster RTU Upgrades, $62,884 (South Dakota)Quechan Indian Flow Measurement Improvements, $100,995 (Arizona)San Filipe Pueblo Phase II, $399,998 (New Mexico)Santa Clara Pueblo Phase II-Main Ditch Liner, $400,000 (New Mexico)Shoalwater Bay Water System Improvements, $175,000 (Washington)Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Drought Plan Update, $249,300 (Idaho)Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Tank Rehabilitation, $250,000 (Idaho)Skokomish Meter Replacement, $225,055 (Washington)Standing Rock Sioux WTP Control Extension, $370,015 (North/South Dakota)Table Mountain Treatment Plant Solar, $408,400 (California)Taos Nose Pipeline Phase II Improvements, $400,000 (New Mexico)Tule River Water Transmission Improvements, $397,560 (California)Twenty-Nine Palms Contingency Plan, $220,000 (California)Umatilla Drought Planning, $372,008 (Oregon)Ute Tribe Water Monitoring Improvements, $10,000 (Utah)Zuni Supply Options Assessment, $266,000 (New Mexico)."


     "USDA Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative," U.S. Department of Agriculture, November 16, 2021, https://www.usda.gov/tribalrelations/usda-programs-and-services/usda-indigenous-food-sovereignty-initiative, stated, " The USDA Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative (PDF, 86.4 KB) promotes traditional food ways, Indian Country food and agriculture markets, and indigenous health through foods tailored to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) dietary needs. USDA is partnering with tribal-serving organizations on seven projects to reimagine federal food and agriculture programs from an indigenous perspective and inform future USDA programs and policies.
     Cooperative Agreements

      Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance
     Tribal seed saving through programs and policy

     The Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance’s Indigenous Seed Keepers Network (ISKN) provides educational resources, mentorship training, outreach, and advocacy support on seed policy issues, and organizes national and regional events and convenings to connect many communities who are engaging in seed saving. The USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) will partner with ISKN to provide seed cleaning mills to create two regional Indigenous seed processing hubs, create a seed bank policy for local tribal communities, and develop feasibility blueprints for emerging seed hubs. The goal of the project is to promote Indigenous cultural diversity for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants. The seed saving policy template, technical training, and other developed resources will be publicly available on the ISKN and OTR websites.Linda Black Elk & Lisa Iron Cloud
      Resources on sustainable, Indigenous food foraging practices
     The USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations will partner with Linda Black Elk and Lisa Iron Cloud to create two regional lists and corresponding videos of ten common Indigenous, wild foraged plants that may be used for both food and medicine. Lisa Iron Cloud, a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, is one of the most well-known experts in traditional food butchering and foraging and her cooking techniques have been featured in numerous videos. Linda Black Elk is an ethnobotanist who serves as the Food Sovereignty Coordinator at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota. She specializes in teaching about Indigenous plants and their uses as food and medicine. Their videos, once available, will be published as a reference on OTR’s website.
      North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS)
     
Healthy cooking videos with renowned Chef Sean Sherman (founder of the company The Sioux Chef)
      North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS) is dedicated to addressing the economic and health crises affecting Native communities by re-establishing Native foodways. NATIFS was co-founded by Chef Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, S.D., who has received international acclaim for his work in the Indigenous culinary movement and is also founder of the company The Sioux Chef. The USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) will partner with NATIFS to provide healthy cooking videos that demonstrate how to incorporate Indigenous foods with Food Distribution on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) food package items. The goal of the healthy cooking video project is to improve healthy food choices by incorporating culturally relevant Indigenous foods. The healthy cooking videos will be publicly available on the FDPIR and OTR websites.
      Intertribal Agriculture Council
     Marketing Indigenous and Native-produced foods

     The USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations will partner with the Intertribal Agriculture Council’s American Indian Foods Program to increase consumer and agency awareness of the abundance of products grown, produced, harvested, and made by American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Indigenous, shelf stable foods will be publicly available for display in OTR’s Hall of Nations and distributed to individual consumers and agency partners. By showcasing Indigenous and Native grown foods in OTR’s Hall of Nations, it will provide educational opportunities for federal agencies, other tribes, and the public about available tribally produced foods. IAC will also hire staff to expand domestic marketing opportunities for Native producers.
      Intertribal Buffalo Council
     Promoting bison production

     The Intertribal Buffalo Council (ITBC), facilitates education and training programs, marketing strategies, and technical assistance to enable successful and self-sufficient tribal herd operations. The USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) will partner with ITBC to develop a handbook that informs cattle producers about the process to transition from cattle to bison production. The goal of the project is to help Tribal communities restore bison in Indian Country to preserve their historical, cultural, traditional, and spiritual relationship for future generations. The informational handbook will be publicly available on the ITBC and OTR websites.
      University of Arkansas - Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI)
     Reviewing regulations to empowering self-governance

     The University of Arkansas Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) focuses on promoting tribally driven solutions to revitalize and advance traditional food systems and diversified economic development throughout Indian Country. IFAI provides tribal governments, producers, and food businesses with educational resources, policy research, and strategic legal analysis as a foundation for building robust food economies. Through this partnership with USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations, IFAI will produce a report on legislative and regulatory proposals needed to empower tribal self-governance within USDA food programs."


     "U.S. park service, tourism group partner to highlight tribes," Lakota Times, November 4, 2021, https://www.lakotatimes.com/articles/u-s-park-service-tourism-group-partner-to-highlight-tribes/, reported, "The National Park Service has partnered with a tourism association to ensure the contributions, cultures and traditions of Native Americans are incorporated into exhibits and programming at sites across the country.The park service says it highlights the history of Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians throughout the year. The five-year agreement with the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association will expand opportunities, officials said."


     The U.S. Department of Labor, in October 2021, posted a proposed rule under ERISA that would make it easier for people to choose environmental and social investments in retirement plans, including as defaults (Tara Siegel Bernard, "Biden Plan Would Encourage Socially Conscious Investing," The New York Times, October 14, 2021).


     Vincent Schilling, "Wilma Mankiller’s Greatness Minted Onto 2022 Quarter," ICT, June 17, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/e0ecb8c6-e91e-41ae-c10c-224d5bda1087/6.17.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, " The first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation will be stamped onto the 2022 quarters, the U.S. Mint announced.
     Wilma Mankiller is one of the five women appearing on the quarters as part of the American Women Quarters Program, which 'is a four-year program that celebrates the accomplishments and contributions made by women to the development and history of our country,” according to the U.S. Mint (https://www.usmint.gov/learn/coin-and-medal-programs/american-women-quarters). The four-year program begins in 2022 and continues until 2025."


     "NCAI President Fawn Sharp Receives Diplomatic Recognition from United States at COP26," National Congress of American Indians, November 4, 2021, https://www.ncai.org/news/articles/2021/11/04/ncai-president-fawn-sharp-receives-diplomatic-recognition-from-united-states-at-cop26, reported, "Today, the U.S. Department of State announced National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) President Fawn Sharp has been credentialed as a delegate during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), becoming the first tribal leader elected exclusively by tribal citizens to receive diplomatic recognition from the United States."


     First Nations Development Institute reported in a December E-mail, "Colorado Peak Renamed Mestaa'ehehe Mountain," "During a December 9, 2021, meeting in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Board on Geographic Names approved the petition to rename the Clear Creek County peak in Colorado, Squaw Mountain, as Mestaa'ehehe Mountain, reports Colorado Community Media. The new name honors Owl Woman, a notable Cheyenne figure who helped maintain peaceful relations between local tribes and new settlers, and who was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 1985. Read more here: https://www.clearcreekcourant.com/stories/mtn-1215-mestaaehehe-mountain,386104?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.jAYeqA8JWck2L_OFM1_G0BA.rG9RAYASebEeM7bVI_zKuMg.lsGoqbJRO0U2d7cpUzZhZCg

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Federal Indian Budgets

      Hannah Grover "‘This is the time.’ Stansbury seeks funding for Pueblo irrigation infrastructure," New Mexico Political Report, September 20, 2021, https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2021/09/20/this-is-the-time-stansbury-seeks-funding-for-pueblo-irrigation-infrastructure/, " The Pueblo people have been farming along the Rio Grande since time immemorial, but funding is needed for the infrastructure to keep this practice going, according to U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, who worked to get $200 million included in the reconciliation package for that purpose."
     "There are $280 million of identified needs for irrigation infrastructure for 18 Pueblos in the Rio Grande Basin. There are 19 Pueblos in New Mexico, but Zuni Pueblo, which is located in the Colorado River watershed, is not included. After meeting with Pueblo leaders, Stansbury said she worked with House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, to get some funding included in the reconciliation package."

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In the Courts

The U.S. Supreme Court

     Jessica Douglas, "Supreme Court ruling fails to protect Indigenous voters: In Brnovich v. DNC, the court has made it harder for people of color — especially Indigenous populations — to vote," ICT, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/supreme-court-ruling-fails-to-protect-indigenous-voters, reported that, increasingly, the current supreme court majority has allowed the states and localities very wide discretion in regulating voting, undermining many voting rights protections, "On July 1, 2021, the Supreme Court released its decision in a prominent voting rights case that Indigenous activists and attorneys say will make it harder for people of color — especially Indigenous populations — to vote.
     In the case, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee , the court looked at whether a pair of voting policies in Arizona violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, a provision that prohibits voting laws or practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color or language. In a 6-3 vote split between its conservative and liberal judges, the court upheld Arizona’s policy disqualifying any ballot cast in the wrong precinct as well as a 2016 law that made it a felony for anyone but a family member, household member or caregiver to return another person’s mail ballot — a method known as ballot harvesting or collecting, often used by get-out-the-vote groups to increase turnout.
      The majority was not moved by the fact that for many Native people the ballot box might be 45 minutes to two hours away, and that since many people do not have cars, to date, some with a working vehicle would collect ballots and take them to the polling place.

     "NCAI on U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, et al," National Congress of American Indian (NCAI), June 25, 2021, https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/20-543_3e04.pdf, reported and commented, "Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision in Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, et al., (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/20-543_3e04.pdf) holding that Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) are included in the definition of “Indian tribes” under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDA) and thus eligible for funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Court stated that the ruling 'does not ‘vest ANCs with new and untold tribal powers,’” but rather “confirms the powers Congress expressly afforded ANCs and that the Executive Branch has long understood ANCs to possess.'
     'The relationship between Tribal Nations and the federal government was born out of conflict and it has fallen upon every generation to carry forward our inherent tribal sovereignty to serve our tribal citizens. We must continue to all work together with the United States to actively support strong Nation-to-Nation relationships,' said NCAI President Fawn Sharp. 'NCAI looks forward to continuing our work representing tribal governments and working with Alaska Native Corporations, tribal partners, and other allies to ensure that the United States meets its treaty obligations and its trust responsibilities to moving forward.'”

Lower Federal Courts

      Mary Annette Pember, "Federal court affirms health care as treaty right: Court declares 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie guarantees competent health care," ICT, September 1, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/federal-court-affirms-health-care-as-treaty-right, reported, " Native people may now claim a higher legal authority in calling for health services. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Aug. 25 that healthcare is a treaty right guaranteed to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe by the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie."
     "Church, a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, noted that per capita spending by the Indian Health Service is considerably less than other federal health care services. For instance, IHS spends $3,779 per user versus Medicaid which spends $8,093 per user." It is up to Congress to fulfil U.S. treaty obligations, but the hope is that the decision will increase pressure for the federal government to do much more to equalize health care.
     The present case arose from the 2016 case of Rosebud Sioux tribe v. United States of America et al protesting the closure of the IHS’ emergency room on the reservation.

     David Shaw, "Court rejects plea to reconsider Cayuga Nation ruling: 'The Cayuga Nation is committed to protecting the businesses that support programs and benefits for Nation citizens ...'" ICT, September 1, 2021, D https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/court-rejects-plea-to-reconsider-cayuga-nation-ruling, reportedm "On Aug. 20, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals[, upholding a District Court decision by Judge David Hurd,] rejected the village [of Union Springs, NY]’s petition that it reconsider its July 27 decision prohibiting the village [Cayuga County] from enforcing anti-gaming and building code laws aimed at shutting down a Class II gaming operation in a renovated former Napa Auto Parts Store on Route 90 [operated by the Cayuga Nation]."
     "Hurd ruled in favor of Cayuga Nation, saying the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act exempts the village’s local ordinances and sovereign immunity prevents the village from enforcing its criminal and civil laws against the nation and its leaders and prohibited local interference with nation gaming operations anywhere within the tribe’s original 64,015-acre reservation in Cayuga and Seneca counties, established in 1795 and not disestablished since then."

     "Cherokee Nation’s $75 Million Settlement in Opioid Lawsuit is Largest in Tribe’s History," Native News Online, September 28, 2021, https://www.nativenewsonline.net/health/cherokee-nation-s-75-million-in-opioid-lawsuit-is-largest-settlement-tribe-s-history, reported that in the largest settlement in Cherokee Nation history, "The Cherokee Nation on Tuesday announced three of the nation’s largest drug distributors will pay it $75 million to settle legal claims that the companies created an opioid crisis on Cherokee tribal lands. The deal is the first of its kind with a tribal government.
     The Cherokee Nation filed the lawsuit in 2017, after it was determined that pharmaceutical distributors flooded Cherokee Nation communities with nearly 200 million opioid painkillers in a two year span. The over abundance equated to 153 opioid pills per individual living in Cherokee Nation communities."

     Nancy Marie Spears, "Quapaw addresses new criminal justice center, McGirt application: 'The Lawhorn decision rightfully affirms what we have always known – The Quapaw Nation is Indian Country'," ICT, October 27, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/quapaw-addresses-new-criminal-justice-center-mcgirt-application, reported, "Members of the Quapaw Nation Business Committee and representatives from the U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District of Oklahoma held a news conference Thursday to commemorate an Oklahoma’s district court ruling affirming the tribe’s reservation, according to a statement from the tribe.
     "Tribal leaders also addressed in the news conference strides the tribe has made in preparation for the jurisdiction transfer that has ensued after the McGirt application, including opening a $4 million courts and criminal justice center less than two years ago."

      The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit in Federal District Court challenging two new Montana voting restriction bills that make it more difficult for American Indians to vote: H.B, 176, which eliminates voter registration on election day, and H.B. 350, which limits ballot collection on rural reservations ("The New Battle for Voting Rights," ACLU Magazine, fall 2021; and Maggie Astor, "Montana Puts Miles Between Its Tribes and the Ballot Box," The New York Times, July 6, 2021).

     Anita Snow, " Apaches ask court to back bid to save Oak Flat: The mountainous area in Arizona has ancient oak groves and traditional plants that tribal citizens say are essential to their religion and culture," ICT, October 22, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/apaches-ask-court-to-back-bid-to-save-oak-flat, reported, " An attorney for citizens of the San Carlos Apache tribe on Friday asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to back their efforts to halt the transfer of central Arizona land that they consider sacred to a copper mining company.
     'We are talking about the survival of the Apache people,' attorney Luke Goodrich told the panel, arguing that an end to religious activities on the land known as Oak Flat would help spell an end to the tribe."

     "Wisconsin Tribes Sue the State for Treaty Violations Over Wolf Hunt: Six Ojibwe tribes challenge the planned November hunt," Earth Justice, September 21, 2021, https://earthjustice.org/news/press/2021/wisconsin-tribes-sue-the-state-for-treaty-violations-over-wolf-hunt?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.jtHSuJ4tyCkCKaxiTm6K0Fw.rLClQ705lFEmd59Kt87Bm0Q.lxHz84eCiakOoSumj6HTy7A, stated, Contacts: Maggie Caldwell, Earthjustice, (347) 527-6397, mcaldwell@earthjustice.org, John Johnson, Sr., President, Lac du Flambeau Tribe, (715) 439-3321, JJohnsonsr@ldftribe.com, Marvin Defoe, Red Cliff Tribe, (715) 779-3761, marvin.defoe@redcliff-nsn.gov, Charles Rasmussen, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, (715) 209-1607, coras@glifwc.org
     " Six tribes filed a lawsuit today in the Western District of Wisconsin against the state for its planned November wolf hunt claiming the proposed hunt violates the tribes’ treaty rights. Wisconsin’s Natural Resource Board approved a quota of 300 wolves for the upcoming November hunt, more than double the quota of 130 proposed by the Department of Natural Resources — a recommendation that is also considered by experts to be too high and not supported by scientific data and analysis.
     This November proposal follows a disastrous February hunt. The Ojibwe tribes asserted a treaty-protected right to half of the wolves in ceded territory in Wisconsin in order to protect those wolves from Wisconsin’s rushed and ill-advised hunt. Nevertheless, in just three days, hunters using packs of dogs, snares, and leg-hold traps killed 218 wolves, exceeding both the state and tribal quotas, and killing up to a third of the state's population.
     Earthjustice represents the tribal nations Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, the Sokaogon Chippewa Community, and St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.
     The Ojibwe word for 'wolf” is Ma’iingan, and the word to describe the people of the Great Lakes region connected to this culture is Anishinaabe.The Following Are Statements From Representatives of The Tribal Nations And Earthjustice:
     'In our treaty rights, we’re supposed to share with the state 50-50 in our resources and we’re feeling that we’re not getting our due diligence because of the slaughter of wolves in February,' said John Johnson, Sr., president of Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. 'The out of state hunters are petitioning the courts just so they can hunt, not to protect the resources. The Ojibwe are accountable for everything when we hunt, fish, and gather any resources. The state goes off estimates. Last year they shot 480 more black bears than they should have, and they said it will work itself out in a five year time period. This is a pattern they established. We’re looking out for the next seven generations of our children. When we know it’s wrong to hunt, we don’t harvest. We step back and assess the damage. We take care of our community in a good way as others should. Miigwech (thank you).”'
     'Ma’iingan is telling us to put into practice the art of listening. We believe there’s a reason why things happen,' said Marvin Defoe, Red Cliff Tribe’s representative on the Voigt Inter-Tribal Task Force. 'That listening is part of what’s going on with the world. To the Anishinaabe, the Ma’iingan are our brothers. The legends and stories tell us as brothers we walk hand in hand together. What happens to the Ma’iingan happens to humanity.'
     'The Ojibwe understand that a healthy wolf population is critical to a healthy ecosystem. The bands have asserted their treaty-protected rights to their share of the wolves to ensure that a healthy wolf population is protected in Wisconsin.' said Gussie Lord, Earthjustice Managing Attorney of Tribal Partnerships. 'The state trampled the tribes’ rights, and we are in court today to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.'
     This new lawsuit accompanies an existing challenge by Earthjustice to the Trump administration’s decision to remove wolves from the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made its decision against the advice of scientists who say wolves are still functionally extinct in the vast majority of the places they once inhabited and need continued federal protections in order to survive and recover.
     On Sept. 14, 2021, groups representing nearly 200 tribes signed a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland demanding the restoration of Endangered Species protections to wolves nationwide.
     Traditional ecological knowledge and western science both show us that wolves have a legitimate and important ecological role on the landscape. Scientists and the general public have joined the tribes in moving beyond the historical myths that have driven wolf persecution in Wisconsin. The tribes assert that some members of the Wisconsin Natural Resource Board cling to a false narrative that not only weakens the health of ecosystems, but ignores the tribe’s treaty reserved rights."

     Richard Walker, "Battle Over Skagit River Dam Heads To Court," ICT, August 5, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/e83aceed-97c9-6836-5c1b-c6cf86c5a6bc/8.5.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, " The City of Seattle gets 20 percent of its electricity from three dams built more than 100 miles north of the city limits, on a river that is important to fish, wildlife and Coast Salish cultures.
      Three tribal governments say the dams block salmon and steelhead — on which Coast Salish people have depended since time immemorial — from reaching upriver spawning and rearing habitat. The City of Seattle has agreed to study fish passage as part of the relicensing process for the dams, but opposes consideration of dam removal.
      The matter is now headed to federal court."

State and Local Courts

     Amy Beth Hanson, "Montana tribes sue over Indian Education for All compliance: 'We want the children in our public schools to grow together with as much effort put towards understanding one another as possible,'" ITC, July 25, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/montana-tribes-sue-over-indian-education-for-all-compliance," Finding that some schools and districts are applying the mandate in Montana's Constitution and the 1999 state law putting it nto effect that all school children receive education about Native American culture and heritage with materials that further stereotypes and present false histories and views of Natives, "Montana tribes and the parents of 18 students filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging state education leaders are violating a constitutional requirement to teach about the unique cultures and histories of Native Americans.
     The lawsuit, filed in District Court in Great Falls, seeks an order to require the Board of Public Education to create specific educational standards for the
Indian Education for All program and to require the superintendent of public instruction to ensure schools meet those standards and accurately report how they are spending money allocated for the program."

Tribal Courts

     Mary Annette Pember, "Manoomin Will Have Its Day In Court," ICT, September 9, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/2f234232-f7c8-30dc-6ac5-c100516714be/9.9.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, "On Sept. 3, a federal judge dismissed the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources motion for an injunction against the White Earth Band of Ojibwe tribal court and judge in its lawsuit, Manoomin versus Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
     'The federal court rightly noted that it has no authority whatsoever to enjoin a tribal court judge from hearing a tribal court law case,' said Angelique EagleWoman, professor and co-director, Native American Law and Sovereignty Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. “
     "In a first of its kind legal action, opponents of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline construction project filed a complaint in August on behalf of wild rice, or manoomin in the Ojibwe language, in White Earth tribal court claiming the Department of Natural Resources violated the rights of manoomin as well as multiple treaty rights for tribal citizens to hunt, fish and gather outside the reservation. Plaintiffs in the case say that the agency failed to protect the state’s fresh water by allowing Enbridge to pump up to 5 billion gallons of groundwater from construction trenches during a drought and thus endangering the health of wild rice."

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Tribal Government and State and Local Government Developments

     "Native vote champions challenge state electoral district maps: 'COVID created a perfect storm as it pertains to the census'," ICT, October 27, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/native-vote-champions-challenge-state-electoral-district-maps, reported, "American Indians, who make up that demographic in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana, summoned 20 years of voter rights organizing to defend historic gains during the 2021 legislative district remapping exercise. Native elected leaders and community advocates locked step to crash barriers obstructing tribal representation in state and federal contests.
     'By working together, we hope to achieve fair representation for Native Americans,' Oglala Sioux President Kevin Killer testified to the committee. The head of the largest tribe in South Dakota, he encouraged consultation between state and tribal lawmakers. He called for field hearings on all nine reservations in South Dakota. 'These hearings would allow tribal members and other residents of the reservations to explain the unique challenges our communities face and how they might best be represented not just in the redistricting process, but in other areas as well, 'Killer said."


     Shaun Griswold, "New Mexico Aiming To Consolidate MMIWR Investigation," ICT, December 2, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/3833293d-d772-492f-224f-942e446f4035/12.02.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported that to overcome the problems of multiple policy agencies being involved on the investigation of missing and murdered indigenous women, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office is allying with the New Mexico' Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Task Force in pushing a bill that would not only establish the task force permanently but also forge a relationship with local communities to make it easier for all parties involved in a criminal investigation to consolidate efforts under the attorney general.


     The State of Oklahoma Expanded Medicaid coverage to an additional 300,000 low income people, including many American Indians, in September 2021. This provides assurance of coverage for many tribal members who need to seek medical care outside of the Indian Health Service, which does not always pay for such treatment (Mark Walker, "Expansion of Medicaid in Oklahoma a Lifeline to Tribal Members," The New York Times, September 5, 2021).


     A joint meeting of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, The Colorado Department of Public Health, The Southern Ute Indian Health Center and the Denver Public Library, in November 2021, discussed ways to provide culturally appropriate mental health service to Native veterans, which is often not available in rural areas of Colorado (McKayla Lee, "State prioritizing mental health among Native Veterans," Southern Ute Drum, November 19, 2021).


      The Washington State Legislature, in May 2021, passed the Climate Commitment Act, which requires tribal permission of any projects undertaken on Indian Nation land, mandates that 10% of all state carbon tax revenue goes to the State's tribes and provides public funding for tribes forced to move by climate change ("U.S.: New Legislation Requires Tribal Consent," Cultural Survival Quarterly, September 2021).


     Stephen Groves, "Indigenous history, culture cut from South Dakota standards," Associate Press ( AP News), August 10, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/education-south-dakota-sd-state-wire-08683b42eebac5ae02843752fecad97a, reported, " Teachers, educators and other South Dakota citizens charged with crafting new state social studies standards said Tuesday that Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration deleted many elements intended to bolster students’ understanding of Native American history and culture from their draft standards.
     Members of the working group — appointed by the Department of Education to review and update the standards — said they were caught by surprise on Friday when
the department released a document (https://doe.sd.gov/contentstandards/documents/SS-StandardsProposed.pdf) with significant changes. New standards are released every seven years. They said changes made to the draft they submitted in late July gave it a political edge they had tried to avoid, instead aligning with the Republican governor’s rhetoric on what she calls patriotic education."
     Cut from the draft recommendations of the working group were those involving American Indian history and culture, including Oceti Sakowin stories in kindergarten and study of tribal banking systems in high school.


     " Colorado Governor Rescinds John Evans Proclamation of 1864," This Week@First Nations, via E-mail, August 20, 2021, reported, "At a ceremony this week in Denver, Gov. Jared Polis rescinded a 19th-century proclamation and others that called for citizens to kill Native Americans and take their property, in what he hopes can begin to make amends for 'sins of the past,' reports CBS Denver (https://denver.cbslocal.com/2021/08/17/jared-polis-1864-order-kill-native-americans/?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.j8HXBWa1aUk6EUgorTAZtSQ.rInsAjBjdGUyofvcp_MjWLg.lPeoxXzCZOEyJdB3wyyxClg). The Polis administration said these proclamations 'shamefully targeted and endangered the lives' of Indigenous people who lived in the Colorado territory at the time. First Nations attended the Tuesday event, alongside citizens of the Southern Ute, Ute Mountain, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, which was covered live by Denver’s KDVR. Watch the coverage here (https://kdvr.com/news/local/gov-polis-reversing-old-colorado-proclamation-on-american-indians/?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.j8HXBWa1aUk6EUgorTAZtSQ.rInsAjBjdGUyofvcp_MjWLg.lYVNBMrJaSEGNC_ZFRQ4-mQ)."


      Mark Walker, "For Tribal Members in Oklahoma, Medicaid Expansion Improves Access to Specialty Care: Medicaid expansion is expected to improve not just access to care for low-income Native Americans who had previously been shut out of health insurance, but the finances of the Indian Health Service," The New York Times, September 4, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/04/us/politics/oklahoma-medicaid-indian-health-service.html, reported that with the Indian Health Service (IHS) often running out of money half way through the for needed outside of system health care that IHS, with a lack of experts and specialists, cannot, "That has left many families to choose between an expensive trip to a private hospital and forgoing specialized care — until now. In July, Oklahoma expanded free Medicaid coverage to an additional 200,000 low-income adults, including many tribal members, after voters passed a ballot initiative compelling the state to do so.
     Since the expansion took effect on July 1, more than 23,000 eligible Native Americans have enrolled in the program, according to state officials — about 13 percent of the total 171,056 people who have signed up statewide."


     Carina Dominguez, "Experts say Arizona redistricting aims to diminish Native vote: Many are scrutinizing Arizona’s assault on Native voting rights and hope an independent commission adopts more competitive and representative district, ICT, December 9, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/a5542e55-2bd5-9a0a-903f-45f72a2ae0e7/12.09.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, "A representative democracy means the people choose their elected officials, not the other way around.
      Concerns about voter suppression efforts are mounting in Arizona. Many say the redistricting process is being targeted to diminish Native voting power." The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission was set to open its redistricting plan to public comment on December 4. Many in the state hope their final plan is fair and representative. Under the amended Arizona constitution the commission has the sole authority to undertake the redistricting (https://irc.az.gov/about/proposition-106)."


     Cedar Attanasio, "CYFD Pledges Support For Tribal Adoptions In State Law: New Department Leader Pledges Transparency And Accountability," The Paper, October 12th, 2021, http://abq.news/2021/10/cyfd-pledges-support-for-tribal-adoptions-in-state-law/, reported, "In her first prepared speech Tuesday, the new leader of New Mexico’s child protection department pledges to restore the agency’s credibility following a series of scandals under her predecessor.
      New Mexico Children Youth and Family Department secretary Barbara J. Vigil also promised to enshrine federal law prioritizing tribal members in adoptions of Native American children into the practices of her department and state law."


     Jonathan Sims, "Indian School Graves Rediscovered Under City Park: A Plaque Goes Missing, and History Is Uncovered, The Paper, July 28th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/07/indianschools/, "Editor’s Note: The following story is the first in a series chronicling the legacy of New Mexico’s Indian Boarding Schools. Our reporter, Jonathan Sims, is a former appointed leader of the Acoma Pueblo and is himself a product of the Indian boarding school system, as were generations of his own family,
     I ndian Boarding School atrocities have been in the media lately as our relatives up north in British Columbia began searching through untold histories and found the unmarked graves of 182 Indigenous children that never made it home from their residential school system. Locally, Albuquerque’s tie to the big story made its way into the media when a handmade plaque tied to a tree in a city park commemorating dozens of unmarked graves of Indigenous children from Albuquerque Indian School went missing in June. The plaque had been placed in lieu of the actual missing plaque placed in cement decades prior to acknowledge that a city park was built upon the graves of Native schoolchildren. That cement plaque had gone missing in 2017. While media focused on the missing handmade plaque, the larger story is that city leaders and many locals had no idea the plaque was there, or what its significance was to begin with.
     Behind the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center building and the Bernalillo County Extension Office off 12th and Menaul, is a small, triangular park called 4-H Park. According to research conducted by University of New Mexico professor Dr. Ted Jojola, it is an unmarked gravesite for Indigenous children who attended the Albuquerque Indian School. Dr. Jojola’s area of research is in the community and regional planning program. He says the cemetery was specifically built for AIS students. From 1883 to 1933, this small section of land was home to an estimated 60 to 100 graves of Native children. Lack of documentation from that time makes the exact number of graves hard to pinpoint. What confounded us at The Paper. was the overwhelming lack of acknowledgment from anyone about the history of this place. Albuquerque Indian School had a major impact on Indigenous children around New Mexico and was an important element in how Indian education changed in the last century. As a city memory, it is important to educate ourselves about our past and properly pay tribute to this reverent place. It is a story that includes one of the largest tracts of land that is still being developed inside the heart of the city and a place Native children throughout the region called home for better or worse. We begin with a short history of this place."


     Nancy Marie Spears, "Tribal Law Enforcement Officials Say Mcgirt Strengthening Public Safety," ICT, November 4, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/2ae1c3ad-2c73-7117-af98-5e2ad12b13dd/11.4.21_The_Weekly.pdf. reported, " Oklahoma tribal public safety officials say the U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling is strengthening momentum for improvements to public safety infrastructure in their police departments"
     "The Choctaw and Muscogee nations have hired additional public safety officers and are entering into more cross-deputization agreements with tribal, state and federal agencies
" One result has been an almost doubling of calls to the police.


     Jonathan Sims, "New Data Shows Native Families Desperately Lacking In NM Foster Care System: Foster Families Needed Even More During Pandemic, The Paper, November 30th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/11/new-data-shows-native-families-desperately-lacking-in-nm-foster-care-system/, reported, "There are many fallouts from COVID-19: education, healthcare, economics, mental health and more. Some of the hardest hit communities were the Native American communities in New Mexico. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, over 50 percent of COVID deaths last year were from the Native community. At the same time, the number of Native American children entering the Children Youth and Family system increased. As we look at Native American children in the New Mexico foster care system, the need for foster families is at an all-time high. There simply aren’t many foster families in the system. Not before COVID and certainly not during the pandemic. So why is that? It’s a complex issue, both legally and culturally, but at the heart of it are children who need a home.
      The Paper spoke to Therese Yanan at the Native American Disability Law Center and Bette Fleishman, director of Pegasus Legal Services for Children. They said overall, there was actually a decrease in the number of children in the system in New Mexico. In the calendar year 2019, there were 1,525 children entered into CYFD custody. The following year 2020 that number dropped to 1,209." However, the number of in Native American children entering the system increased—from 134 or 6.1 percent in 2019 to 147 or 7.4 percent in 2020 because of the deaths of parents, mostly from COVID-19.
     Cedar Attanasio, "New Mexico Pledges Support For Native Adoptions," ICT, October 14, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/f3fcbbf5-241d-c974-8651-5e8f79de7509/10.14.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, "In her first prepared speech Tuesday the new leader of New Mexico's child protection department pledges to restore the agency's credibility following a series of scandals under her predecessor.
     New Mexico Children Youth and Family Department Secretary Barbara J. Vigil also promised to enshrine federal law prioritizing tribal members in adoptions of Native American children into the practices of her department and state law
."


     Scott Bauer, "Governor Issues Formal Apology For Boarding Schools," ICT, October 14, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/f3fcbbf5-241d-c974-8651-5e8f79de7509/10.14.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, " Gov. Tony Evers issued a formal apology Monday for Wisconsin's role in Native American boarding schools, joining with leaders from tribes in the state at an Indigenous Peoples Day event.
      Evers signed an executive order that also formally supported the previously announced U.S. Department of Interior investigation into the schools and asked that anything done in Wisconsin be conducted in consultation with the state's tribes."


     Mary Annette Pember "Shawnee Reclaim The Great Serpent Mound, ICT, June 24, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/40147001-c2e6-75f7-33e0-b7001b693d22/6.24.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, "The Summer Solstice, June 20, the longest day of the year, marks the first time that the Shawnee tribe has officially returned to the Serpent Mound located in Ohio to present their history and connection to this place that they called home so many years ago.
      Although it was certainly ancestors of the Shawnee people who built the magnificent serpent shaped mound, the largest earthwork effigy in the world, Ohio failed to involve the tribe in conveying its meaning to the public until now."


      Jonathan Sims " City Holds A Reflection And Healing Memorial For Albuquerque Indian School: Mayor Apologizes For History and Trauma Inflicted By Indian Boarding Schools , The Paper, September 27th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/09/city-holds-a-reflection-and-healing-memorial-for-albuquerque-indian-school/, reported, " On Saturday afternoon the city [of Albuquerque, NM] held a reflection and memorial event for Albuquerque Indian School that was long overdue. The city has been hung up over what to do with Menaul Boulevard’s 4-H Park, the site of the former AIS cemetery where it is believed that an unknown number of students lie buried . A small group of just over 60 was made up of primarily city officials, community stakeholders and some concerned individuals gathered in the rain at the Native American Community Academy, the last standing building from the Albuquerque Indian School era. Just at the start of the programming, the winds picked up and the sprinkles started. Mayor Keller, ever the optimist, decided to progress until it really started raining. Only a few remained, soaked and huddled in the small NACA cafeteria, 30 minutes later."


     "City of Las Cruces Considers Changing Derogatory Street Name, The Paper, November 26th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/11/city-of-las-cruces-considers-changing-derogatory-street-name/, reported, " The city of Las Cruces is considering whether to change a street name that contains a word that’s used as a slur toward Indigenous women.
      Las Cruces Sun-News reports that City Councilor Johana Bencomo recently proposed to change the name of Squaw Mountain Drive."


     Brian Oaster, "Bridging Cultural And Political Gaps Through Indigenous First Foods," ICT, November 12, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/7afd5c2c-00ce-3f6f-a846-fe775d0e69e6/11.12.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, "A city isn’t the most likely place for an Indigenous crop revival. But across the greater Portland area in Oregon, municipalities like Metro and the City of Portland have been partnering with organizations and tribes to promote Native American land access and cultivation of first foods, the term used for traditional local foods that have nourished Indigenous people for centuries.
     In a city park, a drained lakebed, an old grazing lot, and along an urban creek, first foods are returning to areas where they once flourished before the land was covered by farms and urban sprawl."

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Tribal Developments

     Chris Aadland, "Tribal governments adopting vaccine mandates amid COVID-19 surges: Several tribes announced vaccine requirements for tribal employees weeks before President Joe Biden’s announcement earlier this month," ICT, September 22, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/tribal-governments-adopting-vaccine-mandates-amid-covid-19-surges, reported, that with the more virulent omicron version of COVID-19 appearing, " With President Joe Biden mandating vaccines or testing for millions of American workers, some tribes have signaled their support for the move by announcing their own mandates, many pre-dating the president’s statement, for tribal employees."
      Among the October tribal COVID-19 prevention actions, "The Blackfeet Nation recently re-implemented a mask mandate and the Oglala Sioux Nation closed schools on the Pine Ridge reservation due to an outbreak." Others early on requiring vaccinations of employees were the Red Lake Nation, Navajo Nation , Lummi Nation , Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, San Carlos Apache Tribe , Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming.
     Navajo Nation, which had suffered terribly from COVID-19 early on, continued to have new cases at a much lower rate and fewer deaths. On December 15, 2021, the Nation reported 38 new cases, 38,598 recoveries, and seven more deaths related to COVID-19. The overall total number of positive COVID-19 cases had reached 40,615, with 1569 deaths. The numbers for the current day, and for each past day, are available at: https://www.navajo-nsn.gov/News%20Releases/OPVP/2021/Dec/FOR%20IMMEDIATE%20RELEASE%20-%2038%20new%20cases%2038598%20recoveries%20and%20seven%20more%20deaths%20related%20to%20COVID-19.pdf.
      The Southern Ute Tribe of Colorado did very well with COVID-19 before the delta variant. Only one tribal member had become infected, and that person was not on the reservation. That changed with delta. As of mid-December 2021, there had been 163 found to have the infection, 116 of whom had recovered, and 3 had died (https://www.southernute-nsn.gov).


     The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe of Colorado with some 1100 tribal member living on reservation (of 2116), by October 2021, about a third of the reservation’s residents had been infected at some point during the COVID-19 pandemic, and at least eight tribal members had died (Robert Sanchez, " Inside the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s Bold Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic," 5280: Denver's Mile High Magazine, December 2021, https://www.5280.com/2021/12/inside-the-ute-mountain-ute-tribes-bold-response-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/).
     First Nations Development Institute announced in an October 1, 2021 E-mail, " COVID-19, Delta Variant Support Continues for Native Communities," "As Native communities continue to respond to the effects of the pandemic and the ongoing threat of the delta variant, there is still support from First Nations. In September, we awarded two more rounds of COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund grants. Twenty-six more Native nations and organizations received grants, bringing the total of funds awarded to $4,634,608.28 (https://www.firstnations.org/covid-19-emergency-response-fund/?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.jUpwBtnancUSveQmtaSrhwQ.r2g97KlEZ5U-uQ-yyaY1ZsQ.lOByLw2lciEObJZutRVkz1A). These grants can be used to support ongoing response and recovery efforts, build critical services and infrastructure, invest in communications and technology, and meet overall operating costs. "


     "Yee Ha'ólníi Doo October 2021 Newsletter," via E-mail, October 2, 2021,www.navajohopisokidarity.org, stated, "Ya' at’eeh and Loloma!
     For Diné, October is known as Gháájí and indicates a separation of the seasons. It also signifies the Navajo New Year and the beginning of storytelling.
      COVID Relief
     
We eagerly look forward to being able to move past the story of COVID on Navajo and Hopi, but in the interim launched a Delta Relief Program on September 1 that provides isolation assistance to families with a confirmed case of COVID and families that have been exposed to a confirmed COVID case. We made the decision to launch this second wave of COVID relief in response to the rapid doubling of weekly new cases on Navajo in the months of July and August. Please consider giving to our Relief Fund to advance this work.
      Prevention
      We continued our #ProtectCommunity Vaccination Campaign, but adapted it to a virtual format. Participants in this public health education program have an opportunity to win a prize if they are fully vaccinated, and have the opportunity to earn $50 if they get vaccinated within 2 weeks of participating in our program. We also held our first Radio Forum on KNDN, which included a live Q&A with Navajo healthcare professionals.
     In October we are l aunching the third phase of our Clean Hands Project to get some 250 handwashing stations into homes that lack running water so families have easier access to handwashing opportunities.
      Long Term Resiliency
      To make our communities pandemic proof for the long term, we continue to advance our Community Center work. Our Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgaii Community Center located in Monument Valley, Navajo Nation continues to provide resources and programs to promote entrepreneurship, youth leadership, language preservation, and food security.
     In its first two months of operation it has served 233 community members. Its most popular resources are its Business Center and Library. Center staff will offer locals Computer Skills Workshops throughout the month of October. Visitors are amazed that they are able to access these resources free of charge.
      To strengthen food security within the Navajo Nation, we partnered with local farmers to distribute fresh, organic Navajo-grown produce in a remote Navajo community.
     Please continue supporting our Relief Fund to assist with our ongoing COVID relief-related needs, and please consider giving to our new Resiliency Fund that will contribute towards our Community Centers. Links to the funds are located at the bottom of this newsletter.
     Please also join us on Indigenous Peoples Day (Monday, October 11) for a special Noon Mountain Time (Navajo Time) fb live event. Watch our fb group page for more details!
     Ahéhee’ and Askwali,
     Yee Ha’ólníi Doo."


     Mark Thiessen and Becky Bohrer, "COVID spike pushes Alaska's health care system to brink: The state’s largest hospital is overwhelmed with patients and was the first weeks ago to declare crisis-of-care protocols, meaning doctors are sometimes prioritizing care based on who has the best odds of survival," ICT, October 6, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/covid-spike-pushes-alaskas-health-care-system-to-brink, reported, "But the battle against the coronavirus isn't over. The highly contagious delta variant is spreading across Alaska, driving one of the nation's sharpest upticks in infections and posing risks for remote outposts like Tanacross where the closest hospital is hours away.
      The COVID-19 surge is worsened by Alaska's limited health care system that largely relies on hospitals in Anchorage, the biggest city. It's where the state's largest hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center, is overwhelmed with patients and was the first weeks ago to declare crisis-of-care protocols, meaning doctors are sometimes prioritizing care based on who has the best odds of survival.
     Since then , 19 other health care facilities in Alaska, including Anchorage's two other hospitals and Fairbanks Memorial, have also entered crisis care mode, something overtaxed facilities in other states have had to do, including Idaho and Wyoming."


     Tsanavi Spoonhunter, "Keeping a roof over their heads: Northern Arapaho housing program is a model for how to use pandemic relief funds to help families stay in their homes," ICT, June 16, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/keeping-a-roof-over-their-heads, reported, "she [Pamela Lock ] and her son were encouraged to apply for pandemic relief funds through a special emergency program run by the Northern Arapaho Tribal Housing Department. They are now among more than 300 applicants approved so far to receive about $830,000 in funds – an average of about $2,400 each." The state of Wyoming was much slower in processing requests from applicants and giving out housing grants. Finding the Northern Arapaho housing program is a model, state housing officials have sought guidance from the tribe on improving the state program.


     A study published in The Lancet, in October 2021, shows that in addition to being racist in impact, killings by police in the United States are underreported, perhaps only half being included in national statistics, and this likely includes Native deaths by police, not included specifically in the study, "Fatal police violence by race and state in the USA, 1980–2019: a network meta-regression." The Lancet, October 2, 2021, https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01609-3/fulltext,
     "Summary
      Background
     The burden of fatal police violence is an urgent public health crisis in the USA. Mounting evidence shows that deaths at the hands of the police disproportionately impact people of certain races and ethnicities, pointing to systemic racism in policing
. Recent high-profile killings by police in the USA have prompted calls for more extensive and public data reporting on police violence. This study examines the presence and extent of under-reporting of police violence in US Government-run vital registration data, offers a method for correcting under-reporting in these datasets, and presents revised estimates of deaths due to police violence in the USA."
     "Findings
     A cross all races and states in the USA, we estimate 30 800 deaths (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 30  300–31  300) from police violence between 1980 and 2018; this represents 17  100 more deaths (16  600–17  600) than reported by the NVSS. Over this time period, the age-standardised mortality rate due to police violence was highest in non-Hispanic Black people (0·69 [95% UI 0·67–0·71] per 100  000), followed by Hispanic people of any race (0·35 [0·34–0·36]), non-Hispanic White people (0·20 [0·19–0·20]), and non-Hispanic people of other races (0·15 [0·14– 0·16]). This variation is further affected by the decedent's sex and shows large discrepancies between states. Between 1980 and 2018, the NVSS did not report 55·5% (54·8–56·2) of all deaths attributable to police violence. When aggregating all races, the age-standardised mortality rate due to police violence was 0·25 (0·24–0·26) per 100 000 in the 1980s and 0·34 (0·34–0·35) per 100 000 in the 2010s, an increase of 38·4% (32·4–45·1) over the period of study.
     Interpretation
      We found that more than half of all deaths due to police violence that we estimated in the USA from 1980 to 2018 were unreported in the NVSS. Compounding this, we found substantial differences in the age-standardised mortality rate due to police violence over time and by racial and ethnic groups within the USA. Proven public health intervention strategies are needed to address these systematic biases. State-level estimates allow for appropriate targeting of these strategies to address police violence and improve its reporting."


     Meghan Sullivan "Following The Coronavirus Relief Funds In Alaska," ICT, September 30, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/d40f58c6-97f4-9123-dbeb-5a760a9a5047/9.30.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported that following a June decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that Alaska Native corporations were to receive funding under the CARES Act, “ Overall, 13 Alaska Native regional corporations and more than 150 village corporations received nearly $450 million in relief funds. They have until December 31, 2021, to spend it, according to the CARES Act legislation.
      Most of the corporations are planning to deploy a combination of individual shareholder payments and donations to larger assistance programs. First, they will distribute stipends directly to shareholders, based on who experienced financial setbacks during the pandemic. The remaining funds will then go towards other community initiatives, unless the corporations set aside a predetermined amount."


     Nancy Marie Spears, Beth Wallis and Mackenzie Wilkes, "COVID relief funds highlight complexity of issues: 'There were so many rules from the U.S. Department of Treasury regarding the CARES … that made it really difficult to try to spend that money where it was needed'," ICT, August 26, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/covid-relief-funds-highlight-complexity-of-issues, reported, " Congress allocated a historic amount of federal funds to tribes through the 2020 CARES Act and the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act . For some Indigenous communities, those federal funds were beneficial. For others, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted deeper systemic complexities that federal funding cannot fully address.
     Indigenous nations across the country have experienced chronic federal
underfunding , which has led to disproportionate impacts tied to COVID-19 through housing, employment, public safety, food security, health care and economic outcomes."
      The CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund, allocated $8 billion to tribal governments and Alaska Native Corporations for “necessary expenditures” incurred because of COVID-19, and the American Rescue Plan Act funds provided Indigenous communities with $31 billion for infrastructure needs and other federal programs. Shares of an additional $1 billion were being dispersed to each eligible tribal government, plus $900 million was allocated for several purposes, including tribal housing improvements. Smaller Congressional COVID relief bills allocated further funding to a variety of Indigenous entities: $2.6 billion from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, a minimum of $750 million plus a share of at least $11 million from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, and $74 million from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
      For tribal nations to receive the money often was difficult. Navajo Nation Council member Eugenia Charles-Newton commented, “What we learned was, even though money was allocated, we were still running into a lot of issues. There were so many rules from the U.S. Department of Treasury regarding the CARES … that made it really difficult to try to spend that money where it was needed.” In some instances, transparency by tribal governance on how the funding was used was also an issue.
      On the Blackfeet Nation, which received $38,692,273 in CARES money, a number of tribal citizens protested for accountability outside the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council office in Browning, MT, on June 21, 2021. As of July 2021, the nation was expecting to receive some $81 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. On the Blackfeet Reservation, economic and living conditions have been bad, and have been made worse by COVID. For example, food insecurity there was at a rate of 69 percent, compared to the national average of 12.5 percent.
      One resident tribal elder, who was on disability, said with conditions worsening with the pandemic, the one payment of $500 she received was quickly consumed for food, electricity and water bills, and gas for her car. She stated that local initiatives, such as buses that run through the reservation on weekdays providing three meals for children and federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, have been helpful.
      Vaccination rates on the Blackfeet Nation have been high, with more than 8,700 people in the community of around 10,000 inoculated by Aug. 11, with 48 deaths . In the reservation community of Heart Butte, residents said the impact of COVID-19 has been worse than around the state while the community, with its underdeveloped infrastructure, had gained little from federal spending. Overall, tribal communities in Montana had experienced at least 2.2 times more COVID-19 cases compared to white people, and 1.7 times as many deaths as of late August 2021.
      A number of Indigenous nations have applied federal funds to address long existing issues exacerbated by the pandemic. The Yurok Tribe of California used some of its $40,181,881 CARES Act funds to address ongoing reservation food security issues, as well as distributing COVID-19 relief checks to members, installing broadband infrastructure and building an emergency response center. Food insecurity, and access to good food, have long been problems on the reservation of more than 5000 residents. The pandemic made those issues more acute. In response, the nation used its CARES Act allotment to acquire forty acres of ancestral land for $490,000 which will encompass gardens, a commercial kitchen and small homes. The Yurok's had already established the Ancestral Guard to teach its youth farming and fishing on the Klamath River as part of providing families a sustainable way to obtain food. Traditionally, the Yurok relied heavily on fishing in the Klamath, but drought and an increasing parasite infection in the river have been disseminating the Chinook salmon, requiring the nation to diversify its food sources, most particularly in launching its gardens.
     On the Navajo Nation, with a 2020 reported mostly Navajo population of 172,813, by late August 2021, COVID-19 has infected more than 31,000 tribal members and killed more than 1,300. [See above for more recent figures]. The Nation has struggled hard to limit the pandemic, at varying times employing daily curfews, lockdowns and mask mandates.
     The Navajo Nation received $714,189,631 in CARES Act funding from the U.S. government, – two and a quarter times its usual allotment of federal funds
. In August it was receiving $1.86 billion in first-round American Rescue Plan Act funds which the Nation was still in the process of allocating as of mid-December 2021 to meet numerous long-term deficiencies and major infrastructure needs. One of these ongoing shortages has been Navajo Police Department personnel, equipment and other infrastructure. In August, the department had only 200 officers to patrol the vast reservation with many isolated areas in radio blind spots, and with many of its roads, dirt and in dangerous condition. A spring 2021 study of department (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ISYTSnsD4DAdKulDCIn1ptztjSvPhuP-/view) needs by Strategy Matters found that for adequate policing, the department need a minimum of 500 officers, and ideally should have 775. The report also stated that the department would need to expand its facilities to house more staff, while the police chief hoped funding would be available to replace its 71 year old former post office building, which has serious mold problem and its too small training academy housed in two double-wide trailers. The pandemic has been particularly hard on Navaho police, who have had added to their usual duties enforcing curfews, operating educational checkpoints, distributing PPE and transporting arrestees to the hospital for COVID-19 tests before booking, while covering for sick and quarantining colleagues. To accomplish that, officers often worked 16 to 24-hour shifts, and had vacation time canceled.
      Of the various COVID related received federal funds that the nation had allocated, payments were made to tribal citizens of $1,350 for adults and $450 for children to approved applicants. Other moneys were used for a variety of needs, including installing bathroom additions, water cisterns, broadband/cellphone towers and septic systems, and bringing electricity to more than 1,000 homes through on-and off-grid methods. Individual tribal members used their money in diverse ways, including purchasing a generator for an off the grid house' a homeless single mother with three children purchasing an old travel trailer to live in; families buying - often for the first time - new beds and bicycles for their children. One member, who grew up herding sheep on the reservation, used his federal stimulus money to move from Santa Fe, NM, to the Red Mesa region of the Navajo Nation to take a job there, while one member used some of his allocation to travel to the Midwest to pick up a reliable vehicle from his adult children that he could use to get to and from work.
      COVID-19 has also magnified Native American health disparities in urban areas, where about 70 percent of Native Americans reside in urban areas, while most Indian Health Services funding and services go to reservation health facilities. Of the $600 million in COVID tribal health funding, immediately distributed in April 2020, $570 million went to IHS and reservation health facilities, with only $30 million going to the 41 health programs of Urban Indian Organizations. Overall, IHS received more than $1 billion in CARES Act funds, which not only helped it meet the pandemic, but assisted it in making up some of its huge deficiencies from serious underfunding, that increasing Congressional IHS appropriations over the last few years have only somewhat reduced.
     Executive director of Native American LifeLines, an IHS-contracted referral service, Kerry Lessard, commented that providing adequate health and wellness care to tribal members is a trust responsibility, regardless of where they live. To be adequate, that care needs to be both sufficient and culturally appropriate. And needs of Native people in urban areas are significant. Wendy Carrión, director of health services at the Sacramento Native Health Center, noted that about 46 percent of their patients had multiple preexisting conditions, making them vulnerable to severe effects from COVID-19. She said the urban health program found its patients wanted information and care from officials who understood the needs of Indigenous people. She said it was also important to provide vaccines not only to Sacramento’s Indigenous populations, but to non-Indigenous people as well, to protect the Native American community, commenting, “We needed to focus on the Native community and make sure that … they have access to both testing and immunization. But in order to keep the community safe … we were able to talk to them and be able to expand it to the rest of the community.”
      A continuing problem for U.S. Indigenous people made particularly evident by COVID is lack of Native specific data collection. Dr. Spero Manson, an epidemiologist and director of the Colorado School of Public Health’s Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health pointed out that among others, Maryland, has not been tracking COVID-19 cases among Native Americans. He said, “If we are to understand the health status of the Native community and to make sure that interventions and funding are being what they need to be, you have to report on us. But more than that, it is figuratively and literally saying you don’t count — we’re not counting you, you don’t count.”
     The greatly increased American Indian and Alaska Native funding under the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan has permitted many Indigenous nations partially to address ongoing infrastructure and other long-term issues exacerbated by COVID-19, including food security, water access and emergency response. Much more funding yet needs to be provided to bring reservation and urban Native living up to a reasonably equal level with that of mainstream America, as is required of the U.S. government by its trust responsibility.


     "Distributing Emergency Cash Assistance To Native Families During A Pandemic," Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) Authored by
Kristen Wagner, PhD, and Christy Finsel September 2021, The entire report at: https://oknativeassets.org/resources/Documents/ONAC%20Emergency%20Cash%20Assistance%20Report_FINAL_Digital_Single%20Pages.pdf?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.jAYeqA8JWck2L_OFM1_G0BA.rG9RAYASebEeM7bVI_zKuMg.lokHe-QlljUquoyRM5F8L1g, With Support of the Wells Fargo Foundation
     " About The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc.
     The Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC) is an American Indian-led nonprofit network of Native people who are dedicated to increasing self-sufficiency and prosperity in their communities. The coalition, headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has existed since 2001, and was classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2014. ONAC focuses on promoting culturally responsive asset-building strategies and serves Native communities on a national level. For more information about ONAC, including its programs, please access ONAC’s website at: http://www.oknativeassets.org.
      Abstract
     During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oklahoma Native Assets Coalition, Inc. (ONAC), a Native- led nonprofit serving Native communities across the U.S., has provided emergency cash assistance payments ($500 per applicant) to American Indian and Alaska Native families. In total, ONAC raised funds to support
1,070 families. ONAC approached 23 tribes and Native-led nonprofit partners to request their assistance to provide the outreach and referrals for the payments that were distributed to tribal citizens residing in 28 states
. 1 This referral process has worked well, as ONAC has limited funding and could not have reasonably distributed a publicly-available application link given the need for assistance among Native families (ONAC would have been swamped with requests). ONAC has equitably dispersed emergency cash assistance funds by region of the country.
     Through this program, ONAC distributed the funds by check made payable to the applicant or ACH transfer to the applicant’s bank account. As part of the application, ONAC provided Bank On information for those who were not banked and may have wanted to become so as part of the emergency cash assistance program. 2 Also, a link to register for ONAC-provided financial coaching was made available for those interested in the service. In the applications, ONAC collected information about how the family planned to use the funds. Applicants reported that the assistance would be used for rental and mortgage payments, groceries, utilities, Internet service, burial expenses, student loan payments, and health care expenses. For harder-to-reach Native families who sometimes had no Internet service, devices for online applications, or bank accounts, ONAC assisted them with the application by phone or worked with the community partner to receive lists of mailing addresses for check disbursement. Some of the community partners assisted with outreach and application completion by visiting with families through the family’s screen door or providing assistance with the application over the phone."
     " Conclusion
      Despite the progress that ONAC has made in distributing assistance to Native families, emergency cash assistance in Native communities is still needed. ONAC is aware of the need for additional emergency cash assistance based on feedback from a number of ONAC’s tribal partners, as well as from the Native families ONAC directly serves via its asset building programs. Prices on products and services have risen, yet household income continues to decline in many Native households due to unemployment and underemployment related to the ongoing pandemic.
     It is our understanding that additional cash assistance is also needed due to the high COVID-related death rates in Native communities and how these deaths are impacting family balance sheets and care for Native children. COVID-19 has hit Native families hard. According to a National Institutes of Health study, “1 of every 168 American Indian/Alaska Native children . . . experienced orphanhood or death of caregivers. Compared to white children, American Indian/Alaska Native children were 4.5 times more likely to lose a parent or grandparent caregiver.” 6 A number of Native families, especially those caring for children, are struggling during this ongoing pandemic and are in need of financial assistance.
      Related to needing financial support, Native individuals and families have demonstrated a growing need for financial coaching services. Requests for financial coaching have tripled in the past two months with some individuals noting that their savings are depleted and they need to have a plan to stretch their funds. A number of registrants are expressing interest in basic budgeting and credit counseling to support their personal efforts to manage household finances through the pandemic.
     This case example of creating and implementing a direct cash distribution process highlights the importance of funding Native-led nonprofits that are most closely connected with their community members, as well as being aware of the areas where community need is greatest. ONAC was able to distribute cash assistance awards quickly due to the good lines of communication already established between community partners and program referrals. Another helpful factor was the program design, which allowed for online applications, one-on-one phone assistance with filling out the application, and the option to receive funds via an ACH transfer to a bank account or by a check by mail.
     The level of flexibility built into this program allowed people who most needed the funds to receive them regardless of their banked or unbanked status. It is estimated that the economic impacts of the pandemic are going to affect Native families for, at least, the next several years. Therefore, it is more important than ever that there are easy-to-access systems of support to continue to meet their needs._________________6. On October 7, 2021, the National Institutes of Health published a news release entitled, “More than 140,000 U.S. children lost a primary or secondary caregiver due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” https:On //www.nih.gov/news- events/news-releases/more-140000-us-children-lost-primary-or-secondary- caregiver-due-covid-19-pandemic. This news release referenced a study published in Pediatrics. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/ early/2021/10/06/peds.2021-053760."


     "2020 Census: Native population increased by 86.5 percent," ICT, August 13, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/2020-census-native-population-increased-by-86-5-percent, reported on the increasing racial dicersity in the U.S. as found in the 2020 U.S. Census, " The growth in the American Indian and Alaska Native population in the last decade contributes to the country’s portrait of being much more multiracial and more diverse (https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/newsroom/press-kits/2021/redistricting/20210812-presentation-redistricting-jones.pdf), according to 2020 Census data released Thursday. The demographic data will be used to redraw the nation's political maps.
     The American Indian and Alaska Native population, alone and in combination, increased from 5.2 million in 2010 to 9.7 million in 2020, a 86.5 percent increase. This makes the American Indian and Alaska Native people represent 2.9 percent of the U.S. population.
      3.7 million people self identified as American Indian and Alaska Native alone.
     5.9 million in combination one race or more
     9.7 million alone or in combination
     The number of people who identified as White and American Indian and Alaska Native grew from 1.4 million in 2010 to 4 million in 2020. Native Hawaiians, alone and in combination, count for 1.6 million
."


      StrongHearts Native Helpline, which provides 24/7 culturally appropriate domestic violence, dating and sexual violence helpline at: (844)762-8483 or by clicking on the chat icon at strongheartshelpline.org, has released statistics on their Native American and Alaska Native contacts who have experienced sexual violence:• 35 percent were 25 to 36 years of age• 32 percent were 37 to 48 years of age. • 19 percent were 13 to 24 years of age. • 15 percent were 49 to 60+ years of age. The top three needs of Native American and Alas- ka Native sexual violence victim survivors are listed in order of prevalence: • 64 percent needed peer support. • 33 percent needed legal advocacy. • 28 percent needed shelter. ("StrongHearts Native Helpline releases one-year report," Southern Ute Drum, September 24, 2021).


     Rebecca Kirkpatrick, "Mayan League Launches New Program for Indigenous Language Interpreters to Address Crisis at the U.S./Mexico Border," Cultural Survival, June 24, 2021, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/mayan-league-launches-new-program-indigenous-language-interpreters-address-crisis-usmexico, reported, " Since April 2021, 170,000 people have been arriving monthly at the United States-Mexico border from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. There are 25 different languages spoken in Guatemala alone, 24 of which are Indigenous languages. This means that many migrants arriving at the border from these countries are not fluent in either one of the languages in which the entire immigration process is conducted. Indigenous language interpreters are in seriously short supply , leaving Indigenous language speakers to stumble through a complicated government system entirely on their own.
     
     According to one article in the Cultural Survival Quarterly by Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras, International Mayan League, and Indigenous Languages Office, 'Indigenous Peoples are denied both due process and their identity through language exclusion, coupled with their erasure as distinct peoples through statistical omission and erroneous categorization as Latino or Hispanic.' For speakers of Indigenous languages arriving from Mexico, Central, and South America, the already difficult task of migrating to the United States is made even more so by a significant lack of Indigenous language interpreters. It is very often assumed that because they come from countries where the dominant language is Spanish, members of Indigenous communities migrating to the United States are fluent in Spanish. The reality, however, is that oftentimes their Spanish is rudimentary at best, which leads to serious gaps in communication between border officials and Indigenous migrants and, as a result, endangers asylum seekers’ right to due process.
     Fortunately, the issue has not gone entirely unnoticed. In a 2019 Universal Periodic Review of the United States , Cultural Survival reported on the mortal danger that can result from the language barrier between Indigenous migrants and border officials and made recommendations for the United States government to take action. The recommendations included the provision of funding and training for licensed interpreters of Indigenous Central American languages. The United States government is morally and legally obligated to ensure that those who are fleeing economic injustice and violence have the right to due process and to be treated with respect . These rights are frequently violated and the lives of Indigenous migrants are constantly at risk as a result.
      Indigenous language speakers arriving at the border are often forced to sign paperwork they don’t fully understand because there are no Indigenous language interpreters available. Consequently, they may unwittingly waive family reunification or state that their child is in good health when they are actually in need of immediate assistance. This lack of understanding and inability to be understood can lead to refusal of entry into the country and is likely a significant factor in the death of at least five Indigenous children at the United States-Mexico border since 2018. There is a desperate need for fully qualified Indigenous language interpreters at the border to ensure that Indigenous migrants are equipped with all of the information they need to give themselves the best chance at securing entry into the United States in a safe and dignified way.
     One organization that is working to address this issue is the International Mayan League . The Mayan League works to inform the Maya people of their fundamental rights and to make sure that these rights are upheld and respected. Juanita Cabrera Lopez (Maya Mam), Executive Director of the International Mayan League, has stated that 'the lack of disaggregated Maya language data and erroneous Hispanic/Latino categorization has effectively erased the existence of our peoples and created a crisis in access to services and resources. In the midst of COVID-19, such inequalities, rooted in pre-existing racism and discrimination, have only been exacerbated and affected all facets of life in the community.'
      In an effort to put an end to these human rights violations and provide Indigenous migrants with the linguistic support they need at the United States-Mexico border, on May 27, 2021, the Mayan League launched a new program for Indigenous language interpreters. The program consists of training workshops to provide Indigenous language speakers with the skills needed to become interpreters. Participants in these programs learn interpretation ethics, techniques, and standards, as well as terminology for diverse interpretation settings, all through the lens of Indigenous identity, culture, and history. The Mayan League’s Indigenous Languages Rights Program currently provides bilingual interpretation services between Spanish and K’iche’, Ixil, Q’anjob’al, Q’eqchi’, and Mam.
     The provision of Indigenous language interpreters at the United States-Mexico border is crucial, not simply because it is necessary, but also because it is a basic human right for migrants and asylum seekers to be understood and to understand throughout the immigration process. It could very well mean the difference between life and death.
      Requests for services can be made by contacting interpreters@mayanleague.org or interpretation@thecifva.org. At least one week's notice is required. To find out more please contact the Mayan League or Centreville Immigration Forum at either interpreters@mayanleague.org or interpretation@thecifva.org."


      The conservation group, Open Space returned Papscanee Island in New York State to the Stockbridge-Munsee Nation, in May 2021, "U.S.: Papscanee Island Returned to the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe," Cultural Survival, September 2021).


     Nancy Marie Spears, "Quapaw Addresses New Criminal Justice Center, McGirt Application," ICT, October 28, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/9da0d13b-7dc4-e89b-3ac9-925da70a7469/10.28.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, " Members of the Quapaw Nation Business Committee and representatives from the U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District of Oklahoma held a news conference Thursday to commemorate an Oklahoma’s district court ruling affirming the tribe’s reservation, according to a statement from the tribe"
     " Tribal leaders also addressed in the news conference strides the tribe has made in preparation for the jurisdiction transfer that has ensued after the McGirt application, including opening a $4 million courts and criminal justice center less than two years ago."


      The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma was authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation to become the first Indian nation to plan and finance road improvements without federal oversight (U.S.: Cherokee Nation to Self-Govern Tribal Transportation," Cultural Survival, September 2021).


     Susan Montoya Bryan, "Indigenous Group Questions Removal of Boarding School Burial Plaque: Plaque Memorialized Indigenous Children Who Died Attending Boarding School," The Paper, July 2, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/07/indigenous-group-questions-removal-of-boarding-school-burial-plaque/, reported, " A historical plaque memorializing the dozens of Native American children who died while attending a boarding school in New Mexico more than a century ago has gone missing, sparking concern among Indigenous activists.
     Members of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women are among those pushing the city of Albuquerque to investigate. The small plaque was located in a park near the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the original site of the Albuquerque Indian School."


     Christine Chung, "Researchers Identify Dozens of Native Students Who Died at Nebraska School: Using digitized records and newspaper clippings, researchers pieced together the history of the Genoa U.S. Indian Industrial School, a government-run institution that closed in 1934," The New York Times, November 17, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/17/us/native-american-boarding-school-deaths-nebraska.html reported that at the. edge of Genoa, NB, "No one knows how many students died there, at the Genoa U.S. Indian Industrial School, though thousands are believed to have passed through its doors. Government documents have proved elusive or obfuscated an accurate death toll. Graves have not been found on the grounds.
     But, using digitized government records and newspaper clippings, researchers recently pieced together part of the history of the Genoa School, which operated from 1884 to 1934 and once sprawled over 30 buildings and 640 acres." They have found that at a minimum, 87 children died at the school, and identified 50 of the students. It is estimated that many more Indian students likely died there.


     The Passamaquoddy Nation was awaiting immanent return, in September 2021, of an ancient fishing village on Lake Meddybemps in Maine, that the U.S. military had used to dump toxic waste ("U.S.: Passamaquoddy Tribe Reacquires Land," Cultural Survival Quarterly, December 2021).


     "Cleveland's Baseball Team Goes From Indians To Guardians," ICT, July 29, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/96b39057-4f73-59ec-b984-ff30436c2564/7.29.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, "Since 1915, Cleveland's Major League
Baseball team has been known as the Indians. The team is now renamed the Guardians
."
     "The ballclub announced the name change Friday — effective at the end of the 2021 season — with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks. The decision ends months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist."


     Sara Reardon, " Tribes want to stop jailing people for suicide attempts: Jailing people because of a mental health issue is illegal in Montana, but the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes has its own laws. One tribal policy allows law enforcement to put citizens who threaten or attempt suicide in jail or juvenile detention to prevent another attempt," ICT, October 26, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/tribes-want-to-stop-jailing-people-for-suicide-attempts, reported that some tribal members are objecting to Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes policy of jailing people for attempting suicide, as isolation in jail only makes their mental condition worse, and may cause people considering killing themselves to not call a suicide hot line, or others to call 911.
     "Fort Peck’s tribal leaders say they approved the policy out of necessity because there were no mental health facilities equipped for short-term housing of people in mental crisis," and until they can get the mental health services that they have been requesting for over a decade, the Tribe has little recourse.


      Mark Walker, "Flooding and Nuclear Waste Eat Away at a Tribe’s Ancestral Home. The federal government allowed a stockpile of spent fuel on a Minnesota reservation to balloon even as a dam project whittled down the amount of livable land," The New York Times, November 13, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/13/us/politics/tribal-lands-flooding-nuclear-waste.html, reported, " For decades, chronic flooding [from a lock-and-dam system built by the Army Engineers two years after the tribe was recognized] and nuclear waste [waste from a power plant built adjacent to the reservation] have encroached on the ancestral lands in southeastern Minnesota that the Prairie Island Indian Community calls home, whittling them to about a third of their original size." The land loss has left no room for tribal development and resulted in over 150 tribal members waiting to receive homes on the reservation, now with only 300 livable acres.
     "With no remedy in sight, the tribal community is asking Congress to put into trust about 1,200 acres of nearby land that it purchased near Pine Island, Minn., about 35 miles away, in 2018. That would allow the tribe to preserve its future by adding land farther away from the power plant to its reservation. In return, the tribe says it would give up the right to sue the government over flooding caused by the dam."


     "Anpetu Luta Otipi new treatment, Detox Center," Lakota Times, November 18, 2021, https://www.lakotatimes.com/articles/anpetu-luta-otipi-new-treatment-detox-center/, reported that the new Anpetu Luta Otipi treatment, Detox Center opened on the Pine Ridge Reservation, November 24, 2021, "expanded from [the old center's] 11,400 square feet to a 16,896 sq. ft. facility with a 48 bed capacity. The three-acre campus contains the residential treatment and detox center, a sweat lodge, recreational outdoor space, employee and visitor parking and RV pads with hookups for onsite behavioral health professional residence and inside the center includes has classrooms, meditation/recreational rooms, a gym, gathering space, two full kitchens, a nursing station, several staff offices, detox units for males and females and bedrooms for participants who enter into intensive residential treatment."


     Tom Crash, "OST Tackles Homelessness," Lakota Times, December 02, 2021, https://www.lakotatimes.com/articles/ost-tackles-homelessness/, reported, "In a move to help with the problem of homelessness on the reservation, the council voted 17-0-2 to approve $169,135 for six non-profits, including the Wild Horse Butte CDC , OST Partnership for Housing and the homeless shelter in Pine Ridge, Iglutecha. Garf Steele, council representative from Wounded Knee district commented that a Homeless Task Force had met the past two Mondays, discussing homelessness on Pine Ridge and we’re looking at structures in each district that could be used as shelters."


     "Burial Ground Under the Alamo Stirs a Texas Feud: Native Americans built the Alamo and hundreds of converts were buried there. Descendants are now fuming because Texas has rejected efforts to protect the site," The New York Times, November 25, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/25/us/alamo-burial-native-americans.html, reported, "... long before the Alamo garrisoned secessionists, Spanish missionaries used the site, known as the Mission San Antonio de Valero, to spread Christianity among Native Americans. People from different tribes built the Alamo with their own hands, and missionaries buried many of the converts, as well as colonists from Mexico and Spain, around the mission or right under it.
     Now, a new battle over the Alamo is brewing, as Native Americans and descendants of some of San Antonio’s founding families seek protections for the human remains while Texas officials press ahead with a contentious $400 million renovation plan for the site
."


     Kolby KickingWoman, "Muscogee Nation Voters Pass Press Protections," ICT, September 30, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/d40f58c6-97f4-9123-dbeb-5a760a9a5047/9.30.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported that the Muscogee Nation, "In its most recent election held on Sept. 18, Muscogee citizens overwhelmingly voted to amend the tribe’s constitution to include... [freedom of press] protections and mandated tribal funding for its news enterprise, Mvskoke Media."


     The National Park Service, in September 2021, approved the establishment of the Southern Ute Tribe's Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) that will take over from the Colorado Historical Society directing and conducting a comprehensive survey and maintaining an inventory of historically and culturally significant properties on tribal land, identify and nominate eligible properties to the National Register of Historic Places otherwise administer applications for listing historic properties on the register, develop and administer a comprehensive historic preservation plan and advise and assist federal, state and local authorities in carrying out their historic preservation activities. This is the 206th THPO to be established. ("Tribe welcomes establishment of Tribe's Tribal Historic Preservation Office," Southern Ute Drum, September 24, 2021).


     McKayla Lee, "Fort Lewis takes further steps towards reconciliation," Southern Ute Drum, September 10, 2021, https://www.sudrum.com/eEditions/DrumPDF/2021/SUDrum-20210910.pdf, reported, "Hundreds of community members, students and college alumni gathered at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO on Monday, September 6 to witness the ceremonial removal of the Fort Lewis College Indian Boarding School panels that were installed onto the beams of the clocktower that sits centrally on campus. The panels were removed because they depicted inaccurate and dis- respectful historical experiences of the Indian Boarding School era."
     "100th Annual Southern Ute Fair cancelled for September," Southern Ute Drum, July 30, 2021, https://www.sudrum.com/eEditions/DrumPDF/2021/SUDrum-20210730.pdf, reported, " The 100th Annual Southern Ute Fair has been postponed for the year 2021. This decision was not made lightly and included input from tribal leadership and various departments, members, and employees. Safety is our number one concern and though neighboring municipalities and towns have reduced COVID-19 restrictions, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe remains attentive to the health and well-being of the membership. Variants have been on the rise and we are focused on protecting our elders and 'at risk'” population.
     Jeremy Wade Shockley, "Horse Empower brings families closer, fosters communication," The Southern Ute Drum, October 8, 2021, https://www.sudrum.com/eEditions/DrumPDF/2021/SUDrum-20211008.pdf, reported, "The Southern Ute Behavioral Health Division utilized grant funding earmarked for mental health programming to provide Horse Empower sessions to Southern Ute tribal members during the month of September. This ties into the overarching Native Connection Programs’ goal of prevention of substance use and suicide.
     'This is an amazing project that our program was able to bring to the Native youth and their families,' emphasized Native Connection Program Coordinator, Precious Collins.
     Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is an experiential approach to teaching life skills such as leader- ship, communication and team building utilizing a partnership with horses."


     The Navajo Nation Council, in December 2021, was considering a bill to allocate $68 million to complete work on 12 water connection projects that would bring safe, clean potable water to more than 16,400 people on the Navajo reservation ("Bill earmarks $68 million for NM water projects," Navajo Times, December 2, 2021).


      Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez signed into law the Air Is Life Act of 2021, on November 6, 2021. The measure bans the use of commercial tobacco products in enclosed and indoor areas on the Navajo Nation ("Air Is Life Act passed into law," Navajo Times, November 1, 2021).


     The Navajo Nation Council, in mid-November 2021, voiced opposition to President Biden's declaring a ten mile fracking free zone around the Chaco National Monument, saying the action was taken without consultation with Navajo Nation, whose families were impacted by the decision. The impact has both health and economic ramifications for Dine living within the zone ("Council opposes Biden's 10-mile buffe zone proposal," Navajo Times, November 18, 2021).


      Chief Plenty Coups Honor Guard, all descendants of Apsáalooke (Crow Nation) Chief Plenty Coup, led the opening of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration in Arlington, Virginia, November 9, 2021, the first time in 96 years that anyone except a military honor guard has been allowed to approach the tomb (Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, "Apsáalooke honor Tomb of Unknown 100 years later," ICT, November 10, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/apsáalooke-honor-tomb-of-unknown-100-years-later).


     " The U.S. Department of the Interior, in June 2021, returned 18,000 acres of land within the boundaries of their reservation to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation in Montana ("U.S.: 18,000 acres Returned to Tribes in Montana," Cultural Survival Quarterly, September 2021).


      Northern Cheyenne tribal council member Silver Little Eagle has complained, that because she is a woman, she has been bullied and harassed on reservation for seeking legal action on being assaulted, exemplifying the difficulties of Native women seeking redress from violence committed against them (Jack Healy, "Tribal Leader Is Assaulted and System Adds to Pain," The New York Times, June 21, 2011).


     Felicia Fonseca, "Tribe becomes key water player: As Arizona faces mandatory cuts next year in its Colorado River supply, the tribes see themselves as major players in the future of water," ICT, July 7, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/tribe-becomes-key-water-player, reported, " The Colorado River Indian Tribes and another tribe in Arizona played an outsized role in the drought contingency plans that had the state voluntarily give up water. As Arizona faces mandatory cuts next year in its Colorado River supply, the tribes see themselves as major players in the future of water," as the Arizona tribes have major water rights and “have been invited to the table for negotiations on the issues about the river.
     The tribes gave up farming on some fields to contribute water for the original settlement, receiving in return more money than they would have made by farming. Now, "while some fields are dry on the reservations, the tribe plans to use the money to invest in its water infrastructure. It has the oldest irrigation system built by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, dating to 1867, serving nearly 125 square miles of tribal land."


     The Yurok Nation of Northern California, with collaboration from the Trust for Public Land, regained more than 2000 acres of ancestral land at Ke'pel Creek, where tribal members can now hold ceremonies, fish and hunt without outside intrusion (U.S.: Yurok Tribe Reclaims Ancestral Territory in Northern California," Cultural Survival Quarterly, September 2021).


      Eli Francovich, "Homesteading family’s lasting legacy realized in agreement to return nearly 10,000 acres of habitat to Colville Tribes in conservation deal, Spokesman-Review, October 20, 2021, https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/oct/20/as-a-homesteading-families-name-dies-off-nearly-10/, reported, "On a February day, with wind-whipped temperatures falling to 4 below zero, Colville tribal leaders approved an unusual transaction at their offices in Nespelem.
     They agreed to accept ownership of a 9,243-acre ranch from Seattle-based Conservation Northwest, so long as the tribes agreed to a set of ownership stipulations (known as covenants) aimed at conserving the biodiversity of that land.
     The arrangement, which had been a decade in the making, represented a cultural and ecological milestone: simultaneously securing a key habitat corridor between the Cascade and Rocky Mountains and returning tribal land taken by the U.S. government in 1892."


     Wil Phinney, "Umatilla Tribes Lead The Way , ICT, June 24, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/40147001-c2e6-75f7-33e0-b7001b693d22/6.24.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, " Thirty-two years ago, when the Umatilla Tribes realized non-Indians owned more property on the 172,000-acre reservation than the combined total for tribal government and tribal allottees, it embarked on a 50-year plan to buy back its land.
     Thanks to an aggressive Land Acquisition Program, today the Tribes own 94,590 acres. Since 1990, the Tribes have purchased 77,346 acres—43,393 acres in fee status and 33,953 acres in trust status
."


      In the California Gold Rush Era, Serranus Hastings, who founded of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law initiated massacres of Indians in the Round Valley. Perhaps 6000 Native Californians were killed in the state's ethnic cleansings. With that history the issue of whether to change the name of the college has arisen, especially for the descents of those Hastings attacks that targeted, members of the Yuki Tribe of the current Round Valley Indian Tribes, two of whose members are on the college board. The current college Dean has been pushing to retain the name ( Thomas Fuller, "He Unleashed a California Massacre. Should This School Be Named for Him? The founder of the Hastings College of the Law masterminded the killings of hundreds of Native Americans. The school, tribal members and alumni disagree about what should be done now. The New York Times, October 28, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/27/us/hastings-college-law-native-massacre.html).


     "The International Indian Treaty Council Joins The Pit River Tribe In Celebrating Historic Land And Cultural Rights Victories," International Treaty Council, November 16, 2021, http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/1383891/1134a7efb8/545546365/aa063f1824/, reported, " International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) affiliate Pit River Tribe is celebrating two historic victories: protecting their sacred places and reinstating jurisdiction over their traditional territories in Northern California. These include the defeat of a massive industrial wind farm project, which threatened an area of significant environmental and cultural importance on October 21, 2021, as well as the return of 786 acres of ancestral land by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) on November 5, 2021. This land was originally purchased in the early 1900s by Mt. Shasta Power using what tribal members described as "deceitful and coercive" methods.
     Pit River, a federally recognized Tribe, composed of 11 bands of Achumawi and Atsugewi speaking Peoples, has lived in and stewarded land in present-day Shasta, Lassen, Modoc, and Siskiyou counties and beyond since time immemorial. Pit River, like other California Indigenous Peoples, survived several waves of colonial genocide, including the California Goldrush, forced relocation, government-backed massacres, boarding schools, and other assimilation programs.
      Houston-based energy corporation ConnectGen proposed the Fountain Wind project in Shasta County in 2018. This proposal included the installation of over 70 massive wind turbines on an undeveloped mountain of great cultural and ecological significance. The Tribe immediately launched a campaign to oppose the project. On June 22, 2021, after 10 hours of testimony from tribal members, local residents, and IITC, the Shasta County Planning Commissioners voted 5-0 against the project. ConnectGen appealed the decision, and on October 26, 2021, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to deny the company's appeal after 20 hours of public testimonies.
     Agnes Gonzalez, Pit River Tribal Chairwoman, confirmed that 'Tribal members stood strong speaking from their hearts' and criticized the 'green-washing' of the Fountain Wind project. The proposed plans would have required a major building effort endangering sensitive animal and plant habitats while also contributing to fire dangers in the region. The construction would have produced a larger carbon footprint than what would have been offset during the project's lifetime, according to Brandy McDaniels, Madesi Band Cultural Representative for the Pit River Tribe
     Gregory Feather Wolfin, Pit River Tribe Environmental Director , underscored that the campaign to defeat the project (which united tribal, environmental, Indigenous rights, and public interest advocates) demonstrated the inextricable ties between the defense of Indigenous sacred places, Tribal sovereignty, and the protection of sensitive environments in drought and fire-ravaged California.
     IITC Board member Radley Davis, a respected Pit River cultural leader from the Illmawi Band, celebrated the victory, confirming that 'this mega wind project would have forever erased ancestral, sacred and ceremonial sites, decimated eagles, hawks, bats, and would have placed miles of electrical lines through forest lands already at extremely high fire risk. Our Nation stood together with our neighbors and allies to protect our homes, lands, and natural resources against powerful interests. Pit River endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2012, which strengthened this successful effort to defend our rights'.
     In a second major victory, on November 5, the Pit River Tribe gathered to celebrate the return of 789 acres of land within the ancestral territories of the Illmawi and Atsugewi bands, which was officially announced to the public on October 29. The return of this land to tribal stewardship was historic for Pit River and all California Indigenous Peoples organizing to call for #LandBack in a united effort to achieve the return of stolen lands. 'All PG&E and publicly managed lands within our 100 square mile territory should be returned to the Pit River Tribe', states Morning Star Gali, Pit River Tribal Member, and IITC California Tribal and Community Liaison. 'Protection of our sacred lands and waterways cannot effectively happen without Tribal management and stewardship. Land Back is more than a hashtag; it is the opportunity to heal our Nations.'
     IITC is an organization of Indigenous Peoples from North, Central, South America, the Arctic, Caribbean, and Pacific working for the sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous rights, Treaties, traditional cultures, and sacred lands. IITC was founded on the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota in June 1974. In 1977, the IITC became the first Indigenous Peoples' organization to be recognized as a Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) with Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. In 2011, IITC was the first to be upgraded to General Consultation Status in recognition of its active participation in a wide range of international bodies and processes in order to advance, defend and recognize the rights of Indigenous Peoples."


      Three Native villages in the St. Lawrence Islands of Alaska have suffered very high rates of cancer because their water source is polluted, poisoning drinking water and food. Meghan Sullivan, "ANCSA At 50: Berries, Wildlife And Toxic Lands," ICT, December 2, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/3833293d-d772-492f-224f-942e446f4035/12.02.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, " When the Alaska Native Claims Settlement passed into law in 1971, 44 million acres of Alaskan land were promised to Alaska Native regional and village corporations. As it turned out, a significant portion of these lands were contaminated prior to their conveyance -- berries poisoned and harvests tainted by long forgotten war relics abandoned on the outskirts of Alaska Native villages.
     'Let me be clear: under ANCSA , Alaska Native people gave up 88 percent of our traditional lands. In exchange, we received, in part, contaminated sites that we may be legally liable for,' Sarah Lukin, Alutiiq, said in a 2017 testimony on the issue."
      Alaska Natives have been campaigning for years for the federal government to clean up the contamination.


     "Alaska Native artist creates stamp for Postal Service," ICT, July 13, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/alaska-native-artist-creates-stamp-for-postal-service, reported, "Alaska Native artist Rico Worl said he jumped at the chance to create for the U.S. Postal Service a stamp he hopes will be a gateway for people to learn about his Tlingit culture.
     A ceremony marking the release of Worl's Raven Story stamp was held Friday in Juneau, where Worl lives." The stamp is a traditionally styled depiction of a Raven, which is important in Tlingit culture.


      Joaqlin Estus, "Return of Aleut girl’s remains eases painful memories: ‘Sophia Tetoff’s homecoming is a significant step in addressing the historic wrongs inflicted on our people,’" ICT, August 4, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/return-of-aleut-girls-remains-eases-painful-memories, reported that the return to Aleut Alaska Natives on St. Paul Island, AK of the body of Sophia Tetoff who was taken to was taken from the villagers to an orphanage 136 years before, was seen by villagers as a step in undoing historic wrongs. "Those historic wrongs include the enslavement and forced labor of the Unangax people, or Aleuts, who were brought to the Pribilof Islands from the Aleutians to harvest fur seals for their pelts. First the Russians, then the U.S. government kept tight control of the Aleuts on St. Paul and St. George, the two inhabited Pribilof islands. Agents dictated who worked, if and when Aleuts could leave their island, and even who could marry whom. For slaughtering seals and processing their furs, workers were paid in housing, clothing, food and small amounts of cash. The commercial harvest ended in 1984.
      After Japanese attacks in the region during World War II, Pribilof island residents were evacuated and crowded into internment camps in crumbling abandoned buildings in southeast Alaska where as many as one in ten, mostly elderly and young, died."


     "Group finds site linked to tribes seeking return of remains," Lakota Times, December 9, 2021, https://www.lakotatimes.com/articles/group-finds-site-linked-to-tribes-seeking-return-of-remains/, reported that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and five other , " Tribes fighting for the return of human remains and funerary artifacts excavated from an ancient settlement in present-day Alabama got help for their argument Tuesday when a federal advisory committee found the site to be culturally linked to their tribes.
     The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee found a 'preponderance of the evidence for cultural affiliation' between the remains and artifacts taken from the settlement founded 1,000 years ago and the Muskogean speaking tribes known to live near there when European settlers arrived. Tribal officials said afterward that the finding means the University of Alabama will be in violation of federal law if it does not return the funerary objects and sacred items to the tribes."


     "Ancient Footprints Push Back Date of Human Arrival in the Americas: Human footprints found in New Mexico are about 23,000 years old, a study reported, suggesting that people may have arrived long before the Ice Age’s glaciers melted," The New York Times, September 23, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/23/science/ancient-footprints-ice-age.html, reported, " Ancient human footprints preserved in the ground across the White Sands National Park in New Mexico are astonishingly old, scientists reported on Thursday, dating back about 23,000 years to the Ice Age.
     The results, if they hold up to scrutiny, would rejuvenate the scientific debate about how humans first spread across the Americas
, implying that they did so at a time when massive glaciers covered much of their path," [or perhaps much earlier].
     Chris Aadland. "Redistricting leads to concern over diluted Indigenous voting power: Concerns over the process disenfranchising tribal communities and Indigenous voters aren’t new, and some groups have worked to raise awareness about the importance of the process," ICT, November 15, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/redistricting-leads-to-concern-over-diluted-indigenous-voting-power, reported, " As voting-rights advocates in Indian Country look to boost Indigenous representation in politics, some say redrawn political maps in Oregon will dilute the power of many Native American voters to elect the candidates who best understand their communities."
      "In Washington, the redistricting commission revised some maps after its initial proposals prompted pushback from tribes and voting-rights advocates.
     The criticism comes as groups in Indian Country have been trying to ensure that the nationwide redistricting effort leads to voting districts that are more fairly constructed or allow Indigenous voters more power in electing candidates they believe will best represent them. Redistricting happens only once every 10 years following a U.S. Census effort."
     Andew Selsky, "First Native to head the National Park Service: Charles 'Chuck' Sams III is the agency's first Senate-confirmed parks director in nearly five years," ICT, November 24, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/first-native-to-head-the-national-park-service, reported, " The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved the nomination of Charles 'Chuck' Sams III as National Park Service director, which will make him the first Native to lead the agency."
     "Sams is Cayuse and Walla Walla, of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon."


     "Joint Statement: NCAI and NARF Congratulate Lauren King on Confirmation to the U.S. District Court," National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), October 7, 2021, https://www.ncai.org/news/articles/2021/10/07/joint-statement-ncai-and-narf-congratulate-lauren-king-on-confirmation-to-the-u-s-district-court, repoted, "The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) congratulate Lauren J. King, a citizen of the Muscogee Nation, on her confirmation as a federal judge in the U.S. District Court of Washington, Western District. She joins the federal bench as only the third active Native American federal district court judge in the United States, the fifth in the history of the federal judiciary, and the first Native American federal judge in the state of Washington"


     Richard Walker, "Echohawk, Sixkiller Trail In Bid To Be Seattle's Next Mayor," ICT, August 5, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/e83aceed-97c9-6836-5c1b-c6cf86c5a6bc/8.5.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, " Two Indigenous candidates making historic bids to be the next mayor of Seattle were trailing late Tuesday in the city’s primary election.
     With returns still being counted, Colleen Echohawk, Pawnee, and Casey Sixkiller, Cherokee, had not broken into the top two spots needed to advance to the Nov. 2 general election
."

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Economic Developments

     "Tesla Skirts State Car Laws With Nambé Car Store: Tesla Opens 1st Store On Tribal Land," The Paper, September 16th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/09/tesla-skirts-state-car-laws-with-nambe-car-store/, reported that at Nambe Pueblo in New Mexico, " Carmaker Tesla has opened a store and repair shop on Native American land for the first time, marking a new approach to its years long fight to sell cars directly to consumers and cut car dealerships out of the process."


     "Navajo Company Takes Over Operation Of Coal Mine It Owns," The Paper, October 1st, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/10/navajo-company-takes-over-operation-of-coal-mine-it-owns/, reported, " A Navajo Nation company is taking over the operation of a coal mine it owns in northwestern New Mexico.
     The Navajo Transitional Energy Co.
has owned the Navajo Mine since 2013 but had contracted with a subsidiary of the North American Coal Corp. to run it."
     "The mine that feeds the adjacent Four Corners Power Plant has nearly 400 employees — 85% of whom are Native American. Moseley said the Navajo Transitional Energy Co. will retain the workforce."
     "Tribe joins Western States and Tribal Nations Natural Gas Initiative," Southern Ute Drum, August 13, 2021, https://www.sudrum.com/eEditions/DrumPDF/2021/SUDrum-20210813.pdf, reported, " The Southern Ute Indi-an Tribe today became the newest member of Western States and Tribal Nations (WSTN) Natural Gas Initiative, expanding the organization’s sovereign tribal perspective and strengthening its voice to advocate for energy development that boosts rural economies, tribal self-determination and environmental improvement."
      Mavis Harris, " 2020 Indian Gaming Revenues Of $27.8 Billion Show A 19.5% Decrease," National Indian Gaming Commission, August 17, 2021, Media Contact: Mary Parker (202) 336-3470
mary_parker@nigc.gov, www.nigc.gov, reported, "Today, National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer and Vice Chair Jeannie Hovland released the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) overall Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) figure. FY 2020 revenues totaled $27.8B, a decrease of 19.5% over FY 2019.
     The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the FY 2020 GGR results. Unlike previous years, the NIGC administrative regions experienced a FY 2020 decline of more than 13% in GGR. The Rapid City Region experienced the largest decrease of 36.6%. Graphics are available for download on the NIGC website and highlight the decreases across all NIGC regions
.
     This Gross Gaming Revenue decrease was expected; the unknown was just how much of an impact COVID-19 had on Indian gaming. Every year, the annual GGR figure tells a story about Indian gaming’s successes, contributions to Indian communities, and economic impacts. This was highlighted even more during the pandemic. Nevertheless, tribes were on the forefront of creating standards, developing new safety protocols, and sharing community resources. I foresee this decrease as only a temporary setback for Indian gaming,” Chairman Simermeyer said.
     The GGR figure is an aggregate of revenue from 524 independently audited financial statements, of 248 federally recognized Tribes across 29 States. The GGR for an operation is based on the amount wagered minus winnings returned to players.
     Despite the limits and uncertainty of the last year, it is important to focus on the sacrifices of and economic refuge provided by tribes and the community impacts. Tribal gaming has shown resilience and commitment, and continues to develop new roads to economic stability. I look forward to seeing Indian gaming continue to lead the way in efforts to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Vice Chair Hovland said.
     For more detailed information, refer to our National Indian Gaming Commission website."


     Stewart Huntington, "Tribe inches closer to historic purchase of Las Vegas resort: The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians would be the first tribe to own a resort in the heart of the nation's gaming industry," ICT, December 7, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/tribe-inches-closer-to-historic-purchase-of-las-vegas-resort, reported, " A California tribe is poised to make gaming history later this month after the Nevada Gaming Control Board voted unanimously last week to recommend approval for its purchase of a Las Vegas resort.
     If the state’s gaming commission green lights the sale of the Palms Casino Resort
on Dec. 16, the San Manuel Band of Indians would become the first tribe to own and operate a resort in the heart of the U.S. gaming industry."


      Carina Dominguez, "Sports betting rollout: ‘The giant has woken up:’ States have taken various approaches to sports betting, Connecticut penned out exclusive rights for tribes and the state lottery while Arizona has opened the gates well beyond tribal gaming," ICT, October 7, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/sports-betting-rollout-the-giant-has-woken-up, reported, " Tribal gaming experts across the nation are monitoring the situation closely with excitement and skepticism.
     More than half of the country is
currently offering sports betting in some form, with even more states expected to offer it in 2022 and 2023.
     In developments involving Indian Nations, in Connecticut the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos began sports gaming September 30, 2021 under a new agreement with the state. Since the Mohegan Tribe owns the Connecticut Sun basketball team, it suspended betting on all WNBA games to avoid a potential conflict of interest. In competition with the two nations, The Connecticut Lottery Corporation began retail and online sports betting in October at 15 retail sportsbooks locations.
     In Arizona, in late August 2021, Republican Governor Doug Ducey launched sport betting an emergency basis to granting 10 licenses to the state’s 22 federally recognized tribes and 10 to non-tribal entities allowing betting on all sports events in the state. Among the non-tribal entities, betting on sports was authorized at Arizona Diamondbacks Chase Field by a third party to avoid a conflict of interest.
      In Florida, the Seminole tribe began online and retail sports betting in mid-October 2021 under a new agreement with the state. that would allow retail and online sports betting but are facing several lawsuits and logistical hurdles.
      With different states acting differently, some allowing sports wagering, others not; with some of those that do retaining exclusive gambling by tribes, but others allowing sports betting by non-tribal entities in competition with tribes, the impact on tribal gaming and economies will clearly vary, but is yet unclear."


     Jeff Manning, "Oregon tribes question state gambling regulations: Critics say the Flying Lark in Grants pass is essentially a casino outside tribal lands, a significant shift in state policy that deserves more scrutiny than it's getting. Six tribes and retailers who sell Oregon Lottery games and advocates for problem gamblers all object to the Flying Lark," ICT, October 26, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/oregon-tribes-question-state-gambling-regulations, reported, " Six tribal nations called on Gov. Kate Brown and other state political leaders to launch a thorough review of Dutch Bros founder Travis Boersma’s plan to open a gambling entertainment center in his hometown of Grants Pass on Oct. 6.
      They argue that that Boersma’s planned 'Flying Lark' will fundamentally change gambling in Oregon with little formal review. Consultants hired by opponents contend the Flying Lark will be the first casino allowed off tribal lands. It will lure business away from tribal casinos and the Oregon State Lottery, their analysis found, and could lead to more gambling venues at other tracks in the state."


      The St. Regis Mohawk Reservation in New York State is the only place in the state where growing Marijuana and selling its various products is legal. The reservation housed 12 such outlets, as of late September 2021 (Jesse McKinley, "Marijuana Shops Are Blooming on Tribal Land," The New York Times, September 26, 2021).


     Jonathan Sims, "Native-owned Brewery Honors Indigenous Land With Beer Labels: Bow and Arrow Brewing Works With Native and Non-Native Breweries To Create Land Awareness," The Paper, November 18, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/11/native-owned-brewery-honors-indigenous-land-with-beer-labels/?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.jcjp-PR3EiE2XcZEG2fpidg.rAPV3UR-ph0iw2f395tzy9Q.lprx6PdCVQUqUs0eslxIiTg, reported, " The founders behind Bow and Arrow Brewing Co. in Albuquerque want you to add another bar trick up your sleeve: knowing the ancestral lands your beer was brewed upon. Yes, you are on Native land, and so is your beer! In celebration and advancement of Indigenous Peoples Day and Native American Heritage Month, Bow and Arrow brewed up the Native Land Label. A collaboration of breweries using a 'Land Acknowledgment' label."
     "Bow and Arrow Brewing is the only Native-owned brewery in New Mexico and will soon release the “Native Land” label, an idea that allows brewers nationwide, Native or not, to share their local ancestral land identity with their consumers. Here’s how it works: When a brewery signs up with Bow and Arrow, they must discover the land claim they are on and also promise to provide a part of the sales to a Native American nonprofit."


     Kalle Benallie, "COVID’s impact on Native markets: SWAIA is back, but with pandemic restrictions. The pandemic has not only affected the public’s access to the annual Santa Fe Indian Market, but also how many artists can participate," ICT, August 20, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/covids-impact-on-native-marketsreported, "The Santa Fe Indian Market has made its way back after taking a year off due to the pandemic." The previously free market now charges for admissions, but allows more artists to show and sell their art work, in reduced maximum space per artist.


      The American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico, http://www.aiccnm.com, visited December 9, 2021, states, "Helping Native People achieve successful economic development initiatives while incorporating, strengthening and building upon tribal values"
     The Chamber acts in several core areas:
      Education:
     "Individuals interested in being employed in Tribal-owned businesses and Member-owned businesses will have knowledge of how these organizations are created and operate along with cultural sensitivity to the communities, organizations, and individuals they will work with including tribal leadership, boards of directors, program directors, and community.
     
Growing Business Through Education?
     The Chamber can provide information on policies, such as the Buy Indian Act, Indian Incentive Program, and ways businesses can leverage them. The Chamber can also provide contacts to other entities, such as the Native American PTAC, that help businesses start and grow.
      Capacity Building:
     "Individual, organizational, and financial capacity building will assist with promoting business growth and success.
     Individual Capacity Building is coaching business ownership and leadership to develop and implement a plan for growth.
     Organization Capacity Building is implementing systems and processes within organization to support the growth plan.
     Financial Capacity Building is securing financial resources through access to capital and increasing bonding capacity as necessary.
     How Will One benefit From Capacity Building?
     After participation within the capacity building courses and trainings, business owners and leaders will have a three-year tactical plan to scale their business. This will include establishing the organizational and financial capacity to foster, secure, and maintain economic opportunity for their business and community in the future. Along with this, they will have obtained knowledge, skill, and ability to implement it."
      Business Development
     "Aligning opportunity with capacity will feed and foster business growth.Business to Government opportunities are researched and distributed to businesses performing in those sectors.
     Business to Business opportunities are fostered through networking, advertising, and referrals.
     Business to Customer advocacy and brokering of qualified businesses to contracting officials and buyers is key to exercising special certifications and designations.
     How will one benefit from Business Development?
     Existing contractors will become aware of contracting opportunities from various anchor institutions including local, state, federal, and tribal governments; education institutions; and health institutions to name a few.
     Contractors will be better positioned to win bids through training, consulting, and match-making events. Business to Business opportunities will be progressed through monthly networking events and ongoing referrals.Networking to promote developmentOur chamber events will provide all businesses big and small to grow and develop through networking and providing connections to other businesses and even contracting officers."
     The chamber is assisted in this work by a weekly newsletter.
      Research & Policy
     
"Research inquiries will benefit tribal economic development. Research helps inform policy development, implementation, evaluation, and change. Policies within the city, local, state, and federal governments, which influence tribal economic opportunity will be a key focus. Relationships with policy makers have been established.
     How will one benefit from training in Research & Policy?
     Existing businesses will benefit from a clearer understanding of opportunities and resources; they will understand their access to capital options, best practices in various industries and how to affect economic opportunity through effective and positive policy. Tribal, Federal, State, and local officials will convene to identify economic opportunities will benefit New Mexico communities."
      Workforce Development
     "Developing the Workforce
     The 'right' workforce is one which compliments the short and long term direction of the business and are not a hinderance to success. Business owners and leaders have indicated a major challenge to growth is employees with poor work ethic. Work ethic will be influenced through 'soft skill' training to include: Problem Solving, Process Mapping, Team Building, Effective Communication, Active Listening, and Conflict Management to name a few.
     How Will One Benefit From Workforce Development?
     Employers will have a workforce with the skill set necessary to position short and long term success. Changes in employee work ethic will lead to organizational culture change to best insure a sustainable success. Performance areas which will likely change include productivity, attendance, and attitude. Furthermore, individuals seeking employment will be better prepared when entering the workforce and adding to the success of the new employer."

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Education and Culture

     Alicia Inez Guzmán, Searchlight New Mexico, "The great disconnect," New Mexico Political Report, June 21, 2021, https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2021/06/21/the-great-disconnect/?mc_cid=bd0ccd49c8&mc_eid=cde7993ced, reported, "On May 18, a judge overseeing the historic Yazzie-Martinez case ordered the New Mexico Public Education Department to take stock of the massive digital divide in the state and finally identify the roughly 76,000 students who lacked Internet connections they desperately needed for school.
     One of PED’s responses was to create a Google survey for students and staff to fill out online, an action that left advocates and school leaders mystified." A major problem with the survey was that it did not reach a large majority of the students who had no internet access, who were its primary target population.
     " The survey is just the latest back-and-forth in a seemingly endless seven-year legal battle over inequitable education in New Mexico, where vulnerable students receive such an inadequate education that they’re in danger of being irreparably harmed, the First Judicial District Court found in 2108 . The court has retained jurisdiction over the Yazzie-Martinez case ever since, to make sure the state implements a litany of comprehensive, mandated reforms.
     Three years later, the state has barely made any progress, critics argue
. They say the online survey reflected a broad lack of foresight and basic understanding, especially in light of the state’s long-standing problems with internet access, which vastly undercut students’ ability to learn after the pandemic struck and classes went online." The lack of internet access has been a particular problem for Native students, and Hispanic students living in rural areas, and is one aspect of the inequality in New Mexico K-12 education focused on in Yazzie-Martinez case.


     Previously, Anja Rudiger, Ph.D., Presented by the Tribal Education Alliance, New Mexico, "Pathways to Education Sovereignty: Taking a Stand for Native Children," December 2020, full 54 page report at: https://nabpi.unm.edu/assets/documents/tea-full-report_12-14, 2020.pdf,
     "I . Executive Summary
     Pathways to Education Sovereignty explores the unfinished journey of Indian education from coercion and assimilation to tribal practices of teaching and learning now known as Indigenous education. It charts Indigenous solutions to New Mexico’s education crisis contained in the Tribal Remedy Framework, a comprehensive plan for upholding Native students’ constitutional right to an adequate and sufficient education. The Tribal Remedy Framework was created collectively by tribal community members and endorsed by the leadership of New Mexico’s Nations, Tribes and Pueblos. This report examines the structural deficiencies of the state’s public education system, the shortcomings of reform efforts, and the strategic solutions proposed by tribal communities
.
      The 2018 court ruling in Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico found that “the education system in New Mexico violates the New Mexico Constitution art. XII, § 1” (Decision and Order, 7/20/18, p. 59) and that the state has “not studied or developed effective educational systems for Native American students” (Court’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, 12/20/18, ¶3067), despite the directives of New Mexico’s Indian Education Act (22-23A-1 NMSA 1978). This report presents updated data documenting educational inputs and outcomes related to Native students. These facts and figures confirm, unequivocally, the existence of an education equity gap. Left unchecked, this gap will continue to jeopardize the well-being, identity and future of Native children and their communities. This report draws on a long history of recommendations for a new approach to Indian education, including those put forth by numerous federal commissions and independent task forces and by education experts and tribal advocates. The report contrasts the insufficiencies of New Mexico’s current piecemeal reforms and small-scale state grant funding with the need for a significant, systemic transformation to address historical injustices and ensure equitable outcomes.
     Pathways to Education Sovereignty centers on an analysis of the proposals contained in the Tribal Remedy Framework and examines the following three strategic solutions:
     Shared responsibility and increased tribal control over the schooling of Native children:
     Capacity building within Tribal Education Departments (TEDs), including through investment in a pipeline for Native professionals supported by college and career preparation programs.
     Recurring state funding for TEDs, including through the school funding formula’s at-risk factor.
     A local governance and accountability framework that formalizes collaboration between Tribes and school districts; Native technical assistance centers to support TEDs and schools.
     Community-based education, created by and centered within tribal communities:
     Investment in tribal libraries as community education centers to provide extended learning, technology access, career and support services.
     Investment in early education programs and services developed and delivered by tribal communities; full tribal authority over early childhood services.
     Capacity building for tribal community-based networks to deliver integrated student supports, including social and health services; formal coordination and contracting with public schools.
     A balanced, culturally and linguistically relevant education that revitalizes and sustains the strengths of children and their communities
:
     Policies to address institutional racism; development of trauma informed practices; implementation of Indigenous justice models to end the marginalization and school pushout of Native children.
     Investment in tribally-led curriculum development centers and Native language programs, operated in partnership with Native higher education institutions and programs; addition of a Native language factor to the school funding formula; full tribal authority over Native language and culture programs. Investment in a pipeline for Native teachers, educational leaders and staff; mandatory anti- racism and Indian Education Act training for all teachers, educational leaders and staff.


     Each of these solutions compels the state to adopt a fundamental shift in approach
: a commitment to rectifying historical injustices and persistent systemic racism; an appreciation of Indigenous community knowledge and practices; and a readiness to facilitate tribal involvement in, and control over, the education of Indigenous children. With a consistent and comprehensive commitment, New Mexico can move toward a new paradigm for Indigenous education. The result would be a balanced public education system that brings schools and communities together and empowers tribal families and communities to reclaim the education of their children."


     Cedar Attanasio, "State’s Social Studies Curriculum Changes Teach More Pueblo, LGBTQ History: New Mexico social studies curriculum open to public comment," The Paper, September 30th, 2021, https://abq.news/2021/09/states-social-studies-curriculum-changes-teach-more-pueblo-lgbtq-history/, reported, " New Mexico education officials are asking for public comment on their overhaul of the social studies curriculum" in geography, civics and history.
     " The current curriculum requires an understanding of a group broadly defined as 'Native Americans,' almost always in comparison to Anglo and Spanish settlers. The new curriculum would require students to understand more about Navajo, Pueblo and other tribes.
     The proposed curriculum would also require high school students to study the history of the LGBTQ rights movement and the AIDS epidemic, which are not mentioned in the current curriculum," as part of the addition of recent historical events."


      The Keres Children's Learning Center of Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico is expanding its Keres Language and modified Montessori based education program from elementary school to infant/toddler and adolescent learning, while its Indigenous Montessori institute continues to train teachers of various Indian Nations ("KLC Working to Expand to Serve Children Ages 0-18," Exercising Tribal Educational Sovereignty, published fall 2021). Contact: Keres Children's Learning Center, P.O. Box 113, Cochiti, NM 87072 (505)274-8029 or (505)999-8310.


      Saint Michaels Indian School on the Navajo Reservation has expanded its Navajo language offerings, adding sixth grade Navajo art and seventh grade Navajo current events ("SMIS Expands Navajo Language Offerings," Cardinal News, fall 2021).


     Dina Horwedel, Director of Public Education, American Indian College Fund, 303-426-8900, dhorwedel@collegefund.org, " American Indian College Receives $1 Million Grant from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, December 7, 2021, reported, "The American Indian College Fund (College Fund) announced that it has received a $1 million grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to support the College Fund’s work helping Indigenous students access a higher education. The College Fund’s work creates greater education equity in Native communities, while lifting families out of poverty. The grant is part of CZI’s five-year, $500 million investment CZI announced in December 2020 ."
     Dina Horwedel, "American Indian College Fund Receives $5.315 Million to Support Indigenous Early Childhood Education: Grant from Bezos Family Foundation Will Support Faculty Development, Family Engagement, and Develop a Community of Practice at 10 Tribal Colleges," American Indian College Fund, via E-mail, October 6, 2021, reported, " The American Indian College Fund’s Indigenous Early Childhood Education program is poised to continue its work at tribal colleges and universities over the next four years thanks to a $5,315,000 grant from the Bezos Family Foundation. By educating students, training faculty, creating early childhood education programs at tribal colleges and universities, and involving parents and community in the education of young people, the College Fund hopes to grow the number of Native children and families it reaches, new early childhood curriculum created, and train even more early childhood educators. Early childhood education has been shown to promote education access, persistence, completion, and career readiness in students, and the College Fund’s holistic program steeped in culture and language strengthens Native communities.
     The College Fund has built a four-pronged program to work with 10 tribal colleges and universities (TCUs
) through:
     family engagement to empower parents to advocate for their children and themselves as they interact with education institutions.
     storytelling to engage diverse audiences and connect program participants to a movement to strengthen the Native teacher pipeline, change the narrative about Native communities to focus on their rich knowledge and traditions, and inspire the next generation of Native teaching professionals.
     establishing a community of practice for early childhood educators that creates and strengthens TCUs’ early childhood education pathways that are rooted in community knowledge.
     increasing education success by strengthening degree program creation and enhancement, creating pathways to bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education, connecting strong paths to bachelor’s degrees, supporting internship practicums, and increasing TCUs’ ability to support student recruitment, transfers, retention, and college completion.
     developing College Fund capacity through child development education, allowing it to expand its expertise to better administer early childhood education programs with TCUs, grow education opportunities for children, and strengthen Native nations.
     Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, 'The College Fund is pleased that our relationship with the Bezos Family Foundation blossomed into this investment in our children and their families. As Indigenous people, we have traditional knowledge about how to raise and teach children that helps us to be better citizens of our Tribal Nations and of American society. We are looking forward to building on that knowledge and on the dreams of our families and Tribal Colleges and Universities for even better social and educational experiences for our children.'
     'The Bezos Family Foundation is proud to support American Indian College Fund’s work to expand access to high-quality, culturally-grounded early childhood preparation pathways within Tribal Colleges and Universities,' said Mike Bezos, Vice-President and co-Founder of the Bezos Family Foundation. 'We know from the science that positive interactions between young children and the adults in their lives is a powerful way to support healthy development, and we are confident that American Indian College Fund’s work will help support the preparation of Indigenous educators and strengthen Native communities.'
     The College Fund will be working with TCUs this fall to award funding for the first year in the four-year program. The College Fund will build upon its early childhood education program success, which has reached more than 5,000 children, 3,900 families, and 2,700 teachers at TCUs across Indian Country. In addition, the College Fund has committed to raise an additional six million dollars to offer the programming to 25 other TCUs."


     Dina Horwedel, Director of Public Education, American Indian College Fund, 303-426-8900, dhorwedel@collegefund.org, "Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grants $300,000 to American Indian College Fund for High School Equivalency Programs at Tribal Colleges: Native Students Have Lowest National High School Attainment Rates; Progress Needed to Achieve Equity in Native Communities," American Indian College Fund, September 29, 2021, via E-mail, reported, The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is continuing its work with the American Indian College Fund to increase the number of Native American high school graduates through the award of $300,000 for the Native Students Stepping Forward: Dollar General High School Equivalency Completion program.
     The Native Students Stepping Forward program will provide affordable, culturally based high school equivalency (HSE) learning services to an estimated 400 students at approximately six tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) located on or near Indian reservations—where no other such services exist. To date, through the College Fund’s partnership with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, 257 students graduated from HSE programs hosted at the TCUs. These successes significantly impact the students’ families and communities.
     The program aims to help TCUs increase HSE enrollment, retention, and/or graduation rates and improve adult literacy in the communities they serve over the year-long grant period. TCU program facilitators will help the College Fund to assess successes, challenges, and solutions in providing HSE services to Native communities; gauge the impact of increased funding focused on systemic needs to enhance HSE services; and identify best practices in TCU HSE programming to share the success with other Native communities.
     Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, 'The College Fund and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation share a vision of educational and career success by meeting people where they are. Their commitment to literacy and high school equivalency programming changes lives and we appreciate their investment.'
     'We are honored to stand alongside the College Fund to serve students as they take steps towards their High School Equivalency,' said Denine Torr, Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s executive director. 'Through our partnership, we hope to continue providing opportunities for Native American students to achieve their educational goals and create bright futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.'
      The pandemic has impacted Native American students in tribal communities the hardest, due to economic and health care inequities on tribal lands. In addition, limited access to technology has hindered access to schools with remote learning environments. Prior to the pandemic, Natives already had the lowest high school graduation rates in the nation at 74% compared to the national average of 86%. As a result, college enrollment and attainment rates were also lower with 19% of 18–25-year-old AI/AN students enrolled in college compared to 32.1% of the overall U.S. population , and college degree attainment rates at less than half that of other groups, at 15% compared to 32.1%.
     College enrollment also suffered during the pandemic among American Indian and Alaska Native students, with Native first-time student enrollment experiencing the steepest decline of all racial/ethnic groups in the country, down 23% at all colleges and universities nationwide
.
     To create the leaders, educators, health care workers, and businesspeople Native communities need, the American Indian College Fund knows that higher education is the answer. To attain that goal, American Indian and Alaska Native students must complete high school first. The goal of the Native Students Stepping Forward: Dollar General High School Equivalency Completion program is to help students like Monique Gonzales do just that.
     Monique earned her HSE at Tohono O’odham Community College in Sells, Arizona while simultaneously earning college credits through Arizona’s College Credit Pathway program. Inspired by her twin brothers, who are hearing-impaired and who attended Arizona School of Deaf and Blind in Tucson, Monique realized her skills gained while serving as their interpreter could help others.
     Monique said, 'I can spread my knowledge about the deaf community with the Nation and other Native American tribes, as we lack this knowledge and these accommodations.' Today she is studying to earn an associate degree in applied science and deaf studies with certification in American Sign Language Interpreting at Phoenix College. She plans to transfer to Grand Canyon University or Gallaudet University to earn a bachelor’s degree, then earn a master’s degree."


     "American Indian College Fund Launches Boarding School Descendant Scholarship for 2021-22: $60,000 Grant from National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition Funds Twenty Native Scholarships for 2021-22," American Indian College Fund E-mail, October 26, 2021, www.collegefund.org, reported, " The American Indian College Fund and the National Native American Boarding School (NABS) Healing Coalition have joined forces to provide scholarships to descendants of boarding school survivors. Twenty scholarships of $3,000 each were awarded for the academic year 2021-22.
     The scholarship is designed to acknowledge the experiences of boarding school survivors and to allow families to come together and heal. In the application process, students share a 500-word essay about their relationship with a boarding school survivor in their family. This process is designed to prompt sharing and healing, while acknowledging the impact of this trauma on their lives and relationships.
     NABS raised over $51,000 as part of a matching campaign to fund the scholarships for this academic year. In addition to financial support, the American Indian College Fund (the College Fund) provides students with culturally relevant and holistic support to facilitate persistence in education, academic achievement, personal and professional development, and career planning.
     Christine Diindiisi McCleave, CEO of the National Native American Boarding School (NABS) Healing Coalition, said, “We know that the impacts of Indian boarding schools are intergenerational and have played a profound role in the educational disparities Native American students experience today. This scholarship program is a first step for boarding school descendants to heal intergenerational trauma, change their own narratives, and restore what was taken from us through Indian boarding schools.”
     Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, said, Native students are reclaiming education. All of us are survivors of intentional damage to the rights of our Tribes to educate and socialize their own people. The College Fund is honored to work with NABS to support those who are directly impacted by boarding schools. This helps all of us restore ourselves to the abundant and healthy lifestyles that are our right.”
     To qualify for the scholarship, a student must be a U.S. citizen, a tribal member or descendant of a federally or state-recognized tribe, a boarding school survivor or direct descendant of boarding school survivors, and enrolled full-time in a non-profit higher education institution in the United States. Students do not need to demonstrate financial need for this scholarship. Applicants must complete the College Fund’s online Full Circle Scholarship application and a 500-word personal essay about the assimilation model of boarding schools. Interested students can apply at https://collegefund.org/students/scholarships/.
     About the National Native American Boarding School (NABS) Healing Coalition--The mission of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) is to lead in the pursuit of understanding and addressing the ongoing trauma created by the United States Indian boarding school policy. NABS’s work is centered around seeking truth, justice, and healing for survivors and descendants of Indian boarding schools."


     "Cultural connections through horse teachings," Lakota Times, July 22, 2021, https://www.lakotatimes.com/articles/cultural-connections-through-horse-teachings/, reported, "In this last month, nearly 30 youth attended Sunka Wakan camps and left with a connection to Lakota horse culture that will empower them in their life. These skills included horsemanship, crafting, healthy masculinity and safe behaviors.
      The youth learned about traditional roles and responsibilities and teachings incorporated into crafting in designing horse masks and making arrow quivers. The main teachings was developing a connection to their horse, understanding with their horse and with themselves."


     Mary Ann Jacobs, Ph. D., Associate Professor and Chair, AI, UNCP, sent an E-mail, October 19, 2021, saying, " To honor and recognize the founding fathers of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, the relatives and direct descendants of our founders are invited to ride in the 2021 Homecoming Parade!  
     
The UNCP’s Founding Fathers' float continues the legacy of the trailblazers who saw a vision to educate the American Indian people of southeastern North Carolina and beyond. And demonstrates their enduring commitment to the purpose and promise of a UNCP education.
     The parade is scheduled for Thursday, October 21, 2021.--==+==--


     First Nations Development Institute announced in an October 1, 2021 E-mail, " Support Available to Preserve and Protect Native Languages,"
     Native cultures and languages are, collectively, key assets for all Native communities. To support the revitalization and perpetuation of these valuable assets, First Nations is again awarding funding through our Native Language Immersion Initiative with grants ranging from $45,000 to $75,000 to build the capacity of Native-controlled nonprofit organizations and tribal government programs actively supporting Native language immersion programs. Learn more and apply here (https://www.firstnations.org/rfps/native-language-immersion-initiative-grant-2022/) by November 10, 2021. Questions about applying
      Support Available to Preserve and Protect Native Languages
     Native cultures and languages are, collectively, key assets for all Native communities. To support the revitalization and perpetuation of these valuable assets, First Nations is again awarding funding through our Native Language Immersion Initiative with grants ranging from $45,000 to $75,000 to build the capacity of Native-controlled nonprofit organizations and tribal government programs actively supporting Native language immersion programs. Learn more and apply here (https://www.firstnations.org/rfps/native-language-immersion-initiative-grant-2022/) by November 10, 2021. Questions about applying?"


     Vi Waln, "Lakota language revitalization," Lakota Times, September 23, 2021, https://www.lakotatimes.com/articles/lakota-language-revitalization/, reported, "Local tribal citizens often voice their desire to learn to speak the Lakota language, yet are reluctant to progress for a variety of personal reasons.
      The Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) announced in a press release their plans for a new “language preservation initiative that will pay learners an annual salary to become fluent Lakota speakers. The new program aims to reduce barriers for citizens of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate (Rosebud Sioux Tribe) to learn the language and pass it on to future generations.”


     Vincent Schilling, There are now a sufficient number of Native films and TV programs that IPJ is only reporting on a few significant ones.
      "Native women warriors featured include LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, Phyllis Young and Wasté Win Young — all leading the struggle surrounding the #NoDAPL movement," ICT, October 7, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/ce4c0a66-e528-da34-39d1-f67c4587e4f6/10.7.21_The_Weekly.01.pdf, reported, " A breathtaking and heartfelt new documentary highlighting a four-year battle of Native women-led water protectors in the #NoDAPL movement has recently secured a spot on Fuse TV.
      End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock
premiered on Fuse TV — a video-on-demand streaming platform that focuses on empowering and cultural-based content — on June 25, a date marking the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Bighorn."


     Felicia Fonseca, "Iconic Clint Eastwood Western Dubbed in Navajo," ICT, November 12, 2021, reported, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/7afd5c2c-00ce-3f6f-a846-fe775d0e69e6/11.12.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported that the western movie, " A Fistful of Dollars' is the third major film dubbed in Navajo."


     Kaitlin Onawa Boysel, "First Americans Museum set to open: The museum represents the 39 tribes in Oklahoma and sits on a 40-acre site near downtown Oklahoma City," ICT, September 17, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/first-americans-museum-set-to-open?fbclid=IwAR06LUiv2QzYvRuWIkYBoGhu16YOJiV4mKGAfXkJFLsSVs36JUAM7KM5c1o&bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.jtHSuJ4tyCkCKaxiTm6K0Fw.rLClQ705lFEmd59Kt87Bm0Q.lwZUo0peYKEun1az9ijA1Ng, reported, "An Indigenous museum that’s been in the making since the 1980s is finally opening its doors.
      The First Americans Museum (https://famok.org) opens September 18 with a packed weekend of events to celebrate. The museum represents the 39 tribes in Oklahoma and sits on a 40-acre site along the Oklahoma River across from downtown Oklahoma City."

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International Developments

International Organization Developments

UN Permanent Forum On Indigenous Issues


     Socrates Vasquez, "Recommendations for Post-Pandemic Measures for Indigenous Peoples," Cultural Survival, July 07, 2021, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/recommendations-post-pandemic-measures-indigenous-peoples, reported, "On April 19-30, 2021, the 20th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was held. A new precedent was established with a hybrid model meeting with most of the event being held online. Only the opening and closing sessions were conducted in person. In this context of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants presented a series of recommendations to the National States about the post-pandemic measures to be taken to respect, protect, and fulfill Indigenous Peoples’ rights.
     A report presented by Darío José Mejía Montalvo (Zenú), a member of the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues, emphasized how Indigenous Peoples have been respectful of other beings on Earth, but nation States, through laws and ill-designed policies have stripped away what Indigenous communities have occupied since time immemorial times continuing the cycle of life. The same communities that have comprehensively managed and conserved large territories are now increasingly threatened. The right to territory and to protection of the same are fundamental for the lifeways of Indigenous communities and society in general.
     Mejía stressed that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the States already abandoned Indigenous communities through discriminatory policies, historical racism, and marginalization. Some of these exclusions are the lack of access routes and roads to communities; the lack of information and translation about the COVID-19 pandemic into Indigenous languages; barriers in accessing vaccines; and an adequate preventative mobilization in the communities due to inability in accessing information in Indigenous languages. 'The pandemic also evidenced pre-existing inequalities, in many cases, it deepened them. The impact has been greater in the areas of health, economy, and food security, but especially on women, girls and boys.'
      During this COVID-19 pandemic, many Peoples continue to be dispossessed of their lands and their leaders killed. They die from the pandemic but also from the greed of a consumer society whose happiness is measured in accumulated goods. Throughout the history of Indigenous Peoples, pandemics were used as extermination and colonization strategies, today it also continues in other ways.
     The report also mentions: 'Some of these causes are due to injustices and historical inequalities that give rise to extreme poverty and exclusion. Indigenous Peoples represent almost 19 percent of the people who suffer extreme poverty and are almost three times more likely to find themselves in that situation than people who do not belong to an Indigenous community.' Furthermore, Indigenous Peoples 'continue to be among the groups with limited access to social protection, in part due to the broader patterns of marginalization, discrimination, and exclusion that affect them. Existing policies and measures to promote Indigenous Peoples' access to social protection are considered insufficient and do not always have their full and effective participation.'
     In this session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Indigenous leaders mentioned the importance of calling for 'the establishment of effective mechanisms that include the participation of Indigenous leaders, entities, and institutions in decision-making processes, since this is a step important to facilitate inclusive and culturally appropriate measures to address the crisis.'
     The importance of carrying out a continental campaign by international organizations and local governments was emphasized so that Indigenous communities can have adequate access to vaccines and overcome the gap of delay that has always been seen in Indigenous territories. Likewise, it was recognized that 'despite all these challenges, Indigenous Peoples are custodians of a large amount of traditional knowledge, practices, languages, ​​and cultures that include responses to crises that have proven their validity over time. Indigenous Peoples' organizations around the world have quickly organized to respond to the pandemic and have provided food and health aid to remote locations. '
     Myrna Cunningham (Miskitu), a doctor from Nicaragua, participated in the session and emphasized that the intercultural approach must permeate throughout the vaccination process, taking into account languages ​​and the ways in which Peoples and communities resolve their health issues, stressing that sufficient resources should be allocated as a means to historical restorative justice.
     The most outstanding recommendations mentioned by the panelists and should be addressed urgently are summarized below:
     Governments should ensure the effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in all recovery efforts, for example, where culturally relevant health and education services were an integral part of these recovery plans. It is critical that recovery efforts take into account the effects of the pandemic on Indigenous women and girls and include measures to address them.
     States should develop various tools to collect and disseminate quality disaggregated data and indicators that serve as the basis for the development of policies that address the health and socioeconomic impact of the pandemic on Indigenous Peoples.
     States and international organizations should also prepare and disseminate culturally appropriate information in Indigenous languages. This would build trust, for example in vaccination campaigns and in the application of social protection programs for Indigenous Peoples.
     Governments, financial institutions, and the private sector must end the land grabs, evictions, criminal activities, and general violence that had increased on Indigenous territories during the pandemic, putting people at risk, particularly Indigenous women and children. In addition, major development projects and natural resource extraction should be carried out in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, respecting the right of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination and the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent. In addition, the recognition of the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples to land and territorial security must be enforced, since they increase resilience in the face of crises such as COVID-19
."


     
The International Treaty Council reported in an October 12, 2021 E-mail, "Contact: communications@treatycouncil.org, "UN Human Rights Council adopts historic resolutions on the right to a Safe Environment, Climate Change and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, "
     Geneva, Switzerland, October 12, 2021: At the close of the UN Human Rights Council ’s forty-eighth session on Friday, October 8, three resolutions in which the IITC had actively engaged were adopted. The right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is now formally recognized at the global level through a resolution endorsed by over 1000 Indigenous Peoples, civil society organizations, and UN Experts. This resolution affirms the right already recognized in Article 29 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The unbreakable link between human rights and a safe environment was further underscored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in its recommendations for the country review Mexico from 2015. The CRC asserted at that time that “Environmental Health” is a protected right under Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in response to IITC’s submission addressing the devastating and deadly health impacts of toxic and banned pesticides on Yaqui Indigenous children in that county. As a result of the Human Rights Council’s landmark resolution, this is now recognized as a universal right.
      Click here for a copy of the resolution as adopted: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G21/270/15/PDF/G2127015.pdf?OpenElement.
     In a second historic resolution, the Council created a new Special Rapporteur’s Office on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change. The urgent need for the creation of this new Special Rapporteur to gather information and report on human rights violations created by the causes, impacts, and, in some cases, false market-based solutions to climate change generated broad support from Indigenous Peoples, small island States, civil society organizations, and other human rights mandate holders, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. IITC played an active role in the work of this broad coalition over the past year as a focal point for Indigenous Peoples in a number of webinars and educational fora, stressing its vital importance as the climate crisis continues to worsen.
      Click here for a copy of the resolution as adopted: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G21/268/23/PDF/G2126823.pdf?OpenElement.
     Andrea Carmen, Executive Director of the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) and member of the Facilitative Working Group for the UNFCCC Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform, warmly welcomed these historic advances, which affirm the understanding of Indigenous Peoples around the world that human health and well-being cannot be separated from a clean and healthy environment: 'The adoption of these resolutions as a result of a broad collective effort will enhance the ability of Indigenous Peoples to present rights-based solutions for environmental recovery and restoration, and to protect the integrity of their natural ecosystems from environmental contamination and climate change, in line with their human rights. Too often throughout the UN system, we have seen some so-called solutions promoted to address environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, deforestation, and climate change that ignore, or even further violate the rights of Indigenous Peoples to protect their homelands and continue their ways of life. We hope that these decisions by UN Human Rights Council will help us chart a stronger rights-based course to ensure environmental protection and reverse climate change'.
     In addition to these historic and long-awaited advances , the Human Rights Council’s resolution on Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples was also adopted on the last day of the session. This resolution also affirms the essential role of Indigenous Peoples in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss, and it addresses other closely related concerns, including ending impunity for the repression of human rights defenders. IITC is also gratified that the resolution recognizes the importance of recent and upcoming studies by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It also provides a way forward to advance enhanced participation of Indigenous representative institutions, affirms a process for international repatriation of sacred items and human remains, and denounces violence against Indigenous women and girls, among many other important provisions.
     Click here for a copy of the resolution as adopted: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G21/269/28/PDF/G2126928.pdf?OpenElement.


     The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment released a
strongly-worded policy brief in August, arguing that achieving environmental goals 'demands a dramatic departure from ‘conservation as usual’.' His brief calls instead for a radically different, rights-based approach.
     The entire brief is at: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Environment/SREnvironment/policy-briefing-1.pdf. The points covered are"
     Fortress conservation violates human rights and fails to protect nature

      The devastating impacts of fortress conservation on Indigenous Peoples,
      The tremendous human cost of fortress conservation has generated limited gains for nature
     Indigenous Peoples and other rural rightsholders must be key partners in conserving and restoring biodiversity

     Recognizing the conservation contributions of Indigenous Peoples,
     Recognizing the conservation contributions of peasants
     Recognizing the conservation contributions of Indigenous, Afro-descendant, local community, and peasant women
     Recognizing the conservation contributions of Indigenous, Afro-descendant, local community, and peasant youth, and the imperative to safeguard nature
for future generations Conclusion and recommendations for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and beyond
     Recommendations Specific to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
     Recommendations applicable to all conservation measures

      The Conclusion and recommendations:
      IV. Conclusion and recommendations for the post-2020 Global Biodiversity
     Framework and beyond

      The world has an opportunity to safeguard all life on Earth through scaling up recognition for human rights and the conservation contributions of Indigenous Peoples, Afro- descendants, local communities, peasants, and the women and youth within these groups. The ecological, bio cultural, and spiritual value of the biodiversity stewarded by Indigenous Peoples and other rural rights holders is infinite. In economic terms, the smallholder production of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, and peasants has enormous collective value. Smallholder farming and forestry production alone generate an estimated value between US$ 869 billion and US$ 1.29 trillion in 2017 dollars.112 Given the magnitude of Indigenous Peoples’ and other rural rights holders’ many nature-based contributions, the large proportion of global ecosystems managed by these communities, and their impressive conservation record despite circumstances of marginalization and minimal external assistance, the potential of Indigenous Peoples and other rural people with legally recognized, adequately supported tenure rights to substantially contribute to global area-based conservation targets is readily apparent.113 Indeed, community-based conservation efforts result in particularly favourable biodiversity outcomes where community land and resource rights are adequately recognized, supported, and respected.114 Both communities and biological diversity benefit even further when such efforts strengthen the specific tenure rights of rural women.115 Consequently, implementing rights-based conservation approaches is both a legal obligation under international law and the most equitable, effective, and efficient conservation strategy available to protect biodiversity at the scale required to end the current global crisis.
      In recognition of the mutual dependence between nature and the human rights of Indigenous and other rural peoples and the urgent need to combat nature’s decline, the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and all conservation, restoration, and sustainable use initiatives must ensure that:
     (1) Rights-based approaches are obligatory in all actions to conserve, restore, and share the benefits of biodiversity, including conservation financing;
     (2) Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, rural women, and rural youth are acknowledged as key rights-holders and partners in protecting and restoring nature, whose human, land and tenure rights, knowledge, and conservation contributions must be recognized, respected, and supported; and
     (3) Everyone’s right to live in a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is acknowledged, and is accompanied by measurable targets towards the recognition and implementation of this right. The remainder of this brief presents specific recommendations in furtherance of these overarching imperatives, which incorporate and build upon recommendations presented in the UN Special Rapporteur’s 2020 report to the General Assembly, Human Rights Depend on a Healthy Biosphere.116 The first set of recommendations are specific to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, while the second set of recommendations involve protecting the human rights of Indigenous Peoples and other rural rights holders in all biodiversity conservation actions.

      A. Recommendations specific to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
      The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework should:
     (1) Explicitly acknowledge everyone’s right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, which includes healthy biodiversity and ecosystems, and include measurable targets towards the recognition and implementation of this right (e.g., inclusion in constitutions, legislation, and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans).
     (2) Prioritize the empowerment and substantive participation of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, rural women, and rural youth, along with the legal recognition and implementation of their human, land and tenure rights, as the central strategy driving the rights- based Framework.
     (3) Emphasize rights-based actions that equitably partner with and support the conservation leadership of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, rural women, and rural youth, build their capacity, rely on their traditional knowledge and nature management practices, and achieve multiple human rights and sustainable development benefits (e.g., biodiversity conservation initiatives that reduce poverty, promote gender equality, improve food security, and address climate change).
     (4) Be revised so that the 2050 Vision statement reads: “The vision of the framework is a world of living in harmony with nature where: By 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining nature’s contributions to people and the interdependent biological and cultural diversity that enable them, sustaining a healthy planet and ensuring recognition and respect for human, land, and tenure rights of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, rural women, rural youth and other rural rights holders, thereby delivering ecosystem benefits essential for all people and future generations.”
     (5) Be revised so that the 2030 Mission statement reads: 'To take urgent action across society and in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and other rural rights holders—including local communities, Afro-descendants, peasants, rural women, and rural youth—to design and implement rights-based approaches that conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of biological resources, thereby putting biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030 for the mutual benefit of the planet, all people, and all future generations.'
     (6) Include an additional 2030 Goal whereby all Indigenous Peoples’, Afro- descendants', and local communities’ rights to the community lands, waters, carbon, sub-surface resources, and territories they traditionally own and/or govern are legally recognized, respected and implemented, with particular attention to the rights of Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community women.
     (7) Include a subsection within the 2030 Action Targets dedicated to support for Indigenous Peoples’ and other marginalized rural groups’ human, land, and tenure rights—including all rights enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (2018), the International Labour Organization Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169 (1989), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1981), and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). The sub-section should include:
     a) Two 2030 Action Targets that replace the text of Target 21 in the current draft, and that read: “By 2030, ensure Indigenous Peoples’, Afro-descendants’, local communities’, and peasants’ (including rural women and rural youth within these groups) full consultation and equitable and effective participation—including rights of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC)—in all decision-making related to biodiversity. Support their decision-making capacity, and ensure that their participation, priorities, traditional knowledge, innovations, and nature stewardship practices guide conservation decision-making at all levels; By 2030, ensure the legal recognition and security of Indigenous Peoples’, Afro-descendants’, local communities’, and peasants’ tenure rights over all lands, waters, and other natural resources that they customarily or otherwise own, manage, or use, with particular attention to the tenure rights of women and youth within these groups.”
     b) 'Measurable 2030 Action Targets specific to the traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, rural women, and rural youth, and to their receipt of fair and equitable conservation benefits (as reflected in current Targets 9, 13, and 20).').
     (8) Require human rights-based, gender-sensitive conservation approaches to be incorporated within the development, content, and implementation of all National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and other planning and monitoring mechanisms. Relatedly, require NBSAPs and other planning and monitoring mechanisms to:
     a) Guarantee all people’s access to information, participation in decision- making, and access to justice in biodiversity conservation matters;
     b) Include gender and youth inclusion strategies;
     c) Require States to regularly monitor adherence to human rights standards and respect for the human, land, and tenure rights of Indigenous Peoples and other rural rights holders in all conservation measures.
     (9) Increase the 2030 Action Target to assist low-income states so that at least $100 billion in annual grants from high-income states is devoted to assist low-income states in conserving, protecting, restoring and ensuring the sustainable use of nature (matching international climate finance commitments).
     (10) Include a 2030 Action target for zero murders of environmental human rights defenders working on biodiversity and conservation-related issues, highlighting the duty of all conservation actors to protect them, apply a zero- tolerance approach to their abuse, and take effective actions to ensure their freedom from harassment, intimidation, violence, criminalization and other forms of abuse.
     B . Recommendations applicable to all conservation measures To protect human rights, the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other rural rights holders, and ensure healthy ecosystems and biodiversity, States should urgently undertake the following actions.
     (11) Prioritize and accelerate the legal recognition of the land, forest, freshwater, and other tenure rights, associated titles, and other rights held by Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, and rural women and youth within these groups, thereby empowering those who depend directly on nature for their livelihoods and cultural identities to engage in long-term, sustainable biodiversity conservation and use practices based on traditional knowledge, customary laws, and the implementation of local stewardship systems.
     (12) Place Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, rural women, and rural youth—along with their traditional knowledge and sustainable nature governance practices—at the forefront of efforts to identify, designate, and manage new and existing areas important for cultural and biological diversity, including Indigenous protected and conserved areas,117 Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas,118 territories of life, sacred sites, and other effective area-based conservation measures, including through adequate legal, financial and other resources.
     (13) Ensure Indigenous Peoples’ and other rural rights holders’ access to and use of land, water, wildlife, plants, and sacred sites for survival, subsistence and small-scale commercial livelihoods, medicinal, cultural, and spiritual purposes, with specific arrangements established through inclusive, gender- sensitive consultation processes that are in accordance with the right of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). Reform conservation and protected area legislation as necessary to ensure these protections for all Indigenous Peoples and other rural rights holders whose livelihoods and cultures depend on areas designated for conservation protection.
     (14) Provide swift, just, fair, and equitable investigation and redress for past conservation-driven violations of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, Afro- descendants, local communities, peasants, and women and youth within these groups related to the creation and/or management of protected areas, including through restitution of rural rights holders’ lands, territories, and associated resource rights. When this is not possible, provide just, fair, culturally acceptable, and equitable compensation. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon by the Indigenous Peoples or other rural rights holders concerned, compensation should take the form of lands, territories, and resources equal in quality, size and legal status, or of monetary compensation or other appropriate redress.
     (15) Redirect financial flows for conservation to Indigenous Peoples, Afro- descendants, local communities, and peasants, including initiatives led by rural women and rural youth, for protecting and sustainably using biodiversity.
     (16) States and other institutions should only fund conservation initiatives that: (a) respect and protect the title, tenure, access, and nature governance rights of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, and peasants—including women and youth within these groups—to their lands and territories, including the right of free, prior, and informed consent to any actions that affect them; (b) when directed at law enforcement, require and ensure that eco-guards and rangers are trained to international human rights standards and subject to effective oversight and accountability; (c) provide local residents with access to independent grievance and redress mechanisms that can receive complaints of, and provide remedies for, human rights violations; and (d) require regular transparent reporting by funding recipients on how they are meeting human rights norms.
     (17) Work across government ministries and processes related to biodiversity conservation, restoration and sustainable development to create opportunities for Indigenous and other rural youth to contribute to decision- making processes at all levels. Genuinely listen to young people’s priorities, concerns, and perspectives, and ensure that their demands have substantive impact on the development of all policies and the implementation of all activities to safeguard nature.
     (18) Require urgent action to protect and respect the rights of environmental human rights defenders, prevent their abuse, and provide swift, fair and effective investigation, redress and reparations for existing violations against them. Specifically, strengthen practical measures to support environmental human rights defenders, including: effective and timely remedies in cases where Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, and other defenders face threats, criminalization and/or any form of violence; and revoke illegally issued land concessions, water, agricultural or other development permits on lands customarily owned, used, or occupied by Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, or peasants.
     (19) Pass and enforce laws requiring businesses and their subsidiaries in all sectors to: prevent, identify and adequately respond to adverse impacts on human rights, ecosystems, biodiversity, Indigenous Peoples, Afro- descendants, local communities, peasants, rural women, rural youth, and environmental human rights defenders at the project level and throughout supply chains in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Such laws should include substantial penalties for non- compliance, and should require that all businesses and their subsidiaries: conduct pre-investment due diligence on the potential human rights and environmental risks associated with their contemplated operations and supply chains; withdraw from any contemplated initiatives that do not satisfy human rights and environmental standards commensurate with both national and international law; take actions to appropriately respond to any possible human rights and environmental violations; develop and implement gender-sensitive policies specific to respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, rural women, and rural children; respect Indigenous Peoples’ and other marginalized rural groups’ FPIC rights, and guarantee all rural rights holders’ substantive participation in decision-making processes for projects that could affect them; establish accessible grievance mechanisms and access to remedy for affected persons; and transparently share compliance actions, failures, and lessons learned with the public.
     (20) Pass and enforce laws requiring large conservation organizations to take actions to prevent, identify and adequately respond to human rights abuses, specifically requiring all large conservation organizations to: conduct due diligence on the potential human rights risks associated with their contemplated operations; withdraw from any contemplated operations that do not satisfy human rights standards; take actions to appropriately respond to any potential human rights violations that occur in relation to their conservation initiatives; develop and implement gender-sensitive policies specific to respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples, Afro-descendants, local communities, peasants, rural women, and rural children; respect Indigenous Peoples’ and other marginalized rural groups’ FPIC rights, guaranteeing all rural rights holders’ substantive participation in decision- making processes that could affect their rights; provide Indigenous peoples and other rural rights holders with an equitable share of project benefits; develop and implement specific policies concerning the hiring, training, support, and required conduct of eco-guards and others responsible for securing protected areas or other areas designated for conservation; provide accessible grievance mechanisms and access to remedy for affected persons, and transparently share compliance actions, failures, and lessons learned with the public. These requirements are consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights."


      Savannah Stewart, "Fighting for the right to participate in the UN, The Eastern Door, October 12, 2021, https://easterndoor.com/2021/10/12/fighting-for-the-right-to-participate-in-the-un/?fbclid=IwAR3EfY-wDKbTQYoY61x0_OrEXsx4H44DJJbImlvF0rH7a5HIhJ6FkHTuC1c, reported on Kenneth Deer's comments, as "...he and other Indigenous leaders are pushing for their right to appropriate participation at the UN.
     'When the UN was created, it gave two levels of participation: one to member states and the other to non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
,' Deer explained.
      This has the effect of denying Indigenous nations a seat at the table, as they don’t fit in either category.
     'Indigenous Peoples have governments, so we are not NGOs, so we don’t register as NGOs in the UN system. Therefore, we can’t speak as our own governments.'
     At the 2014 UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to facilitate the participation of Onkwehón:we in the organization.
     Deer said this could take the shape of a new status for membership, similar to the non-member observer status that was granted to Palestine."

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Regional and Country Developments

      Leyland Cecco, "Indigenous children set to receive billions after judge rejects Trudeau challenges: First Nations children entitled to government compensation, Canada ‘wilfully and recklessly’ discriminated against them," The Guardian, September 29, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/sep/29/canada-indigenous-children-first-nations-trudeau?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other&bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.jdI0qqZM4kku8bBdsvFS-OA.rJ-IngRjUaEW__KYEbU3w4g.lI3guvQjzIk-kWoLdwbB6vw, reported that following up on a ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that the federal government, by failing to properly fund child and family services, had "wilfully and recklessly” discriminated against Indigenous children living on reserves, "A federal court in Canada has paved they way for billions in compensation to First Nations children who suffered discrimination in the welfare system, after a judge dismissed a pair of legal challenges by the government.
     The tribunal [had] ruled the federal government was required to pay compensation worth C$40,000 to each child removed from his or her home
– the maximum allowable under the country’s human rights act.
     But instead of paying out the compensation, the prime minister Justin Trudeau said his government would appeal the ruling to make sure we’re getting compensation right.'"


     Sarah Hume, "Canada Takes Steps to Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People," Cultural Survival, July 15, 2021, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/canada-takes-steps-ending-violence-against-indigenous-women-girls-and-2slgbtqqia-people, reported, " Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or missing than non-Indigenous women, ultimately amounting to genocide, reports Canada’s National Action Plan (https://mmiwg2splus-nationalactionplan.ca). The report is titled ' Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People,' and it follows the 2019 National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The National Inquiry report is the result of evidence gathered from public hearings, guided dialogues, and testimonies about the violence against Indigenous women, girls, queer people, and gender-diverse people. It provides 231 recommendations for ending this violence.
     Released in 2021, the National Action Plan is the next step in addressing the National Inquiry’s recommendations. It also includes recommendations made in the Métis Perspectives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and LGBTQ2S+ People. As an overarching, broad plan, this report details necessary actions for governments and organizations to implement. Another more specific document will later be created with timelines and measurements of progress. The National Plan is recognized as an 'evergreen document,' changing and adapting to serve the needs of the future. It acts as a foundation and first step.
 
     The National Action Plan is broken down into multiple short sections. Indigenous stakeholders such as the First Nations, Métis Nation, and Inuit contribute specific plans, focusing on their priorities and necessities. Each Canadian province also provides a plan that is particular to their provincial government. Many provinces organize their information under two separate headings: 'Current Progress' and 'Priorities and Next Steps.' Most specific plans are three to four pages long in total— only main themes are reported in the National Action Plan, with the majority of stakeholders including links to their full plan. These links provide more information about programs and will be accessible further below.
      The National Action Plan stresses the importance of centering families and survivors. Over 100 Indigenous women, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and others contributed to the development of the plan. Organizations such as the Core Working Group, National Family and Survivors Circle, and provincial/territorial representatives were influential throughout the process. They made decisions to incorporate recommendations and reviewed the report before publication. The National Action Plan states that it is necessary to honor the strength of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and 'support them in reclaiming their sacred roles and responsibilities.' Other recurring themes include addressing the broader causes of violence such as racism and inequality, creating mechanisms to hold governments accountable for protecting their citizens, and ensuring that positive changes are felt by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
 
     Each specific plan created by Indigenous leaders, organizations, and provinces, will be described briefly here, highlighting their main points and providing links to their full plans. These localized plans identify the priorities of each group and allow for a better understanding of concrete actions currently taking place. While the goal of ending the violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people remains the same throughout the National Action Plan, ideas for best practices may differ.
      The National Family and Survivor’s Circle— composed of Indigenous women from diverse backgrounds— provides guidance on how to engage families, survivors, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in the development and implementation of the National Action Plan. They most notably call for an independent oversight body to hold the Canadian government accountable. This body would legally require governments to submit reports about their National Action Plan progress. When rights have been violated, this body allows for abuses to be investigated.
     The Assembly of First Nations is the national representative body of 634 First Nations and First Nations citizens across Canada, regardless of where they live. They request the creation of toolkits providing immediate steps to take when experiencing violence, or when a loved one goes missing or is murdered. Further, governments and police must take complaints about missing people seriously and properly investigate cases. Officials will keep the family informed throughout the process. To address root causes of violence and inequality, the First Nations Action Plan focuses on creating shelters, transitional housing, and safe modes of transportation.
     The Inuit Action Plan summarizes the need for Inuit representatives to lead initiatives that historically have been led by governments. The Métis Nation calls for the creation of Métis Healing and Wellness centers that prioritize physical and mental health, trauma healing, and cultural knowledge. Métis-focused Gladue Reports are also necessary. Gladue principles are a way for the judge to consider the unique circumstances and experiences of Indigenous Peoples when making a decision of court. This includes intergenerational challenges of colonization such as racism, removal from land, and Indian residential schools.
 
      The 2SLGBTQQIA+ sub-working group action plan requests federal legislation that includes the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This would allow Indigenous self-determination and the right to take part in policy decision-making. They also call for expanding LGBTQQIA+ programs and infrastructure by creating safe and supportive facilities. Because Indigenous Peoples living in urban areas often are ignored and undermined, the Urban plan dedicates itself to ensuring that urban Indigenous communities have direct access to research, planning, development, and delivery of urban programs and services. The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples demands that Indigenous Peoples receive funding and services regardless of Status or residency, as nearly 80 percent of Indigenous people live off-reserve in Canada today.
      Highlights from the Federal Government Action Plan and each provincial government are included below, with separate links at the bottom of this page for easy reference. Most notably, the government of Canada proposed to invest $2.2 billion over five years and $160.9 million ongoing to respond to this national tragedy. Over the next five years, $18 billion will be used to improve the quality of life and create new opportunities for people living in Indigenous communities. The government’s next steps include drafting an Implementation Plan by July 2021 to provide details and timelines.
      Themes from the provincial government plans are Indigenous-led programs, centering families and survivors in the National Action Plan, and addressing root causes of violence. Many provinces, including Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, have already established or are planning to establish cultural training for all frontline service employees. This aims to increase cultural understanding, and shift the system to better include Indigenous knowledge and experiences. Provinces such as Yukon, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, provide culturally appropriate services for child welfare, healing and wellness programs, and correctional centers. The Traditional Pathways Program in Saskatchewan, as an example, provides access to traditional medicines and services to First Nations and Métis patients.
 
      Current progress and next steps prioritize funding Indigenous-led and community-based organizations. Most focus on violence prevention and healing. Other campaigns support public awareness and education, creating legislature to protect victims of domestic abuse, developing a human trafficking task force, and funding housing for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. The National Action plan as a whole calls for Indigenous methodologies of data collection to be used in response to the history of Indigenous Peoples being researched, identified, and misidentified without their Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. Progress will be measured by annual reports, posted by governments to a public-access web portal, and by the outcomes for Indigenous communities. Specific Action Plans for Federal Government and Provinces (when provided): Federal Government : https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1622233286270/1622233321912. Prince Edward Island : https://docs.assembly.pe.ca/download/dms?objectId=f72fe7dc-0c8e-4b19-83e2-efe3a773486d&fileName=Premier.King.05052021.Status%20report%20on%20calls%20for%20justice-missing%20and%20murdered%20indigenous%20women,%20May%202021.pdf. Ontario : https://www.ontario.ca/page/pathways-safety-ontarios-strategy-response-final-report-national-inquiry-missing-and-murdered. Manitoba : https://www.gov.mb.ca/inr/mmiwg/index.html. Saskatchewan : https://publications.saskatchewan.ca/#/products/112884. Alberta : https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-joint-working-group-on-mmiwg.aspx. British Columbia : https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/about-bc-justice-system/inquiries/mmiw/mmiwg-status-update.pdf/ Yukon : https://yukon.ca/en/changing-story-upholding-dignity-and-justice-yukons-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-girls-and. Northwest Territories : https://www.eia.gov.nt.ca/sites/eia/files/td_235-192.pdf."


      Dan Bilefsky, "Coroner Finds Racism Played Part in Indigenous Woman’s Death: Bias contributed to the death of an Indigenous woman who filmed herself being abused by hospital staff, a coroner said Tuesday," The New York Times, October 5, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/05/world/canada/canada-indigenous-death-joyce-echaquan.html, reported, "It was a case that shook Canada: A 37-year-old Indigenous mother of seven died in a Quebec hospital last year after a nurse had taunted her, 'You’re stupid as hell,' only good at having sex, and 'better off dead.'
     On Tuesday , a coroner said that the death of the woman, Joyce Echaquan , could have been prevented and that racism and prejudice had played a role in her treatment. Because of bias, she said, medical staff had erroneously assumed Ms. Echaquan was suffering withdrawal from narcotics." There was no evidence that she was experiencing a narcotics withdrawal, but she had a history of heart problems that should have been the starting point for the medical staff.


     "Pope OKs Canada trip, help healing with Indigenous: The pilgrimage could be the occasion for a papal apology that has been demanded by many in Canada," ICT, October 28, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/pope-oks-canada-trip-help-healing-with-indigenous, reported, " Pope Francis has agreed to visit Canada to help efforts at reconciliation with Indigenous peoples following shocking revelations of the Catholic Church’s role in the abuse and deaths of thousands of native children, the Vatican said on Wednesday."
     Miles Morrisseau, "Residential School Survivors' Meeting With Pope Postponed," ICT, December 9, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/a5542e55-2bd5-9a0a-903f-45f72a2ae0e7/12.09.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, " A planned meeting at the Vatican between survivors of Canada’s Indian residential schools and Pope Francis has been postponed indefinitely because of a worldwide rise in the Omicron variant of the COVID virus," but the hope is that it can take place in 2022.


     "New Revelations of Child Graves at Residential Schools Lays Bare a History of Genocide," Cultural Survival, June 24, 2021, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/new-revelations-child-graves-residential-schools-lays-bare-history-genocide, reported, " Recent investigations in Canada led by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and Cowessess First Nation have uncovered the bodies of 215 and 751 Indigenous children victims of State-sanctioned Catholic residential schools in unmarked graves on the former properties of the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia and the Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan. These numbers add to hundreds of other graves that have been uncovered at additional schools.
     
Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) concluded in 2015 that residential schools amounted to 'cultural genocide' of First Nations Peoples. Residential schools existed in Canada between the 1870s and 1996, when the last school closed; in the 150 years of their existence, an estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were sent to the schools, often against the wishes of their parents. According to the TRC, 'these government-funded, church-run schools were set up to eliminate parental involvement in the intellectual, cultural, and spiritual development of Aboriginal children' and many students were 'forbidden to speak their language and practice their own culture.' The report establishes that 'these measures were part of a coherent policy to eliminate Aboriginal people as distinct peoples and to assimilate them into the Canadian mainstream against their will…because [the government] wished to divest itself of its legal and financial obligations to aboriginal people and gain control over their land and resources.'
     Over its 6 years of operation, the TRC heard testimony from more than 6,700 former students about the abuse they faced in the schools and the lasting impacts that the experience has had on their lives and on their communities. The TRC has confirmed 4,100 student deaths in the schools which resulted from abuse, negligence, lack of medical care, and suicide, but they estimate that at least 6,000 children died in the schools.
     Chief Wilton Littlechild (Cree) was one of three commissioners in charge of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is himself a survivor of residential schools. Cultural Survival Quarterly published this powerful interview with Chief Littlechild in 2011 about his experiences, the trauma he faced and how he continues to work to overcome it, and his hopes for reconciliation. “ This story is not an Indigenous or an Aboriginal story, it’s actually Canada’s story. The challenge we have is having Canada become engaged fully with the story. That’s when you are going to see reconciliation happen fully,” he stated in 2011.
     Chief Littlechild continued, 'Indigenous people talking amongst each other about all our bad experiences, that doesn’t work. It’s got an important purpose in terms of the healing journey, but it won’t solve the bigger picture in terms of where we need to go. Private industry also needs to become fully engaged in the discussion, and we are in fact looking into ways to achieve reconciliation through economic development. And of course the schools. Education is the key. Remember, students across Canada were sent to learn that we are inferior, that we’re no good. In a classroom so much could be done in terms of the journey of reconciliation. I’ve met with several trustees, school districts, and other members of public education, encouraging them to open up their curriculum so that residential school history can be taught in the schools. Not just Indigenous schools: more so in the non-Indigenous schools.'
     At its conclusion in 2015, the TRC released a wide-reaching list of 94 Calls to Action for reconciliation, including urging all levels of government — federal, provincial, territorial and Aboriginal — to work together to change policies and programs in a concerted effort to repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation. The 'calls to action' are divided into two parts: legacy (1 to 42) and reconciliation (43 to 94). In one of its recommendations, the TRC pressed the federal government to develop a program for the identification and protection of residential school cemeteries.
     In 2017, Canada was criticized at the UN for failing to implement these Truth Commission recommendations. The UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination urged for the development of “a concrete action plan” to implement the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in coordination with Indigenous Peoples, along with establishing a monitoring and evaluation process once these measures are implemented.
     Residential schools were not unique to Canada. In the United States, the government operated as many as 100 boarding schools for American Indians, both on and off reservations, for over a century between 1877-1978. A US federal policy to assimilate Indians into mainstream society, the Indian boarding school’s explicit goal was to “kill the Indian and save the man,” by taking American Indian children from their homes, cutting their hair, and forcing them to speak only English. Many American Indian children in boarding schools suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as a result of practicing their culture and speaking their language behind closed doors. This erasure tactic of punishing young children was designed to both forcefully assimilate American Indian people, but also an intentional practice of cultural genocide. Many Indigenous Peoples continue to experience historical, familial, and intergenerational trauma because of the abuse endured from their parents and grandparents who were separated from their relatives and forced into boarding schools. The film Dawnland chronicles a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools that operated in the state of Maine and how it continues to affect Native communities there today.
     On June 22, 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced a Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative , a comprehensive review of the troubled legacy of federal boarding school policies in the U.S.
     Although most residential schools were officially closed by the late 1990s, the separation of Indigenous children from their families continues to be an ongoing issue, in both the United States and Canada
. This is true at the U.S. border and in the policies of child welfare programs. When residential schools closed in Canada, the care of Indigenous children was handed over to Child and Family Services departments under the provincial governments. Today in Manitoba, Indigenous children are 12 times more likely to be removed from their families and placed into foster care or group homes than non-Indigenous children. The province of Manitoba alone reports that 11,000 children are currently under their care, 85 percent of whom are Indigenous.
     After residential schools were closed in the U.S., the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act was signed into federal law to protect Native American children from removal from their Tribal communities in cases of foster care placement or adoption. However, this act has repeatedly and recently faced legal attacks in the courts, with arguments that deny Tribal sovereignty over their children.
     However, Indigenous communities in Canada, despite generations of historical trauma, are protagonists of change and resilience. Cora Morgan (Turtle clan of the Sagkeeng Anishnaabe First Nation) works as a Family Advocate for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. She shared a Cheyenne proverb that inspires her and brings her hope: A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. And the hearts of the Anishnaabe women are not on the ground. In 2016, Cultural Survival profiled her work, alongside other mothers in her community, implementing healing programs aimed to keep Indigenous children in Indigenous families.
     Andrea Landry (Anishinaabe) is a mother, professor, therapist, and Indigenous rights defender. Coming from a family who survived residential schools in Canada, she now teaches others how to move beyond cycles of trauma rooted in colonial pain in their paths forward as Indigenous parents, as she writes in her essay, “The Radical Healing Power of Indigenous Love”.
     Patricia Dawn (Métis Cree) founded the Red Willow Womyn’s Society, helping Indigenous women in British Columbia’s Cowichan Valley at risk of having their children apprehended by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Cultural Survival’s Keepers of the Earth Fund made a grant to support their work in 2018 to address the cycle of child removal.
     Cultural Survival joins First Nations in Canada in mourning the deaths and abuse of generations of Indigenous children at residential schools. We join in calls for action — the implementation of all 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the operationalization of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, particularly Article 7, which states: “Indigenous Peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group.”
     Cultural Survival also joins in the calls asking Pope Francis to issue an official apology on behalf of the Catholic Church as well as to commit funds for justice, reconciliation, and healing initiatives.
      A Canadian National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419."


     "Leyland Cecco "‘There are bodies here’: survivors braced as search begins at Canada’s oldest residential school: Long-overdue search for unmarked graves at notorious Mohawk Institute prompts renewed calls for full transparency," The Guardian, November 10, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/10/canada-residential-schools-unmarked-graves-mohawk-institute?bbeml=tp-pck9Q6QNPEiuBt3JmyTokQ.j3P-ZWm9tCEy0JNUPSe_k0A.rpflf5rx33EOZgzWPvE55bA.lpS42ThjulkmUpD_Biteq3Q, reported, "On Tuesday, police and community members at the Six Nations of the Grand River began searching the grounds of the Mohawk Institute – the oldest and longest-running residential school in Canada – as they launched a grim search for the remains of children who many believe were buried here in unmarked graves." Thousands of First Nation children attended Mohawk Institute between 1831 and 1970.
     "In theory, the young students were given a modern education designed to help them integrate into mainstream Canadian society. But survivors of the school – dubbed the “Mush Hole” by survivors on account of its poor food and dismal rations – have long described the forced assimilation as a regime of terror, where children were subjected to verbal abuse, sexual assault and physical violence."
     See also, Antonio Voce, Leyland Cecco and Chris Michael, "‘Cultural genocide’: the shameful history of Canada’s residential schools – mapped: Recent discoveries of unmarked graves have shed new light on the country’s troubled colonial legacy, The Guardian, September 6, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2021/sep/06/canada-residential-schools-indigenous-children-cultural-genocide-map. For some of the terrible long lasting impacts of the boarding schools and the development of some of what has been done to overcome it, see Rupert Ross's books unfolding his learning of the aftereffects and work to overcome them in Dancing with a Ghost: Exploring Indian Reality (Markham, Ont.: Reed Books Canada, 1992); Returning to the Teachings: Exploring Aboriginal Justice (Toronto: Penguin, 1996); and Indigenous Healing: Exploring Traditional Paths (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2014).
      Ian Austen, "Search for Indigenous Children Takes New Step, Calling Police: The Six Nations in Ontario have set up a special group to oversee the investigation of student deaths, in a rare collaboration between an Indigenous group and the police," The New York Times, December 11, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/11/world/canada/missing-indigenous-children-police.html, reported, "S earches for the remains of Indigenous children who died while at Canada’s notorious residential schools have been taking place throughout the country since May. That was when radar scans of the Kamloops Indian Residential School grounds in British Columbia found evidence of 215 human remains buried in unmarked graves, many of them children.
     But this search was different.
      While most Indigenous communities have been reluctant to work with the police because of a deep distrust of law enforcement, the Mohawk have entered a delicate collaboration with two police forces. Their hope is that by involving law enforcement, they can preserve the option of a formal criminal investigation into any unmarked grave sites — and to obtain justice, as well as to find out the truth of what happened."


      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, narrowly reelected - with a plurality leading a coalition government - has stated he wants to do more to fight climate change and to move forward on reconciliation with First Nations. But to do so, he needs to overcome a mixed record on both, including weather he is willing to cease supporting resource exploitive mining and drilling, and the transportation, especially in pipelines, of fossil fuels, while being consistently attentive to First Nation concerns. On the latter, he has continued to stumble. Ian Austen, "Narrowly Returned to Power, Trudeau Promises an Activist Government: The Canadian prime minister failed to gain a majority in Parliament last month but acted otherwise when unveiling his new cabinet," The New York Times, October 26, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/26/world/canada/justin-trudeau-cabinet.html, reported, "While Indigenous issues have historically have not been a major political force, they rose to the top of the national consciousness in the spring after the discovery of the remains of students buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. That was followed by several other similar discoveries, reviving a painful and traumatic history for Indigenous communities.
      Before the election, Mr. Trudeau declared a national holiday, making Sept. 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
     But he undermined the gesture by spending the day traveling across the country with his family for a postelection beach vacation. Compounding the snub, his office did not respond to two requests from the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation, home to the Kamloops school site, to attend ceremonies there.
     Last week, Mr. Trudeau traveled to the First Nation to apologize at a gathering where he was repeatedly, if respectfully, criticized for the timing of his vacation
."


     Brett Forester, "Study: Canada criminal courts stacked against Indigenous accused: Indigenous offenders were 30 percent more likely to be imprisoned than White offenders, says the report," ICT, October 21, 2021, https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/study-canada-criminal-courts-stacked-against-indigenous-accused, reported, " Indigenous people are overrepresented in Canadian criminal courts and far more likely than White people to be convicted and locked up once they come before a judge, according to a recent federal government study.
     Justice Canada researchers analyzed how Indigenous accused fared statistically at key stages of the criminal court process compared to white people between 2006 and 2016
. The findings, released this year, were grim but not surprising.
      Indigenous people made up 25 percent of all accused in 2016 — that is, one out of every four — despite comprising only 5 percent of the general population. This was up from 19 percent in 2006.
     By comparison the percentage of White people accused of crimes fell from 63 percent to 55 percent over the same time period. Similarly, Indigenous accused were 55 percent less likely than White accused to have their charges withdrawn, dismissed or discharged.
     Indigenous people were 33 percent less likely to be acquitted and 14 percent more likely to plead or be found guilty. Then, once convicted, Indigenous offenders were 30 percent more likely to be imprisoned
."


      Canada has begun allowing First Nation, Inuit and Metis people to use their traditional names on passports, especially in cases where they were forced to change their names ("Indigenous Peoples Reclaim Traditional Names on Passports," Cultural Survival Quarterly, September 2021).


      Amber Bracken, "I felt kidnapped’: a journalist’s view of being arrested by the RCMP: Police put me in handcuffs when I should have been doing my job. I wanted to be doing my job. I am furious," The Narwhal, December 16, 2021, https://thenarwhal.ca/opinion-amber-bracken-rcmp-arrest/, stated, "All at once, RCMP officers came out of their hiding spots to fill the courtyard surrounding a tiny house at a site known as Coyote Camp in Wet’suwet’en territory. Police wore both regular blue uniforms and a militarized green version, the latter laden with assault rifles and tactical equipment. The scene has already become known across Canada — police dogs barking and whining as officers used an axe and a chainsaw to enter the small structure to arrest seven unarmed and peaceful individuals.
     Soon they would take my cameras from me. After that, my rights.
     Some of the first advice I was given as a baby journalist was: 'Don’t get arrested. You can’t make any pictures from the back of a police car.' This maxim has served me well most of my career, which has taken me into zones of conflict and protest across North America.
     But covering the Wet’suwet’en pipeline opposition last month, I realized its limit: I could not both do my job as a journalist and avoid arrest. On Nov. 19, the RCMP made that impossible for me."


     Susan Collis, Department of
      , the historic legal regime structuring settler colonialism in Canada, is being displaced by new statutory law, as nearly fifty federal statutes passed by successive governments between 2005 and 2020 rewrite First Nations land, taxation, resource, and governance regimes.
     I focus attention on these new laws, asking how they differ in instrument and ideology from the Indian Act. Particularly, I explore how new legislation responds to the Indian Act’s (unintended) affirmation of the unique political status of Indigenous peoples and manages the long-sedimented legal and regulatory differences between reserve and Canadian jurisdictions. Transferring our attention from the Indian Act to actual sites of legislative activity, we are better positioned to perceive, critique, and challenge the evolving formation of settler colonialism in Canada today."


      Indigenous leaders and health experts in Canada, supported by a pair of 2019 reports, complain that First Nation Canadians have often received no or inadequate health care, and at times have faced racial abuse from health care staff, that has shortened lifespans, increased suffering from medical conditions and disease, and lowered the quality of life. They seek major reforms to equalize health care (Dan Bilefski, "Indigenous Canada Seeks Health Reform in the Wake of Abuses," The New York Times, August 29, 2021).


     Angel Moore, "Mi’kmaw Harvesting Lobster Under Heavy Police, Federal Presence," ICT, August 5, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/e83aceed-97c9-6836-5c1b-c6cf86c5a6bc/8.5.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, " Mi’kmaw harvesters are back on the water fishing for lobster and following their own food, social and ceremonial fishery plan.
     But the large contingent of police and fisheries officers is intimidating and infringing on their Treaty Rights
."
     Previously, Non-Indigenous fisherman had attacked the Mi’kmaw lobster harvesters. Tribal members wish the government and its fisheries would work with them, instead of intimidating them.


     Joaqlin Estus, "Sinixt Eager To Celebrate First Nation Recognition," ICT, July 22, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/cab2c3c7-649c-87f6-85b3-559ddafe87b5/7.22.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, " After winning a landmark case before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Sinixt, or Arrow Lakes Band of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington, are looking forward exercising rights and receiving benefits that come with First Nations or registered Indian status in Canada [where 80% of their traditional homeland is located].
     However, last year in March, the United States and Canada closed their borders to nonessential travel. Sinixt discussions with Canadian officials are on hold until restrictions are eased."


      The Qalipu First Nation of Newfoundland, Canada's newest, receiving recognition in 2011, has been troubled by a row over identity, and who is a member (Sara Miller Llana, "For Canada's newest nation, a declaration of - and fight over -identity," Christian Science Monitor Weekly, December 18, 2021).


      The Haida of Haida Gwaii Archipelago have begun requiring visitors to take a pledge to respect and care for the land ("Canada: Haida Gwaii to Require Visitors Pledge Haida Gwaii," Cultural Survival Quarterly, September 2021).


     Kalle Benallie, "Indigenous Economics Takes Centerstage:" ICT, June 24, 2021, https://mcusercontent.com/ee83519a17075b9d5a2c44042/files/40147001-c2e6-75f7-33e0-b7001b693d22/6.24.21_The_Weekly.pdf, reported, "When Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, executive director of Indigenous Climate Action, noticed a lack of participation and leadership from Indigenous people at the Canadian Society of Ecological Economics conference, she spoke up about her concerns."
      In result, the Canadian Society of Ecological Economics partnered with the Indigenous Climate Action to create the Indigenous Economics: Reclaiming the Sacred conference that took place from June 10 to June 12."


      Asa Welander, "Mexico’s School Closures Are Increasing Inequality: With schools shut for over a year, limited access to technology is exacerbating the education gap, leaving Indigenous communities behind," FP, August 5, 2021, https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/08/05/mexicos-school-closures-are-increasing-inequality/, reported that in Mexico, "Schools closed all over the country, and the federal government rolled out a program called “Learn at Home,” offering classes on television and online. But for teachers like Che Chi and Cen Kauil, this wasn’t an option. The Indigenous community where they both work, Celtún, is located in the middle of the Mexican state of Yucatán and it lacks access to the required tools for virtual learning. 'It’s functional for urban areas, but for remote communities without signal it’s hard,' Cen Kauil said.
     According to the United Nations, almost 500 million children around the world have been excluded from the remote learning solutions that replaced their normal schooling due to the pandemic. For those lacking the resources and necessary technologies, it has become impossible to keep up with classes. In Mexico, the number of children between 6 and 14 years old who are not receiving any formal education has increased by 74 percent compared to 2015, according to government figures . The hardest-hit communities are those without access to the internet and other technologies, which is the case for around half of Mexico’s rural population, due to both poverty and lack of internet infrastructure."


     Julie Post,"Charges Brought Against Killers of Yaqui Water Defender Tomas Rojo Valencia," Cultural Survival, July 22, 2021, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/charges-brought-against-killers-yaqui-water-defender-tomas-rojo-valencia, reported, "On June 17, 2021, human remains were found in the Sonoran town of Vícam, within the municipio of Guaymas, Mexico. Following a series of DNA testing, the prosecutor’s crime laboratory released the information that these tests identified the remains as belonging to Tomás Rojo Valencia, the Yaqui spokesperson and water defender who had been reported as missing on May 27, 2021. Rojo Valencia was a prominent Yaqui leader who worked to defend the land, water, and rights of the eight Yaqui pueblos located along the Yaqui River. During the search for Tomás, his family released a press statement expressing their admiration for peaceful social struggle, his love for his Indigenous Yaqui community and identity, and his vision for asserting the rights of Indigenous Peoples throughout Mexico. The exact quote follows: 'Reconocemos y atesoramos … (la) lucha social pacífica de nuestro amado Tomás, quien nos ha inculcado … con gran ímpetu y amor por su sangre indígena, … su gran visión de hacer valer nuestros derechos como indígenas de la nación yaqui.' This quote translates as 'We recognize and treasure … the peaceful social struggle of our beloved Tomás, who has instilled in us …with great enthusiasm and love for his Indigenous blood, … his great vision of asserting our rights as Indigenous Peoples of the Yaqui nation.' The family’s full statement can be found here.
      As one of the leaders representing the eight villages of the Yaqui Peoples protesting against the construction and operation of the Independencia aqueduct which took place under the administration of former Sonoran Governor Guillermo Padres, Tomás Rojo Valencia became known across the state among other activists, as well as parties invested in the construction and operation of the aqueduct, which was planned and built without consultation or consent from the Yaqui Peoples. The Independencia aqueduct was constructed to extract water from the Yaqui River, which runs among the eight Yaqui villages, to supply the two most heavily populated cities in the state of Sonora, Hermosillo and Ciudad Obregón, but without making accommodations for supplying water to the Yaqui villages who have stewared this water source.
     One of the major forms of protest against such harmful infrastructure projects, including the Independencia aqueduct, carried out by the Yaqui was to set up blockades along major routes and highways that pass through their territory. The General Attorney’s office of Sonora has confirmed that they have detained Rojo Valencia’s alleged killer on potential charges including premeditated homicide and criminal association, and later a second suspect was arrested for suspected participation in Rojo Valencia’s murder. The presumed motive is related to the criminal group with whom the murderer is associated seeking to illicitly benefit from the fees that the Yaqui group collects on the Mexico 15 international highway that passes through their ancestral land. Tomás Rojo Valencia was a noted proponent of the fee collection to benefit the Yaqui Indigenous Peoples. On July 11, 2021, the remains of Rojo Valencia were returned to his hometown of Pótam, where his community and kin were able to memorialize and celebrate his life according to Yaqui customs, with prayer and song.
     In 2020, at least 331 human rights defenders were murdered. Indigenous Peoples are disproportionately represe nted within this statistic, specifically Indigenous human rights leaders within Latin America. At least 56 murders took 0place against Indigenous activists in the region that were documented by Cultural Survival, along with 11 disappearances and 26 violent attacks against Indigenous rights defenders, demonstrating the dangerous and persistent trend of violence towards Indigenous Peoples in Latin America. Within Mexico, so far in 2021 at least 14 Indigenous leaders have been killed in Chiapas, Oaxaca, Michoacán and Sonora, according to a July 6 press release by a coalition of organizations under the hashtag #AltoAlFuego or 'stop the violence.' In addition to Tomás Rojo Valencia, leaders among the 14 who have passed include Simón Pedro Pérez Lopez, Jaime Jiménez Ruiz, Fidel Heras Cruz, Raymundo Robles Riaño, Noé Robles Cruz, Gerardo Mendoza Reyes, María Eufemia Reyes Esquivel, Vicente Guzmán Reyes, Ambrosio Guzmán Reyes, José Luis Chávez Mondragón, Manuel Carmona Esquivel, and Luis Urbano Domínguez.
     Cultural Survival joins the Instituto Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas in condemning the murder of Tomás Rojo Valencia, and the context of continuing violence Indigenous community members face throughout Mexico. Cultural Survival urges the authorities to hold the perpetrators of violence accountable and to take steps to prevent this type of violence by respecting Indigenous Peoples right to free, prior, and informed consent before development projects are carried out on their lands as guaranteed by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and respect for Indigenous Peoples right to access and steward their ancestral lands and waters."


     "Regulating indigenous medicine in Mexico ‘could violate rights’: This article is more than 1 month old: Academics and traditional medical groups warn against proposed legislation to grant state authority to control practice," The Guardian, October 26, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/oct/26/regulating-indigenous-medicine-in-mexico-could-violate-rights, reported,
"Proposed legislation that would grant the Mexican state authority to regulate and control the practice of indigenous medicine could violate the country’s constitution and international conventions on the rights of ancestral communities, academics and traditional medical groups have warned. "


      Anatoly Kurmanaev and Oscar Lopez, "Mexico City Replaces a Statue of Columbus With One of an Indigenous Woman: The replacement of a figure seen as a monument to colonialism touched a nerve as the country debates how it is shaped by race and sex," The New York Times, October 15, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/14/world/americas/mexico-columbus-statue-indigenous.html, reported, " Statues of Columbus are being toppled across the Americas, amid fierce debates over the region’s legacy of European conquest and colonialism."
     In Mexico City, "After prolonged debate, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced Tuesday that the Columbus statue that once gazed down on Mexico City’s main boulevard will be replaced with a precolonial Indigenous figure — notably, a woman
."


     "Mixtec Families Displaced by Violence in Atatlahuca, Mexico," Cultural Survival, November 1, 2021, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/mixtec-families-displaced-violence-atatlahuca-mexico, reported, "According to reporting by the newspaper Proceso, in recent days various violent events have occurred causing the displacement of around 300 people in the municipality of San Esteban Atatlahuca, in the state of Oaxaca. Those displaced say that on October 23, 2021, a group of an estimated 200 people attacked three villages in the Atatlahuca municipality, the Mier and Terán, Ndoyonoyuji, and Guerrero Grande communities. The attackers, using drones and carrying heavy weapons, looted houses and then set them on fire.
      Displaced families have stated that the three communities have been experiencing outrage related to the protection of their lands since at least 2003 when Ndoyonoyuji opposed the extraction of wood from communal forests for the alleged profit by outsiders. In 2006, two of its members were imprisoned in connection with this conflict. However, the violence has intensified since last October 21, when the parents of a Ndoyonoyuji municipal official were assassinated. According to the displaced people from this community, on the same day, 25 houses were burned and the next day more were burned. They estimate that the number of homes destroyed may be as many as 100. At this moment, the situation is unclear as they cannot return to the community out of fear of further violence.
      This event occurs in a generalized context of violence for human rights and environmental defenders, especially those who are Indigenous. Mexico is the second most dangerous country for environmental activism, according to an article by Reporte Índigo published earlier this month, mentioning 30 murders in 2020 alone. The media reports that almost a third of attacks on land defenders were related to forest exploitation and that half were targeting Indigenous communities. In 2020, Cultural Survival documented 56 murders, 11 disappearances, and 23 violent attacks against Indigenous human rights and environmental defenders in Latin American countries where we work, including 8 in Mexico.
     In the city of Tlaxiaco, there are approximately 180 displaced people of all ages, sheltered in the facilities of a government institute. An estimated 60 - 80 more people could be sheltering in private homes in other localities and in nearby forests, facing adverse weather conditions. People may also be seeking shelter in the church of Mier y Terán. The displaced families were forced to flee before the attacks. They lost their assets, including their livestock and crops.
     As of October 27, 2021, those impacted and the media estimate between five and seven deaths due to these violent events. Two were Elders and one was found with bullet wounds and signs of torture. Those impacted from Guerrero Grande report that 11 of their companions are missing. Members of the Ndoyonoyuji community estimate that there are a total of 17 people missing or dead. They fear that some of them could have been burned since the Center for Human Rights and Advice to Indigenous Peoples (CEDHAPI) reported the discovery of remains during a recent visit to the burned houses.
      The impacted families denounce that the municipal administration has not respected their land rights and that the agreements of previous dialogues with the state government have not been respected. They are now asking for dialogue with the federal government. They also report that they have suffered persecution and imprisonment for several years for denouncing the felling of forests, the proliferation of sawmills, and the damages to a sacred area in the mountainous area, where an archaeological site was destroyed.
      Displaced families need urgent support of food, clothing, kitchen utensils, personal hygiene items, and educational materials for children. It is possible to help through the Ve’e Ñuu coffee shopat Tlaxiaco city. However, what they most need is an end to violence and the guarantee of a peaceful return to their communities, since their current conditions are not sustainable in the long term. In addition, they will need resources to rebuild their houses. They are demanding respect for their territory and an end to deforestation of their forests. They ask for support from environmental organizations and the media to shed light on their situation.  
     Cultural Survival joins human rights institutions and organizations in Mexico, including Defensoría de los Derechos Humanos del Pueblo de Oaxaca (DDHPO) and CEDHAPI A.C in calling on Mexican authorities to take action for:
     the state attorney general's office carry out the immediate investigations
of the facts of the case;
     the Mexican State, through the state and federal government, guarantees the life and physical integrity of the people who were attacked by the group of armed persons, by urgently sending, in consultation with affected community members, State, and federal public security;
     the Mexcian State to guarantee the rights of internally displaced persons within the framework of international humanitarian law.

     We join the community in urging Mexican officials to respect the community’s rights to their lands and resources, as guaranteed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."


      The Columbus Statue on Mexico City's primary boulevard was replaced, in October 2021, by a pre-colonial female Indigenous figure (Anatoly Kurmanaev, "Female Icon to Replace Columbus in Mexico," The New York Times, October 25, 2021).


      The Zapatista 421 Squad large composed of Indigenous peopl, engaged in protesting inequality in southern Mexico, landed in Galicia Spain, in June 2021, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest and commence a tour of Europe ("Mexico: Zapatista Squad 421 Squad Sends Delegation to Galicia," Cultural Survival Quarterly, September 2021).


     Teresita Orozco and Guadalupe Pastrana (Nahua), CS Staff, "Strengthening Indigenous Community Communication in Southeastern Mexico," Cultural Survival, December 15, 2021, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/strengthening-indigenous-community-communication-southeastern-mexico, reported, "In September 2021, thanks to the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Cultural Survival held two trainings focused on Indigenous community communications through a gender lens. These were the first two of a series of trainings designed for leaders from Indigenous organizations and radio stations in Southeastern Mexico. These trainings centered on the importance of radio as a powerful tool for defending and promoting land and human rights," also providing empowernt mentfor Indigenous women.
     "In total, 50 people from 15 organizations and 8 Indigenous radio stations participated, with 5 of them in the process of opening a new radio station. The main objective was to promote the exchange of experiences, in addition to promoting with greater force the exercise of Indigenous community communication in these territories."


     "KOEF Grant Partner Spotlight: The Yuku Savi Collective Plants Seeds for the Revitalization of Mixtec Cultural Practices," Cultural Survival, November 21, 2021, https://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/koef-grant-partner-spotlight-yuku-savi-collective-plants-seeds-revitalization-mixtec-cultural, reported, " The Mixtec are the third largest group of Indigenous Peoples in Mexico. The Mixtec community of Santa María Cuquila in Oaxaca, Mexico call themselves the Ñuu Savi which translates to 'People of the Rain.' Mixtec transnational migration is the phenomenon where Mixtec people migrate from Mexico to the United States. The pace of Oaxacan migration is accelerating due to reasons such as poverty, drought, and lack of employment opportunities. As of 2011, an estimated 150,000 Mixtec people were living in California. Additionally, the loss of ancestral knowledge in the Santa María Cuquila Indigenous community is largely due to the difficulty of accessing plants of cultural importance, which contributes to this increasing trend of Mixtec migration.
 
     Founded in 2017 and based in the Santa María Cuquila community of Oaxaca, Mexico, The Yuku Savi Collective is committed to reducing the migration number of young Mixtec people through the generation of self-employment and the revitalization of culture and traditions as a defense of Indigenous Peoples. The Collective creates alternative work opportunities in Oaxaca to encourage Indigenous youth to stay in the community and strengthen their economy and culture. They also seek to generate comprehensive plans for the management of their forests and promote the sustainable use of plants of cultural importance. The Yuku Savi Collective led a project to recover plant species of cultural importance while strengthening the communication between young people and the elderly in the spaces created for the exchange of experiences and knowledge.
     The project started with the collection of ticunchi agave, agave pulquero, and cucharilla seeds. They then proceeded to begin the compilation of compost of mount, sand, and sawdust to prepare the substrate where the seeds would germinate. A process of transplanting, watering and fertilizing the seeds began.
     The Yuku Savi Collective also held workshops for the transmission of cultural knowledge of the agave pulquero, the ticunchi agave, and the cucharilla pl