This week we’re looking at returning things to their original state, from preserving cultural heritage by sending antiques home, to removing landmines from a part of Zimbabwe, so that people and the great wildlife in South-East Africa The animals roaming through the sanctuaries should be benefited.
Digital media startups are helping to revive local journalism in Canada. The consolidation of major media companies and the decline in traditional advertising have resulted in mass layoffs and the closure of community newspapers. And despite government initiatives to buck the trend, another 52 newspapers closed their doors last year. But a growing number of online outlets are looking to fill in those news stories and change the landscape of journalism.
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Our Pragati roundup highlights the importance of protecting cultural heritage. A new app powered by a photographic database used to identify looted antiques, and Germany, is paving the way for returning art to Africa.
Overstory Media Group represents a number of newsletter-based publications covering specific communities in British Columbia. Inspired by the success of its members, the group plans to launch 50 outlets in cities across the country and hire 250 journalists by 2023. At the same time, Indigraph, a separate network of independent news outlets, is hoping to bring in new voices in journalism. Removing barriers to starting a subscription-based startup. As of now, it supports 18 community-focused outlets along with a suite of pooled resources such as web developers and marketing staff.
Efforts to save Brazil’s rarest primate are slowly bearing fruit, and are being hailed as a prime example of collaborative conservation. Habitat fragmentation has long threatened the black lion tamarin, a monkey native to the southeastern state of So Paulo, Brazil. A major wave of settlement in the 1940s destroyed more than 80% of the state’s Great Pontal Reserve forests, and for decades, people believed the black lion tamarind was extinct.
Researchers at the Institute for Ecological Research (IP) knew that restoring primates’ landscapes meant connecting with settlers. IPÊ created a network of forest corridors based on wildlife tracking data, and with local communities” Refine the plan through a series of “eco-talks”. Buffer zones are created by planting trees on the farm with forest fragments, while about 50 families are growing “Steppingstone” forests, 2.5 acres of chemical-free coffee orchards Planted with food crops that wildlife can use to cross between habitats. To date, IPÊ and its partners have planted more than 2.7 million trees and restored 7,410 acres of forest in the Great Pontal Reserve Meanwhile, the black lion tamarind was removed from the critically endangered list, with a current population of about 1,800 in the wild.
Germany is set to become the first country to return Benin bronze looted by British soldiers and sailors in 1897. The British Museum has the largest collection of Benin bronzes, but many of the artifacts were sold to museums throughout Europe and North America. German institutions in Berlin, Cologne, Dresden, Hamburg, Leipzig and Stuttgart collectively keep more than 1,500 items from theft.
Culture Minister Monica Gruters announced that Germany would present a legal and logistical road map for their reinstatement by the end of June, with the first transfer taking place next year. The art’s path forward is not entirely clear, but the creation of the Legacy Restoration Trust (LRC) – a new, politically neutral organization that could receive Benin bronze – helped facilitate Germany’s decision. Nigerian artist Victor Ehikhamenor, LRC trustee, said, “This is a huge step towards righting what is wrong, especially from a country that was a superpower in the colony.” “Germany has set a path for other Western countries struggling to find the right way to handle reinstatement matters.”
A project is underway to destroy part of the world’s largest wildlife area. With US and Swiss aid, Belgian mining organization APOPO is clearing more than 1,700 acres of Zimbabwe’s Sengwe Wildlife Corridor, which is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP). During the 1964–79 civil conflict in Zimbabwe, the Rhodesian army laid dense minefields to limit the movement of guerrilla fighters. This important area allows wildlife to migrate freely between South Africa’s Kruger National Park and Zimbabwe’s Gonarezo National Park, helping to stabilize populations.
For 40 years, hidden anti-personnel land mines have threatened GLTP wildlife, including elephants and pangolins, and threatened the safety and livelihoods of thousands of families living near the park. APOPO has already cleared more than 10 acres of land, and the team expects to locate and eliminate about 15,300 mines by the end of the project. The coordinators say that the corridor will be mine free by 2025.
Tomorrow, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
In a victory for local indigenous groups, the European Investment Bank (EIB) vowed to bridge gaps in the implementation of a hydroelectric project in central Nepal. As a signatory to Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, Nepal is legally obliged to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, who are entitled to consultation on any issue related to the development of their traditional lands and resources. But communities around the world say renewable energy projects often fall short, including the Marsyangdi Corridor transmission line, a high-voltage power line running through the forests and ancestral lands of hundreds of homes in Nepal’s Lamjung district. According to a complaint filed in 2018, the EIB failed to adequately assess the environmental and social impacts of the line, and did not obtain consent from affected residents.
The bank recently concluded that at least some of these claims were confirmed, and hired an independent local expert to help correct the mistakes. The EIB will also initiate a public review of its social and environmental policies. Anirudh Nagar, community director of the Accountability Council Advocacy Group, says the investigation has “far-reaching implications for internationally funded development projects affecting indigenous people’s lands, both in Nepal and beyond.”
Thomson Reuters Foundation, Accountability Consultant, european investment bank
In an effort to combat art crime, Interpol has launched an app that allows mobile phone users to identify stolen artwork using a sophisticated image recognition program. According to UNESCO estimates, id-art is a new tool to help recover lost pieces and stop the smuggling of art and artifacts, a $10 billion annual trade, making it one of the world’s most profitable black markets. makes one.
After downloading the app, users can snap a photo of an art piece, upload an existing image, or use descriptive words to search Interpol’s database of lost and stolen art, which contains more than 52,000 More items included. If the art in question matches a registered piece in Interpol’s database, the app prompts users to report it. During its pilot phase, ID-Art helped authorities recover two sculptures and two paintings in Europe. Loose requirements for tracking chain of ownership mean that stolen pieces can often show up at legitimate auction houses, museums or private collections, and with the new app, officials say, buyers and sellers have no clue about their ignorance. There would be little excuse for that.
Forbes, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
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