Giving nature a helping hand

Cities are looking for innovative ways to help the environment. When the pandemic is over the environment needs to be a priority.

Strange as it seems, the COVID-19 pandemic has had one positive effect: the environmental situation has improved all over the world. Scientists at CREA, the Finnish Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, reported that as early as spring 2020 the air in China and Italy was cleaner. Other countries have also seen positive signs of environmental change because of a reduction of international air traffic and in levels of mining activity according to scientists.

Clearly this will not continue once the economy begins to recover, and the pressures on nature will return, bringing environmental protection back into focus. Here, we showcase environmental projects from Perm and its sister cities.

In April 2020, Perm-based industrial enterprises and public associations organised the annual “Protect the Environmental” event. The environmental competition “Spring Birdhouse” will be held as part of the event, the results of which will be announced at the environmental forum on September 15.

The County of Oxfordshire is trying to preserve wildlife species that are disappearing due to the deteriorating environmental situation. The Witney Gazette has published a map of the county which shows the areas where wildlife is under threat and where populations have been restored. Currently, the brown hare and the turtle dove are in danger of extinction. Work on the “nature recovery” map is ongoing.

In Qingdao, environmental problems are being tackled at municipal level. In April, the Qingdao Office for Ecology and Environment announced the principle areas of focus for 2020 as air and soil quality improvements, it was reported by Qingdao News Network.

Louisville is actively engaging students in tackling environmental issues. The University of Louisville holds an annual “Ecological Olympiad” involving higher education institution campuses in the city. This year’s ecological competitions were held in February and March. The “Eco-Olympics” not only inform students about ecological issues, but also offer opportunities to take part in developing ways to tackle these problems. Students participate in waste recycling projects, making plant compost, supporting ethical attitudes towards animals and not using animal products in food.

In Duisburg, the “Umweltwochen” (Environment Weeks) event has been held every year for the last 26 years with a different theme each year. This year, the theme is the problems of plastic. A number of different companies take part, and each year about 70 environmentally themed practical events, seminars, exhibitions, discussions and theatre performances take place. The project is aimed at all Duisburg residents and is designed to motivate citizens to take responsibility for protecting the environment. Unfortunately, the programme has had to be cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

Amnéville’s Mayor Eric Munier is running for another term. ”Finishing the job” is a key argument in his campaign to continue as Mayor, France 3 Grand-est reports. Munier sees a need for serious municipal solutions to address the major issue of the city’s precarious environmental situation.

The Italian project “Treno Verde 2020” (Green Train 2020) was held this winter in Agrigento. The campaign was set up by “Legambiente”, an Italian environmental association, together with the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group, the Italian State Railway Company. “Treno Verde 2020” was organised as a forum with a special focus on climate change.