Here’s a small peek into a few environmental topics you should be aware of as we travel into the remaining duration of 2023. These various segments have sparked major publicity and enhanced the fight for conservation across their specific region, and even the globe. From farmers using agricultural electronic apps and other technologies to cope with the effects of climate change, to Bosnian scientists using biological surveys to protect rivers from unstable dams. All of the intricate environmental phenomena happening across the world are all interconnected, and are all sitting at the same level of importance. Here are just a few of the many segments you can gain immense knowledge about.

The Fox Nut

Out in India, the demand for the fox nuts, or makhana, has grown significantly, but its habitat and ecosystem are threatened. These nuts are consumed in various ways and are incorporated into many Indian dishes. They are eaten either plain or in numerous flavors, such as peri-peri and schezwan; they are also used to make traditional kheer, milk-based puddings, and different curries. About 85% of India’s makhana originate and come from the northern state of Bihar, mainly a wetland oasis. Unfortunately, these wetlands are being outrun by pollution, illegal construction, and encroachments.  

The Brazil Nut Tradition

Meanwhile in the Amazon of Brazil, communal nut harvesting is being seen as a new savior to the rainforest. Those residing on the banks of the Paru River have practiced the tradition of nut-gathering for generations, fueled by the understanding that without an intact forest, nut harvesting would cease to exist. Unfortunately, the nut market has not yet recovered since the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the severe drought in 2016. About 300,000 people rely on the Brazilian nut production chain for their livelihoods and income.

New Tech For Rice Farmers

Traveling into the rice fields of Asia, Vietnamese farmers are adopting new methods and technologies to grow rice with less water. This has come as a result of climate change and the slow loss of necessary waters—the never ending threat towards food production. The farmers in the Mekong Delta have adopted what is called alternate wetting and drying, or AWD. AWD is practiced from a smartphone app connected to a monitoring sensor network that observes water levels within the fields, ultimately reducing water consumption by up to 20%. This new application offers a beacon of hope to the farmers in continuing their production while conserving water and reducing GHG emissions.

Restoration In Spain

The Ebro Delta, one of Europe’s most important deltas, is being threatened by the impacts of climate change and poor water management. A delta is a triangular shaped, water sanctuary produced by moving sediment carried by a river into a larger body of water, usually a lake or ocean. Delta’s are vital for the livelihood of the surrounding wildlife and can be a region's economic wheel. Unfortunately the Ebro Delta has been getting hit with rising sea levels, causing a disintegration of foundational sediment bringing an influx of saltwater into inland regions. In order to combat this problem effectively and efficiently, officials need to develop a sustainable and long-term plan.