30 of the best solutions-oriented stories from March 2023

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In today’s monthly review, we’re exploring the most exciting stories of the past month. We’re talking about a groundbreaking ocean protection agreement ten years in the making, the creation of a 350,000 km² island protection zone between Tasmania and Antarctica, and Europe’s first wild river national park finding a home in Albania.

Nations agree on historic ocean treaty

After 10 years of negotiations, nations have reached a historic agreement to protect the world’s oceans. The High Seas Treaty aims to designate 30% of the oceans as protected areas by 2030 to protect and recover marine nature.

Source: BBC News

Australia to make area the size of Germany a marine park

Between Tasmania and Antarctica, the Macquarie Island protection zone is a refuge for penguins, seals and seabirds.

Source: The Guardian

‘Historic moment’ for nature as Europe’s first wild river national park announced in Albania

One of the last wild rivers in Europe will now be protected as a national park, shielding over a thousand animal and plant species from human interference.

Source: The Guardian

A nonprofit is bringing education to 10 million young women in India

Young women between the ages of 15 and 25 who have dropped out of school can access the program that promotes girls’ education in India’s rural communities.

Source: NADJA

LA Students will be able to get free, remote therapy

A new public-private partnership between the Los Angeles County Office of Education and a healthcare provider aims to help students with remote therapy sessions free of charge.

Source: The 74

Oil hubs planned to be converted to conservation projects by US firms in DRC

The area that could be converted by New York-based EQX Biome encompasses the world’s second-largest rainforest and endangered animal habitats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Source: The Guardian

Drones plant trees after wildfires in Canada

After wildfires, drones can help reforest in places too dangerous for humans. Cameron and Bryce Jones, leaders of Flash Forest, hope to plan one billion trees by 2028 using drone technology.

Source: Reasons to Be Cheerful

France and Belgium trial food ‘social security’ to help people living in poverty

A year-long experiment will follow 400 participants using a ‘social security’ card that can only be used to purchase food. The program is funded through voluntary community contributions.

Source: BBC

Free scheme aims to feed two million meals children during school holidays

The £3.5m initiative will provide children of all ages from low income families with healthy food during school holidays and weekends.

Source: BBC News

UK plans to expand free childcare for up to 30 hours a week

In a bid to help parents struggling with the costs of raising a child and to help them reenter the workforce, Britain will start offering free childcare to eligible working parents of children aged under five.

Source: Reuters

Missouri makes menstrual products free in schools

Thanks to new state funding, students who can’t afford period products no longer have to miss class. Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education offered $1 million to reimbursed schools for menstrual hygiene products.

Source: KCUR

Attorney program expands after preventing hundreds of evictions

In Kansas City, tenants facing eviction can receive free legal representation regardless of their income level through the right to counsel programme. Kansas City is one of 15 US cities with a program like this.

Source: KCUR

Boston’s fare-free bus program doubles ridership in first year

Serving many low-income people and people of color, the fare-free pilot is set to go through February 2024. “The data saying going to a fare-free system makes good economic sense,” Stacy Thompson, executive director of transit advocacy group Livable Streets, said.

Source: WGBH

Boston-area pilot is a model for other guaranteed income programs

The success of Cambridge RISE’s pilot program reflects the increasing trials and growing popularity of guaranteed income programs across the US.

Source: WGBH

The benefits of the four-day work week

In the UK, the world’s largest trial of the four-day work week has just ended with positive outcomes regarding health, productivity, revenues, job satisfaction and more. In this podcast episode, behavioral scientist Dale Whelehan, tells us why he wasn’t surprised about that and how the outcomes are interconnected.

Source: Squirrel News

Pedestrian infrastructure key to better health outcomes

A study using Google street view’s technology is helping scientists and city planners better understand the impact of sidewalks, or the lack thereof, on the physical and psychological health of residents.

Source: Bloomberg

Architecture project harvests rain, breeds rare fish in urban LA

In spite of the California megadrought, the Median Stormwater Capture Project transforms neighborhoods in east Los Angeles through new eco landscapes and architecture.

Source: The Guardian

DC plans to extend solar power generation to low-income households

In a bid to fully transition to sustainable energy, the US government plans to increase solar power production by 700%. As part of this program, Washington DC is helping low-income households generate their own energy.

Source: ContextNews

#31: The ‘Solar Punks’: Bringing power to the people

Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell set out their plan to turn their London street into a community solar power station. In this podcast episode, Dan tells us why they use art and filmmaking to promote their project and how they’re inspiring more and more neighborhoods to follow their model.

Source: Squirrel News

Innovative heat tech could save England’s swimming pools from closure

Twenty pools may be upgraded this year following the example of a public pool in Devon that uses energy from a small data center to heat its water.

Source: The Guardian

New law to provide easier access to mobile clinics in the US

The pandemic saw a demand for mobile clinics in areas where a range of services is almost out of reach. Now a new law will give more rural communities easier access to mobile health care.

Source: KHN

Online program to limit child sexual abuse launched in multiple countries

A treatment program called ‘Prevent It’ has been developed to provide cognitive behavioral therapy for individuals who exhibit sexual urges towards children. It has been translated into a variety of EU languages ​​and will be launched across the continent.

Source: Eurekalert

How ‘short-burst’ tutoring benefits kids learning to read

A study in the US state of Florida has found that short-burst tutoring works wonders for children who have just begun learning to read. This method requires a small classroom space and involves less disruption to school schedule.

Source: The Hechinger Report

In this German city, schools teach happiness

16 elementary schools in Braunschweig, Germany have integrated a weekly happiness course in response to a surge in anxiety and depression among youth caused by the pandemic.

Source: Reasons to be Cheerful

Locals revive pubs hurt by pandemic

A growing number of country pubs are being bought by groups of locals in southeastern Australia. The concept of community ownership has become a trend, according to an association.

Source: ABC News

Easy access Street Libraries inspire love of books in Australia

It all started with an initial workshop building 30 libraries in 2015. Now there are 4,500 registered Street Libraries in Australia making it easier for children and others to access books in their neighborhood.

Source: ABC

A club for lonely London women to socialise

The London Lonely Girls Club was founded in 2018 with the idea of ​​organizing low-pressure events for people feeling isolated. It has grown to over 20,000 members across the city.

Source: BBC

Sweden pairs migrants with seniors to help integration and fight loneliness

Sällbo, a shared living project, has the elderly and recent immigrants all living in the same building. Both parties are required to socialize a number of hours a week, to help build communication and understanding.

Source: Christian Science Monitor

US government to expand bison herds on tribal territories

US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced $25 million in federal spending for bison conservation with a special focus on building herds, forging tribal management agreements and the use of indigenous knowledge.

Source: The Associated Press

Cheetahs give birth to first cubs in India since 1952

India’s cheetah restoration program has found some success, as the first cubs in 70 years are born. This is part of a larger program to reintroduce the big cat into the wild.

Source: BBC

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