Debt-for-nature swap saves Galapagos Islands, Japan to ban ‘upskirting’, porch culture fights loneliness

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In today’s edition of Squirrel News, a $1.6 billion debt-for-nature swap helps conserve the Galapagos Islands, Japan reforms sex crime laws and bans ‘upskirting’ and porch gatherings help fight loneliness in Washington DC

Ecuador finds $1.6 billion for conservation efforts

Credit Suisse has bought up $1.6 billion worth of Ecuador’s bonds that the nation will now use to conserve the Galapagos island’s unique wildlife, in the largest debt-for-nature swap yet.

Source: Reuters

New drug slows Alzheimer’s by at least 29%

A pharmaceutical trial by Eli Lilly has successfully slowed the growth of Alzheimer’s by clearing amyloid buildup in the brain. Overall, the new drug slows Alzheimer’s by 29% and by 35% in a group, researchers believed more responsive to it.

Source: BBC

Japan plans to ban ‘upskirting’ as it overhauls sex crime laws

“Upskirting,” photo voyeurism and the grooming of minors are all going to become crimes in Japan, as the nation adapts its laws around sex crimes. The definition of rape will also be changed and prison sentences introduced for clandestine photography.

Source: The Scotsman

New York passes first nationwide ban on gas in new buildings

As of 2026, fossil fuels use for utilities will be prohibited in all new constructions, in an effort to limit the emissions produced by gas stoves, boilers, water heaters and furnaces.

Source: Canary Media

New York State to allow publicly owned renewables

The Build Public Renewables Act will enable the US state to build and purchase renewable energy sources, as part of its bid to generate 70 percent of its electricity from renewables and cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

Source: grist

Polynesian snails release is the biggest ever of ‘extinct in the wild’ species

The misguided introduction of alien predators saw particular snails driven from their habitat – but zoos have reared new populations.

Source: The Guardian

Why is gambling reform happening and how do plans tackle addiction?

A new white paper addresses the fast pace of change since the advent of smartphones with ‘affordability checks’ and industry levy.

Source: The Guardian

A special residence to help single moms get degrees

A housing program in Indiana helps single mothers with childcare, freeing them up to pursue higher education. The residences operate at a reduced rent and volunteers help with groceries, financial aid programming, and academic coaching.

Source: Chalkbeat

An Indian village that turned hunters into conservationists

Khonoma in Nagaland has seen traditional hunting practices limited by elders in an effort to help conserve the rich wildlife of the area. Over time, the village council has developed programs to become fully sustainable and self-sufficient.

Source: Reasons to be Cheerful

Porch culture to fight isolation

PorchFest in Petworth, Washington, DC is the center of a movement to bring neighborhoods together to fight loneliness and social isolation. The idea is to simply meet on someone’s porch and have a conversation without an agenda or time limit.

Source: CS Monitor

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