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In today’s edition of Squirrel News, we learn about the “disability doulas” helping people adapt to life with a new disability, inspiring advances in the reduction of multidimensional poverty, and farmers’ efforts to use floods to replenish groundwater.
Disability doulas support people with new disabilities
Newly disabled people are often not given much support in the difficult task of adapting to living with a disability. A group of people who have gone through the experience have started working as “disability doulas” to change this.
Multidimensional poverty cut in half in 25 countries since 2000
A new report using data from 2000-2022 has found that 25 of the 81 countries studied have halved their multidimensional poverty index value – which includes measures of access to education and clean water – meaning hundreds of millions of people have exited this kind of poverty.
SDG Knowledge Hub
Brazilian landfill transformed into 120 hectares of mangrove forest
Since its closing 11 years ago, Rio de Janeiro’s infamous, sprawling landfill has been turned into a forest of carbon-storing mangrove trees by the city’s garbage collection agency.
Experts are using AI to save mangroves — and the planet
ManglarIA is a new, three-year project that will utilize artificial intelligence to understand how mangrove ecosystems — and their contributions to coastal communities — are affected by climate change, so that they can be better protected.
Good Good Good
Boom in local government initiatives around the world
Municipalities from Los Angeles to Lisbon have introduced initiatives like participatory budgets and citizen assemblies which increase citizen engagement and civic equity at the community level.
Bacteria engineered to create infinitely recyclabe bioplastic
Scientists at Berkeley Lab in the US have successfully engineered E.coli that converts sugars from plants into a molecule which can be combined with other chemicals to make PDK plastic, that can be broken down for recycling more easily than other plastics.
Funding circularity: Investing in Asia’s circular economy business models
Circulate Capital, a Singapore-based investment management firm, funds companies in South and Southeast Asia that have come up with effective solutions to prevent plastic waste from reaching the ocean.
California farmers use flood water to give new life to underground aquifers
Farmers in California made use of record-breaking rain last winter to actively help replenish the underground aquifers they must rely on in an area severely hit by drought.
Reasons to be Cheerful
School-based mental health initiatives help Black students support each other
Officials in East Orange, New Jersey have made youth mental health a priority through peer-based and mentoring programs that create safe spaces where young Black people can process their difficult life experiences with racism.
This Ivy League researcher says spirituality is good for our mental health
Psychologist Lisa Miller from Columbia University, who studies the connection between spirituality and neuroscience, has found that holding spiritual beliefs has a significant positive impact on mental health, including on conditions like anxiety and depression.