The takeover of post-mining areas by nature and the revival of the Mapocho River
Following Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s victory in Brazil’s presidential election, Germany and Norway want to reinstate the Amazon Fund, established in 2008 to help fund biodiversity and rainforest conservation. After President Jair Bolsonaro took office, both European countries suspended contributions to the fund, which is currently worth US$500 million. Lula promises to put an end to deforestation, in the Amazon, and according to a recent study, some 18% of its Brazilian part have already disappeared. Meanwhile, the Mapocho River in Santiago, Chile, is being transformed from a dead effluent into a thriving environment, full of plants, fish and birds, thanks to a 10-year collaboration between the regional government and surrounding communities. The river also absorbs CO₂ and reduces the city’s temperature by 2°C.
North Devon will be home to the UK’s largest wildflower meadows at 182 square kilometres by 2030. In recent weeks, 1.3t of seed has been sown there on 86ha of land. According to project coordinators from the National Trust, “creating lowland grassland is an effective and relatively quick way to improve wildlife habitats and increase biodiversity”. And by the shores of Pennington Flash Lake in England, new life is blossoming on post-mining land: marshes, reed beds, herbaceous bogs, wet meadows and woodlands, wild birds and lush wildlife. The Flashes of Wigan & Leigh National Nature Reserve is a new 800ha nature reserve and an example of how nature can reclaim former mining land.