The Guardian

Inside Passage Landscape, Canada

British Columbia agrees to hand title of a million acres of land back to the Haida Nation

For centuries, the Haida people have known that the impenetrable forests and bountiful waters of Haida Gwaii – “the islands at the boundary of the world” – were both a life-giving force and their rightful home. Now, after decades of negotiation, the province of British Columbia has come to the same conclusion: the title over more than 200 islands off Canada’s west coast should rightfully be held by the Haida Nation.

British Columbia agrees to hand title of a million acres of land back to the Haida Nation More

Elderly man

Thousands of people in the U.K. to receive landmark trials for dementia blood tests

Thousands of people across the U.K. who are worried about their memory will receive blood tests for dementia in two trials that doctors hope will help to revolutionize the low diagnosis rate. Teams from the University of Oxford and University College London will lead the trials to research the use of cheap and simple tests to detect proteins for people with early stages of dementia or problems with cognition, with the hope of speeding up diagnosis and reaching more people.

Thousands of people in the U.K. to receive landmark trials for dementia blood tests More

Redwoods with sun shining through

Yurok Tribe becomes the first to manage land with U.S. National Park Service

California’s Yurok Tribe, which had 90% of its territory taken from it during the gold rush of the mid-1800s, will be getting a slice of its land back to serve as a new gateway to Redwood national and state parks visited by 1 million people a year. The Yurok will be the first Native people to manage tribal land with the National Park Service under a historic memorandum of understanding signed by the tribe, Redwood national and state parks, and the non-profit Save the Redwoods League.

Yurok Tribe becomes the first to manage land with U.S. National Park Service More

Silhouette of person looking at stars

Oregon area named world’s largest dark sky sanctuary

The Oregon outback is now home to the world’s largest dark sky sanctuary, offering pristine views of the night sky across 2.5 million acres. The Oregon outback international dark sky sanctuary received the certification this week, becoming the largest of 19 sites around the world with the same designation. The sanctuary covers Lake County in south-eastern Oregon, a remote area roughly half the size of New Jersey, and could eventually expand to include more than 11 million acres.

Oregon area named world’s largest dark sky sanctuary More

Young trees

The TREES program has planted tens of millions of trees across Africa since 2015

Since it was founded in 2015, the Trees for the Future (TREES) mass reforestation campaign has convinced and enabled thousands of farmers to plant tens of millions of trees every year. The program spans nine African countries ranging from Senegal and Mali to Tanzania and Kenya. In less than 10 years, it has reportedly restored a combined area of more than 41,000 hectares, which is about seven times the size of Manhattan.

The TREES program has planted tens of millions of trees across Africa since 2015 More

Offshore oil rig at sunset

U.K. quits treaty that lets fossil fuel firms sue governments over climate policies

The U.K. will quit the controversial energy charter treaty (ECT) after efforts to align it with net zero emissions plans failed. The treaty allows fossil fuel investors to sue states for lost profit expectations in an opaque corporate arbitration system set up to protect fossil fuel investors in the former Soviet economies in the 1990s.

U.K. quits treaty that lets fossil fuel firms sue governments over climate policies More

Colorful ribbons on pink background

New drug offers breakthrough in treatment of asbestos-linked cancer

Scientists at Queen Mary University of London have developed a drug to treat mesothelioma, a notoriously deadly and hard-to-treat cancer linked to asbestos, in the biggest breakthrough in two decades.
An international trial spanning five countries found that the new drug, ADI-PEG20, cuts off the tumor’s food supply and quadruples three-year survival rates. It is the first of its kind to be successfully combined with chemotherapy in 20 years.

New drug offers breakthrough in treatment of asbestos-linked cancer More

Aerial view of rolling hills

England brings in biodiversity rules to force builders to compensate for loss of nature

England is launching a biodiversity credit scheme that attempts to force all new road and housebuilding projects to benefit nature, rather than damage it. The “nature market”, called biodiversity net gain (BNG), means all new building projects must achieve a 10% net gain in biodiversity or habitat. The requirement becomes law under the Town and Country Planning Act on February 12 for larger sites, and on April 2 2024 for smaller sites.

England brings in biodiversity rules to force builders to compensate for loss of nature More

Chromosomes

Gene therapy hailed as ‘medical magic wand’ for hereditary swelling disorder

Hereditary angioedema, or HAE, is a rare disease that affects about one in 50,000 people. It is caused by a genetic mutation that leaves patients with leaky blood vessels, causing erratic bouts of swelling. Dr. Hilary Longhurst, the principal investigator at New Zealand’s Te Toka Tumai, Auckland City hospital, said the new single-dose therapy appeared to provide a permanent cure for her patients’ “very disabling symptoms”.

Gene therapy hailed as ‘medical magic wand’ for hereditary swelling disorder More

Cosmetics

E.U. will force cosmetic companies to pay to reduce micropollutants

Under draft rules that follow the “polluter pays principle”, companies that sell medicines and cosmetics will have to cover at least 80% of the extra costs needed to get rid of tiny pollutants that are dirtying urban wastewater. Governments will pay the rest, members of the bloc said, in an effort to prevent vital products from becoming too expensive or scarce.

E.U. will force cosmetic companies to pay to reduce micropollutants More