The Stream, September 10, 2020: Mexico is Restoring the Ancient Lake Texcoco

The Global Rundown

A Mexico City airport is being transformed into a giant park. Delhi city officials are including a plan for sustainable urban planning in a master plan for the city’s next two decades. Around 13 percent of premature deaths in the EU are caused by environmental factors, according to a new report. A report from the World Meteorological Organization paints a grim picture for the world’s future as climate change continues to worsen. Drinking water sources for animals living in a national park in Zimbabwe are at risk of being polluted by a proposed mine.

“There is an acute risk of irreversible ecological degradation including unmitigated loss of animal and vegetative species, reduction of animal habitats of many rare species.” – The Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association. The group is trying to stop a Chinese coal company from mining in the Hwange National Park, where the animals already struggle with finding food and water. They fear the mine may pollute the water sources in a perennially dry area of the park. They also argue the mine could cause a decline in tourism and decrease the income of locals who rely on the park for income, while poaching and conflict between people and wildlife could increase. AP

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By The Numbers

1 in 8 The number of deaths in Europe that can be linked to environmental factors, new report by the EU’s environment agency (EEA) said. Poor water quality, as well as exposure to chemicals and air and noise pollution contributed to 13 percent of all deaths, according to the report. The report said that people in Europe are exposed to multiple risks at a time, which combine and can act in unison to impact one’s health. The report also noted that poorer communities were hit the hardest and that eastern European countries were more heavily impacted than those in western Europe. European Environment Agency

12,200 hectares (30,147 acres) The amount of land being conserved by a new project to transform a marshy swath of ancient lake in Mexico city into a giant park. The land was originally dedicated to building a futuristic airport on 4,800 hectares (11,861 acres) just east of the capital, but was axed by Mexican President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador. Since then, the abandoned construction zone is now part of a project to conserve the tens of thousands of acres of marsh on what was once the massive Lake Texcoco before Spanish colonizers in the 1600s began draining the water to prevent flooding in their burgeoning settlement. Iñaki Echverria, the architect in charge of the project, said he aims to open a portion of the park, half of which is slated for public use and is more than twice the size of New York’s Central Park, by next March and offer full access by 2024. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

The United in Science 2020 report, compiled by the World Meteorological Organization under the direction of the United Nations Secretary General, charted the “increasingly and irreversible” impacts of climate change. The report said that record temperatures are accelerating the rise of sea levels, melting glaciers and snow coverage and threatening water supplies for billions. It also said that 1.2 billion people are currently at risk of flooding currently, although water scarcity is set to increase with up to 3.2 billion people predicted to live in areas with insufficient water by 2050. World Meteorological Organization

On the Radar

The Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) Master Plan for Delhi 2041, a vision document for the city’s development over the next two decades, includes a “Green-Blue policy” to create more sustainable urban planning. The policy includes measures such as integrating management of big drains throughout the city and removing sources of pollution from them, in hopes of creating more “green spaces” for recreation. The proposed plan will be difficult to fulfill, as pulling together the multiple agencies necessary and cleaning drains and local bodies of water have been longstanding challenges in Delhi. The Indian Express

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