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Last Chance to Save Mexico City's Water Forest

Circus and environmentalism unite to raise funds and help forest brigades. Mexico is experiencing the worst water crisis in 600 years. And the capital city is not alone: The lack of rain and high temperatures have caused over 25% of the country to be in a state of extreme drought. According to data from the […]

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Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta: Reversing a Century of Colombian Tragedy

Can science and tradition heal the world's most productive estuarine ecosystem?

When I visited the floating palafito fishing village of Nueva Venecia in early 2021, I found myself staring out across the calm, reflective expanse of the coastal lagoon complex known as the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta. Looking back at that moment, I understand why Ernesto Mancera has spent the past 35 years studying the region’s mangroves […]

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Botany as archaeology, to save a sacred site from a lithium mine

“First foods” survey reveals an ancient kinship of place with a “horticulture based in endearment”

Nikki Hill is a “first foods” specialist who has studied the patterns of pre-colonial horticulture throughout the American West — most controversially above the largest known lithium deposit of its kind. Thacker Pass, Nevada, or Peehee Mu’huh by its Paiute name, was fast-tracked by Donald Trump for a large lithium mine in the last days […]

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Protecting the páramos in Colombia

Biodiversity hotspots face interconnected threats

On a recent, pre-pandemic journey to the High Andes of Colombia, I found myself surrounded by one of the region’s emblematic species, the flowering shrubs known locally as frailejones or “big monks.” These giant plants, relatives of sunflowers from the Espeletia genus, mesmerized me, their yellow buds and silvery hairs glistening in the intense, ephemeral sunlight. Looking out over […]

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