Jonathan Watts: SEAL Award Winner 2018

A selection of this year’s best environmental journalism

The Activists Risking Their Lives To Defend The Environment

In any conflict, the last thing a dominant power wants is for the outside world to know the cost of their victory. They criminalize and dehumanize their opposition, downplay the importance of the struggle, and obscure the number of victims. This is particularly true of the battle for the global environment. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 8 Minutes)

Maasai Herders Driven Off Land To Make Way For Luxury Safaris

Hundreds of homes have been burned and tens of thousands of people driven from ancestral land in recent years to benefit high-end tourists and a Middle Eastern royal family. Although carried out in the name of conservation, these measures enable wealthy foreigners to watch or hunt wildlife, while the authorities exclude local people and their cattle from watering holes and arable land. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 6 Minutes)

The Fight For Indigenous Land Rights In Mexico

Mexico is rapidly becoming one of the most dangerous countries in the world for environment and land activists. In 2017, 15 defenders were killed (a more than fivefold rise over the previous year), pushing the nation up from 14th to 4th place in the grim global rankings. All but two of the victims were indigenous. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 7 Minutes)

Madagascar’s Vanilla Wars: How The Prized Spice Drives Death And Deforestation

As the price of pods has soared so has violence — and forest defenders are increasingly risking their lives to protect precious wildlife habitat from being felled for profit. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 7 Minutes)

Earth’s Resources Consumed In Ever Greater Destructive Volumes

Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive volumes, according to a new study that reveals we have consumed a year’s worth of carbon, food, water, fiber, land, and timber in a record 212 days. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 5 Minutes)

The World’s Forests Could Lose Half Of All Wildlife As Planet Warms

The world’s greatest forests could lose more than half of their plant species by the end of the century unless nations ramp up efforts to tackle climate change, according to a new report on the impacts of global warming on biodiversity hotspots. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 7 Minutes)

More Than 800 Million People Need To Travel 30 Minutes In Order To Access Safe Water

The most vulnerable in the struggle for clean water are the old, sick, disabled and displaced people in remote or rural locations. Gender is also a key factor, because women bear the brunt of the burden of collecting water. Collecting water also reduces time in school and raises the risks of disease. Children are often the victims, with close to 289,000 dying each year from illnesses related to poor sanitation. Source: The Guardian (Approx. 5 Minutes)

GreenReads: 
Your must-read guide to environmental issues, published by the SEAL Awards (an environmental advocacy organization that hosts environmental journalism awards and business sustainability awards).