Through the lens | Global Ideas | DW | 30.03.2017
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Global Ideas

Through the lens

Join us as we take a look through the lens at some environmental events from around the world over the past week, including the snake who swallowed a man whole, and the latest Trump administration executive order.

El Salvador has banned the mining of metals on the grounds that the practise poses a threat to the environment and the "development and well-being of families." While a number of countries have outlawed strip and open-pit mining, the central American country's ruling is the first to apply to all metal extraction. The law, which does not prohibit salt, stone of sand mining, received cross-party support. International gold and silver exploration companies had shown an interest in the country. 


Now that British Prime Minister Teresa May has triggered Article 50, there are many questions relating to the impact Brexit will have on the country's protected sites and environmental programs.Sam Lowe, of Friends of the Earth says there is a strong domestic lobby against EU directives on birds and habitats. The government has been critical of it for quite a long time - they always characterize it as 'newts getting in the way of house building.'" There is concern, he adds, from the environmentalists that once the UK has left Europe, the conservation cards will be reshuffled.

US President Donald Trump caused outrage among the global environmental community when he signed an executive order that will undo Obama's plans to tackle climate change by restricting greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants. Trump said he was taking "historic steps" to lift the restrictions on American energy and to "cancel job-killing regulations." Opposition voices say the US is missing out because the real future is in clean energy. California vows to continue along the transitional road to green power.


Well cared for captive pandas are living to riper, older ages, and as they do, succumbing to a catalogue of ailments such as failing eyesight, bad teeth and reduced mobility. China, which is almost synonymous with pandas is now pandering to the ageing bears' health requirements in a special home where they are put on customized diets and exercise plans in step with their age and ability. Pandas are officially "old" when they hit 20. 


In Indonesia, a farmer whose family reported him missing after he failed to return home from havesting his crops at the weekend, was found to have been swallowed whole by a giant python.  His body was discovered inside the seven meter long reptile, which was seen slithering awkwardly through a nearby village. Though the species of serpent is common in the Southeast Asian country, the fatality is the first of its nature to be recorded in the region.

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