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How Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio plans to save this island in Belize

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Oscar nominated actor cum environmentalist, Leonardo Di Caprio has plans to heal an island soon and turn it into an eco-resort.

The activist has bought Blackadore Caye, 104 acres of wild, uninhabited land off the coast of Belize.

The resort will start entertaining tourists from 2018. The Blackadore Caye, a restorative island will have the combinations of many luxury resorts, sprawling villas, giant pools and beautiful sunset views.

The Blackadore Caye has gone through a lot of over-fishing and deforestation of its mangrove trees. The actor is working hard to get the beauty of the island back.

The island is 45-minute boat ride from Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City and 15-minute boat ride from San Pedro, the nearest big town. The place has been used for several years by Juan Rovalo, a biologist who leads a team of scientists studying the caye.

The island used to be a famous spot for fishermen, who stopped on their way to the markets in Mexico.

After having a great experience on the island the actor decided to purchase it for $1.75 million, a news report said.

Almost 45 per cent of the island will be designated for the conservation of area. The resort will be built using as many native materials as possible, and the developers hope to rely on local laborers, who will be trained in green-building techniques.

As far as the guidelines for the guests are concerned, this will include no plastic water bottles on the island. Once the guests reach there, they will go through an ecology orientation program.

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World Environment Day on June 5: Here is what you can do to honor this ‘Global Festival’

Did you know 5th June is the World Environment Day? Read more to find out about this day.

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Group of people planting trees. VOA
  • Every year on the 5th June the world celebrates environment day 
  • People spread awareness on how to improve the environment and its importance

June 04, 2017: June 05 will be observed as World Environment day with the basic idea is to stress the importance of conserving the environment, a thought that we sometimes tend to forget. Its origins can be traced back to environmentalists who voiced that the effort to protect the environment is collective and global in nature.

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The world environment day is an initiative of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), which demands environmental protection action worldwide. The day is celebrated not just for awareness but also for the celebration of the years of hard work and efforts.

The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1973. Since then, it has been celebrated in the different parts of the world every year with different themes. Today, over 100 countries celebrate the festival.

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Canada will be hosting the 2017 World Environment Day. The theme set for this year is 'Connecting People to Nature' Click To TweetThe theme demands from us stepping out and interacting with the open environment around us. It is to cherish the relationship between man and environment.

This year’s theme ‘getting in touch with nature’. VOA

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Let us look at 10 of the SIMPLEST ways you can contribute to this global effort:

  • We consume over 80 trillion aluminium cans every year. Recycling just one can save you enough energy to run the television for three hours. Next time you’re drinking a can of coke, make sure you put in the recycle bin.
  • Save Water! Out of the world’s total water supply, just 1% is usable. Rest 97% are oceans and frozen water.
  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage are thrown into the ocean, which kills more than 1,000,000 sea creatures every year. Ban plastic bags completely.

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  • Drop the idea of using your car and cycle the short distances. It makes more difference than you think.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint. Turn off unnecessary lights and switches.
  • The famous old suggestion – ‘Plant a Tree’. If that is too much, just water some plants in the park near you. Add to the growth of life.
  • Promote renewable sources of energy.

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  • Do not waste food. World Environment Day is closely associated with Sustainable Development. Resources must be optimally used.
  • Make sure that you voice your interest publicly in protecting the environment. It could influence others including the local politicians to act.
  • Wear Green and go for a walk outside.

The environment is an asset we must strive to protect it. Click To Tweet– By Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to start conservation work for the 17th century Sundarnarayan Temple

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Sundarnarayan Temple at Nashik in Maharashtra, India, Wikimedia

Nashik, May 8, 2017: The conservation work for the 17th century Sundarnarayan Temple will soon be initiated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

In July 2015, the Aurangabad unit of ASI had started chemical conservation work after seeking permission for structural conservation. But realizing that removing the vegetation and chemically conserving the temple would not be sufficient because of the cracks in the stones which may loosen or give away in a couple of years, the team wrote to the district collector and the state archaeological department (Nashik branch) about the need for the temple’s structural conservation. Now, the work will be done in phases.

Shrikant Gharpure, Assistant Director of the Department of Archaeology, Maharashtra has recently said to TOI, “We will soon start with the first phase of the conservation. The superstructure (dome) will be dismantled step by step.”

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On July 13, administrative approval of Rs 4.51 crore and financial nod of Rs 2.50 crore has been given for the conservation.

Constructed in 1756 by “Sardar of Peshwas”, Gangadhar Yashwant Chandrachud, the Sundarnarayan temple is the crowning example of undying faith and everlasting devotion. One unique aspect of the temple is that it is built at such an angle,  that on 21st March, rays of the rising Sun first fall exactly upon the idols.
The superstructure is around 50-55 feet in height and needs immediate attention. “There will be no difference in the size,” said Gharpure.

The decoration, artwork, floral parts, carvings of gods and goddesses will be prepared in the same manner like the original one. It is made of basalt and black stone and faces the Godavari River. In its sanctum sanctorum, there are idols of deities such as Vishnu, Laxmi and Vrinda. Besides, it also house idols of other gods and goddesses. The raw material and stone will be brought from Deglur, Nanded and the lime to be brought from Gujarat.

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Gharpure also said, “the temple is at the centre of the city near Raviwar Karanja. We noticed that it had become dangerous and had to be restored to its original form immediately. In July last year, I met state cultural minister Vinod Tawde and told him about the situation. I have been following up the issue.”

It is furthermore estimated that the conservation work will take about two years to finish.

– prepared by Himanshi Goyal of Newsgram. Twitter handle- @Himanshi1104

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Unspoiled lands disappearing from face of the Earth at an alarming pace, finds Study

The wilderness losses in the past two decades make up a combined area about half the size of South America's vast Amazon region

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FILE - An overview of the Cascade Range inside the North Cascades National Park near Marblemount, Wash., near the Canadian border. A quarter of the planet's land surface remains wilderness, conservationist James Watson says. Source: VOA
  • Only 11.6 million square miles remain worldwide as biologically and ecologically intact regions without notable human disturbance
  • The wilderness losses in the past two decades make up a combined area about half the size of South America’s vast Amazon region
  • “We are running out of time and we are running out of space.” says conservationist James Watson 

Unspoiled lands are disappearing from the face of the Earth at an alarming pace, with about 10 percent of wilderness regions — an area double the size of Alaska — lost in the past two decades amid unrelenting human development, researchers said Thursday.

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South America, which lost 30 percent of its wilderness during that period, and Africa, which lost 14 percent, were the continents hardest hit, they said. The main driver of the global losses was destruction of wilderness for agriculture, logging and mining.

The researchers’ study, published in the journal Current Biology, was the latest to document the impact of human activities on a global scale, affecting Earth’s climate, landscape, oceans, natural resources and wildlife.

The researchers mapped the world’s wilderness areas, excluding Antarctica, and compared the results with a 1993 map that used the same methods.

They found that 11.6 million square miles (30.1 million square kilometers) remain worldwide as wilderness, defined as biologically and ecologically intact regions without notable human disturbance. Since the 1993 estimation, 1.3 million square miles (3.3 million square kilometers) of wilderness disappeared, they determined.

Amazon Manaus Forest. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Amazon Manaus Forest. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

‘Shocking implications’

“This is incredibly sad because we can’t offset or restore these places. Once they are gone, they are gone, and this has shocking implications for biodiversity, for climate change and for the most imperiled biodiversity on the planet,” said conservationist James Watson of the University of Queensland in Australia and the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York.

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The wilderness losses in the past two decades make up a combined area about half the size of South America’s vast Amazon region.

Watson, who led the study, said about a quarter of the planet’s land surface remains wilderness, particularly in central Africa, the Amazon region, northern Australia, the United States, Canada and Russia. The losses in the past two decades were most acute in the Amazon region and central Africa.

“We need to focus on quality of habitat and keeping some places on Earth that are largely untouched by us,” Watson said. “We are running out of time and we are running out of space.” (VOA)