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MARCH 20, 2019

 

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CITIZENSHIP

These Are the 10 Happiest Countries in the World

The least happy countries have higher rates of poverty.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
The World Happiness Report ranks countries based on socioeconomic factors including life expectancy length, wealth, freedom, and more. These topics are essential to combating poverty and align with the Global Goals. You can help end extreme poverty by taking action here.

Wednesday is the International Day of Happiness, and according to the United Nations’ latest new report, Finland is the happiest country on Earth.

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network's Happiness Report ranked 156 countries based on six factors: social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, corruption, generosity, and GDP per capita.

Take Action: What Does it Mean to You to be a Global Citizen?

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Finland topped the list for the second year in the row, making it the happiest country in the world. It was followed by other Nordic countries like Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and the Netherlands.

Despite the recent Christchurch attack, New Zealand also scored well, coming in eighth place for the second year in a row.

"What stands out about the happiest and most well-connected societies is their resilience and ability to deal with bad things," said report co-editor John Helliwell, referencing New Zealand. "After the 2011 earthquake and now the terrorist attack in Christchurch, with high social capital, where people are connected, people rally and help each other and [after the earthquake] rebuild immediately."

Six out of the 10 countries that are the least happy are in Africa, including South Sudan at the very bottom of the list. Over 80% of South Sudan’s population live in extreme poverty, with less than US $1 per day.

Yemen and Afghanistan also scored poorly on the happiness scale, according to the report. These countries both have high levels of poverty and contain high conflict zones.

Venezuela, which is in the midst of an economic and political crisis, had the most drastic decline in comparison to previous years. It fell 88 places from number 20 in 2013 to now number 108 on the list.

The United States also dropped five spots on the list since 2017, despite ranking in 10th place for income. The report said that while the US is a wealthy nation, its citizens struggle with addiction, and high social media usage is decreasing social interaction. Because of this, the US has high levels of sadness and anxiety, especially among adolescents.

Decreases in happiness from densely populated countries like the US and India have caused the world’s happiness levels to fall overall. The report also noticed an increase in negative emotions worldwide.

Read More: These Were the 10 Happiest Countries in the World in 2018

Here are the happiest and least happy countries around the world:

The happiest countries:

1. Finland
2. Denmark
3. Norway
4. Iceland
5. Netherlands
6. Switzerland
7. Sweden
8. New Zealand
9. Canada
10. Australia


The least happy countries:

1. South Sudan
2. Central African Republic
3. Afghanistan
4. Tanzania
5. Rwanda
6. Yemen
7. Malawi
8. Syria
9. Botswana
10. Haiti

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GIRLS & WOMEN

A Woman Just Won the 'Nobel Prize of Math' for the First Time

Karen Uhlenbeck is a mathematician and professor at the University of Texas.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Science, technology, engineering, and math have been historically male-dominated fields, but trailblazers like Karen Uhlenbeck are proving that they don’t have to be. Uhlenbeck is shattering stereotypes simply by succeeding in her field and showing girls and women everywhere that anything is possible. You can take action here to help advance gender equality.

Pythagoras, Euclid, Guillaume L’Hôpital, Johann Bernoulli, John Nash. History is littered with the names of famous mathematicians, nearly all of them men, after whom formulas and entire fields of math have been named.

But Karen Uhlenbeck, a mathematician, has proven that when it comes to math, women are absolute equals — and she didn’t even need theorems to do it.

The University of Texas professor became the first woman to win the Abel Prize, considered the “Nobel Prize of Math,” on Tuesday.

Take Action: Sign this petition to #LeveltheLaw and empower girls and women around the world!

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Uhlenbeck’s decades of work have touched on several disciplines, including geometry, quantum theory, and physics, but is being recognized, in particular, for her “pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics,” according to the prize’s website.

 

Congratulations to my dear friend and long-term @the_IAS visitor Karen Uhlenbeck, 2019 #AbelPrize laureate. Fantastic mathematician, role model, and honorary physicist—her work on moduli spaces is crucial for understanding modern gauge theories.

 
 
 
 

The Abel Prize, first awarded in 2003, is bestowed by the King of Norway and comes with a 6 million Norwegian kroner (approximately $700,000) cash prize.

Uhlenbeck is a celebrated mathematician, having previously won the National Medal of Science in 2000 and receiving a MacArthur Fellowship — also known as a “genius grant” — in 1983.

“Uhlenbeck’s research has led to revolutionary advances at the intersection of mathematics and physics,” Paul Goldbart, dean of the University of Texas’ College of Natural Sciences, said in a statement.

“Her pioneering insights have applications across a range of fascinating subjects, from string theory, which may help explain the nature of reality, to the geometry of space-time,” he added.

Read More: The First Person on Mars Will 'Likely' Be a Woman, NASA Head Says

Uhlenbeck told the New York Times that she has been acutely aware of the unique opportunity she had to be a role model for the next generation of women in academia. Growing up, she said her own role model was famed chef and television personality, Julia Child.

“I certainly very much felt I was a woman throughout my career. That is, I never felt like one of the guys,” she said.

Still she considers herself lucky, telling the Times, “I was in the forefront of a generation of women who actually could get real jobs in academia.”

 
 
 
 

But almost as important as her contributions to her field, are Uhlenbeck’s contributions to the next generation of women. Trailblazers like Uhlenbeck help show women and girls around the world that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, which have traditionally been male-dominated, do not need to remain so.

Her historic win is not only helping to advance the field of mathematics, but shattering gender stereotypes.

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HEALTH

What is the World’s Deadliest Disease?

Brought to you by:Johnson & Johnson

 

 

 

More than a quarter of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis bacteria.

TB — and, in particular, drug-resistant TB — is one of the greatest public health emergencies facing the world today, yet for too long, it has been overlooked and underfunded. Global Citizen and Johnson & Johnson are prioritizing ending TB by 2030.

Take action this World Tuberculosis Day by learning about the disease with our video.

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15 DE MARZO DE 2019

 

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ADVOCACYEDUCACIÓN

Rachel Brosnahan quiere que pongamos el foco en la educación de las niñas

"Las mujeres están limitadas solo por la posibilidad de lo que pueden lograr".

 

 

Por qué es importante para los Global Citizens
Las niñas que reciben una educación de calidad tienen el poder de detener el cambio climático, fortalecer la economía y promover la paz. Para ponerle fin a la pobreza extrema, cada niña debe tener la oportunidad de aprender. Puedes unirte a nosotros y tomar acción sobre este tema aquí.

La actriz, activista y embajadora de Global Citizen, Rachel Brosnahan, ha demostrado recientemente cuán comprometida está con la educación de las niñas.

 

La estrella ganadora del Premio Emmy por The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel instó a través de un discurso a los líderes mundiales a asegurar que las niñas y mujeres afectadas por la crisis puedan educarse, en su discurso de apertura de la celebración para la 63ª Comisión sobre el Estatus de la Mujer en la ciudad de Nueva York.

 

Organizado conjuntamente por el Gobierno de Irlanda, en el evento se destacaron los logros de la campaña #SheIsEqual de Global Citizen y se invitó a los líderes a comprometerse a trabajar para ponerle fin a la desigualdad de género.

 

Brosnahan compartió su experiencia reciente al visitar a refugiados venezolanos en Perú. En febrero, Brosnahan se unió a Global Citizen para reunirse con niños pequeños y mujeres resilientes en la ciudad fronteriza de Tumbes, cuyas vidas fueron devastadas después de un evento de El Niño en 2017, y otro grupo que huyeron de la actual crisis humanitaria de Venezuela(más de 3 millones de personas han escapado de la violencia, la pobreza y el hambre en el país desde 2015).

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"Las mujeres son héroes cotidianas; hacen muchas cosas extraordinarias cada día para mejorar un poco la vida de sus familias, sus comunidades, sus países y el mundo", dijo Brosnahan.

 

En su discurso recordó a dos mujeres en particular: una madre y abuela de dos niños pequeños llamados Evans y Kauri, quienes están alentando a las niñas de su familia a seguir sus sueños y priorizar la educación. Education Can't Wait (ECW), un fondo mundial creado para brindar educación en situaciones de emergencia, está apoyando a la UNESCO para que reconstruya las escuelas que fueron destruidas por aludes en su comunidad.

 

Graham Lang, asesor senior de educación de ECW, dijo el miércoles que la organización necesita más fondos, y de manera rápida, para defender a las niñas.

 

Brosnahan presentó un video de Simon Coveney, Viceprimer Ministro de Irlanda, y le pidió al gobierno irlandés que cumpla con el compromiso de € 250 millones para la educación de las niñas que se realizó en el escenario en el Festival Global Citizen de 2018. En el video, Coveney señaló la política de desarrollo internacional del país "Un mundo mejor", lanzada en febrero. La igualdad de género y el empoderamiento de las mujeres constituyen una de sus cuatro prioridades principales, "porque, como todos saben en esta sala, cuando las mujeres tienen éxito, todas tenemos éxito", dijo Coveney.

 

Esther Ngemba, ex refugiada de la República Democrática del Congo, también subió al escenario para pronunciar un discurso sobre cómo ha aprendido por experiencia que la educación es la única solución para ponerle fin a la guerra. Brenda Madumise-Pajibo, quien ayudó a lanzar el movimiento de ciudadanos más grande de Sudáfrica para luchar contra la violencia de género #Total Shutdown en 2018, recordó a los asistentes lo importante que es proteger a las mujeres y las niñas.

 

Hay 420 millones de niños que viven en áreas afectadas por conflictos en todo el mundo, según datos de Save the Children, y 130 millones de ellos son niñas. Las niñas que viven en áreas afectadas por el conflicto son las que más sufren: son 90% más propensas a faltar a la escuela secundaria y pierden la oportunidad de alcanzar su máximo potencial. Las jóvenes refugiadas son especialmente vulnerables cuando carecen de oportunidades para aprender. Abandonar la escuela conduce a tasas más altas de matrimonio infantil, explotación y tráfico.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
 

Massive thanks to @USAID and US Government staff for meeting with me last week to reflect on my time with @glblctzn in Peru. We discussed the urgent need to support education through @educannotwait to help kids, esp. girls, heal & rebuild from trauma. See you at #CSW63 tonight!

 
 
 
 

 

"Dado que las mujeres están limitadas solo por la posibilidad de lo que pueden lograr, es fundamental que las empoderemos tanto como podamos", dijo Brosnahan.

 

"Y para esto es fundamental la necesidad de educar a todas las niñas, en todas partes, y asegurarse de que cada mujer tenga el pleno apoyo de su gobierno, de las grandes empresas y de las instituciones, además del apoyo de la comunidad para alcanzar su máximo potencial".

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CITIZENSHIP

New Zealand's PM Called for a Global Fight Against Racism. What Would That Look Like?

It starts with acknowledging the deep roots of racism.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
The United Nations’ Global Goals call on countries to promote inclusivity and tolerance. The recent terror attack in New Zealand shows how deeply entrenched xenophobia remains around the world. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

Following the Mar. 15 terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called for a global effort to root out racism and bigotry, according to the BBC.

She said that the background of the terrorist, who was born and raised in Australia and traveled the world, shows that bigotry is an international threat that requires international coordination to overcome.

"What New Zealand experienced here was violence brought against us by someone who grew up and learned their ideology somewhere else,” she said in the interview. “If we want to make sure globally that we are a safe and tolerant and inclusive world we cannot think about this in terms of boundaries."

Take Action: This Inequality Cannot Go On. Ask the World’s Richest People to Help End Extreme Poverty

Actúa: Sign Petition

 
 
 
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En asociación con: Move Humanity

Since the shooting, Ardern has repeatedly condemned bigotry and she announced a ban on assault rifles on Thursday.

Defeating racism at a global level is another matter altogether — but Ardern could instigate progress.

“I hope she’s serious, because her representatives at the UN could call on both the General Assembly and Security Council to have a special session on the matter,” Gerald Horne, professor of history at the University of Houston who has written numerous books on the history of racism in the US, told Global Citizen. “Experts could be brought on, and an action plan could be developed if she’s serious.”  

The United Nations has long campaigned to eliminate racism and xenophobia, and recently adopted a new resolution that outlines a strategy for achieving this outcome. The global organization releases reports on the various forms of xenophobia, invites everyday people to fight racism in their daily lives, and advises governments on policies that promote tolerance and inclusivity.

Read More: The New Zealand Terror Attack Is an Urgent Reminder There's No Room for Hate in This World

As the UN acknowledges, defeating racism, wrapped up as it is in nearly every aspect of society, is no easy feat. But there are broad steps that can be taken in the short and long term to get there.

The first step, according to historians who spoke with Global Citizen, is to actually acknowledge the depth of racism in modern life and its historical precedents.  

Ardern was right in pointing out how the terror attack in Christchurch reflects the pervasive nature of bigotry, according to Kari Winter, professor of American Studies at the University of Buffalo.

“It’s so clear in New Zealand that the problem is not a local problem,” she said. “This is a terrorist from Australia who’s heavily influenced by a Norwegian terrorist and who also cites people like Donald Trump. We’re not looking at an isolated locality, we’re looking at a global phenomenon that touches on global conditions.”

Racism has deep roots in modern society and it’s up to governments and people to reckon with this history on a regular and ongoing basis.

Read More: Women Who Wear Headscarves Are the Most Frequent Targets of Anti-Muslim Attacks: Survey

Horne used the US, where white supremacist violence has surged in recent years, as an example.

“The US was the first apartheid state,” Horne said. “We should not see it as incidental or accidental that Africans were enslaved, that Native American land was taken, that immigrants fresh off the boat from Europe got benefits and there only recently has been a global struggle to change that.

“Until we face the mirror and confess to our own sins, with regard to the ugly history of this country, I don’t think we can move forward,” he added.

Acknowledging this history also means recognizing how it actively shapes the present moment.

All around the world, racial and other inequities take many forms.

Racism on a structural level means that marginalized communities are more likely to face poverty, environmental pollution, violence at the hands of the state, and discrimination in health care, the workplace, and education.

On an interpersonal level, racism shows up all across social media and in the daily real-life interactions people have. The terrorist who killed at least 50 people in New Zealand was heavily influenced by white supremacist subcultures online, according to the New York Times.

YouTube, in particular, has become a clearinghouse for white supremacist and other bigoted views, and demands for the social media channel to more effectively regulate hate speech have increased recently. Other social platforms such as Facebook have been shown to fuel real-world violence, including the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar, and Twitter is often accused of being slow to remove hateful language.  

Read More: What You Should Do If You Witness an Internet Hate Crime

While social media often creates opportunities for hate, it can also be used to challenge racism by calling out overt acts of bigotry and highlighting instances of discrimination.

That’s a step in the right direction, according to experts. Contending with racism means seeing the connection between everyday instances of discrimination and racist rhetoric and larger acts of violence. In New Zealand, for example, Muslims are routinely subjected to discrimination and racist insults.

But fully tackling racism requires legislative action at all levels of government in all countries, according to Horne.

The United Nations calls for numerous policy changes to combat racism. Oftentimes, these suggestions involve improving the material conditions of people living in poverty — improving access to education, health care, and nutrition, for example. They also include much stronger protections for marginalized groups and greater law enforcement against hate crimes.

In the US, for example, Horne said that a congressional hearing could be opened up to investigate the infiltration of white supremacists into police departments and the military. Better oversight of law enforcement, meanwhile, could end the seeming impunity of officers accused of killing unarmed black men, he said.

Throughout the US, progressive district attorneys have been working to end racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

Read More: How South African Students Woke the World to the Brutalities of Apartheid

Although racism takes different forms in every country, bigotry everywhere shares key features. As a result, it’s important for countries to draw lessons from each other.

The fight against apartheid in South Africa, for instance, showed how a system of extreme racial hierarchy and state-sanctioned violence can end when countries around the world come together to demand change.

Racism is still pervasive in South Africa, but a pernicious system was dismantled.

Today, countries need to once again step up and declare that white supremacy and xenophobia have no place in modern society, experts say. But this time, according to Horne, they have to mean it.

“I don’t think we have a deficit in ideas," Horne said. "The problem is a lack of political will and political strategy to unflinchingly face the ugly reality."

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CITIZENSHIP

5 Powerful Tributes to Love and Acceptance in the Wake of the New Zealand Terror Attack

Art therapy transforms pain into beauty.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
A noticeable rise of Islamophobia in recent years has manifested into far-right terrorism and extreme acts of violence against innocent people. Global Citizen works to support the United Nations’ Global Goals, which call on all nations to promote peace and justice and fight hate wherever it exists. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

On Friday, 50 people were shot to death across two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a white supremacist to spread fear and ignite hatred. The terror attack is the worst mass shooting in the nation's history.

 

In the days following the attack, the initial sense of horror soon gave way to an outpouring of grief. Mourners worldwide stood in solidarity with Muslim communities, with vigils and flowers left at places of worship across the globe — proving time and again that diversity, kindness, and compassion trumps racism and bigotry.

Many mourners have also begun processing the trauma through art.

Read More: The New Zealand Terror Attack Is an Urgent Reminder There's No Room for Hate in This World

Below, check out five powerful and artistic tributes that have gone viral from people attempting to heal and make sense of last week's horrendous attack. 

1. 
 

this is the only way i know how to cope with this world, i draw. i love you all and am here for anyone who needs anything at all 💛

 
 
 
 

 

Twenty-five-year-old New Zealand artist Ruby Rose drew this stunning depiction of two women hugging. The illustration has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media, including by model Gigi Hadid and New Zealand-born director of the Thor: Ragnorak film, Taika Waititi. The illustration has also been left on the steps of mosques throughout New Zealand and portrayed on vigil messages across the world.  

 

2. 

New Zealand cartoonist Shaun Yeo decided to draw a cartoon of a kiwi crying just 30 minutes after hearing the news of the attacks from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, according to Stuff News. The image was initially shared to Yeo's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account. The Facebook post has been shared — as of Wednesday — 42,000 times.



3.

 


Across the pond, Australian illustrator Rebel Challenger drew a koala hugging a kiwi, representing Australia consoling New Zealand. The image has been shared by thousands of Australians, many of whom consider the relationship between New Zealand and Australia to be that of siblings.

As news of the Friday attacks unfolded, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced: "Australia and New Zealand are not just allies, we’re not just partners, we are family.”



4. 

 

 

Schoolchildren in the New Zealand capital of Auckland expressed their condolences and sorrow by using their bodies to form a large heart on the oval of their school. Above the heart, students arranged themselves to form the words “kia kaha,” which translates to “stay strong” in Maori — the language spoken by the Indigenous population of New Zealand.

 

5.

 

New Zealand artist Paul Walsh painted a mural of teacher Naeem Rashi to honor the victim who was killed as he attempted to take down the gunman and protect his son. The painting, located in Christchurch’s Avondale Art Park, features the words “remember the heroes." Rashi was originally from Pakistan, and Walsh explained in the copy of his Facebook post that the murals green and black coloring represents Pakistan and New Zealand "united in mourning." 

"I wish I didn't know who Naeem was. I wish he were back at his job as a teacher today, and I wish I were painting something else,” Walsh further stated in the caption. "But some coward changed everything, and I have had to respond in the only way I know how; by honoring the lives of my fellow New Zealanders who didn't make it home on Friday. We will not forget you.”

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GIRLS & WOMEN

Nepal Officials Reaffirm Goal to Destroy Deadly 'Period Huts'

Punishment for forcing women to live in poor conditions while menstruating is becoming more severe.


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Societies around the world attach shame to menstruation. Nepal is tightening its laws around menstrual huts to protect women from life threatening gender discrimination. You can join us in taking action on this issue here

Nepal’s government is going to great lengths to protect women and girls of reproductive age.

The country is implementing new tactics to stop ”chhaupadi,” a long-standing tradition that banishes women and girls to huts while they’re menstruating, the Guardian reports.  

Take Action: Urge Leaders to Step Up for Women’s Rights and Health

 

The country’s Supreme Court first criminalized the act in 2005, and in 2017, it became punishable with three months in prison and a 3,000 rupee fine. But many Nepalese families continue to take the risk out of fear that women who experience the bodily function are impure and bad luck. Just last week, 35-year-old mother Amba Bohara and her two sons were found dead in a menstrual hut in Western Nepal’s Bajura province — a reminder of the country’s ongoing issue. 

“It’s been a year and we are trying to make people aware about chhaupadi,” Janak Bhandari, ward president for Bhandari’s village in Achham district toldthe Guardian of the newly enforced fines.

The government is also cutting off state support services for anyone who is caught honoring the tradition. One Nepalese woman named Dilu Bhandari told the Guardian she was outraged to learn the news, but since destroying her menstrual hut can now safely stay in her home during her period.

Read More: A Nepalese Mother and Her 2 Children Suffocated in a 'Menstrual Hut'

Bhandari reported 20% fewer women are putting their lives at risk by sleeping in menstrual huts since the country tightened up its laws. 

But advocacy groups say progress is moving slower than authorities are letting on. Pasupati Kunwar, president of the women’s rights advocacy group Sama Bikash Nepal, told the Guardian chhaupadi has only declined among 60% of the country’s population, versus 95% when she first started campaigning against it 10 years ago. 

 

Last week, Parbati Bhuda died in Nepal while in a Chhaupadi hut, a practice meant to keep girls away from the community while on her period. She is one of more than a dozen girls who've lost their lives going through this menstrual exile.

 
 
 
 

“People who make policy and run programs — and even human rights advocates — often don’t fully understand the impact a woman’s monthly period may have on her ability to go about her life if she doesn’t have what she needs to manage it,” Amanda Klasing, senior women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, said on the obstacles facing menstrual hygiene.

Communities around the country are trying to find their own solutions. Ramaroshan, a rural municipality in Achham district, built a temple to create a safe space for worship that allows women and girls to stay home while menstruating. However, this fix doesn’t destigmatize menstruation and further perpetuates the cultural norms that stop women from participating in their society. Between 10% and 20% of girls around the world stay home from school because they lack the ability to manage their periods safely, according to the World Bank.

“This ill-practice has to end soon and we are working on this,” Kaushila Bhatta, a Dadeldhura district chairperson, told the Guardian.

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ENVIRONMENT

A Plastic-Eating Robot Shark Was Just Deployed off the UK Coast

The shark can gather 15.6 tons of waste per year.

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Plastic pollution is causing immense harm to the world’s ecosystems, and governments around the world are beginning to curb plastic production in accordance with the United Nations’ Global Goals. You can join us in taking action on this issue here.

A marine drone called the WasteShark is busy cleaning up plastic waste off the coast of Devon in the United Kingdom, according to the Independent.

The “shark,” an electric vehicle that traverses waterways, can autonomously gather up to 132 pounds of plastic waste at a time. If it’s deployed five days a week, it can remove 15.6 tons of plastic waste from a body of water per year, according to the machine’s creator, the Dutch technology company RanMarine.

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 4.42.16 PM.pngRanMarine

“WasteShark is cheaper, greener, more effective, and less disruptive than other methods of dealing with marine litter,” said Oliver Cunningham, chief commercial officer at RanMarine, told the Independent.

“We hope to see our drone in cities and towns — wherever humans live on water — around the world,” he added.

Take Action: Protect Our Oceans! Prevent Ocean Plastic Pollution

The WasteShark has been deployed in five countries already and the first iteration in the UK was spearheaded by the environmental nonprofits World Wildlife Fund and Sky Ocean Rescue.

The two groups have long advocated against plastic waste in marine ecosystems and see the WhaleShark as a useful tool in preventing animals from being injured and otherwise harmed.

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 4.42.48 PM.pngRanMarine

Each year, at least 8 million tons of plastic waste enter bodies of water, and more than 5 trillion pieces of microplastic currently contaminate the oceans. All of this plastic waste has been shown to harm everything from turtles to whales to coral to tiny amphipods that live at the bottom of the deepest marine trenches.

Read More: Why You Should Probably Never Use a Plastic Straw Again

“The marine protected areas in north Devon are home to some of the country’s most incredible coastlines and marine life, but plastic is having a devastating effect on our oceans,” Jenny Oates, UK seas program manager at WWF, told the Independent.

“The WasteShark will help us fight the rubbish that enters the harbour, snapping it up before the tide takes it out to sea and it ends up threatening wildlife in other precious marine areas,” she added.

WWF and Sky Ocean Rescue hope that the WhaleShark gets deployed in other bodies of water throughout the UK, but regard the machine as a minor player in a much broader effort to rid the oceans of plastic.

 

 

Today we launched #WasteShark 🦈 with @WWF_UK, An autonomous robot that can swallow up to 60 kg of floating debris every outing; reducing the risk of harmful rubbish entering our seas and threatening wildlife. ⛔️ Do you live near a seaside town that could use one of these?

 
 
 
 

 

Read More: Why Global Citizen Is Campaigning to Reduce Plastic Waste in the Oceans

The most important component in that effort, the groups argue, involves governments taking action to restrict how much plastic is produced in the first place. After all, if plastic had never entered bodies of water in the first place, then the WhaleShark wouldn’t need to exist.

So far, more than 60 countries have restricted plastic production and companies around the world are working on sustainable alternatives. For example, major consumer good brands are trying to revolutionize the takeout cup, transition to a “milkman model” of containers being returned and cleaned after use, and eliminate plastics altogether.

Other organizations are working to clean up the world’s oceans, rivers, and lakes. Massive beach clean-ups have been staged by everyday citizens in India, Norway, and Thailand. An ambitious project to eliminate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has been spearheaded by a college dropout. And companies like Ikea are deploying their own plastic-collecting machines.

As news of the WhaleShark spreads, it will likely be deployed in rivers, lakes, and coastlines around the world.

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