Mongolia, Millennial monks are running the country’s monasteries. An estimated 17,000 of Mongolia’s Buddhist monks perished under communism, starting in the 1930s. It was only in the 1990s that monasteries and religious schools reopened. But the pipeline remains greatly reduced, with a smaller number of monks in their 20s and 30s now taking charge at many monasteries. Traditionally a monk’s training begins in childhood, and today it is harder to find children willing to commit to the profession. “It’s easy to chop down a forest, right?” Lobsang Rabten, second in command at Amarbayasgalant Monastery, said to Reuters. “But it takes a long time for new trees to grow back.”
The Pacific Ocean, a 500-mile “shark highway” has been documented, running from Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands to Costa Rica’s Cocos Island. Scientists are now working to turn the corridor into protected territory. They say that sharks traveling this route are vulnerable to the long lines used by high seas tuna fishing boats. Protecting the shark highway is “the next step in conservation,” Lee Crockett of the Shark Conservation Fund told Inhabitit.com.
Mauritania, the descendants of slaves are fighting for equality. In 1981 Mauritania became the last country in the world to outlaw slavery. But many Haratines – members of the country’s former slave class – were never registered as citizens, so today they still cannot vote or send their children to school. “If the Haratine don’t have the means to educate their children and if we don’t have schools for each community, it’s fundamentally political. The solution can only come through strong political will,” journalist and activist Maimouna Mint Salleck told Middle East Eye.