Why nature also suffers from the war for NZZ am sonntag

written by Andrea Jeska

Ukraine is home to some of the last primeval beech forests in Europe, a Unesco-recognized World Heritage Site. They are still intact. But the war is endangering their existence. A loss of biodiversity already existed before the war. Now, an already tense situation is worsening and also preventing improvements, as all relevant activities and investments have virtually ceased.

In the south of Kurdistan for Tagebuch

At the beginning of June, a delegation of European activists traveled to the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. Their goal is to draw more international attention to the resistance against Turkey's attacks in the region. Their journey also took them to the Kandil Mountains, one of the most important retreats of the PKK, which is classified as a terrorist organization in numerous countries. The "Kandils," an area of around 50 square kilometers, are organized according to the principles of Democratic Confederalism - a concept of Abdullah Öcalan that is also considered a guiding political concept in the northern Syrian regions of Rojava.

The history of the Kurds and the region is also an issue for the internationalists. Since 1992, Turkey has repeatedly attacked the region militarily. According to Turkey, the official targets are the PKK's bases. However, the attacks also repeatedly result in civilian casualties. The two parties, the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (PDK) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), are loyal to Turkey and have a lot of influence on politics and the economy, according to local activists. For this reason, local Kurdish youth repeatedly organize protests.

No escape from Calais for Neues Deutschland

There are places that lie within Europe, where the suffering of the people is no less bearable. Mainly people from Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia and Iran live here. Most of them came to Europe crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the people in Calais didn’t get any papers in other European countries. That’s why their last hope is to get to Great Britain and apply for asylum there, outside of the EU.

Now they stand again in front of a sea border, with the hope to get help in England. And England helps - but not the people on the move. They pay for money to finance French coast guards and police to keep people from coming across the so-called "English Channel" to England. At the same time crossing the sea sneaking onto the train or ferry is nearly impossible due to massive surveillance by French and British authorities. Most of the people stuck here make the dangerous attempt to cross the sea with small rubber boats in the middle of the night.

Simultaneous the politicians tries everything to make them invisible by pushing them outside of the city, and make the city attractive to tourists.

Paramedic with passion

Piet is 47 years old and works as an emergency paramedic on a rescue helicopter. In order to be able to help the people on the East Frisian Islands regardless of the tide, the air ambulance is on standby for missions in Emden every day from sunrise to sunset. This means, that sick or injured islanders and tourists can be flown quickly to the nearest clinic for further specialist medical treatment. Most of the missions are medical transfers, i.e. transports of patients who are not in acute danger of death.

Outside the Fortress for the Multimedia Kandvala

A mere 10 km from the Croatian border, on the banks of the Una river, sits Bihać—a small city in northwest Bosnia-Herzegovina that has become the involuntary home of thousands of refugees since 2017. As the crisis has unfolded across Europe and dragged on year after year, many countries that were at one time welcoming to those seeking asylum and a better life have since changed their stance. Bosnia and Herzegovina became the main hub for migrants hoping to reach the EU after authorities closed the previous migration route through Serbia and Hungary in 2016.