WITADA’s Weekly Top 10 – 28 March 2015

28 March 201528 March 2015
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 


In our Top 10 this week Amnesty International has awarded their top prize to two amazing ambassadors of peace, northern white rhinos are near extinction and a little reminder about Earth Hour tonight!


1. Amnesty International has announced the winners of their top award – Ambassador of Conscience Award 2015 – to Joan Baez and Ai Weiwei. This award recognises “those who have shown exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights, through their life and work”. It will be awarded at a ceremony in Berlin on 21 May 2015. You can read more about both recipients and their amazing work for human rights here.


2. We mentioned the disturbing situation in Venezuela some weeks ago. Amnesty International have now expressed serious concerns about the deaths of 43 people (and injuries and torture to many others) during protests that occurred in the country in 2014.


3. The United Nations Development Program has a very interesting story about India’s role in supplying medicinal plants to the rest of the world. There is less interest in learning about traditional medicine in India and therefore this traditional of oral knowledge is at risk of being lost. The UNDP is working with local healers to ensure these practices are now documented. As always, there are some beautiful pictures accompanying this story.


4. Desert Pea Media have released their new documentary ‘Wildfire Munwurrk’ and you can check out the official trailer here.


5. In an interesting article by Steven Pinker in The Guardian, he challenges the commonly held view that there is more conflict in the world now. Rather he suggests that more people are living in peace now than ever before. He is responding to claims from John Gray that the idea of moral progress is only wishful thinking. It’s a very interesting and illuminating conversation!


6. The human rights situation in Angola is serious where according to Angolian journalist Rafael Marques de Morais “neither political leaders nor the people respect human life”.  de Morais has written a book exposing the corruption in Angolian society and he is now facing a jail sentence as a result.


7. Ben Phillips is the Campaigns and Policy Director of ActionAid International and he has written a very interesting blog for New Internationalist about the change that he perceives in  some of the leading NGOs and their moves to call attention to the serious power imbalances in the world that are preventing real change from occurring.


8. There are only 5 northern white rhinos left in the world. The illegal wildlife trade is now become one of the biggest forms of organised crime along with drugs, arms and human trafficking. Despite a great deal of attention from influential people (Princes Charles, Willian and Harry) little seems to be changing as the demand for ivory continues throughout much of Asia. David Smith provides a thorough overview of the issues.


9. And don’t forget that tonight is Earth Hour – switch off your lights at 8.30pm to show your support for protecting our planet.


10. There is a lot of beauty in the world and a lot of things that we can all do to make our individual worlds more beautiful. So to end this week, we are featuring some beautiful rooftop gardens that according to Greenpeace “are not only a great way to combat air pollution, global warming and foster peace of mind in the city – they’re also beautiful”. Sounds pretty good to me!


Look forward to seeing you all next week for another Top 10! Have a great week.