Reasons to be cheerful

Turtles swim free

The trafficking of wildlife is a problem in Peru, where species like the vulnerable yellow-spotted river turtle are often illegally sold as domestic pets. Animal Defenders International (ADI) are taking action, seizing trafficked turtles and reintroducing them to the wild in the Peruvian Amazon. As of March 2018, 79 turtles and 10 tortoises had been returned to their natural home.

Rebel bank

An activist-project-cum-art-installation in a former bank in north London is hoping to abolish £1m ($1.42m) worth of private debt. The Hoe Street Central Bank has started printing its own fake money – featuring the faces of local people – which it plans to ‘sell for real tender and use the proceeds to buy back debt,’ according to The Guardian. As many private loans are eventually downgraded to a fraction of their value, the rebel bankers only need to raise £20,000 to hit their target. The project was partly inspired by US campaigns, such as Strike Debt and Rolling Jubilee, which have raised large sums to write off student and medical debt.

Atlas of utopias

A new co-operative in the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius has a plan to tackle the island’s food and energy problems. The People’s Cooperative Renewable Energy Coalition wants to install solar panels on the land of unemployed sugar planters, generating energy that in turn helps to produce food in nearby greenhouses. Listed on the Transnational Institute’s online ‘Atlas of Utopias’ project and supported by social movements and trade unions, the co-op has made headway despite resistance from multinationals and oligarchs.