Refugees in Cameroon Have Turned a Treeless Desert Camp Into a Thriving Forest:
What once was brown now has turned green, thanks to a special collaboration between the Dutch Lottery, the UN, and a group of humanitarian Lutherans. In 2014, Minawao began hosting at least 60,000 refugees in Cameroon who fled violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency in neighboring Nigeria. Once they arrived to the arid region, use of firewood for heat during the night and cooking was speeding up the desertification of the area. But, in a few years, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) were able to empower the refugees to transform the region into a thriving young forest. Now, four years later, 360,000 seedlings have been grown in the nursery on the outskirts of the camp—and planted throughout 294 acres (119 hectares). And, they are recording 90% survival rates. Fruit trees, acacias, cashews, or moringas will provide fruit, medicine and much more. A five-year planting and harvest cycle ensures material for firewood, as well as vines for the construction of roofs. After three years, some trees are big enough to be pruned for firewood.
Largest Anglo-Saxon Gold Coin Hoard Discovered in English Field:
131 gold coins have been found in a field in Norfolk, England represent the largest Anglo-Saxon gold coin hoard ever discovered, a find which is being described as one of “international importance.” With the first coin found in 1991, and the rest found in 2014, the hoard was long undergoing “Treasure Review” by the appropriate antiquities authority. A stamped pendant, gold ingot, and two unidentified pieces accompanied the coins, which shed golden light on not only the wealth enjoyed by pre-Viking East Anglian society, but the reach and value of their trade routes, and the development of widespread minting in Europe. Dated to around 610 CE, it’s thought they were buried together in a funeral barrow and scattered across a field through centuries of plowing. Ten of the coins arrived in England from the Byzantine Empire, or at least someone who had trade with them, while the other 121 were made in France during the Merovingian Dynasty.
Scientists Discover Baby Seals Can Change Their Tone of Voice – And Mimic Sounds Like Parrots:
Seals are one of the very few mammals to change the tone of their voices, allowing them to mimic humans like a parrot, scientists have found. The sea creatures were found to change the pitch of their calls depending on the sounds of their surroundings and could be taught to copy human speech like parrots, barking catchphrases in gruff accents like “come over here.” The new information was found through test with eight harbor sea pups being held in a Dutch rehabilitation center. The researchers recorded noises from the nearby Wadden Sea before playing them back to the pups at volumes ranging from no sound to 65 decibels but keeping the same tone height as the animal’s calls. They then recorded the pup’s spontaneous calls to see whether they changed their tone of voice to match the sea sounds. Seal pups lowered their tone of voice and kept a steadier pitch when hearing louder sea noises which seems to mimic how humans raise their voices in response to a louder noise to be understood.