More women legislators around the world, and the laws that make progress

1. Costa Rica

Costa Rica has banned the hunting of hammerhead sharks. Despite being protected under the CITES convention since 2014, sharks have been caught and sold in the country for years.

Local biologist Randall Arauz began raising awareness about shark finning in 2003. And since 2011, education campaigns in China have sharply reduced the use of shark fin as a status and celebratory food, but demand has grown in other parts of Asia. For the hammerhead shark alone, global populations have declined by more than 80% over the past 70 years.

Why did we write this?

In our summary, progress has been made in protecting the environment through legal means in Costa Rica and Australia. And in Bangladesh, planning for the future includes the opening of the capital’s first rapid transit stations.

The presidential decree comes 10 years after Costa Rica itself applied for CITES protection of the hammerhead species. In 2018, the country established a hammerhead sanctuary in the Golfo Dulce, a key gulf used by sharks to breed. And in 2020, the Supreme Court overturned the former president’s legalization of the shark trade.

Given its mixed record on shark conservation, wildlife advocates have questioned Costa Rica’s commitment, but hope the February decree has teeth.
Sources: Mongabay, The Goldman Environmental Prize,, The Washington Post

2. Canada

New helmet makes outdoor sports safer for Sikh kids. Ontario resident Tina Singh, who is Sikh and an occupational therapist, designed the helmet after her children started riding bikes and she realized that standard helmets did not fit the patkas worn by Sikh boys to cover their hair. Its design meets safety certifications for use with bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and inline skates, and is designed to accommodate a backpack. Ms. Singh wants to expand her designs to work for hockey players and break down barriers for athletes with other needs.

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