Boost to child welfare in Nigeria and wildlife in Bolivia

1. Bolivia

A Bolivian mountain road known as the “Death Road” turned into a wildlife sanctuary. The trail, which dates back to the 1930s, meanders along steep cliffs in the country’s Andes and connects the capital, La Paz, with the Amazon rainforest.

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After thousands of fatal vehicle accidents, Bolivia opened an alternative transport route in 2007, leaving the original path for cyclists, the curious and wildlife.

Why we wrote this

In our progress chart, change for a notoriously dangerous road in Bolivia, declining child marriage rates in Nigeria, and Belgium’s city centers where people’s safety is a priority.

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Animals were virtually absent due to the pollution and noise of the 24-hour traffic in the area. But once the heavy-duty trucks had moved, biodiversity blossomed. Using camera trap data, the Wildlife Conservation Society has since documented 94 species of wild birds, including hummingbirds, toucans and parrots, and 16 species of mammals in the region.
Sources: Reuters, Ecología en Bolivia

A competitor starts the 2017 Sky Race in Bolivia on a scenic Andean road once known for vehicular crashes.

2. United States

Students now have access to free menstrual products at California schools. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, all public schools serving grades 6 through 12, as well as public colleges and universities, are required to stock menstrual pads and tampons in women’s and all-gender bathrooms, as well as at least one men’s restroom, thanks to one last fall signed bill.

According to the National Education Association, nearly one in four college students in the United States struggles to afford period products. “Similar to food, school supplies and other basic necessities, students are often too embarrassed to admit that firstly there is a shortage of such things in their own homes and secondly they need help to obtain them,” said teacher Yurii Camacho, who did this formerly did period products for college students self stock.

California Assembly Member Cristina Garcia introduced the Menstrual Equity for All Act, which passed in October 2021.

The law expands on a 2017 bill that required many low-income schools to offer menstrual products. “Just as toilet paper and paper towels are provided in virtually every public bathroom, menstrual products should also be provided,” said Assembly Member Cristina Garcia. Over a dozen other states have passed similar laws, including Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii and New York.
Sources: The Associated Press, National Education Association

3. Belgium

Belgian cities give priority to bicycles and pedestrians, contribute to the quality of life and reduce emissions. Studies show that minimizing the number of cars on the road reduces traffic accidents and makes eco-friendly modes of transport safer. In the university city of Leuven, for example, cycling has increased by 40% in the five years since the city approved a community-based mobility plan.

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