Messi, more goals from outside the area than 86 teams

first_imgLeo Messi It does not stop breaking records and each season that passes amazes us with endless genius at the height of the best footballers in history. Because of coronavirus, the course has not finished and already He is the top scorer and assistant in the Santander League with 19 goals and 12 goal passes. Lionel Messi has scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues 8⃣More than 86 teams in Europe, including … 10 Athletics / Arsenal 3⃣PSG 4⃣Spurs / Juve 5⃣Liverpool / Real Madrid 6⃣Chelsea / Man Utd 7⃣Euro Best XI 👉 https://t.co/jbtag0qAgi pic.twitter.com/XyouwwWMe8– WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 31, 2020The Argentinean has scored eight goals from outside the area, which is why he beats teams like Chelsea (7), Manchester United (7), Liverpool (6), Real Madrid (6), Tottenham (5), Juventus (5), PSG (4), Atlético de Madrid (3) or Arsenal (3). LaLiga Santander* Data updated as of April 1, 2020 But if we consider the five major European leagues, we find a surprising fact: he has scored more goals from outside the area this season than 86 teams (counting all the players in it) of the 98 that make up the big five leagues, as indicated by the portal WhoScored. But the feat does not stop there, since of those eight targets, four have been set pieces, proving that he does not need his great talent in the overflow to score. And if the Santander League resumes, it will still have eleven more days for its numbers to grow.last_img read more

Forests provide a nutritional boon to some communities, research shows

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Palm Oil, Amazon People, Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Bushmeat, Community Development, Conservation, Deforestation, Ecology, Environment, Environmental Policy, Fish, Fishing, Food, Food Vs Forests Debate, Forest Loss, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Health, Hunting, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Logging, Mammals, Monkeys, Nature And Health, Palm Oil, Plantations, Primates, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Logging, Rainforest People, Rainforests Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by John Cannoncenter_img The new study, across 24 countries, shows a wide range in the variability of how communities use forests for food.The nutrients provided by wild fruits, vegetables, game and fish are critical to the nutritional health of some communities and should play a role in decisions about land usage.Land-use decisions should factor in the importance of forest foods to some communities, say the authors. Until recently, scientists hadn’t systematically compared the levels to which different groups of people across the tropics depend on nearby forests for food.New research shows that, though forest usage varies widely between and even within countries, the nutrients provided by wild fruits, vegetables, game and fish are critical to the nutritional health of some communities and should play a role in decisions about land usage.“As far as we’re aware, this is the first of its kind,” said ecologist Dominic Rowland of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the University of London in a CIFOR blog post. “We tested the hypothesis that the consumption of forest foods can make important contributions to dietary quality in a wide range of sites across the tropics.”The landscape approach, advocated by study author Dominic Rowland, calls for land use that incorporates several uses for communities, such as the fish farms and multi-crop agriculture pictured here in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by John C. CannonRowland and his colleagues published their research in the journal Environmental Conservation in October 2016.They knew that certain communities – often the poorest, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization – depend on the natural bounty found in forests.“There are all kinds of foods that come from the forest, including anything from land snails to wild fruits and primates,” Rowland says. “We focused on nutritionally important food groups that are often lacking in the average diets in these countries.“For these food groups, primarily it is bushmeat, fish and fruit for which the forest is relied upon, as well as vegetables,” he added.This type of varied diet packs a bevy of important ‘micronutrients’– that is, vitamins, minerals and trace elements such as zinc. Even if people get enough calories from staples such as corn, wheat and rice, they’ll be more susceptible to disease without small amounts of these chemicals found in many forest foods, the authors report. That’s especially the case for children.“Undernutrition in children under 5 years of age is the cause of 3.1 million deaths a year,” they write in the paper.However, not all communities rely on forests to the same degree, they found.A woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo heads to the forest to gather fruits and vegetables. Photo by John C. CannonTake, for example, the researchers’ findings at three different locations in Brazil. They found that people at one of the sites got more than 60 percent of their meat from the wild game and fish from the forest, but very few fruits and vegetables. By contrast, another community got nearly all of its produce from the forest, but almost no meat. A third group of people at a different site didn’t use the forest much at all: Less than 20 percent of their fruit, vegetables, meat and fish came from there.The researchers uncovered the same variability in the investigations of 23 other countries, backing up the conclusions of an earlier CIFOR study in Indonesia on nutrition and forests. That suggests that local context molds humans’ reliance on forests, Rowland said.“You can’t say that forest foods are universally important,” he said in the blog post. “But you also can’t say that forest foods don’t make much difference to diets.”Rowland pointed out that removing those forests could have dire consequences on areas that draw heavily on the bounty of their local environment – especially those that the researchers categorized as “forest food dependent.”“The scale and importance of wild food use must be taken into account when making landscape-scale land-use decisions,” he said. “Our findings suggest that deforestation and land-use change may have unforeseen consequences on the quality of local people’s diets.”When loggers clear an area of trees or companies convert forests to plantations for a single crop such as oil palm, that can leave communities with fewer options to supplement their diet.Revelations about the importance of standing forests to the health of some communities’ diets highlight an important concern for policy makers, he said. He advocates decisions that promote the many uses of forest on which many people depend – what scientists call the “landscape approach.”“[Y]ou need to take into account the impact on local people’s diets because monoculture might not provide people with sources of nourishing food,” he said.CITATIONS:Ickowitz, A., Rowland, D., Powell, B., Salim, M. A., & Sunderland, T. (2016). Forests, trees, and micronutrient-rich food consumption in Indonesia. PLoS ONE, 11(5), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154139Rowland, D., Ickowitz, A., Powell, B., Nasi, R., & Sunderland, T. (2016). Forest foods and healthy diets: quantifying the contributions. Environmental Conservation, (October), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892916000151Banner image of piranha in Peru by Rhett A. ButlerFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Two new clown tree frogs discovered in the Amazon

first_imgClown frogs are widespread throughout the Amazon region and get their name from their unique, bright coloration.The two newly discovered clown frogs were previously considered to belong to other species, but researchers were able to show that they are their own distinct species after analyzing their DNA and the calls they make.According to the international team of researchers who made the discovery, the conservation status of both clown frogs has yet to be determined — but it is likely that the species could already be considered threatened, especially given that both are reported to have particularly small distribution areas that are endangered by habitat destruction. Two new species of clown tree frogs have been discovered in the Amazonian rainforests of Bolivia and Peru.Clown frogs are widespread throughout the Amazon region and get their name from their unique, bright coloration.The two newly discovered frogs were previously considered to belong to other species, but researchers were able to show that they are their own distinct species after analyzing their DNA and the calls they make. The new species were described in a paper published in the journal PLoS ONE earlier this month.According to the international team of researchers who made the discovery, the conservation status of both clown frogs has yet to be determined — but it is likely that they could already be considered threatened, given that both are reported to have particularly small distribution areas with a high risk of habitat destruction.“Amazonia is vulnerable to several increasing threats such as deforestation, mining, petroleum extraction and climate change,” Marcel Caminer of the Universidad Católica del Ecuador, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “Therefore, it is necessary to have a complete inventory of the Amazonian species to take the appropriate measures to protect this biodiversity.”Reticulate treefrog (Dendropsophus reticulatus). Photo by Santiago R. Ron.During expeditions to six Amazonian countries, Caminer and team examined two “universal” clown tree frog species, Dendropsophus leucophyllatus and Dendropsophus triangulum. They found that D. leucophyllatus and D. triangulum do not constitute just two different species, but what’s known as a “species complex” — at least five species and possibly even as many as seven (including the two described in the PLoS ONE paper).“Our new study shows once again that we are not even close to knowing the actual species diversity of South American frogs and that even supposedly widespread species may be endangered,” Caminer said.Martin Jansen of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, one of Caminer’s co-authors on the paper, said in a statement that the team employed “integrative taxonomy” in order to establish the new species as distinct from D. leucophyllatus and D. triangulum.“We compared morphological and genetic information as well as the frogs’ calls with each other — and through a combination of the different methods we were then able to delimit the new species and show that the two previous species actually comprise an entire species complex,” Jansen said.One of the new species was discovered on the grounds of Ecological Research Station Chiquitos in Bolivia, which is co-run by the Senckenberg Research Institute. “This beautiful frog serves as a ‘flag ship’ that underlines the importance of biological field stations and the benefits of observing a region’s nature over a period of many years, especially in the unexplored areas of mega-diversity countries,” Jansen added.The researchers argue that the results of their study suggest that the number of Neotropical frog species is still greatly underestimated, especially in the vast Amazon Basin, which has not been subjected to a comprehensive, region-wide scientific survey.“The discovery of additional new species in the D. leucophyllatus–triangulum complex is to be expected, especially in Colombia and Brazil, where further taxonomic work and molecular analysis are needed,” the researchers write in the paper. “This study, like similar others, highlights the importance of integrative approaches and international collaborations to clarify the status of taxonomically difficult species groups of the Neotropical frogs.”“Only once we truly know all species and their distribution areas, will we be able to make well-founded statements regarding the effects of such factors as climate change, for example,” Jansen said.“However, the largest threat to amphibians worldwide continues to be the destruction of their habitats. Our study shows that effective protection measures require prior knowledge of the actual diversity of species and the study of their actual spatial distribution. To achieve this, we need a larger number of experts — taxonomic research is in higher demand today than ever before.”Arndts’ treefrog (Dendropsophus arndti). Photo by Martin Jansen.Reticulate treefrog (Dendropsophus reticulatus). Photo by Gustavo Pazmiño.Triangle treefrog (Dendropsophus triangulum). Photo by Santiago R. Ron.Triangle treefrog (Dendropsophus triangulum). Photo by Diego Quirola.Triangle treefrog (Dendropsophus triangulum). Photo by Santiago R. Ron.CITATIONCaminer, M. A., Milá, B., Jansen, M., Fouquet, A., Venegas, P. J., Chávez, G., … & Ron, S. R. (2017). Systematics of the Dendropsophus leucophyllatus species complex (Anura: Hylidae): Cryptic diversity and the description of two new species. PloS one, 12(3), e0171785. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171785Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Amazon Biodiversity, Amphibian Crisis, Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Climate Change, Deforestation, Environment, Frogs, Herps, Mining, New Species, Oil, Rainforests, Species Discovery, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Amazon’s fate hangs on outcome of war between opposing worldviews

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Controversial, Corruption, Culture, Dams, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Ethnocide, Featured, Flooding, Forests, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Illegal Logging, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Rivers, Roads, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People Article published by Glenn Scherer The battle for the Amazon is being fought over two opposing viewpoints: the first, mostly held by indigenous and traditional people and their conservationist allies, sees forests and rivers as valuable for their own sake, and for the livelihoods, biodiversity, ecological services and climate change mitigation they provide. For them the forests need protection.The second worldview holds that Amazon forests are natural resources to be harvested and turned into dollars, an outlook largely held by wealthy landowners, land thieves, loggers, cattle ranchers and farmers. For them the forests are there to be cut down, and the land is there to be used for economic benefit.The bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby now has overwhelming political power in the Brazilian Congress and the Temer administration, which are pushing a raft of bills and administrative actions to take away indigenous land rights, dismember conservation units, gut environmental licensing laws and defund environmental protection agencies.The great fear is that the collision of the two worldviews in the wilds of the Amazon will result in escalating lawlessness and bloodshed against indigenous and traditional people, along with significant environmental destruction. The loss of Amazon ecosystems could be catastrophic for humanity, as the region’s forests are crucial for global carbon storage. Indigenous leaders begin their protest at the pool in front of the Brazilian Congress this week. Photo by Wilson Dias courtesy of Agencia Brasil(Leia essa matéria em português no The Intercept Brasil. You can also read Mongabay’s series on the Tapajós Basin in Portuguese at The Intercept Brasil)The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build 40+ large dams, a railway, and highways, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions on the planet.Those struggling to shape the Basin’s fate hold conflicting opinions, but because the Tapajós is an isolated region, few of these views get aired in the media. Journalist Sue Branford and social scientist Mauricio Torres travelled there recently for Mongabay, and over coming weeks hope to shed some light on the heated debate that will shape the future of the Amazon. This is the fourteenth, and final, of their reports.Indians suffering from police tear gas attack outside the National Congress on April 25, 2017. Photo by Wilson Dias courtesy of Agencia BrasilThis week, police dispersed a peaceful indigenous protest in Brasilia with teargas and rubber bullets, as more than 3,000 Indian leaders gathered to demonstrate against the Temer administration, the Brazilian Congress, and new policies aimed at gutting indigenous and environmental protections, and at opening the Amazon to land thieves and agribusiness. This newest battle is anchored in a war of worldviews that is more than 500 years old.“We, the people who live in the forest, are not poor. No one here has ever been poor because we have the standing forest. All our history is in our standing forest. But without the forest, we are going to be very poor,” Juarez Saw told us calmly when we talked with the Munduruku chief. He is the leader of Sawre Muybu village, an Indian community on the middle reaches of the Tapajós River in the Amazon.Indigenous leaders, including several Munduruku chiefs, gathered in Brasilia this week for their largest collective protest ever. They believe that if the “whites” continue with their reckless destruction in the region, the entire Amazon forest will vanish. If this happens, Juarez Saw warned, more in sadness than in anger, we will all suffer: “Just like us, the ‘whites’ will not survive the devastation either.”Traditional travel in the Amazon. Photo by Mauricio TorresRivers vs. roadsThere are two main ways of traveling through the Amazon. One, by far the older, is by river and it led over many centuries to the rise of indigenous villages, traditional communities and towns along riverbanks. The other, far more recent, is by road. From the 1970s on, highways were cut through the forest, and with them came a new mindset.Three hundred kilometers to the southeast of the village of Sawre Muybu is the town of Novo Progresso. It isn’t located on a river but on a ribbon of asphalt known as the BR-163, a key highway linking Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso state, with Santarém on the Amazon River. The road cuts straight through the rainforest, and is a major conduit for soy shipped from Brazil’s interior to the sea.It is along this highway that many newcomers came in search of their fortunes, or at least livelihoods. Some were peasant families, expelled from other regions because of Brazil’s concentrated system of land tenure. They arrived in large numbers, each in search of a plot of land to call their own. Another group — loggers, land thieves, cattle ranchers, farmers, adventurers — came to strike it rich, or to get even richer, on Brazil’s agricultural frontier.One representative figure of this second group is Agamenom da Silva Menezes, the spokesman for the real estate speculators and big land grabbers in Novo Progresso, who has been in the region for 30 years, as he proudly told us last November. Agamenom believes that people like him are bringing progress to a backward region.His views stand in dire contrast to those of the Munduruku chief: “Brazil is poor because it doesn’t deforest,” Agamenom told us. “The word, deforest, is a provocation. In fact, what is happening is an alteration in the forest. The area isn’t left bare. It’s used for crops, for pasture, for something. A planted forest replaces a native forest.”Like many Amazon frontiersmen, Agamenom feels superior to the indigenous population and is angered by any suggestion that they have any prior legal right to Amazon lands. In an earlier interview, he declared: “Not everything here is how they [the NGOs] think it is. Are we all idiots? Stupid? Are we all river dwellers who eat vines and heart of palm?”Commodities on the move on the BR-163. Photo by Roosevelt Pinheiro courtesy of Agência BrasilWhen worldviews collideJuarez Saw and Agamenom exemplify the two major conflicting worldviews now at play across the Amazon region, and we saw frequent evidence of these battling visions during our month-long trip across the Tapajós basin.The Munduruku regard the forest as the center of their world and the source of their material, spiritual and cultural wealth. Agamenom and others like him see the forest as something to be cleared away (at a hefty profit), to make room for large-scale agribusiness.Taking the long view, deforestation, particularly on the scale it is happening along the Pará section of the BR-163, makes little sense economically or environmentally, as it involves replacing a forest ecosystem that is highly productive with another that is far less so.According to geographer Carlos Walter Porto-Gonçalves, the Amazon rainforest annually produces around 500 to 700 tons of biomass per hectare, while a hectare under soybean cultivation only produces about three tons of biomass, despite all the energy input needed to farm it, including chemical fertilizers and herbicides applied by fossil-fuelled vehicles. When it comes to cattle ranching, which is practiced widely in the region we visited, the biomass output is even lower: just 0.5 tons per hectare per year.The Amazon rainforest is seen by indigenous peoples as having intrinsic value. Others see it as a natural resource to be exploited. Thais BorgesThe mega-exuberance and abundance of Amazonian ecosystems — which are renewed annually without any costly human input — is not only essential for the well-being of the people who live in the forest, but it also brings big benefits to people around the planet. Scientists warn that the forest as a whole is vital as a carbon sink to curb climate change; while many of the region’s still unknown and unstudied plant species could possess medicinal properties able to combat diseases and epidemics in the future.It is, however, difficult to calculate in monetary terms the value of these and other ecological services provided by the forest. But back in 2009 three scientists — Maria del Carmen Vera-Diaz, Robert K. Kaufmann, and Daniel C. Nepstad — tried to do just that, with respect to the proposed paving of the BR-163 highway. They had a stab at working out the benefits that asphalting the road would bring to farmers, as compared to the costs (decreased biodiversity, increased fire risk, etc.) that society would pay for the loss of the forest. This was their conclusion:Paving the [BR-163] road… would expand the area where growing soybeans is economically feasible by about 70 percent, from 120,000 to 205,000 square kilometers [46,332 to 79,150 square miles]. Most of this new area would be located in the state of Pará and is covered largely by forests. A Cost-Benefit analysis of the road project indicates that the investments in infrastructure would generate more than $180 million for soybean farmers over a period of twenty years. These benefits, however, ignore the project’s environmental impacts. If the destruction of ecological services and products provided by the existing forests is accounted for, then the Cuiabá-Santarém investment would generate a net loss of between $762 million and $1.9 billion.More recent scientific studies have drawn attention to another unwelcome consequence of deforestation — a severe reduction in the length of the rainy reason. This, scientists say, will have profound consequences for the climate of Brazil, and probably the world.Yet all this is disregarded by Brazil’s powerful agribusiness lobby, which holds tremendous political influence over the government. Agamenom and others like him expect to pocket the profits they make from rainforest destruction, while leaving society as a whole to grapple with the long-term environmental and social costs.Brazil’s large scale farmers and commodities companies (such as Amaggi), aren’t the only ones likely to benefit from an agribusiness-friendly Brazilian government. International commodities companies like ADM, Cargill and Bunge will also benefit. Photo by Thais BorgesPast as preludeCritics have pointed out that the worldview held by today’s capitalist entrepreneurs on the Amazon frontier is little different from that held by the first Conquistadors who pillaged South America in search of precious metals.The most notorious historic case is that of the Cerro Rico mine in the city of Potosí high in the Bolivian Andes. Huge amounts of silver were dug out there and shipped across the Atlantic, with two major results: Spain was able to afford its seemingly endless wars against the English, French, Dutch and Ottoman Turks. And an estimated eight million enslaved Indians and Africans died in Potosi over a period of 300 years, killed in mining accidents, by lung-related diseases, starvation or exhaustion — with most succumbing, on average, within six months of being forced into the mines.A similar mentality reigned in colonial Brazil. When the Portuguese arrived in 1500, at least five million Indians likely lived there. Tens of thousands died over the following decades, many from European diseases, such as measles, smallpox, tuberculosis and influenza, while others were killed by the Portuguese bandeirantes (fortune hunters) who wanted indigenous land and the minerals that lay beneath it.After centuries of massacres, indigenous communities and traditional populations managed to make significant advances in the late 20th century. A turning point in Brazil came with the 1988 Constitution, drawn up upon the return to civilian rule, after 25 years of dictatorship.Until then, indigenous reserves were areas where Indians were allowed to live temporarily, and often tenuously, until they were ready to be “assimilated” into “national society.”Young Munduruku warriors. The Munduruku have made it clear to the Brazilian government that they are willing to fight to preserve their claims to their traditional lands. Photo by Mauricio TorresWith the new Constitution the indigenous population gained the right for the first time under Brazilian law to exist as a people. They were legally allowed to keep their lands and continue with their traditional way of life. More indigenous advances came in the 1990s, with the creation of a considerable number of indigenous reserves, often covering huge areas.In the 21st century also came a growing awareness among “whites” of the need to preserve the country’s ecosystems — a goal largely coherent with the desire to create more indigenous reserves. Infrastructure projects would go ahead but measures would be taken to prevent them destroying ecosystems.So, in 2006, after the decision was taken to pave the BR-163, an enormous area of conservation units, covering six million hectares (23,000 square miles), was created to protect the Amazon forest. Stricter regulation also led to an impressive decline in the rate of deforestation across the region.Many saw these government measures as half-hearted and poorly funded, but they were clearly important steps that recognized the intrinsic value of forests and rivers, rather than seeing them exclusively as marketable natural resources. Some judged that Brazil was entering into a new era of greater tolerance and humanity, particularly after the holding of the UN Earth Summit in 1992. It would be an era when exploitation and conservation worldviews would come into better balance.The Tapajós River runs through the heart of the Amazon. The government of Dilma Rousseff planned to dam it and its tributaries with more than 40 dams. Recently, the Congress tried but failed to approve the building of an industrial waterway that would utilize the dams and their reservoirs to transport soy. Photo courtesy of International RiversA rise in exploitationEvidence in Brazil over recent years has shown clearly and repeatedly that this balancing of values has largely stalled and begun to revert to its exploitive roots. The setbacks began with the first Dilma Rousseff administration in 2011. She became notorious for her desire to boost economic growth, whatever the social and environmental cost.Her government authorized a series of large hydropower plants in the Tapajós basin, without carrying out the “full, informed and prior” consultation required by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The pressing of these projects, such as the gigantic Belo Monte dam, not only infringed on the fundamental rights of indigenous and traditional people living in the region, but also made it impossible to hold open, democratic discussions about the economic, social and ecological viability of the projects. Dilma’s mega-dam schemes also flew in the face of very serious concerns by environmentalists.Similarly, the paving of the BR-163 went ahead under Dilma, despite the warnings of scientists like Carmen Vera-Diaz, Kaufmann and Nepstad who said that great care would be needed to protect the forest and the valuable environmental services it provided.The construction triggered a wave of Illegal deforestation on both sides of the highway, much of it on public lands, and fuelled a dizzying escalation in the price of cleared land. This was largely caused by the desire of ranchers to get their hands on deforested land, now that they could take their cattle to market cheaply via the highway.The surge in illegal deforestation was not only predictable, but had actually been predicted, but Dilma’s government ignored the studies. This process continues today, with a huge spike in forest felling around cities like Novo Progresso, as land thieves move onto public lands, cut the trees, and seek to gain permanent control over vast stretches of land.Fires lit intentionally to clear land for agriculture along the BR-163 highway in 2014, a process that reveals red-brown soils. A long line of newly cleared agricultural patches snakes east from BR-163 toward the remote Rio Crepori Valley. Extensive deforested areas in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state appear in tan at the top of the image. The fires show the advance of deforestation into Pará state, now second after Mato Grosso in terms of deforestation acreage. Photo and analysis courtesy of NASAWhile an alarming trend, many observers assumed that there were limits to what the land thieves could achieve. Even though conservationists were sceptical of the effectiveness of the measures taken to stop deforestation around major highways, like the BR-163, they thought that the great advances made by the indigenous and social movements, many of which are inscribed in the constitution, had created impenetrable legal barriers around conservation units and indigenous territories.Few thought that there was a real risk of going backwards on these issues.An Agami heron (Agamia agami). The Amazon’s exceptional biodiversity will undoubtedly suffer if the Temer government continues aggressively pressing its pro-agribusiness and anti-environmental agenda. Photo by Jorge LopesCome the stormMichel Temer’s government dashed these confident assumptions after it took over last year. Things that had been bad under Dilma, got much worse under Temer. The bancada ruralista (literally “rural lobby” and including the country’s agribusiness interests), already in control of Congress, made its support for the impeachment of Dilma conditional on gaining key positions in the Temer administration.Together, Congress and the executive are now using their combined weight to launch an onslaught on indigenous people, traditional populations and the environment.If agribusiness interests are successful, it will be a huge blow — perhaps an irreversible and fatal one — to many Amazon communities and to the ecosystems they rely on for life.Over recent months Temer, agriculture minister Blairo Maggi, and the Congress have prepared a vast legislative and juridical apparatus designed to remove the restrictions imposed by Brazil’s environmental and indigenous laws and regulations. Repeated attempts to reach Brazilian officials for comment for this series of articles went unanswered.The government has launched multiple lines of attack:Assault on Indigenous reserves: The very principle of indigenous territory is now being challenged. The 1988 Constitution states that indigenous peoples have the right to own forever the territories they have “traditionally occupied.” But legally delineating those “traditionally occupied” areas has been a complex, on-going process, fraught with pitfalls. Many farmers, for instance, who have been occupying indigenous land for decades, are understandably reluctant to move and have resisted Indian claims.As a result, some 30 years after the Constitution’s approval, many indigenous people have yet to regain their rightful lands. Some squat beside federal roads, kept off their traditional territories by fences. There have been many deaths, as powerful landowners use violence to intimidate the Indians — making Brazil one of the world’s most dangerous places for indigenous populations, and for environmental activists too.Even so, few directly challenged the principle of indigenous ownership until recently. But with Temer appointments, including Justice Minister Osmar Serraglio, a hard-line politician who is outspoken on the curtailing of Indian rights, that has begun to change.Indigenous protests have a long history in Brazil. This one took place in 2014 in Brasilia. Photo by Wilsonsterling1 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International licenseThis year, the government made it much more difficult to create an indigenous reserve. It claims that indigenous groups already have too much land and is refusing to give the go-ahead to new reserves, even when the protracted demarcation process is almost complete.Critics say that the new procedure, which may be illegal, infringes the basic constitutional rights of indigenous people and ignores the fundamental role they play in protecting the forest.Attack on conservation: Congress, the most conservative for decades, appears to be catering to land thieves and agribusiness by dismembering conservation units in the Amazon. It is currently in the process of lopping off vast areas from the key mosaic of conservation units alongside the BR-163. Two interim measures — MP 756 and MP 758 — will remove full protection from over one million hectares (3,800 square miles) in a stretch of forest that is already under severe pressure from land thieves.In practice, the measures will allow these formerly fully conserved federal forests to be privately owned, clear cut, turned into cattle ranches and intensively farmed.It was President Dilma in 2012 who created the dangerous precedent of reducing the size of conservation units by interim measures, administrative orders that made it easier to build large dams. But the Temer government is now using the same manoeuver to dismantle conservation units in many other areas. While legal experts argue whether such measures are constitutional, the cuts could go into effect as early June — inviting an Amazon land rush, with wholesale deforestation.Congressional approval of the dismemberment of Amazon conservation units, likely to happen as early as June 2017, will open more than a million hectares of once fully protected forest to logging, ranching, large scale farming, and private ownership. Photo by Sue BranfordWorking together, the executive and legislative branches are cutting the size of four conservation units in Pará: the Jamanxim National Forest, Jamanxim National Park, Nascentes da Serra do Cachimbo Biological Reserve. and the Itaituba II National Forest. They also plan to reduce the size of other conservation units in other parts of the Amazon.Gutting the environmental licensing process: If passed, bill 3,729/2004 will streamline Brazil’s environmental licensing process for new projects, such as mines, dams and other infrastructure.The deregulation, say environmentalists, will make environmental disasters more likely, such as the one that took place in Mariana in the state of Minas Gerais in November 2015. There, an industrial dam burst and 60 million cubic meters (2.1 billion cubic feet) of toxic iron ore tailings were disgorged into the Doce River, killing 19 people and heavily polluting the stream for 530 miles, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. It was the biggest single environmental disaster in Brazil’s history.The gutting of Brazil’s environmental licensing process could pave the way for mining and construction companies to rape the Amazon basin, with major projects moving forward with little government oversight to prevent or mitigate harm to aquatic or terrestrial ecosystems and wildlife.The bill is currently being fast-tracked through Congress. It requires approval by both the upper and lower houses, which it is expected to obtain.Agents from IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, on a raid against illegal loggers. Major cuts in the agency’s budget this year will decrease its capacity to enforce environmental laws. Photo courtesy of IBAMASlashing environmental budgets: The Temer administration has made an unprecedented 51 percent cut to the budget of the Ministry of Environment, which will seriously reduce the capacity of the country’s two most important environmental agencies — IBAMA, its environmental protection agency, and ICMBio, the Chico Mendes Conservation and Biodiversity Institute.Alfredo Sirkis, the executive secretary of the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change, told Observatório do Clima that the cut was “very serious” and will “profoundly [impact] deforestation — and, consequently, Brazil’s climate targets.”Even before this latest round of budget cuts, the ministry was struggling with staggeringly insufficient funding, which has contributed to the pace of deforestation in the Amazon, which has increased in the last two years.Officials are now in doubt that they will be able to carry on with forest monitoring and enforcement. The budget cuts along with rising deforestation rates seem set to unleash an exponential increase in environmental crime. Also, with less law enforcement, violence against indigenous and traditional people living in the forests may rise to new levels.Brazilian cattle ranchers stand to gain from the Temer government’s new agribusiness policies, which — with the dismemberment of conservation units and the gutting of environmental licensing — could trigger a land rush and major deforestation in the Amazon. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe new ConquistadorsAlmost all of these initiatives reflect the growing strength of agribusiness in the Brazilian economy, which in turn has led to the mega-muscle of rural landowners and the bancada ruralista in national and state politics. Land thieves and their emissaries in Congress and in the Temer administration are now setting public policy, and creating new norms to legitimize what, under the rule of law in the past, would have been seen as pillaging.Now, with powerful allies in high places, wealthy farmers and land grabbers feel emboldened, to the point that some are acting outside the law. We observed this new audaciousness throughout our journey in the Tapajós basin, particularly in our interview with Agamenom, the president of the Novo Progresso rural union. He openly boasted to us of his plan to send an illegal private militia out to evict peasant families from a local land occupation.We can’t put this too strongly: we left the region fearful of an imminent massacre.Region-wide carnage hasn’t happened, so far. But on 20 April, armed gunmen tortured and killed nine people, including teenagers and children, in the Taquaruçu do Norte settlement, in the north of Mato Grosso, not far from the area through which we travelled. This horrific violence occurred, despite a 2004 court ruling saying that the families had a right to the property. Ever since, land thieves have pressured the settlers to leave, killing, torturing and imprisoning peasants in private jails.Though the incident has been reported in the Brazilian press, neither the federal nor state government have reacted to it. It is unlikely that those behind the crime will be held to account. In the last two years, Amazon violence has escalated, with 2016 seeing the assassination of one of the region’s highest environmental officials right in front of his family. Increasingly, stories of intimidation by marauding gunmen in black hoodies circling remote Amazon homesteads on motorcycles are becoming a regional commonplace.Indigenous leaders tear-gassed by police in front of Brazil’s National Congress this week. Photo by Wilson Dias courtesy of Agencia BrasilNever in the recent past have indigenous, traditional and peasant communities faced such hostile forces. With their backs to the wall, they feel that their very survival may depend on their capacity to organize and resist, and make appeals to the global community.That’s what brought representatives of more than 100 indigenous groups to the major protest going on in Brasilia throughout this week. They’ve set up what they call the Acampamento Livre Terra (Free Land Camp) in the heart of the city; only 1,500 indigenous leaders were expected, but more than 3,000 arrived, making it the biggest indigenous mobilization in Brazil’s history.On Tuesday, the Indians protested by trying to float 200 cardboard coffins on the lake in front of Congress — the coffins represented recently assassinated indigenous people, 137 in 2015 alone, according to Cimi, the Catholic Church’s indigenous council. The Indians were dispersed violently by the police, who claimed that they were trying to enter Congress.For the Indians, the welcome they received in Brasilia provided new evidence that the intolerance, exploitation, violence and ethnocide they’ve battled for more than 500 years still hold sway. But resistance during those many years of conflict have honed indigenous political skills and sharpened courage. The arrows fired Tuesday in response to the tear gas bombs and rubber bullets are a clear demonstration of the will to stand up to power. (Leia essa matéria em português no The Intercept Brasil. You can also read Mongabay’s series on the Tapajós Basin in Portuguese at The Intercept Brasil)FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.More than 3,500 indigenous protesters are in Brasilia to protest the undermining of Indian rights by the Temer government. It is the largest such protest in the country’s history. Photo by Wilson Dias courtesy of Agência Brasil Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Field Notes: Pond turtle studies could help sea turtles survive toxic algal blooms

first_imgHarmful algal blooms (HABs), dubbed “red tides,” occur worldwide. When ingested, tiny, toxin-producing algae threaten marine and human life. These events — sometimes natural, but often human-induced — now happen annually on the U.S. Gulf Coast and kill endangered turtle species.Physiologist Sarah Milton, at Florida Atlantic University, researches the effect of HABs on freshwater turtles to improve treatment for endangered sea turtles that are rescued from toxin-filled waters.Milton found that pond turtles tolerate far more algal toxin than similar sized mammals can survive — resistance possibly rooted in their ability to dive, living without oxygen for months. Understanding this ability could help sickened sea turtles rescued during harmful algal outbreaks.Understanding the cellular mechanisms that allow pond turtles to maintain brain and body function during anoxic conditions could also help scientists improve outcomes for people who have suffered oxygen-deprivation events, such as stroke, which trigger irreversible brain cell death. Trachemys scripta scripta. Like the sea turtle, this common pond turtle can survive without oxygen for long periods, a physiological capability that also makes these animals more resistant to red tide toxins. Photo by Giucre CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia CommonsBeneath their prehistoric-looking shells, turtles conceal an extraordinary ability to hold their breath underwater, going without oxygen for hours, even months, at a time. This cellular-level capacity to survive underwater also helps turtles resist the effects of environmental pollution from harmful algal blooms (HABs), toxic events also commonly dubbed “red tides,” according to studies by physiologist Sarah Milton and her colleagues at Florida Atlantic University.A better understanding of how these red tide toxins affect freshwater turtles could help researchers develop better treatment protocols for sickened sea turtles that are rescued during harmful algal outbreaks.Harmful algal blooms — appearing as red tides or in other colors — occur with the rapid uncontrolled growth of algae in freshwater or marine environments. The alga uses up the water’s oxygen, making it anoxic, while also producing toxins. These events — sometimes naturally caused, but also brought on by increased nutrient loading due to chemical fertilizers and other human activities — have become an annual event on the U.S. Gulf Coast, killing endangered sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, fish and countless other marine life.As the world’s waters become warmer due to climate change, and as human activities add more pollutants, especially nitrates and phosphorus from agricultural runoff, harmful algal blooms are going global, with frequently lethal effects on sea creatures.Milton’s red tide research focuses on brevetoxin, one group of neurotoxins made by a single-celled dinoflagellate called Karenia brevis. In people, these toxins are known for causing shellfish poisoning or severe asthma attacks. Although studies in mammals have shown that brevetoxins disrupt nerve function, causing muscle and brain damage, no baseline information existed for turtles. “We didn’t know if the toxin worked the same way in turtles, what amounts caused damage, or how turtles cleared it from their system,” said Milton.Karenia brevis algal bloom off the coast of Florida in 2005.This single-celled organism belongs to a group of microalgae called dinoflagellates. Warm water conditions and high nutrient levels lead to high concentrations of these algae, which can change water color to red or brown. Big blooms along Florida’s coast most commonly occur in the fall; the microalgae produce a neurotoxin that can kill marine life, cause respiratory irritation in humans, and make shellfish unsafe for people to eat. Photo courtesy of FWC Fish and Wildlife Research InstituteCompared with similarly sized mammals, turtles have a slow metabolism, which makes them susceptible to drug effects at smaller amounts. So Milton expected that it wouldn’t take very much toxin to sicken freshwater turtles if exposed to a simulated red tide. Surprisingly, these turtles turned out to be more resistant than expected to high toxin levels.Milton suspects that the turtles’ resistance to red tide toxins is related to their ability to make long dives that deprive their brains of oxygen for up to weeks at a time;as in mammals both the toxin and oxygen deprivation kill cells by a common pathway. Several investigators are studying what enables turtle cells to operate without oxygen, and then return to normal function.Understanding how the toxin affects freshwater turtles could improve treatment strategies for HAB-exposed sea turtles, and possibly for people suffering from anoxic and/or toxic conditions. Additional studies may reveal what tips the turtles’ cell toward survival, knowledge that could offer insight into the brain cell death that occurs when humans suffer strokes.Sarah Milton examinines a juvenile green turtle at a rehabilitation center in Florida. Turtles impacted by red tides are cared for in facilities like these, and Milton is working to design better treatments for sea turtles impacted by harmful algal toxins. Photo courtesy of Sarah MiltonMongabay: What prompted your research into “red tide” effects on turtles?Milton: It started from my interest in environmental physiology. Anoxia is one big area of study, and turtles can stay under water for hours at a time: how do their brains survive without oxygen?But you can’t study sea turtles because they’re all endangered, so I work with freshwater turtles which turn out to be even better at holding their breath; they can survive an entire winter of hibernating, essentially not breathing for months.Turtle physiology — their immune system — can also be impacted by environmental pollution. In Florida, the Indian River Lagoon estuary has very high nutrient loads from agricultural runoff, and the green turtles there have a high incidence of papilloma viral disease. In a pristine area nearby, turtles have zero disease. The algal blooms are another aspect of this because they are also fueled by increasing waterway pollution with nutrient runoff.Red tides can cause very large die-offs. On the west coast of Florida, in 2005, more than 300 sea turtles plus fish, manatees, and dolphins died from an algal bloom. Not all the animals die, though. Some turtles get rescued and taken to rehabilitation facilities for treatment where the main focus is ameliorating the toxin’s symptoms and trying to clear it out of their system faster. But we don’t know what the toxin actually does, so it’s very hard to design good treatment protocols.So the goal was to use common freshwater turtles (Trachemys scripta) as a model, to understand what organs the toxin affects, how quickly it clears from their systems, the effects on the immune system, and the toxin mechanism in the cells. The real question was: are turtles affected by brevetoxin in the same way as mammals?While essentially a brain is a brain, and a muscle is a muscle, regardless of the animal, previous studies had only been done in mammals. And turtles have a much slower metabolic rate, so toxins might not move as quickly through their bodies. Or maybe that slow metabolism, relative to mammals, might make the toxin worse because turtles couldn’t clear it as quickly.5. Grazing green sea turtle. Animals risk toxicity via HAB inhalation and ingestion, but long term exposure may be even greater due to bioaccumulation and biomagnification as toxins move up the food chain as sea turtles consume algae, seagrasses, crustaceans and fish. Photo courtesy of P. LindgrenMongabay: So, do turtles have special pathways that protect their cells?Milton: We haven’t yet found anything truly unique to turtles. Even mammal brains have protective mechanisms to resist cell death after a stroke or heart attack. But, in a tug of war between survival and death pathways, the death pathways win in mammals. For turtles, though, the death pathways are very strongly suppressed and the protective pathways are very strongly up-regulated.We think that the mechanisms that protect turtle brain cells against dying when [the animal] doesn’t have enough oxygen are similar to the mechanisms that keep the brain from dying from toxin. The two pathways are very similar and when the toxin reaches high enough levels, both mammals and turtles show the same symptoms.For instance, the pond turtles we studied — as well as sea turtles examined in rehab centers — become very uncoordinated, they have muscle spasms and head bobbing, and they circle in the water, similar to what mammals would do on land. But we didn’t know that before, because scientists had only studied the toxin’s effects on mammals.Now that we know, we can design more effective treatments for sea turtles. Right now, treatments are aimed at supportive care for animals exposed to brevetoxins. With better understanding of this toxin’s impact on turtles, we can design strategies that clear the toxin out of their systems more quickly and also draw out the toxin from tissues.Hawaiian sea turtle with multiple papilloma virus growths. Environment plays an important role in sea turtle susceptibility to disease. Photo courtesy of Peter Bennett & Ursula Keuper-BennettMongabay: What surprised you about brevetoxin’s effect in turtles?Milton: We used brain cell cultures to study the mode of action in turtles compared with mammals. Once we knew the toxin worked the same way — it props open sodium channels in cells, leading to continuous depolarization until the cell dies — we then wanted to know the “effective doses” of toxin. How much toxin did it take to cause cell problems?We found that pond turtle brain cells are highly resistant to the toxin; more than 16-fold more resistant than mammal cells, even when we repeated the tests at temperatures that were closer to normal for mammals. [Turtles are reptiles, which, unlike mammals, don’t maintain a specific core body temperature, but internal temperature can vary with environmental temperatures.]That was surprising because typically when we’re translating mammalian studies into anything with turtles, we figure that a turtle has only one-tenth the normal metabolic rate of a mammal. And then about half of that is shell. So, if we’re doing some treatment we’d use one-tenth, to one-twentieth, the dose we’d use to get the same effect in a mammal.Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). More than 109 loggerhead sea turtle deaths in 2005, and over 70 sea turtle deaths in 2006, were attributed to brevetoxin exposure. Photo courtesy of Brian GratwickeWe also found that pond turtles [in live animal studies] could quickly clear the toxin from their systems over a period of 24 to 48 hours, for both oral and inhaled exposures. That’s not the case at rehab centers where blood testing on sea turtles showed they could take up to 80 days before getting toxins cleared.Algal toxins may persist in the water, in plants or other food sources, making turtles more susceptible to disease or other environmental stressors in the long term. So when these animals [sea turtles] are coming in for rehab and are sick, they must have been exposed to massive doses of toxin for an extremely long time.We’re working out new treatment protocols for sea turtles now. But we’re also still studying the mechanisms that enable turtles to go so long without oxygen. With turtles’ survival skills, the question is: how can we help human brain cells become more like turtles?”For more on the topic:Cocilova CC, Flewelling LJ, Bossart GD, Granholm AA, Milton SL. Tissue uptake, distribution and excretion of brevetoxin-3 after oral and intratracheal exposure in the freshwater turtle Trachemys scripta and the diamondback terrapin Malaclemys terrapin. Aquatic Toxicology (2017) March; 187: pp 29-37.Cocilova CC, Milton SL. Characterization of brevetoxin (PbTx-3) exposure in neurons of the anoxia-tolerant freshwater turtle (Trachemys scripta). Aquatic Toxicology (2016) Nov;180: pp 115-122.Milton SL, Prentice HM. Beyond Anoxia: The Physiology of Metabolic Downregulation and Recovery in the Anoxia-tolerant Turtle. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology. (2007) June; 147(2): pp 277-290.Nayak G, Prentice HM, Milton SL. Lessons from nature: Signaling cascades associated with vertebrate brain anoxic survival. Experimental Physiology (2016) Mar 17. [Epub ahead of print]FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Coastal Ecosystems, Conservation, Diseases, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Freshwater Animals, Freshwater Ecosystems, freshwater turtles, Green, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Herps, Marine Animals, Marine Crisis, Ocean Crisis, Oceans, Oceans And Climate Change, Reptiles, Sea Turtles, Turtles, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

Powering cameras and empowering people

first_imgAnti-poaching, Batteries, Camera Trapping, cameras, Citizen Science, early warning, Law Enforcement, Poachers, Protected Areas, Sensors, Software, Solar Power, Surveillance, Technology, Wildtech Mongabay-Wildtech:  So you’ll do an assessment to help decide on that? Schmidt:  Typically what we’ll do for any given project is start by going out and spending anywhere from one day to one week to really understand what the current operations look like, what challenges they’re facing, see the exact areas that they know they’re having problems with. Understand what the connectivity situation is, you know, is it cellular? Is there internet at the base camp? Is it something that we’ve got to start from scratch?Then we look at the topography, like are there high points where we potentially would need to put towers or whether there are existing towers we can potentially hang new equipment off of, all these different things.And then once we make that assessment, we’ll roll out usually a small, “beta” implementation of anywhere from two to five cameras. We then step back and monitor it for a little bit and really spend time saying, are we seeing what we expected to see? You know, i.e. bad guys coming in and out? Is the partner responding appropriately, or do we need to make adjustments to what we have before we try and do some joint fundraising or something to really expand the presence on the ground there?Camera trap photo shows oryx leaving a waterhole in low light. Oryx are huge and a target for bushmeat hunters in southern Africa. Photo credit: wpsWatchMongabay-Wildtech:  Who monitors the cameras to make sure they are working properly? I know you do some remote monitoring via the app from your office. Do you then contact the people on the ground when you find an issue? Smizik:  Pierre [WPS Africa Project Manager] in South Africa goes through the system almost daily. He’ll call partners up and say, ‘Hey, such and such camera’s down. Let me know if you need help. Here’s what I think might be going on.’  The volunteers are actually going to start participating this year too, sending lists of what cameras are up and down. And then some sites are so in tune to it, I get an email from one in South Africa, and they’ll tell me either the app or a camera has gone down before I’ve noticed it. So that means they are really tuned in to the system.Mongabay-Wildtech:  Is part of your work with field teams to help train them on some basic fixes if, say, the equipment breaks? Schmidt:  We’ve been exploring some ways whereby we can, for new implementations, bring down a little remote computer that we can dial into. So if something happens in the field, like a camera configuration gets messed up, they can just plug the camera in and then we can go in and remotely configure it.Smizik:  Our site in Hawaii has such a well put-together infrastructure on site… with all kinds of equipment and tools. Because they have those sorts of assets, I’ve been working on each trip on training them to build their own battery boxes and learn how to maintain the cameras on their own so that it’s less travel for us. If a site can become virtually self-sufficient, then we can just be sort of a support to as opposed to the primary resource. We don’t want to always have to be the ones to fix it. That’s not scalable.Mongabay-Wildtech:  So what aspects of the system took more time or effort than you expected, or were a lot harder than you thought?Schmidt:  I think resolving the power issues.Smizik:  Just even figuring that out, we spent a lot of time. We knew we were missing images early on, but we didn’t know why. And so we spent a lot of time physically going through every image on the SD card to compare them to what the system returned. And it wasn’t until we did that that we found the battery drop correlation.This low-light image from the app shows one of several sites where reserve managers use the detection system to monitor a fenceline and watch for trespassers coming through the area. Photo credit: wpsWatchSchmidt:  The next challenge is really making this part of everyone’s day. Like if you look at our implementations, some [field teams] do it really, really well. Some of them have [the system], and it’s like they haven’t clicked to it yet. And the differentiator there is whether or not they’ve caught poachers, frankly. The ones who do it and it works, they really click to it and they’re like, ‘Whoa, we’ve got to keep these cameras up. We’ve got to keep it going.’In other places where we put [the system] in, maybe because there aren’t poachers in that area or they just don’t have as high a pressure, they don’t get that kind of quick-hit success that is their eye-opener that says, ‘Oh man, I really do have to respond to this.’ So then they’ll let things like cameras go down, and then it’s more of a struggle. So it’s baking in the use of the system into their daily lives.A baby rhino forages near its mother as they walk along a pathway monitored by a remote camera. Photo credit: wpsWatchMongabay-Wildtech:  What advice would you offer other teams trying to use tech to monitor intrusions into reserves? Is there anything you want to add? Smizik:  I would say have patience and don’t expect this to be the end-all, be-all or that it’s not going to require any sort of maintenance. I find one of my biggest uphill battles on site is that people think you’re going to put something in, and this is the final solution. But you’re gonna still have to go check on these, at least monthly. Make sure they’re still up and running and that no water’s gotten in or no animals have gotten in or a baboon’s turned to the camera this way. They’re always going to be some aspect of maintenance. I think whenever you’re working with any technologies, managing those expectations.Schmidt:  My suggestion will be share data and cooperate. So much of the time I see different groups that are just solo, and insular, and the more we can, between appropriate organizations, share data, the better. Keeping equipment running in harsh field conditions can challenge any tech project, as can working successfully with volunteers.Mongabay-Wildtech spoke with leaders of one project, wpsWatch, that deploys connected camera traps to monitor wildlife and people in reserves and employs volunteers to monitor image feeds from afar.Powering equipment for field surveillance and “making it part of everyone’s day” enable the rapid image detection, communication, and response by ground patrols needed to successfully apprehend wildlife poachers using cameras and other sensors. Keeping equipment running in harsh field conditions can challenge any tech project, as can working successfully with volunteers. Some projects have to manage both.A recent Wildtech post describes wpsWatch, a remote camera and data integration system developed by Wildlife Protection Solutions (WPS) to monitor wildlife and threats in real-time.A pair of white rhinos face off in front of a camera trap. Photo credit: wpsWatchConcealed cameras placed around reserves are connected via one of several networks to managers on site, as well as to staff and volunteers located a world away in the US who use the system’s apps to monitor image feeds. The groups notify each other of wildlife and/or intruders detected in camera images, allowing rangers to take quick action.As part of the discussion with Mongabay-Wildtech, WPS Executive Director Eric Schmidt and Program Director Carrie Smizik explained some of the strategies their team uses to prevent and respond to the twin challenges of deploying technology in remote and rugged areas and maintaining an effective corps of project volunteers.Mongabay-Wildtech:  What are the main challenges in maintaining the cameras and keeping the system going on the ground? Smizik:  Applying solar power to keep the batteries and the cameras up and running was the first issue that we ran into. We learned that as the cameras would drain battery power or lose battery power, the [image] transmission rates were falling off as well. So the camera didn’t have the power to transmit the images it was taking if it lost battery power. So we had to tackle that issue first.Schmidt:  Then it’s, you know, really wildlife and environmental. So in Africa, it’s baboons especially. And in Indonesia it was ants.Smizik:  In Hawaii, it’s rain and we have some theft issues too, so the cameras have to be well-hidden and well-placed. We were trimming branches so they wouldn’t interfere with the viewpoint of the camera, and one of our field guys would take mud and rub over where we had trimmed so that you couldn’t see it was a fresh cut on the tree. So simple camouflage, stuff like that that, really makes a difference in hiding your equipment.Baboons are curious and strong and can be big trouble for remote cameras. Photo credit: Sue PalminteriMongabay-Wildtech:  What are main challenges you face in working with the volunteers to identify photos and getting that information to the team?Smizik:  I don’t think that’s too big of an issue. I designed a training program around how you use the app and what defines a poacher–I have a training section on that specifically. And then we do a little quiz: poacher or not poacher, that sort of thing. I always tell them, ‘when in doubt, send me the image and I’ll make the determination.’ Sometimes I’m not sure, so I let the rangers make that determination if they have staff overturning or something. I’m not always going to recognize all of their staff members.So it’s a matter of just training them pretty thoroughly, and I can do it over the web or in person. It just depends on the size of the group and what their preferences are.The beauty of the system is they can monitor from their phones or their laptops. I have several that monitor all throughout the work day, and they just keep that up on their secondary computer monitor and they’re doing their work at the same time. So having the flexibility for them is a really great part of the program.Mongabay-Wildtech:  Do the volunteers take turns monitoring image feeds? How do you make sure that they have the hours covered?Smizik:  I haven’t dictated hours as of yet, mostly because I don’t want to make that a deterrent, though that’s changing. I’m going to assign specific [reserve] properties to volunteers. And we’ll talk about assigning hours, but I didn’t want, as we were starting the volunteer program, to say you have to monitor it from this time to this time every week. So many of them can’t commit to that sort of time commitment. And I wanted at first to establish the program and see what kind of response we got.A lone spotted hyena caught on camera approaching a work camp in south Africa. Photo credit: wpsWatchMongabay-Wildtech:  How many volunteers help monitor the wpsWatch images? Smizik:  I think we’re up to about 30 now, and they are mostly in Colorado, but we have some that are out of state, all over.And our staff is in the office too, we have the feeds up and we’re monitoring them all the time, along with the partners that are on site are monitoring their own feeds.Mongabay-Wildtech:  Are you seeking new volunteers? Smizik:  Always.Mongabay-Wildtech:  What features are needed at the implementation site, such as power, connectivity, staff capacity, terrain, etc. Schmidt:  The biggest one is staff capacity. If they’ve not got the ability to respond to a real-time system, it makes no sense investing in that level of thing. And so you’re better off to say, well, what do you need to do to get there? Sometimes that’s basics like radios, binoculars, and hydration packs.Smizik: You have to have a basic foundation of minimal sort of infrastructure.Schmidt:  Right. And then from there, you can sort out the [technology]. If it does look like that the basics are there, then you can come up with an appropriate technology mix. And you can compensate for things like no connectivity if you have a lot of money to put up your own towers and that sort of thing. Those become options once they’ve got at least some level of response capability.Screenshots from the wpsWatch app show how the camera traps assist reserve managers with monitoring locations and activity of staff and possible intruders (exact camera locations hidden).  The photo on the left shows employees passing a way point within a nature reserve. The photo on the right shows activity at a gate, as part of that reserve’s effort to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic. Image credits: wpsWatch Article published by Sue Palmintericenter_img FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Meet the winners of Mongabay’s best intern articles awards

first_imgHosting over 50 interns to date, Mongabay’s Environmental Journalism Internship program has gained and nurtured many talented writers from around the world.To highlight and reward our interns’ outstanding work, we have offered another end-of-the-year article award.Mongabay will start accepting applications for the upcoming six-month summer term in April 2018. Hosting over 50 interns to date, Mongabay’s Environmental Journalism Internship program has gained and nurtured many talented writers from around the world. The program offers unique sessions to meet with editors, cover fascinating stories and talk to the leading scientists in the field, all within a flexible working environment. Over the past six years, our interns have made an invaluable contribution to the cause of environmental journalism through their hundreds of published articles.“The internship went over a long enough period that I really felt myself grow as a journalist, researcher and writer,” says Shayna Wilson, a former intern. “It taught me valuable skills that helped me find work afterwards — communication, organization and deadline management, just to name a few. I cannot reiterate enough how much I appreciated this opportunity!”“It provides a rare and unique opportunity for early career and environmental enthusiasts to personally contribute to publicizing conservation issues,” says Ariel Mark, another former intern. “I believe the internship program is a stepping stone for many young recent graduates finding their way along on the career path.”To highlight and reward our interns’ outstanding work, we have offered another end-of-the-year article award. Each intern was invited to submit what they viewed as their most impactful piece, and Mongabay staff members, who did not work on the articles, selected the best pieces from the list.Mongabay is happy to ring in the New Year by announcing the four best intern articles of the year.Top two awards for work in 2017Kayla Walsh took on the difficult story of the vanishing Irrawaddy dolphins that not long ago were known to help local fishermen with their catches in remote Myanmar. Today, the dolphin population is nearly gone, and the fishermen are struggling to survive as the modern world closes in on them. For this complex story of wildlife, people and governments, Walsh worked with a local reporter to secure interviews with the fishermen on the front line as they try to find an way out through ecotourism.Jack Elliot Marley wrote a piece on the news that Bangladesh was expanding its wildlife sanctuary in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest. While the story could have ended there, Marley looked deeper into how the expanded protected area would crowd out the already vulnerable communities who depend on the Sundarbans for their livelihoods. Looming over all of this is a plan by the government to build coal-fired power plants on the edge of the Sundarbans, which activists and conservationists argue will destroy the already imperiled ecosystem, rendering the protected area little more than a paper park.Runner-up awards for work prior to 2017Christina Selby wrote an easily digestible article about an incredibly complex scientific finding with global implications: how trees, even those of different species, share their carbon. Her reporting won our historical intern article prize.The other past intern honored for her work is now a Mongabay contributor. Claire Salisbury also tackled a notoriously complex science story — ocean acidification — with distinguished finesse.Thank you to all the interns who submitted entries for this award and to everyone who has been a part of Mongabay’s internship program. Mongabay will start accepting applications for the upcoming six-month summer term in April 2018. Environmental Journalism, Interns Article published by Maria Salazarcenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Norsk Hydro accused of Amazon toxic spill, admits ‘clandestine pipeline’

first_imgNorsk Hydro’s Alunorte aluminum refining facility in Barcarena municipality, Pará state, has been accused by Brazilian authorities of contaminating the local waters of several communities with toxic waste that overflowed earlier this month from a holding basin.The firm denied the allegation, but has agreed to provide water to local residents, and is investigating.The government also accused the company of having a “clandestine pipeline to discharge untreated effluent,” an allegation that the Norwegian state firm has since admitted to being true.Officials have yet to determine the full cause, scope or consequence of the spill, while locals complain that this isn’t the first time. According to IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, Norsk Hydro has not paid fines set at R $17 million to date (US $5.27 million), after a toxic overflow in 2009 put the local Barcarena population at risk. Flooding at the Norske Hydro Alunorte facility following heavy rains in February. Photo by Instituo Evandro ChagasNorsk Hydro, a bauxite and aluminum mining and refining company also known as “Hydro” whose majority and controlling shareholder is the Norwegian government, has been accused by the Brazilian government of a toxic waste spill from holding basins at its Hydro Alunorte facility. The operation, located in Barcarena municipality, Pará state, near the mouth of the Amazon River, is the largest aluminum refining plant in the world. The company denies responsibility for any spill, but says it is cooperating fully with officials.Also last week, Norsk Hydro was accused of possessing a “clandestine pipeline to discharge untreated effluent” into a set of Muripi River Springs in a report by the Evandro Chagas Institute of Brazil’s Ministry of Health. The Norwegian mining giant at first denied this accusation, then admitted to it.“During one of the inspections, there was a pipeline with a small flow of reddish water in the refinery area,” the company says. “As requested by the authorities, the company is making the necessary investigations to identify the origin and nature of the material, as well as carrying out the immediate sealing of this pipeline.”The Norske Hydro Alunorte facility tailings basin that Brazilian officials say overflowed. Photo by Amazonia Real found on TwitterNorsk Hydro spill under investigationMajor storms on February 16 and 17 allegedly caused Norsk Hydro’s toxic holding basin to overflow, resulting in contamination of water used by Bom Futuro and several other nearby villages. Locals worry the accident could be similar to Brazil’s worst mining disaster ever, the Mariana spill on the Doces River in 2015.High levels of lead, aluminum, sodium and other toxins have been detected in drinking water up to two kilometers away from the Norsk Hydro property, according to the Ministry of Health. The pH recorded in the waters was 10, extremely alkaline, likely due to caustic soda used to process bauxite, the raw material for making aluminum.Pará State Attorney General Ricardo Negrini said in a Friday news conference there is “no doubt” a spill has occurred, but there is no data yet regarding the incident’s cause, size, or consequence.After initial complaints were made by community residents about the spill, Hydro sent a note to its customers describing the episode as “rumor,” stating that “there were no leaks or ruptures” in the waste holding basin.A satellite view of the Norske Hydro Alunorte facility as seen from space. Satellite image from Google Maps.The company also denied the spill on its website Sunday, saying that, “Internal and external inspections have not found proof of overflow and leakage from the bauxite residue deposits at Hydro Alunorte,” and that “The water has been collected, channeled and treated in the industrial effluent treatment station as normal.”However, the company told BBC Brazil “it is committed to correct any problem that may have been caused by its operation,” adding that “Hydro Alunorte informs that it is immediately providing potable water to the communities of Vila Nova and Bom Futuro, with the support of Civil Defense. The company undertakes to collaborate with the communities where the samples were collected by the Evandro Chagas Institute, to find permanent access solutions to drinking water, together with stakeholders.” The firm also said it would launch a task force to investigate.According to a health expert, “The [local] population uses these waters [near the storage basins] for recreation, consumption and capture of fish,” so that proximity could lead to contamination of soils and bio-accumulation. Results of tests for toxins done on hair and skin of those living near the spill won’t be available for several weeks.Asked about the clandestine pipeline described by the health ministry report and its denial of the spill, the company said it is waiting to receive an official report before commenting further.The Norwegian government stated that it would not be able to respond to questions submitted by Mongabay in a timely manner for this story.A view of the flooding around the Norske Hydro Alunorte operation in Barcarena municipality, Pará state, Brazil, during February 2018. Photo by Instituo Evandro ChagasBrazil responds to the spillLast Friday, the independent prosecutors of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and Pará state sent Norsk Hydro a document requesting immediate closure of the Norsk Hydro holding basin. According to the agencies, there is a risk of a breach of the waste pond, which has raised fears of a tragedy similar to that of Mariana in 2015, when a toxic mud wave buried the village of Bento Rodrigues and spread down the Doce River for 500 miles to the Atlantic Ocean.However, Luiz Jardim, a geographer and State University of Rio de Janeiro professor, told BBC Brazil that the dams at Mariana and Barcarena “have different natures,” with the Norsk Hydro holding basin presenting less of a threat. “In Mariana, the dam [was] much higher,” he said. But the slope is much less “in the Amazon, where there is a fluvial plain, so the force of the rupture, if it occurs, will be smaller. Barcarena [municipality does, however have the] potential for contamination by tailings.”In June of last year, BBC Brazil revealed that Hydro was the target of a series of denunciations by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) of Pará, as well as almost 2,000 lawsuits for contamination of rivers and communities in Barcarena.According to IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, the company has not paid fines set at R $17 million (US $5.27 million) to date, after a toxic overflow in 2009. According to IBAMA, the leak at that time put the local Barcarena population at risk and generated “significant destruction of biodiversity.”Memories of this previous trauma may have augmented concern expressed by local residents over the new spill. “This is not the first leak,” said Sandra Amorim, a resident of the São João quilombola (made up of former slave runaways), a kilometer from the Norsk Hydro holding basin. Back then, she said, “They first denied it, and after the report they said it had a leak. They promised that they [would] start distributing drinking mineral water and food. That’s not enough for us, we do not want crumbs, we want this situation solved.” She added that there are currently “people with itchy bodies and people getting sick” in the community. There is as yet no official confirmation of contamination of local residents by the Evandro Chagas Institute.The Brazilian Bar Association in Pará (OAB-PA) said that in response to the discovery of the illegal pipeline that they will request the removal of the Secretary of Environment of Pará, Thales Belo, and ask for judicial intervention in the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainability of Pará (SEMAS), the state’s environmental agency. “It caused special indignation [when the health ministry found] a ‘clandestine’ drain, whereby the company, with the acquiescence of SEMAS, drained tailings when the rains intensified,” said OAB-PA.An aerial view of the flooding at the Norske Hydro Alunorte compound. Photo by riotimesonline.com found on TwitterA region benefited and harmed by miningBarcarena, an estuarine region broken up by small rivers and islands, has seen its population grow at a rate three times faster than the rest of Brazil over the last 40 years, thanks to jobs generated by mining companies. But the province has experienced disorderly growth as it has become a major exporter of mineral commodities (bauxite, aluminum and kaolin), soy and cattle.“The history of environmental accidents in Barcarena is impressive, an average of one per year,” Attorney General Bruno Valente, who signed a public civil action filed in 2016, told the BBC last June. “Sludge overflow from Hydro’s tailings basin affected a number of communities in 2009, and to date there has never been a compensation or fine payment,” he said.Norwegian mining and processing companies are major producers of the world’s aluminum. The Norwegian government gained international headlines last year by publicly criticizing Brazil’s rising Amazon deforestation rate during a state visit by Brazilian President Michel Temer to Norway. In December, the Scandinavian country reduced by 60 percent to $42 million its annual contribution to Brazil after another annual rise in forest destruction.Some question whether the Norwegian government is acting fairly by causing environmental degradation in Brazil via its mining operations while simultaneously withholding funding due to its criticism of increased deforestation under the Temer government.Max Nathanson is a graduate student in the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development and a freelance photojournalist. See his work at maxnathanson.com and follow him on Twitter @TheMaxNathanson.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Glenn Scherer Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Mining, Amazon People, Chemicals, Controversial, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corruption, Dams, Disasters, Environment, Environmental Crime, environmental justice, Environmental Law, Featured, Flooding, Green, Infrastructure, Law, Mining, Monitoring, Pollution, Rainforest Mining, Rivers, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Water Pollution last_img read more

In eastern Indonesia, a forest tribe pushes back against miners and loggers

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Deforestation, Environment, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Indonesia, Mining, Palm Oil, Plantations, Poaching, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Transmigration, Tropical Forests Banner image: Screenshot of community members featured in the video by Indonesia Nature Film Society/Youtube. The Forest Tobelo, an indigenous tribe in Indonesia’s North Maluku province, faces constant threat from illegal loggers and the expansion of mining leases.More than one third of the province’s total area has been allocated for mining leases.The community has chosen to fight back by drawing up its own maps of the land to which it has long laid claim, and by reporting illegal incursions into its forests. HALMAHERA, Indonesia — Deep in the lush rainforests of Halmahera Island, in the far-flung eastern reaches of Indonesia, lives an indigenous tribe whose way of life is so intricately tied to the environment that it calls itself simply O’Hangana Manyawa — the people who live in the forest.Known to outsiders as the Forest Tobelo people, the tribe believes the forests are home to its ancestors, and must therefore never be destroyed. This is reflected in their semi-nomadic lifestyle, in which they follow the seasons and the animals, hunting and gathering in one area before moving on.They live in an area that measures just 265 square kilometers (102 square miles), according to the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), the main advocacy group for Indonesia’s indigenous tribes, but that area is fast dwindling. In the 1980s, parts of their forest were earmarked for the government’s transmigration program, under which people from densely populated islands, particularly Java, were moved to less populous areas of the country, including North Maluku province, of which Halmahera is a part.“Our community forests are being cut down for the transmigration program,” says Madiki, the leader of the Forest Tobelo. “When the government wanted to launch the transmigration program here, they never consulted with us.”The Forest Tobelo were displaced from their areas, and with no legal recognition of their claims to the land, those who remained have had to face various threats, including illegal logging in their ancestral forest areas.In one particular area, outsiders enter the forest and cut down the trees there, selling them for at least 1 million rupiah per cubic meter, or about $2 per cubic foot.“If we estimate that there are 10 cubic meters, in three to four days around 10 million to 15 million rupiah [$727 to $1,090] is taken from the indigenous land,” Albert Ngingi, an activist from AMAN, said in 2015. “This has been going on for nearly one year. The timber trees that the community plants in their fields are logged.”A bigger threat comes from industrial expansion. At least two mining companies, PT Roda Nusantara and PT Indo Bumi Nikel, operate in the Forest Tobelo’s ancestral land, according to Munadi Kilkoda from the North Maluku chapter of AMAN. PT Roda Nusantara occupies 695 hectares (1,717 acres) of the Forest Tobelo’s area, while PT Indo Bumi Nikel’s concession overlaps with 11 hectares (27 acres) of the ancestral forest.“Maybe right now the destruction of forests and environmental degradation can’t be seen yet,” Munadi says. “But in the future, it’s a guarantee that the rivers that are still clean now and used by the Forest Tobelo people will be contaminated by mining activity.”The threat of industrial expansion extends beyond the Forest Tobelo’s territory. More than a third of North Maluku’s total area of nearly 32,000 square kilometers (12,350 square miles) has been allocated for mining leases. In Halmahera alone, there are 335 mining leases, as well as four oil palm leases and hundreds of timber concessions.“The threat is real,” Munadi says. “Many areas are degraded from the extractive activities of mining companies through government-issued licenses.”And deforestation is picking up in North Maluku. A recent report by environmental watchdog Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) shows that the province lost 520 square kilometers (200 square miles) of forests per year between 2013 and 2016, double the annual rate from 2009 to 2013.Previously neglected regions of eastern Indonesia, such as North Maluku with its relatively large tracts of intact rainforest, are increasingly prone to deforestation as developers look beyond the fast-depleting landscapes of Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo, according to FWI campaigner Agung Ady Setyawan.“This is a warning for us because intact rainforests in east Indonesia are under threat, seeing how there’s a significant increase in the deforestation rate and investment permits that are being issued in areas with large rainforests,” he said in a press statement.A member of the Forest Tobelo indigenous group in North Maluku, Indonesia. Photo by Muhammad Ector Prasetyo/Flickr.In a bid to stake its claim to the forest, the community is fighting back through participatory mapping, a process that acknowledges most indigenous groups’ lack of formal title to the land.When developers submit proposals for a piece of land, they come prepared with maps, something that local communities typically don’t have even if their presence there pre-dates the establishment of the Indonesian republic. To address this, groups like the Forest Tobelo are meticulously researching their history, carrying out surveys and sketching out, in a participatory process, what they believe to be the boundaries of their land. These maps are then submitted for collective approval by the community.AMAN has also developed a monitoring system through which the Forest Tobelo can send text messages to report any illegal activities that threaten them.“We hope that this reporting system will allow the community to directly pass on information about those involved in and supporting these activities, and the type of illegal activities occurring,” Albert said.Armed with the participatory maps and the monitoring system, the Forest Tobelo hope they can defend their right to live in the forests they have called their own for generations.“I will protect the trees and land, because these are our parents’ heritage,” says a member of the Forest Tobelo. “If the land and forest are gone, what else will I have? My children and grandchildren will suffer. I must protect them.”center_img Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong This article is a narrative recap from a video made by the “If Not Us then Who?” project.last_img read more

Amazon forest to savannah tipping point could be far closer than thought (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer In the 1970s, scientists recognized that the Amazon makes half of its own rainfall via evaporation and transpiration from vegetation. Researchers also recognized that escalating deforestation would reduce this rainfall producing effect.A 2007 study estimated that with 40 percent Amazon deforestation a tipping point could be reached, with large swathes of Amazonia switching from forest to savannah. Two newly considered factors in a 2016 study – climate change and fires – have now reduced that estimated tipping point to 20-25 percent. Current deforestation is at 17 percent, with an unknown amount of degraded forest adding less moisture.There is good reason to think that this Amazon forest to savannah tipping point is close at hand. Historically unprecedented droughts in 2005, 2010 and 2015 would seem to be the first flickers of such change.Noted Amazon scientists Tom Lovejoy and Carlos Nobre argue that it is critical to build in a margin of safety by keeping Amazon deforestation below 20 percent. To avoid this tipping point, Brazil needs to strongly control deforestation, and combine that effort with reforestation. This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. The Amazon cloud factory. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / MongabayIn Brazil during the 1970s, when the first deforestation was spreading along the route of the Belém-Brasília highway, the Amazon forest seemed endless and eternal. It was mostly a place of resource extraction – rubber, Brazil nuts and more – and a place for science.In the middle of that decade, Brazilian Scientist Eneas Salati published some extraordinary results. By analyzing isotopic ratios of oxygen in rainwater collected from the estuary all the way to the Peruvian border, he was able to demonstrate unequivocally that the Amazon makes half of its own rainfall. The moisture recycles five to six times as the air mass moves from the Atlantic until reaching the Andes. There the uplift caused major rainfall, creating the greatest river system on Earth, holding 20 percent of all river water globally.These were paradigm shattering results. Hitherto the unquestionable dogma was that vegetation is simply the consequence of climate and that it had no influence on climate whatsoever. But that influence is actually visible when plumes of moisture rise from the forest after a rainstorm. It is the consequence of evaporation off the complex surfaces of the forest as well as the transpiration of the trees themselves. Moisture rising from the forest contributes more importantly in the central and eastern Amazon because large-scale factors for formation of rainfall are weaker there.Those results almost immediately raised the question of how much deforestation could cause this hydrological cycle to degrade to the point – a tipping point – where there would be dieback of the forest in the south and southeast and replacement by a somewhat degraded savannah vegetation. It is something we have talked about over the ensuing years and which was addressed by modeling from Nobre’s group in 2007. The conclusion was that the tipping point would be at approximately 40 percent deforestation.A newly cleared section of Amazon forest. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / MongabayMoisture from the Amazon actually contributes in important ways to rainfall, ecology and human wellbeing south of the Amazon itself (contributing winter rainfall in the La Plata basin, even south to southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and central-eastern Argentina).The importance for Brazilian agriculture (extant and aspired to) is complex but still significant. Evapotranspiration from pastures is relatively trivial compared to that produced by forests. That being true, a longer dry season seems to be in the offing from deforestation.The above would be important in itself, but today Amazon deforestation also interacts with climate change and widespread use of fire. The latter is known to desiccate adjacent forest, making it tinder for major wildfires the following year. So it becomes sensible to reevaluate the tipping point to include those two other factors.We believe that with the addition of those two factors the tipping point is much closer – in the vicinity of 20-25 percent deforestation. Past that point, the east, south and central Amazon could flip from forest to non-forest ecosystems. Nobre’s modeling group made some calculations in 2016 that considered the synergistic effect of deforestation, climate change, increased forest fires and also the so-called ‘CO2-fertilization’ effect of increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2, assumed to be positive for vegetation. Their results fully support this conclusion.Evapotranspiration from Amazon cattle pastures is relatively trivial compared to that produced by forests. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / MongabayThere is a good reason to think that the tipping point is close at hand. Historically unprecedented droughts (2005, 2010 and 2015) would seem to be first flickers of such change. Indeed, there is a suite of changes such as warmer temperatures over the tropical North Atlantic associated with changes in the land. And severe floods in 2009 and 2012 (and in Southwest Amazonia in 2014) suggest the Amazon system is oscillating.So what would be the sensible way forward? Clearly there is no sense in the least in discovering the tipping point by tipping it. We believe it is critical to build a margin of safety by reducing the deforested area to less than 20 percent. The current official figure for Brazil is 17 percent but some of the remaining forest is degraded and thus contributing less moisture. So strongly controlling deforestation, and combining that with reforestation, is the sensible course.Brazil committed in Paris 2015 to 12 million hectares of reforestation by 2030 and to significantly curbing deforestation. That commitment should be re-examined to make sure that the nation can also contribute to avoiding the tipping point for the benefit of Brazil and adjacent South America.Scientifically Brazil has contributed centrally to our understanding of this environmental challenge. It should also contribute with concomitant action.The tipping point conversion of a large portion of the Amazon from forest to savannah would have a devastating impact on the region’s biodiversity. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe loss of large swathes of Amazon forest would also heavily impact the lives and livelihoods of indigenous and traditional people. Photo by Rhett A. Butler . MongabayCitation:Nobre et al., 2016. The Fate of the Amazon Forests: Land-use and climate change risks and the need of a novel sustainable development paradigm. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10/1073/pnas.1605516113.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Thomas Lovejoy is an ecologist who has worked in the Amazon since 1965. He is University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University.Carlos Nobre is an Earth System scientist from Brazil, with expertise on biosphere-atmosphere interaction in the Amazon. He is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and a Senior Fellow of World Resources Institute-Brazil. Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Soy, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Sequestration, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extreme Weather, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Change Policy, Climate Change Politics, Climate Modeling, Climate Science, Commentary, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Drought, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forest Carbon, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Fires, Forest Fragmentation, Forest Loss, Forests, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Green, Impact Of Climate Change, Industrial Agriculture, Land Use Change, Law, Megafires, Mining, Pasture, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Ranching, Regulations, Research, Saving The Amazon, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation, wildfires center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more