Logging in Malaysia’s Ulu Muda forest threatens wildlife and water supplies

first_imgCamera-trap image of a wild elephant. Courtesy of the Ulu Muda Field Research Center. Wild elephant in Ulu Muda. Photo courtesy of Ulu Muda Field Research Center. Article published by Isabel Esterman Wild elephants in Ulu Muda. Photo courtesy of Ulu Muda Field Research Center. Camera-trap image of a wild elephant and calf. Courtesy of the Ulu Muda Field The Ulu Muda forest is the primary source of water for four million Malaysians, as well as for industry and agriculture.The forest is also home to a huge diversity of species, including the Asian elephant, Malayan tapir, sambar deer and clouded and spotted leopards.Although the federal government imposed a ban on logging in the reserve in 2003, local authorities have allowed commercial logging to increase over the past decade. Logs on the back of a track leaving Ulu Muda. Photo by Kate Mayberry for Mongabay.ULU MUDA, Malaysia — On a dusty roadside in northwestern Malaysia, the drivers of three trucks laden with logs are lounging beneath an open-sided hut while they wait for officials to clear their cargo. Moments later another lorry pulls over, its load balanced precariously on top of the trailer and a red flag fluttering at the rear to warn other road users about the potentially dangerous cargo.Loggers are back in business in Ulu Muda, a protected forest that covers an area twice the size of Singapore along Malaysia’s border with Thailand, and is the main source of water to some four million people in the country’s three northern states.“The extraction process is extremely destructive,” said Phang Fatt Khow, the secretary of the Kedah branch of the Malaysian Nature Society and a former agricultural official. “They use a lot of bulldozers and they have to use a lot of timber trucks. That’s even worse than the tree removal itself. The area shouldn’t be logged at all.”Hymeir Kamarudin, who first visited Ulu Muda more than two decades ago, knows all about the damage caused by logging. The avid caver and limestone expert used to work for WWF-Malaysia in the neighboring state of Perlis, and now operates Ulu Muda Field Research Center, a 90-minute journey across the Muda Lake and up the Muda River into a rainforest thought to be as many as 170 million years old.Crossing Ulu Muda lake. Photo by Kate Mayberry for Mongabay.Over the years, he’s seen how the expanding industry has turned the water a milky brown as rain washes the soil from the logged hillsides into the river. The sedimentation means that where once it was possible to make the journey to the camp on a boat with a regular outboard engine, only those with a long-tail motor can do so today. During the dry season, parts of the river are so shallow that visitors have to get out and maneuver the boat over the sand banks.“Most of (the logging) is being legally done,” Hymeir said. “But although it’s legal it doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. The decision-makers in Kedah (the state where Ulu Muda is located) are not looking at the bigger picture: the conservation value of this place and the water catchment.”The north-western states are Malaysia’s rice bowl. From Kedah’s state capital of Alor Setar, tens of thousands of hectares of emerald green paddy fields stretch out across the coastal plains towards the hills, producing 40 percent of the rice grown in Malaysia each year. Successful rice cultivation generally demands plenty of water so in 1966 work began on an irrigation system that would ensure the rice farmers had enough to support not only one harvest a year, but two. With the support of the World Bank, the Pedu and Muda dams were built and the once forested valleys flooded. A further dam – Ahning – was completed in the 1980s.Although the construction provided opportunities for logging in the forest, it was mostly left alone. But over the past two decades, commercial logging has expanded despite a Federal government ban that was imposed in the reserve in 2003 after a proposal to start helicopter logging triggered public anger.Ulu Muda is located near Peninsular Malaysia’s border with Thailand. Data from forest monitoring platform Global Forest Watch shows the extent of forest loss in the area from 2000-2013.The politics of loggingPoliticians from rival parties have backed logging, which started in earnest after PAS, the Islamic party, took control of the state government in the 2008 elections. PAS officials claimed it was the only way the state could raise funds, but even when a new party took power in 2013, the practice continued. Politicians said they needed to honor the licenses that had already been given out.Last December, environmentalists noticed an old logging road, not far from the Muda Dam and clearly visible from the lake, had been reopened raising concern not only about the effect on water quality so close to the lake’s shore, but also potential access for poachers and hunters.Satellite imagery shows the progression of a road south of Muda Lake in since 2016.Data from Global Forest Watch indicates that the logging road (marked with red arrows) intrudes on previously intact forest landscapes.The logging track can be seen from Muda Lake. Photo by Kate Mayberry for Mongabay.Earlier this year, a local newspaper discovered new tracks in the southern part of Ulu Muda with high-quality wood – Meranti, Merbau and Cengal – piled up in camps ready to be transported to the timber mills. At one site, they found a signboard that indicated the state itself was the license owner.Despite rising anger from NGOs and the state of Penang, which accused Kedah of “gambling” with the water supply by continuing to log, local authorities insist there has been no effect on water quality. Chief minister Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, who has responsibility for logging and land issues, declined Mongabay’s request for an interview.“It’s a human problem,” said Zakaria Kamantasha, a former Army captain who comes from a family of paddy farmers and runs Sri Lovely, an organic rice farm about half an hour’s drive from the Muda Dam. “It’s humans who create nature’s problems.”Sri Lovely’s rice paddies are spread out over a ten-hectare site in a valley of forested hills, surrounded by thatched huts of bamboo; home to the volunteers who spend their days tending the crop alongside workers from the surrounding villages. Water comes from the stream that runs through the site, although adaptations to traditional techniques mean they need about 60 percent less than other farmers.The stream near Sri Lovely. Photo by Kate Mayberry.Two months ago, floods triggered by heavy rain washed mud and sand downstream, swamping Sri Lovely’s rice fields and destroying the crop. The villagers further down the valley, who rely on the river for their daily needs, complain that their water is no longer as clean as it once was.“You can see the sand in the river and after it rains the water’s the color of ‘Milo’ (a chocolate milk drink),” Zakaria said, the farm’s free range chickens pecking at the soil as he spoke. “I don’t know why they don’t care for the people in this area. They are just looking at the short term and not about the future. This land we borrow from our grandchildren. We must take care of it.”“Reserved for logging?”Ulu Muda is a combination of lowland dipterocarp, hill dipterocarp and upper hill dipterocarp that includes virgin jungle as well as previously logged areas (secondary forest), and is divided into seven “Permanent Reserved Forests,” which come under the country’s forestry laws. Designation as a PRF does not mean the jungle will be preserved untouched. The majority of the PRF in the area is earmarked for timber production with slightly below a third for water catchment and the rest for research, education and recreation, according a WWF-Malaysia report assessing the Ulu Muda water catchment in 2009.“The area is classified as a forest reserve, but the protection is not strong enough,” said MNS’ Phang. “Reserved for what?” he asks. “Reserved for logging?”Legal logging at Ulu Muda takes place under the Malaysian Timber Certification System (MTCS), which is supposed to protect the ecology of the country’s forests and ensure the timber business is sustainable. Much of Malaysia’s timber is exported overseas to countries including the UK, Switzerland and France, where such sustainability certification is crucial.Satellite images from Planet Labs show a proliferation of logging tracks in the south of the reserve.Close-up of the areas where logging spindles can be observed, indicating the tracks extend into previously intact forest landscapes.At the beginning of this year, the Netherlands also recognized Malaysia’s timber certification for use in public procurement projects. But Eric Wakker, director of Dutch NGO Aidenvironment, harbors serious doubts the industry’s sustainability.Examining audit reports, maps and satellite imagery for a report (pdf) on Kedah forestry last year he found logging in the state was “highly dependent” on primary forest, that there had been “recent, heavy logging” in water catchment forests, as well as land clearing and logging at elevations above 1,000 meters.“The evidence is overwhelming that they are logging it,” Wakker said. “There’s nothing sustainable about it. It’s outrageous that Western governments have endorsed this practice of ‘sustainability.’” Wakker plans to take his campaign back to the Dutch parliament. “(The issue) is not closed,” he insisted.Ulu Muda forest. Photo by Kate Mayberry for Mongabay.A haven for mammals and birdsUlu Muda was first proposed as a wildlife reserve in 1968, by an ecologist named W.E. Stevens, and the suggestion was included in the Third Malaysia Plan (Malaysia’s government uses these plans to map out its development strategy) of 1976 – 1980. Recognition of Ulu Muda’s conservation value also came in the National Physical Plan, which designated the region as an Environmentally Sensitive Area Rank 1, and noted its importance to the Central Forest Spine, the jungles including the main national park that run from north to south along the country’s main mountain range.The area is home to a huge diversity of species from the Asian elephant to the Malayan tapir and birdlife such as the globally-threatened plain-pouched hornbill, which takes to the skies in formation at dusk. In July last year, volunteers counted an astonishing 1,720 birds in a single evening. Along with neighboring Belum-Temenggor, it is one of the only places in Malaysia where all ten species of hornbills can be found. Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Featured, Forests, Global Forest Watch, Infrastructure, Logging, Old Growth Forests, Primary Forests, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Wildlife 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 1234 read more

Few answers for Indonesians who wonder what chemicals are dumped in their water

first_imgFEEDBACK: 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. Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Freedom of Information, Law Enforcement, Pollution, Rivers, Transparency, Tropical Rivers, Water, Water Pollution 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 mongabayauthorcenter_img Banner image: Agricultural workers in western Java depend on the local Ciujung River, which is polluted. Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law. A new report from the World Resources Institute details a three-year investigation into how accessible information about pollution in local waterways is to residents in Indonesia, Thailand and Mongolia.While the Indonesian government has established laws to protect the right to information, enforcement is weak and both residents and government officials are confused about how to get and provide needed information about water.The WRI believes Indonesia is capable of providing the needed information to residents and is working toward doing so. Indonesia has robust laws meant to ensure communities can easily obtain information about pollutants in their water. But in practice, the right to information is impeded at every turn. “Without information, you are not able to participate in decisionmaking or understand whether your water is clean,” Carole Excell of the World Resources Institute (WRI) said in an interview. The WRI released a report on Aug. 30 about transparency and the struggle for clean water in Indonesia, Mongolia and Thailand. Excell presented the report’s findings during the ongoing World Water Week conference in Stockholm, which brings together experts and officials from around the globe.The report found that many Indonesians don’t know whether their water is safe for irrigation, bathing or drinking. They don’t know what chemicals companies are dumping in their water, or the health effects of those chemicals. The WRI, a Washington-based thinktank, worked with local organizations and residents to obtain information about their water that should be readily available by law. Some of that information is supposed to be proactively provided to communities by the government; some of it should be available through formal information requests. Yet more than half of the requests for information were met with what the WRI calls “mute refusal” — that is, no response. In many cases when there was a response, government officials didn’t know how to find the information requested and had to ask residents for the specific names of the documents they wanted. The information provided was often too technical to be of practical use to regular citizens. Much of the proactively released information resided in official publications or websites, not in local forums more accessible to communities. Accessing information under these conditions is especially difficult for communities where education levels are low.Fishing boats along the Ciujung River in western Java, where the World Resources Institute has been working with residents to obtain more information about industrial pollutants in their water as a step toward protecting their right to clean water. Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law.Rapid industrialization in Indonesia has added to the water pollution already rampant due to untreated domestic wastewater entering waterways. In 2012, the Water Environmental Partnership in Asia (WEPA) reported that 75 percent of the country’s rivers are classified as polluted. Water use doubled in Indonesia from 2000 to 2015, according to the WEPA, which noted in the report: “The country is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions with the decreasing availability of clean water resulting from environmental degradation and pollution.” The Ciujung River in western Java rapidly became polluted in the 1990s when pulp and paper mills, as well as other companies, began discharging into it. Anton, a local resident, told the WRI: “We’re still taking a bath and washing our clothes there. It makes my skin itch.”Another resident, H. Maftoh, contrasted the current state of the Ciujung with a time before major industrial development: “Back then we could harvest a large amount of shrimp. It could reach a quintal [100 kilograms]. Now we can only harvest around a kilo.”The river turned black for six months in 2015, inciting community protests calling on the government to clean it up. Despite these challenges, the WRI report expresses hope that Indonesia can make the needed changes. It compares the situation in Indonesia to that in Thailand, where the WRI found information was more readily available: “The fact that Thailand passed its RTI [right-to-information] law in 1997 — over a decade before Indonesia and Mongolia — may indicate that information request response rates can improve over time as government officials develop the knowledge and capacity to implement the law, while at the same time the public’s knowledge of the law deepens.”Excell said the WRI brought officials from Indonesia to the United States to see how information about local waterways is effectively reported there. She said the officials were interested in making improvements.“I do believe that they would be able to do it, they have the capacity to do it — it would be a re-prioritization of how they currently release information,” Excell said.Indonesians want information specific to their local waterways, and to the facilities discharging waste into those waterways. This is what officials should prioritize, Excell said, as they work to improve transparency.last_img read more

Environmental policy under the Kuczynski Administration: Steps forward for conservation efforts in Peru (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Many national and foreign initiatives exist to curb deforestation in Peru; these range from the implementation of sustainable management plans to the purchase of carbon credits. Still, domestic environmental policy remains a key factor in preserving biodiversity.The election of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in June 2016 held the potential for an improved approach towards environmental conservation.While it is still too early to determine Kuczynski’s environmental legacy, a recent series of events suggest that Peru is trying to find a balance between its need for development and the protection of its biodiversity.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Peru’s megadiversity has placed the country under an international spotlight, as its many ecosystems have become a global conservation priority. However, Peru has suffered from high deforestation rates in recent years, largely due to the expansion of small-scale agriculture.According to an official MAAP report, Peru lost approximately 4.5 million acres of Amazonian forest between 2001 and 2015. The size of this area is larger than the state of Connecticut.Many national and foreign initiatives exist to curb deforestation in Peru; these range from the implementation of sustainable management plans to the purchase of carbon credits. Still, domestic environmental policy remains a key factor in preserving biodiversity. The election of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in June 2016 held the potential for an improved approach towards environmental conservation.While it is still too early to determine Kuczynski’s environmental legacy, a recent series of events suggest that Peru is trying to find a balance between its need for development and the protection of its biodiversity. The following initiatives demonstrate the advances and challenges that the current administration faces in relation to this process.Programa Bosques and Geo Bosques: Efforts to control deforestation and encourage sustainable land useFirst proposed at the 2008 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP14), the National Forest Conservation Program, known as Programa Bosques, has proven to be a successful conservation initiative under the Peruvian Ministry of Environment. The program aims to preserve 54 million hectares (more than 133 million acres) of tropical forest in an effort to mitigate climate change and promote sustainable development. This includes supporting sustainable forest use to increase income in local communities, mapping both forested and deforested areas, and building local and regional capacity for improved conservation. In an approach similar to the REDD+ initiative, this program makes payments to Amazonian indigenous communities to encourage forest protection.Many indigenous communities in Peru serve as custodians of the forest, benefiting from conservation programs such as Programa Bosques. Photo Credit: Enrique Ortiz.In August, the Kuczynski administration announced the expansion of Programa Bosques, which would grant an additional $3.7 million to its budget. This increase in funding will allow the program to work with over 100 additional communities over the remainder of the year and will protect another three million acres of forest. The program has preserved a total of 1.7 million acres to date, which is helping meet the goals of the initiative and the government’s commitment to achieving zero-net deforestation by 2021.Coupled with this initiative, the current government has also promoted the use of Geo Bosques (Geo Forests), a free satellite monitoring tool created under the administration of former President Ollanta Humala. Its purpose is to improve public management of lands by allowing anyone to track forest cover and loss in the Peruvian Amazon through online reports. Users have the ability to monitor individual regions, provinces, or districts. Those interested can also sign up for cellphone alerts, which warn users of encroaching deforestation; new data is available every week, providing timely information. This initiative aims to empower the public through its distribution of information, as local stakeholders and communities have proven to be effective tools against the spread of deforestation.In defense of biodiversity: Illegal mining crackdownsHome to the Tambopata National Reserve, the Amazonian region of Madre de Dios in southeastern Peru is known for being one of the most biodiverse parts of the country. However, its gold deposits and lack of law enforcement presence make it a primary target for illegal mining. Whereas corporate mining companies tend to focus on concentrated areas with gold deposits, illegal miners often sift through vast amounts of territory in a short matter of time. This, along with illegal miners’ use of mercury to extract gold, makes them a serious environmental threat.Illegal mining camps along the Madre de Dios river. Photo Credit: Enrique OrtizAlthough efforts to stop illegal mining within Tambopata Reserve began under Humala, the Kuczynski administration has continued to support this work. A June MAAP report found that deforestation due to illegal mining peaked in March and August of 2016 and then significantly decreased that September after a series of government-led raids. As a result, Peru’s National Protected Area Service (SERNANP) has concluded that 90 percent of the reserve is now free of illegal mining, an important victory for conservation efforts in Peru.However, the fight is not over. Between September 2016 and May 2017, illegal mining in the reserve buffer zone resulted in the deforestation of 1,135 acres of land. Since 2012, the buffer zone has lost a total of 10,970 acres, according to MAAP report #60. This is approximately the size of 11,000 soccer fields. However, the Kuczynski administration has continued to monitor this area, seizing 104 illegal mining operations in July followed by another interdiction this October.Protected Area Creation under the Kuczynski AdministrationThe recent declaration of Tres Cañones Regional Conservation Area in Cusco signifies another step forward for conservation efforts in Peru. As the first protected area created under the Kuczynski administration, Tres Cañones is a clear example of how environmental conservation and economic development are not mutually exclusive. Established in August, the area spans 97,570 acres and is comprised of a series of canyons formed alongside the Gran Apurímac river. Tres Cañones’ natural beauty makes it an ideal tourist destination for adventure seekers, families, and photographers alike.Tres Cañones Regional Conservation Area. Photo Credit: Walter Wust.As a result, Tres Cañones is expected to attract even more tourists to Cusco, a region that hosted over three million visitors this past year. This aligns with Kuczynski’s goal to increase annual tourism in Peru to seven million visitors by 2021.Tourism has become a vital part of Peru’s economy in recent years, comprising 9.7 percent of the country’s GDP in 2014. In comparison, mining and hydrocarbons — highly valued industries in Peru — accounted for 14 percent of the GDP in 2016. The economic power of Peru’s protected area system has the potential to expand even more, as several areas are awaiting government approval, such as Pacifico Tropical in Piura and Vista Alegre Omia in Amazonas. The Yaguas reserve zone, a protected area under a transitory status, is also in the final steps of becoming a national park, as the consultation process with local communities has been finalized. If approved, Yaguas will help protect approximately 2.7 million acres of Amazonian forest.Looking Ahead: The Fate of Conservation in Peru under the Kuczynski AdministrationWhile environmental policy under the Kuczynski administration has produced a number of positive results, a central question remains: Are these efforts enough? As the deforestation rate in Peru this year is likely to be as high as previous years, many would argue that the answer to this question is no.Traveling along the Madre de Dios river. Photo Credit: Enrique Ortiz.The proposed road between Iquitos and Saramiriza is one of the many conservation issues that requires further government analysis. One of Kuczynski’s 2016 campaign promises was to connect Iquitos to markets by road to increase economic activity. Opponents fear that the proposed road would have serious environmental impacts, as it would be constructed through part of Peru’s rainforest. However, many local people support its construction. This dichotomy demonstrates one of the central sustainability challenges in Peru.Despite the obstacles ahead, the Kuczynski administration has an opportunity to reinforce its environmental policy through the creation of protected areas, practice of sustainable development, and added support for enforcement and monitoring programs. If this is achieved, Peru could very well emerge as an environmental leader in the Western Hemisphere and face the COP23 in November with laudable achievements.CITATIONSFiner, Matt. “MAAP Synthesis #2: Patterns and Drivers of Deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon.” MAAP. February 14, 2017. http://maaproject.org/2017/maap-synthesis2/Finer, Matt. “MAAP #60: Gold Mining Increases in Buffer Zone of Tambopata National Reserve.” MAAP. May 24, 217. http://maaproject.org/2017/buffer_tambopata_2017/Haley Wiebel is a communications specialist and Enrique Ortiz is the program director at the Andes Amazon Fund. Amazon Destruction, Amazon Rainforest, Biodiversity, Commentary, Conservation, Deforestation, Editorials, Environment, Environmental Policy, Forests, Researcher Perspective Series, Tropical Forests 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

So long, UNESCO! What does U.S. withdrawal mean for the environment?

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Adaptation To Climate Change, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change Politics, climate policy, Climate Politics, Climate Science, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, conservation players, Controversial, Drinking Water, Earth Science, Ecology, Ecosystems, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Extinction, Featured, Foreign Aid, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Globalization, Green, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Health, Indigenous Cultures, Mangroves, Mining, Oceans, Poverty, Poverty Alleviation, Protected Areas, Public Health, Rainforest Conservation, Sustainability, Water Crisis, Water Scarcity, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Since 2011, the U.S. has refused to pay its agreed to share to UNESCO as a Member Nation who has participated in and benefited from the organization’s scientific, environmental and sustainability programs. Now, President Trump has announced U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO, effective at the end of 2018.Experts say the pullout won’t in fact do any major damage to the organization, with most of the harm done to UNESCO when the U.S. went into arrears starting in 2011, with unpaid dues now totaling roughly $550 million. However, America’s failure to participate could hurt millions of Americans.UNESCO science initiatives are international and deal multilaterally with a variety of environmental issues ranging from basic earth science, climate change, freshwater, oceans, mining, and international interrelationships between indigenous, rural and urban communities.Among the most famous of UNESCO science programs are the Man and the Biosphere Programme and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, now including 669 sites in 120 countries, including the United States. Saint Mary Lake and Wildgoose Island, Glacier National Park, USA, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. Photo courtesy of US National Park ServiceThe U.S. is quitting UNESCO, the United Nations organization that coordinates international efforts to foster peace and sustainable development, and to eradicate poverty. The Trump administration made the announcement on 12 October. The withdrawal takes effect December 31, 2018, and the U.S. will remain a full member until then.“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO,” said Heather Nauert, a U.S. State Department spokesperson in a press statement.The U.S. does, however, say it will seek to stay engaged with the organization as a non-member observer state in order to “contribute U.S. views, perspectives and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organization,” including the protection of World Heritage Sites and the promotion of scientific collaboration.Trump isn’t the first U.S. president to have antagonism toward the organization. Although America has played an important role in UNESCO since its creation after World War II, Trump’s predecessors have been quarreling with it since the 1970s.“We were in arrears to the tune of $550 million or so, and so the question is, do we want to pay that money?” Nauert said at a news briefing, making clear that “with this anti-Israel bias that’s long documented on the part of UNESCO, that [U.S. relationship] needs to come to an end.”But what does the Trump Administration’s withdrawal mean for UNESCO environmental programs worldwide? And will the loss of U.S. money matter?A moment of great hope. UNESCO declares 2015 the International Year of Light at the Paris Climate Summit. President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. is withdrawing from the world scientific body has led experts to express distress at the harm the decision will do to the planet’s people, especially Americans. Photo by Athalfred DKL on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-NDUNESCO environmental and science programsThe UN Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization was founded in 1945, and is a catalyst for far-reaching and important environmental and sustainable development initiatives. Today it’s the only UN organization with a clear science mandate, and it works on a broad scope of environmental issues, directing projects from a scientific, cultural, social and educational perspective.UNESCO’s Natural Sciences Sector, headquartered in Paris, has a staff of 120, with 54 field offices around the world, and it hosts major international programs in the freshwater, ecological, earth and basic sciences.Its activities deal with the ecological sciences (Man and the Biosphere Programme and World Network of Biosphere Reserves), water security (International Hydrological Programme and World Water Assessment Programme), and earth sciences (International Geoparks and Geoscience Programme, and disaster risk reduction).Man and the Biosphere (MAB) is one of UNESCO’s best-known programs, with its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). Launched in 1971, MAB seeks to improve relationships between people and their environments by protecting areas nominated by national governments. MAB reserves remain under sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they’re located, but enjoy international recognition.“Biosphere Reserves are learning places for sustainable development whose aim is to reconcile biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources,” read a recent UNESCO press statement when it added 23 new sites to WNBR. The Trump Administration is voluntarily withdrawing 17 sites from the program. However, withdrawal isn’t unusual and other countries including the U.K., Austria, Australia, Norway, Bulgaria, and Sweden have withdrawn MAB sites in the past. Among those being withdrawn by the U.S. currently is the Hubbard Brook, New Hampshire, U.S. Forest Service reserve, where groundbreaking forest ecosystem and climate research has been ongoing for decades.Today WNBR encompasses 669 sites in 120 countries, including 16 transboundary biosphere reserves, covering over 680 million hectares (2.6 million square miles) of inland, coastal and marine areas, and representing all major ecosystem types and diverse development contexts. These areas are home to approximately 207 million people ranging from rural and indigenous communities to urban dwellers.Not only famous for its earth science research, UNESCO launched an international campaign to save the Abu Simbel Temple monuments in Egypt in the 1960s from being flooded by Lake Nasser as it backed up behind the Aswan High Dam. The project drew unprecedented international attention and praise for UNESCO’s protection of the world’s cultural heritage. Photo on VisualHunt.comWater programsThe International Hydrological Programme (IHP) does scientific, educational and capacity building around water issues. IHP promotes an interdisciplinary, integrated approach to watershed and aquifer management, and does international research in the hydrological and freshwater sciences.It also assists UNESCO member states in water security efforts, addressing challenges such as water-related disasters and hydrological changes, groundwater, water scarcity and quality, and ecohydrology – the study of the interrelationships between hydrological and biological processes required to enhance water security and lessen ecological threats.The World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) produces an annual World Water Development Report, a coordinated effort achieved across the UN system and provides a clear picture of the state of the world’s freshwater resources to member nations.Pamukkale, Turkey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its hot springs and enormous white terraces of travertine, a carbonate mineral sediment left by flowing water. Photo on Visualhunt.comEarth science programsUNESCO’s programs in earth sciences support research that informs current challenges such as evidence of global change from the geological record, geoscience of the water cycle, or environmental geodynamics.The Environmental and Health Impacts of Mining Activities in Sub-Saharan African Countries is a good example of how valuable this knowledge can be. This programme in fact does not only aim to understand how the mining activities (and particularly abandoned mines) negatively affect the soils, animals, plants and fungi, surface and groundwater, and the health of neighboring communities. It also experiments with the most appropriate mining rehabilitation technologies, and provides science-based data to governments and local authorities on both land-use planning and technologies to mitigate environmental disaster in contaminated regions.UNESCO Global Geoparks are areas where landscapes and sites of international geological significance are managed via a holistic approach to protection, education and sustainable development. As of today, there are 127 Geoparks in 35 countries, ranging from Vietnam to Brazil.The Organization also supports the meaningful inclusion of local and indigenous knowledge in biodiversity conservation and management, especially climate change assessment and adaptation via the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) has its own membership and a separate chapter in the Organization’s program and budget. IOC is the only body devoted to marine science within the UN system, and the United States has been involved in it since its establishment in 1960, mainly through the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The future of that relationship is uncertain now.The U.S. has played an important role in many IOC programs critical to ocean health and the wellbeing of coastal communities. For instance, the Global Tsunami Warning System that covers four major ocean basins (Pacific, Indian, Caribbean, and Mediterranean/North Eastern Atlantic), or the Harmful Algal Blooms program, which develops research and provides guidance to address “red tides” now threatening a wide range of coastal economic sectors (fishing, tourism, navigation, aquaculture).NOAA and NASA are also pivotal to IOC’s Global Ocean Observing System: the U.S. has in particular been leading the deployment of Argo floats around the globe to enhance measurements of ocean temperature, salinity and currents. The U.S. is a key contributor to observations of sea-level rise, ocean water acidification and a number of other variables to enhance understanding and predict trends and impacts of climate change, El Niño, and other ocean-related phenomena. It is uncertain precisely how that relationship will function in future.Okavango Delta, Botswana, World Heritage Site. This permanent marshland and seasonally flooded plain is one of the world’s very few major interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean. The Okavango Delta is home to some of the world’s most endangered species of large mammal, including the elephant, cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion. © Pete Hancock / UNESCOWho benefits, who gets hurt?“While the U.S. will remain engaged in many of these programs, the absence of U.S. funding makes it increasingly difficult to meet the challenges that are so vital to the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans,” George Papagiannis, UNESCO’s Media Services Chief told Mongabay in an email, pointing out that “an ounce of investment is worth a pound of cure.”Papagiannis stressed a simple fact: UNESCO programs, and the critical environmental problems they seek to solve, do not only result in benefits to countries far from the White House, but instead greatly benefit the United States and millions of American citizens.“A submerged lower Manhattan during hurricane Sandy, or the blooming red tides that affect the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico, are reminders that the U.S. is no safer than most countries from ocean related hazards,” he said, adding that no single country, regardless of national capacity, can tackle these cross-border issues on its own.“Whether it is about safeguarding coastal economies and jobs, ensuring people’s safety and public health, or protecting infrastructures, U.S. investments on IOC activities in ocean science and services create benefits to its citizens that far outweigh the costs,” he said.Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico, a World Heritage Site – a valued natural and cultural landscape located in the central/southern Yucatan Peninsula. The site protects both the ancient Mayan city of Calakmul and a large section of the Mesoamerica biodiversity hotspot, which encompasses all subtropical and tropical ecosystems from central Mexico to the Panama Canal. © Archivo/RBC-CONANPThe IOC also provides an intergovernmental coordination platform for effective collective action, from which all Member States benefit. Of course, that cooperative approach doesn’t fit in well with President Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” go-it-alone approach.As an example, the UN General Assembly is discussing a proposal by IOC to declare 2021-2030 as the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, under the UN’s global coordination. “The U.S. government and its scientific institutions stand to benefit enormously from participating in this collective framework for coordinating and consolidating the observations and research needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 on the ocean,” Papagiannis said, pointing out that “it will be the time to bolster innovative technologies and scientific knowledge to bring tangible wellbeing and economic benefits to U.S. citizens.”It is also worth noting that much of UNESCO’s work addresses the root causes of mass human migration, promoting sustainable and equitable management of national natural resources, and providing or fostering livelihoods, notably in Biosphere Reserves.Loss of U.S. funding started in 2011Strange as it may sound, there will be no immediate financial consequences related to the U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO because the United States has not paid its dues since 2011 during the Obama administration when the Palestinian Authority was accepted into the UN agency as a full member. The funding cut then was across the board, resulting in a 22 percent hit to the UNESCO budget more than $80 million per year, according to this Foreign Policy report. Since then, all parts of the organization have adapted to new financial realities.Clearly there have been consequences since 2011, and UNESCO has never fully recovered from the loss. The approved budget allocated to Science and the International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) for the 2010-2011 biennium was $59,074,000, while the approved expenditure plan for the current biennium (2016-2017) for Science and the IOC falls below that amount, coming in at $48,308,400.The Isla Genovesa Booby Sanctuary, Tower Island, Galapagos World Heritage Site. Photo by David Broad licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licenseAs a result, the number of permanent science positions has decreased, while less funding has meant a sharp refocusing of the Organization’s work. For example, Papagiannis says, UNESCO’s Basic Sciences efforts were severely impacted, and the organization is no longer directly involved in earth observation and remote sensing projects, with few exceptions. That’s a serious problem when one considers the rapid natural changes underway due to climate change. Furthermore, UNESCO no longer spends regular budget on renewable energy activities, and its engineering activities have been strongly curtailed.In addition to its assessed contribution, the U.S. used to fund projects directly, a procedure known as “extra-budgetary funding.” This means that UNESCO received money from the U.S. State Department, USAID, Department of Defense and National Science Foundation for seismicity and earthquake engineering in the Mediterranean and in Northeast Asia, and cooperation with the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering. The last of the funds allocated as extra-budgetary were received in November 2011 and spent by 2014.One discontinued project was the Open Initiative with the Space Agencies, which included NASA, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey. This initiative used space imaging to monitor and protect World Heritage sites, and was discontinued five years ago. Interestingly that task has now been taken on by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which seems to value science more than the current U.S administration.Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, Philippines, World Heritage Site. This preserve showcases terrestrial and aquatic habitats at varying elevations, and includes threatened and endemic flora and fauna – eight species of which are found only at Mount Hamiguitan, including the iconic Philippine Eagle and Philippine Cockatoo. © Roy F. Ponce / UNESCOWho is the real loser?According to Papagiannis, “the withdrawal of the U.S. will have an impact on the United States’ level of engagement in global science programs, and in the leadership of these program.”But in statements emailed to Mongabay, a State Department official wrote “U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO does not alter U.S. policy of supporting international cooperation in educational, scientific, cultural, communication and information activities where there are benefits to the United States. By pursuing non-member observer status, it is our intention to remain participants in UNESCO programs, such as IOC, where non-member observers may have a role.”However, the statement continues, the dimensions of this observer participation remain to be defined. Currently the U.S. is focused on preparing its request for non-member observer status so that it may remain engaged on “non-politicized issues” undertaken by UNESCO.“When it is in the U.S. interest,” stressed the official, “the United States will continue to participate in UNESCO and UNESCO-related activities that do not require membership in the Organization.”Melinda Kimble, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation, asserts that UNESCO’s scientific and environmental programs provide core elements that support national and regional planning for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” – a commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030 worldwide adopted in 2015 by Heads of State and Government at a special UN summit.“Clearly, an active and fully contributing U.S. could make a difference in sustaining UNESCO’s leadership in education, science and culture,” she told Mongabay.This is not the first time the U.S. has left UNESCO. The Reagan Administration withdrew in 1984 because of concerns over many issues, ranging from Soviet Union disarmament proposals to the organization’s request for a budget increase. When the U.S. pulled out then, it was not in arrears and continued supporting UNESCO programs with voluntary financial contributions.Karibik, St. Kitts, Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many such sites include both natural and historical treasures. Photo by giggel licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licenseThen after an almost twenty-year absence, the U.S. rejoined the organization in 2003. President George W. Bush announced the move “as a symbol of our commitment to human dignity.… This organization has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning.”As for Trump’s planned withdrawal, Kimble agrees that “Clearly, an active and fully contributing USA could make a difference in sustaining UNESCO’s leadership in education, science and culture.” She notes that while the current pullout underscores U.S. skepticism about the UN system and multilateral action in many spheres, the real damage was done not by Trump but starting in 2011 with the U.S. failure to contribute financially.“[T]he failure to pay dues has significantly undermined the capacity of the organization to deliver on its ambitious programs,” Kimble concluded.Under the terms of the original 1945 treaty establishing the United Nations and UNESCO, the U.S. as a Member State remains obligated to paying its arrears. “But this is not just about the money,” says Papagiannis. “This [withdrawal represents] a loss for multilateralism and a blow to universality, which are critical factors to addressing the issues that affect people everywhere in every country.”In October, after receiving official notification by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova expressed profound regret at the decision.“In 2011, when payment of membership contributions was suspended at the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference, I said I was convinced UNESCO had never mattered as much for the United States, or the United States for UNESCO. This is all the more true today, when the rise of violent extremism and terrorism calls for new long-term responses for peace and security, to counter racism and anti-semitism, to fight ignorance and discrimination,” she said in a press statement.“I believe UNESCO’s action to enhance scientific cooperation, for ocean sustainability, is shared by the American people,” she added.As the world rushes headlong into a century of scientific uncertainty – where the climate, oceans, freshwater, ecosystems and human communities grow increasingly unstable and at risk – it remains to be seen just how long America will want to go it alone, rather than joining with the rest of the world to share in the costs and benefits of international science in order to serve the common good.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.Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve (established 1976) is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located in the southern Sierra Nevada of California, USA. Photo by thor_mark  on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SAcenter_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

How a hunger for teeth is driving a bat toward extinction

first_imgBat teeth are more valuable than paper money on the island of Makira, in the eastern Solomon Islands.The use of bat teeth as a currency means that bats on the island are commonly hunted. One species, the Makira flying fox, is found only on the island and is being threatened with extinction due to human pressures.In addition to direct hunting, human population growth and logging are also threatening the bats.To save the species, researchers recommend developing quotas for sustainable harvesting, as well as an outreach campaign connecting the survival of this key piece of Makiran culture with the need to conserve the bats. On the island of Makira, in the eastern Solomon Islands, bat teeth are more valuable than paper money. But their use as a currency has contributed to widespread hunting of flying foxes and is driving one species toward extinction. Now, conservationists are trying to use this local tradition to save the bats and build local support for their conservation.Known to some as the “forgotten island,” Makira attracts few tourists. Those that make the trek do so primarily to see its rare and endemic birds, such as the rare yellow-legged pigeon (Columba pallidiceps), white-headed fruit dove (Ptilinopus eugeniae) and endangered chestnut-bellied imperial pigeon (Ducula brenchleyi). The island’s mammals, reptiles and amphibians are poorly understood by comparison.Researchers Tyrone Lavery and John Fasi, who was born in Makira, surveyed 197 Makirans to learn why they hunt the bats. While the bats are mainly hunted for food, their teeth are more valuable to the Makirans than the paper money of the Solomon Islands, according to the results of the study, published in Oryx on Oct. 16. The teeth are strung into necklaces or bracelets and exchanged during significant cultural events such as weddings, or to apologize and settle disputes.Two species of flying fox live on Makira; one, the Makira flying fox (Pteropus cognatus), is only found on this island and is considered Vulnerable by the IUCN. Flying foxes are large, fruit-eating bats with dog-like faces. Globally, 31 of the 65 species of flying fox are dangerously close to extinction. Twenty-eight of these threatened species are found only on islands, where they play vital ecological roles.A Makira flying fox (Pteropus cognatus) hangs from a branch. Photo by Tyrone LaveryA Makiran girl shows off a bat-tooth necklace. Photo by Tyrone LaveryFlying foxes are considered ecosystem engineers. As consumers of nectar and fruit they pollinate and spread the seeds of the plants they feed on. Hurricanes can level entire forests on Pacific islands like Makira, but the fruit- and nectar-eating bats help forests regenerate by dispersing seeds and pollinating flowers.Makira’s population is growing by 2 percent annually as of 2016, which has increased hunting pressures on the flying foxes that many Makirans rely on as a source of protein. The communal roosting habits of the flying foxes make them vulnerable to mass killing by Makirans searching for food both for themselves and to sell in markets.Hunting represents the most imminent threat to the flying foxes of the island, Lavery said. But habitat loss is also affecting them as foreign logging companies continue to tighten their grip on the island’s extensive but finite forest resources. Lavery told Mongabay that eight logging companies, mostly from Asia, currently operate approximately 14 camps on the island. Logging companies routinely violate environmental regulations on the island — for example, felling trees too close to rivers, failing to construct proper roadways, and logging at altitudes above 400 meters (1,300 feet), which is prohibited by law. The reliance of many Makirans on the forest for food and water means the negative effects of logging — polluted rivers, loss of forest-dwelling wildlife, and increased flooding — force Makirans off lands that have provided for them for generations.Satellite data from the University of Maryland show logging roads penetrating into Makira’s forests. Data source: Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA, accessed through Global Forest WatchSatellite imagery of expansion of logging roads between early 2016 and late 2017 in southern Makira. Images from Planet LabsA logging road cuts through forest on Makira. Photo by Tyrone LaveryA sign tries to discourage logging of a Makiran forest. Photo by Tyrone LaveryA tree felled along a logging road in the Solomon Islands. Photo by Tyrone LaveryThe most obvious way to save the bats is to ban hunting, but researchers say that the cultural significance of the bat teeth combined with the bats’ value as a food source means this approach is unlikely to be successful. In 2010, an international conservation group paid locals on another of the Solomon Islands to stop hunting dolphins for their teeth, which are also used as currency. But by 2013, hunting had resumed and the price per tooth had risen dramatically, motivating additional hunting.Any effort to conserve flying foxes on Makira will require ongoing local support to succeed. Instead of a ban on hunting, the researchers recommend developing quotas for sustainable harvesting of the flying foxes, as well as an outreach campaign connecting the survival of this key piece of Makiran culture with the need to conserve the bats.“You have to convince people in a different way,” Fasi said. “You can’t just use figures and facts. Appeal to something that makes sense and is important to them.” He added that the pitch to Makirans should be simple: “If you hunt the bats into extinction, a part of your culture will go extinct too.”“The great thing about Tyrone’s work is that it looks at Western models of capitalism and conservation and recognizes that they’re not always the right things to appeal to,” said Nathan Whitmore, a biologist working in Papua New Guinea with the Wildlife Conservation Society, who was not involved in the study.A plume of sediment washes from a Makiran river into the ocean. Deforestation often increases erosion, which can sully water sources. Photo by Tyrone LaveryThe next step in developing a long-term conservation plan for flying foxes on Makira is to conduct population surveys to establish baselines for sustainable harvesting. By virtue of its status as the “forgotten island,” Makira may have enough time to curb the negative effects of population growth and logging with strategic interventions.But Lavery is somber when asked what the future may hold for wildlife on Makira.“So far the only extinctions we’ve documented have been due to introduced species like feral cats,” he said. “But that will probably change fairly quickly in the coming decades with the increasing population and logging.” Citation:Tyrone H. Lavery, John Fasi. Buying through your teeth: traditional currency and conservation of flying foxes Pteropus spp. in Solomon Islands. Oryx, 2017; 1FEEDBACK: 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. Agriculture, Animals, Bats, Deforestation, Environment, forest degradation, Forest Loss, Habitat Loss, Hunting, Islands, Logging, Mammals, Rivers, Sustainability, Wildlife 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 Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

Indonesian palm, pulp companies commit to peatland restoration

first_imgArticle published by Hans Nicholas Jong Some 125 palm oil and pulp companies have committed to restoring a combined 14,000 square kilometers (5,400 square miles) of degraded peatlands that fall within their leases over the next eight years.The move is part of government-driven efforts to prevent a repeat of the massive land and forest fires that flared up in 2015, largely as a result of peatlands being drained for planting and rendered highly combustible.At the heart of the rehabilitation work is the extensive blocking of drainage canals, which aims to restore moisture to the peat soil. JAKARTA — More than a hundred palm oil and pulp companies in Indonesia have pledged to restore a combined area of peat forest the size of the state of Connecticut, in response to government measures to prevent a repeat of the disastrous fires of 2015.Eighty of the companies are palm oil planters and 45 are pulp and paper firms, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Of these, 49 palm oil companies and 31 pulp companies have had their plans approved by the ministry.Karliansyah, the ministry’s head of environmental pollution and damage control, thanked the pulp companies in particular for cooperating with the ministry since late last year to finalize restoration plans for peatlands that lie inside their leases. Those companies have agreed to block the canals initially dug to drain the peatlands in preparation for planting, and to rehabilitate nearly 5,200 square kilometers (2,000 square miles) of degraded peatlands.Together with the palm oil companies, they plan to restore at least 14,000 square kilometers (5,400 square miles) of their concessions that fall within protected areas by 2026.The restoration project is mandated by the Indonesian government under various policies, issued in the wake of the 2015 fires, to protect the carbon-rich peat forests.Land and forest fires have been an annual occurrence in the country over the past two decades, and peaked in 2015 with widespread blazes and a resultant massive haze, stoked in large part by the drainage of Indonesia’s vast peat swamps that rendered them highly combustible. Combined with slash-and-burn clearing, the results proved disastrous.Smoke from the fires that year sickened half a million Indonesians, according to government estimates, and drifted into neighboring countries. At the height of the disaster, the daily emissions of carbon dioxide as a result of the burning exceeded those from all U.S. economic activity.Karliansyah, who, like many Indonesians, goes by one name, said it was crucial that the companies make good on their commitments in order to avoid a disaster on a similar scale.“Next year, we’ll face a dry season,” he said. “Hopefully, these companies can encourage other companies” to do the same.Indonesia’s weather agency is predicting drier-than-usual conditions in parts of the country starting in May, as a result of the La Niña weather system, which raises the risk of fires breaking out and sustaining.Key to preventing this is blocking the drainage canals and allowing the soil to retain water once again. The goal is to ensure that the peat layer stays moist down to a government-mandated 40 centimeters (16 inches) below the surface, Karliansyah said.“I see some companies have managed to do that. Around 70 percent have met the standard. So the risk [of fires] can be reduced,” he said.Among those that have committed to the initiative is PT Satria Perkasa Agung, a pulp and paper company that operates in Sumatra’s Riau province, the region worst-affected by the fires and haze in 2015. The company has pledged to conserve the 254 square kilometers (98 square miles) of protected areas that account for a third of its concession.“The key to our success in optimizing our productivity is preventing forest fires, managing water levels and implementing silviculture,” said company representative Hendri Tanjung, referring to the practice of developing and nurturing forests.This private sector-led initiative is part of the wider peat protection policy rolled out by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo with the idea that rehabilitating peatlands by wetting peat soil and planting peat-friendly crops will make them less prone to fires.In 2016, the president established an agency, called the BRG, to spearhead nationwide efforts to restore 20,000 square kilometers (7,720 square miles) of degrade peatland by 2019; announced a moratorium on the draining of peat swamps; and issued his signature piece of anti-haze regulation, which calls for, among other things, companies to conserve peat areas within their concessions.Under this regulation, pulp and paper companies can see their crops through to the end of the current harvest cycle, at which point they must restore the peatlands by blocking drainage canals, maintaining the water level and planting native vegetation. Plantation companies will be allowed to keep operating in peat areas until their permits expire, at which point they must commence their restoration plans. 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 Banner image: A peat swamp in Sumatra smolders during the 2015 haze crisis. Drainage canals are dug through the peat to prepare the land for planting with oil palms, but the practice renders the soil highly combustible. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Ecological Restoration, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forestry, Forests, Indonesia, Peatlands, Plantations, Protected Areas, Pulp And Paper, Rainforests, Restoration, Tropical Forests last_img read more

Local conservancies create new hope for wildlife in Kenya’s Maasai Mara (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by rhett.ayers.butler Commentary, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, Conservation Finance, Conservation Solutions, Ecotourism, Editorials, Environment, Environmental Economics, Land Rights, Tourism, Wildlife Naboisho and roughly a dozen neighboring conservancies in Kenya’s Maasai Mara are made up of hundreds of individual plots owned by local Maasai residents of the Mara, who converted their traditional communal lands in this part of Kenya to individual holdings.Tour operators with existing camps around the Mara have worked to pool together individual Maasai landowners who had subdivided their lands into larger groups that could then lease a large area of land to the tour operators.Each landowner is paid a monthly lease fee of around $235, amounting to over $900,000 of landowner income annually.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily Mongabay. Set amid the open plains and rolling savannas of Kenya’s Maasai Mara landscape, Naboisho conservancy hosts some of the finest wildlife viewing that Africa can offer. Covering around 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) directly adjacent to the Maasai Mara National Reserve (MMNR), Naboisho hosts thousands of zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, giraffe and other wildlife.This profusion of prey supports healthy predator populations. Naboisho itself is home to about 50 lions, and the surrounding conservancies contain another 110 adult lions and additional cubs. The density of lions in Naboisho and neighboring conservancies is among the highest in Africa, and actually higher, according to research published in the journal Conservation Biology, than in the adjacent Maasai Mara reserve itself. This abundance of large predators is not only a local conservation success, but holds important lessons for reversing lion declines across Kenya and other parts of Africa.Naboisho and roughly a dozen neighboring conservancies now contain a total of about 162,000 hectares (400,000 acres), an area greater than the extent of the Mara reserve itself. These conservancies constitute a totally unique new conservation model for East Africa. The conservancies are made up of hundreds of individual plots owned by local Maasai residents of the Mara, who converted their traditional communal lands in this part of Kenya to individual holdings of about 40 hectares (100 acres) during the 1990s. The conversion of communal rangelands to individual plots — which people could then fence off, cultivate, or sell to outside commercial agricultural interests — poses a major threat to the Maasai Mara, and indeed to the greater Serengeti ecosystem as a whole.Integrating livestock production with wildlife conservation is a key to the future of the conservancies in the Maasai Mara. Photo Credit: Nicholas LaphamEvery August and September, at the height of the dry season, hundreds of thousands of wildebeest complete their northbound migration to the Mara from the Serengeti plains to the south in Tanzania. These herds find grazing and water to sustain them until the rains send them moving back south into Tanzania again. But much of the habitat that wildebeest and other wildlife use lies outside the reserve boundaries, on the Maasai lands that surround the reserve. Over a decade ago, there was already evidence that the resident wildlife in the Maasai Mara had dropped by around 60 percent during the previous 30 years as a result of conversion of savannas and grasslands to commercial wheat farming in parts of the ecosystem.The process of subdivision of all the Maasai lands in the Mara, and the threat posed by further conversion of lands to farming around the Mara, has been a key factor in the recent spread of conservancies in the area. Tour operators with existing camps around the Mara have worked to pool together individual Maasai landowners who had subdivided their lands into larger groups — the “conservancies” — that could then lease a large area of land to the tour operators. Importantly, while the reserve itself has become increasingly overcrowded — it is not uncommon for 40 vehicles to surround a single cheetah or pride of lions there — and an unpopular example of mass wildlife tourism gone wrong, on the private lands outside the reserve, tour operators are able to negotiate with landowners for more exclusive and carefully managed access in the conservancies.The key threat to the Maasai Mara ecosystem comes from land fragmentation, particularly the fencing off of individual plots of land, which has spread rapidly in recent years. Photo Credit: Nicholas LaphamNaboisho itself is made up of over 600 individual plots that together constitute the conservancy. Each landowner is paid a monthly lease fee of around $235, amounting to over $900,000 of landowner income annually. Across all the Mara conservancies, local landowners receive around $4 million annually from these lease payments.These are among the most substantial financial returns that small-scale local landowners are earning from wildlife anywhere in Africa, and the conservation success of the conservancies shows what is possible when local people are able to do business directly with conservation-minded tourism operators. Twenty years ago, direct earnings by local Maasai from wildlife tourism in the Mara were limited; like most places in Africa, most of the economic gains went to private operators, government bodies, and a few individual landowners clustered around the borders of the reserve. The conservancies have created a mechanism to spread benefits much more widely, and give local people a clear economic share in wildlife’s rising value. New technologies such as mobile money transfer and banking systems make it feasible to make payments to thousands of individual landowners around the Mara every month.The savanna and grasslands of the Mara conservancies are home to a spectacular abundance of wildlife, lying at the northern end of the greater Serengeti ecosystem. Photo Credit: Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies AssociationThe challenge now is to improve the management of the conservancies and expand the area under their coverage so that all the key wildlife habitats and migratory corridors around the Mara can be protected. Improving livestock management in the area in ways that both access growing markets for beef in Kenya, while capitalizing on the ability of cattle and wildlife to co-exist in these savannas, is a key to improving the overall economic returns to landowners. Naboisho and other conservancies are working to adapt livestock production models from other conservation ventures in Kenya such as Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a private ranch that has successfully integrated commercial ranching and wildlife tourism.In the far north of the Mara ecosystem, an innovative company called Mara Beef has played a key role in establishing the Enonkishu Conservancy with about 30 local landowners, and restoring grasslands that were under commercial corn production less than a decade ago.These are the kinds of locally rooted, entrepreneurial approaches that will be needed across Africa to turn the tide on declining wildlife populations. The Mara conservancies are a reminder that where wildlife can generate sufficient economic returns for local landowners, people’s relationship with wildlife can shift from persecution to conservation. Ensuring these models are strengthened, spread and inform conservation strategies across Kenya and the wider region will be a key to conservation success.About the authors:Daniel Sopia is CEO of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA), which supports the development of the conservancies around the Maasai Mara, including several of the entities mentioned in this article. Fred Nelson is executive director of Maliasili, which supports leading African conservation organizations to help them become more effective, sustainable, and grow their impact. 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

English Premier League Reviews

first_imgBARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE REVIEWSCHELSEA 3 SUNDERLAND 1GOALS:- CHELSEA: IVANOVIC 5th; PEDRO 13th; OSCAR PEN 50th. SUNDERLAND: BORINI 52nd.Chelsea began life without JosÈ Mourinho by punishing a poor Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. The Blues, watched by incoming caretaker boss Guus Hiddink, took an early lead through Branislav Ivanovic and added a second before the break through Pedro. Oscar’s penalty confirmed the win, though Fabio Borini replied in the second half.EVERTON 2 LEICESTER CITY 3GOALS:- EVERTON: LUKAKU 32nd; MIRALLAS 87th. LEICESTER: MAHREZ PEN 27th, PEN 65th; OKAZAKI 69th.Leicester ensured they will be top of the Barclays Premier League at Christmas by beating Everton at Goodison Park. Riyad Mahrez scored the first of two penalties after Ramiro Funes Mori held back Shinji Okazaki. Romelu Lukaku levelled, but Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard tripped Jamie Vardy to allow Mahrez to convert from the spot a second time. Okazaki scored a third for the Foxes, who held on despite Kevin Mirallas’ late strike.MANCHESTER UNITED 1NORWICH CITY 2GOALS:- UNITED: MARTIAL 66th. VILLA: JEROME 38th; TETTEY 54th.The pressure is on Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal after his team were humbled by struggling Norwich at Old Trafford. Norwich took the lead in the first half through Cameron Jerome. It got worse for the home side in the second half, as Jerome broke clear to feed Alex Tettey, who netted from close range. Anthony Martial pulled a goal back, but United’s winless run is now six games, while Norwich are out of the drop zone.NEWCASTLE UNITED 1ASTON VILLA 1GOALS:- NEWCASTLE: COLOCCINI 38th. VILLA: AYEW 61st.A wonderful second-half strike from Jordan Ayew earned Barclays Premier League bottom-club Aston Villa a valuable point at Newcastle. Ayew drove into the top corner from inside the area to cancel out Fabricio Coloccini’s close-range opener. Both sides had chances to win in the closing stages, with Newcastle striker Georginio Wijnaldum and Villa’s Rudy Gestede having shots saved.SOUTHAMPTON 0TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2GOALS:- TOTTENHAM: KANE 40th; ALLI 43rd.Harry Kane scored on his 100th Tottenham appearance, as they moved into the Barclays Premier League top four with victory at struggling Southampton. Kane broke through the Saints’ defensive line and finished coolly for a 10th goal in his past 10 games. Soon after, Dele Alli benefitted from some lax defending to score from close range and put Spurs firmly in control.STOKE CITY 1CRYSTAL PALACE 2GOALS:- STOKE: BOJAN PEN 76th. PALACE: WICKHAM PEN 45th; LEE 88th.Lee Chung-yong came off the bench to claim an 88th-minute winner for Crystal Palace at Stoke, leaving the Eagles level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham. Connor Wickham’s penalty gave Palace a first-half lead, but after Stoke levelled from the spot when Damien Delaney was punished for handball and Bojan stepped up to dispatch his fourth goal of the season, Lee found the net with a 30-yard shot which sailed past Jack Butland on 88 minutes.WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 AFC BOURNEMOUTH 2GOALS:- WBA: McAULEY 79th. BOURNEMOUTH: SMITH 52nd; DANIELD PEN 87th.Charlie Daniels’ late penalty earned Bournemouth a third successive Barclays Premier League victory at the expense of West Brom, who finished with nine men.The Baggies were a man down in the 34th minute when James McClean was shown red for scything down Adam Smith.The Cherries took the lead when Smith fired in low from 20 yards, before Gareth McAuley equalised with a header. Daniels crashed home the winner three minutes from time, before Salomon Rondon saw red for a clash with Dan Gosling.last_img read more

Elite topple No. 1 Bolts in thriller, force decider for semis spot

first_imgView comments PBA IMAGESAllein Maliksi continued to prove why Blackwater made a good move in trading for him late in the season.Maliksi came up clutch as the Elite took down the top-seeded Meralco Bolts, 92-91, Wednesday to pave way for a do-or-die for a slot in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT “We played good defense and made the stop,” Isaac said.The dramatic win was Blackwater’s first in the playoffs since joining the league in 2014 and it couldn’t have come at a better time with the Elite facing the formidable Bolts, who won nine games against only two losses in the elimination round.Walker only had 11 points in the first three quarters before taking over when it mattered most. He exploded for 19 points in the fourth quarter, scoring Blackwater’s first 18 points in the period.The former NBA veteran, who had stints with the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Miami Heat, scattered 30 points, 18 rebounds, six assists, one steal and a block.The 30-year-old Maliksi, who was acquired from Star in a four-player trade on Sept. 10, wound up with 15 points and four rebounds. Starting guard Mike DiGregorio added 20 points.ADVERTISEMENT DAY6 is for everybody SEA Games: Rogen Ladon enters flyweight boxing semis PLAY LIST 03:42SEA Games: Rogen Ladon enters flyweight boxing semis03:11SEA Games 2019: PH’s Ian Bautista boxing bantamweight semi final (HIGHLIGHTS)03:00SEA Games 2019: PH’s Aira Villegas boxing bantamweight semi final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson MOST READ “Going into the final 15 seconds of the game with Meralco up by one, the instruction was to have a good shot and if there was opening, we take it,” Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac recalled.“We challenged the players to face the situation. We wanted the ball to Walker but there was also an option for Maliksi,” Isaac said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe ball did go into the hands of Walker, who then setup Maliksi for game-winning jumper from the free throw line with 9.5 seconds left.Walker and Maliksi carried the Elite down the stretch but it took team effort in the waning seconds to pull off the defensive stop on the Bolts, whose last shot was a one-hander from just inside the 3-point line by Mike Tolomia that was off target. In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide Reigning Best Import Allen Durham posted 18 points, including an inside basket that gave the Bolts a 91-90 edge with 15.8 ticks remaining, 21 rebounds and seven assists while Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge had 19 and 18 points, respectively.Blackwater tries to become only the fourth team to knock off the No. 1 team on Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next How to help the Taal evacuees OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Marcelino twins help Lyceum go 14-0 Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-uplast_img read more

Sweep clears illegal camp

first_imgSOUTH EL MONTE – A 30-person homeless encampment cleared out by county crews in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area Wednesday included a working Jacuzzi, powered by electricity tapped from a nearby billboard, police said. About 21 of the camp’s residents had already left by the time workers for the Parks and Recreation and Public Works Departments arrived early Wednesday, said Capt. Sam Morales of the L.A. County Police Department. The camp was located deep in the underbrush on the banks of the San Gabriel River, in an area inaccessible by roads. Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over the Whittier Narrows area, also took part in the operation. Members of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency and the Department of Public Social Services provided the eight remaining camp residents with vouchers and referred them to homeless shelters, Morales said. “Last month LAHSA came by and identified the campsite, and over the last three weeks they have been going in there, helping these folks get to shelters, to get out of the river,” Morales said. Among the camp’s residents was a woman who had lived there for two years, along with her two dogs and a cat, said Claire Robinson, a spokeswoman for Amigos de Los Rios, a nonprofit environmental group which has worked with county authorities to facilitate the sweeps. By the end of the day, crews had removed about eight dump trucks full of refuse from the camp, with six more truckloads still to go, Morales said. “Some of these camp sites looked like fully equipped, two-bedroom studios,” he said. Staff Writer Nisha Gutierrez contributed to this story. fred.ortega@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more