Indonesia’s big development push in Papua: Q & A with official observing the program [FULL TRANSCRIPT]

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon Interviews During the transition period leading up to Jokowi’s inauguration, a working group called Pokja Papua was created to guide his promises on development in the two provinces. The organization is headed by Judith J. Dipodiputro who has gained decade-long experience within state institutions, private sector and civil organizations.A specialist in public relations, Judith topped in 2012 her five-year career at the Indonesian arm of oil and gas giant Total as the vice president of corporate communications and public affairs. She also spent years within government offices, including as part of the public relations division at the then Ministry of Environment (1993-96) and as an expert staff to the Kutai Kartanegara district administration in East Kalimantan (2001-07). Before Pokja Papua, which became an independent NGO when Jokowi’s transition team was dissolved, she had held influential roles at organizations, such as the Javan Gibbon Foundation in 2012-2016, and local economy empowerment group Rumah-Indonesia Foundation (1998).Mongabay recently met with Dipodiputro to talk about progress of the president’s development program, subsequent environmental impacts and the government’s solutions for the challenges in Papua and West Papua.What follows is the full transcript, lightly edited for clarity. For the interview highlights, click here.Pokja Papua was initially created by President Joko Widodo’s transition team. Why did you agree to head this team when Pak Jokowi appointed you?I was not appointed by Pak Jokowi, but by the transition office. So this is an organization that at the time actually we were a team established within the transition office. At the time, our duty was to meet the promises [made] by Bapak Jokowi during his campaign. But after he was inaugurated, the transition office was dissolved, then we continued to be, we were asked by the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises to continue [working on] promises that hadn’t been [fulfilled], and most specifically for Papua, starting by the Mama-mama Market. But it was not about meeting promises of infrastructure; our duty is more on ensuring how the local communities and tribes could be chaperoned in order to be included in the development… [D]evelopment is done not only in Papua, but all over Indonesia. Development is done in different areas, specifically in remote, in border areas, which are usually the poorest. And the issue was that development was done, roads were built, bridges were built, but the economic benefit was not immediately felt by the poorest of the poor. So really, our duty was to chaperone and help them be included in this development that is happening.Why did you agree to that?Actually it [takes] quite deep commitment. Not only from me, but from everyone who has been involved from the beginning to try to establish Bapak Jokowi to become president. One of the discussions we had, because I was involved very actively in being one of his volunteers, at the time we had a discussion and I said to him, ‘If we had [the] opportunity, and really God gives us the way on really winning and achieving what we hoped to do, which is able to put as president someone who is proven clean, honest, competent, loves the people, and also supports [the] unity of Indonesia, then please let’s remember that when we promise welfare for the people it should mean 253 million people, not minus one, and especially really not leaving behind approximately 5 million of our brothers and sisters, citizens of Indonesia, who opted to live a very traditional life, almost living in a different civilization than well certain parts of Indonesia.’ So it was really a deep commitment that we don’t leave anyone behind and actually we do the catching up [for] those who have been left behind.Is that also the reason why Papua is viewed as a priority for infrastructure development?Papua is not the only priority for infrastructure development, but … all border regions, all left-behind areas are today priorities. Papua is one of them. Pak Jokowi doesn’t only go to Papua, he goes to all the other regions simultaneously.And why is Papua a priority for infrastructure development?Because in reality, infrastructure is needed for Papua. You cannot do like chicken and egg, which starts first. You cannot wait for the community to develop and then we build the infrastructure. We have to really trigger, be a catalyst, that is why infrastructure should become a catalyst. We know that today, and for many, many years, it has been a challenge to bring out products from one village to the outside. People will say, oh yeah, it’s only like 100 kilometers, but if it’s facilitated it will be [a real] motivator, and the community needs to see this, especially in Papua. The local tribes believe and they did work very hard on electing Pak Jokowi as president, meaning that they elected a leader that they believe will take care of them. So I think it is just fair that now they say, ‘Pak Jokowi, we want to see where you’re building, where you’re really showing, proving to us.’ And if you see, infrastructure that’s being built in Papua is not only about roads and bridges, it’s also about revamping, finishing infrastructure. Part of the electricity is already there, then finish, improve the quality. Health infrastructure, education infrastructure, they’re also being completed or improved, or even adapted. Making it more adaptable for the people.[For] example, because of the [low] density of the population, sometimes not all villages have [a] junior high school; [most] or all have primary schools, that is [the same as] all over Indonesia. But not all have junior high schools, and because of that, children have to travel long distance to go to school … you have to go through river, not only crossing … a bridge, but by boat. So one of the things we’re doing and this is the role, the coordination integration, you have this Rumah Kreatif BUMN. It is pushing the economic development where, through technology, it is assisting them to market, to communicate first and then market outside of the villages in a simpler, less burdening way. Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia is asked to come to the villages and pick up coffee, chocolate, whatever. Also including [private distributor and retailer] Sarinah for finished product. Rumah Kreatif BUMN is in cooperation with a program called Tong Maju, Kita Orang Maju. And … in cooperation with Ministry of Education, in cooperation with Ministry of Telecommunications, we are facilitating education. When we cannot, because of still lack of teachers… we want to bring quality of education, we want to… because it’s like this. When you want to give equality, it means you give the same thing. That is the concept of nawacita [the Widodo administration’s nine-point priority agenda]. It’s [not] only, OK, everybody has access to schools, and that’s it. Equality means access to the same quality. So how to access quality [in] very, very remote areas in Indonesia, it’s through technology. And therefore, we are creating Sister Schools with quality schools in other places in Indonesia with remote areas.Another thing is, health infrastructure. OK, you may have clinics in very remote areas. But sometimes the challenge is to have doctors who have all the necessary expertise. Hospitals may have 100, 200 doctors, but in clinics you only have one or two doctors. So how to access this service? That’s for the more complicated, for the less complicated, education about AIDS, about mother-child health. The challenge is … the cost; like sometimes, for example in South Sorong, the cost to rent a car could be between 3-5 million [rupiah]. In Pegunungan Bintang, from one subdistrict to another, could be 30 million. So no wonder it’s very difficult for the government to deliver its service of simply educating [about] mother and child healthcare. So how to access on a daily basis, or at least on a weekly basis, if not with technology [from state-owned telecoms provider] Telkom. Video conference — they can ask questions and get explanations at all times. Imagine if there’s an emergency, we are creating this communication bridge through technology on assisting. But of course on the more complex medical services, we need regulations, laws, but on the education part, [there is education] so you won’t have the blind leading the blind. You can’t just send them brochures and expect them to understand. That’s technology and that is infrastructure. So far into Jokowi’s presidency, how has the infrastructure development been going? What has been achieved? What happens next year, when campaigning for the 2019 presidential election starts, and the year after, when we may have a new president? What has not yet been achieved?Everything, all the data is online. You can go KSP, Kantor Staff President, they have a very good website with very concise, compiled information about what development has been done in all the regions of Indonesia, including Papua and West Papua.I think now is not the time to ask about what has not been achieved. That question should be asked at the end of his term, but not now, because things are in development. And if you compare to the rule of thumb of when there’s a change of regime to a new regime, usually you have this instability, you [face] these challenges for 10-15 years, but look within the two years, three years, the things that have been able to be achieved is as if there was no change in regime, I mean, in the sense that the current team has been able to stabilize itself very, very fast and [be] very focused. And you can see from the public statements of the president. [A]nd he has a very professional team. [W]hat is professional? [Y]ou are hired for five years, from day one to the last day of his presidency. So you just work. You don’t have to be involved in politics, it’s not their job. The Ministry of Health is to take care of and manage health, not to take care of other things. The Ministry of Education is to take care of education, not about politics. So from what I see, everybody is very focused, because otherwise, you would not be able to achieve what has been achieved in three years, a very speedy catching up. I have seen it with my own eyes, because, one thing — and I’m sure this is attitude of private sector professionals, and hands-on professionals [in] governance — people who are hands-on, they want to see, check by themselves. It’s not really about blusukan [a site inspection, usually for publicity purposes], no it’s not, [or] blindly following Jokowi’s footsteps. If you see, many people in his cabinet, that has been the style of working.We took a different approach on development here. Community empowerment always has a challenge in Indonesia. Many community empowerment programs start great, they build, build, and build, go up, but then seven, eight years later, they go down. And even sometimes, like in two, three years. Why? From observations, it’s because they are not creating real economies. And how to create real economies is when they are working on commodities that are part of the need of the economy in the area, but also nationwide.Sometimes people do the easy way, but this is not Jokowi’s way. Pak Jokowi goes to the extreme of doing it as well as we can. For example, there’s a fishermen’s village, so let’s teach them to make dry fish; before we do that, go to the supermarkets, all possible markets, all shops, how many bags of dry fish do you have there? If you don’t have more than 100, then forget it. It means [there’s] not [a] real need. And then you take a village of 200 families all making dry fish in a month, how many thousands of bags will they produce? And then they cannot sell. So we take real commodities. That is why we took coffee. We checked with the Ministry of Trade, with whom we’re also working together. There’s a very big demand for Indonesian coffee that has not been met. It’s not taking over someone’s coffee market, no. There’s a big demand that’s not been met. OK, that is real market that’s been met in Indonesia as well as overseas. Coffee is the commodity that we can access. So we talked to the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry that [is] in the marketing business. We tell them we need this much. But the challenge is the communities are now only picking from the forests, and here you [have] a hundred tons of need — again chicken and egg, which comes first? We don’t choose the egg or the chicken, we go for both. Look for the market; but we make interim programs, bridging programs which motivate and create confidence for the communities that they can do it. And also, confidence that this is not going to be a program that starts excitedly and then dies. So to motivate them, no matter how much coffee they’re going to produce, [it’s] being taken by Perusahaan Pedagang Indonesia. We work with coffee shops like Anomali, Cazwell, Tanamera, Javanero. Real professionals, and they have real outlets all over Indonesia. If our communities are producing coffees, can you please buy? PPI is making sure that the coffees are being sold in every city. But have the patience, be part of the program. If you need 500kgs of coffee in a month, but we’re only able to produce 50kg, please just take it. And sure enough, it’s working. Starts at 50, and then next time you have 60kg, but at least they [local communities] trust, because you need to establish the ecosystem. Sometimes the tendency is to work on puzzle pieces here and there but never really putting them on one table and making it into the big picture. This is what we do, we establish the ecosystem.We also chaperone the young people to create their enterprises and they can have transportation to move around districts. So they don’t need huge trucks, they just can have Hilux [a model of Toyota pickup truck], they can transport passengers and goods. And that won’t be expensive, because you don’t have to wait for tons and tons and tons of coffee to be ready to be transported by trucks. And we push them to create enterprises.Another synergy that’s being done is Himpunan Bank Bank Negara to provide credit facility. So we link and match everybody. Pokja Papua’s job is to link and match, and including when building infrastructure. Because mostly infrastructure in remote areas is very difficult for infrastructure, it’s done by the State-Owned Enterprise Ministry; we talk to the management, we say, ‘The procurement of sand or gravel … that’s something the local tribes can do. We just need to chaperone them.’ and with the assistance of different state-owned enterprises that are building, you work with them, and then train them.Also, we say when it’s a factory, the paths that don’t need heavy duty are not going to be crossed by trucks, but only by humans, for walking — can we do it with locally made bricks, why not? Also the fence, if the fence can be made by wood, why not wood that’s been carved by locals? So everybody feels that they participate in the construction.Poor planning typically causes conflict between infrastructure development and environmental protection. How do you ensure that this is not the case in Papua?I’m not involved in the infrastructure, so I think that would be a question for the Public Works and Housing Ministry. Papua presents its own challenges, such as geography, socio-cultural conflicts, and a separatist movement. How do you see the government resolving these challenges while ensuring development continues?I think it’s not only in Papua. As I said, the paradigm of this cabinet is very different because of the generations who are in the cabinet today with very strong background and most of them come not from government background — most of our ministers are really professionals and from private sector. So this mix is enabling really to have a complete picture. That’s my observation. They have a complete picture, really viewing all the problems from all the different angles. And this is allowing them to really integrate all the challenges into finding the solutions. I saw that Bapak Basuki [Hadimuljono, the minister of public works and housing] and his team are very hands-on. One time there was a question from a village about the housing, so I communicated that to Bapak Basuki. And a few days later, he contacted me saying that he’s in Papua and asked me about the details of the question. And I was so surprised. And I’m sure it’s not only for Papua. Another time I met him at an airport and told him about some issues, and after we checked in separately, not long afterward he texted me a list of officials and their contacts to help resolve the issues. He’s very hands-on. And if they’re hands-on with complaints, I’m sure they’re very hands-on with [anticipating issues]. Personally I’ve been involved as an observer in environmental issues, back since the ’80s, so for me, definitely environment is a very, very, very important issue for us. But we also have to understand that we need [to] develop Indonesia fairly to every Indonesian. I don’t think and I would not want my government to be saying, OK, because you are in remote areas, and your village has less than 30 families, and this is the case in Papua, therefore we cannot think about your rights to access to transportation, for example. Now we cannot do that. But what I’m seeing is a very big effort in accessing the right solution and you can also see from the structure of the team overall. I recall, back when I was still in the energy industry, many times we had meetings where they will be giving the energy mix pie, how much coal we’re using, how much oil and gas, and how much renewable energy, and then they had this roadmap at the time, renewable energy is this big. I’m not an energy engineer, even to me, I said ‘They have this big chunk in the pie of renewable energy, but they didn’t even have a directorate general of [renewable] energy.’ And so I asked … them, ‘Don’t you think we should have a big, big team of renewable energy because you have this big chunk,’ while for coal, oil and gas we already had … BP Migas, now called SKK Migas. But for renewable energy … now we have it, and not only directorate general — all the equipment and institutions are completed. So I think there’s a strong intention to balance it out. Intention to balance is there. Intention to meet SDGs is there.In the Papua province spatial plan for 2013-2033, there’s a vision to keep 83 percent of the province as ‘undisturbed natural habitat.’ The Indonesian government also has a pledge to cut 29 percent of carbon emission by 2030 in NDC under the Paris agreement. How do these commitments affect development in Papua?I think there’s something that’s been unfair or the way of seeing, because today, the language that’s being used is that since Papua is building bridges and roads, infrastructure in general, then it’s as if it’s going to massively open forest. I don’t think so. If you compare the percentage that’s being used for infrastructure, compared to the size of the island, even compared to existing opened areas, it’s not that big. I think this is where between the way things are presented and the reality, I think people should do the math. Please do the math. Please do the math. Sometimes it’s like this [is] Papua, and the road [is] just one of these lines, and [it’s a] certain percentage. Come on.So you’re confident that these green commitments by the Papuan and Indonesian government will still be upheld when developing infrastructure in Papua?Yes. Look, West Papua back in October 2015 declared itself as a conservation province. My understanding from discussions with several people, the province of Papua is also going to declare or is in the process of studying the possibility of declaring itself, if I’m not mistaken, as Green Economy Province. And I see that they are declaring that not only for the sake of declaring, they’re working on it. So look at how they are resolving but also monitoring not only the local government or the national government, but also the communities and the NGOs, whether they are local, national or even foreign; monitoring and following up the incident that happened in Raja Ampat, for example. You have everybody there. I think everybody is very concerned, not only for Papua, but all over. Now, as these two provinces are on this path, I’m sure the other provinces are there.You mentioned NGOs monitoring Papua. How has their feedback been as you are in talks with them as well?I think there is a challenge in our society all over Indonesia. Because in the past, sometimes I think, there were promises and plans made, but not delivered. So the society is used to making excuses and criticizing, and this is old habit. That they just repeat when actually the issue is not there. One time I was in a conversation with a friend that I never met actually, but later on we met. We were talking about coffee because we were starting a coffee project about one and half years ago. Of course there are glitches, we’re starting something, you always have challenges. At the time, a minister was supposed to go but got delayed for two or three weeks. And this friend said, ‘That is why we need independency.’ And I said, ‘What does a delay of three weeks have to do with anything?’ Come on, stop using that language. Don’t ever talk to me about that. Because I know how my team is working really hard in order to be independent and we are independent NGO. Imagine those who have the job to do it. I saw how Pak Jokowi every three month goes to not only Papua, but also NTT [East Nusa Tenggara], NTB [West Nusa Tenggara], Maluku, checking in, going around Indonesia non-stop. That’s stressing for the staff, so they have to deliver, deliver, deliver. So it’s just the habit of saying the same words. And that is why whenever someone comes to me making judgements, I say, ‘Have you seen what’s happening now?’ There were foreign journalists who asked about separatists. I say, ‘Hey, before you ask me those questions, come over and see for yourself.’ And talk to the right people. Don’t talk to people who are used to talk about issues and they have made it their jobs for 15-20 years of advocating something and they need to keep their job. I think the challenge for certain NGOs is how to develop their services and products. Actualization of the organization. They need to actualize, look with real eyes. Maybe in the past years, you were advocating, but maybe now look. Look at what’s happening, and be honest. And of course some NGOs because they started as being certain advocates, they will see challenge, but that’s the whole idea of reactualizing your organization, and it’s a matter of reactualizing the way of looking at things. Because Papua is developing, and changing. And there’s change happening…Yes, yes, yes. Purchase power has increased.And some of the problems are being resolved…Most, and whenever there is a problem, I’ve seen we’re all working together trying to find solutions. Everybody is coming down and looking, not only in Papua, but all over. I remember one time, talking about real commodity, one that we’ve worked on is biofoam from waste of sago, pineapple, etc. And we know that the world is going for zero use of Styrofoam. Many countries have banned and that is opportunity. Indonesia also, bit by bit, is changing so this is a big opportunity. So we started and there was a machine already created. And the machine costs about 15 million rupiah. This is a machine that’s not affordable, because a container would only cost about 200 rupiah; that’s too much. So I talked to State-Owned Enterprise Ministry, can you please find a machine that’s cheaper, better quality; then came up this prototype with a price that’s about 7.5 million. That was last year when Pak Jokowi came to markets. And then we had this exhibition of this machinery, and I remember Minister of SOE came, and she has a very strong business and finance background, and said, ‘Talk to this official and ask them to make one that’s lower than 5 million.’See, from 15 to 7.5 million was not enough, go lower. Find the technology, find the way that it has to go lower.Is the infrastructure development in Papua going for sustainable development? If yes, is it getting enough funding? Is it getting political support?I’m not involved in the financing, you have to ask the Public Works and Housing Ministry.But if you ask me is there political support? Yes, there is political support. Look at Conservation Province, look at the efforts toward Green Economy Province. Look at how the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is so strongly supervising, synergizing with other ministries. [Minister] Siti is very hands-on with efforts. But I think the challenge is that often the challenge for us environmentalists is that we are looking at things only from our perspective, not from the complete perspective, that’s the challenge. Look at things from the complete perspective. Because we have to be realistic that the environment doesn’t stand alone. It’s a complete picture.How do you look at environmental issues in Papua in a complete picture?Listen and communicate. I’m this person who always would like to see the complete picture before making judgment. So among environmental activists — and I’m also involved in several environmental NGOs on a personal capacity — a lot of friends say we disagree with palm oil, OK, talk to them … ask them what the problem is, why can’t they meet what we’re asking them, and how can we find a way of helping them instead of only protesting, criticizing? Why don’t we do the real thing? Talk to them. I’m sure they want to do the right thing because we’re all now in the same generations who are very concerned. I disagree if they say, ‘OK, because I became an environmental activist, [I can] judge my schoolmate who’s now working [at] a pulp and paper company doesn’t care.’ Come on. We grew up together, we know each other. I’m sure we all have the same concerns. So we need to talk. We need to sit down and say, OK, if I can explain to you this — sometimes they just don’t know how to. And I’ve seen myself companies are moving toward environment. When we were young, environment was so simple: don’t do this and don’t do that. But as we grew up, we have to say, ‘OK, when we tell you not to do this, but you now have a challenge, then how to solve it?’ How to integrate solutions?It’s actually like this. I think every Indonesian has the same equal rights on everything all over Indonesia. So for Indonesians who chose to live in West Papua and Papua, whether they’re originally local from there or migrants, they have the same rights as, for example, people in Jakarta. They have exactly the same rights. If you know, on Sunday, people go to the stadium to sell their tomatoes and chili, they wait for joggers to buy them, and they just can get them from their tiny village or on their motorcycle to sell that, just for fun, I think the people from Papua in the most remote villages, no matter which village even if in the most remote, they have the same right to do that. And the country has the obligation to meet that. It’s not because they chose to live in a very, very remote village in Papua that they don’t have the rights, if they want to have roads, if they need to have bridges. It doesn’t mean that because they live in the most remote village in Papua, therefore it’s OK to endanger their lives and their children’s lives while going to the school having to cross the bridge. And if it takes opening a little bit of the forest to construct that bridge and to [build] that road, then [so] be it. Why does Papua have to pay? It becomes unfair like this … to say that they’re not allowed to open their forest so that, you know, other areas are allowed. And as I said, please calculate properly how much the infrastructure development being built today is taking out of the forest. I don’t think it’s as dramatic as people want to make everybody believe. [W]e need to communicate in order to learn and to update ourselves about the most actual best practices, yes, but don’t judge that the government or the individual building Papua don’t have the same concerns [for environmental protection]. They also have children, they also have grandchildren, they’re also leaving their legacy to their kids. I’m sure they care, especially that now we are living in climate change-era impact.How do you see the development of Papua taking place if we have a new president in the next couple of years?I don’t like to talk about politics. I’m just talking about logic. The government of Indonesia has been here for 72 years. And I’m sure, as long as Indonesia exists, it will be there. Government is a system that works. We have a very strong bureaucracy. Sometimes very [elaborate], but we have a running bureaucracy. We have seen changes in presidency in the last 20 years, and it continues on for the better. Pak [B.J.] Habbie was betterment of Pak Soeharto, Pak Gus Dur [Abdurrahman Wahid] was betterment of Pak Habibie’s performance, everybody learns. Every time we have a new leader, our newest leaders are learning from past mistakes but also from past lessons; they’re observing that. I’m sure if it’s still going to be Pak Jokowi, he will also learn from his past term. So I’m not worried about that because the commitment, I think, in 2014, we had a very big wake-up call that we need to find honest, clean, caring, and competent leader, that’s the answer. So we just need to continue finding these characteristics. And we’re getting better. The next generation is very demanding.For the interview highlights, click here.Banner image: A part of the Trans Papua highway project that snakes across Indonesia’s easternmost provinces Papua and West Papua. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Public Works and Housing.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

Conservation leaders in Africa call for a crackdown on biopiracy

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Agriculture, Biodiversity, Biodiversity And Medicine, Bioprospecting, Community-based Conservation, Environment, Forests, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, International Trade, Medicinal Plants, Medicine, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Pollinators, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Indigenous rights groups and others have long criticized the lack of benefit sharing between bio-prospectors and the local communities that inhabit the places where the organisms are found, calling such acts “biopiracy.”The African Union (AU) Strategic Guidelines for the Coordinated Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Africa was adopted by the AU Assembly at its 25th Ordinary Session, which was held in South Africa in 2015. The guidelines aim to provide a roadmap for implementation of the Protocol and Access and Benefit Sharing system at national and regional levels.But while the Nagoya Protocol and its AU implementation guidelines address many issues, some stakeholders remain worried about those not covered – such as off-site synthesis using information previously collected and the use of materials cultivated abroad. Today, Malaysia is one of the world’s biggest producers of palm oil. Together with Indonesia, the Southeast Asian country contributes some 85 percent of the global supply. But this has not always been the case.In the 1970s the industry was having a hard time taking hold in Malaysia, due in large part to pollination difficulties. Native to western Africa, the oil palm tree species from which most palm oil is produced (Ealais guineensis) had no natural pollinators in Southeast Asia, forcing plantation workers to laboriously pollinate by hand or simply hope that wind would be enough to transport pollen from one tree to another.This all changed in July 1980 when the oil palm weevil (Elaeidobius kamerunicus) was introduced to Malaysia from Cameroon. The introduction was as a result of a 1977 study conducted in Cameroon that found the weevil was a primary pollinator of native stands of oil palm.Palm oil produced from the fruit of the oil palm tree. It is used in thousands of products around the world, from food and cosmetics to biofuel. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.The weevils transformed Malaysian palm oil production, with a 1999 study finding oil palm fruit yields rose 20 percent in Peninsular Malaysia and 53 percent in Sabah following introduction. Since then, palm oil production and export has grown steadily, peaking at 1.6 million metric tons of crude palm oil exported in 2012, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). The Malaysian Department of Statistics reported palm oil production contributed 46.9 percent to the nation’s agriculture sector in 2016.Concerns over biopiracyWhile the weevil has boosted Malaysia’s palm oil industry and significantly contributed to the country’s GDP (as well as those of other palm oil-producing countries to which the weevil has since been introduced), the country it was taken from and where it was researched has received no compensation.Cameroon is not alone in this; for instance, the rosy periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), native to Madagascar, is cultivated and sold as an ornamental plant around the world and is also used by pharmaceutical companies as a treatment for several cancers. Yet, like Cameroon, Madagascar did not receive any economic benefits from the use of its native plant.Although commonly ornamentally grown, the rosy periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) is being studied as a potential treatment for several diseases. Photo by Miwasatoshi via Wikimedia Commons (CC 4.0).The detection and commercialization of biological resources is termed “bio-prospecting.” Indigenous rights groups and others have long criticized the lack of benefit sharing between bio-prospectors and the local communities that inhabit the places where the organisms are found, calling such acts “biopiracy.”“There has been a lot of bio-prospecting in the tropics,” Harrison Kojwang, an environment and natural consultant based in Namibia. “The early botanists came and mined a wealth of knowledge from the traditional medical practitioners and the knowledge has been used over the years by western pharmaceuticals, and today … it’s coming back as unaffordable prices drugs. It’s important that from now henceforth developing countries assert their rights to [their] fair share [of] the benefits that accrued [from] the exploitation of their resources.”In response to claims of biopiracy, the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) included bioprospecting as one of its objectives, putting forth an international treaty that aims to ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of biological resources. It also mandates that bio-prospectors obtain the informed consent of local communities before accessing such resources. The CBD was ratified by members from 193 nations and entered into force in December 1993.This was further bolstered during the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) in October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, which put forth the Nagoya Protocol to the CBD. The Protocol gives individual countries the rights to control research on genetic resources found within their borders. It also aims to promote transparent and effective implementation of the Access and Benefit Sharing concept of the CBD at regional, national and local levels.Prudence Galega, a principal technical adviser to Cameroon’s Ministry of Environment, explained that while not legally binding, the CBD and Nagoya Protocol is helping guide fair bioprospecting principles.“It’s not legally binding as there [is] no global standard on access nor global standards [for] benefit sharing, but it is dependent on what a state prioritizes on their national and regional policy guidelines on access and benefit sharing of genetic resources,” Galega said. “But, it’s a new dynamic in shaping fair trade where biodiversity trade benefits are shared equitably with all those who contribute to the production of the products.”Africa’s lack of progress toward the Aichi Biodiversity TargetsThe CBD’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity include 20 objectives collectively known as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Their overall goal is to ensure that biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and sustainably used to maintain a healthy planet and deliver benefits essential for all people by 2050.Aichi Targets 16 and 17 require parties to have ratified the Nagoya Protocol and adopted a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) as policy instruments by 2015. Thirty-six African countries have ratified the Nagoya Protocol, with eight also adopting domestic measures to implement the access and benefit-sharing obligations of the convention.However, assessments indicate much of Africa is not where it should be if 2050 goals are to be met. According to the 2016 United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) mid-term review, the continent lacks institutional, financial and technological resources and capacity to implement the NBSAPs.The report also notes that biodiversity in Africa is declining. In 2014, the IUCN Red List recorded nearly 6,500 animal species and more than 3,000 plant species as threatened with extinction in Africa. It noted 21 percent of all freshwater aquatic species in Africa are threatened, and 45 percent of freshwater fish and 58 percent of freshwater plant species are currently over-harvested.The African dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) is one such threatened species and is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.To build institutional capacity among African stakeholders, the African Forest Forum (AFF), through funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), organized a regional training workshop for African forestry experts on forest-related international agreements at the end of June in Lusaka, Zambia. The training brought together a variety of stakeholders, including government officials, academics, researchers, and representatives from civil society and the private sector.At the workshop, AFF executive secretary Godwin Kowero told Mongabay that the organization aims to enhance awareness of the provisions of the international agreements among the major actors in Africa.“We are building their capacity to examine the national obligations arising from the agreements, exchange knowledge and recommend the appropriate ways for mainstreaming the provisions of the international agreements into national policies, plans and activities,” Kowero said.Kowero further added that Africa lacks readily available data on its own biodiversity, which is presenting a barrier to accurate monitoring.Aichi Target 18 requires signatory nations to integrate local communities and their traditional knowledge of biological resources by 2020. But Martin Nganje, president of the African section of the Society for Conservation Biology and an AFF consultant, warned that progress is lacking towards this goal, with access to traditional knowledge and benefit sharing not yet realized at the local and trans boundary levels in West and Central Africa. However, he added that projects administered through the UN-REDD deforestation-reduction program are included in the NBSAPs of many countries and helping stakeholders better understand benefit-sharing.“Many African countries developed their NBSAPs many years ago but they are not being implemented and the communities [are not] benefiting from the intent of the Nagoya protocol,” Nganji said. “Mainly international UN agents are helping countries implement the NBSAPs … but concrete sensitization has not been done at all levels.”According to Alfred Oteng-Yeboah of the Department of Plant & Environmental Biology at the University of Ghana, many communities have yet to see profit-sharing benefits.“Africa mainly benefits from bio-trade, but not from commercialized genetic materials, or research tapped from knowledge obtained from a rural community,” Oteng-Yeboah said.The Nagoya Protocol’s Access and Benefit Sharing could be a ‘win-win’ for AfricaThe African Union (AU) Strategic Guidelines for the Coordinated Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Africa was adopted by the AU Assembly at its 25th Ordinary Session, which was held in South Africa in 2015. The guidelines aim to provide a roadmap for implementation of the Protocol and Access and Benefit Sharing system at national and regional levels.But while the Nagoya Protocol and its AU implementation guidelines address many issues, some stakeholders remain worried about those not covered – such as off-site synthesis using information previously collected and the use of materials cultivated abroad.“When you get into researching the genetic material of a plant now located in a botanical garden abroad when the source country material was located somewhere in Africa, then who has the sovereignty rights to the material, yet the law cannot be retrospective?” Galega asked. “Domestic legislation should be made to anticipate these new, unknown and emerging issues.” She added that there should also be a stepping-up of international effort, and said the CBD should play a larger role in paving a way forward.In a statement provided to Mongabay, the Secretariat of the CBD asserted that the Access, Benefit-sharing, and Compliance measures of the Nagoya Protocol aim to ensure greater legal certainty for providers and users of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.“At its core, the Nagoya Protocol is about establishing fair partnerships between users and providers,” the statement read “It is about balancing the need to promote innovation while enabling all countries (and indigenous peoples and local communities where relevant) to benefit from the utilization of their genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.”The Secretariat asserted that although the Nagoya Protocol encourages both providers and users of genetic resources to direct benefits to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, the choice of benefits shared depends on each country’s national interests and priorities. In other words, determining how benefits are distributed is the responsibility of specific countries.Oteng-Yeboah is concerned technological advances in synthetic biology and nanotechnology may allow researchers to access and use genetic information without going to the source.“It requires information found in data systems,” Oteng-Yeboah said. “With material widely published in books and stored electronically, research students can access the information without knowing where it comes from, develop new components and sell to the industries. [Y]et the knowledge and information come from somewhere.“Africa’s position is that no information has no source and we must put in place a mechanism that allows one to disclose the source of their information.”In its statement, the CBD Secretariat said that while the Protocol cannot be expected to solve all past issues regarding misappropriation of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, it has established a clear framework for the implementation of Access and Benefit Sharing.The statement goes on to say that there is still much to discover and learn from Africa’s biological diversity.“With the rapid developments in the field of biotechnology, and with many countries conducting inventories of their genetic resources or establishing repositories of traditional knowledge, new genetic resources are continuously being identified as well as new leads to potentially useful genetic resources,” the statement reads.Africa’s forests – like Madagascar’s Masoala rainforest (pictured) – provide important habitat for a multitude of plant and animal species. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Protocol compliance obligations currently in place require parties to take measures to monitor the use of genetic resources after they leave a country. They also require states to designate checkpoints nationally and internationally – but, so far, only Kenya and South Africa have established national control points.Galega laments what she says is nonexistent monitoring of research and development taking place with discoveries made through bioprospecting. She said that while there are enormous profits being reaped by industries using material and information collected abroad, most African communities living in the areas where materials were initially collected – many of which act as stewards of the lands surrounding them and the biodiversity they contain – have yet to see significant benefit sharing.“The communities are conserving the resource that someone is exploiting but [those who are exploiting it] are not investing back the benefits for the conservation,” Galega said. “Nagoya is about ensuring benefits for conservation [and] sustainability as well as [the] wellbeing of the present generation.”She added work is being done to improve the situation.“We are identifying checkpoints nationally and internationally that should help us track the movement of this kind of information from research, development, innovation, pre-commercialization or commercialization of the genetic resources that would try to exclude source countries,” Galega said.While Nagoya Protocol experienced what many see as a bumpy rollout, there are still high hopes that it may affect positive change through fair bio-trade practices. Oteng-Yeboah is one of these optimists, saying effective implementation of the Protocol has the potential to improve social, economic and environmental wellbeing in the places where genetic and biological resources are discovered.“Future research on genetic resources will be regulated by the laws of countries of origin and that of the user countries,” Oteng-Yeboah said. “Therefore, business investors, research communities, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and horticulture industries, cosmetics and biotechnology companies will not be able to sell a product labeled as bio-piracy.“[This would be a] win-win for the conservation of biodiversity, indigenous communities, and global bio-trade.” Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Banner image of an oil palm weevil (Elaeidobius kamerunicus) by Ken Walker via Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Suite of free, open-source tools to help even non-experts monitor large-scale land use change

first_imgReferencesBastin, J. F., Berrahmouni, N., Grainger, A., Maniatis, D., Mollicone, D., Moore, R., … & Aloui, K. (2017). The extent of forest in dryland biomes. Science, 356(6338), 635-638.Bey, A., Sánchez-Paus Díaz, A., Maniatis, D., Marchi, G., Mollicone, D., Ricci, S., … & Patriarca, C. (2016). Collect Earth: Land use and land cover assessment through augmented visual interpretation. Remote Sensing, 8(10), 807. 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 Collect Earth is a free, open-source tool built on Google Earth that enables non-experts to assess deforestation and other land cover change through point sampling.The program combines spatial data with visual photo interpretation of a set of sample areas of high spatial and temporal resolution satellite imagery, generating statistics for a target area.The platform assembles thousands of high-resolution images in one place, enables the user to view and analyze current and historic land cover dynamics, produce graphic and tabular results, and share them with colleagues.A recent study that used Collect Earth to map the world’s dry forests demonstrates how the point sampling approach is suited to large-scale assessments. A recent study mapped the world’s dry forests using a relatively new tool that combines creative satellite image analysis with local- and national-scale knowledge.Natural resource agencies worldwide inventory their country’s vegetation cover, land uses, and forest carbon stocks in order to quantify the extent and impacts of land use change as well as their progress toward commitments to international treaties. However, they often lack the tools to compile and analyze the necessary data on land use change.New online platforms now enable viewing and analysis of global-scale imagery but cannot suggest the drivers of land cover change. Commercially available high-resolution remote sensing data are expensive, inconsistent in availability, and hard to access for non-experts.Dry forest canopy in the Ankarana region of Madagascar. Photo credit: Rhett A. ButlerImage data collection for non-expertsThe drylands researchers, led by Jean-François Bastin of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), used Collect Earth, a free, open-source platform that facilitates access to multiple freely available archives of satellite imagery. It is a plug-in for Google Earth that enables visual photo interpretation of very high spatial and temporal resolution satellite imagery, made available through three repositories: Google Earth, Google Earth Engine, and Bing Maps. This effort also partners with NASA, USGS, USFS, WRI.Google Earth Engine (GEE) allows users to analyze satellite imagery in the cloud. Collect Earth offers users free access to both the high-resolution GEE images, as well as the very high-resolution (VHR, less than 1 m resolution) images of Google Earth and Bing maps. It brings together imagery from various sources stored in these three repositories for a range of time periods and from 30 cm to 30 m spatial resolution.Collect Earth also introduces a unique method for monitoring land use and land cover that enables non-experts to derive information from these images through “augmented visual interpretation.” The platform integrates a Google Earth interface with an online data entry form that can be customized to fit the questions being asked for a particular project.“Collect Earth allows the user to have a more refined understanding on the land without the need of powerful personal computers, explained co-author Marcelo Rezende, Land Monitoring Specialist at the FAO, in an email to Mongabay-Wildtech. “The user collects the data from visual interpretation of the very high-resolution imagery, together with historical information coming from Google Earth Engine.”Point sampling meets image analysis Collecting Data:  A project team using Collect Earth assembles data on land cover by sampling many points across a target landscape. The team creates a sampling grid to overlay on the imagery available for the target area. Collect Earth offers a default  5 km x 5 km grid for download, but the grid squares, called plots, can be any size.A Collect Earth image overlaid by a sampling plot with control dots, which represent a percentage of the plot. The land cover under each dot becomes a data point, allowing a user to generate statistics for the plot and the target landscape as a whole. Image credit: to FAO/Marcelo RezendeThe team also creates a customizable survey data collection form. Using some portion of the plots, they “collect” data for each plot, one at a time, by visually inspecting both current and historical VHR images for that area. These data help document the current status and history of the selected plot.For instance, explained Rezende in a recent presentation on Collect Earth, “If human impact in the plot is apparent, [users would] indicate the type…and the first year the human impact became apparent within the historical satellite imagery of plot.”Using the data forms, users enter values from the imagery for the percentage of different land cover types (forest, agriculture, pasture, water)—for multiple time periods and for each plot. The specific questions and menus asked for each plot depend on the project.“Each plot contains what we call control dots (inside the plot), which represent a percentage of the plot,” explained Rezende. “The operator uses them to assess the plot. The final classification is assigned to the center point.”A high-resolution image in Collect Earth with a sampling plot and a data entry form customized for a particular project. Image credit: FAO/Marcelo Rezende“There is a concrete methodology to assess the plots in order to minimize the subjectivities of the assessment,” he added. “In addition, every project contains duplicated plots (around 5% of the total) to allow a comparison between the assessment of different operators (measurement error). The sampling error is also accounted for [in] the attributes collected.”The remote sensing community still lacks algorithms that can automate vegetation classification of high-resolution imagery, as exist for “medium” Landsat 30m resolution images, said Rezende, so data at that fine scale must still be entered manually. On the other hand, if users see something of interest in the imagery, they can add it to the data they are collecting.Animated GIF file showing Collect Earth’s data entry forms and data collection based on underlying high-resolution satellite imagery. Image credit: FAO/Marcelo RezendeUsers can add official national statistics, regional land use and land management, plot-level surveys, sampling, and other data to the database. Collect Earth integrates QGIS, a free and open-source geographic information system, to enable users to process and analyze data in spatial format and convert them to a KML file compatible with Google Earth. The QGIS component would, for example, allow a user to integrate survey point data, vegetation types, elevation, roads, or political boundaries with the land cover information from the satellite images.Analyzing data: Once the information for a plot has been entered, the program stores it for review and analysis. Users can click on a completed plot to see three groups of data about it. One small pop-up window shows the programming code editor and analysis results displayed as a set of graphs of green vegetation (NDVI), forest cover, and other vegetation information over time. A second window connects to Google Earth Engine, where users can browse various resources , and third a window connects to Bing or other high-resolution images.Collect Earth image beneath 3 windows showing results of analyses of the plot data. Image credit: FAO/Marcelo RezendeThe key to the program, though, is its ability to generates statistics based on the imagery and the data form for each plot. Each plot also serves as a data point to generate statistics on the target area as a whole. In his recent presentation, Rezende explained that the program is a sampling tool, not a mapping tool. It generates statistics, mainly for land use and land use change, for the area and time period of interest from the image-derived data entered by the user.“The outputs of Collect Earth are point-based information for each plot assessed and overall statistics for the area of interest,” Rezende noted. “The type of attributes collected (forest change, crop cycles, infrastructure cover, etc) depends on the needs of the user, [who can] customize Collect Earth for a specific project.”Data gathered through Collect Earth is exportable to various commonly used formats (CSV, XLS, PDF, JPG, PNG), as well as to Saiku, a drag-and-drop interface tool for data analysis.An innovative image analysis approach to forest monitoringThe FAO developed the platform to enable countries to work independently to assess, quantify, and monitor their land cover and land use changes over time and to build capacity to conduct national forest inventories and monitor carbon stocks and forest cover to comply with REDD+ requirements.A Collect Earth training workshop at the Department of Environmental Resources in the Philippines reviews data collection. Photo credit: FAO/Marcelo RezendeOther possible uses for the high-resolution and VHR image analysis include identifying degraded land areas and landscape restoration opportunities, updating existing vegetation maps, and collecting spatially explicit socio-economic data.Bastin and colleagues used Collect Earth’s high-resolution images and sampling approach to produce a recent global estimate of forest extent in drylands, calculated from high-resolution satellite images covering more than 200,000 plots. In their paper, they state, “To interpret the VHR images over such a large number of plots, we divided the world’s dryland domain into 12 regions and used a participatory approach. Scientists and students in 15 organizations around the world were trained to use a dedicated interpretation tool called Collect Earth with a common framework to assess the sample plots in which they had expertise.”The data collectors used Collect Earth to record more than 70 parameters for each of these plots, from vegetation type and land-use to detailed counting of individual trees and shrubs, and identified  more than 400 million hectares of previously unreported dry forest.Collaboration and challengesUsers can upload their own images to Collect Earth, as well as share data and results with others. All data entered are stored in the platform’s database, which can be configured for individual users or for teams that collaborate regularly and need to see updates made by colleagues in real time.The huge image files are not downloaded, however, so a user must be online to use Collect Earth. Google Earth loads the imagery from the cloud for each plot as additional data are entered. In a 2015 presentation, Rezende mentioned the additional challenges of long processing times when dealing with large volumes of data, as well as the reliance on Google Earth and other base sources of imagery over the long term. The software is meant to be user-friendly, but satellite image analysis is not trivial, and some data entry  specifications may not be intuitive to users without prior knowledge of GIS and spatial data terminology.A Collect Earth workshop on land degradation neutrality in Cape Verde. Photo credit:: FAO/Marcelo RezendeCollect Earth teams have trained more than 2,000 people in over 40 countries to use the platform. Most of these are government and university staff, which reflects the point sampling approach that may be best suited to large-scale assessments and building capacity to conduct national forest inventories and report on progress toward REDD+ and climate change reduction (UNFCCC) commitments.Despite the highly sophisticated technology behind the data and image integration, “Collect Earth has a bottom-up approach,” said Rezende. “The data is collected locally, and reports can be easily generated at any time. Users do not require Remote Sensing/GIS background to achieve good results.”Collect Earth is part of Open Foris, a set of free and open-source software tools developed by FAO with Google Earth, Bing Maps and GEE to facilitate flexible and efficient data collection, analysis and reporting. It is hosted on GitHub, a platform for collaborative software development. Article published by Sue Palminteri Dry Forests, Forests, Land Use Change, Open-source, Remote Sensing, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Technology, Wildtech last_img read more

Waterbirds flock to well-run countries, new study shows

first_imgArticle published by John Cannon A new study demonstrates that how a country is governed is the factor that has the most influence on waterbird populations.Governance plays a bigger role than climate change or human population booms.The authors suggest that waterbirds, which include ducks, flamingos and pelicans, could serve as indicators to demonstrate the impact that governance has on biodiversity in general. A country’s citizens aren’t the only ones to benefit from living in a place that’s run well. In a new study, a team of scientists reports that the most important factor that determines the conservation status of waterbird species is how effectively a country is managed.“Political instability can weaken legal enforcement, and consequently promote unsuitable, often illegal, killing even in protected areas,” Tatsuya Amano, a conservation biologist at Cambridge University in the U.K., said in a statement. “Although the global coverage of protected areas continues to increase, our findings suggest that ineffective governance could undermine the benefits of these biodiversity conservation efforts.”Amano is the lead author of a paper published Dec. 20 in the journal Nature.A flock of greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) at Miyajima-numa, Japan. The species is one of several that were shown in this study to have declined in western Asia. Photo by Tatsuya Amano/Cambridge University.Conservation scientists have long understood that efforts to protect wildlife are harder to get off the ground in poorly run countries. But until now, they didn’t have enough data to zero in on an identifiable trend.To tackle that problem, Amano and her colleagues tabulated yearly totals of more than 460 waterbird species from nearly 26,000 spots across the globe, looking into how species’ numbers fluctuated between 1990 and 2013.The team then compared those changes in waterbird abundance with a dataset from the World Bank called the Worldwide Governance Indicators, which measures factors related to how countries are managed, such as corruption levels and the selection process for leaders.Their analysis showed, for the first time, that if a country is governed well, it was more likely to have higher bird numbers. What’s more, in those places, conservation efforts were more likely to succeed. This factor had a bigger influence on the bird populations studied than climate change or spikes in the number of people in a given country.In nations with management issues, particularly in parts of Asia, South America and Africa, bird numbers have dipped more than in their better-run counterparts in Europe, though even there, many species appear to be trending downward.Migratory crab plovers (Dromas ardeola) and Eurasian whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) flock to Bar Al Hikmann, a critically important coastal wetland in Oman. Photo by Taej Mundkur/Wetlands International.Poor governance has likely led to damaged important wetland or the loss of watery habitats altogether in several spots, the authors write. Lax hunting laws, too, might be helping drag down the numbers of waterbirds, which include ducks, flamingos and pelicans.The researchers also found that a quickly rising GDP — or gross domestic product, a measure of the value of a country’s economy — was linked to larger drops in bird numbers.The authors chose waterbirds because of the copious data available on them, collected by groups such as Wetlands International and the National Audubon Society. The wetlands that many of them depend on are also important for humans because they provide services such as clean water, habitat for fish and protection of coastal areas, but they’ve also been negatively impacted by humans more than other ecosystems. As a result, waterbirds serve as indicators of the pressure that mismanaged countries are likely having on other types of wildlife.“Our study shows that waterbird monitoring can provide useful lessons about what we need to do to halt the loss of biodiversity,” Szabolcs Nagy, an ecologist with Wetlands International and an author of the paper, said in the statement.CITATIONAmano, T., Székely, T., Sandel, B., Nagy, S., Mundkur, T., Langendoen, T., … Sutherland, W. J. (2017). Successful conservation of global waterbird populations depends on effective governance. Nature. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature25139Banner image of pelicans by John C. Cannon.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Birds, Climate Change, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Conservation, Conservation, Corruption, Dams, Ecosystem Services, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Fish, Fishing, Governance, Government, Hunting, Impact Of Climate Change, Law, Research, Water, Wetlands, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation 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

Belize imposes offshore oil moratorium to protect reefs

first_imgArticle published by John Cannon Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Coral Reefs, Ecology, Environment, Fish, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Crisis, Marine Ecosystems, Mining, Natural Gas, Oceans, Offshore Drilling, Oil, Oil Drilling, Oil Spills, Pollution, Rays, Sea Turtles, Sharks, Sharks And Rays, Water, Water Pollution, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Belize stopped the exploration for oil in its waters as of Dec. 29, 2017.Environmentalists and local businesses opposed a 2016 plan to begin wider oil exploration around Belize, halting those plans within weeks.Tourism directly contributed about 14 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2016, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, and 50 percent of Belize’s 360,000 people depend on tourism or fishing for their livelihoods.Conversely, WWF estimated that an oil spill would cost $280 million in cleanup costs. The government of Belize halted all exploration for oil in its territorial waters from Dec. 29, becoming one of the first developing countries to turn away from oil in favor of protecting the ocean environment.“This is truly ‘The People’s Law,’” Janelle Chanona, vice president of the NGO Oceana in Belize, said in a report by teleSUR. “Belizeans have remained steadfast in their opposition to offshore oil since they became aware that marine assets were at risk of irreversible damage from the offshore oil industry.”That opposition began in earnest when the government shared its plans for oil exploration near the Belize Barrier Reef. At that point, WWF started a campaign during which 450,000 people emailed the government about offshore drilling, according to an article at Quartz.“Belize is a small country making a mighty commitment to putting the environment first,” Nadia Bood, a WWF reef scientist, said in the Quartz article.A stingray in Belize. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.The Belize Barrier Reef System Reserve has been a UNESCO world heritage site for more than two decades. The 300-kilometer (186-mile) stretch of coral in the Caribbean Sea is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, second in size only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is home to turtles, crocodiles and manatees — among the roughly 1,400 species found in Belize’s reefs.Such wildlife is a huge draw for tourists, who contribute about 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to Quartz. The Guardian reports that 50 percent of Belize’s people depend on tourism or fishing for their livelihoods. The population of Belize is 360,000, according to the CIA World Factbook.But environmental groups like WWF and Oceana were concerned that seismic technology used to probe for oil, which would have occurred less than 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) from the reef based on the 2016 proposal, could have tragic consequences for wildlife and fisheries.“We do know that for dolphins and whales, it can cause deafness, disturb communications, and disrupt migration patterns,” Chris Gee, the head of campaigns at WWF-UK, said in an interview with Mongabay in 2016. “Additionally, such surveys have been shown to impact negatively catch rates for fishers, especially during testing periods.”What’s more, WWF estimated that an oil spill would cost $280 million in cleanup costs.Lighthouse Reef in Belize seen from space. Photo by Jesse Allen (NASA Earth Observatory) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.“Ending oil activities will encourage other countries to follow suit and take the urgent action that is needed to protect our planet’s oceans,” Gee told Quartz. “Like the Belize Barrier Reef, nearly half of natural World Heritage sites worldwide are threatened by industrial pressures.”Belize’s shutdown of offshore oil activity preceded U.S. President Donald Trump’s Jan. 4 announcement that he wanted to open most of his country’s waters to oil and gas drilling.Several state governments bristled at the move. Florida Governor Rick Scott got the Trump administration to take his state out of the running for offshore projects. And Virginia’s incoming governor wrote a letter to Secretary Ryan Zinke of the Department of the Interior in which he argued that drilling could put his state’s tourism and fishing sectors in peril.Businesses that depend on Belize’s natural largesse — including the Great Blue Hole, which oceanographer Jacques Cousteau said was one of the top 10 dive sites on the planet — are in agreement.“Legislation to stop offshore oil drilling in Belize is an extremely wise decision,” Ralph Capeling, an owner of Splash Dive Center, said in the Guardian article. “The economic potential of the reef clearly exceeds the value of any potential discoveries.”Belize’s Great Blue Hole. By U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.And the potential for spills like the one in 2010 on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which blanketed parts of the Gulf in oil slicks and killed 11 people, has others questioning why the U.S. president would take such a risk.“I was stunned to learn that President Trump recently decided to make moves to open up previously protected areas off the coast of the US to oil exploration and drilling,” John Searle told the Guardian. Searle owns Sea Sports Belize in Belize City.“I guess he must have a very short memory,” he added. “Can someone please tweet #deepwaterhorizon?”Editor’s note: A previous version of this article misstated the population of Belize. It is 360,000, not 190,000. Also, the direct contribution of tourism to the Belizean economy was 14.1 percent in 2016, according the World Travel and Tourism Council. We regret the errors.Banner image of fish in Belize by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.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.last_img read more

For climate action to take hold, activists need more than just polar bears

first_imgArticle published by Maria Salazar 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 Activism, Climate Change, Conservation, Environment, Impact Of Climate Change, Interns, Research center_img A new study finds that people who do not have “biospheric concerns” are unconvinced by climate change arguments that hinge on such avatars as polar bears, coral reefs and pikas.Researchers suggest policymakers, activists and the media must choose stories that hit closer to home, by focusing on the more personal impacts of climate change.Scientists would also like to see more research on how to convince people who are largely concerned with their own narrow interests that climate change, and nature in general, matters. Type “climate change” into any search engine and the results aren’t difficult to predict: you’ll probably see a woeful polar bear on a shrinking patch of ice. Either that or cracked, parched earth. But a new paper published in Global Environmental Change questions the power of nature to motivate climate action.“Frequently, visual and verbal stimuli used in the media to describe threats of climate change feature plants, animals and other typical nature depictions,” said Sabrina Helm, associate professor of retailing and consumer science at the University of Arizona and lead author of the paper. “However, for people who are more concerned about possible effects on themselves, their family, or people in general […] such stimuli may not be effective.”Helm’s paper distinguished three different forms of environmental concern among people: biospheric (concern for nature), social-altruistic (concern for other people), and egoistic (concern for oneself).Participants in the study who showed biospheric concern were most likely to perform positive environmental behaviors. The paper concludes, however, that by catering only to biospheric concerns — and neglecting egoistic or social-altruistic concerns — policymakers and activists may be unintentionally “increasing the risks associated with delaying climate change adaptation.” Hitting closer to homeResearchers presented 342 adults in the U.S. with questions about what most concerned them regarding global environmental problems. Participants could choose from prepared answers that indicated egoistic concern (“my lifestyle,” for instance), social-altruistic concern (“my children”) or biospheric concern (“marine life”). The study also plumbed participants’ so-called pro-environmental behaviors (PEBs), such as whether they used reusable bags, actively reduced emissions, or ate organic food.Results indicated that whereas respondents with higher biospheric concern tended to perceive ecological stress and engage in pro-environmental behaviors, participants with social-altruistic concern were less perceptive though did engage in similar actions. Participants with higher egoistic concerns neither perceived ecological stress nor engaged in behavior to mitigate it.Researchers believe this is because egoistic and social-altruisic concerns are seen as less vulnerable to climate change impacts than biospheric concerns.Egoistic and social-altruistic respondents “did not seem to perceive climate change threats as having a profound effect on their own or their families’ life,” the scientists wrote in the paper. This finding is also backed up by other psychological studies. “We summarize that policymakers frequently emphasize climate change as a global, distant, and abstract societal risk,” said Sander van der Linden, a researcher at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, who was not involved in the study. Pointing to the constant use of polar bears as an avatar for climate change, van der Linden said: “Instead, we recommend that policymakers should change their approach to emphasizing the local, present, and concrete aspects of climate change as a personal risk.”Van der Linden, who is also a psychology researcher at the University of Cambridge, co-authored a paper in 2015 outlining five “best practice” insights for how psychological research could improve public engagement with climate change. Helm echoed van der Linden’s sentiment, encouraging the deployment of stories that “hit closer to home” for people for whom biospheric concerns do not register strongly. Some examples she suggested include linking climate change threats to issues of personal health, national security, and the well-being of future generations.The researchers suggest a nuanced finding that instead of using shock tactics to barge down the door of indifference, perhaps climate change communication is a matter of finding the right keys to different locks.Using the plight of polar bears in the Arctic, which suffer from thinning sea ice, as a proxy for climate change communication could risk losing the interest of people for whom biospheric concerns don’t register all that strongly. Photograph credit: Wikimedia Commons.Motivating climate actionIn Helm’s paper, the scientists reference a 2009 publication by WWF-UK whose authors, evolutionary biologist Tom Crompton and psychology professor Tim Kasser, dissuade campaigners from encouraging egoism as a means to engage climate action. This is because, they argue, egoistic concerns can often engender a separation from nature: one feels superior to, rather than a part of, the natural world.Instead, Crompton and Kasser recommend that increasing awareness of the inherent value of nature and empathy for non-human animals — in other words, biospheric concerns — is best for long-term environmental improvement.Commenting on Crompton and Kasser’s research, Helm said that while “it may be desirable for all people to have biospheric concerns in mind,” she expressed doubt that “it’s just not a reality.”Both Kasser and Helm agree there are people who simply don’t care much for the environment, but also that telling such people to be more sensitive to biospheric concerns is not the answer.Kasser suggested a different way in which climate change communicators could effectively reach individuals who showed little concern for the environment: through a sensitive and empathetic approach to discover their value systems.“Having done that, it then becomes even more possible … to engage that person in thinking about his/her behaviors and … ways that can help him/her to see how protecting the environment is actually supportive and expressive of those values,” he wrote in an email.In Helm’s paper, individuals with social-altruistic concerns also showed fewer pro-environmental behaviors than individuals with biospheric concerns. However, where they did, the scientists hypothesized that it was because they felt their value system would be strongly affected by climate change — in this case, their children’s future. Using this approach, communicators could both attract the attention of people with egoistic or altruistic concerns, while also promoting a message of nature’s inherent worth to every value system.Helm expressed hope that future research might examine more links between egoistic concerns in particular and positive environmental behaviors to figure out how to motivate pro-environmental consumption and climate change mitigation.Either way, it probably won’t involve a polar bear.Sorry, polar bear. Photograph credit: Rhett A. ButlerBanner image: A polar bear on thin ice. Photograph credit: Arturo de Frias Marques.CITATIONSCrompton, T., Kasser, T., 2009. Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity. WWF-UK, Godalming.Helm, S. V., Pollitt, A., Barnett, M. A., Curran, M. A., & Craig, Z. R. (2018). Differentiating environmental concern in the context of psychological adaption to climate change. Global Environmental Change, 48, 158-167. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2017.11.012van der Lindern, S., Maibach, E., Leiserowitz, A. (2015). Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change: Five “Best Practice” Insights From Psychological Science. Perspectives on Psychological Science. Vol 10, Issue 6, pp. 758 – 763. DOI: 10.1177/1745691615598516last_img read more

Done Deal! Germany World Cup star Kroos completes Real Madrid switch

first_img Germany’s Toni Kroos Germany’s World Cup winner Toni Kroos has joined Real Madrid from Bayern Munich for an undisclosed feeThe 24-year-old midfielder has signed a six-year contract with the current Champions League holders.“We would like to thank Toni Kroos for his time here in Munich,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.“We enjoyed great success here together. We would like to wish him and his family all the best in Madrid and with Real.”Kroos won three Bundesliga titles in four seasons with Bayern, clinching the DFB-Pokal three times and being part of the historic treble-winning side of 2012/13.That year they also clinched the Champions League, before winning the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup last season.In total, Kroos made 173 Bundesliga appearances, scoring 23 goals, 13 for Bayern and 10 during an 18-month loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen. 1last_img read more

Salah stars with four goals as Liverpool destroy Watford

first_imgAnd Salah chalked up his 34th goal of the season on 43 minutes when he tapped home from a few yards out to convert a wonderful cross from Andrew Robertson.The Egyptian then turned provider four minutes after the interval as he dug a cross out for Roberto Firmino, who did brilliantly to flick the ball into the net.Salah completed his hat-trick on 77 minutes with another run that sold several Hornets defenders before poking the ball past Orestis Karnezis.And his fourth came six minutes from time to put the icing on the cake when Danny Ings’ shot was saved and Salah was there to score.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Salah completed his hat-trick on 77 minutes with another run that sold several Hornets defenders before poking the ball past Orestis Karnezis.MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 17 – Mohamed Salah was on form once again as he scored his first hat-trick for Liverpool and four goals overall in their 5-0 victory over Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.It only took the Reds four minutes to get the scoring under way as Mohamed Salah put Miguel Britos on his backside with a jinking run before drilling the ball into the net.last_img read more

One key player every Premier League club must sign this summer

first_img 20 20 20 12. Middlesbrough should sign Alex Pritchard – Boro had the toughest defence in the Championship last season, but while they were a challenge to score against, they found scoring the toughest compared to their top six opponents. Manager Aitor Karanka could therefore be targeting attacking players. With limited top flight experience, Pritchard, who has come through Tottenham Hotspur’s academy, would be a risk but perhaps one worth taking. 4. Chelsea should sign Alvaro Morata – The Blues need competition for Diego Costa up top. Last season illustrated just how weak their attacking options were, and Antonio Conte will need to address this. Morata has had his buy-back clause activated by Real Madrid and Chelsea could make an offer with the La Liga giants looking to sell on for a profit. 3. Burnley should sign Jonjo Shelvey – Burnley have their critics ahead of their return to the Premier League, despite their superb season in the Championship to seal promotion. One area that requires addressing this summer is who can fill the void left by Joey Barton. Shelvey, similar in style to the midfielder, could be the man up for the job. 16. Swansea City should sign Nabil Bentaleb – Swansea were a rejuvenated side under Francesco Guidolin in the second half of the season, but the Italian will know work needs doing in the summer transfer window. Bentaleb, struggling for playing time at White Hart Lane, could add some much needed grit – and quality – to the Swans’ midfield, perhaps filling the role played by Jonjo Shelvey in the 2014/15 season. 20 19. West Bromwich Albion should sign Andros Townsend – The Baggies have become a dull unit in the Premier League, almost void of ideas in the final third. Tony Pulis should therefore be eyeing attacking players and Townsend, who may be eyeing a move to a Premier League side after Newcastle’s relegation, would liven up his side’s attack. 2. Bournemouth should sign Tomas Kalas – Despite a bright start to life in the top flight, the Cherries began to struggle as the season progressed. Next season could be a difficult one for the club and they would be wise to address their defence. Middlesbrough are reportedly keen on signing Kalas on a permanent deal, but with the newly-promoted side yet to agree a move for the Chelsea defender, Bournemouth could capitalise. 8. Leicester City should sign Christian Benteke – As Premier League champions, Claudio Ranieri should be looking to pull off a major deal this summer. While Benteke’s reputation has fallen at Anfield, much of his struggle can be attributed to Liverpool’s style of play not suiting the centre forward. His hold up play could see him slot straight into the Foxes team, allowing the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to play off him. 17. Tottenham Hotspur should sign Michy Batshuayi – Spurs were outstanding last season, despite their blip at the end of the campaign. Mauricio Pochettino has a strong squad, but perhaps one area that needs addressing is his options up top. Batshuayi is considered one of the finest young forwards in Europe currently and would provide fine competition to Harry Kane. 20 1. Arsenal should sign Alexandre Lacazette – check out our guide in full to the one key player every Premier League club should sign this summer by clicking the arrow above, right – Most Arsenal fans will probably tell you they need far more than one key signing this summer. Perhaps a new centre back or a defensive midfielder. But one position that really needs addressing is their striker. Olivier Giroud seems short of the quality required and Lacazette would be a welcome addition – not to mention a more realistic target than Karim Benzema or Gonzalo Higuain. 20 20 10. Manchester City should sign Paul Pogba – Pep Guardiola, as with Jose Mourinho, will have his eyes on a major signing this summer. The man the Spaniard should be considering is Pogba. Despite yet to really convince for France this summer, he remains one of the best midfielders in Europe and his arrival would worry City’s rivals further. 14. Stoke City should sign Georginio Wijnaldum – Despite having a strong attacking unit on paper, Mark Hughes’ side disappointed in the final third last season. He’ll want to address such concerns over the summer and may be keen to bring new players in to liven up his attack. Wijnaldum expressed glimpses of his ability on Tyneside and will believe he’s superior to that of a Championship player. 7. Hull City should sign Phil Jones – Steve Bruce has a number of players with experience in the Premier League at his disposal, and he could be interested in adding more to his squad. Jones, whose future at Manchester United is unclear, might welcome an offer away from Old Trafford – even if it isn’t glamorous. 18. Watford should sign Robbie Brady – Brady starred for the Republic of Ireland, helping his country reach the last 16 of the Euro 2016 finals. He is likely to be in demand and with the Hornets in need of inspiration after a demoralising six months, he could be an excellent addition to the squad. What’s more, Watford have made a habit of heading overseas for their transfer business over the last few seasons, and fans would welcome a home-grown player arriving at Vicarage Road. 13. Southampton should sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Chelsea fans will be devastated at the prospect of Loftus-Cheek leaving Stamford Bridge, but if he wishes for regular first-team football, he may have to do just that. Capable of playing a deeper role and as a no.10, the Chelsea midfielder could fill the void left by Victor Wanyama, who has sealed a move to White Hart Lane, and Sadio Mane, who is expected to join Liverpool. 6. Everton should sign Asmir Begovic – With Tim Howard leaving Goodison Park and question marks remaining over whether Joel Robles should be the club’s no.1, new manager Ronald Koeman may be targeting a goalkeeper this summer. Begovic, who proved he is far from finished when called upon during Thibaut Courtois’ injury at the end of last year, should come cheap and would welcome the offer of guaranteed first team football. 20 15. Sunderland should sign Andre Ayew – Reports claim Ayew’s future at the Liberty Stadium is uncertain and the Black Cats could capitalise on his situation. Jermain Defoe aside, there was a lack of goal threat from Sam Allardyce’s men and the Ghana winger, who scored 12 last season, could slot straight into the Sunderland starting line-up. 20 9. Liverpool should sign Blaise Matuidi – Liverpool have plenty of attacking options and Jurgen Klopp should be considering his defensive options. The Reds are missing a dominant midfielder – a player superior to Jordan Henderson. Matuidi, a key player for Paris Saint-Germain and France, could fulfil this role. 5. Crystal Palace should sign Andre Gray – Gray finished top scorer of the Championship last season and Burnley will be doing all they can to keep hold of the forward. An offer from Alan Pardew, though, could be difficult for the 25-year-old to turn down. The Eagles were short of fire power last season and could be looking for a replacement to the underwhelming Connor Wickham. 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 It’s that time of the year when clubs start to strengthen in preparation for the incoming window.New and old managers will be taking a look at their current squad, wondering which area is in need of work.Arsenal might be searching for a centre forward to compete with Olivier Giroud, while Manchester United could be scouring Europe for a marquee acquisition.But who should your club sign this summer?Check out talkSPORT’s guide to the one key player every Premier League club should be looking to sign ahead of the 2016/17 season by viewing the slideshow above.Disagree? Comment below! 20 11. Manchester United should sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic – This deal should be one the club are working tirelessly to finalise. The Swedish centre forward is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain and eyeing an adventure elsewhere. He is exactly the statement signing Jose Mourinho craves in his first summer in charge of United. 20 20 20. West Ham United should sign Wilfried Bony – Speculation on the Hammers suggests the club’s board are eyeing a marquee signing this summer ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium. A centre forward could be a priority and Bony, who they have been linked to before, could be a perfect addition to Slaven Bilic’s squad. Manchester City may be looking to sell, with reports of Nolito moving to the Etihad.last_img read more

Roberts expects growth in city

first_imgLANCASTER – Mayor Frank Roberts expects that his city this year will see major gains in retail development and job creation and a renewed focus on fighting crime. Roberts, who will complete his fifth and final term as mayor in April, said the city’s anti-crime efforts will focus on crime related to government-subsidized rental housing, the so-called federal Section 8 program that helps low-income families pay their rent. “One of the concerns we get loud and clear is the Section 8 housing,” Roberts said. “We’re going to have to focus on that.” The Lancaster Community Appreciation Project, started in 2004 to police apartment complexes and other rental units, is starting to show results and might be expanded, Roberts said. The program, called LAN-CAP, involves eight deputies. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson The program costs roughly $1.3 million, of which about one-fourth is funded by a rental license fee of $65 a year for landlords who own at least two rental units, plus $25 for each additional unit. Rental units account for about 30 percent of the city’s housing stock, but they account for two-thirds of the calls for service for deputies. Roberts said the city will also look to help promote a proposal to create a sheriff’s academy at Antelope Valley College. The proposal is aimed at helping the Sheriff’s Department address a personnel shortage of some 1,000 deputies throughout Los Angeles County. County officials say the department is having a hard time hiring and training new deputies as fast as veterans retire or transfer to other departments. In terms of retail development, Roberts predicted that residents will see dramatic growth in the next few years. Roberts said the build-up of businesses along Palmdale’s 10th Street West corridor will push chains to look further north. “You’ll see a build-out along the freeway,” Roberts said. “There will be hotels arriving on the scene that will stimulate retail and restaurant growth around them.” A $25 million makeover of the Valley Central shopping center, in the works for five years, will be in full swing in 2006. The renovation essentially replaces three big buildings – a former Costco, a former House2Home and the present Wal-Mart – and some smaller stores with one giant building – a Super Wal-Mart – and some smaller stores. The former Costco and House2Home stores have been demolished and construction soon will begin on the Wal-Mart store. Once the Wal-Mart Supercenter is open, the current Wal-Mart building will be torn down and replaced with smaller stores. Pads along Valley Central Way will be built to accommodate either smaller stores or restaurants. In terms of job creation, much of the attention will be focused on the development of the Fox Field Corridor, the area between Fox Field Airport and the Antelope Valley Freeway, Roberts said. The area is slated for industrial and commercial development. Among the projects in the corridor that will spur job growth are the establishment of a distribution center by SYGMA Network Inc., a restaurant supply company. The center, estimated to cost $15 million, will be ramping up its employment in 2006 to about 350 workers. The corridor will also see development of the Fox Field Business Park, a $24 million project by the commercial arm of home-building giant Larwin Co. The business park will eventually have 24 buildings with a total floor space of 220,000 square feet. Roberts said he hopes work will start soon on the 62-acre Whit Carter Park at Sierra Highway and Avenue H-8. The park, projected to cost about $8 million, will be built in phases, and is expected eventually to include baseball fields, picnic areas and tennis courts. City officials envision the park being the anchor of a revitalization project they have dubbed Northeast Gateway Corridors Vision Plan. The plan is aimed at improving the area bordered roughly by 10th Street West, West Avenue H-8, Challenger Way and Avenue I. Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 james.skeen@dailynews.com 160Want 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