International illegal logging conference touches on myriad issues

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 Forests, Governance, Government, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Illegal Trade, Rainforests Article published by Genevieve Belmakercenter_img A core issue at this year’s conference was the FLEGT process.FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) is the EU’s answer to fighting the global scourge of illegal logging.Collectively around the world, illegal logging is the highest-value environmental crime, at $51-$152 billion per year, according to a 2016 report by Interpol and the UNEP. LONDON – A broad gathering of key players in the environmental sector came together last week in London for an international conference on illegal logging. The annual Chatham House conference on illegal logging was attended by over 250 global representatives from government, non-profit, the private sector, and the media.According to Chatham House’s Alison Hoare, a senior research fellow on energy, environment and resources, attendance has grown steadily over the years.“We held the first of these meetings in 2002, at the time when discussions were really gathering pace within Europe as to how best to tackle the trade in illegal timber,” Hoare said via email. She noted that the growing interest in illegal logging and how to counteract it has likely contributed to larger audiences at the forums. “Over the last 16 years, the conferences have grown in size – from events of about 50 people, whereas in recent years we have always been at capacity of 250 people.”Hoare also credits greater global coordination in the fight against rampant illegal logging for the broad spectrum of attendees. Chatham House made significant efforts during the conference to facilitate sideline meetings, networking opportunities, and informal discussions.There are few, if any, other similar opportunities for key players from such a variety of countries to come together.Man standing next to a felled rainforest tree in Gabon. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerDuring the forum, a high-profile position was given to a group of 10 civil society and government representatives from Mainland China to discuss illegal logging and how they are dealing with it domestically and internationally. According to Chatham House’s Illegal Logging Portal, China has long been one of the world’s largest importers, consumers and exporters of wood-based products. The portal notes that China is also a “major conduit for illegal timber.”Collectively around the world, illegal logging is the highest-value environmental crime, at $51-$152 billion per year, according to a 2016 report by Interpol and the UNEP. That same report notes that overall, environmental crime is increasing at annual rate of 5-7 percent, which is 2-3 times the rate of the global economy. In addition to the devastating impact on the environment and biodiversity, illegal logging and forestry crime also contribute to billions in lost tax revenues for governments.“As efforts to tackle illegal logging have spread around the world, this has also been reflected in the meetings,” Hoare said. “We have had increasingly diverse representation among our speakers and panelists.”Some of the countries represented included the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Brazil, and numerous others.Logging in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.A key issue covered during the course of the two-day gathering at Chatham House’s historic building in London was the FLEGT process. FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) is part of the EU’s answer to illegal logging, and was established more than ten years ago. The purpose of the FLEGT process is to lessen the impact of illegal logging with sustainable and legal forest management. Better governance and trade promotion of legally produced timber are also key factors. Within that the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) is a legally binding trade agreement between the European Union and a timber-producing country outside the EU.The purpose of a VPA is to en­sure that timber and timber products exported to the EU come from legal sources. The agreements also help timber-exporting countries stop illegal logging by improving regulation and governance of the forest sector.The process doesn’t always meet with success, given the varying degrees of political and social stability in countries that might want to go through the process. Luca Perez, a leader on international forest issues with the European Commission, said during the opening session that there is always the risk of “leakage” into adjacent countries even with a VPA in place. Sometimes the process has multiple starts and stops over a period of time.That doesn’t bode well for the end result.“We cannot keep investing forever in processes that are not moving,” Perez said. He added that the process in each and every country needs to be examined on a case-by-case basis.One of the countries that has made the most significant progress on FLEGT-VPA licensing is Vietnam, though they recently faced accusations of importing timber illegally from Cambodia from an EIA investigation and report.Despite the unflattering picture the EIA report painted of corrupt officials in Vietnam taking kickbacks and bribes to import illegal timber, soon after its publication the VPA was initialed. The important step in the process came after 11 formal negotiation sessions, 19 joint expert meetings, and 30 video conferences. Vietnamese officials have vowed to investigate accusations of corruption vis-a-vis Cambodia.The end result for Vietnam will be a national system that deals with all timber sources, all markets and all operations. Risk-based verification, the process used to determine the degree of risk that the source of timber is illegal, will also play a key role.Speaking at last week’s event in London, Vũ Thi Bích Hop of the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development in Vietnam noted the importance of the broad involvement of people at every level for VPA-FLEGT licensing. That includes non-governmental monitoring mechanisms, which don’t currently exist in Vietnam.She said that a major concern is whether micro and small enterprises and households are prepared for the impact of the VPA.“We need civil society to be involved in the process,” Hop said.Other featured presentations at the conference included the use of satellite technology as a tool to improve timber supply chain transparency and independent forest monitoring for company due diligence and enforcement needs.Chatham House’s Hoare noted that the impact of these meetings can be difficult to gauge, but they feel that simply “providing a platform” is important.“A format that we follow for many of the sessions is to have representatives from government, civil society and the private sector, and this provides an opportunity for them to give their particular views,” she said. This applies at an international level as government representatives and international NGOs, private sector and civil society come together at the event.“Enabling participation in this way, and also providing an opportunity for the different stakeholders to interact in an informal setting during the two days, has been valuable in helping to build up understanding and trust between these different stakeholders.”Banner image: Tarsier in the forest of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.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

Kiribati confronts climate upheaval by preparing for ‘migration with dignity’

first_imgClimate change impacts and overpopulation are pushing Kiribati citizens to plan for a potential future migration en-masse.Still, many I-Kiribati fear losing cultural identity in the projected exodus of their people to higher land.To make the transition easier, some Kiribati citizens are receiving vocational training to qualify them for employment abroad. High tide keeps getting higher on the islands of the Republic of Kiribati – 33 coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean that rest only a few feet above sea level. In Kiribati culture, Nareau the Creator scattered stones to the north and south to create this mosaic of coral and rock. But, today, the effects of climate change are closing in and there’s no higher land to move to. Even as the atolls shrink, Kiribati’s population grows. The country is experiencing baki-aba: “land hunger.” In 2014, Kiribati president, Anote Tong purchased 20 square kilometers on Vanua Levu, a Fiji island making this the first international land purchase intended for climate refugees.For Kiribati, adapting to climate change might mean relocating entirely.Pacific islanders’ identities are very much tied to their ancestral land, the physical islands on which they live. Migration may mean a national and cultural loss, especially when most traditions are preserved orally.“They worry about the new country and if the people of that country will accept them,” Anterea Claire Anterea, co-founder of Kiri-CAN (Kiribati Climate Action Network International) and well-known climate activist in the country, said.Pacific island nations are some of the most vulnerable spots on Earth from climate change. According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, small islands emit less than one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but they disproportionately suffer the effects of rising tides, drought, and extreme storms.Today, small island states are often allocating their scarce resources away from economic development towards more immediate climate adaptation measures.For example, sandbags line the shores of Kiribati and causeways are raised to the stop waves from breaking over the Kiribati’s only road. Kiribati also faces more frequent droughts that ruin crops and destroy farmer’s livelihoods. As sea levels rise, citizens worry about saltwater contamination of their freshwater lens – a rain-filled bubble of freshwater that rests below Kiribati’s soil, but still above the ocean water. Exacerbating climate issues, overcrowding in Kirbati’s largest cities has led to poor sanitation and public health problems.Kiribati is made up of 33 atolls, formed from a volcano that sunk into the sea and left behind a ring of coral. South Tarawa, pictured above, is the most populated island, home to about half the population, with more people per square foot than Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Wikimedia commons.Anote Tong, former president of Kiribati, advocates for “migrating with dignity.” This policy was designed to give citizens the tools to relocate legally, finding work in other nations like Australia and New Zealand. Tong prefers this slow and methodical transition to the alternative – moving tens of thousands of citizens at once in response to a catastrophic flood or drought.A planned migration means that I-Kiribati (Kiribati citizens) can move on their own accord, instead of becoming climate refugees – victims of climate change left stateless with questionable legal rights and potentially perceived as burdens on any host country. Colloquially, the term “climate refugee” is used to describe any person leaving their home due to the effects of climate change, i.e. drought, flooding, or extreme weather.Trans-nationally, the term “climate refugee” has no legal clout. That means climate refugees might not have human rights when they migrate to a new nation. In order to be a refugee – by current, global legal standards – a person must be facing political persecution.In 2012, Ioane Teitiota, a Kiribati native, applied for asylum in New Zealand on the grounds that he was unable to grow food or find potable water in Kiribati. The courts eventually rejected the case and Teitiota and his family were deported. Teitiota could not prove persecution.The court conceded that Teitiota met a “sociological” definition of a refugee, but not a legal one. Teitiota has appealed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.“First and foremost – let it be known we do not want to [migrate] and become refugees!” Linda Uan said. Uan is a household name in Kiribati, known for co-founding the broadcasting and media production company Nei Tabera Ni Kai Video Unit (NTNK) which shares over 400 stories on climate change and social justice.“To an I-Kiribati mind – it is important to be self-reliant and we’ve been raised that way,” added Uan.“Migration to a new country will not be possible without the means to support oneself.”World Water Day outreach with communities of South Tarawa, who are rapidly losing their freshwater reserves due to salt water intrusion in their freshwater lens. Photo: Claire Anterea.Gaining employable skills will make I-Kiribati (Kiribati citizens) useful contributors to any host country.“If we train our people and they become skilled, then they would migrate with dignity and on merit, they would not be people running away from something,” Tong told Vice News. “They would be migrating, relocating as people with skills as members of communities they go into, even leaders, I hope.”A 2014 Poverty Assessment says that about 2,000 young persons enter the labor force each year in Kiribati. Many seek jobs in other countries. The total unemployment rate in 2010 was 31 percent. In 2011, the government began a program at the Kiribati Institute of Technology for Technical and Vocational Education and Training to “upskill” young persons through carpentry, plumbing, nursing, accounting, and other marketable trades. Over half of young employees are out of work and many are migrating to South Tarawa, Kiribati’s capital, where life is perceived as ‘easier’ than on the outer islands. Others are seafarers or seek seasonal employment as fruit-pickers in Australia or New Zealand.South Tarawa is now home to over half the Kiribati’s 113,000 people and exemplifies how climate change exacerbates poverty in a negative feedback loop. Water security for this overcrowded city is a major concern. I-Kiribati worry that the next drought and salinization will exhaust their supply in the freshwater lens.With limited space and resources, the latest survey, a Household Income and Expenditure Survey in 2006, estimates that almost 22 percent of I-Kiribati live in poverty.And yet, I-Kiribati have no word for “poverty.”“We live simply and happily by what we have,” said Anterea.Kiribati is only one example of how Pacific Island Countries (PICs) disproportionately suffer the consequences of climate change. According to a 2015 World Bank analysis, climate events like rising sea levels and severe weather events cost Pacific Island nations an average of US $284 million every year, making it nearly impossible for them to rise out of poverty.At the International Climate Talks in Paris in December, 2015, Tong brought Kiribati’s climate conundrum to center stage when he stressed that just a 1.5 degree Celsius temperature increase would be catastrophic for Kiribati and other small island developing states (SIDS) – the current Paris Climate Accord has set a goal to keep warming under 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Tong and other leaders also called for compensation from developed nations to help fund climate adaptation measures, but in the end, the Paris Climate Agreement did not contain any basis for liability or compensation.Claire Anterea, climate activist with Kiri-CAN with current president of Kiribati, Taneti Mamau, planting mangrove trees to improve shoreline health and climate resiliency. Photo: Claire Anterea.“Our culture is very strong in helping each other through our family [and] community. If the Developed States have that value in life…then you know that they are real people,” said Anterea. “We need them to start saving our country [by] cutting their emissions.”Kiribati is one of the least developed nations in the world with one of the lowest GDPs and per capita income. Foreign aid – mostly from Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand – makes up about a quarter of the country’s GDP and goes towards infrastructure development and public health initiatives.Part of Australia’s aid program is dedicated to giving young I-Kiribati the skills they need to succeed in national or international labor markets. Australia’s Pacific seasonal workers program connects Pacific Islanders with jobs in Australia, typically in rural and remote areas.“Australia understands the potential challenge climate change presents to habitation in the Pacific. We are committed to working on these issues,” a spokesperson for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson wrote.To that end, AusAID funded the Kiribati-Australia Nurses Initiative (KANI), which began in 2004 and was canceled in 2014. This $20.8 million dollar investment gave sixty full scholarships for I-Kiribati students to attend school in Brisbane Australia to gain vocational training and employable skills to Australian qualifications. After completion of the program, students were able to stay and work. But most chose to go home afterwards.“Weekly, we’re sending off more people to work on fruit picking, the hospitality industry, seafarers, fishermen etc. Interestingly enough, they’re all very happy to return home after they completed their contracts,” Uan said, speaking of all Kiribati’s labor migrants. “They talked about greener pastures abroad – very good soil, fertile, lots of room for more houses, quality goods, but that was there – not home. Home is good where our loved ones are, where we belong!”Anterea has visited many outer islands to ask them if they would ever migrate because of climate change. Most don’t want to leave their country. She says that both young and old generations worry about losing their traditions.“Our culture is that oral culture that [is] shared from generation to generation. And therefore our local knowledge is passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth. The challenge for preserving [it] will be not easy,” she says.Overcoming cultural and social differences have made it difficult for KANI students to adapt to life in Australia. Many reported homesickness. Students spent three months or more with Australian host families in order to adapt to Australian culture and practice speaking English. However, this assimilation strategy mostly made students feel isolated from one another. I-Kiribati live in bustling households with extended family. To move to an Australian home where they received their own quiet bedroom often exacerbated loneliness.To counter culture shock, a group called the Queensland Kiribati Community Youth took shape In Brisbane. KANI students and a small community of I-Kiribati who married Australians organize cultural events. This community celebrates Kiribati holidays together, performs traditional songs and dances at special events, campaigns for climate justice for I-Kiribati, and alleviates one another’s homesickness by maintaining a comfortable cultural backdrop.Maintaining these cultural practices helps KANI students cling to their identities. Three different waves of students have swept through the program, 87 overall. Some students are still finishing up their schooling. However, the pilot program was discontinued in 2014 due to low completion rates.Sixty-eight students are expected to graduate in total – 64 as registered nurses, 3 as social workers and 1 with a Bachelor’s in Human Services. Sixteen students did not complete schooling to become registered nurses and five students quit before receiving any qualification at all.Researcher Lara K. O’Brien interviewed KANI students for her published review of the initiative. All participants said climate change motivated their decision to join KANI.“Everyone back on the islands is aware of the fact that sea level is rising and that climate is changing, but I don’t know why they don’t have that sort of urge, you know, to panic or to start looking for something to do before the future,” one student told O’Brien. “They just, they’re relaxing and they tell you, ‘Oh, we’d rather die here.’”AusAid is expected to spend $30.9 million to Kiribati in Official Development Assistance in 2017-2018 and they are a major contributor to Kiribati’s Official Developmental Aid. Providing holding tanks for fresh water alleviates concerns over freshwater availability and protects public health. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.Critics say that KANI was not a cost-effective program since it cost on average $237,318 for one student to receive their Bachelor of Nursing. Others tout its successes as a way to send remittances to families on the homeland and prepare I-Kiribati youth for what’s seen as an inevitable migration.Despite the criticisms and its cancellation, KANI is still cited as a model for planned labor migration – the kind that may make for a smoother transition for I-Kiribati.“I believe that the KANI program is effective…because we witness that we have young people from our country that [are] working in Australia and allow them to stay as permanent resident[s]. We also see that they send good money back to help their family and that them young family settle and send their children to good schools in Australia,” said Anterea.The KANI initiative arises from a recent history of Australia-Kiribati cooperation. In 2009, the two countries signed the Kiribati-Australia Partnership for Development, agreeing to work in tandem to raise the standard of living for I-Kiribati by improving basic education and work skills.Australia plans to give $30.9 million to Kiribati in Official Development Assistance in 2017-2018 to increase quality of education, build a healthier population, and implement economic reforms. Other priorities include infrastructure improvements such as road, water, and sanitation projects.KANI was not the first instance of labor migration in Kiribati. In the 1820s, several residents of Gilbert Island (a Kiribati island) were forced into slavery for plantations and agricultural labor in Australia, Fiji, Tahiti, and even as far away as Peru. Some 1,400 Gilbertese were sent to the Solomon Islands. This time, though, I-Kirbatis are determined that the decision to leave Kiribati will be just that – a decision.CITATIONS:O’Brien, L. K. (2013, October 25). MIGRATING WITH DIGNITY”: A STUDY OF THE KIRIBATI-AUSTRALIA NURSING INITIATIVE (KANI). https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream/handle/1808/12947/OBrien_ku_0099M_13103_DATA_1.pdf?sequence=1Shaw, L., Edwards, M., & Rimon, A. (2014, February). KANI Independent Review AidWorks Initiative Number: ING466 REVIEW REPORT. Retrieved from https://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications/Documents/kiribati-australia-nursing-initiative-independent-report.pdf Article published by Maria Salazar Adaptation To Climate Change, Climate Change, Extreme Weather, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Human Migration, Impact Of Climate Change, Interns, Islands, Overpopulation, Research 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

New research projects two percent increase in global emissions in 2017

first_imgAdaptation To Climate Change, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Climate Change, Climate Change Negotiations, Climate Change Policy, Coal, Environment, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Research Article published by Mike Gaworecki A new report from the Global Carbon Project and the University of East Anglia projects that emissions will have risen about two percent by the time 2017 draws to a close.According to the report, global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry will reach about 37 billion metric tons in 2017, setting a new record. Emissions from all human activities, including fossil fuel use, industry, and land-use change, is projected to be about 41 billion metric tons, close to the record set in 2015.Emissions growth in China and other developing countries is largely to blame for the overall increase in 2017, the report states. Delegates at the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany (COP23), which concludes today, were hoping to make progress toward reining in global climate change. But this week also saw the release of new research that shows that, even as the nations of the world (with at least one notable exception, of course) are getting down to the business of meeting the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius or less, we still have not turned the corner in terms of drawing down global carbon emissions.Throughout the 2000s, total worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from industry and the burning of fossil fuels grew more than three percent per year, on average. But that growth began to slow in the 2010s. Emissions even remained flat the past three years, from 2014 to 2016, bucking the upward trend altogether and providing some cause for cautious optimism that emissions were at last on a more climate-friendly trajectory. But a new report from the Global Carbon Project and the University of East Anglia projects that emissions will have risen about two percent by the time 2017 draws to a close.Robbie Andrew, a senior researcher at CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, Norway and a co-author of the report, said that the increase in emissions in 2017 shows just how tenuous the recent slowdown in emissions really was — and that the Paris Agreement’s targets can still easily slip out of reach if we don’t take more aggressive action.“The slowdown in emissions growth from 2014 to 2016 was always a delicate balance, and the likely 2% increase in 2017 clearly demonstrates that we can’t take the recent slowdown for granted,” Andrew said in a statement.According to the report, global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry will reach about 37 billion metric tons in 2017, setting a new record. Emissions from all human activities, including fossil fuel use, industry, and land-use change, is projected to be about 41 billion metric tons, close to the record set in 2015.Emissions growth in China and other developing countries is largely to blame for the overall increase in 2017, the report states.China’s emissions are projected to rise 3.5 percent this year, while India’s emissions are projected to rise two percent. Emissions from the United States and European countries are both expected to be down this year, by 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively — rates of decline that are far slower than the 1.2 percent and 2.2 percent average annual declines the U.S. and Europe saw over the previous decade. Carbon emissions from all of the remaining countries, which collectively represent some 40 percent of total global emissions, are expected to increase 2.3 percent.It’s not possible to say whether 2017 will turn out to be simply a one-time anomaly or the world is actually back on an overall growth trend, but Glen Peters, a research director at CICERO who led one of the studies that informed the new report, said one thing that is clear is that countries must be more ambitious with their individual climate targets if we’re to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius.“Global commitments made in Paris in 2015 to reduce emissions are still not being matched by actions,” Peters said in a statement. “It is far too early to proclaim that we have turned a corner and started the journey towards zero emissions.”Kelly Levin and Ranping Song of the World Resources Institute (WRI), who were not involved in any of the studies underlying the Global Carbon Project report, note in a blog post that research has shown that in order to have a legitimate shot at meeting the two degrees Celsius limit in a cost-effective manner, global emissions must peak no later than 2020. WRI’s own research found that even though 49 countries have already managed to hit peak emissions and have therefore begun an overall downward trajectory, the world is still not taking sufficient collective action to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals and prevent the worst impacts of global warming.“Currently, even if countries achieve their climate commitments under the Paris Agreement, global emissions are not expected to peak until after 2030,” Levin and Song write. “Per the Paris Agreement, countries should update their national climate plans by 2020. If we are to see different headlines from the Global Carbon Project in the coming years and avoid the most dangerous climate impacts, countries have to peak their emissions as soon as possible, and keep emissions levels moving steadily downward.”Mongabay correspondent Justin Catanoso reported from COP23 that while the talks were “short on big news or significant steps forward to curb climate change,” there was at least one significant achievement: 19 nations, led by Canada and the United Kingdom, announced their plans to phase out the use of coal by 2030.Despite the jolt of excitement the coal phase-out generated, many participants in the talks were disappointed with the outcome of the climate talks, according to Catanoso.In general, developed nations failed to commit to more aggressive emissions reduction goals at COP23. And while the consensus among climate scientists is that most coal-fired power generation needs to be phased out by 2050 if we’re to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals, major coal producers and users like Australia, Germany, India, and the United States did not join the new Global Alliance to Power Past Coal.“The coal phase-out announcement allows COP23 to end on something of a high note,” Catanoso writes. “However, the big hope for the summit, that the developed nations would pledge to ramp up their Paris carbon-reduction targets, did not materialize. Likewise, attempts to find clear pathways by which developed nations will raise the tens of billions needed for vulnerable developing nations to deal with climate change were blocked — primarily by the United States — until next year.”The 5,400 MW Bełchatów Power Station in Poland – one of the world’s largest coal-fired power stations. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001center_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 overlast_img read more

Indonesia prepares to adopt standardized peat-mapping technology

first_imgThe winner of a competition announced in 2016 to come up with a fast, accurate and cost-effective method to map Indonesia’s vast tropical peatlands will be announced on Feb. 2.The government currently lacks an authoritative map of its carbon-rich peat areas, which it urgently needs to enforce a policy of conserving existing peatlands and rehabilitating degraded areas.The country’s peatlands are important as stores of greenhouse gases and habitats for endangered species; but their drainage and deforestation, mostly for oil palm plantations, has made Indonesia one of the world’s biggest carbon emitters and contributed to loss of wildlife habitat. JAKARTA — The daunting task of mapping Indonesia’s vast peatlands in painstaking detail has entered the home stretch, as competing proposals vie for selection as the standard to be adopted by the government.Indonesia is home to the largest combined area of tropical peatland in the world, but lacks a comprehensive and detailed map of these carbon-rich landscapes that it needs to undergird a landmark policy of restoring degraded peatland and preventing the recurrence of annual fires across these ecosystems.Peatlands are fast being drained and razed to make way for monoculture crops, primarily oil palms, in the process releasing massive amounts of greenhouse gases once trapped within the meters-deep layers of partly decomposed organic matter that comprise peat.“That’s why peat maps need to be updated with the latest condition,” said Wiwin Ambarwulan, head of research at Indonesia’s Geospatial Information Agency, or BIG.To that end, the presidentially appointed Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) in 2016 announced a competition, the Indonesian Peat Prize, to find a fast, cost-effective and accurate mapping method for the country’s peat forests.The competition has now been whittled down to the final five, and the winner will be announced in Jakarta on Feb. 2.“We’re really anticipating the results of this competition because this problem of data accuracy is very important for our work,” said BRG deputy head Budi S. Wardhana. “The BRG’s mandate is only for five years. If we spend all of our time on mapping, when do we get to carry out the restoration work?”The five finalists have proposed a wide range of mapping techniques, from using a device to measure the electromagnetic resistivity of peatlands, to integrating low-tech improvements to soil sampling methods with high-tech innovations in digital mapping based on the sophisticated processing technique of interferometric synthetic-aperture radar.The technology that ultimately wins out will be adopted by the government as the standard for future peat mapping in the country, Wiwin said.“We will implement it in all regions in Indonesia,” she said, adding “there’s a chance that we may combine technologies from two finalists.”Drainage canal dug through peat swamp in Riau Province. Photo by Rhett A ButlerNo authoritative mapThe vastness of Indonesia’s peatlands poses its own complexity. These landscapes are important for biomass production, water supply, carbon storage and biodiversity conservation. At the same time, their massive range means there are no authoritative maps clearly delineating peatlands from other areas, which has allowed them to be included in concessions for commercial exploitation, including plantations, logging and mining.A 2016 presidential regulation, issued in the wake of devastating forest and land fires fueled largely by the burning of drained and degraded peat in 2015, bans companies from planting on peat that has been zoned for conservation. Plantation firms already operating in conservation areas can see their crops through for the duration of their life cycle, after which they cannot replant the land, but are required to rewet the peat for conservation purposes.Currently, two peat maps among several in existence are the most commonly used: one produced by the NGO Wetlands International in 2004, and the other by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2011. In a 2013 report, the Dutch consultancy Deltares concluded that neither of these maps was suitable for spatial planning or policymaking, as both consistently underestimated the extent of the peatland and thickness of the peat layers.The Ministry of Environment and Forestry also published a peat hydrological area map in 2017, which divides peat zones into two categories: protection or production. The map uses data from various official maps, including that of the Ministry of Agriculture and one from the Ministry of Public Works.But at a scale of 1:250,000, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s map is not detailed for use in effective spatial planning and policymaking tasks, which require maps with a finer resolution of 1:50,000.This lack of an authoritative map and poor data has made it difficult for the government to identify peat areas that needed to be conserved — the necessary first step toward rehabilitating peatlands that have been degraded and rendered susceptible to fires.Peat forest in Borneo, Indonesia, home to orangutans. Orangutan populations found on the opposite sides of wide rivers often possess differing behavioral traits, which upon careful study in some cases have been proven to be culturally caused. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerCost concernsThe government has experimented with the high-resolution mapping technique known as lidar, which functions similarly to radar — by beaming radiation toward the object being surveyed and measuring the reflected radiation — except it uses laser pulses rather than radio waves.While reliable and accurate, lidar’s main drawback is its high cost at about $700 per square kilometer ($1,810 per square mile). Indonesia’s peatlands span an estimated 149,000 square kilometers (57,529 square miles), around the size of New York, making this technique prohibitively expensive.“It’s also still not enough because it can only cover the surface,” Budi of the BRG said. “So we can see the topography and identify land cover, but we can’t measure the depth [of the peat layer] even though the depth determines the management of peatlands, whether they’re for cultivation or to be protected.”These limitations have left the BRG struggling to meet its target of mapping 104 peat zones in seven provinces. To date, it has only mapped seven peat zones using lidar and eight using traditional methods, which require multiple field observations and tacking on the costs.“We’re indeed struggling because it’s expensive,” Budi said.That’s why, he said, the BRG is looking forward to settling on a proven and cost-effective solution and quickly adopting it as the national standard.“We will submit the technologies to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for them to improve their existing map,” Budi said. carbon, Ecological Restoration, Environment, Fires, Forest Carbon, Forest Fires, Indonesia, Mapping, Peatlands, Restoration Banner image: Coastal peatlands in Riau Province. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong 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

Brazil’s fundamental pesticide law under attack

first_imgIn 2008, Brazil became the largest pesticide consumer in the world – the dual result of booming industrial agribusiness and ineffective environmental regulation.In 1989, the country established one of the then toughest pesticide laws in the world (7,802/1989), which included the precautionary principle in its pesticide evaluation and registration standards. However, limited staffing and budget has made the law very difficult to implement and enforce.With its increasing power after 2000, the bancada ruralista, the agribusiness lobby, has worked to overthrow that law, an effort thwarted to date but more likely to succeed under the Temer administration and the current ruralista-dominated Congress.Lax pesticide use regulation and education have major health and environmental consequences. Farmers often use pesticides without proper safety gear, while children are often in the fields when spraying occurs. Some experts blame pesticides partly for Brazil’s high cancer rate – cancer is the nation’s second leading cause of death. Applying pesticides in the field. Brazil is the world’s biggest user of chemical pesticide. Photo by prodbdf on flickrPesticides are flourishing on fertile economic ground in Brazil, thanks to the large government subsidies and low taxes granted to the companies manufacturing them, the negligible costs for national registration of active chemical ingredients, and virtually nonexistent pesticide use oversight.These and other incentives – plus explosive agribusiness growth – resulted in Brazil achieving a dubious record in 2008, when it became the largest pesticide consumer in the world, according to a Kleffmann Group study commissioned by the National Association of Plant Defense (ANDEF), representing Brazil’s pesticide manufacturers. (Oddly, a negative press response to the study caused ANDEF to deny its own findings  for years.)Number one or not, the national statistics are eye opening. According to IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental protection agency, and other data, chemical pesticide active ingredient sales grew countrywide by 313 percent between 2000 and 2014, rising from 162,461 tons to 508,566 tons. São Paulo, Mato Grosso and Paraná became the major trading states over that period. But even once small pesticide consumers, like Amazonas, Amapá and Acre, saw exponential growth, with use soaring by 1,941 percent, 942 percent, and 500 percent, respectively, in sales per ton between 2005 and 2012 in these Amazon states.Brazilian pesticide consumption and related products (2000 – 2014). Vertical axis: 1,000 tons of active ingredient; horizontal axis: year. Chart courtesy of IBAMA. Data consolidation provided by the registrant companies of technical products, pesticides and the like, according to article 41 of Decree nº 4,074/2002. Updated April 2016Pesticide use driven by government policyPesticides were first imported to Brazil in the 1960s, but it was in 1975, with creation of the National Development Plan (PND) that commercialization grew significantly. Under the PND, farmers were obliged to purchase pesticides to obtain rural credit.Consumption gained momentum in the first decade of the 21st century, when the bancada ruralista, Brazil’s powerful agribusiness lobby, significantly increased the number of seats it held in Congress, which led to subsidies and tax breaks favorable to pesticide makers.The explosive growth of pesticide consumption went hand in hand with the increase in agriculture exports. According to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in 1975 the production of cereals, legumes and oilseeds in the country amounted to just 39.4 million tons. In 2014 that grew to 194.5 million tons of grains grown on 56.7 million hectares (218.2 million square miles), and in 2017 to 240.6 million tons on 61.1 million hectares (235.2 million square miles).Two major commodities, soybeans and corn – both which require high pesticide use ­– represented much of that growth. In 2000, the value of all grains produced in Brazil was US$ 6.5 billion; of this, soybeans and corn accounted for US$ 4.6 billion. In 2016, the total value of grains rose to US$ 54.8 billion, of which US$ 44.9 billion came from soy and corn.“Brazilian agriculture has been consolidated through the expansion of crops turned to commodities or agrofuels that demand intensive use of pesticides,” concludes a study, Geography of the Use of Agrochemicals in Brazil and Connections with the European Union, by Larissa Mies Bombardi, at the Agrarian Geography Laboratory at the University of São Paulo.“Brazil consumes about 20 percent of all pesticides sold commercially worldwide,” that study concludes. “There are [currently] 504 pesticides allowed for use in Brazil, and of these, 30 percent are banned in the European Union – some more than a decade ago.”Large scale crop spraying. Photo by Trish Steel licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 licenseThe glyphosate exampleBrazil’s high pesticide usage has potential consequences for human health and the environment. For example, one of the most consumed herbicides in the country is Monsanto’s globally controversial glyphosate which has been linked to numerous health problems, and one of whose inert ingredients has been shown to cause cell death.A technical opinion requested by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office and issued in May 2015 by Brazilian researchers Sonia Hess and Rubens Nodari, performed an “extensive review of international scientific literature” regarding glyphosate. Among their conclusions is that the herbicide has an endocrine disrupting effect on human liver cells and, in the concentration of parts per trillion (ppt), induces the proliferation of human cells of breast cancer.And yet, glyphosate regulation remains lax in Brazil, where the herbicide is allowed in application at up to 500 milligrams per liter. The European Union (EU) limits the maximum amount of glyphosate to 0.1 milligrams per liter, or 5,000 times less. Likewise, with soybean spraying, Brazil allows 200 times greater glyphosate residue; 10 milligrams per kilogram residue is acceptable in Brazil, against 0.05 milligrams per kilogram in the EU.Social movements and environmental organizations march in Brasilia as part of the Permanent Campaign against Agrochemicals and for Life. Photo by Marcello Casal Jr/ABr licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Brazil licenseBrazil’s fundamental pesticide law under attackDespite the dominance achieved by industrial agribusiness in Brazil during the 21st Century, and the record high use of chemical pesticides there, the bancada ruralista – in alliance with the pesticide industry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) – desires much more deregulation.According to experts interviewed for this article, the agribusiness sector has been working steadily for nearly three decades to dismantle legislation currently controlling chemical pesticide registration and use in Brazil.At the heart of this crusade is an effort to eliminate the country’s landmark, foundational pesticide regulatory act (7,802/1989), which reads in part:Pesticides, their components and the like can only be produced, exported, imported, sold and consumed if previously registered with a federal agency, in accordance with the guidelines and requirements of the federal agencies responsible for the health, environment and agriculture sectors.According to the law, ANVISA (Brazil’s health protection agency), IBAMA, and MAPA are responsible for implementing the pesticide registration process. The two agencies carry out hazard assessments, determining potential harm to humans and the environment; while MAPA analyzes agronomic performance and registers products.Under the rules, the hazard assessment performed by the two agencies is stringent, with pesticides categorized by intrinsic toxicity. Products must be automatically banned, regardless of dose, if classified as carcinogenic (cancer-causing), teratogenic (harmful to embryo or fetus), capable of producing cellular changes, hormonal disorders or reproductive harm.“The 1989 law was perhaps the most advanced in the world at the time,” Victor Pelaez told Mongabay. He is a professor of economics and coordinator of the Observatory on the Pesticides Industry at the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR). Long before the European Union instituted similar regulations in 2011, Brazil’s law 7,802 “already incorporated the precautionary principle,” which many nations, including the U.S. have yet to embrace. “That is, it recognized the tremendous high risk of not controlling excessive hazards to human health.”Unfortunately for Brazil’s environment and its people, law 7,802 had a critical flaw. It failed to provide the needed mechanisms and staff for implementation. The legislation never worked properly because of the “impracticability of such [strict] control, given the scarce supervision resources [granted to] the public bodies,” Pelaez said.The slowness of pesticide registration has, as a result, long frustrated the pesticide industry, which wants its products quickly approved, while the lack of regulatory staffing and oversight has frustrated environmentalists wanting careful analysis of pesticides.Monsanto Lasso herbcide to be sprayed on food crops showing proper protective gear. Photo courtesy of the USDAThe drive to deregulateSince law 7,802 was passed in 1989, dozens of bills have been introduced in Congress by the ruralists, and pushed by pesticide industry lobbyists, to eliminate its strict regulatory framework. The primary push, unsuccessful so far, has been to remove ANVISA and IBAMA from the chemical pesticide registration process.Another goal of the ruralists and pesticide makers has been to abolish the nation’s current stringent pesticide hazard analysis requirement – a particular scientific method used by the two agencies to evaluate biocide toxicity – and to replace it with a less strict risk assessment requirement.To appreciate motivations for this proposed change, it is important to understand the vast technical difference between “hazard analysis” and “risk assessment.”Hazard analysis (which in Brazil incorporates the precautionary principle) fully rejects for registration any toxic agents that have been studied extensively and found to possess “significant hazards” of causing disease or doing environmental harm.Risk assessment, on the other hand, is the probability that a hazard will occur and do harm when a product is used; an evaluation that encompasses much more uncertainty and allows more leeway in pesticide approval. Risk assessments are preferred by the ruralists and the pesticide industry who want more freedom in the selection and application of bio toxins.Aerial spraying can be particularly hazardous to public health depending on application and winds. Photo credit: Don McCullough on Visualhunt / CC BY-NCTypical of the bills pressed by the ruralists is PLS 526 of 1999, a measure meant to exclude ANVISA and IBAMA from the pesticide registration process. PLS 526 was authored by Blairo Maggi, then known as “The Soy King” for being Brazil’s biggest soy grower. Today Maggi is Brazil’s influential minister of agriculture.That bill, however, languished in the Chamber of Deputies and then was rejiggered as PL 6299/2002, which also went nowhere during the Lula and Dilma administrations.Thwarted by the multi-decade delay, the ruralists last year saw a new chance to move ahead with deregulation, working through the more sympathetic Temer administration. Agribusiness sought a fast track workaround to legislation: MAPA sent a draft of an MP, a Provisional Measure equivalent to a presidential executive order, to the Executive’s Chief of Staff for review in March, 2017. As with PL 6299, the MP proposed the exclusion of ANVISA and IBAMA from the pesticides licensing process.However, the pesticide deregulation MP (which if approved by the president, would take effect immediately), met with widespread criticism in the press, and has since disappeared from view. According to Jacimara Machado, IBAMA’s director of environmental quality, the agency kept waiting for the Chief of Staff “to discuss the MP’s draft,” but nothing happened.Unfazed, the ruralists are preparing another maneuver for 2018, according to Cleber Folgado, a member of the National Forum and the Bahia Forum Against Pesticides, coordinated by Brazil’s State Public Ministry. In September “the bancada ruralista and the Temer government negotiated a new bill draft that would replace PL 6299/2002,” Folgado told Mongabay.As scientific evidence grows regarding the potential health impacts of Monsanto’s pesticides, a global movement has risen against the company. Photo credit: msdonnalee on VisualHunt / CC BYThe new bill synthesizes eighteen measures related to PL 6299, all which advance pesticide deregulation. The new PL would establish an “agricultural governing body” to handle the evaluation and approval of pesticide registration, with that entity’s review based not on hazard analysis, but on less stringent risk assessments, and also focused more on pesticide crop effectiveness. ANVISA and IBAMA would have no say in the registration process and likely serve only as enforcers of the body’s decisions. In part it reads:The agriculture governing body will be able to define criteria and establish priority in the analysis of registrations or post-registration claims, based on the need for greater control of agricultural pests…. The health and the environmental agencies will adopt the priorities duly established by the agriculture body.If the ruralists, Congress, and Maggi’s MAPA achieve their goal, the new measure would probably allow an unprecedented number of biocides to be registered and to quickly enter the market, maybe including substances already banned in Brazil.Under the weaker risk assessment process, for instance, pesticides with known carcinogenic potential could no longer be rejected out of hand; instead, they could be registered with the understanding that they should be used in an established and proper manner to reduce the risk of their effects – even though Brazil lacks the regulatory staff to oversee the use risk reduction process.The MAPA draft justifies the easing of pesticide regulations in this manner:In a literal interpretation of the law, the regulator bodies [IBAMA and ANVISA] have understood that it is enough that the product presents those intrinsic [hazardous] characteristics to not be registered, regardless of the levels to which humans are exposed. It would be the same as, by making an analogy, every car was to be forbidden from being produced and marketed by its characteristic of being dangerous, i.e., of causing accidents.The MAPA draft adds: “Prohibiting the use of a substance without considering the exposure levels does not protect the health of the population more than when it is applied correctly, within the limits set by a thorough risk assessment.”Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi defended the proposed measure on television last July, stating simply: “What we are trying to do is make bureaucratic processes faster.”A cartoon confronts the paradox of pesticide regulatory measures: while protective gear may keep people safe, it doesn’t safeguard wildlife and the environment. Image by healthfulQuest on flickrA critique of deregulationUFPR’s Pelaez refutes MAPA’s and Maggi’s deregulation arguments: “In a country without a monitoring structure and communication resources on the intrinsic danger of pesticides, approving them in the name of a risk assessment is a setback and practically a crime.”Palaez notes that Brazil’s pesticide registration process is in dire need of funds, and he compares the Brazilian procedure unfavorably with that in the United States: “The U.S. government, as a way of enabling an assessment process compatible with the demands of the regulated sector, charges up to US$ 630,000 [to pesticide companies] for the registration of a new active [pesticide] ingredient. This [helps] finance the high costs of toxicological analysis of registration applications submitted by manufacturing companies. In Brazil, the maximum amount charged is around US$ 3,000,” so the industry contributes little money to quicken the registration process.The difference between the two nations doesn’t end there. While an American license lasts just 15 years, in Brazil a registration never expires – a potentially dangerous situation because new research may uncover formerly unknown health and environmental hazards. Currently, new study evidence can trigger a pesticide re-evaluation in Brazil, although that reanalysis could take years, as in the case of glyphosate which remains in use, despite recent findings of its harmful effects.The Ministry of Agriculture did not respond to Mongabay’s interview request. ANVISA’s communication office, when contacted by Mongabay, responded that they would “not comment on speculations” regarding potential pesticide regulation changes.IBAMA’s Machado said that the agency is not against using risk assessment as a tool, but added it would need time to make such changes: “We need to create a structure, do studies, analyze different scenarios and establish procedures, not to mention staff training. None of this is ready.”Tractor and spraying equipment. Photo by Maasaak licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International licenseAgencies under staffed and under pressureFor years, ANVISA, part of the Ministry of Health, has operated under intense political pressure from the ruralist lobby. In 2012, Luis Claudio Meirelles, then ANVISA’s general manager, was dismissed after denouncing irregularities in the approval of pesticides that were under analysis.The same year, Eduardo Daher of ANDEF, the pesticide industry association, gave an interview to the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in which he attacked the regulatory agency: “ANVISA… tries to manage [everything] from breast prosthesis to… pastry. It plays God. The government is not able to coordinate it; it is politically oriented and ideologically manipulated.”At a congressional hearing, Kátia Abreu, a senator for Tocantins state, a ruralist, and a former minister of Agriculture, denounced the “slowness” of the agency in approving and releasing pesticides for use: “Thousands of Brazilians who earn a minimum wage need to eat food [treated] with pesticides because it is the only way to make food cheaper.… ANVISA plays a backward role for the country, to the detriment of agriculture.”Analysts point out that there is a good reason for ANVISA’s “slowness.” In 2012, the government provided the agency with just 20 technicians in its pesticide registration area, even though 1,500 products awaited evaluation.IBAMA isn’t any better staffed: the chemical and biological substances analysis department, which evaluates not only pesticides but also dispersants, oil, fuels, and other substances, currently has 37 employees, while 2,000 registration applications are pending.“Without operational capacity, we take five years, on average, to begin evaluating a product, while the assessment itself takes [on average] five months,” said IBAMA’s Machado. “Manufacturers complain about the delay. But while we release an average of ten products per week, 30 new applications enter the agency,” over the same period. In comparison, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has roughly 850 technicians assigned to evaluation, registration and monitoring of pesticides alone.In January of 2017, MAPA celebrated an “historic record”: 277 new pesticides were registered in 2016 (of which 161 were generic). The previous year 182 licenses were approved, 43 of them generic.A generic pesticide combines, in addition to its active ingredient, other chemicals for varying purposes, facilitating the absorption of poisons, for example. Importantly, neither hazard analys nor risk assessment currently evaluates the synergistic effects of pesticides – the interaction of all ingredients, producing a greater effect than each separately.Spraying pesticides. Brazil’s 1989 pesticide law is one of the toughest in the world, except that it lacks the tools for staffing and timely implementation. Photo by AlcheaNemesis“Sells like soda”While MAPA officially advocates for the safe use of highly toxic pesticides, assuring they’re applied under controlled conditions – moderating dose, levels of exposure, safety equipment, and more – the reality out in the field is far different, say experts.Farmers are often unaware of the dangers of the chemicals they use, alone and in combination. “Instead of applying one pesticide at a time, many farmers combine an herbicide, a pesticide, and an acaricide [pesticides that kill members of the arachnid subclass Acari, which includes ticks and mites], for example, and make a single application on crops to save on aerial spraying,” said Forum Against Pesticides’ Folgado. These “so-called toxic syrups (caldas tóxicas, in Portuguese) increase the toxicity of biocides and [have become] a public health problem in Brazil. They are not evaluated by ANVISA or any other body.”Lacking proper state oversight and training, small scale farmers also often adopt unhealthy practices, as shown in a documentary entitled The insecure use of pesticides, by Pedro Abreu, a Ph.D. student in collective health at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the State University of Campinas, and Herling Alonzo, professor of environmental health and toxicology at the same institution.One case documented in the film tells of a man who regularly used Monsanto’s Roundup on his crops ­– an herbicide whose active ingredient is glyphosate. The man reportedly applied the poison without any self protection, while wearing shorts and slippers; he died of cancer, though his death can’t be directly linked to Roundup.Improper spraying gear. Many experts believe that a sharp rise in cancers in Brazil may be due to pesticides and other environmental toxins. Photo by Bt Brinjal on flickrThe film registered other examples of improper use, in which, for example, one farmer had stored pesticides in his family’s living space, while another purchased them without an agronomist’s recommendation or instruction. José Reis, a family farmer from Lavras, Minas Gerais, told Abreu: The store “used to ask [for] a letter [of prescription], but not anymore, now [pesticides] sell just like soda.”Emerson Abreu, a young farmer, added: buying pesticides is “the same thing as picking up groceries on a supermarket shelf.”In a recent seminar at Fiocruz Minas Gerais state, a research institution specializing in biological sciences and based in Rio de Janeiro, with branches in nine other states, Eliane Novato, a researcher at the department of biochemistry and immunology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), said that “The impact [of pesticides] on health is often complicated to measure [in the field] because there are several factors that go into the relationship [to] ‘exposure-damage.’ High concentrations of toxic product for a short time have an immediate [health] effect, but low concentrations for a long time have a late, cumulative effect that is difficult to assess.”She notes that it is not uncommon to find children accompanying their parents into sprayed plantation fields, and yet the risk of regular exposure by children to agricultural pesticides is rarely considered.And yet, data published by the National System of Toxic-Pharmacological Information (Sinitox), linked to the Ministry of Health and Fiocruz, showed that 25.3 percent of pesticide poisonings reported between 1999 and 2015 occurred in children nine years old or younger, or 50,969 intoxications out of 201,832 cases. Of the children’s subgroup, 160 deaths occurred in the same period.Sinitox breaks down pesticide poisoning into three subgroups, agricultural pesticides, domestic-use pesticides, veterinary products and rodenticides. In 2015, for example, more than 33 percent of all pesticide poisonings occurred in children up to nine years old ­– 2,196 out of 6,591 cases. Of the children’s subgroup, 259 cases were caused by agricultural pesticides, 945 by household pesticides (insecticides, gardening products, repellents etc.), 379 by veterinary products and 613 by rodenticides. It’s important to realize that the Sinitox numbers are incomplete because they cover primarily acute cases, in just 18 of the 26 Brazilian states.The safe application of pesticides is critical to protecting public health, but experts argue that Brazil offers little oversight of use training and education. Photo by Eric Akaoka Flickr Creative CommonsSonia Hess, a Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) chemistry professor, told Mongabay that cancer is already the second leading cause of death in Brazil, surpassed only by cardiovascular diseases. The number of deaths has increased 31 percent since 2000 and totaled 223,400 Brazilians annually by 2015, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). How many of these cases are related to exposure to carcinogenic chemical pesticides is uncertain, though researchers are concerned.“Unfortunately, there is always a long period between scientific evidence of health harm and the ban of these substances,” said Hess. “Remember thalidomide,” an approved drug that resulted in severe birth defects. “DDT is banned in more than 40 countries, including Brazil and the U.S.,” she added, but recognizing its environmental impacts and outlawing it required years.“For those who study the subject, there is no question that cancer is an environmental epidemic resulting from exposure to toxic substances present in the water, air, food, cosmetics, [and more]… But the reaction to the problem runs counter to the power of the chemical industry, which controls governments around the world. We will continue to count the sick and the dead until the disaster becomes so evident that some reaction can be successful,” leading to more proactive regulation, Hess concluded.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. Agriculture, Agrochemicals, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Chemicals, Controversial, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corporate Responsibility, Corruption, Environment, Environmental Crime, environmental justice, Environmental Law, Environmental Politics, Featured, Food Crisis, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Law, Pesticides, Regulations, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_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

Man charged for verbally abusing nurse in minibus

first_imgDavid Lewis, a 48-year-old bus driver of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), was on Tuesday slapped with a verbal abuse charge when he appeared at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court.David LewisHe was accused of verbally abusing a passenger who was travelling in his minibus, bearing registration number BSS 5193, and who requested that he stop speeding.According to reports, the young woman is claiming that Lewis was driving at a pace of 140mph which frightened her and as such, she requested that he slow down.However, this angered the man who boasted of driving for some 23 years without being involved in an accident. He further told the young nurse that she can report the matter as he is not afraid of the Police.She was then let out of the minibus and further told by the driver that “you are a very stupid girl, same thing you frighten will kill you”.The young woman, Jeneal Lewis, made a Facebook post of her experience which the said driver saw and continued to publically verbally abuse her.The matter was reported and Lewis was charged for overloading the minibus, speeding and conduct of driver.He was granted $10,000 bail on all the charges and will return to the Leonora Magistrate’s Court on September 17 for trial.last_img read more

Berbicians losing confidence in Police – Regional Chairman

first_img…says crime still high, many cases unreportedDespite the repeated public statements that there has been a decrease in crime in Guyana, there is still a lot of criminal activities taking place in the county of Berbice, most of which are not reported to the police for various reasons.Regional Chairman David ArmoganThis is according to Regional Chairman of Region Six, David Armogan, who told Guyana Times in an interview that Berbicians continue to complain about their homes being broken into and also of physical assault cases but they are reluctant to turn to the police for help or justice.“The Minister of Public Security keeps saying that crime has been on the decrease but it is the same way here… a lot of people thieves go at and it does not get coverage by the newspapers or anything so it looks as if things are bright and beautiful but it is not. Then people stopped, they don’t even go and report because they don’t get any of the results,” the Chairman said.He acknowledged that the shooting to death of three bandits that were hiding out in the Black Bush Polder two months ago did put a dent in the rate of armed robberies for the year, however, crime continues to spiral in different forms in Berbice.The Regional Chairman noted that the data/statistics on the crime rate are retrieved from cases that have been reported but that a large number of thefts and robberies continue to occur without victims making reports in Berbice because they have lost confidence in the police.“They don’t have that confidence and then the thing is when you go to make a report at the police station, it is like you are the one who did the crime. For example, the amount of questions that you have to answer and the amount of time you got to spend at the station. People are now really hesitant to report a matter,” he explained.Just last month, Guyana’s Police Commissioner, Leslie James, declared that there is no spike in crime in the country, despite repeated daily reports that persons and businesses are being robbed.James had instead attributed the perception of increased crimes to “sensational” media reports. At a press conference in June, he assured the Guyanese diaspora and visitors that crime is not on the increase. “I wish to advise very, very clearly that there is no upsurge in crime in the State of Guyana.”At that time, when he was asked to respond to the reaction by the public that claims of low crime figures are a “joke”, the Police Commissioner said he was relying on “our numbers” that reflect no hike in crime.However, in the month of May, the US Department of State had sent a stringent warning to all its citizens, urging them to exercise caution when visiting Guyana due to the evident spike in the country’s crime rate.In a statement on its website, the Department had stated there is a frequency of violent crimes, commonly armed robbery and murder. It specifically highlighted that the police network is hindered to effectively alleviate these incidents due to the lack of resources.“Violent crimes such as armed robbery and murder, is common. Local Police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents,” the notice stated.In Guyana’s Crime and Safety Report for 2018, which was created by the State Department, Georgetown was assessed as “a critical-threat location for crime directed at or affecting official US Government interests”.The report categorised local criminals based on their choice of weapons and targets, some of whom are American citizens. However, Police officers are also victims in some cases.“Criminals may act brazenly, and Police officers have been both victims and perpetrators of assaults and shootings. Criminals are increasingly willing to resort to violence while committing all types of crimes. Criminals are often organised, travel in groups of two or more, and conduct surveillance on their victims. Criminals generally will not hesitate to show multiple weapons as an intimidation tactic during a robbery,” the report stated.last_img read more

Sand, gravel could run short

first_img“It would cost more if we had to haul the material in from miles away as opposed to having an aggregate source nearby there in Santa Clarita,” he said. The report issued Thursday by the state Department of Conservation is intended to help municipalities better plan for growth. It includes a map dividing the state into 31 regions where the material is mined and used for building. Aggregate produced in a quadrant is usually sold within the same area. Cemex earlier said material from the mine would be destined for greater Los Angeles. Though house sales are slumping, homebuilding costs remain constant. Houses usually sit on concrete slab foundations, have concrete driveways, and some have swimming pools. Two-story homes may require additional concrete supports. About 200 tons of aggregate is needed to build the average home. Building the 21,000 homes planned in Newhall Ranch, a master planned community just east of Valencia, may require roughly 4.2 million tons of aggregate. If Cemex does not resume the project in a few years and local suppliers cannot meet the demand for the material, the price of houses would rise proportionately to the hauling distance. On Tuesday, Cemex officials said they’ve called off plans to open the mine next year and want to negotiate a compromise instead. The city had spent roughly $8 million on a campaign to scale down the mine to historical levels of 300,000 tons a year or get it barred from the area between Canyon Country and Agua Dulce. Opponents claimed the mine would pollute the region’s air and increase heavy truck traffic on local highways. The compromise might hinge on federal legislation introduced this year, modeled on a measure introduced by Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon that failed in 2006. In the Los Angeles-Orange County-San Gabriel area, only about one-third of the material required over the next 50 years has been permitted for mining and it takes five to seven years to obtain permits. “The area will fall 66 percent short over the next 50 years unless additional permitting or additional resources are found,” Parrish said. In the next five decades, California will need 131/2 billion tons of aggregate and only 4.3 billion tons are permitted – roughly a 13-year supply. Parrish said the state’s behind the curve because the numbers are based on current rates of use and don’t encompass unforseen circumstances. “It doesn’t take into account accelerated construction programs as a result of major bond initiatives or from construction following a major damaging earthquake.” Several large construction companies declined to comment, but one local builder wonders if the city’s taken on a NIMBY attitude – not in my back yard. “Is Soledad Canyon the center point for the distribution of (aggregate)?” said Randal Winter, of Randal Winter Construction Inc. in Newhall. “If it is the logical center point for the resource with a minimal amount of travel to the end users … (causing) less pollution and trucks on the road, just because we don’t want it doesn’t mean it isn’t right.” However, Winter, who serves on the Newhall Redevelopment Committee and the West Ranch Town Council said he’s glad the eight-year battle, which cost the city some $8 million, has resulted in a compromise. judy.orourke@dailynews.com (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Folks in City Hall are thrilled Cemex won’t open its proposed Soledad Canyon mine in 2008, but the move could prove costly for California taxpayers and consumers in the coming years. The city of Santa Clarita has spent $8 million fighting the planned gravel mine, saying it would result in heavy truck traffic and unhealthful air quality. The two sides have declared a truce while they seek a compromise. Meanwhile a report issued last week by the state shows long-term demand for sand and gravel – a key ingredient in cement and asphalt products used in construction – will far outweigh the supply. The 56.1 millions tons of aggregate Cemex is permitted to mine in the canyon over 20 years was included in the projection. “If Cemex’s 56 million tons is not going to be mined, the area will have less than 7 percent of the aggregate it will need,” said John Parrish, the state geologist and former executive officer of the state mining and geology board. “That means, that 93 percent of its projected aggregate usage will have to be imported from surrounding areas.” These include the San Gabriel Valley, Claremont and Upland. Building costs rise when the material must be trucked from afar because it’s expensive to transport. “You can fly an ounce of gold from California to New York without really changing the value of that ounce of gold,” Parrish said. “But a ton of aggregate may double in cost for every 30 miles of transportation. Building one mile of six-lane interstate highway requires about 113,500 tons of aggregate. Transporting that tonnage 30 miles adds $510,000 to the base cost of the material at the mine, Parrish said. Caltrans consumes only about 10 percent of the total aggregate used throughout California, so its projects don’t have a significant impact on aggregate resources, David Anderson, a spokesman for the agency, said via e-mail. However, cost is another matter. last_img read more

Arsenal star: England can challenge at Euro 2016

first_img1 Theo Walcott Theo Walcott sees no reason why England cannot challenge for the European Championship crown after becoming the first nation to qualify for next summer’s finals.Roy Hodgson’s men have responded impressively to last year’s disappointing World Cup, winning all seven of their qualifying matches during a long, unbeaten run.Saturday’s 6-0 triumph in San Marino continued that fine run and those three points were enough to secure the Three Lions’ place at the finals with three matches to spare.England have caught the eye at times during the qualification campaign and, while accepting improvements still need to be made, Walcott believes next summer could be a tournament to remember.“I think this team is getting better and better, and that’s what we want to do going into the tournament next year,” he said after coming off the bench to net a quick-fire brace in Serravalle.“We’ve gone a long way towards that, so I am sure things are going to improve.“There are big tests for us, but I believe in that dressing room and just the way we are playing as well.“We are playing in the best league in the world, we’re improving every day, the players are playing at the top of their game.“It’ll definitely be a big achievement if we can go far. I am sure that we can. The manager has got that in our system, that he believes in us.“The belief is there, the confidence is there, so why not?”last_img read more

Manchester United defender set for ‘several week’ absence

first_img Matteo Darmian 1 Louis van Gaal confirms Matteo Darmian has a dislocated shoulder and will be out for “several weeks”. #mufc— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 13, 2016center_img Matteo Darmian is set for a spell on the sidelines, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed. The Italian right-back sustained the injury in the first-half of the defeat at Sunderland, his 29th appearance for the club this season since arriving in the summer.The Dutch boss confirmed he has a disclocated shoulder and is set to be out for ‘several weeks’. He said: “When you analyse the things that have happened to Manchester United his season, it’s unbelievable.“Another full-back who is injured and we don’t have many full-backs left.”His absence will come as a cruel blow for Van Gaal and United, as his side have been hit by a number of injuries – in defence in particular, and they remain six points adrift of fourth spot in the Premier League. last_img read more