Ex-mine security head cleared of murder, assault against indigenous Guatemalans

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 Corporate Responsibility, Endangered Environmentalists, Environment, Environmental Activism, environmental justice, Featured, Governance, Government, Green, Human Rights, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Law Enforcement, Mining, Social Conflict During protests over contested land in 2009 a well-known Maya Q’eqchi’ community leader and mine opponent named Adolfo Ich was killed, another Maya Q’eqchi’, German Chub, was shot and paralyzed from the waist down, and several other community residents were wounded.Guatemala’s Office of the Public Prosecutor charged Mynor Padilla, the Fenix mine’s head of security at the time of the protests, with homicide and assault. Padilla maintained his innocence throughout the trial.On Thursday a judge in Puerto Barrios acquitted Padilla and ordered his immediate release, instructing the Office of the Public Prosecutor to pursue criminal charges against Padilla’s accusers. Indigenous community residents seeking justice for attacks in Guatemala faced a major setback Thursday. A judge in the Caribbean coastal city of Puerto Barrios acquitted the former head of security of a mining project of homicide and assault charges.On September 27, 2009, protests broke out in the vicinity of the Fenix ferro-nickel mining project on the outskirts of the town of El Estor, on the northern shore of Izabal Lake. The demonstrations were sparked by fears of evictions in Las Nubes and other nearby Maya Q’eqchi’ communities involved in land disputes with the mining company.In the midst of the protests, a well-known Maya Q’eqchi’ community leader and teacher who opposed the mine named Adolfo Ich was beaten, attacked with a machete, shot, and killed, Another Maya Q’eqchi’, German Chub, was shot and paralyzed from the waist down. Several residents from Las Nubes were attacked and wounded along the road where the protests were taking place, according to lawsuit plaintiffs.Google map showing the location of the Fenix mining project and Puerto Barrios, where the trial of the head of the mine’s security force took place.At the time, Mynor Padilla, a former military coronel, was the Fenix mine’s head of security. According to eyewitnesses and the prosecution, Padilla personally shot Chub, participated in the attack that killed Ich, and was also responsible for the actions of other company security force members. Immediately prior to being shot, Ich was at home and Chub was playing soccer on the field near the company’s installations, according to the prosecution’s case.A judge issued an arrest warrant for Padilla following the 2009 attacks, but he was not arrested until 2012. He was held without bail for homicide in Ich’s case, for assault causing grievous bodily harm in Chub’s case, and for assault causing bodily harm in the cases of the injured Las Nubes residents. The trial did not begin until 2015.Padilla maintained his innocence throughout the trial. His defense was largely in line with the position of Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals, then the parent company of Fenix mine owner and operator Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN), which has since changed hands. Hudbay presents a very different version of events from that of the prosecution on its website.According to Hudbay, conflicts arose as a result of illegal squatters occupying company lands, and subsequent government evictions. In September 2009, protesters stole police weapons and opened fire on CGN personnel and attacked company-funded property, including homes and a hospital, according to Hudbay’s website, which adds that five of CGN’s security personnel were injured. Hudbay’s version of events neither confirms nor denies that Padilla or other security or company personnel shot anyone, but maintains that “CGN security and other personnel showed extraordinary restraint and acted only in self defence.”Padilla politely declined an interview with Mongabay following the acquittal, but stopped to pose for a photograph with his family on their way out of the courtroom. CGN did not respond to a request for comment.Mynor Padilla, a former military coronel who faced homicide and assault charges for attacks that occurred when he was head of security at a Guatemalan mine, celebrates with his family immediately following his acquittal on April 6. Photo by Sandra Cuffe for Mongabay.Hudbay Minerals did not respond to repeated email and telephone requests for comment on Padilla’s acquittal or on whether the company paid for his Guatemalan legal defense team. Canadian lawyer John Terry testified for Padilla’s defense in 2015 and testified that he had been hired and paid by Hudbay.“We are not going to say anything that might be distorted on the Internet or otherwise used to interfere with Mr. Padilla’s presumption of innocence or right to a fair trial,” Hudbay Minerals director of corporate communications Scott Brubacher told The Toronto Star last year when asked whether the company paid for Padilla’s Guatemalan lawyers.Regardless of who paid for it, Padilla’s high-profile defense team has had a rocky history. One of Padilla’s lawyers, Francisco Palomo, had previously participated in the defense team of Efraín Ríos Montt, a former general initially convicted of genocide for massacres during the 1960 – 1996 armed conflict. In June 2015, Palomo was shot and killed in Guatemala City, allegedly in connection with organized crime. Another of Padilla’s lawyers, Frank Manuel Trujillo, was charged in February 2016 with bribery, influence peddling, and other charges in connection with a massive crackdown on corruption that resulted in the resignation and arrest of Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina and other high-level officials in 2015.Reaction to the verdictAfter two years of court hearings in his case against Padilla, Chub knew his route well. Choosing the best streets along which to manoeuvre his wheelchair, he criss-crossed the few blocks to the Puerto Barrios courthouse after eating breakfast Thursday morning with supporters from Maya Q’eqchi’ communities and the capital. Two young men carried him up the courthouse stairs to the second floor courtroom to await the verdict.“I’m fine on the outside, but on the inside, I don’t know,” Chub told Mongabay inside the courtroom while waiting for the hearing to get under way. He had hope for a conviction, he said, but wasn’t sure of anything. “On the inside, it will devastate me,” he said of the potential acquittal that would become a reality about two hours later.Shot and paralyzed in 2009, German Chub needs assistance to get up the stairs to the second floor courtroom to face the former head of mine security he says shot him. Photo by Sandra Cuffe for Mongabay.As soon as the judge arrived, everyone who was not party to the case filed out the door. In February 2016, the judge implemented an unusual measure, ordering the remainder of the trial to take place behind closed doors, citing threats to herself and to the plaintiffs. Q’eqchi’ witnesses and plaintiffs had been reporting threats and intimidation, but they did not request or agree with the measure, which prevented the presence of media and even government human rights observers while court was in session.Angélica Choc, the widow of Ich and one of Chub’s fiercest supporters, is party to the case but was unable to attend court on April 6 for health reasons. Outspoken in her calls for justice in the case of her husband’s killing, Choc left her home and community for her own safety after an attack in September 2016, when unidentified gunmen opened fire on the house in which she and two small children were sleeping.Based in Puerto Barrios, Patricia Quinto participated alongside the public prosecutors in her capacity as Choc’s lawyer. In an interview with Mongabay in the courthouse following Padilla’s acquittal, she expressed her dismay at the outcome and its implications.“From my perspective, [the judge] took into account the arguments presented by the defense. At no time did she take into account the arguments we presented as plaintiffs,” Quinto said.“The sentence will be final in 10 days. The judge ordered [Padilla’s] immediate release. She didn’t wait for the final judgment,” she said, adding that judges usually wait until after the brief verdict appeal period before ordering the release of detained defendants.What most bothers Quinto is that her client Angélica Choc and other key witnesses including Choc’s children, will now go from being victims to being accused of crimes. As part of her ruling, judge Ana Leticia Peña ordered the pursuit of criminal charges against them for obstruction of justice and perjury. Once the sentence is final, the Office of the Public Prosecutor — the same office that brought the case against Padilla — will be instructed to open cases against Choc and the others, Quinto said.“Credibility in the justice system is, one could say, almost non-existent in terms of indigenous peoples. And with this [ruling], it sort of confirms that lack of credibility. It continues, and that gap might grow and indigenous people won’t believe in the justice system, because after being a victim, it now turns out that Angélica Choc will be prosecuted,” Quinto said.Lawsuits continue in CanadaThursday’s ruling may have been a blow to Maya Q’eqchi’ plaintiffs and their larger community, but they aren’t only seeking justice in Guatemala. Three related lawsuits against Hudbay Minerals are moving forward in Canada. Choc and Chub each filed claims related to the September 27, 2009, attacks, and 11 Q’eqchi’ women also filed a claim alleging they were gang-raped by Fenix mine and government security forces during a 2007 eviction from lands disputed by communities and the mining company.A Toronto-based law firm, Klippensteins, Barristers & Solicitors, is representing the Q’eqchi’ plaintiffs in the Superior Court of Ontario in all three cases. Past attempts by victims from other countries to pursue justice in Canada for human rights violations allegedly committed by Canadian mining companies abroad have largely failed. The three Guatemalan cases set an important precedent in 2013, when Superior Court of Ontario Justice Carole Brown ruled that the cases could proceed to trial in Canada.The Canadian lawyers aren’t fazed by Padilla’s acquittal in Puerto Barrios. “Unfortunately, this acquittal in Guatemala is what we always expected and predicted,” Murray Klippenstein, one of the lawyers arguing the Canadian cases, said in a statement Thursday.“The Guatemalan legal system is corrupt and seeking justice there is, sadly, hopeless, especially against large international corporate interests like Hudbay,” Klippenstein said. “That’s precisely why Angélica’s and German’s best hope for justice against Hudbay has always been in Canadian courts.”Rosa Elbira Coc is also hoping for a win in the Canadian courts. Coc is one of the 11 Q’eqchi’ women who are plaintiffs in the third Canadian lawsuit, for gang-rape allegedly perpetrated by police and mining company security forces. She came to the courthouse Thursday in support of Choc, Chub, and others, and was upset that Padilla was able to walk out the front door.“I feel sadness because he went free and we indigenous people are just left like this. It shouldn’t be like this,” Coc told Mongabay in an interview outside Quinto’s law offices after the verdict Thursday.“We have to keep moving forward. We can’t stay quiet,” she said in halting Spanish, a language she only recently began learning. “We’re continuing [to seek] justice. We have to go on. Even if it’s a struggle and there are challenges, we have to move forward.”Rosa Elbira Coc (second from the left) is one of 11 Maya Q’eqchi’ women involved in one of the lawsuits in Canada against Hudbay Minerals. Photo by Sandra Cuffe for Mongabay.center_img Article published by Rebecca Kesslerlast_img read more

Leading US plywood firm linked to alleged destruction, rights violations in Malaysia

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 Article published by John Cannon Animals, Biodiversity, Borneo Orangutan, Certification, Conservation, Conservation Finance, Corruption, Critically Endangered Species, Drivers Of Deforestation, Economics, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forest Fragmentation, Forest Loss, Forestry, Forests, Fragmentation, Gfrn, Global Forest Watch, Government, Greenwashing, Human Rights, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Lacey Act, Land Rights, Logging, Mammals, NGOs, Oil Palm, Orangutans, Plantations, Pollution, Protected Areas, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Social Justice, Sustainability, Sustainable Forest Management, Threats To Rainforests, Timber, Timber Laws, Transparency, Trees, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Water, Water Pollution, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img An investigation has found that Liberty Woods, the top importer of plywood in the US, buys wood from a Malaysian company that has faced numerous allegations of environmentally unsustainable logging and indigenous rights violations.Environmental NGOs have accused the timber industry in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, of clearing too much forest too quickly, polluting streams and rivers and failing to obtain consent to log from local communities.Satellite imagery analysis in 2013 showed that, between 2000 and 2012, Malaysia had the world’s highest deforestation rate.In Sarawak, where logging company Shin Yang is based, only 5 percent of forests remain relatively untouched. The sustainability and legality claims of the largest plywood importer in the US have come under question after it was found to have received shipments of Malaysian plywood worth more than $500,000 from a supplier connected to environmental and human rights violations.The 600 cubic meters (21,200 cubic feet) of plywood that Liberty Woods bought in January 2017 came from Shin Yang, a company that operates in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, according to the investigative non-profit organization Earthsight. Shin Yang, based in Miri, Sarawak, has faced repeated allegations that it does not manage its timber concessions sustainably and that it impinges on the rights of local indigenous communities, potentially making the wood it harvests illegal. A US law called the Lacey Act bans companies from importing illegally cut timber.“[Liberty Woods] can’t possibly know that their products are Lacey-compliant,” Sam Lawson, director of Earthsight, said in an interview. The London-based organization published its report today. It launched a new “muckraking” newsletter and website called Timberleaks that will publish regular reports detailing instances of sustainability or legality issues with wood that is imported into the US and Europe. Other stories in the first issue highlighted imports of African logs into France and Burmese teak by US firms.Natural rainforest in Sarawak. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Earthsight investigators found that Liberty has been purchasing plywood from Shin Yang since 2010 and possibly earlier. Since that time, Shin Yang and other timber companies operating in Sarawak have been linked to corruption and malpractice. In 2013, a local community took Shin Yang to court for not obtaining consent before it began logging on its turf. Satellite imagery indicates that the company cleared land that had been proposed for a national park.On its website, under the heading “We care about the environment,” Liberty says, “We fully support and seek out suppliers that are environmentally responsible and that have received third party certifications.”Neither Shin Yang nor Liberty responded to several emails requesting comment on Earthsight’s findings.Shin Yang does operate a concession in Sarawak that is certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, or PEFC, an international organization. In Liberty’s case, however, documents from the certification firm Global Forestry Services show that the Shin Yang mill in the town of Bintulu, from which Liberty’s plywood originates, also gets logs from concessions that are not certified and lie within the boundaries of the proposed international conservation area known as the Heart of Borneo.In a telephone conversation with an undercover Earthsight investigator, a Liberty Woods representative confirmed that the plywood it buys from Shin Yang is not certified, making it unlikely that the raw materials came from the certified concession, Lawson said.An orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) in Sarawak. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Global Forestry Services did sign off on the legality of Shin Yang’s two concessions that fall within the Heart of Borneo using “a local government standard.” But according to Earthsight, the investigations behind these certifications were not comprehensive, as the certifiers did not see the whole plantation nor did they account for any past violations.In addition, “It’s not just about the legality side of things,” Lawson said.Portraying Liberty’s products as coming from sustainably harvested tropical hardwoods because the raw materials were stamped as legal is an affront to Liberty’s consumers who believe they can trust that the wood they’re purchasing didn’t come at the expense of environmental degradation or displaced communities, he said.Lawson pointed to an article about the meranti plywood trade in Sarawak on the website of the International Wood Products Association, a US industry group. Meranti is the commercial name for timber products coming from a genus of hardwood trees found in Southeast Asia’s rainforests. It is typically used to make boats, cabinets and furniture. The story argues that the sale of meranti helps fund a rehabilitation center in Sarawak.“Orangutans are huge enthusiasts,” the association wrote in the article.In Sarawak, land once cleared for its timber is often converted to oil palm plantations. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Lawson said that any such claim is “utterly misleading.” It may well be that some of the money from the purchase of these materials does go to funding orangutan rehabilitation, Lawson said, but that ignores the broader issue of why those orangutans are there in the first place.“In reality this tiny centre likely owes its very existence to the supply of homeless orangutans stemming from the destruction [that] the logging and plantation industry has wrought” in Sarawak, Earthsight writes in its report.Liberty’s president, Roy Polatchek, is also quoted in the article: “Contrary to what some may believe, logging on properly managed forests can actually help to maintain forested lands.”But much of the evidence indicates that the forests under Shin Yang’s control aren’t properly managed, Earthsight says.In 2015, the NGO Global Witness reported that Shin Yang was clearing nine square kilometers per month — 3.5 square miles, or the equivalent of 42 soccer fields each day — in an area that was being considered for a national park and is also within the Heart of Borneo.Global Witness was investigating the use of Shin Yang wood in the construction of a new stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Bruno Manser Fund, an NGO, verified the presence of Shin Yang wood on the construction site in 2017.Land cleared by Shin Yang within the Heart of Borneo. Photo ©Earthsight / Global Witness.The organization has also told Japan’s government that Shin Yang did not inform the Penan village of Long Jaik before it began harvesting timber in 2006, and delivered a letter from the village’s headman, Matu Tugang, explaining the destruction at the hands of Shin Yang’s crews.Annina Aeberli, a campaign leader with the Bruno Manser Fund, said that they haven’t received a response from Japan’s government, despite the fact that the wood is being used to prepare for such a high-profile event on the international stage.“It’s really disappointing that they are just not taking this issue seriously at all,” Aeberli said in an interview.Under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, she said, “If their consent was not given, it’s actually not legal what they are doing.”Instead, for decades, loggers could more efficiently secure a license to harvest timber by allegedly paying a bribe to Sarawak’s former chief minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud — what Aeberli described as an “open secret” in Sarawak.Taib left office in 2014 and is currently the ceremonial head of the state. During his 32 years in power, his and his family’s net worth was pegged at around $15 billion, according to a book published in 2014.Satellite images visualized on Google Earth show the changes in the forested landscape on a Shin Yang concession between 2009 and 2015. Image courtesy of Earthsight.Taib and other officials in Sarawak have defended the state’s environmental practices, paving the way for the wood to be tagged as legal before it leaves Malaysia’s shores. They have claimed that 84 percent of the state still has natural forest cover and that a million hectares (2.47 million acres) of Sarawakian forest are protected. But 2014 analysis of satellite imagery by Global Witness revealed that only 5 percent of the forests in Sarawak are still relatively untouched. And only about half of the state’s claimed protected areas are currently in place. Some half million hectares are planned for conservation – such as the area logged by Shin Yang — but have yet to be officially designated as such.Mongabay’s own analysis of satellite data obtained through Global Forest Watch confirms that Shin Yang is operating on the site of the proposed national park. In addition, the company’s concession covers an area that had been part of an unbroken stretch of forest known as an intact forest landscape before the year 2000 and in one area as recently as 2010.These systemic issues in Sarawak contribute to Malaysia’s deforestation rate, the highest in the world between 2000 and 2012. There are also reasons, from Earthsight’s perspective, for companies like Liberty Woods to invest more in “due care” to better understand their supply chains.Data from the University of Maryland visualized on Global Forest Watch shows the loss of tree cover within a Shin Yang concession in Sarawak, which overlaps with the proposed Danum Linau National Park. Parts of the concession were unbroken sections of forest known as intact forest landscapes as recently as 2010. Map courtesy of Global Forest Watch.Although due diligence isn’t specifically required by the Lacey Act, several industry organizations, including the International Wood Products Association and the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association, counsel their members to carry out environmental and financial investigations when purchasing “high-risk” commodities such as plywood to figure out where the wood that they’re buying came from. In large part, that’s because companies can use evidence of these inquiries to avoid the highest fines if one of their suppliers ends up being negligent.“In the context of Shin Yang wood, I think it is really legitimate to say that at least you should question the legality of the wood that they are using,” Aeberli said. “[Companies buying from Sarawak] really need to have a closer look at the company that they’re getting the wood from and the situation of the communities.”CITATIONSGreenpeace, University of Maryland, World Resources Institute and Transparent World. “Intact Forest Landscapes. 2000/2013” Accessed through Global Forest Watch on October 17, 2017. www.globalforestwatch.orgHansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA, accessed through Global Forest WatchIUCN and UNEP-WCMC (2017), The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) [On-line], September 2017, Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC. Available at: www.protectedplanet.net. Accessed through Global Forest Watch in October 2017. www.globalforestwatch.orgPlanet Labs, 2017.Banner image of cleared forest ©Earthsight / Global Witness.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.Follow John Cannon on Twitter: @johnccannonlast_img read more

Brazilian police nab Amazon timber thieves who faked forest credits

first_imgAmazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Corporate Environmental Transgessors, Corruption, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Monitoring, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Roads, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, timber trade, Tropical Deforestation Federal Police arrested and fined participants in an illegal logging and forest credit fraud scheme operating in Pará, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Mato Grosso states.The timber thieves were aided in this crime by gaps in the government’s licensing program and poor control of the timber production chain in Pará and Mato Grosso; lapses which authorities are now moving to correct.The timber thieves cut rare ipê trees on the Amazon’s Cachoeira Seca indigenous reserve, then used falsified records and a variety of companies to move the timber to other states and export the wood, used for expensive decking in the U.S., Argentina, Panama, France, Germany, the UK, United Arab Emirates and South Korea.Fines for illegal timber harvesting are only R$ 5,000 (US$ 1,587) per hectare; and for failing to submit proper reports, between R$ 1,000 and R$ 100,000 (US$ 317 to US$ 31,700), insignificant amounts that do little to deter a crime that can yield very high profits for perpetrators. These fines have not been increased since 2008. Brazilian Federal Police participate in the Anhangá Arara operation, a raid resulting in the arrest of a timber theft ring. Photo courtesy of Brazil’s Federal PoliceBrazilian Federal Police (PF) have shut down a major illegal logging and forest credit fraud scheme operating in the states of Pará, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Mato Grosso. The gang of timber thieves was able to commit this major environmental crime due partly to gaps in the government’s logging licensing program and poor control of the timber production chain in Pará and Mato Grosso, according to experts on the matter.The police operation code named Anhangá Arara (protective spirit of nature and the Arara Indians), focused on a family business group based in Paraná that had been conducting illegal activities in the aforementioned states, with the family patriarch responsible for overall coordination.The gang was illegally extracting timber from the Cachoeira Seca do Iriri indigenous reserve in Pará, and then “laundered” the logs by passing them through a variety of companies and also by entering false data into the Forest Products Commercialization and Transport System (Sisflora).Timber seized in the recent raid. The economic losses caused by the Silva & Suski timber company to the Cachoeira Seca indigenous reserve are estimated at R$ 897 million (about US$ 284 million) between 2010 and 2017, peaking in 2015, according to the Federal Police. In Mato Grosso, the losses were more than R$ 1 billion (US$ 317 million) over the same period. Photo courtesy of Brazil’s Federal PoliceThis criminal activity could not likely have been accomplished, except for that fact that Pará and Mato Grosso are the only states within Legal Amazonia that have not yet joined the Origin of Forest Products Control National System (Sinaflor), established by IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, last March. Sinaflor integrates information on logging exploration permits, and the transportation and storage of timber cut on rural properties.It was an IBAMA operation conducted at the Cachoeira Seca reserve, where 105 indigenous Arara people live, that enabled the Federal Police to identify the perpetrators. When contacted by Mongabay, the police communications office said that the PF couldn’t officially disclose the names of those involved in the crime. However, IBAMA’s 2015 report sent to the PF had already cited the timber company Silva & Suski, owned by a family group whose patriarch is Nelson da Silva. Based in Rurópolis, Pará. Silva & Suski is registered under the name of Nelson’s son, Daniel Antonio da Silva, a forestry engineer.The timber thieves focused on the extraction of ipê trees (Tabebuia impetiginosa and T. serratifolia), among the most valued of Amazonian trees; the current price of a cubic meter of ipê timber cut into boards for decks for export is US$ 2,500, according to the International Tropical Timber Association. This high potential for profit explains how the gang could compensate for the cost of opening new roads over great distances within the Amazon forest. These logging roads do significant environmental harm, as they fragment the rainforest and invite further intrusions by outsiders.A 2015 aerial photo showing illegal selective cutting inside the Cachoeira Seca indigenous reserve. Timber thieves often use sophisticated techniques to falsify paperwork and to hide their illicit harvest from satellites. Photo by Fábio Nascimento / GreenpeaceRaw logs seized in operation Anhangá Arara (protective spirit of nature and the Arara Indians), which focused on a family business group based in Paraná that had been illegally extracting timber from the Cachoeira Seca do Iriri indigenous reserve in Pará. Photo courtesy of Brazil’s Federal PoliceThe illegally cut timber, once harvested, was sent to the ports of Belém, in Pará; Itajaí, in Santa Catarina; and Paranaguá, Paraná. The wood was then shipped to the United States, Argentina, Panama, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea, authorities said.Data provided by FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous protection agency, indicates that Cachoeira Seca was the country’s most heavily deforested indigenous territory in 2016. From January to September of that year, 680 hectares (2.6 square miles) were deforested, and 1,773 hectares (6.8 square miles) degraded (with selective cutting of trees). The reserve covers 733,688 hectares (2,833 square miles). Free of intrusions from outsiders, indigenous groups have proven to be the best land stewards in the Amazon.The criminals tricked government regulators into giving legal status to the timber by issuing Sustainable Forest Management Plans (PMFS) with faked numbers. The PMFS is a document prepared by an independent forest engineer, and it contains data related to the property being subjected to forest management, including the species and number of trees to be harvested, and the metric volume of timber yield, among other data. The anticipated production amount is converted into forest credits, a sort of commercialization quota passed on from log producers to sawmills and traders, to carry out legal timber transactions. Credits are deducted from the supplier and accredited to the buyer in each phase of the timber chain.Map showing the growth of roads in the Cachoeira Seca indigenous reserve from 2010 to 2015. When timber thieves cut new roads they fragment native forest. The roads then often attract additional lawbreakers, including loggers and wildlife traffickers, into the region. Photo courtesy of Brazil’s Federal PoliceAuthorities became suspicious when the documents the thieves provided had a higher volume of timber than actually existed in the licensed areas of origin. The surplus of credits — registered in the Sisflora system by the Environmental State Secretariat of Pará (SEMAS) and of Mato Grosso — had been transferred to other companies, including clandestine logging firms who later transported the wood to the ports for export.“The companies would triangulate the timber, it is a very common procedure in this kind of criminal action,” Renê Oliveira, IBAMA’s general coordinator of environmental inspection, explained to Mongabay. “Instead of using the balance [of credits] in the original area of management, the over-numbered credits were diverted to other areas with no authorization for extraction. A margin of error of up to 10 percent in the volume of calculated timber is allowed, but in these cases the [suspicious] companies created a much higher balance.”Scientific studies show that the volume per hectare of ipê trees in the Amazon is generally between 0.2 and 0.6 cubic meters per hectare, and rarely exceeds 0.4 cubic meters per hectare. In 2014, the Pará-based Agropecuária Santa Efigênia company was identified as having faked its numbers because it declared an implausible 5.75 cubic meters per hectare of ipê in a forest management plan. In the case of the Silva & Suski timber thieves, Sisflora granted the company credits through SEMAS Pará without verifying the numbers to see if such a harvest was possible at the falsified forest site.“Each state should only license whatever it can inspect. Licensing and inspection need to be integrated,” Rômulo Batista, a specialist on the Amazon at Greenpeace Brazil, told Mongabay. At present, the problem is that “No automatic [alarms] are triggered when excessive numbers come up.”Map showing the location of the Cachoeira Seca indigenous reserve on Brazil’s Iriri River. Data provided by FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous protection agency, indicates that Cachoeira Seca was the country’s most heavily deforested indigenous territory in 2016. Map by Mauricio TorresTimber illegally harvested from within the Cachoeira Seca indigenous reserve and seized in a 2015 IBAMA raid. IBAMA recently saw its budget slashed which has meant a decline in environmental law enforcement. Photo courtesy of IBAMAAccording to Batista, the licensing system used in Pará and Mato Grosso is resulting in an excess of timber credits, an indicator of illegal logging and falsification. “The IBAMA and Federal Police operations are important to curbing illegal practices, but until a reform is done, that kind of fraud will probably continue,” he said.The economic losses caused by the Silva & Suski timber company to the Cachoeira Seca indigenous reserve are estimated at R$ 897 million (about US$ 284 million) between 2010 and 2017, peaking in 2015, according to the Federal Police. In Mato Grosso, the losses were more than R$ 1 billion (US$ 317 million) over the same period.IBAMA’S Oliveira said that the agency fined the offenders and a lawsuit was filed. For destruction or damage to forests without an authorization or environmental license, the fine is R$ 5,000 (US$ 1,587) per hectare or fraction; and for failing to submit reports within the period required by law, the fine is R$ 1,000 to R$ 100,000 (US$ 317 to US$ 31,700) — seemingly paltry amounts that likely do little to deter a crime that can yield high profits for perpetrators.Importantly, those fines have not been increased since 2008. When questioned, the Ministry of the Environment responded through its communications office, saying that the levels of fines are established by, and can only be increased through, presidential decree. No fine increase decrees were issued under the Rousseff administration, or to date under the Temer government.The Environment and Sustainability Secretariat of Pará (SEMAS) told Mongabay that IBAMA’s proposal to integrate the data generated on Sisflora and the Integrated Environmental Monitoring and Licensing System (Simlam), with the federal system Sinaflor is expected to occur by the end of the year. IBAMA and SEMAS technicians are meeting this week to discuss the integration process details.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.An ipê tree in blossom. The ipê tree (Tabebuia impetiginosa and T. serratifolia) is among the most valued of Amazonian trees. The current price of a cubic meter of timber cut into boards for decks for export is US$ 2,500. Photo courtesy of IBAMA Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

Catastrophic fires sweep through iconic Brazilian national park

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Destruction, Deforestation, Disasters, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Fires, Forest Destruction, Forest Fires, Forest Loss, Forests, Green, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Megafires, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation, wildfires center_img Wildfires have consumed more than a quarter of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, a much visited and beloved Brazilian preserve known for its biodiversity, spectacular waterfalls and ancient bedrock.Though 2017 has been a very dry year, authorities suspect arson, with the park’s enlargement from 65,000 to 240,000 hectares earlier this year a possible motive.Firefighters have now contained the blaze and the park has reopened.The fire destroyed at least 65,000 hectares of habitat. It will be years before the preserve’s flora and fauna recover, say experts. Firefighters observe the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park wildfire from a helicopter. Photo by Fernando Tatagiba / ICMBioThe piercing cries of blue macaws could be heard rising through the forests as flames approached the birds’ nestling chicks. For 12 days, the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, located in the state of Goiás, endured the largest and most damaging fire in its history, in a year when record wildfires — mostly human-caused — have engulfed vast areas of the Amazon and forests in other parts of Brazil.A team of more than 200 firefighters and logistical advisors worked day and night to contain the fire, which has destroyed at least 65,000 hectares (160,000 acres) of habitat. Highway police, Goiás state firefighters and Federal Military Police, supported by tanks and helicopters, all fought the intense blaze.The park is one of the most important and most visited conserved areas in Brazil. A foremost tourist destination, it receives 60,000 visitors yearly. The preserve is located atop an ancient, 1.8 billion year-old plateau in Brazil’s highly biodiverse Cerrado biome. It is home to endangered and endemic species, including the pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus), maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) and jaguar (Panthera onca) — all listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN. The park boasts 350 to 400 species of vascular plants per hectare, one reason why Chapada dos Veadeiros is a UNESCO World Heritage site.On Saturday, 28 October, rain fell on the park for the first time in a month, significantly reducing the extent of the fire, which was brought under full control the following day.The fire, the biggest in the park’s history, burned hot for 12 days, consuming everything in its path. No assessment of harm done to the park’s biodiversity has been conducted as yet. Photo by Fernando Tatagiba / ICMBioAlberto Setzer, a researcher at the government’s National Institute of Space Research (INPE), told Mongabay that the fire can partly be explained by the fact that 2017 has been a very dry year, with below average rainfall throughout September and the first three weeks of October.“The drought however, wasn’t extreme, and we have seen similar levels in the past without the park burning down,” he said. “Drought only creates the conditions for the propagation of fire, it is humans who usually cause it.”Park manager Fernando Tatagiba, confirmed that the wildfire was likely caused by humans. The only natural cause of fire in the Cerrado is lightning which has not struck in the region for the past month, according to Tatagiba. “We don’t know who was behind it, or whether it was intentional or not, but we do have a few suspects,” he revealed.Some environmental activists believe the fire was set as an act of retaliation against the expansion of the park, which took place earlier this year. Chapada dos Veadeiros was increased in size from 65,000 to 240,000 hectares (160,000 acres to 600,000 acres) in June, a move which was met by fierce opposition from those who would lose their farms and homes.Fire moves through Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in Goiás state, Brazil. The wildfire consumed at least 65,000 hectares (160,000 acres) of habitat. Photo by Fernando Tatagiba / ICMBioThe Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park was created in 1961, and then encompassed 625,000 hectares (1.5 million acres). Over decades, the reserve was reduced almost tenfold, shrinking to 65,000 hectares in 1981. This was largely a result of two factors: pressure applied by homeowners and farmers in the region who wanted to increase their share of land, and governmental infrastructure projects including the creation of a major highway.The area destroyed by fire is coincidentally almost exactly equal to the size of the park before the 2017 expansion.Local police are currently searching for the perpetrators.Tatagiba said that to understand the fire’s ferocity one has to take into account that temperatures were higher than average on 17 October, winds were very strong and rainfall uncharacteristically low. In the first 24 hours of the blaze, flames consumed 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres) of forest.Chapada dos Veadeiros is not a standalone case. Figures from INPE show that 2017 is on track to be the worst year on record for forest fires: 242,776 were detected by 30 October. More fires were seen in September of this year (110,736) than in any previous month in the 20 years that INPE has been keeping records.More than 200 firefighters and logistical advisors, supported by tanks and helicopters, worked to contain the fire. Photo by Fernando Tatagiba / ICMBioIt will take years to regenerate the park’s devastated wildlands. Restoration times will vary, say experts, as the reserve is composed of a mosaic of habitats, including grasslands, forests and swamps. “Some parts will take months to recuperate, others decades,” Tatagiba said. Volunteers are scouring burned over areas in search of surviving animals and endangered species.As the fire swept through the forest, many nests and burrows were destroyed and smaller animals, including new-borns, were likely killed. Larger, faster animals made an often dangerous journey to un-burnt habitat where they could find food and shelter. Estimates of the total damage to the park’s biodiversity haven’t yet been made.Animal lovers and tourists come from across the country, and from around the world, to spot rare animals and view the park’s breathtaking waterfalls. Chapada dos Veadeiros boasts hundreds of springs and streams that flow over some of the world’s oldest bedrock, before plummeting from the plateau’s cliffs.The park was reopened to visitors on Wednesday, 1 November.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.Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is famed for its waterfalls and extraordinary biodiversity. Officials suspect the fire was human caused. Photo by Fernando Tatagiba / ICMBiolast_img read more

Zanzibar’s red colobus monkeys much more numerous than thought

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 Article published by John Cannon Agriculture, Animals, Bushmeat, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Hunting, Islands, Mammals, Monkeys, Primates, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img The team logged 4,725 hours over 2 years tracking down more than 4,000 individual Zanzibar red colobus monkeys (Piliocolobus kirkii).Protected areas house nearly 70 percent of the monkeys they found, where monkey groups tended to be larger and to have more females than those outside of parks and reserves.The team also found that a relatively small number of young monkeys survive to adulthood, and they concluded that the overall population might be declining. Zanzibar is home to many more individuals of an endemic monkey species than biologists previously believed, according to a recent study.“Scientists have known about the Zanzibar red colobus monkey for 150 years, yet this is the first systematic study of this poorly understood species across its entire range,” said biologist Tim Davenport in a statement. Davenport directs the Wildlife Conservation Society in Tanzania and was the lead author of a paper published on Dec. 7 in the journal Oryx.The team logged 4,725 hours over two years tracking down more than 4,000 individual Zanzibar red colobus monkeys (Piliocolobus kirkii) — nearly 3 1/2 times more than past estimates. Davenport and his team gathered information on the sizes of the groups, as well as the ages and sexes of the monkeys they found. The IUCN-listed Endangered primate is found only in the islands that make up Zanzibar, a region of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean.Although the recent survey revealed a larger population of Zanzibar red colobus monkeys than previously estimated, the researchers believe that the species may be declining. Photo ©Tim R.B. Davenport courtesy of WCS.“The systematic assessment redefines almost everything we know about this amazing animal, and is now guiding effective management strategies for this species,” Davenport said.Protected areas house nearly 70 percent of the monkeys they found, and the groups tended to be larger and to have more females than those outside these parks and reserves.“The results indicate that P. kirkii is resilient and thriving far better than assumed,” the authors wrote.However, deforestation rates on the island are high, topping 19 square kilometers (7.3 square miles) a year as the number of people living in Zanzibar grows and with it the need for more room for housing and farming. That expansion increases the chances that tree-dwellers like Zanzibar red colobus monkeys might steal crops or that hunters could go after them.Infographic by WCS-Tanzania.The team also found that a relatively small number of young monkeys survive to adulthood, leading to the conclusion that, despite the higher-than-estimated total numbers observed, the overall population might be declining. What’s more, the researchers weren’t able to find any monkeys in four spots where they’d once been.As a result, Davenport and his colleagues recommend the creation of a new reserve to protect the species. They also said the monkeys could be a draw for tourists.“The Zanzibar red colobus monkey is unique to Zanzibar and could be a wonderful example of how conservation efforts can succeed in protecting both wildlife and habitat, which in turn benefits communities,” Davenport said.The study also revealed that only a small number of young monkeys survive to adulthood. Photo ©Tim R.B. Davenport courtesy of WCS.They also advocate shining an even brighter spotlight on the animal by designating it as the national animal of Zanzibar, which maintains a degree of autonomy from Tanzania.“The species could serve as a fitting symbol for both Zanzibar and the government’s foresight in wildlife management,” Davenport said.CITATIONDavenport, T. R., Fakih, S. A., Kimiti, S. P., Kleine, L. U., Foley, L. S., & De Luca, D. W. (2017). Zanzibar’s endemic red colobus Piliocolobus kirkii: first systematic and total assessment of population, demography and distribution. Oryx, 1-9.Banner image of a Zanzibar red colobus monkey ©Tim R.B. Davenport courtesy of WCS.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

Agroforestry boosts rice and biodiversity in India

first_imgAgroforestry is an ancient agricultural method covering 1 billion hectares globally; it combines trees and woody shrubs with crops to increase food security, mitigate the effects of climate change, and boost biodiversity.India has set a goal to increase its tree cover from the present 24 percent to 33 percent of its total area, primarily by promoting agroforestry in croplands.In West Bengal, the adoption of useful trees into paddy fields has boosted crop yields and crop diversity, and has also sparked a movement that champions organic cultivation methods.Agroforestry has been hailed as one of the top solutions to climate change because it sequesters much carbon dioxide above and below the soil surface. WEST BENGAL, India — For the tough, weather-beaten farmers in the rural heartland of West Bengal, agroforestry is an age-old tradition that even finds mention in their folklore.In the remote village of Bhattadighi, a group of women farmers observes a unique ritual, known as Paakh Pakhali or “welcoming birds,” in which they fill an earthen urn with water and top it with mango leaves and green coconut. Placed under a freshly planted neem tree sapling, it symbolizes the goddess of farming, Bhumi Lakshmi, whose mythical mount is a barn owl. The holy site is adorned with facsimiles of owls, painted storks, herons, egrets and other birds, all painted on white terracotta plates.Villagers adorn a sacred site with terra cotta birds beneath a freshly planted neem tree, beckoning them to the fields. Photo by Sudipto Mukherjee.“Our paddy plants are set to bloom within the next few days. We pray to the Goddess not just for a bountiful harvest, but also to send many owls and birds [to] our fields, to eat away the insects and rats,” says Malati Burman.The neem tree (Azadirachta indica) is also revered by the farmers during the festival for its strong pest-repellant properties. “The bitter leaves of the plant are added to our locally prepared insecticide and its branches are perfect for birds,” Burman says.For the farmers of this village within the Raiganj block of North Dinajpur district, paddy cultivation is not about modern industrialized monoculture farming, but developing multi-crop diversity. Here, miles of tender rice plant seedlings stretch out amid a maze of sprawling trees, shrubs and vines that conjure the appearance of a forest: Dhaan Bagan, or paddy garden, as locals call it.But the trees aren’t there just as scenic dressing. “With forest covers dwindling and giving way to agricultural lands, such landscapes can largely compensate for environmental loss and mitigate climate change impacts,” says Om Prakash Chaturvedi, director of the Central Agroforestry Research Institute. Trees also help retain moisture in the soil and put a check on erosion from storms and gales, he says.Paddy ponds surrounded by trees in Ramchandrapur village of South Dinajpur. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.India has set a high target for increasing its tree cover from the present 24 percent to 33 percent of its total area, primarily by promoting agroforestry in croplands, says Chaturvedi. Some 174,500 square kilometers (67,375 square miles) of land in India is cultivated through agroforestry, according to the latest remote sensing data from the Central Agroforestry Research Institute. In West Bengal alone, agroforestry is practiced across 1,800 square kilometers (695 square miles) of the state, according to Pratap Kumar Dhara of the Bidhan Chandra Agricultural University.The benefits of agroforestry are widely acknowledged, including by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In its manual “Agroforestry in rice-production landscapes in Southeast Asia” (pdf) it states: “Integrating trees into rice-production landscapes [helps] reduce temperatures and improve infiltration of water into the soil, store more carbon and diversify farm production, which lowers both climate and market risks. This adds up to greater adaptability and resilience not only for individual farmers and communities but also their environments.”Boon for biodiversityBiodiversity also flourishes in these diverse croplands. In West Bengal in October, golden yellow butterflies could be seen, while a fork-tailed black drongo bird (Dicrurus macrocercus) made its presence felt with raucous calls from atop miniature scaffolds supporting gourd vines. Nearby, egrets strutted around the watery fields, occasionally popping their heads in and out of the paddy seedlings, the young rice plants that haven’t sprouted grain yet, as a group of black-and-white myna birds hopped merrily on Sesbania pea plants.Edging the fields were trees like papaya, mango and banana, which provide nesting sites for migratory avian guests from the nearby Kulik Bird Sanctuary — Asian openbill storks (Anastomus oscitans), cormorants, herons and egrets, which also forage in the ponds.Black drongo perched on dried Sesbania pea plant above paddy. Photo courtesy of Chinmoy Das.“Birds, insects and butterflies seem to love our fields as there is no trace of chemical fertilizers or pesticides in them. Our paddy is of indigenous, folk variety,” says Chinmoy Das, a farmer from Hatia village in North Dinajpur. The trees and shrubs planted in and around the fields form an essential ecosystem developed with the right mix of multi-utility plants that also provide excellent perches for predatory birds, Das says.“Our paddy ecosystem harbors varied birds such as kingfishers, storks, little green bee-eaters [Merops orientalis] and insects [such] as spiders, dragonfly and damselfly, which control grain-eating pests and aphids,” says Shourin Chatterjee, from Abhirampur village in Bardhaman district.Ancient rice varietiesLike Das, more than 1,000 farmers from across 11 districts of West Bengal have taken to organic cultivation of folk rice varieties (FRVs), spread over more than 1,180 square kilometers (456 square miles) of land, says Anupam Paul, director of the Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) at the West Bengal Agriculture Department. Unlike modern, high-yielding varieties of rice, FRVs can to a great extent withstand weather aberrations due to climate change, while also cutting down on costs. Paul has helped revive more than 420 indigenous varieties of rice from the brink of extinction, with nearly 300 varieties of FRVs now grown by farmers across the state. These include 40 strains of aromatic and red rice each, 25 kinds of fine paddy, 10 high-yielding indigenous types, and 12 deep-water paddy varieties, among others.“The success story of folk rice cultivation is, however, incomplete without our agroforestry practices,” says Das, noting the importance of having a tiered system of planting with trees that block winds while letting sunshine through to the paddy seedlings.Banana forms a windbreak for vegetables and paddy. Photo courtesy of Chinmoy Das.On his 5.7 hectares (14 acres) of land in Hatia village, Das displayed his four-tiered “paddy forests.” The first level includes pulses (peas, beans or lentils), carrots, potatoes, various kinds of spinach, tomatoes, onions and garlic, all of which grow to a maximum height of 60 centimeters (2 feet). The second tier includes bay leaf, turmeric, ginger, eggplant, mustard and vining vegetables that reach a maximum height of 1.5 meters (5 feet). The next step has taller plants growing above 1.8 meters (6 feet), such as Sesbania peas, maize, bamboo, bananas, papayas and sugarcane.Towering timber trees like mahogany and teak grow beside older mango, jackfruit, neem, drumstick (Moringa oleifera) and full-grown bamboo, making up the fourth tier. Das says such plantings are ideally grown on the western and northern side of croplands because hot and dry afternoon winds from the west reduce soil moisture and increase the rate of evapotranspiration from the plants. “Our plantings, while obstructing such winds, enable the paddy to enjoy ample sunshine for its growth,” he says.Other plants are interspersed among the paddy seedlings, says Gaurav Mandal, a farmer from Bamongola village in Malda district. Shrubs and vegetable-bearing vines on his 1.5 hectares (3.6 acres) are perched on mini scaffolds between rows of paddy. These scaffolds, initially erected with dry bamboo, are gradually replaced with grafts of such multi-utility trees as agati (Sesbania grandiflora) and betel nut (Areca catechu). This way, vegetable vines are then supported on the growing trees’ trunks.Fertilizers au naturelTo achieve a sustainable rice yield, local farmers make their own organic fertilizers. Madanmohan Aich, from Dewanhat village in Cooch Behar district, recounts the recipe for his liquid organic manure: soil, preferably from his agroforest; leaves from at least five pest-repellant plants he grows, such as custard apple (Annona reticulata) and neem; plus cow manure and more. Leguminous plants as Sesbania peas, pulses and azolla are thrown in to maintain the natural health of the soil.Madanmohan Aich displays maize amid climbing vegetables in his agroforestry plot. Photo courtesy of Rajat Chatterjee.Sesbania seedlings are planted at a regular distance of 60 to 90 centimeters (2 to 3 feet) from each other across the field, and 30 to 45 centimeters (1 to 1.5 feet) away from paddy seedlings. They can withstand waterlogged soil, growing rapidly, and their leaves form an excellent green compost that enriches the soil. They also serve as a “catch crop” whose bright yellow flowers attract insect pests away from the paddy plants.Quick stick (Gliricidia sepium) is another effective nitrogen-fixing tree grown here. Pest-repellant trees such as Chinese chastetree (Vitex negundo) and neem are also a part of Aich’s paddy forest. Banana trees, meanwhile, help enrich the soil with their succulent stem parts and fruit peels.A treasure trove of usesThese multi-layered agroforests are storehouses of many varieties of fruit and vegetable that can be sold. Chinmoy Das says he grows at least 36 types of brinjal eggplant along the edge of his paddy field, as well as eight types of okra and more than six varieties of pulses and even cherries. All of these provide food security and nutrition for his family, with the surplus sold at the market to supplement their income.Many of the trees grown in these agroforests provide firewood, livestock fodder and timber. Lumber from the rain tree (Albizia saman), for example, is used as a substitute for more expensive woods for building and household purposes.Betel nut forms mustard field boundary. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.The bounty grown here also has medicinal benefits. The leaves of Sesbania, rubbed on a fresh wound, help clot blood, says Shantirani Burman, a farmer from Hatia village. Water clover (Marsilea quadrifolia), which abounds in the fields, is not only tasty and rich in beta-carotene, calcium, iron and phosphorus, but is also used to treat bone disorders, eye ailments, anemia and more, Burman says. Kadam (Neolamarckia cadamba) leaves provide snakebite anti-venom and are also useful for treating worms. Both of these latter ailments are common in the villages.In Pratappur village, Bardhaman district, the farmers also practice aquaculture in their paddy ponds, where they grow FRVs that require at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) of standing water. Enterprising farmers like Abhro Chakroborty make the most of the ponds to cultivate catfish. His 200 square meters of land, about 2,200 square feet, yields 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of paddy and almost as much catfish, he says.Edible crabs, mollusks and carp have also been introduced into these ponds, amid the floating edible water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) and the useful and sturdy mat grass (Cyperus tegetum Roxb.).Another interesting diversification is led by tribal women from Gangarampur block in South Dinajpur district, who are now cultivating mushrooms on paddy and wheat straw.Many varieties of brinjal (eggplant) are grown. Photo courtesy of Apoorva Sarkar.The future is organicMotivated by such agroforestry success stories, nearly 100 women and men from at least 20 villages have established the Forum for Indigenous Agricultural Movement (FIAM). Aimed at spreading organic farming and promoting the conservation of indigenous paddy, fruits and vegetables, its membership is fast increasing with young people, too.“The Green Revolution of the 1960s that led to cultivation of modern high-yielding varieties of paddy [compelled] our farmers to go for mono-cropping,” says Partha Das, 22, an English honors graduate from Palaibari village in North Dinajpur.This required the extensive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, Das says, adding he was shocked by incidents of farmer suicide across the country as a result of debt from the rising cost of fertilizers, insecticides and seeds. At FIAM, he is joined by the likes of Anima Mandal, who, at 83, has also witnessed these changes and more, and now envisions an organic future.“Our forefathers practiced organic, low-cost, intensive and healthy farming,” agreed Bablu Barman from Bhattadighi village, another passionate organic farmer. “We believe this is sustainable and here to stay.” Healthy eating is the order of the day, he adds, and there is a growing demand for organically grown farm produce in the big cities.Given all of the environmental and social trends and challenges, agroforestry looks set to help deliver on that growing demand in this part of India.FIAM leader Anima Mandal (second from left) posing with members. Photo courtesy of Chinmoy Das.This article is from Mongabay’s series on global agroforestry, view all the features here.Banner image: Tipu Mandal (left) and Chinmoy Das (right) display diverse paddy varieties. Photo courtesy of Pintu Ghosh. Article published by Erik Hoffner Adaptation To Climate Change, Agriculture, Agroforestry, Archive, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Conservation Solutions, Featured, Natural Resources, Organic Farming, Soil Carbon 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

Indonesia seeks to slap money-laundering label on illegal fishing

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon Indonesia wants to include illegal fishing in a U.N. convention on transnational crime, in order to bring anti-money-laundering tools to bear on the problem.The government is intent on ending poaching and unsustainable fishing, and has already made waves for its public policy of seizing and scuttling illegal foreign fishing boats operating in its waters.Indonesian waters represent one of the world’s largest capture fisheries. JAKARTA — Indonesia is lobbying the United Nations to allow governments worldwide to pursue money-laundering charges against illegal fishing operators, in a bid to crack down on the practice more forcefully.The Indonesian government on Monday proposed that illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing be included in the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). Indonesia ratified the convention in 2008.The UNTOC, also known as the Palermo Convention, deliberately omits the classification of transnational crimes to allow room for the inclusion of new types of transnational crimes. In theory, this could include IUU fishing, which, if successfully designated a transnational crime, could be tackled through anti-money-laundering processes.Susi Pudjiastuti, the Indonesian fisheries minister, “has in many global forums proclaimed that illegal fishing should be designated [in the UNTOC] as a transnational organized fishery crime,” said Mas Achmad Santosa, an investigator from the ministry’s illegal fishing prevention task force, as quoted by local news portal Tempo.The proposal comes in response to what the ministry sees as obstacles to investigating the funders of foreign vessels that fish in the country’s rich oceans. In November 2014, a month after his inauguration, President Joko Widodo slapped a moratorium on foreign fishing vessels from operating in Indonesian waters, home to one of the world’s largest capture fisheries. The policy has since been followed by the seizure and scuttling of such vessels, which has drawn mixed responses worldwide.In October 2015, the ministry joined forces with Indonesia’s anti-money laundering agency, known as the PPATK, to look into the financial backers behind the illegal fishing operations.“The issue is quite complicated when the case involves foreign vessels, because the owner is outside Indonesia,” Achmad said as quoted by Tempo.Another hurdle is the fact that the fisheries ministry lacks the authority to carry out a criminal investigation into money laundering, said senior ministry official Muhammad Yusuf. Under Indonesian law, only the police, the Attorney General’s Office, the customs department and the national anti-corruption commission, known as the KPK, may pursue such investigations.“But we keep communicating [about the issue] with the KPK and PPATK,” Yusuf said.Banner image: Yu Feng, a Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel suspected of illegal fishing activity, off the coast of Sierra Leone prior to being boarded by U.S. Coast Guard officers in August 2009. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Public Affairs Specialist 2nd Class Shawn Eggert/Released)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. Conservation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Illegal Fishing, Organized Crime 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

UN General Assembly adopts resolution to move forward with high seas treaty negotiations

first_imgThe General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on Sunday to convene negotiations for an international treaty to protect the marine environments of the high seas.Earth’s high seas represent about two-thirds of the oceans, but are not governed by any one international body or agency and there is currently no comprehensive management structure in place to protect the marine life that relies on them.According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, the treaty would be the first international agreement to address the impacts of human activities like fishing and shipping on the high seas. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on Sunday to convene negotiations for an international treaty to protect the marine environments of the high seas.Vast areas of ocean that lie outside any country’s exclusive economic zone — or, in other words, more than 200 nautical miles or more from any country’s shores — the high seas are areas of Earth’s oceans that lie beyond all national jurisdiction. They represent about two-thirds of the oceans, but the high seas are not governed by any one international body or agency and there is currently no comprehensive management structure in place to protect the marine life that relies on them.According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, the treaty would be the first international agreement to address the impacts of human activities like fishing and shipping on the high seas. It would not only create a global system for coordinating the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, but would also pave the way for the creation of marine protected areas (MPAs) and fully protected marine reserves in open waters.The UN reports reports that, as of 2017, 5.3 percent of the total global ocean area has been protected. That includes 13.2 percent of marine environments that fall under national jurisdiction, but just 0.25 percent of marine environments beyond national jurisdiction.Pew’s Liz Karan told Mongabay that high seas fisheries are estimated to account for up to $16 billion annually in gross catch, while estimates of the economic value of carbon storage from the high seas ranges from $74 billion to $220 billion a year. There are regional and sectoral bodies that have a very narrow mandate to look after particular high seas areas, but no body that looks at the ecosystem as a whole. “In these times, with a changing climate, looking at ecosystem resilience is especially important,” Karan said.The resolution adopted on December 24 had been anticipated since the final meeting this past June of a UN Preparatory Committee, which issued an official recommendation that the General Assembly launch an intergovernmental conference to negotiate a high seas treaty.“After more than 10 years of discussion, it is encouraging that United Nations member states unanimously agreed to move forward in 2018 with negotiations for an international agreement that would fill the gaps in ocean management to ensure protection for marine life on the high seas,” Karan said in a statement.“The international community, including scientists and members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), agrees that at least 30 percent of the world’s ocean should be set aside in MPAs and reserves to achieve a sustainable ocean. Protecting biodiversity on the high seas will be a key component of moving toward this goal.”The resolution lays out the negotiation process as consisting of four meetings, starting in 2018 and going through mid-2020. The first intergovernmental talks will take place in September 2018, and the final treaty text is expected by the end of 2020.At the conclusion of its meetings, the UN Preparatory Committee issued a report that made several recommendations of items to be included in an international high seas agreement, but there are still some crucial issues that must be hammered out via treaty negotiations.“Key questions that the countries will be discussing over the next two years through this intergovernmental conference will be what are the protections that can be taken at an international level, who are the decision-makers, how will that management be conducted and implemented, and then what kind of mechanisms for monitoring, review, and enforcement will follow through to make sure that those protections are not just designated but actually result in conservation benefits and change on the water,” Karan told Mongabay.Many other conservationists were quick to applaud the UN’s adoption of a resolution to move forward with high seas treaty negotiations, as well.“This is great news. This vote could open the way to create a Paris Agreement for the ocean,” Maria Damanaki, a former European Union Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries who now works for The Nature Conservancy, told The Guardian on the eve of the adoption of the resolution to move forward with treaty negotiations. “This could be the most important step I have seen in my 30 years working on oceans.”Two fishing vessels at sunset. Photo via Max Pixel, licensed under Creative Commons Zero – CC0.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworecki Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Climate Change, Climate Change And Conservation, Environment, Fisheries, Fishing, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Oceans And Climate Change, Protected Areas, United Nations last_img read more

Debates heat up as Indonesian palm oil moratorium is about to be signed

first_imgArticle published by Hans Nicholas Jong Banner image: Orangutans in Borneo have been seriously threatened by the oil palm industry. Photo by Rhett A. Butler 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 Announced two years ago, a moratorium on new oil palm permits in Indonesia is about to be signed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.But a coalition of environmental NGOs has criticized the latest draft of the moratorium, saying it contains many loopholes.The coalition has submitted a list of recommendations to the government, which has promised to follow up on their concerns. JAKARTA — Two years after he announced a freeze on new oil palm plantation permits, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia finally appears to be on the verge of putting it into effect, ahead of regional elections set to take place this June. But some distance remains between the administration and a coalition of environmental NGOs observing its deliberations, with the latter arguing the moratorium should remain in place for much longer than is being proposed.The draft of the document enshrining the permit freeze, seen by Mongabay, stipulates it will be enacted for no more than three years. It also mandates a review of existing licenses, since many are known to have been issued in violation of procedures, and a review of those now in the process of issuance.The document is being prepared in the form of a presidential instruction, which is not legally binding, a concern long aired by NGOs pushing for tough enforcement. It was signed by Darmin Nasution, the coordinating minister for the economy, on Dec. 22, after which it underwent some revision by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry before returning to Darmin’s desk. It now awaits approval from the president.In the current draft, implementation of the policy would be overseen by a task force established by Darmin’s office. The task force would verify data related to all outstanding oil palm permits, and then provide recommendations to the relevant ministries on how to follow up. This may include rezoning an area as forest, which would be off-limits for oil palm cultivation; revoking a permit; or pursuing criminal charges against law-breaking companies.President Jokowi, as he is popularly known, declared the moratorium in the wake of the 2015 fire and haze crisis, which pumped more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the entire EU economy during the same period. The underlying cause of the disaster was the large-scale drainage of Indonesia’s vast peat swamp zones, mainly by huge conglomerates planting cash crops like oil palm and acacia to feed global markets. Indonesia’s countryside is blanketed in leases belonging to these firms, as well as to companies in the mining and logging sectors.Since shortly after the 1998 fall of the dictator Suharto, when sweeping authority over land and resources was shifted from Jakarta to district governments, control over licensing for plantations has rested largely in the hands of district chiefs, known as bupati. Many of the permits they have issued are known to be linked to corruption, often for the purpose of financing an election campaign. The permits come down on lands covered in rainforest and rich in wildlife, or claimed by indigenous communities, giving rise to intractable social conflicts as companies operate with impunity, and fueling Indonesia’s sky-high greenhouse gas emissions.Spurred on by the nation’s anti-corruption commission, known as the KPK, Indonesia’s law enforcement agencies are already bracing themselves for an expected uptick in corruption ahead of the upcoming regional elections. The licensing freeze, said Rabin Ibnu Zainail, director of the NGO Pilar Nusantara South Sumatra, must be an integral part of this effort. “The moratorium will prevent incumbents from selling permits,” he told Mongabay.An online petition started a month ago by the NGO Auriga Nusantara asks the president to tell bupatis to stop not only “selling” permits but also extending them in the periods immediately preceding and following an election, when candidates either need money for their campaign, or are in hock to businesspeople who helped them win. The petition is also addressed to Indonesia’s governors and to Ignasius Johan, the minister of energy and mines.The lack of any formal legalization of Jokowi’s permit moratorium was brought into sharp relief last month, when the website ForestHints, a media platform through which forestry ministry officials often release information to the public, quoted one of the ministry’s directors-general as saying that four new permits had been issued to palm oil companies in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua region.The website referred to “high-density forest cover which dominates” the four concessions, and said one them belonged to the Ganda Group. It did not say who owned the other three. The director-general, Sigit Hardwinarto, declined to name the companies when reached for comment by Mongabay, although he stressed the need to protect Papua’s rainforests.At present, the nation’s palm oil sector is rife with illegality. In Riau, the main palm oil-producing province on the island of Sumatra, there are 18,000 square kilometers (6,950 square miles) of illegal oil palm plantations with no proper permits — an area two-thirds the size of Massachusetts — leading to an estimated loss of 34 trillion rupiah ($2.47 billion) of potential state income from tax, Suhardiman Ambi, head of the provincial parliament’s licensing monitoring committee, told news portal Detik.In Central Kalimantan province, on the island of Borneo, only 85 out of 300 oil palm companies have valid permits with “clean and clear” status, meaning they comply with basic laws regarding environmental impact assessments, payment of taxes and royalties, and proper registration of concession boundaries and corporate information, according to the NGO Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI).And there is also a problem of oil palm permits overlapping with permits for other industries, such as mining and timber. FWI estimates there are at least 46,900 square kilometers (18,110 square miles) of concessions with overlapping permits in Indonesia.When Jokowi announced the moratorium on oil palm permits back in 2016, he also mentioned that he would impose a moratorium on coal mining permits. However, the current draft of the moratorium doesn’t address coal permits, and it’s not clear when or if such a freeze will be implemented.Oil palm in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Time to assessTwelve NGOs voiced their concerns during a meeting with the Presidential Staff Office, an institution established by Jokowi to oversee his priority development programs, at the end of February.Representatives from the NGOs submitted a list of 11 recommendations to the office. Among them is a call to extend the period of the moratorium beyond the planned three-year maximum.“What’s clear is that there should be no more new permits for three years,” Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar told reporters recently in Jakarta.She said she believed three years was sufficient time for the government to review all permits and take necessary actions.“I said that two years was actually enough, because we’re just reviewing,” Siti said. “But to give more time, then three years is alright.”The coalition of NGOs, though, say the moratorium period should not be limited to three years, but instead should remain in effect until it achieves its goals.“The implementation of this moratorium should be based on criteria and indicator of a certain achievement, not based on a period of time,” the NGOs said in their list of recommendations. “So it’s important for the government to design and announce a mechanism to verify its achievements, priority areas and to ensure the results are open for public.”Zenzi Suhadi, the head of research and environmental law at Indonesia’s main environmental watchdog, Walhi, said the moratorium should be in effect for at least 25 years in order to give the industry room to breathe. He said it was also necessary to give the government time to evaluate the industry and its economic value compared to other industries.“During that time, the government could evaluate whether palm oil benefits the country or not,” Zenzi told Mongabay. “With a [plantation] permit lasting for 30 years, the 25-year period will allow the government [sufficient time] to evaluate the industry.”A baby orangutan in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Along with habitat loss due to mining, orangutans in both Sumatra and Borneo are threatened by fires and deforestation for oil palm and pulp plantations. Photo by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.Law enforcement questionsThe NGOs also say the draft moratorium is weak in its law-enforcement aspect, with the bulk of that role relegated to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and no mention of roles for other law enforcers such as the police or the Attorney General’s Office.That makes it unclear whether the task force will feature any law enforcement representatives, according to Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) executive director Henri Subagiyo.“The composition of the task force is not clear,” he said in an interview during a recent event in Jakarta.Teguh Surya, executive director of the environmental NGO Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, who also attended the meeting, said it was unlikely the environment ministry alone could handle all law enforcement aspects required in the palm oil industry.“If we see the ministry’s budget, it’s very small,” he said in an interview. “Frankly, the government’s attention toward law enforcement is still weak. Meanwhile, law enforcement is the spearhead of the improvement in the management of forests and plantations.”The NGOs say they are worried that with weak law enforcement, there will be little to no follow-up on the permit review process.“How can the Ministry of Environment and Forestry solve the 1.8 million hectares of illegal plantations?” Henri said. “The plantations in Riau are not occupied by only one or two people, but by thousands of people. What do we do with them? How can we solve this problem without cracking down on the masterminds behind these illegal plantations?”The NGOs are pushing for law enforcers, particularly the KPK, to be involved in examining the illegal plantations, seeing how the KPK has already instigated a massive effort to review the legality of thousands of licenses held by palm oil companies across the country.The KPK also conducted a study on the palm oil industry in 2016 and found there were weaknesses in the permit-issuing mechanism, monitoring and management of the sector.“We’re hoping that the government will strengthen its cooperation with the KPK in implementing this moratorium, especially to follow up on the KPK’s study,” the NGOs said.Deforestation for an oil palm plantation. Habitat loss due to agribusiness expansion is devastating orangutan populations. No one knows how much damage it is doing to orangutan culture. Photo by Rhett A. Butler‘Legalizing the illegal’Another contentious point is the mandate for the government to enforce a policy requiring palm oil firms to allocate 20 percent of their concessions for local farmers.The draft moratorium stipulates that the Ministry of Agriculture must evaluate companies to see whether are complying with the regulation, while the National Land Agency has to speed up the issuance of land permits for local farmers.Henri said there was still debate surrounding the implementation of the policy, such as the question of whether the 20 percent comprises land outside the concessions, and whether that figure is counted from the total size of the lease or the size of the cultivated area only. He called on the government to make the calculation clear before the moratorium is enforced.Lastly, activists criticized a point in the draft that exempts concessions in forest areas that have been planted and have had their forest conversion permits processed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.The exemption is a carryover from a government regulation signed by Jokowi in late 2015 about changes in the status and function of forest areas. Article 51 of the regulation stipulates that companies that have already obtained permits from local governments in production forest areas can still apply for a license to convert the status of the area from forest to non-forested area within a year of the regulation being issued.If the local permits are issued for areas with protected or conservation status, then the companies are still allowed to operate for a full harvest season.The draft moratorium states that oil palm concessions that have been planted and processed in accordance with the 2015 regulation are exempt from the moratorium, something that activists deem an attempt to legalize something that is illegal.“This exemption causes the moratorium to be useless because there are many illegal oil palm plantations in forest areas,” the coalition of NGOs said.Responding to the recommendations, the presidential chief of staff, Moeldoko, said he would study them first, while emphasizing that the moratorium aimed to increase productivity without clearing new lands.Moeldoko, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said he would discuss the draft moratorium with related ministries to follow up on the NGOs’ recommendations.“The Presidential Staff Office will study the 11 recommendations and will ensure to push the direction of oil palm development on increasing productivity sustainably, not through new land clearing,” he said in a press statement published on the office’s website. Borneo Orangutan, Corruption, Deforestation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Indonesia, Oil Palm, Orangutans, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests last_img read more

Saints hit Gunners for four

first_imgSTOKE, England (AP): Arsenal and Manchester United were embarrassed while Chelsea drew in an erratic Premier League that was as unpredictable as ever yesterday. And despite losing at Liverpool, Leicester’s surprise lead was maintained. Man United manager Louis van Gaal might not stick around in England to see if Leicester can win the league for the first time. A 2-0 loss at Stoke condemned United to a fourth consecutive loss in all competitions for the first time since 1961, and pushed the team down to sixth place. Van Gaal lamented his players’ inability to handle the pressure, and partly blamed the windy conditions at Stoke. The manager then conceded he might be at fault and suggested he could resign. “I do my utmost best to find solutions to cope with the pressure,” van Gaal said. “But in the end, my players have to do that by themselves.” It was a hapless first-half performance, and van Gaal questioned why his players “don’t dare to play football”. Memphis Depay’s diving backward header allowed Bojan Krkic to put Stoke in front, and Marko Arnautovic powered in a second goal from outside the penalty area. Wayne Rooney was forced to start a league game on the bench for the first time in two years, and United provided a greater threat only with its captain on the field in the second half. But a combination of poor finishing and Jack Butland’s saves prevented United from leaving Stoke with anything. Van Gaal’s comments and demeanour suggest his stay at Old Trafford is reaching an endgame after barely 18 months in charge. “I can also quit by myself,” van Gaal said when asked about receiving assurances about his job security, before adding: “It is not always … the club has to fire or sack me.” Asked if he would be in charge at Old Trafford on Monday when United plays Chelsea, van Gaal said: “You will have to wait and see, but I think so.” There was a bigger humbling for Arsenal, who missed the chance to go top after being thrashed 4-0 by Southampton. Cuco Martina’s half-volley put Southampton in front, and Shane Long scored twice either side of Jose Fonte’s header as the hosts rose to 12th place. Arsenal stayed two points behind Leicester, who lost 1-0 at Liverpool after conceding from Christian Benteke. Manchester City quickly recovered from losing at Arsenal on Monday to thump struggling Sunderland 4-1 to stay third. There were four different City scorers: Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony, and Kevin De Bruyne. A change of manager at Chelsea produced no quick fix. Guus Hiddink’s first match in charge ended in a 2-2 draw at home to high-flying Watford after Oscar missed a second-half penalty that could have secured back-to-back wins. Watford came from behind after conceding from Diego Costa’s volley to take the lead at Stamford Bridge. Troy Deeney levelled from the spot and Odion Ighalo put the visitors in front before Costa equalised with his second. While Chelsea remains two points above the relegation zone – and 13 points from fourth place – Watford is behind United only on goal difference in seventh place. Other results: Tottenham 3 Norwich 0; Bournemouth 0 Crystal Palace 0; Aston Villa 1 West Ham 1; Newcastle 0 Everton 1; Swansea 1 West Brom 0.last_img read more