PNGs Taekwando beaten by Britain in Olympics

first_imgWalkden is the 2015 Taekwondo World Champion and is housemates with fellow Great Britain Taekwondo athlete Jade Jones who has already won gold at these Rio Olympics.With Samantha stepping on the mat as an underdog, she was competitive in defeat especially going against a taller opponent with a far greater reach advantage.Unfortunately Samantha was slayed by her more experienced opponent beating her in a more dominant match.last_img

It’s World Pangolin Day!

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 Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Mammals, Pangolins, Poaching, Trade, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Medicine, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Pangolins are the world’s most trafficked animal.Populations of all eight species of pangolins are vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered, mainly due to the demand for their meat and scales.Hopefully, increased protection and attention will give these animals a chance to bounce back from near-extinction. It’s time to celebrate World Pangolin Day — again.Today, February 18, is dedicated to the armor-clad mammals that resemble giant pine cones. Some might know them as scaly anteaters that eat, well ants, and termites. But does the pangolin, believed to be the world’s most trafficked mammal, have a reason to cheer?Just earlier this month, Thailand authorities displayed three metric tons of pangolin scales that they had seized since December. The scales, worth more than $800,000, were estimated to have come from 6,000 pangolins originating from Africa.There were several other large seizures.In January, officials seized eleven metric tons of pangolin scales from Cameroon and Tanzania being exported to Asia. Around Christmas, Shanghai Customs seized over three metric tons of scales, while Cameroonian customs seized over half a metric tons of scales being exported from central Africa for Malaysia. Conservationists estimate that more than 20,000 pangolins were likely killed for these 14.5 metric tons of scales.Unfortunately, the illegal pangolin trade shows no sign of abatement.Tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis) in central Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo by Valerius Tygart licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.Estimates by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) suggest that nearly two million pangolins may have been traded over the past 16 years, a figure that they say represents only the tip of the iceberg.“Trafficking in such large quantities occurring on an international scale highlights the organised nature of this illegal trade which is proving increasingly profitable to wildlife traffickers,” the EIA writes on their website.The demand for pangolin scales comes mainly from China and Vietnam. People believe that the scales have medicinal properties, capable of promoting menstruation and lactation, and treating rheumatism and arthritis. But none of these claims have been proven.China even has a legal annual quota of 25 metric tons of pangolin scales that can be used in traditional Chinese medicine in over 700 registered hospitals. These scales must be from verified stockpiles or from legal African imports. But a recent survey by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, found that much of the scales were being sold illegally.Pangolin scales, just like human fingernails and hair, and rhino horns, are largely made of keratin. Unfortunately, the hard, armor-like scales that are meant to shield these animals from predators have become the main reason for their collapse.Pangolins are also hunted for their meat. In Africa, the animal is eaten in many parts as bush meat, while in China, the meat is believed to have curative properties, and is also consumed as a luxury food item. Even pangolin fetuses are popular in the country, as they are believed to improve virility. The mammal’s blood and body parts, too, are important in traditional Chinese medicine. In 2015, for instance, Indonesian officials confiscated five metric tons of frozen pangolin, 77 kilograms (169 pounds) of pangolin scales, and 96 live pangolins in Sumatra that were destined for China.Black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla) from Central African Republic that was opportunistically taken for its meat. Photo by John Cannon.Today, eight species of pangolins survive in the wild, four each in Asia and Africa. All four Asian pangolins — Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla), Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica), Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), and Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis) — are listed as endangered or critically endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.The four African pangolins — Cape or Temminck’s Ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii), White-bellied or Tree pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis), Giant Ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea), Black-bellied or Long-tailed pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla) — are all listed as vulnerable under the IUCN Red List.With Asiatic pangolins having suffered steep declines in populations, African pangolins are now being increasingly trafficked to Asian markets, according to the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group.When the EIA mapped all publicly available records for pangolin seizures globally, they found that the number of documented seizure incidents within Africa had gone up from 39 in February 2016 to 113 reported seizures now, with Tanzania, Nigeria, Cameroon and Uganda emerging as key export hubs. This trend is worrying, conservationists say.Map showing pangolin illegal trade seizures. Courtesy of Environmental Investigation Agency.“Little is known about the population status of the four African pangolin species in quantitative terms, but each is classified as threatened with extinction,” the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group wrote in a statement last year. “Their nocturnal and elusive nature makes them difficult to survey and, until recently, they have been largely overlooked by the conservation movement.”Fortunately, at the most recent Conference of the Parties to CITES, in South Africa in September 2016, all eight pangolin species were uplisted from Appendix II to Appendix I. This means that all pangolin species will receive the strictest global protections from trade.In another bit of good news, some smuggled pangolins have had a happier ending than others.Last August, 20 critically endangered Sunda pangolins, confiscated in June, were released to a safe, undisclosed location in Vietnam by the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Programme (CPCP), a collaboration between Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) and Cúc Phương National Park. Then in November, the same teams released 46 Sunda pangolins into the wild. The pangolins had been confiscated from traffickers in September.Some countries are also beginning to destroy their stocks of pangolin scales to make a statement about their intent to end pangolin trade. Yesterday, for example, Cameroon’s Ministry of Forests and Wildlife burned about three tons of pangolin scales collected from seizures going back as far as 2013. These could represent between 5,000 to 7,500 individual pangolins, experts say.“This event demonstrates the determination of Cameroon’s government to team with the international community to fight against the illegal wildlife trade,” Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation, said in a statement.These bits of good news are extremely important, but they may not be enough to save the pangolin. Let’s hope that with increased protection, attention, and action, these animals will have a fighting chance to bounce back from near-extinction.Ground Pangolin at Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa. Photo by David Brossard. Source: Flickr, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.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.center_img Article published by Shreya Dasguptalast_img read more

In remote Indonesian villages, indigenous communities fight a hydropower dam

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 Activism, Dams, Endangered Environmentalists, Energy, Environment, Human Rights, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure, Renewable Energy, Social Conflict This story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team. A version of this article was first published on our Indonesian site on Sept. 8, 2017, with updates throughout January, February and March.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. Seko, in the North Luwu subdistrict of South Sulawesi, is home to Pohoneang, Hoyyane and Amballong indegenous communities.Surveys have begun for a planned 480-megawatt hydroelectric dam, part of a broader plan to build 1,154-megawatts of hydropower in the region.The dam has become the center of a bitter fight that has divided families and communities.On March 27, a district court sentenced 13 Seko residents to seven months in prison in connection with an August 2016 action against the dam.This is the first in a series of two articles on the situation in Seko. NORTH LUWU, Indonesia — Benyamin Langga invited me to walk with him along the rice field embankment, climbing up a hill and then down a steep slope. At 60 years old, he could still maintain a steady balance while walking in all kinds of terrain.When we arrived at a slope overlooking the Betue River, we could see the water flowing below like strokes of white paint. A black eagle soared over us with its wings spread wide. Further down the slope, three sparrow hawks chased each other.We were walking to the site where developers of a hydroelectric dam have begun drilling and testing samples. Our destination was a thirty-minute walk away, according to the residents of Tana Makaleang Village in the Seko Subdistrict of North Luwu, in the southern part of Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island. Alas, I was not as nimble as the locals – it took us about an hour and a half.center_img Tana Makaleang village has a temperate climate. Its people belong to an indigenous group called the Pohoneang. Houses on stilts are huddled together on narrow streets — some paved, most just muddy.The is no cellphone service in the area, and the national electric company seems to be reluctant to build an electric network to reach this remote area. Those who can afford it buy generators, with several houses often sharing the cost of the machinery and fuel oil in order to enjoy a few hours of power in the evenings.I visited the village in June 2016 and spent a week enjoying the hospitality of the local people. They smiled freely, offering snacks and coffee when I passed their houses. But inside, the people were gripped by an unsettling feeling.Since 2014, the Seko Power Prima Company has planned to build a 480-megawatt hydroelectric dam in the area. The company and the local government have told residents that once the dam is built, the village will be electrified.Despite these promises, many villagers are wary of the development. According to the project’s environmental impact documentation, the company plans to dam the mainstream of the Betue River at the village of Sae, rerouting it towards Ratte village, roughly 18 kilometers away (11 miles), via three eight-meter-wide (26 feet) channels.These channels would stretch through trees, cliffs, and even run underground. They would also divide villages, the primary source of concern for communities.The planned height of the dam is 30 meters (about 98.4 feet). When the dam finally operates, the water will rise for about 15 meters (almost 50 feet).  I made repeated attempts to contact Ginandjar Kurli, the project’s operations manager, but so far, he has not responded.A view of the Betue River Valley in the Sae area. Plans are underway to dam the valley for hyrdoelectric power. Photo by Eko Rusdianto for Mongabay.An encounter with the headmanOn our way back from the drilling site, my throat was parched. Langga took off over a hill, reappearing with a basket of cucumbers on his back. “From my own garden,” he said. “Eat these so you won’t be thirsty.” The cucumbers were delicious.As we enjoyed our snack, we heard a motorbike coming toward us from the direction of the drilling tents. Two men arrived, wearing what looked like military-issued boots. One of them was Topel, village head Tana Makaleang.  So angry his lips were quivering, he demanded to know where I was from. “Why do you come here? You should have reported yourself first,” he said.“I am with the local people here, we wanted to see their garden,” I said.“Oh, it doesn’t work that way. I am the head of this village. I am the government here. All activities and everything going on in this area has to be to my knowledge,” said Topel.He continued talking without pause.“You should report yourself first. I don’t know who you are. Who knows if you’re a provocateur? I could have easily accused you of being provocateur. Young man, you have to know, it’s currently unstable around here. Things are volatile because there are some people who are trying to prevent the company’s activities here. What if I chase you away from here? That could have happened.”Topel sat in front of me, in the tent used by the workers to rest. A few sample rocks from the drilling were stacked nearby. While speaking, he stamped the ground with a machete sheathed in a round metal pipe.This encounter with the village headman was just a taste of the trouble brewing below Seko’s peaceful surface. From October 2015 to May 2016, a month before my visit, residents successfully blockaded the road to Central Seko, keeping heavy machinery out — an effort that succeeded until police until police detained two of the protestors for questioning, creating a distraction that allowed equipment to be slipped in.In the months that followed my visit, some of the residents would escalate their resistance to the mine, dismantling the drilling-site tent and removing soil samples collected by company engineers. Eventually, 13 Seko residents would be arrested for vandalism and, on March 27, sentenced to seven months in prison. In the meantime, I have regularly received disturbing updates from my contacts in the area: reports of children beaten at school, a police raid that sent most of the village scrambling to the forest to hide, detainees being brutally beaten by police, women’s demonstrations being violently dispersed, and a general climate of fear.Poor roads make the journey to the village long, grueling and expensive. Motorcycle taxi drivers, who spend much of the trip pushing their bikes, charge passengers as much as 1.2 million rupiah ($90, a large sum in rural Indonesia) for the journey. Photo by Eko Rusdianto for Mongabay.Debate within the communityIn June 2016, in the company of two members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (abbreviated in Indonesian as AMAN), I rode motorcycle taxis for two days from Sabbang to Central Seko to Tana Makaleang village. When we finally arrived, filthy and exhausted, at the house of local resident Andri Karyo, we saw around a hundred pairs of sandals lined up outside. A meeting of residents opposed to the dam was in session.The living room was bursting at the seams. Young and old, men and women were there. As they sat on the floor discussing the plans, I observed from the kitchen door. A woman held her sleeping grandchild on her lap, while intently listening to the discussions.“Why are you against the hydroelectric dam?” I asked.“If they build it, it will be in Ratte. I have my plot of land there. If they take it over, where will I plant my vegetables and rice?” she replied. “Even if they compensated me with money and asked me to move, I wouldn’t accept that. I inherited that land from my parents. We have owned it for a very long time.”Karyo said that the people in Seko were divided when they learned about the plan to build a hydropower dam there.“Some supported the plan, some don’t,” he said. “Since I’m against the dam, my house has been used for meetings, then they’ve accused me of being the mastermind.”Nine months later, Karyo would be one of the 13 people sentenced to prison.“We are Pohoneang and Hoyane indegenous people against the construction of the Seko Power Prima hydroelectric plant,” reads a banner during a 2016 demonstration. Photo courtesy of AMAN Tana Luwu.Searching for the factsIn 2016, the North Luwu government arranged for a few community representatives to visit a hydroelectric dam project on the Musi River in South Sumatra.“We were shown how the hydropower plant operates. But there was no explanation whatsoever about how it was in the beginning and how the local people responded,” said Bata Manurun, the head of AMAN in Tana Luwu, who was part of the visit. “Well, since that trip, we at AMAN still reject the project and we’re standing with the people,” he said.Topel, the machete-wielding village head, also went with the group to Musi. “Everything was fine there. In 2014 and 2015, I was one of the strongest opponents of the project here. But after coming home from Musi, I realized that I had misunderstood the project all this time. It turned out that it was all for the good of the people,” he said.The residents assumed, Topel continued, that the tunnels would go through the village and displace houses. This isn’t true, he said.From his spacious terrace, he pointed toward the nearby mountain range. “The information I got is that the tunnels will be placed there. So, the village is safe. If they were asking the villagers to move, I would have also rejected it.”Topel’s statement contradicts what I was told by Ahmad Yani, the head of Mining and Energy Authority in North Luwu, when we met in August 2016.“The Seko Power Prima Company only has the principle permit and also the location permit,” he said. “We don’t know yet how the hydropower plant would turn out. Whether they would build fully-covered tunnels all the way, or open canals. Or maybe they’ll combine both. Let’s wait the for assessments’ results.”Adding to villagers’ concerns, the dam on the Betue River is just one of a group of planned hydroelectric projects in the area.According to to Yani, 11 preliminary permits for hydropower plants have been granted there. These plants are to be built in several areas where rivers have sufficient water flow.“When all the plants are operational, the total power produced will reach 1,154 megawatts. But the thing is, we don’t know when all these facilities will be up and running,” Yani said.Machinery owned by PT Seko Power Prima at work building a road, and dumping soil into the river, in the Palandoang area. Photo by Eko Rusdianto for Mongabay.Unmet promisesOn our way to Sae from Sabbang, our motor taxi had to stop in Palandoang for a while. It is here that the tributaries flow into the Betue River. Heavy equipment was gutting a cliff and flattening the road. In front of this machine – locally known as a beko – two workers were taking a break while staring at the flowing river below.The road’s construction is carried out by the Seko Power Prima Company, the same company building the dam. I could see the soil removed during construction had been dumped into the river, almost blocking the water’s flow.“Why don’t you dump the soil elsewhere?” I asked.“We can’t do that,” replied a worker. “Around here are people’s properties, they’d get angry and wouldn’t let us. If we dump it in the river, no one will complain.”According to preliminary documents for Seko Power Prima’s Environmental Impact Assessment, all soil removed during the construction phase is to be placed in a safe area and used in ways with the least negative impact on the environment.So, it appears that at least one written promise is already not being fulfilled in reality.During a stakeholder meeting in Makassar, Yani said Seko Power Prima had only acquired principle and location permits, and only for activities related to surveying and analysis. At one point, he said, he would have a sit-down meeting with everyone involved and discuss issues using the Environmental Impact Assessment document as reference. “Rest assured that if it turns out that this project has more disadvantages than it does advantages, we’d be the first to reject it. In the meantime, let’s give them a chance,” he said.Since news arrived that a hydropower plant would be built in Seko, a handful of people from three local indigenous communities — Pohoneang, Hoyyane, and Amballong — became anxious. Many rumors floated around, for example, that the surrounding rice fields would be flooded out, and that residents would be evicted.Now the climate of suspicion has been on the increase. The residents are divided between those who welcome the project and those who oppose it.Women in Seko work together to hull rice, using a blend of traditional a modern tools. Photo by Eko Rusdianto for Mongabay.Will the dam power extractive industries?The peaceful Seko land has always been terrorized by actions in the name of development, said Mahir Takaka, a native of Seko Padang who is now a staffer at AMAN, the indigenous peoples’ organization. In the 1990s, a company called Kendari Tunggal Timber had timber concessions covering Baebunta, Sabbang, Rongkong and Seko.At first, the communities were hopeful about the arrival of Kendari Tunggal Timber, which had promised to bring various empowerment programs to the people. “But apparently, it was all empty promises. What that company left behind was only a big mess of forest roads and landslides everywhere because the big upright trees were gone,” Takaka said.I also learned that a plantation company called the Seko Fajar Company held a 35,000-hectare (~86,500 acres) concession in Seko Padang beginning in 1985. In 2011, the property was deemed idle, and the National Land Agency revoked this certificate the following year.“But the Seko Fajar Company appealed at the State Administrative Court and they won it back. So they had control over the area again,” said Takaka.It is not impossible, he continued, that the presence of the hydropower plant could be used as a leverage to bring in bigger industries like mining into the region.According to data released by the North Luwu Mining and Energy Authority, two mining permits have been issued in Seko. The first one was obtained by the Kalla Aribamma Company (owned by the family of Indonesia’s current Vice-President), which has plans to mine iron in Marante, Seko Padang. Their concession area is 6,812 hectares.The second company is the Citra Palu Mineral Company, who will mine gold in its 36,382-hectare concession area in Seko Padang and Rampi.“I was not so good at school, but now we know that there are a few plans for mining in Seko. I assume that all that electricity will be used for these industries,” Karyo said. “Now, I am defending our rights as a community here. Even if I have to die in the process, then that’s the consequence.”So who will be the real beneficiaries of this hydropower plant? Article published by Isabel Estermanlast_img read more

Facing oversupply, Indonesia scales back its coal-based electricity plan

first_imgCarbon Emissions, Clean Energy, Coal, Energy, Environment, Infrastructure, Mining Article published by Isabel Esterman 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 In 2014, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced plans to generate an additional 35,000 megawatts of electricity by 2019, much of it to be fueled by coal.Last month, energy minister Ignasius Jonan said only 15,000 additional megawatts will be required by 2019.Jonan cited lower-than-expected economic growth, leading to lower energy demand. The Indonesian government appears to be backtracking on its aggressive 35,000-megawatt, coal-centric energy development plan.The ambitious 35,000 megawatts of new electricity generation projects were to be completed by 2019, according to a plan announced by President Joko Widodo in 2014. However, only 15,000 megawatts will be required by then, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ignasius Jonan, said last month.Jonan attributed the U-turn on energy development goals to setbacks to the government’s equally ambitious goal of achieving upwards of 7 percent annual economic growth.According to the World Bank, Indonesia’s economy will grow 5.2 percent in 2017, up from 5 percent in 2016. While 5.2 percent is still high by global standards, it is much lower than the government’s target.Back in 2014 when Widodo announced the 35,000-megawatt plan, the government was planning for “very optimistic economic growth,” said Dwi Sawung, energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth Indonesia.With lower economic growth than expected, there will be less industry, and less energy required, leaving a surplus of power. At current development rates, there would be a 5,000-megawatt oversupply to the Java-Bali grid by 2024, said Jonan.Thousands of people from communities impacted by coal mines or coal-fired power plants rallied in Jakarta in March. Photo by Zamzami/Mongabay.The 35,000-megawatt coal-based plan was “unnecessary,” and a “big surplus,” said Sawung.To mitigate the oversupply, some coal power plant developments in Indonesia will be canceled, and an estimated 9,000 megawatts of projects have been put on hold until 2024. Out of the proposed 35,000 megawatts, around 20,000 megawatts were expected to be coal.Supangkat Iwan, the procurement director for the state-owned electricity supplier PLN said the coal reduction will include scrapping power plant Java 5. The 2,000-megawatt plant would have been located in West Java, and built by PLN subsidiary, PT Pembangkit Jawa-Bali. Altogether, PLN is to scrap 9,000 megawatts of power purchase agreements (PPA), focusing instead on a smaller pipeline, said Iwan.Coal power projects still going ahead include the controversial 1,000 megawatt Cirebon coal power plant which recently had its environmental permit revoked, the 2,000-megawatt expansion of Tanjung Jati which has had financers back out, and the 2,000-megawatt Batang coal power plant, which has been delayed for four years due to local protests.A worker operates an excavator at an open pit-coal mine in Samboja, East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Photo by Kemal Jufri/Greenpeace.The trouble with coalFor years, coal developments across Indonesia have faced protests, campaigns, lawsuits, and complaints over water and air pollution. Yet the government has steamed ahead with coal projects.At risk from coal mining is approximately 8.6 million hectares (21.25 million acres) of Indonesia’s biodiverse and carbon-dense forests. As a 2015 report by NGO Fern found, this makes Indonesia’s forests the world’s most under threat due to coal. Indonesia’s continued pro-coal stance also calls into question its commitments to reducing carbon emissions by 29 percent from projected 2030 levels.The 35,000-megawatt plan was “a lifeline for the coal mining sector in Indonesia,” says industry analyst Oxford Energy. It bolstered the domestic coal market and guaranteed demand as Indonesia’s two biggest coal customers, India and China drastically reduced coal imports (as part of a growing trend across the globe).Business services company PwC estimates constructing new power plants and expanding the national grid would cost PLN over $75 billion over the next 10 years. However, PwC also reported last year that Indonesia’s coal reserves will not last more than 18 years, with coal resources on track to be depleted as early as 2033.The coal-based energy plan would also have brought soaring numbers of early deaths from coal pollution. A Harvard University-led research study analyzed health impacts of existing and planned coal plants in Indonesia, predicting more than 24,400 premature deaths per year by 2030.The 35,000-megawatt plan was not just coal focused, but also urban focused; around 26,000 megawatts was expected to be developed in Indonesia’s most populous island, Java, connecting to the Java-Bali grid.While an estimated 1.6 million poor households in Indonesia do not have grid access, Java is almost fully electrified. “This electricity is not for those people without electricity access, it is for industry,” Didit Wicaksono, a coordinator at Greenpeace Indonesia has previously told Mongabay.Due to all the impacts imposed by the 35,000-megawatt plan, environmental organizations have been pressuring foreign finance to pull out of Indonesian coal investments. Investors and businesses also began questioning the 35,000-megawatt plan, and a policy review was announced last year.Police and security aboard a journalists’ boat as anti-coal activists unfurl banners and block the loading of coal at the Cirebon coal plant in West Java. Photo by Ardiles Rante/Greenpeace.Changes to coal supportWhile it is unlikely the government will change its “pro-coal” stance, said Sawung, minister Jonan is new to the energy sector, and has said he is not just pro-coal, but pro-low prices.Joining the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry in October 2016, Jonan had no previous experience in the energy sector. He is also the fourth person in less than a year to be appointed as the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister in Joko Widodo’s government.Jonan “saw the subsidies being paid for electricity were too big, with too much surplus,” explains Sawung. Now Indonesian energy policy is “all about the price.”New power projects will go ahead and secure PPAs, as long as they are below the purchase price limit set by PLN. As of March, and until April 2018, the price limit is 983 rupiah ($0.07) per kilowatt-hour. Sawung said that because of this change in pricing regulation, as long as energy is supplied below this price, Indonesia is “open to buying energy from renewables.”“If energy is cheaper from renewables, the government will buy it, if it is cheaper from coal and gas, they will buy from that,” said Sawung.The current purchasing price limit is also “very low,” meaning coal companies “cannot meet this price,” said Sawung. The regulation change “makes it difficult for new coal power projects in Java to be profitable, even for the biggest coal companies.”This trend away from coal could open up a “new opportunity” for renewables, said Sawung. Especially on small islands and rural areas, where renewable energy has been taking off successfully in Indonesia.The delays and cancellations to coal projects under the 35,000-megawatt plan do not apply to the 3,700 megawatts of renewable energy developments. Previous plans for hydro, wind, solar and geothermal projects are still going ahead as planned.One additional reason for the recent shift in policy away from coal, said Sawung, is the general election campaigns for 2019, which will begin next year. President Joko plans to run, and potential voters from middle-income households complain, often on social media, about high electricity prices. “This year the price has increased about four times, and the price keeps rising,” said Sawung.A masked activist holds an anti-fossil-fuel banner outside the Bandung Administrative Court on April 19, part of a rally awaiting a court verdict on the validity of the Cirebon coal plant’s environmental permit. Photo by Donny Iqbal/Mongabay.In response to complaints, on April 28 Jonan said electricity tariffs will be adjusted every three months, to ensure electricity prices remain affordable and to provide a climate of certainty for investment.Jonan also said that the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s new goal is to make Indonesia’s energy sector more efficient and accessible, including new policies to penalize PLN for not delivering electricity to customers.Emphasizing the need to close what he described as a “very big natural resources management gap,” deputy minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arcandra Tahar spoke April 25 at the University of Gadjah Mada. “As good as our plans, the gap is still wide open,” Tahar said.Sawung agrees there is a dearth of sufficient management and organization of Indonesia’s natural resources. The government “did not do enough planning,” pushed for 35,000 megawatts “without feasibility studies” and “did not fit power plants to the conditions,” said Sawung.“When you push for 35,000 megawatts without doing any of the studies, projects cannot operate,” said Sawung.The government wanted to speed up projects, Sawung said. “But you have to study beforehand. Without studies, you cannot fasten [up] projects, as you don’t know what troubles there are, or what the conditions will be.”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

With poaching curtailed, a new menace to Nepal’s wildlife

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Cats, Conservation, Environment, Leopards, Mammals, Megafauna, One-horned Rhinos, Rhinos, Wildlife Since 2011, with poaching largely under control in the country, conservationists in Nepal have been paying increasing attention to the risks of diseases spreading to wildlife from domesticated animals.Domesticated animals near Chitwan National Park form a reservoir of pathogens that could cross to wildlife. Veterinarians have already identified tuberculosis in a dead rhino and a suspected case of canine distemper in a leopard.The country currently lacks facilities to fully analyze and respond to the threat of diseases, but local and international groups are working to rapidly increase capacity. SAURAHA, Nepal — Since the 1980s, SARS, Ebola, HIV, and other diseases originating in wildlife have hit global headlines due to their devastating impact on human and livestock populations. By comparison, diseases blighting wildlife populations, including those transmitted from humans and domestic animals, are largely overlooked.A few outbreaks have received considerable publicity — like the mass die-off of bats due to white-nose syndrome — but even conservation experts have only recently begun to fully appreciate the magnitude of the threat posed to endangered species by disease.Nepal offers a case in point. With poaching of rhinos, tigers, and elephants largely stemmed in the country since 2011, Nepalese conservationists and their foreign partners have begun awakening to a new menace on the horizon that experts say threatens to undo the country’s extraordinary conservation progress.In March 2016, officials of Chitwan National Park, home to over 90 percent of the country’s greater one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) population, encountered a dead rhino in the park’s western Amartali buffer zone. The previous day, conservationists had seen the animal behaving lethargically. That, combined with the rhino’s intact horn, ruled out poaching as the cause of death. Upon performing an autopsy, scientists from Nepal’s National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) made a startling discovery. Granulomatous lesions, the hallmark of tuberculosis, lined the rhino’s lungs, making this female the first recorded individual of any of the five rhinoceros species to exhibit the disease.More recently, in November 2016, a common Asian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) was observed for several days on the outskirts of villages in the Himalayan Palpa District. The leopard showed no inclination to confront villagers or attack livestock, and as with the Chitwan rhino before its death, appeared gravely ill.Conservationists brought the dying animal to NTNC’s Chitwan office in Sauraha, where veterinarians fought hard for two days to save its life. Their efforts were in vain. While the leopard remains to be diagnosed, its behavior led the NTNC vets to suspect “canine” distemper, a virus that in spite of its name devastates numerous mammalian carnivores and is not necessary transmitted by domestic dogs.These two cases highlight the long and perilously neglected danger posed by wildlife diseases in Nepal.A rhino family in Chitwan national park. Photo courtesy of Veterinary Initiative for Endangered Wildlife (VIEW).“We have a potential soup kitchen of pathogens that needs to be investigated,” U.S. veterinarian Deborah McCauley said about Chitwan’s domestic animal population in an interview in Sauraha.Investigations already conducted among livestock have uncovered alarming results. A recent study of 100 domestic dogs in Chitwan’s buffer zones conducted jointly by the NTNC, Washington State University, and McCauley’s organization Veterinary Initiative for Endangered Wildlife (VIEW) yielded 27 individuals with canine distemper, the disease which killed at least four Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in neighboring India in 2013. Furthermore, over ten domestic Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Nepal died of tuberculosis between 2002 and 2014, and in 2015, a comprehensive screening of captive elephants throughout the country found that 13 percent carry TB antibodies.In interviews conducted at the organization’s office in Sauraha outside Chitwan NP, NTNC staff explained that they have struggled to fully understand and respond to the new threat of wildlife diseases in Nepal. The country lacks sophisticated facilities to house and diagnose blood and tissue samples, limiting current knowledge of how diseases originate and transmit between species.“That type of work, diagnostic work, in wildlife is just progressing,” said Kamal Gairhe, a veterinarian with the country’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. “It is not in [an] advanced stage, so we have a lot to do in this field.” At present, any discussion of how the Chitwan rhino became stricken with TB or how the leopard became infected with suspected distemper must remain speculative.However, since livestock comprise the main reservoir of wildlife diseases across the globe, the NTNC has concentrated on cattle and dogs inhabiting Chitwan’s buffer zones as the prime suspects. Until the mid-1950s, the prevalence of malaria in Chitwan largely deterred human settlement. But in 1954, the Nepalese government began a successful campaign to eradicate malaria from Chitwan. Subsequently, waves of migrants from the country’s overpopulated hill regions settled in the area over the last half-century, accompanied by large numbers of livestock.A herd of cattle in the Baghmara Community Forest near Chitwan National Park. Livestock are a potential source of diseases like tuberculosis. Photo by Alex Dudley.The cattle herds in the buffer zone and burgeoning stray dog population around Sauraha may have long acted as a reservoir for wildlife diseases even as the Nepalese government and NTNC focused on more obvious threats.“Historically, conservation has been [focused on] habitat encroachment and poaching,” said McCauley, who has been working with NTNC-Sauraha veterinary staff since 2010 to properly diagnose and confront wildlife diseases in the park. “And even if a tiger leaves the park, or a rhino leaves the park…that tiger may be leaving the park because there’s a disease component. But historically it’s always been ‘Habitat encroachment! That’s the answer!’ And there’s got to be other reasons.”In 2012, McCauley founded VIEW upon discovering that no organization focused on countering diseases transmitted from livestock to wildlife. In her previous fieldwork, she witnessed the devastation wrought by canine distemper in both black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) in the western United States and carnivores in the Serengeti, where a third of the resident African lion (Panthera leo) population and nearly all resident African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) perished from the disease in the mid-1990s. McCauley spoke urgently about what she portrayed as a ticking time bomb posed by diseases to wildlife in Nepal and beyond.Nepal has roughly 30 million people, each of whom has an average of five animals, McCauley said. The possibility of those domesticated animals transmitting diseases to wildlife “is the most threatened, unaddressed threat to our endangered species,” she said. “I know for a fact that is true. But [diseases] could potentially be the threat to our endangered species, period.”Tourist safari elephants pass a one-horned rhino in Chitwan National Park. Domesticated elephants like these are potential sources of tuberculosis infections in wildlife. Photo by Alex Dudley.Among the pathogens in Chitwan’s “soup kitchen” are the closely related species within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Scientists have long recognized the menace posed by M. tuberculosis, the typical human pathogen infecting both Asian elephants and 3 million people in South Asia.The Chitwan rhino casualty represented a newly recognized pathogen, M. orygis, originally diagnosed in captive Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), and more recently identified in other antelope species, humans, spotted deer (Axis axis), rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and domestic cattle. While the original host of M. orygis in Chitwan remains at large, NTNC veterinarian Amir Sadaula said that the organization is currently investigating domestic cattle in the buffer zone as a potential reservoir.Sadaula said that the rhino with M. orygis may have contracted the disease from livestock because the dead animal was found in a buffer zone: “It was not in a core area and it is the buffer zone where this rhino was a regular interface with domestic livestock, grazing livestock. In the buffer zone, there is more chance that the rhino and livestock will come to graze together in the same grass and are in the same water.”In the ongoing detective story of rhino tuberculosis, domestic elephants are also being investigated as suspects. Sadaula noted that the elephant TB cases recorded so far in Nepal and other South Asian countries represent M. tuberculosis and not M. orygis. However, the infected rhino died in an area which formerly hosted tourist elephant rides, a popular means for park visitors to spot wildlife in the area’s high grass. Therefore, the NTNC is studying whether domestic elephants can transmit tuberculosis (either M. tuberculosis or M. orygis) to rhinos and deer encountered during anti-poaching patrols or safaris.Amir Sadaula demonstrates laboratory techniques to veterinary students. Photo courtesy of VIEW.“We are working on the one-health approach because we can see that the elephant is traveling across the river and across the road, and they are coming into contact with all the human and the domestic animals,” Sadaula explained. “And finally, when [the elephants] are taken to the safari, they are in contact with the jungle animal in the wild.” To hinder the further spread of tuberculosis to wildlife, he added, over the last five years, scientists have conducted a large-scale campaign to screen both privately owned and government elephants for the disease.As with the Chitwan rhino, no smoking gun exists as to the origin of suspected distemper in the Palpa leopard. However, since domestic dogs are among the favored prey items of leopards throughout Asia, NTNC vets currently suspect the animal may have contracted distemper from feeding on a canine stricken with the disease. According to Sadaula, distemper might be transmitted from domestic dogs to smaller carnivores regularly visiting the buffer zones, such as civets, leopards, and jackals. In turn, these animals could carry the virus to the park’s core, where tigers and Asian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus) generally remain.Beyond distemper’s potential to devastate endangered carnivore populations, Sadaula added, the virus could indirectly pose a menace to Nepalese villagers: neurological and muscular degeneration observed in the country’s infamous man-eating tigers could be the hallmark of the disease, causing the animals to seek out human prey. “We cannot say that [the tigers] have canine distemper but neither can we rule out canine distemper in such scenarios,” he said.Fortunately, just as the growth of wildlife numbers in Nepal owes to collaboration between rural communities and Nepalese army units against poaching, the country appears intent on demonstrating the same concerted and multifaceted approach to nip the threat of diseases in the bud.Deborah McCauley (center) with students participating in the dog distemper study. Photo courtesy of VIEW.This year, NTNC-Sauraha staff, in collaboration with VIEW, aim to collect serum samples from around 500 domestic dogs in Chitwan’s buffer zones, and another 500 samples next year, to screen for canine distemper. According to Sadaula, within the next two or three years, the NTNC vets plan to test every individual dog in the buffer zones for the disease. “[Tuberculosis and distemper] are the most important diseases which can hamper our wild population and we are targeting both of these diseases this year,” he said. Concurrently, he added, the NTNC aims to vaccinate over 10,000 livestock in the buffer zones this year against foot-and-mouth disease.In recent months, Nepal has gained key ground in its battle against wildlife maladies. In December, the NTNC office in Sauraha obtained a thermal cycler to diagnose blood samples from wildlife. In January, ground broke on the construction of an upgraded NTNC veterinary facility in Sauraha, an endeavor funded in part by Denver-based conservation organization Team Nepalorado. This facility will begin operating in mid-2018 and will play a critical role in allowing the NTNC to finally diagnose and counter wildlife diseases, as well as housing and treating sick animals. “After the establishment of the lab … no disease will go unnoticed,” Sadaula said.Despite the ever-present challenges to conservation in Nepal, McCauley remains optimistic that the country can prevent disease from negating the country’s gains over the last decade. “They’ve done a great job on poaching,” she said. “Let’s investigate the natural causes. I’m really, I’m super impressed with the work that Nepal does…No matter how hard maybe life is in Nepal, they are at the forefront, really, in helping in conservation and have the foresight to listen.”FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Isabel Estermancenter_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

Hong Kong officials seize ‘largest ever’ ivory shipment worth $9 million

first_imgThe customs authorities discovered the tusks inside a 40-feet Malaysian consignment declared as “frozen fish”.Following an initial investigation, the authorities have arrested the owner and two staff members of a trading company in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong.In December last year, Hong Kong government announced a three-step plan to phase out domestic ivory trade by the end of 2021. On July 4, Hong Kong customs officials seized about 7.2 metric tons of ivory tusks in what they estimate to be the world’s largest seizure of ivory tusks over the past 30 years. The ivory is estimated to be worth around HK$72 million (~$9.2 million).TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, added that the weight is yet to be verified, but once it is confirmed the haul could become the largest ever recorded seizure of ivory tusks, surpassing the 7.138 metric tons seized in Singapore in 2002.“This seizure is tragic and represents violent and cruel deaths for possibly hundreds of elephants, all for their ivory tusks and all for an industry that should be in its death throes in the Hong Kong SAR of China,” Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director China for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), said in a statement.Hong Kong Customs seized “about” 7.2 tonnes of ivory tusks. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong customs authorities.The customs inspectors discovered the tusks inside a 40-feet Malaysian consignment declared as “frozen fish”. Following an initial investigation, the authorities have arrested the owner and two staff members of a trading company in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong.“Hong Kong Customs are to be warmly congratulated on this important seizure, but it is vital for a full and thorough investigation to take place in the aftermath to find out who was orchestrating this massive movement of contraband,” Yannick Kuehl, TRAFFIC’s Regional Director for East Asia, said in a statement.Under CITES guidelines, large-scale ivory seizures, of at least 500 kilograms (0.5 metric tons) point towards the participation of organized crime. And this large seizure moving from Malaysia to Hong Kong highlights the role of the two countries as smuggling hubs of ivory, TRAFFIC added.“No doubt Hong Kong’s geographic location coupled with the currently relatively lenient penalties in place for anyone convicted of wildlife crime are reasons behind the shipment coming through the port—the case for increasing penalties has never been stronger,” Kuehl said.In December last year, Hong Kong government announced a three-step plan to phase out domestic ivory trade by the end of 2021.The tusks had been shipped from Malaysia in a container falesely labelled as containing only “frozen fish”. Photo courtesy of Hong Kong customs authorities. Animals, Conservation, Elephants, Environment, Environmental Crime, Ivory, Ivory Trade, Mammals, Trade, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_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 races to catch tiger alive as villagers threaten to ‘kill the beast’

first_imgA conservation agency in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island has deployed two teams to capture alive a wild tiger that has reportedly killed two people at an oil palm plantation.The incidents prompted villagers living near the plantation to threaten to kill the tiger themselves if it was not caught.Authorities are keen to take the animal alive, following the killing of a tiger earlier this month under similar circumstances. PEKANBARU, Indonesia — A wildlife conservation agency in Indonesia has deployed two special teams to capture alive a tiger blamed for killing two people this year, amid mounting calls for the animal to be killed.The Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in Riau province has been on the trail of the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) since the first reported incident, on Jan. 3, when the tiger attacked three workers at an oil palm plantation in Indragiri Hilir district. The tiger killed one of the workers, identified as Jumiati, 33, after she fell from a tree that she had climbed up to escape the animal.Although the BKSDA set out traps in the area around the palm estate run by the Malaysian company PT Tabung Haji Indo Plantations, the tiger proved to be elusive.Just over two months later, on March 5, the same tiger reportedly killed a 34-year-old man, Yusri Efendi, who was passing through the same plantation with a group of other people when they were attacked.A Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). The big cats have increasingly been pushed out of their forest habitats by rampant deforestation and hunting. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.The two deaths prompted hundreds of residents of Pulau Muda village, where Yusri was from, to stage a protest on March 12 at the office of the plantation company. They demanded the company and the BKSDA immediately capture the tiger, which has been nicknamed Bonita.“The people of Pulau Muda will take action to kill the beast, whatever it takes,” said Ujang, one of the protesters, reading from list of demands to the agency and the company. “And we refuse to face any criminal charges over this.”Under Indonesia’s 1990 Conservation Act, the killing of protected species such as Sumatran tigers carries a prison sentence of up to five years and fines of up to 100 million rupiah ($7,000).In response to the demands, the BKSDA reached an agreement with the villagers not to kill the tiger, on condition that the BKSDA capture it before March 19.The agency has deployed two teams to capture the tiger by tranquilizing it. The teams are made up of officers from the police and military, as well as representatives from NGOs, veterinarians and companies operating in the area.Suharyono, the head of the Riau BKSDA, said the team had orders not to shoot the tiger with live ammunition unless under attack. Even then, they would only be allowed to shoot at its hind legs, and avoid its body and head.Suharyono said that once captured, the tiger would be transported to a wildlife rehabilitation center.The conservation authorities in Riau are determined to take the tiger alive, in the wake of a near-identical case earlier this month in which villagers in neighboring North Sumatra province speared a tiger to death and mutilated its body. The tiger had reportedly attacked and injured two people who were part of a hunting party out to catch the animal, which they considered a supernatural incarnation.In that incident, the villagers had earlier threatened and driven out a BKSDA team sent in to capture the tiger, insisting they were within their rights to kill the endangered big cat.Conflicts between humans and wildlife flare up regularly across Sumatra, whose once vast swaths of forest have been cleared at alarming rates for commercial development, primarily palm oil and rubber plantations, as well as mines. There are an estimated 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, according to WWF. The species is listed by the IUCN as critically endangered, or just a step away from going extinct.The Sumatran tiger is a key conservation focus for the Indonesian government and wildlife activists; two other tiger subspecies native to Indonesia, the Javan tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) and the Bali tiger (Panthera tigris balica), were officially declared extinct in 2003 due to poaching and habitat loss — the same threats stalking the Sumatran tiger today.UPDATE (April 24, 2018): The tiger was captured alive and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center.Banner image: A Sumatran tiger. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Basten Gokkon 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 Animal Rescue, Animals, Big Cats, Conflict, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forest Destruction, Habitat Loss, Human-wildlife Conflict, Mammals, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Deforestation, Tigers, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Rescues last_img read more

Cerrado: can the empire of soy coexist with savannah conservation?

first_imgCattle, Cattle Ranching, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Dry Forests, Grasslands, Industrial Agriculture, Land Use Change, Savannas, Tropical Deforestation With new deforestation due to soy production markedly reduced in recent years by Brazilian laws and by the 2006 Amazon Soy Moratorium, agribusiness, transnational commodities companies like Bunge and Cargill, and investors have shifted their attention to the Cerrado, savannah.Four Cerrado states, Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia, known collectively as Matopiba, are seeing a rapid reduction in native vegetation as soy, cotton, corn and cattle production rises. Over half of the Cerrado’s 2 million square kilometers has already been converted to croplands, with large-scale agribusiness owning most land.One reason for the focus on the Cerrado: Brazil’s Forest Code requires that inside Legal Amazonia 80 percent of forests on privately held lands be conserved as Legal Reserves. But in a large portion of the Cerrado, property owners are only required to protect 20 to 35 percent of native vegetation.With little help coming currently from government, conservationists are responding with creative approaches for protection – developing partnerships with local communities, seeking signers for the Cerrado Manifesto to curb new deforestation due to soy, and restoring degraded lands to market the Cerrado’s unique fruits and other produce. Driving deep into the Cerrado, Bahia state, Brazil. Photo by Alicia PragerThis is the second of six stories in a series by journalists Alicia Prager and Flávia Milhorance who travelled to the Cerrado in February for Mongabay to assess the impacts of agribusiness on the region’s environment and people.Soybeans, corn, cotton – seemingly never-ending crops – stretch to the horizon, interrupted often by patches of native vegetation. That’s all there is to see, other than agribusiness signs and big trucks laden with produce as we tool along the arrow-straight asphalt of BR-020 on our 600-kilometer (372 miles) drive northeast from Brasília to Barreiras in Bahia state.That’s the same direction in which Brazil’s agribusiness is expanding as it marches farther and farther, deeper and deeper, into the Cerrado savannah.Over the past half-century technology investment, government subsidies, and cheap, available land have helped Brazil achieve one of the highest agricultural productivity rates in the world. From the 1970s onward, agribusiness grew exponentially in Central and South Brazil. More recently, the commodity sector hotspot has shifted northward into mostly unexploited territory – with predictable deforestation impacts.“It is estimated that the [greatest agricultural] land expansion occurs in areas with great productive potential, such as those of the Cerrado in the region known as Matopiba,” reads a recent Ministry of Agriculture report highlighting optimistic ten-year projections for the country’s agribusiness sector: “Despite its infrastructure shortcomings, [Matopiba] land prices are attractive, the [mild] climate corresponds to that of the Cerrado, and the [topographical] relief is favorable [for industrial cultivation],” says a glowing description in the report.Cerrado soy feeds a booming global soy protein market. Photo by Flávia MilhoranceInside the Matopiba soy empireMatopiba is an acronym for Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia states. It isn’t a familiar place name to most Brazilians, but is well known to large-scale farmers, as it refers succinctly to the nation’s latest agricultural frontier.In Matopiba, the soybean – due to its inexhaustible global market demand – stands head-and-shoulders above every other crop in importance. Soy experienced an astounding increase of 15 percent in occupied farmland in Matopiba between 2016/2017, with soy acreage likely to top 8.4 million hectares (32,432 square miles) by 2026/2027, says the ministry report.Crop monoculture, hampered by environmental laws in the Amazon, has been expanding rapidly into the Cerrado, the biodiversity-rich Brazilian tropical savannah which once covered two million square kilometres (772,204 square miles), an area bigger than Great Britain, France and Germany combined.More than half of the Cerrado’s native vegetation has been lost already to soy, corn, cotton and cattle, and the pace of deforestation here is far faster than in the Amazon today.The Cerrado biome, east and south of the Amazon, is largely made up of flat plateaus, ideal for the heavy machinery used in industrial agribusiness. Photo by Flávia MilhoranceCroplands make heavy demands on Cerrado water. Pictured here is a large-scale irrigation system. Conservationists are concerned about the draining of aquifers due to rapid agribusiness expansion. Photo by Flávia MilhoranceData that we compiled exclusively from Brazil’s Environment Ministry reveals that 65 percent of the Cerrado’s forest loss between 2013 and 2015 occurred inside Matopiba’s four states. Agribusiness-dominated Matopiba municipalities named in the government’s report are top deforestors. They includes Balsas, in Maranhão; Uruçuí and Baixa Grande do Ribeiro, in Piauí; and Formosa do Rio Preto, São Desidério, Correntina and Barreiras, in Bahia. Those localities account for 1,500 square kilometers (nearly 10 percent) of the 17,000 square kilometers deforested in the Cerrado over the 2013-15 period.During our February trip there, we drove more than 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles), exploring those Western Bahia municipalities and observing that the protection of the Cerrado’s environment and wellbeing of its people sometimes seems to stand at odds with the interests of the agribusiness sector. We witnessed ongoing deforestation, land conflicts and negative impacts on water resources, all which we will report about in upcoming stories in this series.The big question to be investigated here: can the Cerrado’s rapid ongoing growth in agricultural productivity coexist alongside the biome’s need for conservation?A gate and lane leading into a Cerrado farm. The region is predominantly occupied by large scale farms, but includes small scale farms as well. Photo by Flávia MilhoranceBrazil’s economic strength built on agribusiness Agribusiness accounted for 23 percent of Brazil’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 44 percent of exports in 2017. And while the country is still in the grip of an ongoing economic crisis, the small recovery the nation has celebrated – a 1 percent increase in GDP last year – is largely credited to the agribusiness boom.The huge boost that the sector provides annually to the Brazilian economy has also allowed it to gain tremendous political clout in the National Congress and the Executive branch, Today, the bancada ruralista, the agribusiness lobby, includes around 200 (40 percent) of congressional deputies. The ruralists have worked consistently to weaken environmental policies and laws.“Their influence is so strong, nothing can be done without their consent in Congress,” says Tiago Reis from the NGO Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM).In Matopiba specifically, the conversion of native vegetation to farmland started slowly, as early as the 1980s, but intensified in the 2000s. Agronomist Deosdete Santiago arrived in Barreiras almost forty years ago, and witnessed the early land rush in Western Bahia. He was brought there by a government project job but soon was “seduced,” he says, by the lure of agribusiness.For years, he sold Monsanto pesticides and witnessed a dramatic growth in the size of farms. “I used to work with small farmers, but today I see the region taking the course of Mato Grosso state, Brazil’s greater agribusiness producer,” Santiago explains. Matopiba’s expansion was driven by large-scale, often absentee landowners. Today, just ten Matopiba firms control an area of one million hectares (3,861 square miles) of farmland. Also, many small producers are tied to larger ones via financing and the selling of their crops, writes economist Julliana Ramos Santiago, whose Masters thesis documented agribusiness expansion in Western Bahia.The Cerrado, the second largest biome in Brazil after the Amazon, possesses perfect soils and climate for growing soy, cotton and corn. However, these crops are fed by chemical fertilizers and protected by chemical pesticides, which can pollute rivers and aquifers. Photo by Flávia MilhoranceForest losses in the Cerrado biome, 2000 to 2014. Please click the map for the interactive version. Credit: Willie Shubert  / Map for EnvironmentThe state’s support for the industry in the Cerrado has been intermittent over the years. But in 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture launched a plan to address the lack of infrastructure there and give a boost to farming. Katia Abreu, a politician and cattle breeder from Tocantins state, (as well as the agriculture minister under the Rousseff administration at the time), was put in charge of the infrastructure project. Abreu spread the word to international investors that the Cerrado was open for agricultural expansion.But Rousseff’s impeachment in 2016 changed regional priorities. When Michel Temer took over as president, he extinguished the Matopiba infrastructure program and appointed a new agriculture minister, Blairo Maggi, a politician and large-scale soy grower from Mato Grosso state. Maggi quickly shifted the new administration’s attention to his home state, and sought an increase of investments there. During our travels, we saw partially built railroad and thermoelectric government projects abandoned in São Desidério, Bahia. The Ministry of Agriculture was contacted by Mongabay about this issue, and about the challenges in Matopiba in general, but it didn’t reply to questions.Despite Brasília’s pivot away from the Matopiba region, the expansion northward spurred by Agriculture Minister Abreu has continued, driven by the agribusiness elite, investors, and transnational commodities companies.Farmland investors have rushed to buy land in Matopiba, where soybean production alone has grown by 250 percent in the last decade. And Congress has taken notice: a law currently being reviewed by the legislature (279/16) could give the sector a boost. If approved, it would create the Matopiba Agency, with the goal of strengthening the region’s agribusiness position.A small farm close to Correntina, Bahia state. While soy is king in the Cerrado, cattle ranching also plays a significant role. Photo by Alicia PragerCerrado’s weak protections, growing weaker The bancada ruralista, operating from a position of power in the Congress and within the Temer administration, currently is winning in its effort to boost agribusiness profits while reducing environmental protections, according to conservationists questioned on the matter.The most recent of those battles was won in the courts this year, when the constitutionality of the New Forest Code, legislated in 2012 with the help of the bancada ruralista, was upheld by Brazil’s Supreme Court. The 2012 code, far weaker than the original 1965 forest code, requires that 80 percent of forests on privately held lands be conserved as Legal Reserves, inside Legal Amazonia. However, in a large portion of the Cerrado, property owners are only required to protect 20-35 percent of native vegetation on their lands. This lower ratio of protected-to-cultivated land is a huge reason why the Cerrado has been drawing so much agribusiness attention since 2012.“It is dramatic what is happening,” says Edegar de Oliveira, coordinator of the agriculture and food program at WWF-Brazil, an NGO. “The Cerrado is not being protected by conservation parks nor by the Forest Code.”While environmentalists lament the weak legal protections given the Cerrado, agronomist Fernando Sampaio complains of the law’s stringency. He believes that the New Forest Code represents “one of the most strict conservationists’ laws on the planet” because environmental laws in other nations do not force landowners to set aside portions of their priavate property as Legal Reserves for the preservation of native vegetation, as Brazil does.“Imagine telling a Texan or Australian farmer he can’t use 20, 50 or 80 percent of [his or her] private land! This is unthinkable,” says Sampaio, who is executive-director of the Mato Grosso state project, “Strategy of Producing, Conserving and Embracing.”“The problem,” says Sampaio, is that Brazil is putting “on the shoulders of one part of society, the farmers, all the cost for [protecting] the climate, water and biodiversity, [responsibilities] which belong to everyone.”Sampaio suggests that instead the government should give compensation to farmers who don’t deforest lands which they could legally otherwise convert to crops. He also urges that the government create new protected areas with available but unused public land. Currently, a mere 7.5 percent of the Cerrado has officially been conserved, while nearly 50 percent of the Amazon is under some form of protection, either as government administered conservation units or as indigenous preserves.Importantly, illegal deforestation in both the Amazon and Cerrado remain a very serious problem, a crisis made worse by waning enforcement efforts due to deep budget cuts at IBAMA, and other Brazilian agencies charged with forest protection.A forested area surrounded by pasture and cropland. Most Cerrado property owners are required to protect 20-35 percent of native vegetation on their lands. While some environmentalists would like to see that percentage increased, farmers point out that the U.S. and other countries do not have similarly restrictive laws regulating private property use. Photo by Alicia PragerSaving Matopiba’s natural landscapeAs the agriculture frontier expands, and legal protections remain weak, a host of international, national and regional environmental NGOs have stepped up to try and protect the Cerrado. One strategy is to establish close relationships with local players in order to better surveil and safeguard the forest landscape.Edegar de Oliveira travelled with a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) expedition to Matopiba last year, which resulted in a WWF-Brazil report containing recommendations for responsible investments by companies producing or acquiring commodities. Oliveira believes that, properly encouraged, there is a possibility of achieving the dual goals of Cerrado agribusiness and conservationists, but only through careful attention. The WWF expedition witnessed some environmentally responsible soy producers, he says, but also some “very traumatic ones.”Researchers say that Brazil’s agricultural productivity could easily be increased, while at the same time conserving the Cerrado and not expanding deforestation. For example, cattle sector productivity in the Matopiba region is very low, according to a report by the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. An increase in cattle farm productivity could allow unused pasture to be converted to soy. Agribusiness could also generate more growth by avoiding new deforestation and utilizing already degraded lands for soy, corn, cotton and other crops.“The pieces of the puzzle are already on the table,” says Bernardo Strassburg, founder of the International Institute for Sustainability in Rio de Janeiro. Key policies just need to be enforced and readjusted here and there, he urges.Among suggested changes are better enforcement of the New Forest Code, as well as an expansion of the already successful Amazon Soy Moratorium (ASM) to the Cerrado. The ASM, achieved in 2006 via a coalition of environmental groups and commodities companies, has been a key factor in reducing deforestation due to new Amazon soy farms. The Cerrado Manifesto, a similar voluntary agreement, was recently proposed, but it has so far received support mostly from international food retailers and fast food chains. Critically, to date it has failed to gain backing from the big transnational commodities companies such as Bunge or Cargill.Environmentalists like Strassburg and de Oliveira say that there are numerous other policies on the table, whose implementation will be crucial to save the savannah biome.While in the Cerrado, we reached out to the Association of Farmers and Irrigators of Bahia (AIBA), based in Barreiras and representing 1,300 producers in the region. AIBA didn’t receive us, nor did they reply to our emailed questions.Already degraded Cerrado lands could offer an opportunity for agribusiness expansion without causing further deforestation. Photo by Alicia PragerHome grown Cerrado solutionsDeosdete Santiago told us that he gave up his work with Monsanto in the 1990s, after he realized that the sale of agribusiness pesticides, used in very large amounts on soy, was a “heavy game” and a “harming dazzle” that was “full of contradictions.”“I decided to change to simpler things,” Santiago explains. We met him at his family-owned business, a farming tool store in Barreiras. He was most eager to show us a small cafe and food market tucked in one corner of his store. There he serves food produced by traditional communities and made from the Cerrado’s native plants – more than 10,000 species grow there, including fruits and other produce known nowhere else in the world. Santiago thinks these foods could be cultivated instead of so much soy. The native foods cafe is part of Santiago’s latest endeavor, what he calls, the Mundo Lindo (Beautiful World) Foundation.But building public awareness of the savannah’s natural worth is a slow process, he says. “We try hard, but probably you won’t see anybody coming in here today.” A main goal of Santiago’s foundation is to restore deforested areas surrounding the Cerrado’s natural springs. Water, he explains, is one of the region’s most valuable resources, and one in great danger of harm from agribusiness. “The math of economic growth cannot disregard this liability, which is only increasing through the years.”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.Deosdete Santiago operates a cafe and food shop that sells sustainably grown regional products. He thinks that if farmers actively grew and marketed the Cerrado’s native fruits and produce, they could diversify their agricultural production, which would help protect both the local economy and the environment. Photo by Alicia Prager 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

Another Rashford double helps Man U beat Arsenal

first_imgMANCHESTER, England (AP):Teenage striker Marcus Rashford continued the dream start to his Manchester United career, scoring two goals and setting up another in a 3-2 win over title-chasing Arsenal in the Premier League yesterday.Only playing because of United’s chronic injury crisis, the 18-year-old Rashford marked his league debut by scoring in the 29th and 32nd minutes to put his team 2-0 ahead – three days after a double in the Europa League against FC Midtjylland on his senior United debut.After former United striker Danny Welbeck replied for Arsenal, Rashford set up Ander Herrera for a shot from the edge of the area that deflected in off Laurent Koscielny.Mesut Ozil made it 3-2 in the 69th, but fifth-place United held on comfortably to move three points off the top four. Arsenal, which put in an off-colour performance against a young and injury-hit United side, dropped five points behind leaders Leicester and haven’t won in the league at Old Trafford since 2006.United manager Louis van Gaal, under much pressure amid the team’s troubles this season, delivered some light relief when he fell to the ground theatrically while remonstrating with the fourth official in the technical area. The Old Trafford crowd roared with laughter and finished the match singing van Gaal’s name, adding to an atmosphere that was buoyant throughout the game as United’s youngsters proved too energetic for Arsenal.SCORING GOALSThat was particularly the case with Rashford, who must think professional soccer is easy. In his first two games as a pro – both of them high-profile ones – in the space of three days, the striker has scored as many goals as Radamel Falcao did in a whole year for United last season.”I could imagine the first game he did that because he is a striker coming in to score goals and the first match is always good,” Van Gaal said. “The second match he has to do what the manager is willing him to do, and he did it fantastically.”Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was also impressed with Rashford, who hadn’t started a game above under-19 level before Thursday.”The timing and intelligence of his movement was great,” Wenger said. “He could be a very positive surprise for Man United.”Arsenal were flat, strangely, and their passing lacked the usual crispness. But the team managed to reduce the deficit before half-time when Welbeck got behind marker Morgan Schneiderlin at a free kick and headed in Ozil’s cross.Arsenal have 11 games to make up ground on Leicester and is also three points behind second-place Tottenham.”It is still possible,” Wenger said of Arsenal’s title chances, “but the answer will have to come quick and strong.”last_img read more

Harbour View for inaugural CONCACAF Under-13 Championship

first_img The squad includes 17 members from Harbour View, Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA)-based clubs and clubs outside Kingston. It is coached by Noel McLaren and assistant Sydney McLaren, while the team’s captain is Rojaughn Joseph. Meanwhile, KSAFA president Stewart Stevenson said: “I know Harbour View; they always give of their best, and I expect excellent performances.” Participating teams: CD Chatelango (El Salvador), Herediano (Costa Rica), Chepo FC (Panama), Harbour View FC (Jamaica), Montreal Impact (Canada), DC United (United States), Toluca FC (Mexico), Aguilas UAS (Mexico). Though not national football champions in almost three seasons, Harbour View FC’s pedigree and history continues to impress, with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) nominating the east Kingston club to represent Jamaica at the inaugural Scotiabank CONCACAF Under-13 Champions League. The youth showpiece will be held at the Cruz Azul Acoxpa Stadium in Mexico from August 4-8. The revelation was made on Friday at the JFF Academy at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. “I commend Scotiabank for this initiative to help develop our football in Jamaica,” said JFF director of football, Vin Blaine. “It will also enhance our programme at the national level, as travelling to Mexico is special, as they are the top CONCACF team,” he outlined. Blaine is also Harbour View FC’s technical director. Harbour View are two-time Caribbean Football Union club champions, plus four-time winners of the national league. Club chairman, Carvel Stewart, congratulated Scotiabank for taking their novel idea. “We have toiled over many years to have significant interest in young players. “We look forward to the success of these young players as the years go by,” he added, describing current Reggae Boy, Kemar ‘Taxi’ Lawrence as the club’s latest role model. As title sponsors of the Gold Cup, the Champions League and the Caribbean Nations Cup, Scotiabank has turned its attention to youth development. “One of Scotiabank’s core mandates is to support the development of youth through sport,” said Heather Goldson, regional marketing director at Scotiabank. “The Scotiabank CONCACAF Kids’ Champions League allows us to remain true to our drive to encourage youth development,” she added. squad memberslast_img read more