Field Notes: Finding Jacobo; an Andean cat captivates conservationists

first_imgFor more on the topic:Lucherini M, Palacios R, Villalba L, Iverson E. (2012) A new Strategic Plan for the conservation of the Andean cat. Oryx. Vol. 46, pp. 16-17.Novaro AJ, Walker S, Palacios R, et al. (2010) Endangered Andean cat distribution beyond the Andes in Patagonia. Cat News. Vol. 53, pp. 8-10.Villalba L, Lucherini M, Walker S, Lagos N, Cossios D, Bennett M, Huaranca J. 2016. Leopardus jacobita. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15452A50657407.Walker S, Funes M, Heidel L, Palacios R. (2014) The Endangered Andean cat and fracking in Patagonia. Oryx. Vol. 48, pp. 14-15.Jacobo explores his release site in a remote park. A few moments later this “ghost cat”, first seen wandering a Bolivian soccer field, vanished back into the wild. Photo by Juan Reppucci / courtesy of Andean Cat Alliance Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Carnivores, Cats, Conservation, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forgotten Species, GPS, GPS tracking, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Hunting, Mammals, Mass Extinction, Mining, Over-hunting, Restoration, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation The Andean cat ranges from remote areas of central Peru to the Patagonian steppe. Perfectly adapted to extreme environments, this small feline is threatened by habitat degradation and hunting, but most of all it suffers from anonymity: it’s hard to save an animal that no one ever sees.So few of these endangered cats are scattered across such vast landscapes that even most of their advocates have never seen the species they’re trying to protect. But the conservation efforts that could save this cat could also preserve the wild places where Andean cats live.When a male Andean cat was found wandering around a soccer field, Andean Cat Alliance members agreed to forego the extraordinary opportunity to study the animal in captivity, and try instead to return “Jacobo” to the wild.Andean Cat Alliance coordinators Rocío Palacios and Lilian Villalba orchestrated the multinational volunteer release effort. Conservationists equipped Jacobo with a GPS collar and hope that tracking his travels will reveal new data about this secretive cat, considered a symbol of the Andes. Andean cats suffer from an identity crisis: with so few of them prowling around such a large mountainous Latin American landscape, most people don’t know what they look like. Photo courtesy of Andean Cat AllianceWhen an Andean cat (Leopardus jacobita) suddenly showed up in the middle of a synthetic soccer field in Bolivia, the wild feline was far from anywhere that should have been home. Not knowing what else to do, local people put the Endangered cat in a birdcage to hand it over to authorities.How the housecat-sized feline ended up such a distance from its usual haunts — high in the mountains of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru — is still a mystery. However, the extraordinary circumstance gave conservationists a chance to learn about an animal they were dedicated to saving, but had rarely seen.It isn’t easy to find an Andean cat. Only 1,378 adults exist, with the small cats scattered over more than 150,000 square kilometers (roughly 600,000 square miles) of highlands from northeastern Peru to Patagonia, according to the first population numbers published last year on the IUCN red list website. This single population estimate is one of the biggest successes of the Andean Cat Alliance because estimating the population numbers for such a low density species is a huge challenge, says Rocío Palacios, biologist and co-coordinator of the organization, which has teams of volunteers dedicated to protecting this wild feline across its whole range.Only 1,378 adult Andean cats exist, with the small cats scattered across more than 150,000 square kilometers (roughly 600,000 square miles) of highlands from northeastern Peru to Patagonia. Photo courtesy of Andean Cat AllianceThe paw prints of an Andean Cat. Sightings of these Endangered felines are so rare that information is usually gleaned from scat and camera trap images. Photo courtesy of Andean Cat AllianceAlthough the cats live in remote areas, at elevations up to 12,000 feet, their habitat is rich with deposits of coal, oil and minerals such as tin, silver, and gold, so the reclusive feline increasingly competes with the mining industry for territory. They’re also threatened by local hunters who, in an effort to protect livestock from larger predators, often kill the small cats, too.The thick-coated wild cats also suffer from an identity crisis. With so few prowling such a large landscape, most people don’t even know what they look like. If spotted, Andean cats may be mistaken for the pampas cat that lives in overlapping habitat. With such a low profile, it can be tough to generate support for conservation.“This is more than saving a cat,” says Palacios. “This animal is a symbol of the Andes. When we talk about saving this cat, we’re talking about saving an entire landscape.”For many conservationists, time spent with Jacobo counts as their first sighting of an Andean cat. Rocío Palacios looks on here, as Jacobo undergoes anesthesia in preparation for a veterinary examination. “Now, even when I’m not directly involved in tracking Jacobo, I’m always trying to find out where he is; he’s like a kid that goes to study abroad, everybody is checking to see how he is doing,” says Palacios. Photo courtesy of Andean Cat AllianceMongabay: What motivates you to save an animal you never see?Palacios: I get that question a lot. At first, that was really hard to answer because I couldn’t understand this feeling that you need to see the animal that you are studying to be able to work with that animal.I’ve always loved to study carnivores but where I live, in Argentina, there are no big lions. We have smaller cats and they are always on the move, so it’s really hard to find them. So, it’s detective work: I look for signs and tracks to deduce what the cats have been doing, how they interact with each other. From gathering evidence, we construct the life history. But it’s not just about the cat. The cat is a symbol of what I’m working for.One of the most powerful experiences in my life happened the first time I went to the Andes, looking for the cat and collecting scat. I was sitting on a rock and couldn’t see any sign of humans — no people, no roads, not another human thing — in any direction. Even though I had been going to the mountains since I was a kid, I had never before experienced that feeling of completely blending with nature.Conservation can be a really challenging profession; a lot of times it looks like the battle is already lost. The Andean cat is like my secret weapon, a symbol of that memory of totally blending into nature.Photo traps provide much of the current information about Andean cats. Tracking collars that work well on this small cat are hard to find. VHF signals, for example, are not the most effective tool in the rugged mountain terrain, where, if a cat is sleeping in a cave, you could be standing right above it and not receive a signal. Photo courtesy of Andean Cat AllianceMongabay: What have conservationists learned from Jacobo?Palacios: Finding Jacobo was a powerful thing. The researchers and professionals who volunteer for the AGA (Alianza Gato Andino is the Spanish name for the Andean Cat Alliance) have worked together for a long time and we are always facing questions about the cat’s life history: How many kittens do they have? What is the breeding season? What is their phsiology? These are basic questions that we cannot answer because we’ve never had one in captivity to study. Before Jacobo, we didn’t even know the composition of the cat’s blood.Immediately after Jacobo was found, it was determined the best place to keep him was at the Vesty Pakos State Zoo in La Paz [Bolivia]. They made special enclosures for him, so he wouldn’t get used to humans, and took very good care of him — he even gained a couple of pounds while he was there.An inter-institutional committee was formed, organized by AGA, to follow up on everything related to Jacobo’s wellbeing. We planned to release him after the winter, when the weather wouldn’t be so harsh. Then he started to show signs of stress in captivity — a giant alert sign that we needed to release him very quickly. It began to feel like an emergency.Even though we all wanted the same thing, it was hard to work together because people were in different countries and everyone has a “day job” to pay the bills. Also, the release process itself was complex. For example, we needed a blood test to make sure Jacobo was healthy before his release, but there was no lab in Bolivia that could do this, so the sample had to be sent to a specialist in Chile. This required special permits in a short timeframe. After the results came back okay, we needed trucks, release experts and a collar to track him. All of this costs money and — except for the trucks — the AGA financed most of these needed services.Jacobo leaves his cat carrier. Photo by Juan Reppucci/courtesy of Andean Cat AllianceThe tracking technology is not well developed for small cats and you can’t just custom-order it for one individual. Only 5 Andean cats have ever been collared and we haven’t collected nearly enough information from them. The first cat, named Sombrita, was collared in Bolivia and about six months later she was killed by a local person who had issues with the protected area recently established in the region. Later, more cats were collared in Argentina, but each one had some kind of problem; the collars fell off too quickly or just stopped recording. There is just not proper technology developed for this kind of species, so most of our data has been from scat and camera traps.Finally, everything came together and we released Jacobo in Sajama National Park, in Bolivia. After the first few days of tracking his radio signal, he began venturing farther away from the site.Mongabay: What are the next steps for Andean cat conservation?Palacios: Our immediate goal is to stop the hunting. When I was finishing my research in northern Patagonia, more than half of the records for that dissertation work came from dead cats. That’s more than 20 dead cats, a huge number for a low-density species.Part of our mitigation program in Chile and Argentina includes training guard dogs to keep predators away from goat herds in the [mountain] communities. That way the small cats won’t get killed along with the mountain lions, which are the real livestock predators. We want to expand that program as quickly as possible.Another part of that program brings artists to schools where they help children paint murals that show the Andean cat and his important place in the landscape. In these isolated areas, the schools are a gathering place for the community, so everyone sees these conservation messages.We also need pure research at the population genetics level. It may sound boring, but I have a strong suspicion there may be two subspecies of Andean cats, and we need to know [whether that is true or not] to adjust our conservation actions.Jacobo in close up, just moments after his release. Photo by Juan Reppucci / courtesy of Andean Cat AllianceNext year, we also want to start a monitoring network in protected areas. This was my main project in previous fieldwork. If this is well applied, the Andean cat becomes part of the action plan for protected areas. That works as a conservation tool because it helps detect sudden changes in population trends.And of course, there is Jacobo. We need to keep following him. He was released in a very remote site, in a park that straddles Bolivia and Chile. When we went to the field to look for [radio collar] signals in October, November, and December, there was a far away signal once, and then never again. We are trying to arrange an overflight to look for him one more time before the radio battery dies.Even though it’s disappointing not to know exactly where he is, it’s a good thing that Jacobo moved away from his release site, looking for a proper place to make his own territory. He is out there somewhere and, because every individual matters, we know we did the best thing possible by releasing him.Jacobo is a lot more than just another cat for us; he’s a symbol of the Andes. Like a living being needs a soul, the soul of the Andes is represented by Jacobo. Article published by Glenn Scherer Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Climate change key suspect in the case of India’s vanishing groundwater

first_imgArticle published by Maria Salazar Since the Green Revolution, Indian farmers have depended on groundwater to grow enough crops to feed the country’s 1.3 billion people, but groundwater is vanishing in many parts of the country.The combination of overpumping and climate change – resulting in weaker monsoons – has resulted in social disruption in many parts of India, including violent protests and suicides.India won’t be able to solve the problem with just water legislation: the country also needs to take a look at climate change as well. Local farmers and cattle herders gather to withdraw water at a well in the Marwar region of western Rajasthan, India. Courtesy of Dr. Trevor Birkenholtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.In three short months during monsoon season, India historically receives 75 percent of their annual precipitation. Imagine awaiting this promised, bountiful rainfall and receiving 14 percent less than average. This is what happened in 2015 – and it compounded decades of drought. India is suffering a water scarcity crisis but, until recently, most people believed that over pumping groundwater was the number one reason behind it. Now, a new study published by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar in Nature Geoscience, shows that variable monsoon precipitation, linked to climate change, is likely the key reason for declining levels of groundwater.India’s rainfall has decreased since the 1950s. When rainfall decreases, so does the water table. By observing climate patterns and well depths, researchers found that groundwater storage dropped in northern India about two centimeters per year between 2002 and 2013. Today, groundwater irrigates over half of India’s crops, but aquifer levels are falling, threatening both water and food security.“We find that climate has much bigger impacts on groundwater resources than we previously thought,” said Dr. Yoshihide Wada, contributing author to the study, senior researcher at IIASA’s Water Program and research scientist at NASA. When groundwater is pumped, it can take years to replenish. In the throes of record-breaking drought, India feels that loss.India’s groundwater problem is detectable from space. From 2002-2013, a satellite from NASA mapped aquifers around the world. The Gravity Recovery Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite detects the Earth’s mass below it and uses this data to measure groundwater pumping. GRACE reported that 54 percent of 4,000 measured groundwater wells are declining, some dropping by more than three feet per year.A warming world has made India’s monsoon season less predictable. During the past century, the Earth warmed 1.5 degrees, largely due to humans’ unprecedented burning of fossil fuels. What appears to be a small change in temperature is causing drastic upheavals in natural patterns. Increased atmospheric temperatures are changing wind currents and causing more frequent and intense storms. In some cases, this is also redistributing rain and intensifying drought.In India, warmer air over the Indian Ocean has altered the path of monsoons – leaving Indian farmers high and dry the past two years in a row.There is no singular definition for water scarcity that takes into account the availability, accessibility, and quality of potable water. However, the Falkenmark Indicator (FI) is a popular tool that measures water runoff and population to determine levels of water stress. According to the FI, a country is considered ‘water scarce’ when they have less than 1,000 cubic meters of usable water per person annually. In 2015, analysis using FI categorized India as having ‘absolute scarcity’, with less than 500 cubic meters of water per person annually.So little water affects security. Last September, protesters set 56 busses on fire in Bengaluru when the Supreme Court ordered that Karnataka must release more water from Cauvery Dam to be used by a bordering state. Retrofitted oil trains deliver millions of liters of water to Lature, a district east of Mumbai. Madhya Pradesh, a state in Central India, deployed armed guards to protect one of its reservoirs after farmers from a neighboring state attempted to steal water last year.Farmers are on the frontlines of the water crisis with India seeing a serious uptick in farmer suicides. Some estimates put the number of related suicides at 500 in 2015, but the central government only publicly acknowledges that 13 farmers’ suicides were related to water shortages. According to the Government of India, 52 percent of agricultural households were in debt in 2014. Heavy debts have resulted in an exodus of farmers, who are now seeking daily labor in large cities.“In spite of the challenges of the agrarian life in India (as with elsewhere) Indian farmers and farming households are some of the most generous that I have ever met,” says Birkenholtz. “They are also innovative; India is full of ‘makers’ – people who see a problem and are determined to find a solution.” Photo from the Marwar region of western Rajasthan, India Courtesy of Trevor Birkenholtz.“Farmers invest their own borrowed money for sinking bore wells to develop agriculture,” said Secretary R.H. Sawkar of the Secretary, Geological Society of India (GSI). Bore wells are similar to tube wells, long shafts that are drilled into the earth. Electric pumps are used to draw the groundwater through the tube to the surface. Most rural farmers pay a flat fee for unlimited electricity to pump from tube wells, leading to over-pumping.But farmers don’t have the money, tools, or know-how to drill deeper wells that can access sinking water tables. This creates a serious dilemma in areas where levels drop by almost a meter per year.“Only rich farmers can effectively pump groundwater from deep aquifers and the urban rich can buy extra water for their luxuries like car washing, [maintaining] lawns near their residence and [using] bottled water for drinking purpose,” said Sawkar.There are over 20 million tubewells in India today, a technology that enabled the Green Revolution in India. The Green Revolution was a global shift in agricultural production, beginning in the 1930s; it mechanized farming for developing nations and utilized new technologies, like pesticides and genetically modified crops, to feed a booming population. Developing countries could suddenly grow more food on the same amount of land.When India gained independence in 1947 the central government – along with the Rockefeller and Ford foundations –brought the Green Revolution to India. This meant cultivation of genetically adapted, high-yielding seeds, a deluge of fertilizers, and flood irrigation. Tube-wells proved to be the best way to irrigate more land, since they reached untapped groundwater. But today, annual groundwater pumping removes at least 24 times what was consumed in the 1950s.“India also inherited Britain’s water policies that were based on water abundance. Any landowner had the right to pump as much groundwater as they wanted… India doubled ag[riculture] productivity between 1972 and 1992 under this system,” said Trevor Birkenholtz, political ecologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Chapmaign. “In short, there was no groundwater law.”Laissez-faire pumping is today reflected in the fact that farmers pay a single flat fee for electricity to power tubewell pumps.India solidified their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions when the Indian government ratified the Paris Climate Agreement last October. Climate change is a key driver of changing monsoon patterns which exasperate drought conditions across India. Above, Indian women and children collect groundwater in Marwar region of western Rajasthan, an area affected by climate-exasperated drought.The same revolution that once sustained India’s growing population is partly to blame for the cracked and barren landscape that farmers try to cultivate today. According to the World Bank, India’s population tripled since the 1960s, hitting 1.3 billion in 2015. As India continues to battle climate change and overpumping, an equitable distribution for groundwater, if it ever comes, will take considerable intervention.“This requires strong political will to address this issue, which is lacking,” Sawker said.Groundwater law and rulemaking falls under the purview of individual states in India. Researchers say that the central government will have a difficult time overcoming this decentralized system, if they wish to establish national water laws. To date very few politicians have fought to limit water pumping.“No politician wants to be the one that tells farmers – who vote at rates upwards of 85 percent – that they can no longer pump groundwater at current rates,” said Birkenholtz.It’s more likely that authorities will mandate drip irrigation or restrict the supply of electricity, perhaps through metering, to limit pumping. Using drip irrigation and gaining “more crop per drop” is an efficient alternative to flood irrigation.In parts of India like Marwar region depicted above, some village women spend hours each day collecting water. They enlist the help of their female children, who are taken out of school. When a family must choose between education and water, it’s nearly impossible for them to rise above poverty.Unfortunately, groundwater pumping is only half of the problem. Taking on climate change is equally important in solving India’s water scarcity. Climate change weakens monsoons, groundwater fails to recharge, wells run dry, and families go without water. The future of India’s water security, in part, rests on international agreements to combat climate change like the United Nations Paris Agreement.“Weather is uncertain by nature, and the impacts of climate change are extremely difficult to predict at a regional level,” explained Wada. “But our research suggests that we must focus more attention on this side of the equation if we want to sustainably manage water resources for the future.”Today, India accounts for 4.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Paris Agreement, the country has committed to generating at least 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and decreasing carbon emission intensity related to GDP by 33-35 percent by 2030. This means India’s emissions will likely rise, depending on the level of its economic growth.Citation:Asoka, A., Gleeson, T., Wada, Y., & Mishra, V. (2017). Relative contribution of monsoon precipitation and pumping to changes in groundwater storage in India. Nature Geoscience. Agriculture, Cattle, Climate Change, Drought, Farming, food security, Global Warming, Interns, Water center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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

Jacó to get funky with Jungle Jam V

first_imgSunday3 p.m.: Ojo De Buey4:20 p.m.: Talawa6:10 p.m.: Jesse Royal8 p.m.: Mykal Rose10 p.m.: Morgan Heritage12 a.m.: The Super Jam Facebook Comments Friday6 p.m.: Un Rojo7:45 p.m.: Twiddle9:30 p.m.: Papadosio11:30 p.m.: Thievery Corporation Thursday4:20 – 6 p.m.: VIP Party with Santos Y Zurdu6 p.m.: The Werks7:45 p.m.: Dopapod9:30 p.m.: Zach Deputy11:30 p.m.: Steel Pulse Such a range of musicians also brings a range of different fans, from ever-roving hippies to beer-bonging bros. But for the health-and-wellness types, Jungle Jam will also host several yoga sessions, as well as a hula hoop lesson and presentations. Get the full schedule here.A word to the wise: Jacó is filled with hotels, but in past years the festival has been popular enough to pack them all. Try to book a room in advance for as many night as you plan to stay. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a bit of a jam – and not the fun kind. Tent camping is available for the moment, but the festival has the potential to sell out.Tickets cost $60-420 and can be purchased on Jungle Jam’s official website. Here’s the lineup: Saturday5 p.m.: Thicker Than Thieves6:15 p.m.: Perro Bravo7:45: The Werks9:30 p.m.: The Beautiful Girls11:30 p.m.: Slightly Stoopidcenter_img jam session: (noun)a gathering or performance in which musicians play together informally without any preparation : an often impromptu performance by a group especially of jazz musicians that is characterized by improvisation. – Mirriam-Webster DictionaryFor musicians, there is nothing quite as liberating as a jam session. The feeling defies description. No matter what instruments the musicians play, they take a rhythm and key and weave music out of the ether. They compose as they go. They feel their way through chords, inventing, with each passing beat, a stretch of music that has never quite existed before, and may never again.The fifth annual Jungle Jam plays this week at Hotel DoceLunes in Jacó, and it’s more than just a music festival: It’s a chance for Costa Ricans and world travelers to get together and appreciate the improvisational art form. The nation has its share of concerts and music festivals, but Jungle Jam has become one of the biggest and most exciting. This year’s edition will feature 25 bands, as well as DJs from such far-flung locations as the United States, Jamaica, and Australia.With each successive year, Jungle Jam has drawn a more diverse body of musicians. One of the headliners, California-based Slightly Stoopid, is returning to Jacó, where they will perform their easygoing funk-reggae oeuvre. New on the scene is Washington, D.C.-based Thievery Corporation, an 18-piece ensemble that incorporates DJ mixes, traditional instruments, and live vocals. The collective is famous for its psychedelic, experimental sound, and they have shared stages with the likes of Paul McCartney, David Byrne (of Talking Heads) and Wayne Coyne (of The Flaming Lips). Related posts:New Sonámbulo album expands style, stays funky Festival of Light, Egyptian dancers, and other happenings around Costa Rica VIDEO: Fans weather rain to celebrate Festival de la Luz ‘Festival Under the Stars’ to screen third edition in Puntarenaslast_img read more