Scientists find ‘surprising’ connections between tropical forests

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 For a new study, researchers genetically analyzed the evolutionary relatedness of tree species that live in tropical and sub-tropical forests around the world.Their results indicate the world’s tropical forests are divided into two main “floristic regions,” one that comprises most of Africa and the Americas and another in the Indo-Pacific region.The analysis also indicates dry tropical forests around the world – from Madagascar and India to Africa and South America – are unexpectedly similar to one another.The findings go against traditional assumptions about the relationships between tropical forests, and the researchers believe they could aid the development of more region-appropriate responses to climate change. Although they may lie thousands of miles apart and house different species, the world’s tropical forests may not be as different from each other as they seem to be. A new study shines light on the evolutionary relationships between tropical trees, revealing some surprising connections.For their study, an international team of several dozen researchers genetically analyzed the evolutionary relatedness of tree species that live in tropical and sub-tropical forests around the world. Their results were published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.In line with previous research, their study found that tropical forests share a common ancestry that dates back to between 100 million to 66 million years ago. During this time, dinosaurs roamed the planet and the supercontinent of Gondwana began breaking apart.But then, sometime after 66 million years ago, tropical trees started diverging into more distinct groups. As continents drifted away from one another, oceans opened up, making it increasingly difficult for plants to spread their pollen and seeds to different landmasses. As trees became more isolated to their respective continents, they began to change into new species.The world’s tropical forests are home to a vasty array of species, like this broad-billed tody (Todus subulatus).When the researchers analyzed the more recent evolutionary relationships between tropical tree species living today, they uncovered some surprises that overturn traditional assumptions.For one, according to the analysis, the world’s tropical forests seem to be divided into two main “floristic regions,” one that comprises most of Africa and the Americas and another in the Indo-Pacific region. The researchers write that despite now being around 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) apart, plants may have been able to disperse between Africa and South America over a widening Atlantic Ocean for some time after the breakup of Gondwana, thus maintaining their genetic similarity.Tropical trees in the Indo-Pacific, a region that encompasses eastern Africa and southern Asia to the islands dotting the Pacific Ocean, also appear to comprise their own group.“Given the diverse geologic history of Asia and the Indo-Pacific, it is surprising to find a similar forest type covering most of the region,” the researchers write. They say this might be due to exchanges of plants and animals that happened starting around 45 million years ago between Southeast Asia and Australia and 15 million years ago between Australia, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.The analysis also indicates dry tropical forests around the world – from Madagascar and India to Africa and South America – are unexpectedly similar to one another. The researchers aren’t sure whether this is because they have a common evolutionary origin or because climatic conditions have simply favored certain related species.The study also uncovered a distinct group of trees that live in cooler climates and higher elevations in Asia and the Americas, which the researchers called the “Subtropical floristic region.” While in Asia this group is mostly confined to the subtropical zone – a region between temperate and tropical zones – in the Americas, the scientists found several areas of forest that belong to this group extending deep into the tropics. They write that this is likely due to the cooler, mountainous climate of Central America and mountain ranges like the Andes that run from the north to the south and act as a conduit for wildlife.The researchers write that their findings “may necessitate reconsideration of established biogeographic ideas” and could help in the development of more region-appropriate responses to climate change. Climate Change, Dry Forests, Environment, Evolution, Forests, Global Warming, Habitat, Rainforests, Research, Trees, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Citation:Ferry Slik, J. W., Franklin, J., Arroyo-Rodriguez, V., Field, R., Aguilar, S., Aguirre, N., … & Avella, A. (2018). A phylogenetic classification of the world’s tropical forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

In a land untouched by mines, indigenous holdouts fight a coal invasion

first_imgDespite opposition from local officials and the absence of a required environmental impact assessment, a coal company was granted a permit to mine in Indonesian Borneo’s Central Hulu Sungai district.The local Dayak people have vowed to fight the mine, and an environmental NGO is suing the central government for issuing the permit.The permit was issued after changes to the law — said to simplify the process of issuing permits — allowed mining firm PT MCM to sidestep local officials. BATUTANGGA, Indonesia — Stretching across the slopes of the Meratus mountains, where the indigenous Dayak people strip rubber and harvest mountain rice, Central Hulu Sungai is the last district in Indonesia’s South Kalimantan province free of mining and palm oil.Locals in this remote part of Indonesian Borneo say protecting their land has tested their stamina, and they’re worried they may no longer be able to hold out against a new threat.In Indonesia, local governments retain broad rights to decide the fate of their land, and the struggle to curb questionable land deals often pits regulatory agencies in Jakarta against lax enforcement by provincial officials. But here in the forested slopes of Batutangga, a collection of villages islanded by karst towers, local people have found the opposite.In December 2017, despite the objections of local officials, the central government issued a mining permit to PT Mantimin Coal Mining (MCM), a nebulous coal company that has been trying and failing to obtain the required environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a decade.Locals quickly organized protests, and the environmental NGO Walhi in late February sued the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources for allowing Batutangga to be mined.Indonesia’s environmental laws require mining companies to present an EIA before they can be considered for a permit. Walhi argues in the lawsuit that the ministry not only ignored the legal process to grant a permit but also the concerns of residents. Any EIA, they maintain, would be illegal because it would not have the approval of the district. Additionally, roughly 100 hectares (247 acres) of the 1,964-hectare (4,853-acre) Batutangga concession area overlaps with protected forests.“Not only should the laws be considered, but also that the community has been fighting against it from the beginning,” said Kisworo Dwi Cahyono, director of Walhi in South Kalimantan.Bambang Gatot Ariyono, director general of minerals and coal at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, who signed the permit in December, refused to answer questions about the lawsuit, saying they would be answered later in court.Women in Nateh, one of several villages in the concession area, where 8,000 people live. Photo by Ian Morse for Mongabay.A “ghost company”Aribani, the head of the Nateh village council, said he learned about the permit in February, two months after it was signed. Before then, he believed mining would never enter these mountains.He laughed when asked whether he was involved in the permit process at all.Aribani is not alone. In addition to the 8,000 residents in the concession area, provincial officials were also surprised the permit was granted to PT MCM. According to residents and government officials, the company has never been to South Kalimantan, despite seeking support for a permit since 2008. Gunawan Harjito, head of minerals and coal in the province’s Department of Energy and Mineral Resources, said he had never met the company and didn’t know how to get in contact with them.“But if it is mining they are doing in our region, the owners need to come visit,” Gunawan said, confirming his support for the lawsuit against his department’s national equivalent.Bambang, too, said he had never met with any employee or representative of the company. The company was not required to meet with officials in order to obtain a permit, he said. He said he knew only that the owner of PT MCM was from India. A few locals called PT MCM a “ghost company.”Aribani, head of Nateh’s village council, stands against a backdrop of karst towers at the base of the Meratus mountains. Photo by Ian Morse for Mongabay.According to government documents obtained by Mongabay, PT MCM has been listed as a mining company since 1993. After the firm received a permit to begin exploration in 2008, its Indonesian owners sold most of their shares to an Indian company, PT Bangun Asia Persada (BAP), an investment holding company owned by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services in Mumbai. It is IL&FS’s only holding in Indonesia.IL&FS did not respond to repeated requests for comments, nor did Amit Ganguly, the current president of both PT MCM and PT BAP.  When contacted by telephone, a representative of PT MCM directed communications to email, which have not been answered.Since 2010, PT MCM has changed executives nine times, apparently without having an operating coal mine. The latest government documents show that as of September 2017, South Kalimantan mining giant Hasnur Group held a 5 percent stake; when contacted in March, an operator at the Hasnur Group office said the company had divested completely.last_img read more

Audio: Maroon 5’s James Valentine on why he’s working to stop illegal logging

first_imgActivism, Amazon Logging, Animals, Conservation, Corridors, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Activism, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Interviews, Logging, Marine Protected Areas, Podcast, Protected Areas, Redd, Redd And Communities, Reptiles, Timber, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Corridors 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 On today’s episode, we speak with multiple-Grammy-winning musician James Valentine about his work to stop illegal logging and make concert tours more environmentally friendly.As lead guitarist of Maroon 5, Valentine has traversed the globe numerous times on tour, taking the band’s music around the world. But late last year, Valentine went to Peru with a much different mission: he was part of a group of musicians who spoke in Lima in support of the “No More Blood Wood” campaign. He also visited a sustainable logging operation in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve in 2016.Valentine is here to tell us about his experiences in Peru and Guatemala and to tell us all about the work he and Reverb are doing to keep illegal wood out of musical instruments, lower the environmental impact of touring, and engage music fans in environmental action. On today’s episode, we speak with a multiple-Grammy-winning musician about his work to keep illegal and unsustainable wood out of musical instruments and make concert tours more environmentally friendly.Listen here:Our guest today is James Valentine, lead guitarist of Maroon 5, a pop rock band that has sold more than 75 million records, had 13 songs make the Billboard Top 10 Hits list, and won three Grammies. Valentine has traversed the globe numerous times on tour, taking the band’s music around the world. But late last year, he went to Peru with a much different mission: he was part of a group of musicians who spoke in Lima in support of the “No More Blood Wood” campaign, which aims to stop illegal logging in the Amazon. The group also visited some indigenous Amazonian communities to see the impacts of illegal and unsustainable logging firsthand.“A lot of the wood we were using in our instruments was coming from illegal sources,” Valentine says. “And the quickest way to sort of get people on the same page is to call it ‘blood wood,’ because everybody is familiar with the ‘blood diamond’ concept, and so they’re familiar with the idea that some of the practices around mining and those illegal markets that were around these diamonds were having these horrible repercussions on the communities where they were taking these diamonds from. And it’s the same with wood.”James Valentine onstage with Maroon 5. Photo by Travis Schneider.That wasn’t Valentine’s first time visiting the forests where the tonewoods used in guitars and other instruments are harvested. In 2016, Valentine went to Guatemala to visit communities engaged in sustainable forestry in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. On both trips, Valentine was accompanied by Adam Gardner, singer for the band Guster and co-founder of Reverb, the non-profit organization that launched the “No More Blood Wood” campaign and also works with musicians and others in the music industry to reduce the environmental impact of tours.“Certainly we get some pushback from people through social media who would rather we shut up and sing,” Valentine says. “But just because I chose to play in a pop band doesn’t mean I turn in my citizenship. … I have just as much a right to speak on these issues that I care about as anyone else, and I’m going to continue to do that.”Valentine is here to tell us about his experiences in Peru and Guatemala and to tell us all about the work he and Reverb are doing to keep illegal wood out of musical instruments, lower the environmental impact of concert tours, and engage music fans in environmental action.“The wood that’s being used for guitars, of course, that’s just a small drop in the bucket. The larger issue are the consumer goods that everyone uses, the tables, the chairs, dressers,” Valentine says. “It does start with consumers, asking and creating that demand for wood products that can be traced. So that’s why we’re out here — that’s why I’m here talking about this now — because awareness is going to be the first step.”Here’s this episode’s top news:‘IUCN Green List of species’: A new way to measure conservation successNew report highlights top 50 tortoises and turtles on brink of extinctionOver $720 million in profit from tourism in Peru’s protected natural areasReport finds projects in DRC ‘REDD+ laboratory’ fall short of development, conservation goalsBelize creates one of Central America’s largest biological corridorsBrazil creates four massive marine protected areasThis is our 40th episode since we launched the Mongabay Newscast in 2016, and if you’ve been enjoying the show for any or all of that time, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.James Valentine (right) playing guitar in the Madre De Dios region of Peru with Adam Gardner of Guster/REVERB (center) and K.T. Tunstall (left). Photo courtesy of the Environmental Investigation Agency.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more