Meet Indonesia’s new honeyeater species from Rote Island

first_imgA new bird species from Indonesia has been described by a group of scientists after it was first observed in 1990, a paper said.The bird, which belongs to the honeyeater family, has been named after Indonesia’s first lady, Iriana Joko Widodo, as a way to promote the protection of the species.The researchers said the newly described species’ population was primarily threatened by deforestation to clear land for residential and agricultural use. Scientists have described a new species of bird found only on the island of Rote in eastern Indonesia — but already the population of the honey-eating fowl is threatened by habitat loss as a result of rapid deforestation.The discovery of Myzomela irianawidodoae — named after Indonesia’s first lady, Iriana Joko Widodo — involved a series of separate field studies between 1990 and 2015 by different groups of researchers, according to a paper published Dec. 31, 2017, in the scientific journal Treubia.The first observation of a Myzomela species on Rote in East Nusa Tenggara province — one of the many islands that comprise the Lesser Sunda Islands — was carried out by the Australian ornithologist Ron Johnstone in 1990.Scientists have discovered a new bird species that lives only on Rote Island in eastern Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Philippe Verbelen.The survey, however, was too brief for visual or audio recordings to be taken, and subsequent scientific publications referred to the bird species on Rote as being similar to one on Sumba, an island in the same chain about 230 kilometers (143 miles) to the west.Nearly 20 years later, two Belgian ornithologists visited Rote for a different project in which they photographed extensively and made a long series of sound recordings of the birds they encountered there.“Considering the fact that Sumba and Rote have a distinct biogeographical history — they were never connected to each other — it would appear unlikely that the Rote bird would be the same species as on Sumba,” Philippe Verbelen, one of the two Belgian researchers, told Mongabay in an email.“This suspicion was further strengthened when we realized how strong the vocal differences were between the song of the Rote and the Sumba myzomela,” he added.That led the Belgian scientists to conduct another field study in 2014, during which they performed a bioacoustic analysis comparing the responses of Sumba myzomelas and Rote myzomelas to playback recordings of the birds.The result, Verbelen said, was that the song of male Rote myzomelas failed to trigger territorial reactions from male Sumba myzomelas, and vice versa. Meanwhile, playback experiments on both Sumba and Rote triggered strong territorial reactions when recordings of the territorial song of  a male myzomela from the same island (playback of Rote recordings on Rote; playback of Sumba recordings on Sumba) were used.“The territorial song of Myzomelas has a strong biological function. Those reactions are a strong indicator that the Myzomelas from Sumba and Rote are indeed different species,” the researchers said in a statement.The final confirmation of a new bird species was made by scientists from the National University of Singapore and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) who went to Rote in December 2015 to capture four specimens of the bird.The team made another bioacoustic analysis, and also compared the animals’ body structure with other species in the Myzomela genus, such as the Buru myzomela (Myzomela wakoloensis), the Seram myzomela (Myzomela elisabethae), the Banda myzomela (Myzomela boiei), the Sulawesi myzomela (Myzomela chloroptera), the Sumba myzomela (Myzomela dammermani), the Timor myzomela (Myzomela vulnerata), and the red-headed myzomela (Myzomela erythrocephala).“The Rote Myzomela is closely related to other species of honeyeater that occur on surrounding Indonesian islands, but it has a unique song which differentiates it from all its relatives,” the statement said. They also noted several subtle and previously overlooked differences in shape and plumage, including a narrower black breast band than the Sumba birds.The honeyeater, Rote myzomela (Myzomela irianawidodoae), was named after Indonesia’s current First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo, as a way to promote the protection of the species which is threatened primarily by habitat loss due to deforestation. Photo courtesy of Philippe Verbelen.The newly described bird typically inhabits the tropical woodlands on Rote, the researchers said. However, they also noted that most of the island, which is only 1,226 square kilometers (473 square miles) in size, smaller than Phoenix, Arizona, had been heavily deforested and developed for residential and agricultural use to accommodate a growing population.“[Rote] does not have a major terrestrial protected area despite the fact that it has several endemic bird species as well as other birds with a highly restricted range — only shared with Timor and Semau [islands] for example — and certain species that are highly threatened throughout their range, such as the olive-shouldered parrot, the yellow-crested cockatoo and the Timor green pigeon,” Verbelen said.In Indonesia, members of the genus Myzomela, including the Rote myzomela, are protected under the country’s 1990 conservation law and a 1999 government regulation on wildlife. The researchers hope that naming the new species after the wife of President Joko Widodo will do even more to promote the protection of the bird.“The fact that this bird was named after Indonesia’s first lady generated big media attention. I believe and hope this can help the general cause of forest conservation and biodiversity protection in Indonesia. It is badly needed considering the rates of forest destruction in Indonesia,” Verbelen said.Due to these threats, the team has also suggested that the species be categorized by the IUCN as “Vulnerable,” and that follow-up surveys be made to describe the population size of the Rote myzomela.“If the Rote myzomela were to vanish from Rote, I’d expect that other unique bird species such as the Rote boobook that strongly depends on good quality forests and big trees would go extinct, too,” Verbelen said.“The world becomes a poorer place each time we are losing a species. In general, it is important to halt biodiversity loss and prevent any species from going extinct,” he added.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 Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Deforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Land Use Change, New Discovery, New Species, Species Discovery, Tropical Deforestation, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation 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

In eastern Indonesia, a forest tribe pushes back against miners and loggers

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 Deforestation, Environment, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Indonesia, Mining, Palm Oil, Plantations, Poaching, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Transmigration, Tropical Forests Banner image: Screenshot of community members featured in the video by Indonesia Nature Film Society/Youtube. The Forest Tobelo, an indigenous tribe in Indonesia’s North Maluku province, faces constant threat from illegal loggers and the expansion of mining leases.More than one third of the province’s total area has been allocated for mining leases.The community has chosen to fight back by drawing up its own maps of the land to which it has long laid claim, and by reporting illegal incursions into its forests. HALMAHERA, Indonesia — Deep in the lush rainforests of Halmahera Island, in the far-flung eastern reaches of Indonesia, lives an indigenous tribe whose way of life is so intricately tied to the environment that it calls itself simply O’Hangana Manyawa — the people who live in the forest.Known to outsiders as the Forest Tobelo people, the tribe believes the forests are home to its ancestors, and must therefore never be destroyed. This is reflected in their semi-nomadic lifestyle, in which they follow the seasons and the animals, hunting and gathering in one area before moving on.They live in an area that measures just 265 square kilometers (102 square miles), according to the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), the main advocacy group for Indonesia’s indigenous tribes, but that area is fast dwindling. In the 1980s, parts of their forest were earmarked for the government’s transmigration program, under which people from densely populated islands, particularly Java, were moved to less populous areas of the country, including North Maluku province, of which Halmahera is a part.“Our community forests are being cut down for the transmigration program,” says Madiki, the leader of the Forest Tobelo. “When the government wanted to launch the transmigration program here, they never consulted with us.”The Forest Tobelo were displaced from their areas, and with no legal recognition of their claims to the land, those who remained have had to face various threats, including illegal logging in their ancestral forest areas.In one particular area, outsiders enter the forest and cut down the trees there, selling them for at least 1 million rupiah per cubic meter, or about $2 per cubic foot.“If we estimate that there are 10 cubic meters, in three to four days around 10 million to 15 million rupiah [$727 to $1,090] is taken from the indigenous land,” Albert Ngingi, an activist from AMAN, said in 2015. “This has been going on for nearly one year. The timber trees that the community plants in their fields are logged.”A bigger threat comes from industrial expansion. At least two mining companies, PT Roda Nusantara and PT Indo Bumi Nikel, operate in the Forest Tobelo’s ancestral land, according to Munadi Kilkoda from the North Maluku chapter of AMAN. PT Roda Nusantara occupies 695 hectares (1,717 acres) of the Forest Tobelo’s area, while PT Indo Bumi Nikel’s concession overlaps with 11 hectares (27 acres) of the ancestral forest.“Maybe right now the destruction of forests and environmental degradation can’t be seen yet,” Munadi says. “But in the future, it’s a guarantee that the rivers that are still clean now and used by the Forest Tobelo people will be contaminated by mining activity.”The threat of industrial expansion extends beyond the Forest Tobelo’s territory. More than a third of North Maluku’s total area of nearly 32,000 square kilometers (12,350 square miles) has been allocated for mining leases. In Halmahera alone, there are 335 mining leases, as well as four oil palm leases and hundreds of timber concessions.“The threat is real,” Munadi says. “Many areas are degraded from the extractive activities of mining companies through government-issued licenses.”And deforestation is picking up in North Maluku. A recent report by environmental watchdog Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) shows that the province lost 520 square kilometers (200 square miles) of forests per year between 2013 and 2016, double the annual rate from 2009 to 2013.Previously neglected regions of eastern Indonesia, such as North Maluku with its relatively large tracts of intact rainforest, are increasingly prone to deforestation as developers look beyond the fast-depleting landscapes of Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo, according to FWI campaigner Agung Ady Setyawan.“This is a warning for us because intact rainforests in east Indonesia are under threat, seeing how there’s a significant increase in the deforestation rate and investment permits that are being issued in areas with large rainforests,” he said in a press statement.A member of the Forest Tobelo indigenous group in North Maluku, Indonesia. Photo by Muhammad Ector Prasetyo/Flickr.In a bid to stake its claim to the forest, the community is fighting back through participatory mapping, a process that acknowledges most indigenous groups’ lack of formal title to the land.When developers submit proposals for a piece of land, they come prepared with maps, something that local communities typically don’t have even if their presence there pre-dates the establishment of the Indonesian republic. To address this, groups like the Forest Tobelo are meticulously researching their history, carrying out surveys and sketching out, in a participatory process, what they believe to be the boundaries of their land. These maps are then submitted for collective approval by the community.AMAN has also developed a monitoring system through which the Forest Tobelo can send text messages to report any illegal activities that threaten them.“We hope that this reporting system will allow the community to directly pass on information about those involved in and supporting these activities, and the type of illegal activities occurring,” Albert said.Armed with the participatory maps and the monitoring system, the Forest Tobelo hope they can defend their right to live in the forests they have called their own for generations.“I will protect the trees and land, because these are our parents’ heritage,” says a member of the Forest Tobelo. “If the land and forest are gone, what else will I have? My children and grandchildren will suffer. I must protect them.”center_img Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong This article is a narrative recap from a video made by the “If Not Us then Who?” project.last_img read more

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

first_imgArticle published by Hans Nicholas Jong Banner image: Orangutans in Borneo have been seriously threatened by the oil palm industry. Photo by Rhett A. Butler Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Announced two years ago, a moratorium on new oil palm permits in Indonesia is about to be signed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.But a coalition of environmental NGOs has criticized the latest draft of the moratorium, saying it contains many loopholes.The coalition has submitted a list of recommendations to the government, which has promised to follow up on their concerns. JAKARTA — Two years after he announced a freeze on new oil palm plantation permits, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia finally appears to be on the verge of putting it into effect, ahead of regional elections set to take place this June. But some distance remains between the administration and a coalition of environmental NGOs observing its deliberations, with the latter arguing the moratorium should remain in place for much longer than is being proposed.The draft of the document enshrining the permit freeze, seen by Mongabay, stipulates it will be enacted for no more than three years. It also mandates a review of existing licenses, since many are known to have been issued in violation of procedures, and a review of those now in the process of issuance.The document is being prepared in the form of a presidential instruction, which is not legally binding, a concern long aired by NGOs pushing for tough enforcement. It was signed by Darmin Nasution, the coordinating minister for the economy, on Dec. 22, after which it underwent some revision by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry before returning to Darmin’s desk. It now awaits approval from the president.In the current draft, implementation of the policy would be overseen by a task force established by Darmin’s office. The task force would verify data related to all outstanding oil palm permits, and then provide recommendations to the relevant ministries on how to follow up. This may include rezoning an area as forest, which would be off-limits for oil palm cultivation; revoking a permit; or pursuing criminal charges against law-breaking companies.President Jokowi, as he is popularly known, declared the moratorium in the wake of the 2015 fire and haze crisis, which pumped more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the entire EU economy during the same period. The underlying cause of the disaster was the large-scale drainage of Indonesia’s vast peat swamp zones, mainly by huge conglomerates planting cash crops like oil palm and acacia to feed global markets. Indonesia’s countryside is blanketed in leases belonging to these firms, as well as to companies in the mining and logging sectors.Since shortly after the 1998 fall of the dictator Suharto, when sweeping authority over land and resources was shifted from Jakarta to district governments, control over licensing for plantations has rested largely in the hands of district chiefs, known as bupati. Many of the permits they have issued are known to be linked to corruption, often for the purpose of financing an election campaign. The permits come down on lands covered in rainforest and rich in wildlife, or claimed by indigenous communities, giving rise to intractable social conflicts as companies operate with impunity, and fueling Indonesia’s sky-high greenhouse gas emissions.Spurred on by the nation’s anti-corruption commission, known as the KPK, Indonesia’s law enforcement agencies are already bracing themselves for an expected uptick in corruption ahead of the upcoming regional elections. The licensing freeze, said Rabin Ibnu Zainail, director of the NGO Pilar Nusantara South Sumatra, must be an integral part of this effort. “The moratorium will prevent incumbents from selling permits,” he told Mongabay.An online petition started a month ago by the NGO Auriga Nusantara asks the president to tell bupatis to stop not only “selling” permits but also extending them in the periods immediately preceding and following an election, when candidates either need money for their campaign, or are in hock to businesspeople who helped them win. The petition is also addressed to Indonesia’s governors and to Ignasius Johan, the minister of energy and mines.The lack of any formal legalization of Jokowi’s permit moratorium was brought into sharp relief last month, when the website ForestHints, a media platform through which forestry ministry officials often release information to the public, quoted one of the ministry’s directors-general as saying that four new permits had been issued to palm oil companies in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua region.The website referred to “high-density forest cover which dominates” the four concessions, and said one them belonged to the Ganda Group. It did not say who owned the other three. The director-general, Sigit Hardwinarto, declined to name the companies when reached for comment by Mongabay, although he stressed the need to protect Papua’s rainforests.At present, the nation’s palm oil sector is rife with illegality. In Riau, the main palm oil-producing province on the island of Sumatra, there are 18,000 square kilometers (6,950 square miles) of illegal oil palm plantations with no proper permits — an area two-thirds the size of Massachusetts — leading to an estimated loss of 34 trillion rupiah ($2.47 billion) of potential state income from tax, Suhardiman Ambi, head of the provincial parliament’s licensing monitoring committee, told news portal Detik.In Central Kalimantan province, on the island of Borneo, only 85 out of 300 oil palm companies have valid permits with “clean and clear” status, meaning they comply with basic laws regarding environmental impact assessments, payment of taxes and royalties, and proper registration of concession boundaries and corporate information, according to the NGO Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI).And there is also a problem of oil palm permits overlapping with permits for other industries, such as mining and timber. FWI estimates there are at least 46,900 square kilometers (18,110 square miles) of concessions with overlapping permits in Indonesia.When Jokowi announced the moratorium on oil palm permits back in 2016, he also mentioned that he would impose a moratorium on coal mining permits. However, the current draft of the moratorium doesn’t address coal permits, and it’s not clear when or if such a freeze will be implemented.Oil palm in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Time to assessTwelve NGOs voiced their concerns during a meeting with the Presidential Staff Office, an institution established by Jokowi to oversee his priority development programs, at the end of February.Representatives from the NGOs submitted a list of 11 recommendations to the office. Among them is a call to extend the period of the moratorium beyond the planned three-year maximum.“What’s clear is that there should be no more new permits for three years,” Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar told reporters recently in Jakarta.She said she believed three years was sufficient time for the government to review all permits and take necessary actions.“I said that two years was actually enough, because we’re just reviewing,” Siti said. “But to give more time, then three years is alright.”The coalition of NGOs, though, say the moratorium period should not be limited to three years, but instead should remain in effect until it achieves its goals.“The implementation of this moratorium should be based on criteria and indicator of a certain achievement, not based on a period of time,” the NGOs said in their list of recommendations. “So it’s important for the government to design and announce a mechanism to verify its achievements, priority areas and to ensure the results are open for public.”Zenzi Suhadi, the head of research and environmental law at Indonesia’s main environmental watchdog, Walhi, said the moratorium should be in effect for at least 25 years in order to give the industry room to breathe. He said it was also necessary to give the government time to evaluate the industry and its economic value compared to other industries.“During that time, the government could evaluate whether palm oil benefits the country or not,” Zenzi told Mongabay. “With a [plantation] permit lasting for 30 years, the 25-year period will allow the government [sufficient time] to evaluate the industry.”A baby orangutan in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Along with habitat loss due to mining, orangutans in both Sumatra and Borneo are threatened by fires and deforestation for oil palm and pulp plantations. Photo by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.Law enforcement questionsThe NGOs also say the draft moratorium is weak in its law-enforcement aspect, with the bulk of that role relegated to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and no mention of roles for other law enforcers such as the police or the Attorney General’s Office.That makes it unclear whether the task force will feature any law enforcement representatives, according to Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) executive director Henri Subagiyo.“The composition of the task force is not clear,” he said in an interview during a recent event in Jakarta.Teguh Surya, executive director of the environmental NGO Yayasan Madani Berkelanjutan, who also attended the meeting, said it was unlikely the environment ministry alone could handle all law enforcement aspects required in the palm oil industry.“If we see the ministry’s budget, it’s very small,” he said in an interview. “Frankly, the government’s attention toward law enforcement is still weak. Meanwhile, law enforcement is the spearhead of the improvement in the management of forests and plantations.”The NGOs say they are worried that with weak law enforcement, there will be little to no follow-up on the permit review process.“How can the Ministry of Environment and Forestry solve the 1.8 million hectares of illegal plantations?” Henri said. “The plantations in Riau are not occupied by only one or two people, but by thousands of people. What do we do with them? How can we solve this problem without cracking down on the masterminds behind these illegal plantations?”The NGOs are pushing for law enforcers, particularly the KPK, to be involved in examining the illegal plantations, seeing how the KPK has already instigated a massive effort to review the legality of thousands of licenses held by palm oil companies across the country.The KPK also conducted a study on the palm oil industry in 2016 and found there were weaknesses in the permit-issuing mechanism, monitoring and management of the sector.“We’re hoping that the government will strengthen its cooperation with the KPK in implementing this moratorium, especially to follow up on the KPK’s study,” the NGOs said.Deforestation for an oil palm plantation. Habitat loss due to agribusiness expansion is devastating orangutan populations. No one knows how much damage it is doing to orangutan culture. Photo by Rhett A. Butler‘Legalizing the illegal’Another contentious point is the mandate for the government to enforce a policy requiring palm oil firms to allocate 20 percent of their concessions for local farmers.The draft moratorium stipulates that the Ministry of Agriculture must evaluate companies to see whether are complying with the regulation, while the National Land Agency has to speed up the issuance of land permits for local farmers.Henri said there was still debate surrounding the implementation of the policy, such as the question of whether the 20 percent comprises land outside the concessions, and whether that figure is counted from the total size of the lease or the size of the cultivated area only. He called on the government to make the calculation clear before the moratorium is enforced.Lastly, activists criticized a point in the draft that exempts concessions in forest areas that have been planted and have had their forest conversion permits processed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.The exemption is a carryover from a government regulation signed by Jokowi in late 2015 about changes in the status and function of forest areas. Article 51 of the regulation stipulates that companies that have already obtained permits from local governments in production forest areas can still apply for a license to convert the status of the area from forest to non-forested area within a year of the regulation being issued.If the local permits are issued for areas with protected or conservation status, then the companies are still allowed to operate for a full harvest season.The draft moratorium states that oil palm concessions that have been planted and processed in accordance with the 2015 regulation are exempt from the moratorium, something that activists deem an attempt to legalize something that is illegal.“This exemption causes the moratorium to be useless because there are many illegal oil palm plantations in forest areas,” the coalition of NGOs said.Responding to the recommendations, the presidential chief of staff, Moeldoko, said he would study them first, while emphasizing that the moratorium aimed to increase productivity without clearing new lands.Moeldoko, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said he would discuss the draft moratorium with related ministries to follow up on the NGOs’ recommendations.“The Presidential Staff Office will study the 11 recommendations and will ensure to push the direction of oil palm development on increasing productivity sustainably, not through new land clearing,” he said in a press statement published on the office’s website. Borneo Orangutan, Corruption, Deforestation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Indonesia, Oil Palm, Orangutans, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests last_img read more

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

Nedbank awards property academy graduates

first_imgThe Property Finance Academy was initiated in response to the relatively small property industry skills base, with a limited pool of resources in South AfricaThe Nedbank Corporate Property Finance Academy held its eighth national graduation ceremony at its head offices in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 4 March 2014.Fourteen Nedbank employees from across the country were rewarded for successfully completing a 10-month, six-module programme featuring lectures and assignments on property finance, group property services, leasing, business banking, Nedbank retail, and the property industry.The academy was launched in February 2008 and has been running in partnership with Wits Enterprise, a University of the Witwatersrand initiative that oversees short courses to maintain professional standards. Wits Enterprise issued a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 6 certificate to each graduate. An NQF level 6 certification is equivalent to a three-year Bachelor’s degree or a higher diploma.Cebo Nikelo, a lending analyst at Nedbank and academy graduate, said, “I feel that this programme has helped me learn and understand more about the great opportunities which lie within our country’s property industry and with that knowledge I now have a better work ethic because of the skills I learnt.”“The Property Finance Academy was initiated in response to the relatively small property industry skills base, with a limited pool of resources in South Africa,” said managing executive at Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, Frank Berkeley.Currently the programme is only available to Nedbank employees in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Cape Town; since its launch it has issued certificates to 853 graduates from the three regions.“We are proud to be part of a learning culture and pleased to be giving back to the South African property industry. This graduation ceremony is one of the many ways in which Nedbank aims to make a tangible contribution towards accelerating transformation at Nedbank and in the property industry,” said Berkeley.The academy was awarded the 2010 Financial Sector Award at the Skills Summit’s Achiever Awards, which recognises companies, government departments and organisations that have demonstrated a commitment to advancing their employees’ skills through effective training programmes.The academy is supported by the South African Property Owners Association, the representative body for commercial and industrial property in South Africa.For more information visit www.nedbank.co.za, or email Joanne Isaacs at joannei@nedbank.co.zalast_img read more

OCA Young Cattlemen’s Conference provides industry learning experience

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The 2017 Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC) hosted 25 cattlemen and women for a 3-day leadership development program in Columbus and the central Ohio areas, Aug. 10-12. The conference was made possible by Farm Credit Mid-America and the Ohio Soybean Council.YCC kicked off Thursday evening at the Legends Lane Reproductive Services in Alexandria with a beef dinner and participants were present for the 2017 Ohio State Fair Commercial Cattle Show carcass contest awards presentation. Guest speaker, Colin Woodall, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, National Cattlemen’s Association (NCBA), gave attendees a Washington, D.C. policy update on the issues that the industry is facing.Conference attendees also participated in a spokesperson training program by Ryan Goodman, Director of Grassroots Advocacy and Spokesperson Development, NCBA. Goodman lead participants through a media training session that strengthened their communication skills, taught attendees how to tell their beef production story, and become a more effective cattle industry leader.Ohio Beef Council staff led a discussion regarding its role in checkoff collection and beef promotional efforts in Ohio. OCA staff also discussed the value of membership and the role OCA has in legislative and regulatory issues.Participants had the opportunity to have lunch at Cameron Mitchell’s The Pearl restaurant to learn about current checkoff funded beef promotions. Following lunch, participants traveled to the Ohio State House where they met with Representative Brian Hill (District 97). Representative Hill, who chairs the House Agricultural and Rural Development Committee, spoke about current Ohio legislation affecting the beef cattle industry and answered questions from the group.The final day included a session with Dr. Lyda Garcia, Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences, for a Mini-BEEF 509 class. Dr. Garcia provided hands-on learning on how meat is graded, fabrication of wholesale and retail cuts, and other issues that can affect beef quality and pricing. Participants also viewed champion carcasses from the 2017 Ohio State Fair.A special tour of the Ohio State University Woody Hayes Athletic Center was a highlight of the program thanks to a continuing relationship between OCA and the OSU football team. Participants learned about the history of OSU football and walked through training and practice facilities. YCC participants wrapped up their morning with a state of the beef industry update with John Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator.The purpose of the YCC is to offer emerging Ohio beef industry leaders and young producers the opportunity to build their own leadership skills as they network with beef industry leaders, government officials, businesses and media. Young beef producers interested in attending the 2018 YCC should contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Foundation at 614-873-6736 or email beef@ohiobeef.org.last_img read more

Agents of Digital: New Cartoon Series About Webworkers

first_img9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#Cartoons#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… A Great Consultant deane rimermancenter_img A new cartoon series called Agents of Digital is a compilation of stories that are all too familiar to those who work in Web development and Web marketing.ReadWriteWeb reader Fred Roed, co-founder of World Wide Creative, is behind this new series. He says it’s “a cartoon strip about a fictional digital marketing agency called Schitzen & Plumstead. The agency is run by two veterans of the internet.” Our five favorite cartoons poke fun at the all-too-familiar delusions of entrepreneurs, programmers, social networking enthusiasts and misguided clients. You can grab the comic’s feed here. For a feed of ReadWriteWeb’s very own cartoonist, Rob Cottingham, go here. And if you know of other aspiring Web tech cartoonist please let us know by posting links to them below. Client Misunderstandings Five Types of Programmers Social Networking Enthusiasts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Entrepreneurslast_img read more

Amazon Web Services, WikiLeaks and the Elephant in the Room

first_imgTags:#cloud#Vendors A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… klint finley Related Posts Yesterday Amazon Web Services sent out a promotional email titled “Amazon Web Services Year in Review.” Understandably, the email didn’t mention one of the biggest AWS stories of the year: the company’s decision to remove the WikiLeaks website from its servers.Dave Winer noticed something else of note in the email: a paragraph about how the U.S. Federal Government is one of AWS’s customers, with over 20 federal agencies taking advantage of the company’s services. And, according to the announcement, that number is growing. Winer suggests this is the reason that Amazon.com closed WikiLeaks’ account. “It makes perfect sense that the US government is a big customer of Amazon’s web services. It also makes perfect sense that Amazon wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that business,” Winer wrote. “There might not have even been a phone call, it might not have been necessary.”Winer also noted that after the U.S. Army announced it would be purchasing iPhone or Android devices for all its troops, Apple dropped a WikiLeaks app from the App Store.Winer’s explanation is purely speculative, and some might call it a conspiracy theory. But it points to a big issue for free speech in the cloud: what happens if one, smaller customer criticizes a bigger customer? In the Web 1.0 era, if you got kicked off a Web host you just found another. Today, the number of providers like AWS are small. As AWS’s promotion material points out, cloud computing gives smaller outfits the ability to take advantage of high-performance computing.Put WikiLeaks aside for a moment. What happens if a small journalistic outfit starts using a cloud provider to do some serious data journalism, but in the process offends one of its hosts’ large customers. Maybe they’re right-wing journalists criticizing the Obama administration or maybe it’s a group of liberal muckrakers uncovering hidden truths about a major financial institution. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that they have access to the resources they need to learn what they need to learn and publish what they need to publish.And it’s not just a free speech issue: freedom of commerce could be in jeopardy as well. What happens if a small company wants to compete with Netflix? Will AWS find a “terms of service” violation to slap it with? Considering the rumors that Amazon.com is considering competing with Netflix itself, this could become a problem quickly.I’ve focused on AWS in this article, but these concerns apply to any provider. Practically all of the “2011 cloud computing predictions” type articles I’ve read this year mention consolidation as a major trend for 2011. If everyone’s right, we’ll likely see fewer Infrastructure-as-a-Service companies in the next few years. Are data centers becoming the new “means of production”?Like net neutrality, it’s a problem that seems difficult to solve without legislation. But I’m all ears: how else could this issue be solved, or is it really an issue at all?center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

An Energy Efficiency Showcase for Dow and Collaborators

first_imgEven if it attracts significant buyer interest, “Vision Zero,” a recently completed energy efficient house in Bay City, Michigan, is unlikely to be sold for at least a year, say those who collaborated on the project. Vision Zero is – like a lot of other new builds that have popped up to help market energy efficient construction, retrofits, and materials – a demonstration home first and piece of housing inventory second.The Dow Chemical Company and Saginaw-based builder Cobblestone Homes joined forces with several other local contractors and suppliers to construct the 1,752-sq.-ft. three-bedroom/two-bath ranch-style house. It is being presented as Michigan’s first net zero energy single-family dwelling, but also as a destination for people who want to learn about energy efficient construction and materials and appliances that can be used to improve the performance of existing homes.A no-holds-barred approachThe house is packed with Dow insulation products, including Styrofoam structural insulated sheathing, Styrofoam polyurethane spray foam (for above-grade interior walls and the attic), Perimate insulation (on the basement wall exterior), Thermax sheathing (on the interior basement wall), and a range of sealing materials that collectively push the building’s energy efficiency to almost 70% above that of a comparable home built to code.This demo, though, is also very much about the virtues of renewable-energy systems, including its ground-source heat pump, solar hot water, and a solar-power system that features both a conventional photovoltaic array on the rooftop facing the back of the house and, on the front-facing roof, Dow Powerhouse solar shingles.The energy efficiency upgrades over code added $78,400 to the construction cost, according to Dow, while the house is expected save about $3,507 in annual energy costs.We’re checking with the builder on R values for the shell and on overall construction costs, and will include them here when they become available.last_img read more

Manipur’s women march, urge an end to mob ‘justice’

first_imgFor many nights over the past month, Manipur has been witnessing torch light processions in the valley districts, with the mostly women marchers demanding among other things an end to mob violence directed at those accused of crimes. Over the last few years, at least three persons in Manipur, and two in neighbouring Nagaland, have been victims of mob lynchings. The apprehension of local mobs rendering vigilante justice has even forced the police to spirit away a woman and a man from Manipur. The duo, who are accused of killing a police inspector in order to steal his vehicle, have been placed in the custody of the police in Nagaland, at an undisclosed location, while they await trial. Pishakmacha, a middle-aged woman activist said, “We demand an end to mob crime in this State.” Renubala, a young housewife from Thoubal district who is also participating in the marches said, “A man is not guilty unless a court says so. The government should prevent such mob trials and the beating to death of people. The family members of the accused persons also end up being banished from the locality for ever.” ‘Missing’ wife Chaoba Laishram’s case is an example of the extent to which mob justice has hurt the lives of common people in Manipur. In 2010, when he was 25 years old, he married Naobi Konthoujam in Thoubal district. However, after just eight months she was reported “missing” on April 18, 2011. Accusing Chaoba of murdering Naobi and clandestinely disposing of her body, Naobi’s parents, relatives and other local residents decided to take the law into their own hands. Ignoring Chaoba’s protests of innocence, the mob ransacked and pulled down his tin-roofed house and banished him and his parents from the village, a common form of mob punishment given to those accused of murder in Manipur. On September 21, 2011, a highly decomposed body of a young girl was found by the Bishnupur district police at Ithai barrage. Kunjarani Konthoujam, the ‘missing’ Naobi’s mother, promptly “identified” the body as that of her daughter.The angry villagers brought the mortal remains to the ransacked remnant of Chaoba’s house, piled up wood from the demolished structure and cremated the body in the courtyard.And the following month, a local court remanded Chaoba and his parents to judicial custody.Police, however, subsequently learned that Naobi’s mother had been frequently visiting a house in Thoubal district’s Tekcham belonging to one Sanayai, who it was discovered had secretly married Naobi. Police also found Kunjarani often providing care for an infant. Interrogation established that the baby was the child of her “missing daughter” Naobi and that from the very beginning Kunjarani knew that her daughter was not missing but had been living in Ukhrul district with her new husband.Police arrested Naobi, her mother Kunjarani and the new husband and Chaoba was subsequently acquitted by the court.However, Chaoba’s house had already been destroyed. Importantly, the possible homicide of the unidentified woman who had been cremated was never investigated.On September 19, Manipur’s cabinet decided to introduce ‘The Manipur Mob Violence Control and Prohibition Bill, 2018’ in the Assembly. Chief Minister N. Biren has said that mob violence will never be tolerated or condoned. He disclosed that five persons had been arrested and some policemen suspended in connection with the lynching of Farooque Ahmed Khan, an MBA student, at Tharoijam in Imphal west district on September 13.While villagers claimed that three persons had come in a car to steal two wheelers and that two people had managed to escape, activists demanding justice for Khan said that had been no car and that the victim had likely gone to the village to meet a friend there. Jogeshchandra Haobijam, Imphal west district SP said: “Nothing much can be disclosed since the matter is under investigation”.People recall that on May 3, 1993, a riot had been triggered by a rumour resulting in the loss of 103 innocent lives including those of women and children. The protest marches, according to the participants, are aimed at preventing such rumour-mongering and the recurrence of mob violence. Shymasakhi, a housewife from Bishnupur district, pointed out that in many instances the police “fails to protect the accused persons.” ‘Contempt of court’A. Romenkumar, a retired IPS officer who is now a high court lawyer, told The Hindu that mob violence had reached even into court precincts. He referred to increasing incidents of persons accused of rape or murder and other heinous crimes being thrashed in the court premises, acts which he said amounted to contempt of court.“Adequate security measures should be taken so that the potential trouble makers are not allowed inside the court compound,” he added.Chief Minister N. Biren, who also holds the Home portfolio, had recently said that the State government had set up a fast track court keeping in mind “the gravity of the issue.” The aim was to ensure that persons accused of rape-cum-murder were convicted within a few months. He cited the case of a tribal youth in Manipur’s Senapati district, who had been convicted in July for raping and murdering a young girl and sentenced to death.last_img read more