2018 Tyler Prize awarded to two US-based biological oceanographers

first_imgThe 2018 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement will go to two biological oceanographers based in the United States: Paul Falkowski, a professor of Geological and Marine Science at Rutgers University in the U.S. state of New Jersey; and James J. McCarthy, professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University in the state of Massachusetts.Julia Marton-Lefèvre, chair of the Tyler Prize Committee, said that the two scientists were receiving the award in recognition of their pioneering work aimed at understanding and communicating the impacts of human activities on the global climate.“Climate change poses a great challenge to global communities. We are recognizing these two great scientists for their enormous contributions to fighting climate change through increasing our scientific understanding of how Earth’s climate works, as well as bringing together that knowledge for the purpose of policy change,” Marton-Lefèvre said in a statement. It was announced today that the 2018 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement will go to two biological oceanographers based in the United States: Paul Falkowski, a professor of Geological and Marine Science at Rutgers University in the U.S. state of New Jersey; and James J. McCarthy, professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University in the state of Massachusetts.Julia Marton-Lefèvre, chair of the Tyler Prize Committee, said that the two scientists were receiving the award in recognition of their pioneering work aimed at understanding and communicating the impacts of human activities on the global climate.“Climate change poses a great challenge to global communities. We are recognizing these two great scientists for their enormous contributions to fighting climate change through increasing our scientific understanding of how Earth’s climate works, as well as bringing together that knowledge for the purpose of policy change,” Marton-Lefèvre said in a statement.“This is a great message for the world today; that U.S. scientists are leading some of the most promising research into Earth’s climate, and helping to turn that knowledge into policy change.”Falkowski has published a number of papers on the role played by microbes in shaping Earth’s global climate cycle. Drawing on the fields of biophysics, evolutionary biology, paleontology, molecular evolution, marine ecology, and biogeochemistry, Falkowski’s work has led to a better understanding of how the global climate has evolved over the history of our planet.Dr. Paul Falkowski of Rutgers University. Photo Credit: Katie Voss.“The main message of my work is that microbes really are the stewards of our planet,” Falkowski told Mongabay. “They made Earth habitable and, thankfully, are extremely robust; they will survive our destructive forces and ultimately help clean up our waste. They are not only intimately critical in greenhouse gas emissions, but also are the major actors in recycling elements across the globe.”Despite the importance of the planet’s smallest lifeforms in making Earth conducive to human survival, Falkowski added, “Humans pay very little attention to microbes, at their peril. The distribution of these organisms across the planet can be impacted by humans, but fortunately virtually all microbes can survive human activities. In the end, microbes will survive long beyond humans, and continue to make Earth habitable for the organisms that will follow.”McCarthy’s own work has focused on how marine nutrient cycles are impacted by human activities and how that, in turn, affects Earth’s climate. He also led the creation of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, which has made important contributions to the work of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the scientific body at the United Nations that seeks to provide an objective analysis of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of global warming.Dr. James J. McCarthy of Harvard University. Photo Credit: Katie Voss.“Over the course of my career, my study of nutrient cycles has included studies in the Sargasso Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the Black Sea, the tropical Atlantic, and the Gulf Stream,” McCarthy told Mongabay. “For much of the 1980s and 1990s I was involved in a set of studies focused on the regions of the ocean that show strong seasonal cycles in production and are the locations of major fisheries — the Equatorial Pacific, the North Atlantic, and the Arabian Sea. Seasonal climate cycles are a major factor in supplying the nutrients that support this production.”As Earth’s climate continues to heat up, we need to know how fisheries production in the oceans might change, McCarthy argues. But “It is too early to say that we can answer these questions definitively,” he added, “in part because no one knows how seriously society will address measures to slow the rate of greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change.”McCarthy himself co-chaired the IPCC in 2001. He also served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 2008 to 2009. His work as a science communicator was one of the reasons the Tyler Prize Committee chose to award McCarthy the 2018 prize.“In the case of climate change, scientists need to appreciate that what we find compelling won’t necessarily be so for a person who isn’t a scientist,” McCarthy said. “Scientists are better communicators when they don’t simply convey facts, but rather explain why they think something is important. This applies especially in the case of climate change. People who aren’t scientists need to realize why we think that this information is important, and for those who agree, it is helpful to see that there are many things that each of us can do to help steer society away from the most damaging of the potential future impacts of a relentless warming.”Both scientists say they are honored by the recognition of their work.“I never expected to be awarded the Tyler Prize,” Falkowski said. “It is an extraordinary honor, and truly humbling to be in the company of so many extraordinary environmental scientists. Obviously, I am extremely proud that my work has been so recognized.”“This is the first time that the Tyler Prize has been awarded to biological oceanographers and I am truly honored to be sharing it with Paul Falkowski,” McCarthy noted. “He and I have known each other for most of our professional careers.”Falkowski and McCarthy will be presented with the Tyler Prize in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on May 3. Neither has decided what they’ll do with their share of the $200,000 prize money they’ll be splitting equally, but they do have some ideas.“I probably will set up a small fund to help support deserving undergraduate and graduate students to attend scientific meetings,” Falkowski said.“I haven’t had time to think this through,” McCarthy said. “I will certainly use a portion of it to help support science organizations and educational institutions, and probably use some of it to reduce my own carbon footprint.”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 Mike Gaworecki Climate Change, Environment, Global Warming, Oceans, Oceans And Climate Change, Prizes 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

Hope for the rarest hornbill in the world (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki There are three Critically Endangered hornbill species in the world. The rarest, the Sulu hornbill in the Philippines, is little studied, does not occur in any protected areas, and is in imminent danger of extinction.In January 2018, a team of conservationists from the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore visited the only known habitat of this bird to assess its status and make recommendations regarding its survival.Five individuals were located, as well as a potential nesting site. Work will continue this year to train local rangers in hornbill study techniques; the patches of forest where the Sulu hornbill clings on should be granted legal protection from logging, hunting, and human encroachment.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Of the 32 hornbill species found in Asia, three are currently considered Critically Endangered with global extinction, according to IUCN criteria.One of those, the helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil), is currently the focus of a conservation project by a recently formed Helmeted Hornbill Working Group. Another, the rufous-headed hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni), is being studied under a project supported by BirdLife International.Meanwhile, the Sulu hornbill (Anthracoceros montani) has the smallest population of any of the Critically Endangered hornbill species and must in fact be considered the rarest and most endangered hornbill in the world. Its distribution range has shrunk, its population has collapsed, and the species is in imminent danger of disappearing altogether — yet it has received no conservation attention.The Sulu hornbill — “tawsi” in the local language — is endemic to the Philippines, occurring only on islands in the Sulu Archipelago between Mindanao and Borneo. It is the sole member of the Bucerotidae family within its area and was described as widespread and abundant at the time of its discovery in 1880. Since then, the population has crashed.Today, the only viable breeding population of the Sulu hornbill known to exist is found on the small island of Tawi-Tawi, where a mere 100 square kilometers (close to 25,000 acres) of suitable forest remains, according to the IUCN. The total global population is estimated to be about 40 individuals.Parts of a hill where the Sulu hornbill has been found has been illegally logged by villagers who moved into the area in recent years. Photo by Bee Choo Strange.Complicating survey work, the Tawi-Tawi island and the Sulu area in general are not safe: there are active insurgents operating in this region. Two European birdwatchers were abducted on Tawi-Tawi in February 2012 while looking to photograph the hornbill. One of them escaped in 2014, but a Dutch national is still believed to be held captive, although he has most likely been moved to another island, possibly Jolo.To facilitate the study and conservation of the Sulu hornbill, Dr. Pilai Poonswad and I visited Tawi-Tawi in January 2018. Dr. Poonswad is Emeritus Professor of Faculty of Science at Mahidol University in Bangkok; she has studied hornbills in Thailand since 1978 and founded the Thailand Hornbill Project. She also founded the Hornbill Research Foundation in 1993 to branch out and share the team’s experience with governments and NGOs in the rest of Asia. Recently, she has agreed to be one of the advisers in the newly re-established Hornbill Specialist Group under the auspices of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.Before our site visit, biodiversity surveys on Tawi-Tawi were conducted by staff of the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation from September 30 to October 2, 2017. Some two or three Sulu hornbills were seen together in various patches of forest on the island, usually a pair together. The maximum sighting this century was 10 birds seen in one area in 2014 (Paguntalan et al. 2017), all mature individuals. No immature birds have been reported within the last 20 years. In May 2015, a local villager reported seeing the nesting cavity of a Sulu hornbill, with a chick inside, in a large fallen dipterocarp tree. Other than that, there are no nesting records for this species, and little is known about its habitat requirements, breeding habits, or ecology in general. It feeds on fruits and some animal prey such as insects and small lizards. It seems to depend on large forest trees for nesting, but will fly up to one kilometer into nearby plantations and agricultural land to feed.As mentioned, traveling in the Sulu archipelago is not safe. To visit the Sulu hornbill habitat on Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi Province, we needed the co-operation of Mayor Rejie Sahali, Colonel Romulo “Bim” Quemado, and the marine soldiers of the Philippines Marine Corps. Our main target was the secondary forest at Upper Malum. Traveling was difficult and even our military escort vehicle got stuck in the mud several times while traveling the 12 kilometers to the site. We reached an elevation of some 250 meters, although the hill further inland goes to about 500 meters above sea level.During our visit, we managed to locate a total of five Sulu hornbills. Perhaps most importantly, coming back from the hill one of the rangers spotted a hornbill emerging from a hole in a tree. Pilai established that this was a hole produced by a large woodpecker, most likely a White-bellied Woodpecker (Dryocopus javensis). Although this doesn’t constitute a confirmed nesting record, we decided to watch the potential nesting tree the following day in the hope that the male or female would check out the nest hole again.A possible nest hole of a Sulu hornbill. Dr. Pilai Poonswad indicated that the hole is made by a large woodpecker, likely the white-bellied woodpecker. Photo by Bee Choo Strange.Most Asian hornbills start their breeding at the onset of the cool-dry season, when the forest trees flower and ripe fruits are abundant in time for chick rearing. Females of all hornbills in the Bucerotidae family will enter a nesting cavity in a large, living tree after copulation. She will then seal the nest hole with her feces, regurgitated food, and mud until it is an elongated vertical slit, large enough for the male to deliver food to the female and later the chick or chicks. She will stay there until her young fledge. Unfortunately, no hornbills returned to the hole we had observed, as there was disturbance by the locals — on-going logging at the site using chainsaws.The forest patch where the Sulu hornbill occurs now is only about 10 square kilometers in area (a little under 2,500 acres). It is currently not protected in any way; in fact, there are no nature reserves or national parks in the Tawi-Tawi Province at all. Of utmost priority is to gazette the remaining quality forest on the island as protected area, safe from logging operations, mining, hunting, and intrusion from settlers.Mayor Rejie and Colonel Bim are working with Philippines authorities to gazette the site as a wildlife sanctuary. The municipality has employed six Tawsi rangers from the village near the forest to survey and safeguard the local hornbill population. Pilai also recommended a survey to identify figs and other food and nest trees of the hornbills, as well as installation of artificial nest boxes at the site with the aim of providing nest holes, as there may not be sufficient trees for the birds to nest. There are plans for a program to be put in place to engage with the villagers to plant fig trees and other hornbill food trees and also trees that provide nest holes for the species.Once the security situation in the area is normalized, this beautiful terrain could ideally be opened up as an eco-tourism site for everyone to visit and enjoy. Apart from the hornbills, there are some six species and 23 subspecies of birds endemic to the Sulu region, i.e. found nowhere else in the world (Paguntalan et al. 2017).In the meantime, more studies are needed to improve our understanding of the Sulu hornbill’s requirements. Towards the end of our visit, it was decided to bring some of the rangers and other local conservationists for training with the Hornbill Research Foundation at their facilities in the Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. There they will learn plant phenology, tree climbing techniques, and other skills essential for hornbill studies.Locally in the Philippines, there is an increased awareness of the importance of biodiversity studies and conservation. It is encouraging that, with co-operation from national officials and decision makers, we are now starting an international support program that is bringing hope to the last remaining population of the Sulu hornbill.A pair of Sulu hornbills, male on the left and female on the right. Picture taken at site. Photo by Nicky Icarangal.CITATIONS• Paguntalan, L.J., Jakosalem, P.G., Quemado, R., Sahali-Generale, R., Fernandez, G., de la Cruz, M., & Sali, E.D. (2017). Tawi-Tawi Biodiversity Conservation Project: Philippines Hornbills Conservation Programme. Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc.• Poonswad, P., Kemp, A. & Strange, M. (2013). Hornbills of the World: A Photographic Guide. Draco Publishing and Hornbill Research Foundation.Bee Choo Strange is a Singaporean nature conservationist. She is the international coordinator of the Hornbill Research Foundation, based in Thailand. She was project director of Hornbills of the World (Poonswad et al., 2013). Animals, Birds, Commentary, Conservation, Editorials, Endangered Species, Environment, Researcher Perspective Series, Saving Species From Extinction, 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

Local conservancies create new hope for wildlife in Kenya’s Maasai Mara (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by rhett.ayers.butler Commentary, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, Conservation Finance, Conservation Solutions, Ecotourism, Editorials, Environment, Environmental Economics, Land Rights, Tourism, Wildlife Naboisho and roughly a dozen neighboring conservancies in Kenya’s Maasai Mara are made up of hundreds of individual plots owned by local Maasai residents of the Mara, who converted their traditional communal lands in this part of Kenya to individual holdings.Tour operators with existing camps around the Mara have worked to pool together individual Maasai landowners who had subdivided their lands into larger groups that could then lease a large area of land to the tour operators.Each landowner is paid a monthly lease fee of around $235, amounting to over $900,000 of landowner income annually.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily Mongabay. Set amid the open plains and rolling savannas of Kenya’s Maasai Mara landscape, Naboisho conservancy hosts some of the finest wildlife viewing that Africa can offer. Covering around 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) directly adjacent to the Maasai Mara National Reserve (MMNR), Naboisho hosts thousands of zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, giraffe and other wildlife.This profusion of prey supports healthy predator populations. Naboisho itself is home to about 50 lions, and the surrounding conservancies contain another 110 adult lions and additional cubs. The density of lions in Naboisho and neighboring conservancies is among the highest in Africa, and actually higher, according to research published in the journal Conservation Biology, than in the adjacent Maasai Mara reserve itself. This abundance of large predators is not only a local conservation success, but holds important lessons for reversing lion declines across Kenya and other parts of Africa.Naboisho and roughly a dozen neighboring conservancies now contain a total of about 162,000 hectares (400,000 acres), an area greater than the extent of the Mara reserve itself. These conservancies constitute a totally unique new conservation model for East Africa. The conservancies are made up of hundreds of individual plots owned by local Maasai residents of the Mara, who converted their traditional communal lands in this part of Kenya to individual holdings of about 40 hectares (100 acres) during the 1990s. The conversion of communal rangelands to individual plots — which people could then fence off, cultivate, or sell to outside commercial agricultural interests — poses a major threat to the Maasai Mara, and indeed to the greater Serengeti ecosystem as a whole.Integrating livestock production with wildlife conservation is a key to the future of the conservancies in the Maasai Mara. Photo Credit: Nicholas LaphamEvery August and September, at the height of the dry season, hundreds of thousands of wildebeest complete their northbound migration to the Mara from the Serengeti plains to the south in Tanzania. These herds find grazing and water to sustain them until the rains send them moving back south into Tanzania again. But much of the habitat that wildebeest and other wildlife use lies outside the reserve boundaries, on the Maasai lands that surround the reserve. Over a decade ago, there was already evidence that the resident wildlife in the Maasai Mara had dropped by around 60 percent during the previous 30 years as a result of conversion of savannas and grasslands to commercial wheat farming in parts of the ecosystem.The process of subdivision of all the Maasai lands in the Mara, and the threat posed by further conversion of lands to farming around the Mara, has been a key factor in the recent spread of conservancies in the area. Tour operators with existing camps around the Mara have worked to pool together individual Maasai landowners who had subdivided their lands into larger groups — the “conservancies” — that could then lease a large area of land to the tour operators. Importantly, while the reserve itself has become increasingly overcrowded — it is not uncommon for 40 vehicles to surround a single cheetah or pride of lions there — and an unpopular example of mass wildlife tourism gone wrong, on the private lands outside the reserve, tour operators are able to negotiate with landowners for more exclusive and carefully managed access in the conservancies.The key threat to the Maasai Mara ecosystem comes from land fragmentation, particularly the fencing off of individual plots of land, which has spread rapidly in recent years. Photo Credit: Nicholas LaphamNaboisho itself is made up of over 600 individual plots that together constitute the conservancy. Each landowner is paid a monthly lease fee of around $235, amounting to over $900,000 of landowner income annually. Across all the Mara conservancies, local landowners receive around $4 million annually from these lease payments.These are among the most substantial financial returns that small-scale local landowners are earning from wildlife anywhere in Africa, and the conservation success of the conservancies shows what is possible when local people are able to do business directly with conservation-minded tourism operators. Twenty years ago, direct earnings by local Maasai from wildlife tourism in the Mara were limited; like most places in Africa, most of the economic gains went to private operators, government bodies, and a few individual landowners clustered around the borders of the reserve. The conservancies have created a mechanism to spread benefits much more widely, and give local people a clear economic share in wildlife’s rising value. New technologies such as mobile money transfer and banking systems make it feasible to make payments to thousands of individual landowners around the Mara every month.The savanna and grasslands of the Mara conservancies are home to a spectacular abundance of wildlife, lying at the northern end of the greater Serengeti ecosystem. Photo Credit: Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies AssociationThe challenge now is to improve the management of the conservancies and expand the area under their coverage so that all the key wildlife habitats and migratory corridors around the Mara can be protected. Improving livestock management in the area in ways that both access growing markets for beef in Kenya, while capitalizing on the ability of cattle and wildlife to co-exist in these savannas, is a key to improving the overall economic returns to landowners. Naboisho and other conservancies are working to adapt livestock production models from other conservation ventures in Kenya such as Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a private ranch that has successfully integrated commercial ranching and wildlife tourism.In the far north of the Mara ecosystem, an innovative company called Mara Beef has played a key role in establishing the Enonkishu Conservancy with about 30 local landowners, and restoring grasslands that were under commercial corn production less than a decade ago.These are the kinds of locally rooted, entrepreneurial approaches that will be needed across Africa to turn the tide on declining wildlife populations. The Mara conservancies are a reminder that where wildlife can generate sufficient economic returns for local landowners, people’s relationship with wildlife can shift from persecution to conservation. Ensuring these models are strengthened, spread and inform conservation strategies across Kenya and the wider region will be a key to conservation success.About the authors:Daniel Sopia is CEO of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA), which supports the development of the conservancies around the Maasai Mara, including several of the entities mentioned in this article. Fred Nelson is executive director of Maliasili, which supports leading African conservation organizations to help them become more effective, sustainable, and grow their impact. 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

Thieves break into van and steal valuable camera

first_imgThieves broke into a van parked in Churchill and stole valuable camera equipment.The theft took place from a white Transit van parked at Lossett, Churchill on Sunday evening last around 6.45pm.The passenger window was smashed in and a grey bag containing a Sony FS7 camera was stolen. Gardai described the came as of the ‘commercial type’ camera.The bag containing the camera also included a number of lenses were also stolen.Please contact gardaí in Milford at 074 91 67100 with any information on this theft.Thieves break into van and steal valuable camera was last modified: October 1st, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Five bidders for new power plants

first_img24 August 2005Five consortia have qualified to bid for the exclusive rights to build, own and operate two new power stations needed to meet South Africa’s growing energy demands.The new plants, at sites still to be finalised in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, are expected to cost R6-billion to build and to be fully operational by the end of 2008.The successful consortia were announced by Minerals and Energy deputy director-general Nelisiwe Magubane in Pretoria on Tuesday.The five successful applicants are AES, comprising black-owned Tiso Energy and Lereko Energy; Inkanyezi, which includes French company Suez Energy and Mvelaphanda Holdings; Tata-J&J Consortium; the Malaysian YTL-led consortium; and the International Power Consortium.Magubane said that some of the evaluation criteria included experience in the green fields of building power stations, black economic empowerment, the applicant’s reputation in the energy sector, and the ability to raise finance.Peaking plantsThe new generation capacity will comprise two oil-fired, open-cycle gas turbine power stations with a combined capacity of about 1 000 Megawatts, operating as peaking plants – meaning the power stations will operate mainly during peak hours of electricity use.According to Business Day, the introduction of independent power producers is aimed at bringing competition to power utility Eskom, which currently produces 95% of SA’s electricity, and at further reducing the cost of SA’s electricity, already among the cheapest in the world.The two privately operated stations, although restricted to selling their power to Eskom, will effectively end the state company’s monopoly.Magubane said that Eskom would be increasing its generational capacity, and would be involved in 70% of new energy production projects in the country, with independent producers being involved in the remainder.According to Business Day, Eskom is expected to spend R48-billion in the next five years on building new capacity, with the private sector expected to invest R23-billion.‘Ambitious’ timetableMagubane said that while energy shortages in South Africa were only expected around 2010, the recent economic boom had led to increased energy use, prompting the government to revise that timetable.“An estimated 12 000MW of peak generation capacity will be needed for the next 20 years, excluding the capacity provided by the return to service of a mothballed plant”, Magubane said.Magubane said prefered bidders would be announced by June 2006, with construction due to start in the first quarter of 2007 and to be completed within 18 months.Admitting the that the timetable was “ambitious,” Magubane said: “We are not going to compromise on the deadline.”SouthAfrica.info reporter and BuaNewslast_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

CBI probe if J&K wants it, says Union Minister

first_imgUnion minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday that the Centre had no objection to the handing over of the Kathua rape and murder case to the CBI if the state government referred it.“As far as we are concerned, we don’t have any problem or objection to hand over the case to the CBI. If the state government comes out with a reference, we will hand over the case to the agency today itself,” Mr. Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Jammu.He added that the court was another option through which the case could go to the CBI. “As per my knowledge, a petition (for a CBI probe) is pending there,” he said.Mr. Singh is a member of Parliament from Udhampur in Jammu region and is also the in charge of the ministry of personnel, the controlling authority for CBI.On Tuesday, Chowdhary Lal Singh, one of the two BJP ministers who resigned last week, took out a rally at several places in Kathua to demand a CBI probe into the incident.The case was handed over to the J&K Crime Branch on January 22. The victim went missing on January 10; a week later her body was found in a forest near her house.The girl was allegedly confined in a devasthan (temple), sedated and raped thrice before being suffocated and bludgeoned to death. Eight persons, including a juvenile, were arrested in connection with the crime and their trial began in a court on Monday, where they pleaded not guilty and sought a narco analysis test.Many people in Kathua, including the families of the accused, have been demanding a CBI probe into the incident, which was, however, rejected by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti last month after the two BJP ministers, Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga, met her and raised the demand.last_img read more

10 months agoNice chief Julien Fournier a target for Southampton

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Nice chief Julien Fournier a target for Southamptonby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNice chief Julien Fournier is a target for Southampton.The Daily Mail says Fournier, the general manager of French club Nice, is lined up to be the next director of football at Southampton.The vastly experienced 44-year-old who played a key role in persuading Patrick Vieira to become Nice’s manager, has worked previously as secretary general of Marseille and was the youngest president of Strasbourg.Southampton sacked Les Reed as vice-chairman in November and technical director Martin Hunter.The club’s Chinese owner, Gao Jisheng and his family, who took control in the summer of last year, have been working on a restructure of the club after appointing highly-rated Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager. last_img read more

Interview MPA Singapore Riding the Digitalization Wave

first_imgThe maritime industry is currently undergoing a number of changes, which mostly focus on digitalization and autonomy with the objective to keep up the pace with the latest developments in these fields.Digital transformation of the maritime industry means that companies will now be able to leverage digital solutions such as data analytics, Internet-of-Things (IoT) and smart systems, which are expected to boost productivity and cut costs.Kenneth Lim, MPA SingaporeAmid such novelties, a number of companies are already seeing a change in payments, with the introduction of cryptocurrency, while the industry is expected to witness new trends in workforce as well. World Maritime News spoke with Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s Kenneth Lim, Chief Technology Officer/Director (Research & Technology & Industry Development) on these developments.To enable the industry to ride the next wave of innovation-driven growth and move up the value chain, Lim said that a concerted effort is needed to transform Singapore’s maritime industry to encompass knowledge-based growth drivers, using business models that employ advanced technologies such as autonomous systems, robotics, data analytics, and artificial intelligence.With advancement in technology, new virtual means of payments, such as cryptocurrency, have emerged. Following MPA Singapore’s introduction of cashless payments as of January 1, 2018, the Singapore Government will continue to monitor the use of virtual currencies and adapt accordingly. Lim, who will be speaking at the Asia Pacific Maritime 2018 conference, which takes place 14-16 March 2018, added that the underlying technology behind cryptocurrency (blockchain) is currently on trial for potential applications.Speaking about the impact of advancements in automatization and digitalization on the port’s workforce, Lim said that the port’s recently launched Sea Transport ITM has outlined that as the maritime industry transforms and grows, more than 5,000 jobs are expected to be created in the next decade. Workers will have the opportunity to undergo skill upgrading in their existing roles through various maritime programmes launched by MPA.“We have also seen maritime companies tapping on the Maritime Cluster Fund (MCF) to upskill their employees not only in specialised areas, but also in more general areas like data analytics, cybersecurity, as well as in soft skills like communication and executive leadership,” Lim said.As explained, the authority is set on building a future-ready workforce with relevant skills and a global mindset.WMN: Navigational safety, congestion, training and blockchain have been identified as areas which could benefit the most from the digitalization drive in the port. How are the said areas expected to be digitalized in the future? Are start-ups the way to go?Lim: The Smart Port Challenge in 2017 successfully attracted over 80 proposals, from start-ups and SMEs, with six eventually awarded grants to work with our maritime enterprises to develop the proposed products or solutions. The six projects aim to develop solutions to support digitalization in a variety of areas such as, remote vessel monitoring and crew reporting, vessel tracking within terminals, sharing of information, resource tracking and e-bunkering services.We see start-ups as an important part of the maritime technology ecosystem, complementing existing technology developers, yet with the potential to bring in a new perspectives to solving challenges faced by the industry.When asked about artificial intelligence would contribute to MPA’s technological development, Lim said that AI’s potential use is enormous.“We have seen good use of machine learning to better passenger management in our ferry cruise centres, in areas of customer service and even in remote crane operations at the port.“AI can also be used in navigational safety. We have leveraged the use of AI to predict potential hotspots, detect anomalous activities and in support of the next-generation vessel traffic management within our port waters.”WMN: Finally, what remain the key challenges/objectives for the port moving forward?Lim: As the maritime technology landscape evolves, Maritime Singapore will need to deepen our Research and Development (R&D) capabilities to remain relevant. The MPA Living Lab will offer technology developers and industry partners a rich maritime data platform and a real operating environment at the port to co-develop and pilot innovative solutions. MPA will also be working with stakeholders to promote greater sharing of data and information within the industry. In addition, new research centres of excellence at NTU and NUS will deepen Singapore’s maritime R&D capabilities and accelerate techno transfers and spin-offs in the industry.We will also need to have a vibrant start-up ecosystem, to leverage the trends of disruptive technologies to digitalize our maritime services and products. This is why MPA embarked on the Smart Port Challenge last year, a platform to attract more start-ups to the maritime sector.As digitalization transforms the maritime landscape, we will also need to manage cyber risks.Last year, MPA proposed the formation of a “Port Authorities Focal Point Correspondence Network” comprising members from key maritime stakeholders from port and cruise terminal operators. This network will facilitate early reporting of maritime cybersecurity incidents and allow members to prepare and respond to imminent cyber-attacks.“We recognise that we cannot embark on this digital voyage alone. In line with the recently launched Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map, we will need to work closely with the industry to equip our maritime partners with the relevant digital competencies,” Lim concluded.Interview conducted by Erna Penjic, Editor, World Maritime NewsImage Courtesy: MPA Singaporelast_img read more