Big data timber exchange partners with FSC in Brazil

first_imgBVRio pulls together data on the pricing, supply chain and certification of timber and wood products through its Responsible Timber Exchange.Since opening in November 2016, the exchange has fielded more than 400 offers for 5 million cubic meters of timber.The partnership with the Forest Stewardship Council is aimed at bolstering the market for certified forest products. An exchange for legally harvested timber in Brazil now has a new backer in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), perhaps the best-known international certification group for forest products.The BVRio Institute, a Brazil-based nonprofit organization that takes a market-based approach to issues involving environmental compliance and sustainability, launched the Responsible Timber Exchange in November 2016. BVRio and FSC announced the agreement on March 7.“We are delighted to be able to develop this agenda with FSC Brasil,” said Mauricio Costa Moura, director of the Responsible Timber Exchange, in a statement. “This partnership provides us the recognition that we are aligned with the same goals.”Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe Responsible Timber Exchange provides pricing, supply chain and certification information to companies that buy forest products from several countries, including Brazil. A representative of BVRio told Mongabay in November that their aim was to provide access to sustainably and legally harvested timber in a sector in which supply chains and sources are often shrouded in secrecy.The BVRio Institute investigated Brazilian timber production in 2016 and found that only about 30 percent of operators in the states of Pará and Mato Grosso, which account for 70 percent of Brazil’s timber production, showed “no indication of infringements, irregularities or non-compliance” between 2007 and 2015.Since launching three and a half months ago, BVRio said the Responsible Timber Exchange has fielded more than 400 offers for some 5 million cubic meters (177 million cubic feet) of timber, 30 percent of which was FSC-certified.Aline Tristão, the executive director of FSC Brazil, said that the agreement would also provide a boost to his organization’s goals.“[T]his agreement is very important and adds to other initiatives that we have been pursuing in order to fight against deforestation and illegality in the timber industry, fostering the widespread use of certified wood,” Tristão said in the statement.She added that teaming up with the Responsible Timber Exchange would lead to “the adoption of best practices and [creation of] more business opportunities, expanding people’s awareness about the importance of consuming forest products that originate from a good management plan.”In Brazil, FSC said that more than 6 million hectares (23,166 square miles) are certified.Previously, BVRio developed software that pulled together the massive amounts of information available on the sources and handling of timber and wood products. Since the launch of these tools in 2015, BVRio said that the system had been used for more than 1 billion data checks.Collaborating with FSC will help bolster the “supply and demand for certified products,” according to the statement.Under the exchange, buyers can check on a lot’s certification by FSC and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. Companies interested in buying wood from Indonesia that’s listed on the website can also verify that it meets the requirements of the country’s recently implemented voluntary partnership agreement with the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade, or FLEGT, licensing system.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.Banner image of FSC-certified wood in Peru by Rhett A. Butler. Amazon Logging, Certification, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forest Stewardship Council, Forestry, Forests, Illegal Logging, Logging, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Video 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 John Cannonlast_img read more

Bringing rhinos back to India’s parks

first_imgLaunched in 2005, the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 aimed to boost the population of rhinos in Assam State and expand the species’ range within the state from three protected areas to seven.Manas National Park was the first to receive translocated rhinos. The animals appeared to adapt well to their new home, but poachers repeatedly struck the park.The program then turned to Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary, but the rhinos moved there grew sick and died.Conservationists still believe the overarching goal of boosting the state’s rhino population to 3,000 by 2020 is achievable. On the evening of Jan. 13, 2013, Deba Kumar Datta was on his way to a remote camp inside Manas National Park, a 500-square-kilometer (193-square-mile) protected area in the northeastern Indian state of Assam.Datta was excited that Sunday. It was the beginning of the Magh Bihu harvest festival in Assam. The day also marked Datta’s fifth anniversary at Manas National Park. As a senior project officer with WWF India, he had spent the last five years tracking the movements of greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) that had only recently been reintroduced to the park.Many of these rhinos—brought in from different parts of Assam—were thriving in their new residence, and Datta was keen to celebrate his joy with some forest guards. But his happiness was short-lived.Datta had barely driven 100 meters when a villager called him to say that a rhino had been killed a few kilometers away. Datta’s team rushed towards the location of poaching with the forest department staff. There, in front of them, was Iragdao — an adult male rhino, lying dead on his side.“It was a brutal scene,” Datta told Mongabay. “Poachers had removed Iragdao’s horn, some part of his legs and nails. We all lost our appetite that night.”For conservationists, Iragdao’s death was tragic. He was one of the last adult breeding males in the park at the time of his death. He had also been one of the first two Indian rhinos to be reintroduced to Manas as part of a high-profile translocation project.A greater one-horned rhino in Assam State’s Kaziranga National Park. Photo by Udayan Dasgupta for Mongabay.A new vision for rhinosThis ambitious project, called the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020), was launched in 2005 in response to the declining population of rhinos in Assam.By the late 1990s, poachers had wiped out hundreds of rhinos across the state. More than 90 percent of Assam’s rhinos were now concentrated in just one park — Kaziranga National Park— with small populations in Orang National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. This was worrying.With the distribution of rhinos limited to a handful of protected areas, the species was at heightened risk of being decimated by threats like diseases, natural disasters or poaching.In 2005, when Assam was celebrating 100 years of conservation in Kaziranga National Park, the state government and conservationists came up with an elaborate plan to change the status quo.Kaziranga had nearly 1,855 rhinos then, with an additional 68 in Orang National Park and 81 in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. Experts believed they could increase this number to 3,000 within the next 15 years. This overarching goal led to the birth of IRV 2020 — a collaboration between the Assam Forest Department, the Bodoland Territorial Council, WWF India, the International Rhino Foundation, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and various local conservation groups.The IRV 2020 strategy called for expanding the species’ range from three protected areas within the state to seven. This would involve translocating wild rhinos from Kaziranga and Pobitora to parks that no longer harbored these animals: Manas National Park, Burachapori and Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuaries and Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.IRV 2020 aimed to establish or strengthen rhino populations in seven protected areas across Assam State. Base map courtesy of Google Maps.To achieve this, IRV 2020 would continue to boost the protection of existing rhino populations in the state and better manage their habitats.After a series of preliminary checks to assess the current state of security and habitat in Assam’s various protected areas, and the support they would need in the future, the state’s newly instituted rhino task force made its decision: Manas National Park would be the first protected area to be restocked with rhinos and Datta’s team would monitor the animals.Manas, located at the Himalayan foothills, had its own thriving population of more than 100 greater one-horned rhinoceros until the beginning of the 1990s. It was even declared a World Heritage site in 1985 by UNESCO. But a spate of poaching incidents during a decade of civil unrest between 1989 and 2001 wiped out every single rhino from the park.The experts believed that by boosting security and prepping the habitat, Manas could be turned into a haven for rhinos again. “Manas had the highest potential then,” said Amit Sharma, WWF India’s senior coordinator for rhino conservation.But reintroducing rhinos to Manas — and keeping them safe — was not going to be easy.last_img read more

Helping Liberians in Proper Voter Decision-making: Accountability Lab-Liberia’s Worthy Initiative

first_imgThe most important act in any election anywhere is not how much money is spent on election preparations, how well they are organized or how much rhetoric and cash candidates spend to woo voters.What is rather more central, critical, compelling in any election is the decision or those decisions each voter will make inside that voting booth. The fundamental question facing the voter will be who to vote for.Should I vote for a crook, a hypocrite, a selfish and corrupt candidate who only wooed me with a bag of rice, money or sweet talk? Or should I vote for someone who I know will sincerely, honestly and patriotically represent my interest, the welfare of my area, my fellow citizens and my beloved Liberia?The answer to these questions is a no-brainer; which means, something you don’t even have to think about because the answer is so obvious. I would vote for the latter—a candidate that will sincerely, honestly and patriotically represent my interest, the welfare of my area, my fellow citizens and the Liberian Republic.That is exactly what the NGO Accountability Lab-Liberia (ALL) is aiming at in launching its music video—sensitizing Liberians about their right to vote, whom to vote for and how properly to utilize their votes. The particular aim, according to our Diplomatic Correspondent Joachim Sendolo, “is to reverse the poor representation and leadership Liberians have experienced in the recent past.”Do we not all know what happened in the distant and most recent past? How since 2006 until now—the period in Liberia we thought was a veritable “new dispensation,” we elected the whole 103 members of the Legislature—30 Senators and 73 Representatives? Each of them, during the campaign season, promised us the world and as soon as they got seated, made themselves—not the people—the center of political gravity (importance, magnitude), taking care of themselves and themselves only, and totally forgetting about the people who elected them.One of the leaders, using the millions he had been allowed to steal from the Liberian people, bribed his colleagues to elect him to a powerful post. Another in the same lower House, a man called “Honorable Forh,” encapsulated (bagged, seized) the corrupt, ruthless and selfish mandate these elected officials reserved for themselves: The County Development Funds (CDF), which he demanded that the Superintendent of Montserrado County share with him, herself and the Minister of Internal Affairs. He told her in a manner utterly bereft of conscience, “You will chop (eat), I will chop and the Minister will chop.” And what would be left for the impoverished people of Montserrado? Nothing but the filth, squalor and poverty into which they were born!And when the Superintendent blew the whistle of graft, malfeasance and misfeasance, these corrupt Legislators angrily demanded that she be removed. Alas! The Liberian people were forced to accept another shocker: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf bowed to the wishes of these despicable (contemptible) “Representatives of the people.” The President, yes, dismissed the Superintendent—a woman like herself.In the upper Chamber, the Senate, things were no different. In mindless and ruthless collaboration with their colleagues in the lower House, the Senators played every trick in the book to shortchange the Liberian people and Liberia. President Sirleaf could hardly get them to pass a bill, or ratify an Agreement or Treaty without her surrendering to each of them substantial sums of cash.There were numerous instances, but we will recall one. When Clemenceau Urey was Chair of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), many oil blocks were being leased or sold to various bidding oil companies. But when each was successfully negotiated and forwarded to the Legislature, especially the Senate, for ratification, they (the Senators) wanted their share before they could touch it.When later Mr. Urey was no longer Chair, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) accused him and a select number of other Board Members of corruption for offering “bribes” to the Legislature. But LACC did not include the Ministers of Justice on the Board, who at various points approved the transaction. Nor were the receivers of the “bribes”—the Legislators themselves—indicted. The LACC’s case could not stand in court, and it was abandoned.We ask our Liberian people, are these kinds of people the ones you want to elect in 2017? The answer should be obvious, but we are not sure. We can say only, we hope not!We commend Accountability Lab-Liberia for its initiative in launching the music video “Whom to Vote For,” and musician Henry Toe for his brilliant musical contribution to the cause. We further commend British Ambassador David Belgrove and the US Embassy staff for supporting this worthy initiative.The Daily Observer pledges to work with Accountability Lab-Liberia in helping to get these extremely critical messages to the public, toward achieving the desired goal of helping our people make the proper choices in the impending 2017 presidential and general elections. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Celebrity couple Naved Jaffery and Sayeeda win Power Couple

first_imgAfter three months of gruelling stunts and mind games, Indian television got its first Power Couple. Naved Jaffery and wife Sayeeda were declared the winner of Sony TV’s Power Couple on Sunday night.Naved and Sayeeda defeated Vindu Dara Singh-Dina and Shawar Ali-Marcela in the grand finale aired on March 5-6, to win the title.The Indian adaptation of the Isreali reality show premiered in December 2015 on Sony, with Bollywood couple Arbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora Khan as show hosts and 10 celebrity couples vying for the title. Also read: What makes Naved Jaffery and Sayeeda so likeable Show hosts Malaika Arora Khan and Arbaaz Khan. Picture courtesy: SonyAfter being eliminated mid-way, Naved and Sayeeda re-entered the show as a wild card entry along with Vindu and Dina and went on to win the show.The winning couple was one of the most consistent on the show. The duo won the majority of the tasks displaying what mutual understanding and trust between partners is all about.Naved was, in fact, called ‘record rambo’ by his co-contestants for completing every individual task in the show.Earlier in an interview, the couple said that hadn’t thought of winning the show when they participated. “We participated in the show thinking we will be there for two weeks and will return home…because we had never participated in a reality show before and all the other contestants were younger to me,” said Naved.Naved-Sayeeda, Shawar-Marcela, Vindu-Dina on Power Couple finale. Picture courtesy: SonyHowever, Naved’s training in martial arts and sports in his childhood helped him immensely in the show. Even his wife for four years, Sayeeda, was pleasantly surprised by Naved’s capabilities.advertisement”I saw a new side of Naved on the show…I hadn’t seen him performing stunts before,” Sayeeda had said.The grand finale saw stunning performances by former participants Maheck Chahal-Ashmit Patel, Delnaaz Irani-DJ Percy, Salil Ankola-Ria Banerjee and Aamir Ali-Sanjeeda Sheikh. Malaika Arora Khan too gave a sizzling performance on stage which had everyone asking for more.The three finalists, Naved-Sayeeda, Vindu-Dina and Shawar-Marcela also performed on stage.See pics: A look at the sizzling performances by Malaika Arora Khan and other celeb jodislast_img read more