So long, UNESCO! What does U.S. withdrawal mean for the environment?

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Adaptation To Climate Change, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change Politics, climate policy, Climate Politics, Climate Science, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, conservation players, Controversial, Drinking Water, Earth Science, Ecology, Ecosystems, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Extinction, Featured, Foreign Aid, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Globalization, Green, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Health, Indigenous Cultures, Mangroves, Mining, Oceans, Poverty, Poverty Alleviation, Protected Areas, Public Health, Rainforest Conservation, Sustainability, Water Crisis, Water Scarcity, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Since 2011, the U.S. has refused to pay its agreed to share to UNESCO as a Member Nation who has participated in and benefited from the organization’s scientific, environmental and sustainability programs. Now, President Trump has announced U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO, effective at the end of 2018.Experts say the pullout won’t in fact do any major damage to the organization, with most of the harm done to UNESCO when the U.S. went into arrears starting in 2011, with unpaid dues now totaling roughly $550 million. However, America’s failure to participate could hurt millions of Americans.UNESCO science initiatives are international and deal multilaterally with a variety of environmental issues ranging from basic earth science, climate change, freshwater, oceans, mining, and international interrelationships between indigenous, rural and urban communities.Among the most famous of UNESCO science programs are the Man and the Biosphere Programme and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, now including 669 sites in 120 countries, including the United States. Saint Mary Lake and Wildgoose Island, Glacier National Park, USA, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. Photo courtesy of US National Park ServiceThe U.S. is quitting UNESCO, the United Nations organization that coordinates international efforts to foster peace and sustainable development, and to eradicate poverty. The Trump administration made the announcement on 12 October. The withdrawal takes effect December 31, 2018, and the U.S. will remain a full member until then.“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO,” said Heather Nauert, a U.S. State Department spokesperson in a press statement.The U.S. does, however, say it will seek to stay engaged with the organization as a non-member observer state in order to “contribute U.S. views, perspectives and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organization,” including the protection of World Heritage Sites and the promotion of scientific collaboration.Trump isn’t the first U.S. president to have antagonism toward the organization. Although America has played an important role in UNESCO since its creation after World War II, Trump’s predecessors have been quarreling with it since the 1970s.“We were in arrears to the tune of $550 million or so, and so the question is, do we want to pay that money?” Nauert said at a news briefing, making clear that “with this anti-Israel bias that’s long documented on the part of UNESCO, that [U.S. relationship] needs to come to an end.”But what does the Trump Administration’s withdrawal mean for UNESCO environmental programs worldwide? And will the loss of U.S. money matter?A moment of great hope. UNESCO declares 2015 the International Year of Light at the Paris Climate Summit. President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. is withdrawing from the world scientific body has led experts to express distress at the harm the decision will do to the planet’s people, especially Americans. Photo by Athalfred DKL on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-NDUNESCO environmental and science programsThe UN Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization was founded in 1945, and is a catalyst for far-reaching and important environmental and sustainable development initiatives. Today it’s the only UN organization with a clear science mandate, and it works on a broad scope of environmental issues, directing projects from a scientific, cultural, social and educational perspective.UNESCO’s Natural Sciences Sector, headquartered in Paris, has a staff of 120, with 54 field offices around the world, and it hosts major international programs in the freshwater, ecological, earth and basic sciences.Its activities deal with the ecological sciences (Man and the Biosphere Programme and World Network of Biosphere Reserves), water security (International Hydrological Programme and World Water Assessment Programme), and earth sciences (International Geoparks and Geoscience Programme, and disaster risk reduction).Man and the Biosphere (MAB) is one of UNESCO’s best-known programs, with its World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). Launched in 1971, MAB seeks to improve relationships between people and their environments by protecting areas nominated by national governments. MAB reserves remain under sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they’re located, but enjoy international recognition.“Biosphere Reserves are learning places for sustainable development whose aim is to reconcile biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources,” read a recent UNESCO press statement when it added 23 new sites to WNBR. The Trump Administration is voluntarily withdrawing 17 sites from the program. However, withdrawal isn’t unusual and other countries including the U.K., Austria, Australia, Norway, Bulgaria, and Sweden have withdrawn MAB sites in the past. Among those being withdrawn by the U.S. currently is the Hubbard Brook, New Hampshire, U.S. Forest Service reserve, where groundbreaking forest ecosystem and climate research has been ongoing for decades.Today WNBR encompasses 669 sites in 120 countries, including 16 transboundary biosphere reserves, covering over 680 million hectares (2.6 million square miles) of inland, coastal and marine areas, and representing all major ecosystem types and diverse development contexts. These areas are home to approximately 207 million people ranging from rural and indigenous communities to urban dwellers.Not only famous for its earth science research, UNESCO launched an international campaign to save the Abu Simbel Temple monuments in Egypt in the 1960s from being flooded by Lake Nasser as it backed up behind the Aswan High Dam. The project drew unprecedented international attention and praise for UNESCO’s protection of the world’s cultural heritage. Photo on VisualHunt.comWater programsThe International Hydrological Programme (IHP) does scientific, educational and capacity building around water issues. IHP promotes an interdisciplinary, integrated approach to watershed and aquifer management, and does international research in the hydrological and freshwater sciences.It also assists UNESCO member states in water security efforts, addressing challenges such as water-related disasters and hydrological changes, groundwater, water scarcity and quality, and ecohydrology – the study of the interrelationships between hydrological and biological processes required to enhance water security and lessen ecological threats.The World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) produces an annual World Water Development Report, a coordinated effort achieved across the UN system and provides a clear picture of the state of the world’s freshwater resources to member nations.Pamukkale, Turkey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its hot springs and enormous white terraces of travertine, a carbonate mineral sediment left by flowing water. Photo on Visualhunt.comEarth science programsUNESCO’s programs in earth sciences support research that informs current challenges such as evidence of global change from the geological record, geoscience of the water cycle, or environmental geodynamics.The Environmental and Health Impacts of Mining Activities in Sub-Saharan African Countries is a good example of how valuable this knowledge can be. This programme in fact does not only aim to understand how the mining activities (and particularly abandoned mines) negatively affect the soils, animals, plants and fungi, surface and groundwater, and the health of neighboring communities. It also experiments with the most appropriate mining rehabilitation technologies, and provides science-based data to governments and local authorities on both land-use planning and technologies to mitigate environmental disaster in contaminated regions.UNESCO Global Geoparks are areas where landscapes and sites of international geological significance are managed via a holistic approach to protection, education and sustainable development. As of today, there are 127 Geoparks in 35 countries, ranging from Vietnam to Brazil.The Organization also supports the meaningful inclusion of local and indigenous knowledge in biodiversity conservation and management, especially climate change assessment and adaptation via the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) has its own membership and a separate chapter in the Organization’s program and budget. IOC is the only body devoted to marine science within the UN system, and the United States has been involved in it since its establishment in 1960, mainly through the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The future of that relationship is uncertain now.The U.S. has played an important role in many IOC programs critical to ocean health and the wellbeing of coastal communities. For instance, the Global Tsunami Warning System that covers four major ocean basins (Pacific, Indian, Caribbean, and Mediterranean/North Eastern Atlantic), or the Harmful Algal Blooms program, which develops research and provides guidance to address “red tides” now threatening a wide range of coastal economic sectors (fishing, tourism, navigation, aquaculture).NOAA and NASA are also pivotal to IOC’s Global Ocean Observing System: the U.S. has in particular been leading the deployment of Argo floats around the globe to enhance measurements of ocean temperature, salinity and currents. The U.S. is a key contributor to observations of sea-level rise, ocean water acidification and a number of other variables to enhance understanding and predict trends and impacts of climate change, El Niño, and other ocean-related phenomena. It is uncertain precisely how that relationship will function in future.Okavango Delta, Botswana, World Heritage Site. This permanent marshland and seasonally flooded plain is one of the world’s very few major interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean. The Okavango Delta is home to some of the world’s most endangered species of large mammal, including the elephant, cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion. © Pete Hancock / UNESCOWho benefits, who gets hurt?“While the U.S. will remain engaged in many of these programs, the absence of U.S. funding makes it increasingly difficult to meet the challenges that are so vital to the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans,” George Papagiannis, UNESCO’s Media Services Chief told Mongabay in an email, pointing out that “an ounce of investment is worth a pound of cure.”Papagiannis stressed a simple fact: UNESCO programs, and the critical environmental problems they seek to solve, do not only result in benefits to countries far from the White House, but instead greatly benefit the United States and millions of American citizens.“A submerged lower Manhattan during hurricane Sandy, or the blooming red tides that affect the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico, are reminders that the U.S. is no safer than most countries from ocean related hazards,” he said, adding that no single country, regardless of national capacity, can tackle these cross-border issues on its own.“Whether it is about safeguarding coastal economies and jobs, ensuring people’s safety and public health, or protecting infrastructures, U.S. investments on IOC activities in ocean science and services create benefits to its citizens that far outweigh the costs,” he said.Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico, a World Heritage Site – a valued natural and cultural landscape located in the central/southern Yucatan Peninsula. The site protects both the ancient Mayan city of Calakmul and a large section of the Mesoamerica biodiversity hotspot, which encompasses all subtropical and tropical ecosystems from central Mexico to the Panama Canal. © Archivo/RBC-CONANPThe IOC also provides an intergovernmental coordination platform for effective collective action, from which all Member States benefit. Of course, that cooperative approach doesn’t fit in well with President Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” go-it-alone approach.As an example, the UN General Assembly is discussing a proposal by IOC to declare 2021-2030 as the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, under the UN’s global coordination. “The U.S. government and its scientific institutions stand to benefit enormously from participating in this collective framework for coordinating and consolidating the observations and research needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 on the ocean,” Papagiannis said, pointing out that “it will be the time to bolster innovative technologies and scientific knowledge to bring tangible wellbeing and economic benefits to U.S. citizens.”It is also worth noting that much of UNESCO’s work addresses the root causes of mass human migration, promoting sustainable and equitable management of national natural resources, and providing or fostering livelihoods, notably in Biosphere Reserves.Loss of U.S. funding started in 2011Strange as it may sound, there will be no immediate financial consequences related to the U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO because the United States has not paid its dues since 2011 during the Obama administration when the Palestinian Authority was accepted into the UN agency as a full member. The funding cut then was across the board, resulting in a 22 percent hit to the UNESCO budget more than $80 million per year, according to this Foreign Policy report. Since then, all parts of the organization have adapted to new financial realities.Clearly there have been consequences since 2011, and UNESCO has never fully recovered from the loss. The approved budget allocated to Science and the International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) for the 2010-2011 biennium was $59,074,000, while the approved expenditure plan for the current biennium (2016-2017) for Science and the IOC falls below that amount, coming in at $48,308,400.The Isla Genovesa Booby Sanctuary, Tower Island, Galapagos World Heritage Site. Photo by David Broad licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licenseAs a result, the number of permanent science positions has decreased, while less funding has meant a sharp refocusing of the Organization’s work. For example, Papagiannis says, UNESCO’s Basic Sciences efforts were severely impacted, and the organization is no longer directly involved in earth observation and remote sensing projects, with few exceptions. That’s a serious problem when one considers the rapid natural changes underway due to climate change. Furthermore, UNESCO no longer spends regular budget on renewable energy activities, and its engineering activities have been strongly curtailed.In addition to its assessed contribution, the U.S. used to fund projects directly, a procedure known as “extra-budgetary funding.” This means that UNESCO received money from the U.S. State Department, USAID, Department of Defense and National Science Foundation for seismicity and earthquake engineering in the Mediterranean and in Northeast Asia, and cooperation with the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering. The last of the funds allocated as extra-budgetary were received in November 2011 and spent by 2014.One discontinued project was the Open Initiative with the Space Agencies, which included NASA, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey. This initiative used space imaging to monitor and protect World Heritage sites, and was discontinued five years ago. Interestingly that task has now been taken on by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which seems to value science more than the current U.S administration.Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, Philippines, World Heritage Site. This preserve showcases terrestrial and aquatic habitats at varying elevations, and includes threatened and endemic flora and fauna – eight species of which are found only at Mount Hamiguitan, including the iconic Philippine Eagle and Philippine Cockatoo. © Roy F. Ponce / UNESCOWho is the real loser?According to Papagiannis, “the withdrawal of the U.S. will have an impact on the United States’ level of engagement in global science programs, and in the leadership of these program.”But in statements emailed to Mongabay, a State Department official wrote “U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO does not alter U.S. policy of supporting international cooperation in educational, scientific, cultural, communication and information activities where there are benefits to the United States. By pursuing non-member observer status, it is our intention to remain participants in UNESCO programs, such as IOC, where non-member observers may have a role.”However, the statement continues, the dimensions of this observer participation remain to be defined. Currently the U.S. is focused on preparing its request for non-member observer status so that it may remain engaged on “non-politicized issues” undertaken by UNESCO.“When it is in the U.S. interest,” stressed the official, “the United States will continue to participate in UNESCO and UNESCO-related activities that do not require membership in the Organization.”Melinda Kimble, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation, asserts that UNESCO’s scientific and environmental programs provide core elements that support national and regional planning for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” – a commitment to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030 worldwide adopted in 2015 by Heads of State and Government at a special UN summit.“Clearly, an active and fully contributing U.S. could make a difference in sustaining UNESCO’s leadership in education, science and culture,” she told Mongabay.This is not the first time the U.S. has left UNESCO. The Reagan Administration withdrew in 1984 because of concerns over many issues, ranging from Soviet Union disarmament proposals to the organization’s request for a budget increase. When the U.S. pulled out then, it was not in arrears and continued supporting UNESCO programs with voluntary financial contributions.Karibik, St. Kitts, Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many such sites include both natural and historical treasures. Photo by giggel licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licenseThen after an almost twenty-year absence, the U.S. rejoined the organization in 2003. President George W. Bush announced the move “as a symbol of our commitment to human dignity.… This organization has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning.”As for Trump’s planned withdrawal, Kimble agrees that “Clearly, an active and fully contributing USA could make a difference in sustaining UNESCO’s leadership in education, science and culture.” She notes that while the current pullout underscores U.S. skepticism about the UN system and multilateral action in many spheres, the real damage was done not by Trump but starting in 2011 with the U.S. failure to contribute financially.“[T]he failure to pay dues has significantly undermined the capacity of the organization to deliver on its ambitious programs,” Kimble concluded.Under the terms of the original 1945 treaty establishing the United Nations and UNESCO, the U.S. as a Member State remains obligated to paying its arrears. “But this is not just about the money,” says Papagiannis. “This [withdrawal represents] a loss for multilateralism and a blow to universality, which are critical factors to addressing the issues that affect people everywhere in every country.”In October, after receiving official notification by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova expressed profound regret at the decision.“In 2011, when payment of membership contributions was suspended at the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference, I said I was convinced UNESCO had never mattered as much for the United States, or the United States for UNESCO. This is all the more true today, when the rise of violent extremism and terrorism calls for new long-term responses for peace and security, to counter racism and anti-semitism, to fight ignorance and discrimination,” she said in a press statement.“I believe UNESCO’s action to enhance scientific cooperation, for ocean sustainability, is shared by the American people,” she added.As the world rushes headlong into a century of scientific uncertainty – where the climate, oceans, freshwater, ecosystems and human communities grow increasingly unstable and at risk – it remains to be seen just how long America will want to go it alone, rather than joining with the rest of the world to share in the costs and benefits of international science in order to serve the common good.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.Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve (established 1976) is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located in the southern Sierra Nevada of California, USA. Photo by thor_mark  on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SAcenter_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

Easter Island votes for world’s newest marine reserve

first_imgThe Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area encompasses 740,000 square kilometers (286,000 square miles) of Pacific Ocean surrounding Easter Island, or Rapa Nui. The reserve was approved by a 73 percent majority in a September 2017 referendum of islanders.The MPA is intended to eliminate the pressures of commercial fishing and mining on the unique and isolated ecosystem of Rapa Nui. Supporters of the project cite public support and participation as an encouraging sign of the reserve’s long-term potential.The Rapa Nui people and government of Chile are currently planning how the reserve will be enforced and monitored, prior to the official signing ceremony on February 27. Many in and outside Rapa Nui believe the reserve will aid relations between the island and the mainland, although there is lingering distrust among some islanders toward Chile. Stone heads loom in the imagination of most people when they think of Easter Island. Known as Rapa Nui to its inhabitants, who also go by the name Rapa Nui as a people, the island sits in a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean, 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) west of Chile. Like the mysterious stone Moai that line the landscape, there is more to this place than is visible from the surface.Easter Island’s world-renowned Moai statues were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. Photo: Eduardo Sorenson/The Pew Charitable Trusts.Some 142 marine species found nowhere else on Earth (27 of which are at risk of extinction) and 77 percent of the Pacific’s fish abundance thrive in the waters around Rapa Nui. An expedition in early 2017 uncovered even more species, some new to science, in the depths surrounding the island, many of which were striking shades of red and orange.In the depths of the ocean, as the sunlight fades, red wavelengths of light are absorbed first, rendering many of the new discoveries, such as the sunset-colored Anatolanthias fish and the ochre-hued sea biscuit (a burrowing, urchin-like creature) virtually invisible in the twilit water.Nearer the surface, coral reef fish like Pseudolabrus semifasciatus, a wrasse species splashed in purple, yellow and monochrome tiger stripes, are a vivid reminder of the region’s unique biodiversity. Almost one-quarter of all fish swimming off the island reside permanently near the surface.In a bid to preserve these species, a new marine reserve covering 740,000 square kilometers (about 286,000 square miles) of ocean, an area greater than the size of France, has been officially designated by the Chilean government. The Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area will be off-limits to commercial mining and fishing, while the local people will be free to continue the traditional fishing methods of their ancestors.The announcement of the marine protected area (MPA) in 2017 was met with praise from environmental advocacy groups such as the Pew Charitable Trusts, which helped assess the economic consequences of a Rapa Nui reserve. Matt Rand, director of the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project, hailed the decision as a democratic triumph: a referendum in September 2017 found 73 percent of locals in favor of the reserve following the highest instance of voter turnout in the island’s history. With local and international support rallying behind the project, hopes are high for a conservation success story.“There is a Polynesian concept called ‘Rahui,’ which is to make an area off-limits from exploitation. Community leaders proposed this ancient concept and led the way in building strong support in the referendum that supported the creation of an MPA,” Rand told Mongabay. “It was a historic moment for this island, but it should be a signal to other island and coastal communities that they can conserve their ocean environments and their own cultural heritage with marine protected areas.”Since the referendum, the Chilean government and the Rapa Nui people have worked together to finalize how the reserve will be overseen and its protections enforced once signed into law. Islanders have begun training as monitors, while Chile, which administers the island as a special territory, plans to assist with satellite observation of the MPA to ensure foreign vessels abide by its rules.The autonomous waters of Rapa Nui which will be protected from foreign extraction through the new marine reserve. Photo: The Pew Charitable Trusts.In recent years, the Rapa Nui have watched the distant lights of fishing boats on the horizon at night grow larger and more numerous. Meanwhile, the size and number of fish they catch with rock weights and lines has shrunk. Local landings of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), known as kahi ave ave in Rapa Nui, peaked around 2000 at 70 metric tons per year, but the following decade saw catches stagnate. In recent years, confidence in the ocean’s capacity to provide has diminished among the Rapa Nui — with encroaching foreign fleets and fishing regulations remote from the local culture getting the blame.Rand believes the experience has fueled support on the island for autonomy over the region’s resources, creating common cause for a reserve with the outgoing administration of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who is keen to shore up her record on environmental protection.“The government of Chile believes that public participation leads to better policy with a deeper connection to those who are affected, and we were committed to consultation with the Rapa Nui,” Marcelo Mena, Chile’s minister of the environment, said in a statement after news of the referendum result broke.“This marine protected area adds to the legacy of President Bachelet and the 1.5 million square kilometers [579,000 square miles] of protected areas created by this government.”Ludovic Burns Tuki, director of the Roundtable of the Sea, a coalition of more than 20 Rapa Nui groups, agrees that the participation of locals is crucial to the reserve’s long-term viability.“I think the government of Chile made a big step in understanding the worldview of Rapa Nui and our connection with the ocean,” Tuki told Mongabay. “For any MPA, it is important to work together, and what happens in Easter Island is an example for the entire world.”Like many islanders, however, Tuki is mindful of the missteps taken by Chile in relation to Easter Island in the past. In 2010, a no-take marine park was declared around the nearby island of Motu Motiro Hiva (known in Spanish as Salas y Gómez) without any consultation with the Rapa Nui themselves.“Because in Chilean law, Rapa Nui and Motu Motiro Hiva are two different islands,” Tuki explained. “For us, there was always a connection between the two islands.”Despite prior disagreement, the referendum result has encouraged many who foresee a more progressive and prosperous relationship with the mainland. Tuki is among them, highlighting the importance of cooperation and the potential for the Rapa Nui to sustainably manage their own waters.“We must work with strategy and union to get success for our community. It is important to know that 62 percent of the Rapa Nui have a Chilean surname, that is why we must keep good relations with respect and heart,” he said. “Today Rapa Nui is in a very good moment because of tourism and help from Chile.”For others, the influence of Chile is rooted in centuries of misrule, which sustains modern distrust of Santiago’s authority. As the Chilean presidential election thundered on in the distance, one local politician ran on a parliamentary ticket of self-determination for the Rapa Nui. Though her campaign fell short in December’s vote, the movement behind Annette Rapu Zamora suggests there are underlying problems that will not be swept away by the referendum.Outside of the political environment, scientists have applauded the reserve and what it could achieve for the region’s ecology. Donald Olson, a coral ecologist at the University of Miami, studied the reefs of Rapa Nui in 2007 and found an oasis of unique and unusual species.“[Rapa Nui] is the southeastern-most point for coral ecosystems in the Pacific, with no great connection to the West and elsewhere,” Olson told Mongabay.Ocean currents have restricted the dispersal of creatures to the island’s waters, acting as a natural boundary that Charles Darwin termed “the Great Eastern Pacific Barrier.” The result for Rapa Nui is a marine haven of “distinct, separate [life] forms” which evolved in isolation and occur nowhere else.Easter Island is home to at least 142 species found nowhere else, including the Easter Island butterflyfish (Chaetodon litus) pictured right. Photo: Eduardo Sorenson/The Pew Charitable Trusts.Olson believes the exclusion of foreign fishing and mining interests will promote healing in both the natural environment and social milieu of Rapa Nui, by ensuring “local people and the greater ecosystem are big winners.”He added: “The biggest thing the protected area will do is keep commercial fishing out and protect local interests, so that people can derive income from livelihoods that won’t harm the ocean.” Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Interns, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Protected Areas, Research Banner image: Rapa Nui fishers rely on traditional fishing methods perfected through centuries of practice, using rock weights and lines in the small boats pictured above. Photo: Eduardo Sorenson/The Pew Charitable Trusts. Article published by Maria Salazarcenter_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 CITATIONS:Aburto, J. A., Gaymer, C. F., Haoa, S., & González, L. (2015). Management of marine resources through a local governance perspective: Re-implementation of traditions for marine resource recovery on Easter Island. Ocean & Coastal Management, 116, 108-115.Glynn, P. W., Wellington, G. M., Riegl, B., Olson, D. B., Borneman, E., & Wieters, E. A. (2007). Diversity and biogeography of the scleractinian coral fauna of Easter Island (Rapa Nui). Pacific Science, 61(1), 67-90.Zylich, K., Harper, S., Lidandeo, R., Vega, R., Zeller, D., & Pauly, D. (2014). Fishing in Easter Island, a recent history (1950-2010). Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 42(4).last_img read more

Indonesia races to catch tiger alive as villagers threaten to ‘kill the beast’

first_imgA conservation agency in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island has deployed two teams to capture alive a wild tiger that has reportedly killed two people at an oil palm plantation.The incidents prompted villagers living near the plantation to threaten to kill the tiger themselves if it was not caught.Authorities are keen to take the animal alive, following the killing of a tiger earlier this month under similar circumstances. PEKANBARU, Indonesia — A wildlife conservation agency in Indonesia has deployed two special teams to capture alive a tiger blamed for killing two people this year, amid mounting calls for the animal to be killed.The Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) in Riau province has been on the trail of the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) since the first reported incident, on Jan. 3, when the tiger attacked three workers at an oil palm plantation in Indragiri Hilir district. The tiger killed one of the workers, identified as Jumiati, 33, after she fell from a tree that she had climbed up to escape the animal.Although the BKSDA set out traps in the area around the palm estate run by the Malaysian company PT Tabung Haji Indo Plantations, the tiger proved to be elusive.Just over two months later, on March 5, the same tiger reportedly killed a 34-year-old man, Yusri Efendi, who was passing through the same plantation with a group of other people when they were attacked.A Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). The big cats have increasingly been pushed out of their forest habitats by rampant deforestation and hunting. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.The two deaths prompted hundreds of residents of Pulau Muda village, where Yusri was from, to stage a protest on March 12 at the office of the plantation company. They demanded the company and the BKSDA immediately capture the tiger, which has been nicknamed Bonita.“The people of Pulau Muda will take action to kill the beast, whatever it takes,” said Ujang, one of the protesters, reading from list of demands to the agency and the company. “And we refuse to face any criminal charges over this.”Under Indonesia’s 1990 Conservation Act, the killing of protected species such as Sumatran tigers carries a prison sentence of up to five years and fines of up to 100 million rupiah ($7,000).In response to the demands, the BKSDA reached an agreement with the villagers not to kill the tiger, on condition that the BKSDA capture it before March 19.The agency has deployed two teams to capture the tiger by tranquilizing it. The teams are made up of officers from the police and military, as well as representatives from NGOs, veterinarians and companies operating in the area.Suharyono, the head of the Riau BKSDA, said the team had orders not to shoot the tiger with live ammunition unless under attack. Even then, they would only be allowed to shoot at its hind legs, and avoid its body and head.Suharyono said that once captured, the tiger would be transported to a wildlife rehabilitation center.The conservation authorities in Riau are determined to take the tiger alive, in the wake of a near-identical case earlier this month in which villagers in neighboring North Sumatra province speared a tiger to death and mutilated its body. The tiger had reportedly attacked and injured two people who were part of a hunting party out to catch the animal, which they considered a supernatural incarnation.In that incident, the villagers had earlier threatened and driven out a BKSDA team sent in to capture the tiger, insisting they were within their rights to kill the endangered big cat.Conflicts between humans and wildlife flare up regularly across Sumatra, whose once vast swaths of forest have been cleared at alarming rates for commercial development, primarily palm oil and rubber plantations, as well as mines. There are an estimated 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, according to WWF. The species is listed by the IUCN as critically endangered, or just a step away from going extinct.The Sumatran tiger is a key conservation focus for the Indonesian government and wildlife activists; two other tiger subspecies native to Indonesia, the Javan tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) and the Bali tiger (Panthera tigris balica), were officially declared extinct in 2003 due to poaching and habitat loss — the same threats stalking the Sumatran tiger today.UPDATE (April 24, 2018): The tiger was captured alive and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center.Banner image: A Sumatran tiger. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.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 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 Animal Rescue, Animals, Big Cats, Conflict, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forest Destruction, Habitat Loss, Human-wildlife Conflict, Mammals, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Deforestation, Tigers, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Rescues last_img read more

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

first_imgActivism, Amazon Logging, Animals, Conservation, Corridors, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Activism, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Interviews, Logging, Marine Protected Areas, Podcast, Protected Areas, Redd, Redd And Communities, Reptiles, Timber, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Corridors Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored On today’s episode, we speak with multiple-Grammy-winning musician James Valentine about his work to stop illegal logging and make concert tours more environmentally friendly.As lead guitarist of Maroon 5, Valentine has traversed the globe numerous times on tour, taking the band’s music around the world. But late last year, Valentine went to Peru with a much different mission: he was part of a group of musicians who spoke in Lima in support of the “No More Blood Wood” campaign. He also visited a sustainable logging operation in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve in 2016.Valentine is here to tell us about his experiences in Peru and Guatemala and to tell us all about the work he and Reverb are doing to keep illegal wood out of musical instruments, lower the environmental impact of touring, and engage music fans in environmental action. On today’s episode, we speak with a multiple-Grammy-winning musician about his work to keep illegal and unsustainable wood out of musical instruments and make concert tours more environmentally friendly.Listen here:Our guest today is James Valentine, lead guitarist of Maroon 5, a pop rock band that has sold more than 75 million records, had 13 songs make the Billboard Top 10 Hits list, and won three Grammies. Valentine has traversed the globe numerous times on tour, taking the band’s music around the world. But late last year, he went to Peru with a much different mission: he was part of a group of musicians who spoke in Lima in support of the “No More Blood Wood” campaign, which aims to stop illegal logging in the Amazon. The group also visited some indigenous Amazonian communities to see the impacts of illegal and unsustainable logging firsthand.“A lot of the wood we were using in our instruments was coming from illegal sources,” Valentine says. “And the quickest way to sort of get people on the same page is to call it ‘blood wood,’ because everybody is familiar with the ‘blood diamond’ concept, and so they’re familiar with the idea that some of the practices around mining and those illegal markets that were around these diamonds were having these horrible repercussions on the communities where they were taking these diamonds from. And it’s the same with wood.”James Valentine onstage with Maroon 5. Photo by Travis Schneider.That wasn’t Valentine’s first time visiting the forests where the tonewoods used in guitars and other instruments are harvested. In 2016, Valentine went to Guatemala to visit communities engaged in sustainable forestry in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. On both trips, Valentine was accompanied by Adam Gardner, singer for the band Guster and co-founder of Reverb, the non-profit organization that launched the “No More Blood Wood” campaign and also works with musicians and others in the music industry to reduce the environmental impact of tours.“Certainly we get some pushback from people through social media who would rather we shut up and sing,” Valentine says. “But just because I chose to play in a pop band doesn’t mean I turn in my citizenship. … I have just as much a right to speak on these issues that I care about as anyone else, and I’m going to continue to do that.”Valentine is here to tell us about his experiences in Peru and Guatemala and to tell us all about the work he and Reverb are doing to keep illegal wood out of musical instruments, lower the environmental impact of concert tours, and engage music fans in environmental action.“The wood that’s being used for guitars, of course, that’s just a small drop in the bucket. The larger issue are the consumer goods that everyone uses, the tables, the chairs, dressers,” Valentine says. “It does start with consumers, asking and creating that demand for wood products that can be traced. So that’s why we’re out here — that’s why I’m here talking about this now — because awareness is going to be the first step.”Here’s this episode’s top news:‘IUCN Green List of species’: A new way to measure conservation successNew report highlights top 50 tortoises and turtles on brink of extinctionOver $720 million in profit from tourism in Peru’s protected natural areasReport finds projects in DRC ‘REDD+ laboratory’ fall short of development, conservation goalsBelize creates one of Central America’s largest biological corridorsBrazil creates four massive marine protected areasThis is our 40th episode since we launched the Mongabay Newscast in 2016, and if you’ve been enjoying the show for any or all of that time, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.James Valentine (right) playing guitar in the Madre De Dios region of Peru with Adam Gardner of Guster/REVERB (center) and K.T. Tunstall (left). Photo courtesy of the Environmental Investigation Agency.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Population of world’s rarest giant turtle rises to 4 with new discovery

first_imgSome experts have now confirmed the presence of a Yangtze giant softshell turtle in Vietnam, increasing the total known population of the turtle to four individuals.Researchers matched environmental DNA collected from water samples from Xuan Khanh Lake in Vietnam to known samples from the species, and confirmed that the giant turtle living in the lake was most likely the Yangtze giant softshell turtle.Threats remain for the recently identified Yangtze giant softshell turtle. Xuan Khanh Lake is not protected, and commercial fishing is allowed there. When Cu Rua, an old Yangtze giant softshell turtle, died in Vietnam in 2016, he left behind only three of his kind: an elderly pair in a Chinese zoo, and a wild individual in a Vietnamese lake called Dong Mo. This meant that the Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), one of the world’s largest known freshwater turtle species, also became one of the world’s rarest.Now, some turtle experts are confident they’ve identified a fourth specimen of this critically endangered turtle in Vietnam’s Xuan Khanh lake.“It’s a good feeling to confirm the presence of a fourth turtle; it gives us hope something can be done to bring the species back,” Timothy McCormack, program coordinator of  the Hanoi-based Asian Turtle Program of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (ATP/IMC), a U.K.-based conservation charity, told Mongabay. “I’ve put a lot of time into looking for this species and have always believed it has a chance.”Nguyen Tai Thang of the ATP/IMC surveying Xuan Khanh Lake in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Van Trong/ATP.But this confirmation comes after a long and winding journey.Reports of a plausible giant softshell turtle in Xuan Khanh Lake first surfaced in 2012 in the form of a photograph, McCormack said. The image wasn’t sufficiently clear to confirm the species, though, and intensive surveys of the lake over subsequent years failed to confirm the turtle’s presence.Then, in May 2017, Nguyen Van Trong, a former fisherman who now works with ATP/IMC, photographed what looked like a giant softshell turtle. Again, the blurry photograph wasn’t enough to confirm the species. So the team partnered with Caren Goldberg, an ecologist at Washington State University, U.S., to see if they could identify the species using environmental DNA (eDNA) — tiny DNA fragments that animals leave behind in the environment when they lose cells, such as by shedding skin or excreting waste.Goldberg’s team matched eDNA collected from water samples of Xuan Khanh Lake to known samples of the species, suggesting that there was indeed a Yangtze giant softshell turtle living in the lake.“It is difficult to detect a species at very low densities with eDNA, the sample has to be collected fairly close to where the animal is or was very recently,” Goldberg told Mongabay. “We analyzed many samples testing negative in addition to this positive sample. Between the visual observations and the sequence from the eDNA sample, there is a good amount of evidence that this turtle is another Rafetus swinhoei.”McCormack said they held back on announcing the turtle’s identity until after Goldberg’s team came back with reliable results.“We didn’t feel the photo in itself [taken in May 2017] was clear enough. Although the animal’s the right shape and a good size, it just wasn’t identifiable,” he said. “Caren did get some initial weak positives for Rafetus but again we have held off on making an announcement until just a few weeks ago she was able to improve the sensitivity. Of course there is still the slim chance that another closely related species could be misidentified or that genetic information on gene bank is not accurate. But we are confident enough to go public with this.”A photograph of the Xuan Khanh turtle taken in May 2017. A clear identification could not be made from this photograph. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Van Trong/ATP.The Yangtze giant softshell turtle, also called the Red River giant softshell turtle, Shanghai softshell turtle or Swinhoe’s softshell turtle, was once known from the Red River in China and Vietnam and from China’s lower Yangtze River floodplain, according to the Turtle Conservation Coalition that recently released a report on the world’s 50 most threatened turtles. The loss of wetland habitats from river damming and infrastructure development, as well poaching for meat and eggs and capture for the pet trade, has reduced the species’ population to just the four known specimens now.There may be more individuals in the wild, though, and Goldberg is hopeful that others can potentially be located with the help of eDNA.McCormack agrees. “The species is very secretive and the lakes and large rivers that they are found in [are] large and complex,” he said. “If you see how difficult it is to observe these animals, even when you know they are in a relatively small area then you’ll understand how hard they will be [to] find. This is why we have tried methods such as eDNA and sonar fish finders in the search for surviving individuals.”The team has prepared a list of other sites where the species historically occurred, where there have been recent accounts of sightings.“These are the next places to look,” McCormack said.Nguyen Van Trong processes water samples by the lake for the eDNA testing. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Tai Thang/ATP.Threats remain for the recently identified Yangtze giant softshell turtle. Xuan Khanh does not lie within any protected area, and commercial fishing is allowed there. “But the lake owner hires a security team and we have a staff member who monitors the lake,” McCormack said. He added that confirmation of the animal’s identity will hopefully mean more attention is paid to protect the animal.“If the fishing teams should catch the animal this week, accidentally or otherwise, we’d expect a rapid response from the authorities,” he said. “During high risk activities, such as fish harvests our team is also full time on the lake. Really we need more staff, as is often the case in conservation [the] funds are limited.”McCormack added that in Dong Mo Lake, where the only other wild individual is known to occur, the lake owner has been very cooperative. The fishermen using the lake have also signed no-hunting agreements, and McCormack’s team has been raising community support for the protection of the species.“Long term, we’d like to see the [Xuan Khanh] animal moved to Dong Mo Lake where we have an island with a large pond identified that would function as a semi-wild area,” he said. “This could be used to bring the two animals so far identified in Vietnam together, if male and female, for breeding.“It would also provide much easier security for the animals,” he added. “Opportunistic hunting in Xuan Khanh and Dong Mo are still very real threats: we’ve had two very close calls that we know of in the past decade for the Dong Mo turtle. In the future we hope the Vietnamese authorities take more responsibility for protection of this species.”A Yangtze giant softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) that was rescued following a dam break in Dong Mo Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2008. Photo courtesy of Timothy McCormack/ATP. Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, freshwater turtles, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Herps, Poaching, Reptiles, Species Discovery, Turtles, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_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

Convict loses big on appeal

first_imgA convict who abducted a Lancaster woman, attempted to inject a drain-cleaning chemical into her arm and then shot her until she pretended to be dead will be returned to court for a review of the prison sentence he is serving – which may get longer. An appellate court denied William Moore’s appeal of his convictions for attempted murder and kidnapping, but found the judge who presided over his trial did not impose a 25-year sentence spelled out in state law for a gun charge. “There (were) both attempted-murder and kidnapping convictions, and each of them had firearm enhancements. The trial court only imposed one and didn’t make a ruling on the second firearm enhancement,” Deputy Attorney General Lance Winters said. “They are sending him back for the trial court to exercise its discretion to impose a sentence for the additional firearm enhancement.” Moore, 35, of Carson was an ex-convict when he abducted the victim in March 2002 and, along with two female accomplices, tried to force her to tell the whereabouts of Moore’s former girlfriend, prosecutors said. Frustrated, Moore threw down the syringe, took a gun, pulled on gloves and shot the victim, authorities said. The wounded woman ran, and Moore chased her, firing the gun several more times. Hit in the thigh, chest and calf, the wounded woman curled up in a ball and pretended to be dead. Moore pulled the trigger twice, but the gun did not fire. He kicked and hit her, according to authorities, and then, thinking he had killed her, drove away with the two female accomplices. One of the accomplices was sentenced to life in prison after pleading no contest to attempted murder, and the other was sentenced to seven years after pleading no contest to attempted torture. The former girlfriend Moore had been trying to find was later killed in a drive-by shooting in the Los Angeles area, but authorities said her death was not related to the Antelope Valley case. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Moore was sentenced in October 2004 to three consecutive terms of 25 years to life after being convicted by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury in his second trial. In the first trial, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury convicted Moore of being a felon with a firearm, acquitted him of attempted torture and deadlocked 11-1 in favor of guilt on attempted murder and 8-4 on kidnapping. Moore had previously gone to prison in 1988 for a robbery conviction and in 1996 for a drug offense. In his appeal, Moore argued that the judge in his second kidnapping trial erred in not instructing jurors that they had to agree on which act – attempting to inject the Drano or shooting the woman three times – constituted attempted murder. But the three-judge appellate panel said the prosecutor had made it clear that the act of repeatedly shooting the woman was the basis for the attempted-murder charge. After she tried to call the ex-girlfriend on a cell phone but couldn’t reach her, the victim was driven to an isolated spot near the California Aqueduct, authorities said. Moore tried to inject her with liquid Drano from a syringe, but failed to find a vein. last_img read more

Mortgage decisions made simple, with Pascal at Advice First

first_imgThis month’s finance column breaks down mortgage decisions, from switching to cash-back offers, with Pascal Curran, Letterkenny-based financial advisor and founder of advicefirst.ie.Lately, there is a lot of chatter about switching your mortgage to a different lender and the apparent benefits of switching providers, as well as these alluring lump-sum cash-back offers that lenders can provide – we can be bombarded by seemingly amazing options. It’s hard not to get excited by potential savings (yay!) – but, it’s important to take a closer look get down to the simple facts; is there real value to you?Let’s break it down… Switching – “Should we switch?!”Long answer short. Yes, but only if you are paying more than you should.That is, if your interest rate is higher than what is available from other providers. This is why it’s key to get advice though from someone who is not tied to any one lender, before switching your mortgage. You need a simplified and unbiased approach to figuring this out based on your own situation. Offers can sound AMAZING on paper – but help getting a broader picture is invaluable. You need to know exactly what is being offered, the pros and the cons. Is there a possibility your current provider could offer a better rate?! It’s good to check in with them, too. “So, you’re saying we should switch?!”No! Not in all casesWhilst the interest rate is a good starting point to consider whether to switch or not it is not the only factor to consider. If you are on a Tracker rate with your current provider, for instance, you need to consider the implications of switching, the new provider will not give you a tracker rate. Caution is needed here, and here is where the advice comes back into play. You are not just another number, it’s important not to allow your circumstances to be generalised; you’ve got to look at your own life and consider things, like; Your ageHow long your mortgage has to runYour plans for the property in questionSo, “should we switch”, if the emphasis is simply to save money, then yes.*Example:This is an actual case Advice First looked at recently (names have been changed)Bill & Mary, have a mortgage balance of €175,000 with 23 years to run, current interest rate is 3.15%, they are paying €892 monthly, there is a rate 2.3% available to them, the repayment would be €817 monthly, a saving of €75 monthly. It could be argued this would represent a saving of €20,700 over the remaining 23 years. If you enjoy overpaying for everyday items, then, you should not switch providers. Remember your mortgage is an everyday item. That is, you think about it almost every day!So, could we switch?!Now this is where it gets interesting. Not everybody that should switch will be able too. The process of switching mortgage providers is almost the same as applying for new mortgage (see our previous Donegal Daily column for help preparing to get yourself mortgage ready!) whilst, the terms and conditions of a new application are not exactly the same as a switcher application a lot of the lending criteria is the same.So, things like:Your ageYour employment or self-employmentYour incomeYour credit historyThe value of your property versus the outstanding balance of your mortgageNote: If the property in question is not your principle private residence than switching providers may not be an option. The best way to really figure out the answers to these burning questions is, to talk to someone who can help you to clearly figure out your options based on your situation; Give us a call on 074 910 3938A burning question: Would you be bothered….?!The hassle of it all.A question for you. We like to use this example to illustrate a point around this topic; “If you had a hole in your pocket and you were losing, let’s say, €55.23 per month out of this hole. Would stop using the pocket or get it mended or continue to use it and continue to lose money? We think not….Will you contently continue to lose money with your mortgage repaymentsWe at Advice First, suggest that a little hassle is worth enduring, if, savings can be made and importantly, it was the right decision after taking advice. The big question: Why continue to pay more than you need to?!The time to take action is now!We are happy to help you through the process, to make it easier.What about the cost of switching?A few lenders, not all, are offering “Cash Back”. This will help cover the initial outlay of moving to a new provider. Again, advice is needed as not all Cash Back offers are the same and not all offer long term value for money. We have a detailed blog on our site about the Cash back offers where we really break it down. Our advice – is to get advice to help you to:Educate yourself on whether switching is an option for you or not.Look at the pros & cons of switching or not switching Empower yourself with information about aspects like Cash Back offers – knowledge is power. Each month Pascal will provide financial advice on the most frequently asked topics – here on Donegal Daily and is looking forward to further breaking down the barriers around financial advice in his renowned experienced and jargon-free way! If you would like to book a no obligations consultation with Pascal, click here or simply call  +353 74 910 39 38 to talk to us today.Follow us on Facebook & Instagram  Advice First Financial Services Ltd trading as Advice First Financial is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. *example above is based on a mortgage of €175,000, term 23 years, rate variable 3.15%, switching to a 2-year fixed rate of 2.3%.Warning: If you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your homeWarning: You may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed-rate loan early.Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase.Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. Mortgage decisions made simple, with Pascal at Advice First was last modified: April 30th, 2019 by Pascal CurranShare 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)Tags:advice firstfinancial adviceMortgagePascal Curranlast_img read more

Great excitement as Gortnacart National School launch CD and DVD

first_imgGortnacart National School launched their music CD and DVD in the Parish Centre, Ardara, recently.The pupils entertained the packed hall by singing songs, playing the tin whistle and reciting poetry in both Irish and English.This was a unique and memorable occasion for all who attended. Teachers Brid Hennigan and Christine Breslin decided to promote the talent of their pupils and showcase the scenic area of Gortnacart where the school nestles in a glorious countryside.After months of rehearsals and practicing the children travelled to Valley Music Recording studio to record three chosen songs – ‘This is my own school’  (Melody P. Cavanagh) ‘Home to Donegal’, ‘An Chéad Nollaig’(Dominic ó’Braonáin) and ‘I hope you never give up’ (local singer/songwriter Tanya McCole).Tanya, who is a past pupil of Gortnacart, made a special appearance on the night. Aerial footage by JMAC on the DVD captures breath-taking scenes from Ardara and Gortnacart.Artistic pupils, Lucas and Simon designed the CD cover.Deirdre Mooney, a parent in the school and a renowned musician, helped with rehearsals and provided backing with her guitar on the night.Frank McGee was M.C. on the night and Ciara Hennigan helped capture some great photos.Principal, Bríd Hennigan said, she is very proud of each and every one of her pupils.“We hope they will have cherished memories of this very special CD/DVD recording in years to come,” she said. Scoil Náisiúnta Ghort na Ceártan CD / DVD is on sale for 10 euro in Diver’s Paper Shop, Centra in Ardara and Maloney’s Service Station.Gortnacart National School would like to thank everyone that got involved.Great excitement as Gortnacart National School launch CD and DVD was last modified: December 16th, 2019 by Dionne MeehanShare 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)Tags:ArdaraCD launchdonegalDVD LAUNCHGortnacart National SchoolSCHOOLlast_img read more

Photos: The Loma Prieta earthquake’s devastation

first_imgClick here if you are unable to view this gallery on a mobile device.On Oct. 17, 1989, at 5:04 p.m., as people were heading home and Game 3 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s was about to start at Candlestick Park, the Loma Prieta earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.9, hit the San Francisco Bay Area. 63 people died, mainly in the collapsed double decked Nimitz Freeway cypress structure.Almost 4000 suffered injuries in the quake.last_img

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