Climate change key suspect in the case of India’s vanishing groundwater

first_imgArticle published by Maria Salazar Since the Green Revolution, Indian farmers have depended on groundwater to grow enough crops to feed the country’s 1.3 billion people, but groundwater is vanishing in many parts of the country.The combination of overpumping and climate change – resulting in weaker monsoons – has resulted in social disruption in many parts of India, including violent protests and suicides.India won’t be able to solve the problem with just water legislation: the country also needs to take a look at climate change as well. Local farmers and cattle herders gather to withdraw water at a well in the Marwar region of western Rajasthan, India. Courtesy of Dr. Trevor Birkenholtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.In three short months during monsoon season, India historically receives 75 percent of their annual precipitation. Imagine awaiting this promised, bountiful rainfall and receiving 14 percent less than average. This is what happened in 2015 – and it compounded decades of drought. India is suffering a water scarcity crisis but, until recently, most people believed that over pumping groundwater was the number one reason behind it. Now, a new study published by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar in Nature Geoscience, shows that variable monsoon precipitation, linked to climate change, is likely the key reason for declining levels of groundwater.India’s rainfall has decreased since the 1950s. When rainfall decreases, so does the water table. By observing climate patterns and well depths, researchers found that groundwater storage dropped in northern India about two centimeters per year between 2002 and 2013. Today, groundwater irrigates over half of India’s crops, but aquifer levels are falling, threatening both water and food security.“We find that climate has much bigger impacts on groundwater resources than we previously thought,” said Dr. Yoshihide Wada, contributing author to the study, senior researcher at IIASA’s Water Program and research scientist at NASA. When groundwater is pumped, it can take years to replenish. In the throes of record-breaking drought, India feels that loss.India’s groundwater problem is detectable from space. From 2002-2013, a satellite from NASA mapped aquifers around the world. The Gravity Recovery Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite detects the Earth’s mass below it and uses this data to measure groundwater pumping. GRACE reported that 54 percent of 4,000 measured groundwater wells are declining, some dropping by more than three feet per year.A warming world has made India’s monsoon season less predictable. During the past century, the Earth warmed 1.5 degrees, largely due to humans’ unprecedented burning of fossil fuels. What appears to be a small change in temperature is causing drastic upheavals in natural patterns. Increased atmospheric temperatures are changing wind currents and causing more frequent and intense storms. In some cases, this is also redistributing rain and intensifying drought.In India, warmer air over the Indian Ocean has altered the path of monsoons – leaving Indian farmers high and dry the past two years in a row.There is no singular definition for water scarcity that takes into account the availability, accessibility, and quality of potable water. However, the Falkenmark Indicator (FI) is a popular tool that measures water runoff and population to determine levels of water stress. According to the FI, a country is considered ‘water scarce’ when they have less than 1,000 cubic meters of usable water per person annually. In 2015, analysis using FI categorized India as having ‘absolute scarcity’, with less than 500 cubic meters of water per person annually.So little water affects security. Last September, protesters set 56 busses on fire in Bengaluru when the Supreme Court ordered that Karnataka must release more water from Cauvery Dam to be used by a bordering state. Retrofitted oil trains deliver millions of liters of water to Lature, a district east of Mumbai. Madhya Pradesh, a state in Central India, deployed armed guards to protect one of its reservoirs after farmers from a neighboring state attempted to steal water last year.Farmers are on the frontlines of the water crisis with India seeing a serious uptick in farmer suicides. Some estimates put the number of related suicides at 500 in 2015, but the central government only publicly acknowledges that 13 farmers’ suicides were related to water shortages. According to the Government of India, 52 percent of agricultural households were in debt in 2014. Heavy debts have resulted in an exodus of farmers, who are now seeking daily labor in large cities.“In spite of the challenges of the agrarian life in India (as with elsewhere) Indian farmers and farming households are some of the most generous that I have ever met,” says Birkenholtz. “They are also innovative; India is full of ‘makers’ – people who see a problem and are determined to find a solution.” Photo from the Marwar region of western Rajasthan, India Courtesy of Trevor Birkenholtz.“Farmers invest their own borrowed money for sinking bore wells to develop agriculture,” said Secretary R.H. Sawkar of the Secretary, Geological Society of India (GSI). Bore wells are similar to tube wells, long shafts that are drilled into the earth. Electric pumps are used to draw the groundwater through the tube to the surface. Most rural farmers pay a flat fee for unlimited electricity to pump from tube wells, leading to over-pumping.But farmers don’t have the money, tools, or know-how to drill deeper wells that can access sinking water tables. This creates a serious dilemma in areas where levels drop by almost a meter per year.“Only rich farmers can effectively pump groundwater from deep aquifers and the urban rich can buy extra water for their luxuries like car washing, [maintaining] lawns near their residence and [using] bottled water for drinking purpose,” said Sawkar.There are over 20 million tubewells in India today, a technology that enabled the Green Revolution in India. The Green Revolution was a global shift in agricultural production, beginning in the 1930s; it mechanized farming for developing nations and utilized new technologies, like pesticides and genetically modified crops, to feed a booming population. Developing countries could suddenly grow more food on the same amount of land.When India gained independence in 1947 the central government – along with the Rockefeller and Ford foundations –brought the Green Revolution to India. This meant cultivation of genetically adapted, high-yielding seeds, a deluge of fertilizers, and flood irrigation. Tube-wells proved to be the best way to irrigate more land, since they reached untapped groundwater. But today, annual groundwater pumping removes at least 24 times what was consumed in the 1950s.“India also inherited Britain’s water policies that were based on water abundance. Any landowner had the right to pump as much groundwater as they wanted… India doubled ag[riculture] productivity between 1972 and 1992 under this system,” said Trevor Birkenholtz, political ecologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Chapmaign. “In short, there was no groundwater law.”Laissez-faire pumping is today reflected in the fact that farmers pay a single flat fee for electricity to power tubewell pumps.India solidified their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions when the Indian government ratified the Paris Climate Agreement last October. Climate change is a key driver of changing monsoon patterns which exasperate drought conditions across India. Above, Indian women and children collect groundwater in Marwar region of western Rajasthan, an area affected by climate-exasperated drought.The same revolution that once sustained India’s growing population is partly to blame for the cracked and barren landscape that farmers try to cultivate today. According to the World Bank, India’s population tripled since the 1960s, hitting 1.3 billion in 2015. As India continues to battle climate change and overpumping, an equitable distribution for groundwater, if it ever comes, will take considerable intervention.“This requires strong political will to address this issue, which is lacking,” Sawker said.Groundwater law and rulemaking falls under the purview of individual states in India. Researchers say that the central government will have a difficult time overcoming this decentralized system, if they wish to establish national water laws. To date very few politicians have fought to limit water pumping.“No politician wants to be the one that tells farmers – who vote at rates upwards of 85 percent – that they can no longer pump groundwater at current rates,” said Birkenholtz.It’s more likely that authorities will mandate drip irrigation or restrict the supply of electricity, perhaps through metering, to limit pumping. Using drip irrigation and gaining “more crop per drop” is an efficient alternative to flood irrigation.In parts of India like Marwar region depicted above, some village women spend hours each day collecting water. They enlist the help of their female children, who are taken out of school. When a family must choose between education and water, it’s nearly impossible for them to rise above poverty.Unfortunately, groundwater pumping is only half of the problem. Taking on climate change is equally important in solving India’s water scarcity. Climate change weakens monsoons, groundwater fails to recharge, wells run dry, and families go without water. The future of India’s water security, in part, rests on international agreements to combat climate change like the United Nations Paris Agreement.“Weather is uncertain by nature, and the impacts of climate change are extremely difficult to predict at a regional level,” explained Wada. “But our research suggests that we must focus more attention on this side of the equation if we want to sustainably manage water resources for the future.”Today, India accounts for 4.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Paris Agreement, the country has committed to generating at least 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and decreasing carbon emission intensity related to GDP by 33-35 percent by 2030. This means India’s emissions will likely rise, depending on the level of its economic growth.Citation:Asoka, A., Gleeson, T., Wada, Y., & Mishra, V. (2017). Relative contribution of monsoon precipitation and pumping to changes in groundwater storage in India. Nature Geoscience. Agriculture, Cattle, Climate Change, Drought, Farming, food security, Global Warming, Interns, Water center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Delays continue over signing of Guyana-EU trade agreement to combat illegal logging

first_imgPart of the process involves setting up a Voluntary Partnership Agreement, or VPA – a trade agreement between the EU and a timber-producing country to ensure legal sourcing.Negotiations, which take place under the auspices of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), are expected to continue for much of 2017.Delays with VPA’s are not unheard of, but a new deadline on the Guyana trade agreement has been pushed back to the end of 2017. GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Guyana’s plan to sign a trade agreement with the European Union by the end of 2016 to combat illegal logging has been delayed again.At the fourth Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) negotiation session of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) agreement held in March 2016, Guyana had said it remained committed to signing the VPA by the end of 2016. A VPA is a legal trade agreement between the EU and an external timber-producing country meant to ensure the legal sourcing of timber and timber products exported to the EU.However, Kenny David, head of the EU FLEGT Secretariat at the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), said in an interview that the deadline has been pushed back to the end of 2017 because it was recognized as too ambitious.“Both parties agreed that to ensure the credibility of the VPA, the timeline had to be adjusted,” David wrote in an email. “After the last round of consultations, which concluded in August, there were some concerns raised by key stakeholders groups, which needed to be addressed.”Those key stakeholders include loggers, logging associations, Amerindian villages and communities, sawmillers, timber exporters and government agencies, and others.David, who is also assistant commissioner of forests for Guyana, has been involved with the negotiation process since the beginning. He said that Guyana and the EU are still working toward their ultimate goal.This is the second time the timeline for signing the agreement has been pushed back. When Guyana began the process in March 2012, the negotiations joint roadmap anticipated ratification in 2015.Ongoing processA National Technical Working Group (NTWG) – a multi-stakeholder group comprising representatives from the private sector, indigenous organizations and government departments – was developed to represent Guyana in the VPA process.Guyana and the EU have developed a draft agreement with 10 annexes that include things like the products covered by the agreement, the Legality Definition (LD) for what constitutes legal forest operations, the procedure for verifying compliance, and the requirements to obtain a FLEGT license, among others.“The NTWG has held discussions on comments which have been received from the most recent consultations, which were held in August 2016,” David said. “These comments, from both local and international stakeholders, will result in some changes to these Annexes.”These changes were incorporated into updated versions of the Annexes that were released on Guyana’s FLEGT website on Jan. 20, 2016. They include minor edits to some Annexes for grammar and clarity, and significant changes to others, including the Guyana Timber Legality Assurance System (GTLAS), which is the procedure to verify legal compliance through the harvesting, transportation, processing and trade of the wood.A comparison between the GTLAS of March 26, 2016 and Jan. 20, 2017 shows that the newer version, added several sections including a breakdown of the enhancements to the existing system to comply with the VPA and definitions of legality and legal timber, among others.The newest Annexes also extend the VPA to an additional product: shingles, meaning the VPA will now cover the trade of timber products in seven commodity areas.Guyana will now field test the system and report back on the results, before the final agreement with the EU can be signed. The testing is expected to begin in the second quarter of the year, according to David.What is FLEGT?The EU’s FLEGT Action Plan was created in 2003 because of growing concern over the illegal logging of forests, particularly in the tropics. It aims to increase sustainable forest management. Guyana is one of nine countries that are currently in the FLEGT negotiation process, which uses a licensing system to ensure timber going to the EU has been harvested and exported in accordance with local laws. Six countries have signed a VPA and are working on systems to meet the requirements.A jaguar (Panthera onca), one of the many animals found in Guyana’s forests that are protected through sustainable logging. Photo by Pascal Blachier via Wikimedia CommonsAccording to the EU FLEGT website, the EU’s strategy involves entering into a bilateral trade agreement between the EU and a timber-exporting country, through a voluntary process whereby “the timber-producing country develops systems to verify that its timber exports are legal, and the EU agrees to accept only licensed imports from that country.”Guyana is building on existing systems to ensure the VPA is easily implementable and achievable, according to David, but the VPA is helping the country to continually seek to improve its systems of tracking and tracing timber.After the initial agreement is signed, it goes back to the governments of both parties for official ratification. Then the VPA moves on to the implementation stage, with the issuance of FLEGT licenses.Once the VPA is officially rolled out, it becomes legally binding on both sides.According to a GFC report in 2013, entitled “Roadmap for Guyana – EU FLEGT VPA Process,” the World Bank estimates that the net loss to developing countries caused by illegal logging is $15 billion a year.“Thereby denying developing countries revenues that could be used to improve the livelihoods of its people,” the report states.Guyana’s draft VPA requires forest sector operators (producers, processors and traders) to show compliance with a range of laws and regulations, including forest regulations, environmental protection laws, tax and employment laws, and regulations governing the traditional rights of Amerindian peoples, among others.The VPA allows for different requirements to show compliance with the laws depending on the size and type of forest sector operator, such as a large international corporation or a local indigenous community.Delays common in FLEGT negotiationsAccording to FLEGT facilitator Alhassan Attah, every VPA that has been concluded faced similar delays in their negotiation timelines as Guyana.Attah, who is based in Guyana, acts as the neutral broker between the EU and the Government of Guyana in the negotiations. He also helps various stakeholders engage in the VPA process, by overseeing a grant program funded by the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and Government of Norway, and facilitated by the NTWG.Before coming to Guyana, Attah led the FLEGT negotiation process in his native Ghana. He also worked for the United Nations as a Senior Trade Policy Adviser at the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat (UNFF).Logging “bulletwood” in the Berbice River, Guyana in 2006. Photo by Jesse Knight via Wikimedia Commons“It has the same challenges,” he said. “Normally the negotiation periods are short, but in reality it takes a much longer period… So for me, it’s not very different from the other countries.”He points to an example in an African country.“If you look at Ghana, initially we thought we could do it in a year, the negotiations, and it took us from 2005 to 2008.” Indonesia also presented challenges: he said the process began in 2005 and was ratified in 2013.In fact, in November 2015, an independent audit by the European Court of Auditors found in general progress on the FLEGT licencing scheme “has been very slow and many countries have struggled to overcome the barriers to good governance.”Of the 15 countries that have entered into discussions since 2005, only Indonesia has officially started to ship wood under the FLEGT legality scheme. They made their first shipment in November 2016.However, some conservation organizations have said that while the processes have been slow globally, they credit the participatory nature of the VPA for providing a roadmap for communities and civil society to be a true partner in managing their forests.Attah said because the process is deliberative and there must be consensus among stakeholders, it can be hard to estimate accurately in the planning the amount of time you will require to address certain social or economic issues. The time between the negotiation, ratification and implementation stages can also take time, he added.“In some countries it’s very short, like six months, three months,” he said. “In other countries, it takes two years; it takes three years. So depends on both the EU and the partner country – their readiness to ratify.”But he added that he thinks Guyana’s process has gone fairly well. “There have been some challenges, but I think the NTWG is working towards addressing those challenges.”Attah said he is hopeful that the initial agreement will be signed this year.Addressing all stakeholder concernsMichael Mc Garrell, GIS Specialist and forest policy officer with the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), says that he thinks overall the VPA process has been beneficial.“What the process has done is that it has opened up a space where stakeholders can talk with each other,” he said, adding that this hadn’t existed prior to the VPA process. “The FLEGT VPA process, we feel actually is a very good thing. We feel that what it has done in Guyana is that it has started to improve forest governance in that sense.”He added that it has brought some key issues to light for more open discussion, but the Amerindian communities still have concerns about their land that they want addressed before the country formally signs on to the agreement.“We want to see something concretely said that, ‘This is how we’re going to approach the land issues,’” he said, suggesting a protocol involving free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), as an example.Mc Garrell explained that one of the main concerns is that many communities do not hold documentation giving them legal title to their lands, giving an example of two Amerindian communities along the Mazaruni River that fall within a number of forestry concessions: Tasarine and Kangaruma.“They do not have legal title to their land, meaning that they don’t have documentation, which shows or says this legally belongs to them, but they have been living there for generations.”He added that the process for Amerindian communities to legally get land in Guyana can take years, but getting forestry or mining concessions only takes a few weeks.“Because of the laws of Guyana, whoever gets the paper first, basically owns the land,” Mc Garrell said. “That is where we have a lot of problems.”Mc Garrell added that while Amerindian communities recognize that the FLEGT VPA process cannot resolve the land issues, they want to see a mechanism written into the document that agrees to address the issues within a certain time period.In the most recent update released in January, the VPA recognizes that it is necessary to respect land rights in order to comply with legal origin of produce. It states, “FLEGT can be used as a platform for the discussion of land ownership issues related to indigenous communities.”While the document does not include a specific timeline, it does recommend establishing a Multi-Stakeholder FLEGT Coordination Committee to facilitate the discussions. It also states the committee will partner with the Land Titling Project, in collaboration with the UNDP.The NTWG does not expect there to be any major changes to the most recent version of Annexes, according to David, though there may still be slight adjustments to the text before it is finalized. Once it is finalized, field-testing will begin. After field-testing is complete, the fifth negotiation session between Guyana and the EU will take place.Alex Abdelwahab is a Canadian freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in Guyana. You can find her on Twitter at @alexabdelwahabBanner image: The rainforests of Guyana. Photo by Loriski via Wikimedia CommonsFEEDBACK: 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. Forestry, Forests, Illegal Logging, Rainforests, Sustainable Forest Management Article published by Genevieve Belmakercenter_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

10 million acres added to Chile’s national park system

first_imgArticle published by Erik Hoffner 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 Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Conservation, conservation players, Habitat, Habitat Loss, Happy-upbeat Environmental, National Parks, Protected Areas, Wildlife center_img The announcement marked the culmination of a plan agreed to in March 2017 by President Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, President and CEO of Tompkins Conservation, to create a network of five new national parks in Chile, and the expansion of three others.As a herd of guanacos grazed in the distance, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared, “With these beautiful lands, their forests, their rich ecosystems, [we] expand the network of parks to more than 10 million acres. Thus, national parklands in Chile will increase by 38.5% to account for 81.1% of Chile’s protected areas.”Tompkins Conservation is a US-based foundation aimed at preventing biodiversity loss and added 1 million acres to the deal — it was founded by Kristine and Doug Tompkins, business leaders of clothing brands The North Face, Esprit, and Patagonia. Yesterday, as a herd of guanacos grazed in the distance, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared, “With these beautiful lands, their forests, their rich ecosystems, [we] expand the network of parks to more than 10 million acres. Thus, national parklands in Chile will increase by 38.5% to account for 81.1% of Chile’s protected areas.”A buzzard eagle soared above as a guanaco in the grasslands behind her took a dust bath in seeming approval.The announcement marked the culmination of a plan agreed to in March 2017 by Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, President and CEO of Tompkins Conservation,  to create a network of five new national parks in Chile, and the expansion of three others.Tompkins Conservation is a US-based foundation aimed at preventing biodiversity loss and was founded by Kristine and Doug Tompkins, business leaders of clothing brands The North Face, Esprit, and Patagonia. Doug Tompkins passed away after a kayaking accident on Chile’s Lake General Carrera in 2015, and Kristine has carried the mission forward.“I am proud of my husband Doug and his vision which continues to guide us, in addition to our entire team, for completing these two national parks and the broader network, a major milestone of our first 25 years of work,” Tompkins said during the signing. “While we will continue to help promote and safeguard these parks, we are beginning to turn our attention [to] new conservation and rewilding projects in Chile and Argentina as we work to save and restore big, wild, and connected ecosystems.”Chile adds Tompkins Conservation’s million acres to 9 million acres of its own federal land. The signed decrees create Pumalín National Park and Patagonia National Park Chile.Read our March 2017 interview with Kristine Tompkins to learn more about the genesis of this project here.Kristine Tompkins and President Michelle Bachelet sign a pledge in March 2017 to expand national parkland in Chile by 10 million acres. Source: Tompkins Conservation.Banner photo: Pumalín Park, via Tompkins ConservationFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post.last_img read more

Mountain lions often lose to wolves and bears, study finds

first_imgWhen the hunting grounds of pumas overlap with those of other top predators, such as wolves, bears and jaguars, pumas are often the losers, a new study has found.The findings from the study, a review of existing scientific literature, are especially important given how pumas are still being intensively hunted over much of their range in a bid to reduce conflicts with people and livestock, researchers say.In some puma habitats where wolves and brown bears are recolonizing and recovering, wildlife managers need to be cautious about hunting limits for pumas, the authors write. The large, secretive puma (Puma concolor) may be at the top of its food chain, but it is not always the king of its territory.Native to the Americas, the puma, also called the mountain lion, cougar, catamount or panther, often shares its habitat with several other top predators, such as wolves, bears, coyotes and jaguars. But when the hunting grounds of these predators overlap, the puma is often the loser, researchers report in a new study published in PeerJ.By reviewing the scientific literature on competition between pumas and other predators, researchers have found that wolves, grizzly bears, black bears and jaguars often dominate pumas. In fact, pumas are subordinate to at least one other top carnivore in 47.5 percent of their range across North and South America. In turn, pumas seem to be dominant only over coyotes and maned wolves.“I recognized the hole in my own understanding of mountain lions — I knew so little about their relationships with other animals,” said lead author Mark Elbroch, lead scientist for puma program at the global wild cat conservation organization Panthera. “A review seemed the ideal way to search for and find research on the subject.”Pumas are often in competition with other top predators. And they don’t always win. Picture by Panthera.Among the top predators, wolves appear to have the strongest influence on mountain lions, dominating pumas on most encounters, Elbroch’s team found. This is likely because wolves hunt in packs and outnumber the generally solitary puma. Wolves often harass pumas, the authors write, and are also known to kill them.Some studies also show that wherever the ranges of pumas and wolves overlap, pumas tend to avoid open areas and restrict their movements to forests and steep areas where they can easily escape from wolves. Pumas also sometimes switch their prey when living alongside wolves.The interactions between grizzly and black bears and pumas is less studied, the researchers found. But the studies that exist show that bears often displace pumas from their kills. So pumas not only lose the food they hunted, but have to spend additional time and energy hunting more prey.Bears taking meals from pumas. Video by Mark Elbroch/Panthera.A young male mountain lion (follow the red arrow) in northwest Wyoming just pushed off his kill by the wolf in the foreground. Photo by Mark Elbroch/Panthera.The study’s findings are especially important given how pumas are still being intensively hunted over much of their range in a bid to reduce conflicts with people and livestock, Elbroch said.Hunting has wiped out mountain lions from the entire eastern half of North America, except for a small population in Florida. Today, pumas occur in parts of western North America, and Central and South America, where they continue to be hunted. In some of these areas, where wolves and bears are recolonizing and recovering, wildlife managers need to be cautious about hunting limits for pumas, the authors write.“New wolves mean life for mountain lions just got a little bit harder,” Elbroch said. “So increasing pressure on mountain lions is the exact opposite of what our review suggests is needed.“Ecosystems are complex, and we must be cautious,” he added. “When we hunt species already affected by numerous other species, we may unintentionally cause rapid declines in that species. To manage wildlife effectively, we must first understand how they fit into their ecosystems.”However, there is a dearth of studies looking at interactions between pumas and other apex carnivores, Elbroch said. And the available research does not go deep enough to link the effects of competition on puma survival.“It’s tough being a mountain lion, which only makes their resilience and ability to live among and in between us that much more remarkable,” Elbroch said. “They continue to amaze me.”Banner image of a mountain lion by Rhett A. Butler.Citation:Elbroch and Kusler (2018), Are pumas subordinate carnivores, and does it matter? PeerJ 6:e4293; DOI 10.7717/peerj.4293 Animals, Bears, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Green, Hunting, Mammals, Mountains, Over-hunting, Research, Wildlife, Wolves 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

Belo Monte legacy: harm from Amazon dam didn’t end with construction (photo story)

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A map showing the Belo Monte mega-dam and reservoir where it bisects a big bend in the Xingu River hangs on the wall of a home in Ilha da Fazenda, a small fishing village a few kilometers from the dam. According to village leader Otavio Cardoso Juruna, an indigenous Juruna, around 40 families live in Ilha da Fazenda, which was founded in 1940. Ilha da Fazenda is a mixed village of indigenous and non-indigenous residents. Residents complain that although they were negatively affected by the dam like others in the region, they were not compensated because they were not designated as an “indigenous village.” There is no potable water, sanitation or healthcare in Ilha da Fazenda, and locals were forced to stop fishing after the dam reduced the river’s flow by 80 percent and massively depleted fish stocks. Otavia said villagers were forming an organization to negotiate for compensation due to the planned Belo Sun goldmine, the region’s next mega-development project. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationThe consensus among environmental experts in Altamira is that Belo Monte with its deforestation and altered river flow also may have accelerated the regional effects of climate change, which were already being felt before it was built. Fish kills occurred and fish stocks plummeted, and turtles that fed on fish were no longer mating, disrupting the livelihoods of traditional communities up and down the Xingu.The irony of Belo Monte is that the compensation doled out to indigenous communities during the dam’s construction – up to $10,000 dollars per month per indigenous group for two years – did much of the damage: the sudden surge in ready cash prompted a rush by rural communities to embrace modern consumer goods and services. As people were uprooted, there was an unprecedented rise in alcoholism, prostitution and inter-tribal feuds; conditions became so bad that it prompted a Brazilian public prosecutor to sue Norte Energia for causing “ethnicide,” – the obliteration of indigenous culture.Then came the Volta Grande mine (also known as the Belo Sun mine) – a separate project to install a massive goldmine downriver from Belo Monte, only 10 kilometers away from the Juruna indigenous group, which had already suffered from the dam’s construction.If built, it would be the largest industrial goldmine in Brazil, dwarfing the Serra Pelada goldmine, made famous by Sebastiao Salgado’s photos in the 1980s, which, like a scene out of Dante’s Inferno, showed laborers struggling in the mud like insects deep inside the multi-leveled hell of a gigantic open pit goldmine.Juruna indigenous group leader Gilliarde Jacinto Juruna, leads an occupation of the Norte Energia offices in the resettlement district of Jatoba, Altamira. Occupations and protests are a constant in the region, as displaced indigenous communities fight for compensation and to ensure that the agreed-to social programs are implemented by the company. Norte Energia has been accused of using only 28 percent of the resources set aside to compensate those affected by the dam, according to the Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA). The company’s operating license has been revoked several times for failing to implement these social projects. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationThere were many local residents in favor of the Volta Grande goldmine, because it brought the promise of work. But environmentalists, small-scale miners and indigenous communities living close by abhorred the project, which they feared spelt disaster for their homes and livelihoods. If the goldmine’s waste dams ever burst, as happened at Brazil’s Samarco mine in 2015, there would be no escape for those living nearby. They would be forced to run for their lives or drown in a biblical wave of toxic mud.Not all the news has been bad along the Xingu River and in the Amazon, as colossal changes have swept Brazil in recent months. The Volta Grande project was stalled by a federal court in December 2017 for not properly consulting indigenous communities. And in an unforeseen U-turn, the Brazilian government scrapped a list of mega-dam projects it had planned, projects that would have displaced thousands of indigenous people, especially those of the Munduruku group.During our time in Altamira, Aaron and I went to investigate the fallout of Belo Monte at the human level, looking in at the minutiae of daily life and speaking to people face-to-face. What we observed is that when people see their cultural connections, communities and environment shattered, no amount of compensation, no matter how big, seems able to replace the void left behind.People resist and adapt to such wrenching changes in all manner of ways, like the Juruna, who have continued to resist the Belo Sun goldmine with political skill and die-hard determination.But for other communities, families or individuals the loss of a cultural connection with their physical surroundings – of home, forest and river – proves too much to endure. It is no surprise that indigenous people in Brazil have among the highest suicide rates in South America, three times the national average of other Brazilians, according to the nation’s Ministry of Health. They are also the people currently most threatened with land loss, and with violence from land conflicts as well.Residents of Altamira who once lived along the river overlook the resettlement district of Jatoba during its construction in 2014. Today there are five such settlements housing those displaced by the Belo Monte dam. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationWhile the current Brazilian government under Michel Temer has for now shelved plans to build big dams, that policy could shift with the October national elections. Meanwhile, wildcat logging and illegal mining, along with land theft, continues unabated and represents a major threat to forests throughout Brazil.Deforestation spiked in 2016, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, representing a 75 percent increase after a historic low in 2012, and with the bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby controlling Congress, most experts expect deforestation to rise this year, and likely in years ahead, increasing greenhouse gas releases and threatening Brazil’s Paris Climate Agreement pledge.Today, the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam stands as a warning – proof of the damage caused by ill-conceived Amazon mega-projects. Due to escalating climate change and drought that is reducing Xingu River flows, the dam seems almost certain to never fulfill promised economic or energy producing goals. And today, those whose lives were shattered by the corporate damning of the “river of gods” struggle to find a way forward.Fisherman Raimundu Morais Araujo stands in the empty foundation of his home on the banks of the Xingu River. Norte Energia, the consortium that built the Belo Monte dam, destroyed his home and filled his well with rocks to prevent his return. But his land only floods when there is more rainfall than usual. By February 2017, some displaced fishing families that used to live along the river, returned to occupy the edges of the 200-square mile reservoir in a bold move to reclaim their way of life. Hundreds of fishing families have now resettled, and are lobbying the government for financial support and legal recognition. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationMany riverside residents displaced by Belo Monte were relocated to new communities such as Agua Azul, seen here in 2016. The new neighborhoods are far from the Xingu River where the people used to live and fish, and offer little in the way of employment. The distance from the river and town center makes transport another issue, and some residents feel stranded. Many of the displaced families are ribeirinhos, meaning “river people.” Ribeirinhos are traditional people who have a shared history going back more than 100 years in the Brazilian Amazon, when settlers came to find work during rubber booms in the 19th, and later, the 20th Century. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationFlooded Islands and dead trees in the Belo Monte dam’s reservoir. Ribeirinhos (“river-people”) used to populate these many islands, which have now been flooded. Norte Energia was legally required to fell trees before the region was flooded to reduce methane emissions, adding to global warming, but many were simply left to rot in violation of the agreement with the government. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationA young woman is carried by her friends out of a nightclub in Altamira in 2016. She was placed on the back of a motorcycle, unconscious, and presumably taken to a hospital. Altamira has been through a number of economic booms, including the rubber boom in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the TransAmazon Highway construction boom, which opened up the Amazon’s interior to settlement. The most recent boom came with the building of the Belo Monte Dam, a six-billion dollar project which made the population swell. However, a month after construction ended in 2015, 20,000 workers were laid off, and the economy crashed by 52 percent. Violence and alcoholism also spiked. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationMaria, an indigenous Xikrin Kayapo woman, stands in the gate of the Casa do Indios, which offers state-funded accommodations for indigenous people visiting the city of Altamira. The Xikrin live along the Bacaja River (a major tributary to the Xingu), which has also been negatively affected by the Belo Monte dam. Illegal gold mining has become a severe problem on the Upper Bacaja, which now has lower water levels since the dam was completed. Indigenous communities and health experts fear mercury poisoning from the highly toxic mining activities upriver. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationJose Pereira Cunha, known as “Pirolito” (Lollipop head), is the vice-president of a small gold miners cooperative in the town of Ressaca. While it is not an affluent lifestyle, Pirolito explains that mining is more than that for him and other small-scale miners, “it’s about having autonomy,” he says. Ressaca is a historic mining town founded in the 1940s, with around 300 families living there. Small-scale, or artisanal, gold-mining employs around 200,000 people in Brazil. Although there are laws regulating the highly toxic activity, which uses mercury to extract gold, in practice the laws are very hard to enforce because of lack of government funding and the logistics of imposing law deep in the Amazon. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationA boat-hoist that uses tractors to pull boats around to the other side of the Pimental Dam, which forms part of the Belo Monte dam complex. Locals and Indigenous communities must still navigate the Xingu River, and to do so must repeatedly get around the dam. The boat hoist is a permanent service offered by Norte Energia, the consortium that built and operates the dam. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationMarch 18, 2014: executives from Norte Energia stand behind National Force soldiers before negotiating with a group of fisherman who have occupied the entrance to a construction site in order to protest impacts to their waters and way of life. By February 2017, displaced fishing families that used to live along the river returned to occupy the edges of the 200-square mile reservoir in a bold move to reclaim their way of life. Over a hundred families have now resettled, and are lobbying the government for financial support and legal recognition. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationIndigenous Juruna from the Paquiçamba Reserve at a 2016 public audience where ribeirinho (river-dwelling) communities voice their grievances to Norte Energia, the dam’s builder, and Brazil’s Public Ministry (independent federal prosecutors). Belo Monte displaced about 20,000 people, according to estimates by global NGOs such as International Rivers. The Brazilian advocacy group Xingu Vivo has put the number much higher, at over 50,000. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationCaboco Juruna from the indigenous Juruna Paquiçamba Reserve fishes for Acarí fish on the “Big Bend” of the Xingu River in 2016. Juruna means “kings of the river,” though the community now considers the Xingu all but dead. Caboco traps fish using a net or an improvised harpoon fashioned from an iron bar. This part of the river has had it’s water flow reduced by 80 percent after damming, which has threatened fishing livelihoods. The Juruna traditionally lived off several varieties of Acari fish – eating some and selling others as ornamental fish in nearby Altamira. The ornamental Acari Zebra is unique in that it is only found on the Big Bend of the Xingu, which has its own unique ecosystem. The community is now worried that the construction of the Belo Sun goldmine upstream, which would be the largest open pit gold mine in Brazil, will further damage the river and their way of life. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationThe tomb of Jariel Juruna in the village of Mïratu, Paquiçamba Reserve. Jarliel Juruna drowned in late November 2016 while attempting to dive for a prized species of Acari, which requires swimming down to depths of up to 65 feet using compressors. On this attempt, Jarliel’s compressor malfunctioned; he died at age 20, and the Juruna community was deeply in mourning when we arrived in Miratu. The Juruna blame the Belo Monte dam for cutting off the flow of the river and pushing all the fish into deeper waters. Jarliel’s mother also blamed Norte Energia for providing faulty tubes connected to the compressor. The Juruna said that before the Xingu was dammed, fish were plentiful in the river’s shallows. The community continues fighting for their indigenous rights. The Juruna have embarked on an independent project that monitors fish stocks along the Xingu River, with the help of the Brazil-based Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA), and they are holding Norte Energia to account for what they view as a disastrous compensation scheme. (In 2015, the state public prosecutor’s office filed a civil lawsuit against Norte Energia accusing it of causing “ethnocide” because of the way it implemented its compensation scheme during the dam’s construction.) Norte Energia has categorically denied these accusations. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia Foundation Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Climate Change and Dams, Controversial, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corporate Responsibility, Corruption, Culture, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, electricity, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Crime, environmental justice, Environmental Politics, Ethnocide, Featured, Flooding, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forests, Green, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mining, Photography, Photos, Protests, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Rivers, Saving The Amazon, Social Conflict, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation The controversial Belo Monte dam, operational in 2016 and the world’s third biggest, was forced on the people of Altamira, Pará state, and is now believed to have been built largely as payback to Brazil’s construction industry by the nation’s then ruling Workers’ Party for campaign contributions received.The dam was opposed by an alliance of indigenous and traditional communities, and international environmentalists, all to no avail. Today, the media coverage that once turned the world’s eyes toward Belo Monte, has gone away. But that hasn’t ended the suffering and harm resulting from the project.Tens of thousands of indigenous and traditional people were forced from their homes, and had to give up their fishing livelihoods. Meanwhile, the city of Altamira endured boom and bust, as workers flooded in, then abandoned it. The Belo Sun goldmine, if ever built, also continues to be a potential threat.In this story, Mongabay contributor Maximo Anderson and photographer Aaron Vincent Elkaim document the ongoing harm being done by the giant dam. Belo Monte, today, stands as a warning regarding the urgent need to properly assess and plan for mega-infrastructure projects in Amazonia. A girl stands alone in a flooded home in the Palifitas neighborhood of Invasão dos Padres, Altamira. The neighborhood has now been completely destroyed by the Belo Monte dam. The area where the community once stood is being turned into a public park by the Norte Energia consortium which built and operates Belo Monte. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationThe future of Brazil’s mega-dam construction program is unclear, with one part of the Temer government declaring it an end, while another says the program should go on. More clear is the ongoing harm being done by the giant hydroelectric projects already completed to the environment, indigenous and traditional communities.A case in point: the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam and reservoir, located on the Amazon’s Xingu River, and the third largest such project in the world.Photographer Aaron Vincent Elkaim and I spent three months in the Brazilian Amazon, between November 2016 and January 2017, documenting Belo Monte after it became operational.We were based in Altamira, a once small Amazonian city that saw explosive growth when the Brazilian government decided to build the controversial six-billion-dollar mega-dam.The dam was built in a record three years, despite widespread outrage and protests from locals, along with the environmental, indigenous and international community. Major public figures including rock star Sting, filmmaker James Cameron, and politician and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger waged a high-profile media campaign against the project, but even these lobbying efforts weren’t enough to change the direction of the Dilma Rousseff administration, which was ruling Brazil at the time.Ana De Francisco, an Altamira-based anthropologist and her son Thomas, visit the Belo Monte Dam in 2016. De Fransisco works for the regional office of the Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA), an influential Brazilian NGO focusing on environmental and human rights issues. She has been doing research for her PhD on the displacement of ribeirinho (traditional riverine) communities in the Xingu region. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationUltimately at least 20,000 people were displaced by the dam, according to NGO and environmental watchdog, International Rivers, though the local nonprofit, Xingu Vivo, puts the number at 50,000. Eventually, the project succeeded in staunching the once mighty Xingu, a major tributary to the Amazon and lifeblood to thousands of indigenous and forest-dwelling communities.Altamira, which lies just downstream from the dam, was transformed overnight becoming a raucous boomtown: the population shot up from 100,000 to 160,000 in just two years. Hotels, restaurants and housing sprang up. So did brothels. According to one widely circulated anecdote, there was so much demand for sex workers in Altamira at the time, that prostitutes asked local representatives of Norte Energia, the consortium building the dam, to stagger monthly pay checks to their employees, so as not to overwhelm escorts on payday.The boom didn’t last. The end of construction in 2015 signaled an exodus; 50,000 workers left, jobs vanished, violence surged in the city, as did a major health crisis that overwhelmed the local hospital when raw sewage backed up behind the dam.Boys climb a tree flooded by the Xingu River in 2014. Today, one-third of the city of Altamira has been permanently flooded by the Belo Monte Dam that displaced more than 20,000 people, destroying indigenous and ribeirinho (river-dwelling) traditional communities. The effects were so severe that Norte Energia, the company behind the dam, has been required to carry out a six-year study to measure the environmental and social impacts of Belo Monte and to determine if indigenous and fishing communities can continue to live downriver from the dam. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Alexia FoundationWhen Aaron and I arrived in Altamira in 2016, the city still held some charm. Families strolled a popular boulevard skirting the Xingu River in the evening, and restaurants stayed open until late. But Aaron, having spent two years in the region before me, saw a different Altamira. He described the city I was seeing as “hollow,” and noted the disappearance of vibrant communities of ribeirinhos, “river people,” who had lived for generations by fishing at the riverside, and had been displaced by the dam. Many were relocated by the Norte Energia consortium to cookie-cutter suburban homes on the edge of town, far from the river and their fishing livelihood, and without access to public transportation.Ana de Francisco, an Altamira-based anthropologist and expert on ribeirinho communities, estimates that as many as 5,000 of these families were displaced.Belo Monte was no Three Gorges Dam – the Chinese project that displaced over a million people in 2009 – but it did wreak havoc; destroying communities and traditional ways of life, while also damaging the Xingu’s aquatic ecosystem, which has unique fish and turtle species. Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

The world’s last male northern white rhino has died

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Green, Mammals, Northern White Rhino, Rhinos, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Sudan, a 45-year-old rhino believed to be the world’s last surviving male northern white rhino, died at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19.Sudan had been battling ill health over the past few months, and after his condition worsened considerably in the last 24 hours, veterinarians decided to euthanize him.Sudan lived at Ol Pejeta with the only other northern white rhinos left on Earth — his daughter, Najin, and her daughter, Fatu — under 24-hour armed surveillance.The survival of the species now hinges on costly and never-before-attempted in vitro fertilization using eggs from the remaining females, stored sperm samples, and southern white rhino females as surrogates. The fate of the northern white rhinoceros now hangs by an extremely thin thread.Forty-five-year-old Sudan, believed to be the world’s last surviving male northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), died at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19.Sudan fell gravely ill earlier this month following a series of infections and age-related health issues that developed last year. Veterinarians worked around the clock to save him, but his condition deteriorated considerably in the last 24 hours, with Sudan unable to stand up, according to a press release from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and U.S.-based conservation group WildAid. Given the extent of the rhino’s suffering, the team of veterinarians from the Czech Republic-based Dvůr Králové Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him.Sudan lived at Ol Pejeta with two elderly female northern white rhinos — his daughter, Najin, and her daughter, Fatu — under 24-hour armed surveillance. The two females are now the last known members of this once wide-ranging subspecies.“We at Ol Pejeta are all saddened by Sudan’s death,” Richard Vigne, Ol Pejeta Conservancy CEO, said in the statement. “He was an amazing rhino, a great ambassador for his species, and will be remembered for the work he did to raise awareness globally of the plight facing not only rhinos, but also the many thousands of other species facing extinction as a result of unsustainable human activity. One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists worldwide.”It is with great sadness that Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the Dvůr Králové Zoo announce that Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, age 45, died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on March 19th, 2018 (yesterday). #SudanForever #TheLoneBachelorGone #Only2Left pic.twitter.com/1ncvmjZTy1— Ol Pejeta (@OlPejeta) March 20, 2018The only hope for this subspecies now exists in developing artificial reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), experts say. Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Dvůr Králové Zoo are partnering with the Berlin-based Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research; Avantea, a medical laboratory in Cremona, Italy, specializing in IVF; and Kenya Wildlife Service to carry out the first-ever IVF procedure. This will involve safely removing egg cells from the two remaining females, fertilizing these with stored semen samples collected from now-dead northern white males, and inserting the resulting embryos into female southern white rhinos that will act as surrogates. The procedure could cost as much as $9 million.“This has never been done before in rhinos, and does not come without risks. Yet this is the hope for preserving an entire subspecies,” the press release said.Mother and daughter Najin and Fatu are now the last two northern white rhinos left on Earth. Screengrab from video courtesy of WildAid.Northern white rhinos were once found across Uganda, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo. But intense poaching to meet rhino horn demand in China and other Asian countries wiped out most populations, leaving just 20 to 30 rhinos by the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2008, conservationists considered the subspecies to be extinct in the wild.Other rhino species are under immense threat from poaching and habitat loss as well. For example, as few as 30 Sumatran rhinos, along with about 60 Javan rhinos are believed to be surviving in the wild.“We can only hope that the world learns from the sad loss of Sudan and takes every measure to end all trade in rhino horn,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights. “While prices of rhino horn are falling in China and Vietnam, poaching for horn still threatens all rhino species.”Sudan, now dead at the age of 45. Screengrab from video courtesy of WildAid. 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

Robbery accused released on $150,000 bail

first_imgHaving been remanded by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on charges of armed robbery and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition, 30-year-old Charles Stoby of Hadfield Street, Georgetown was released on bail last week when he appeared before Magistrate Leron Daly.Stoby had made his first court appearance on November 9, 2018 before the Chief Magistrate, slapped with charges which stated that on October 22, 2018 at Gordon Street, Kitty, while being armed with a gun, he robbed Kester Roberts of jewellery among other items valued at $536,000.He was also charged for possession of an illegal firearm with matching ammunition.After being incarcerated for over a month, Stoby was given his pre-trail liberty when he posted bail of $150,000 on each charge. A condition of his bail is that he is required to report to the Brickdam Police Station weekly.The defendant is expected to reappear in court on January 11, 2019.last_img read more

Manchester UTD want to sign Alexis Sanchez

first_img0Shares0000Manchester manager Jose Mourinho is thought to be willing to offer midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a swap deal for the Chile international.LONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 11 – Manchester United want to sign Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal and have made contact with his representatives, according to reports.It is understood United boss Jose Mourinho also wants rid of Henrikh Mkhitaryan this month. Sky in Italy are reporting that United are willing to consider involving the Armenia international midfielder in a swap deal for Sanchez, whose representatives have been contacted by those of United.Sky in Italy also understand United are ready to pay more than Manchester City for the Chile star, and would give him a higher wage.Sky Sports News – who have contacted United for their reaction – have received no information to suggest Arsenal have received a formal offer for the player at this stage.According to Sky in Italy, City already have a financial package in place for Sanchez, should he leave Arsenal in the summer when his contract expires.The potential deal would earn Sanchez £13m a year in wages, with the 29-year-old receiving a £30m signing-on-fee.Sky Sports News understands City are still keen on signing Sanchez, but may wait until the summer to avoid upsetting the balance of the squad which boasts a 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League.Pep Guardiola’s side made a £60m Deadline Day approach for Sanchez, however, the deal collapsed when Arsenal were unable to sign Thomas Lemar as a replacement from Monaco.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Transfer rumours and paper review – Monday, November 24

first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Monday’s newspapers…Arsenal are showing interest in Basel centre-half Fabian Schar, 22, and could make a move for him in January. (Daily Star) Manchester United and Arsenal are competing for the £12m signature of 20-year-old Hull left back Andy Robertson, who cost the Tigers just £2.85m from Dundee United in the summer. (Daily Express) Everton manager Roberto Martinez wants to sign Wigan midfielder Shaun Maloney, 31, who he managed during his time as boss of the Latics. (Daily Mail) Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, 27, could leave Anfield to join up with former Reds boss Rafa Benitez at Napoli in January. (Daily Star) Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi, 21, dubbed the new Ronaldo, is being linked with a £28m summer move to Liverpool or Chelsea. (Daily Express) Liverpool are planning for life after Brendan Rodgers after lining up Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp as his potential replacement. (Metro)last_img read more

Wydad survive siege to hold Sundowns

first_img0Shares0000Tiyani Mabunda of Mamelodi Sundowns is challenged by Alejandro Quintana of Wydad during their 2018 CAF Champions League tie on May 5, 2018. PHOTO/AFPJOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 6- CAF Champions League title-holders Wydad Casablanca of Morocco survived a late siege by Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in Pretoria Saturday to force a 1-1 matchday one draw.Sundowns made a perfect start to the Group C clash between the last two winners of the elite African club competition by going ahead within three minutes. Ivorian Cheick Comara turned a Sibusiso Vilakazi cross into his net, although the goal was awarded only after the Cameroon referee overruled his assistant, who had signalled a corner.Wydad responded with an adventurous approach that paid off on 20 minutes when Ismail el Haddad darted forward to nod a cross past Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango.El Haddad will score few simpler goals as several Sundowns defenders stood still, believing the ball had crossed the line before being floated into the goalmouth.Rattled by the goal, Sundowns were lucky not to fall behind soon after when Wydad captain Brahim Nakach surged into the box only to blaze wide.After a thrilling first half, the second 45 minutes was a let-down as Wydad tired in the 1,340-metre (4,395-feet) altitude and wasted time whenever possible.Wydad edged 2016 Champions League winners Sundowns on penalties in the quarter-finals last season after both clubs won 1-0 at home.The draw completed an eventful day for Sundowns after news leaked that they will face Spanish giants Barcelona on May 16, and signed Guinea-Bissau striker Toni Silva.The friendly against Barca is expected to be confirmed in Spain Monday and will be staged at the 90,000-capacity Soccer City stadium in Soweto.It will be the second visit of Barcelona to South Africa, having beaten Sundowns in Pretoria 11 years ago.Silva was on the books of Benfica, Chelsea and Liverpool as a youth and moves to South Africa from Greek outfit Levadiakos.In the other Group C match, Horoya of Guinea kept a 100 percent away record in the competition this season by edging Port of Togo 2-1 in Lome with captain Aboubacar Camara scoring the winner.Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo made an impressive start in Group B by whipping fellow former African champions Entente Setif of Algeria 4-1 in Lubumbashi.The pick of the goals was the opener on 10 minutes as quick, slick passing created gaps in the Setif defence and Ben Malango fired a cross into the net from close range.Malango bagged a brace and Elia Meschak and Zambian Nathan Sinkala also scored for Mazembe.Group D favourites Etoile Sahel of Tunisia, the only winners of all five present and past CAF club competitions, came from behind to hold Primeiro Agosto of Angola 1-1 in Luanda.Lompala Bokamba struck the ball into the corner of the net from just outside the box on 43 minutes and Ammar Jemal headed the equaliser midway through the second half after a free-kick.In the same section, Mongaliso Shongwe scored on 80 minutes to earn Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland a 1-1 draw away to 2016 Champions League semi-finalists Zesco United of Zambia in Ndola.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more