Manchester City will train in the Wanda Metropolitano

first_imgThe Manchester City coach usually does a session the morning of the game and will perform it at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium. And he has also decided that he will do the training on Thursday, the day after the game, also at the Atlético stadium, after exercising to travel back to Manchester. Pep Guardiola has chosen to take his Manchester City to Atlético Stadium the morning of the match against Real Madrid. The City will be exercised on Wednesday morning at the Wanda Metropolitano to prepare the latest details. On Tuesday afternoon, the official UEFA Champions League training will take place at the Santiago Bernabéu, as well as the official Pep Guardiola press conference.last_img

Big data timber exchange partners with FSC in Brazil

first_imgBVRio pulls together data on the pricing, supply chain and certification of timber and wood products through its Responsible Timber Exchange.Since opening in November 2016, the exchange has fielded more than 400 offers for 5 million cubic meters of timber.The partnership with the Forest Stewardship Council is aimed at bolstering the market for certified forest products. An exchange for legally harvested timber in Brazil now has a new backer in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), perhaps the best-known international certification group for forest products.The BVRio Institute, a Brazil-based nonprofit organization that takes a market-based approach to issues involving environmental compliance and sustainability, launched the Responsible Timber Exchange in November 2016. BVRio and FSC announced the agreement on March 7.“We are delighted to be able to develop this agenda with FSC Brasil,” said Mauricio Costa Moura, director of the Responsible Timber Exchange, in a statement. “This partnership provides us the recognition that we are aligned with the same goals.”Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe Responsible Timber Exchange provides pricing, supply chain and certification information to companies that buy forest products from several countries, including Brazil. A representative of BVRio told Mongabay in November that their aim was to provide access to sustainably and legally harvested timber in a sector in which supply chains and sources are often shrouded in secrecy.The BVRio Institute investigated Brazilian timber production in 2016 and found that only about 30 percent of operators in the states of Pará and Mato Grosso, which account for 70 percent of Brazil’s timber production, showed “no indication of infringements, irregularities or non-compliance” between 2007 and 2015.Since launching three and a half months ago, BVRio said the Responsible Timber Exchange has fielded more than 400 offers for some 5 million cubic meters (177 million cubic feet) of timber, 30 percent of which was FSC-certified.Aline Tristão, the executive director of FSC Brazil, said that the agreement would also provide a boost to his organization’s goals.“[T]his agreement is very important and adds to other initiatives that we have been pursuing in order to fight against deforestation and illegality in the timber industry, fostering the widespread use of certified wood,” Tristão said in the statement.She added that teaming up with the Responsible Timber Exchange would lead to “the adoption of best practices and [creation of] more business opportunities, expanding people’s awareness about the importance of consuming forest products that originate from a good management plan.”In Brazil, FSC said that more than 6 million hectares (23,166 square miles) are certified.Previously, BVRio developed software that pulled together the massive amounts of information available on the sources and handling of timber and wood products. Since the launch of these tools in 2015, BVRio said that the system had been used for more than 1 billion data checks.Collaborating with FSC will help bolster the “supply and demand for certified products,” according to the statement.Under the exchange, buyers can check on a lot’s certification by FSC and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. Companies interested in buying wood from Indonesia that’s listed on the website can also verify that it meets the requirements of the country’s recently implemented voluntary partnership agreement with the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade, or FLEGT, licensing system.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Banner image of FSC-certified wood in Peru by Rhett A. Butler. Amazon Logging, Certification, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forest Stewardship Council, Forestry, Forests, Illegal Logging, Logging, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Video Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by John Cannonlast_img read more

Cattle ranching threatens core of Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua

first_imgIn the last five years (2011-2016) more than 54,000 hectares of forests were converted to grasslands in the core area of ​​the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua, which represents 19.4 percent of its size.According to data published by the Nicaraguan Export Processing Centre, last January, beef was Nicaragua’s main export product with more than $43.9 million in sales.Livestock production in Nicaragua typically consists of allocating one block (0.7 hectares) for each head of cattle, which explains, in part, why the development of this industry threatens sites such as the reserve.The sale of land for agricultural production in southeastern Nicaragua has not only displaced human populations into the depths of the forest, it also makes them migrate to the cities of Nueva Guinea and Bluefields, or Costa Rica, in search of better incomes. SOUTHEAST BIOSPHERE RESERVE, Nicaragua – The Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua is bigger than countries like Qatar or Jamaica and shelters 526 species of birds—more species than can be found in Europe. Although it is said to be the kingdom of the jaguar (Panthera onca), cows appear to be more common nowadays.This contradiction is the result of almost 50 years of human depredation in the lush forest, which despite the agricultural pressure to which it is subjected, has the equivalent of 10 percent of the planet’s species, according to data from the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA).Mongabay-Latam visited the area and it was possible to observe the human-forest conflict: the forest that used to reach the edge of the road that links Southeastern Nicaragua to the Pacific is nowhere to be seen. In the less populated areas only cattle farms exist.In Nicaragua, cattle producers allocate one block of land for each cow, which translates into the disappearance of thousands of forests within the natural reserves. Photo by Wilder Pérez R. for MongabayAlthough the area now has better infrastructure, traveling by bus is still a challenge. To get to Nueva Guinea, a municipality located inside the reserve, you have to leave at midnight. Despite the excellent condition of the road, the trip can take between six to eight hours. The bus will drop you off 200 kilometers from Managua, and from there, you have to take another bus that will get you to your destination.The reserve extends over 13,923 square kilometers, of which half, 52 percent, is considered a buffer zone—controlled human activities with low impact development are allowed—the next 28 percent is the so-called transition zone, with more stringent regulations; and the remaining 20 percent is the core zone, where land use change is not allowed and is the least affected by the local livestock development.Although livestock is one of the main sectors of Nicaragua’s economy, its level of production is not optimal. Photo by Wilder Pérez R. for MongabaySeven protected areas make up the reserveThe seven protected areas that make up the reserve are the Fortress of the Immaculate Conception Historical Monument, the Solentiname Islands National Monument, Río San Juan of Nicaragua and Los Guatuzos Wildlife Refuges, Indio Maíz Biological Reserve and the Cerro Silva and Punta Gorda Natural Reserve.Inside these protected areas one can find impenetrable rainforests, coastal areas of the Caribbean Sea, the country’s most voluminous river (San Juan of Nicaragua), and islands south of Nicaragua’s Great Lake, or Cocibolca.Today, high biodiversity is mainly seen in the core zones of each protected area that make up the great reserve, not because they are protected, but because they are difficult to access. The easier way to access most of them is by taking a small plane and then paying for a private boat. The areas of easier access require your own transportation; a motorcycle is ideal because crossing the rivers and rocky roads is more complicated.The Solentiname Islands National Monument, part of the Southeast Biosphere Reserve. Photo via Wikimedia commonsLife is different within the core areas of the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua; plants are scattered and human presence is scarce. Time seems to freeze between the stillness of the leaves and the infinite chirping of cicadas, there are more orchids in the trees that one can count, and less visible fauna than one expects.In the reserve, in addition to the jaguar, you can also find species such as the wild boar (Tayassu pecari), the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), the crocodile (Crocodylus Acutus), the three-toed sloth (Barypus variegatus), the anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the green macaw (Ara ambiguus), the red macaw (Ara macao), and the manatee (Trichechus manatus), among others.In the last two decades, some populations of threatened species have been further reduced. There are large mammals that today can only be observed with trap cameras, a mechanism that was used by biologist Sandra H. Potosme between 2010 and 2014 when she investigated the presence of jaguars in the Caribbean Biological Corridor. On the contrary, the number of cattle exceeds 1.1 million in the municipality of Nueva Guinea, according to data of the most recent National Agricultural Census (2011).Nueva Guinea, located in the South Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACS), 282 kilometers from Managua, is located in the buffer zone of the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast of Nicaragua; due to its location, the municipality is used by livestock producers to get to the core zone.In 1992, Nicaragua’s former president, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, declared southeastern Nicaragua “a territory of sustainable development” in an attempt to curb the expansion of extensive cattle ranching and promote forest management; however, it did not work. In 2003, the government of Enrique Bolaños managed to declare the zone a Biosphere Reserve, after MARENA designed a strategy of sustainable management.The economic weight of livestockStatistics from the Export Processing Centre (Cetrex) confirm that livestock production in the country, far from being controlled, enjoys great dynamism: last January, beef was Nicaragua’s main export product with more than $43.9 million in sales.In fact, five of the top 15 products exported by Nicaragua in January 2017 fell inside the livestock category, while none of the forest production category appears in the top 30.The remaining four livestock products are cheese ($10.2 million), milk ($4.6 million), edible offal and viscera of cattle ($2.3 million), and live cattle ($2.1 million).Adding up all the timber products sold last January, from lumber to furniture, the industry sold $1.4 million, demonstrating how livestock production has developed more than the forestry industry in Nicaragua, despite legal attempts to preserve the country’s forestry vocation, including that of the Southeast.Cattle production is a stable business in Nicaragua, which puts pressure on the forested areas of the southeast of the country. Photo by Wilder Pérez R. for MongabayOfficial statistics are not a coincidence. In the ranking of the 20 Nicaraguan products with the largest sales abroad throughout 2016, beef displaced raw gold in the first position, with sales of $430 million; cheese came fourth with $116 million in exports; milk in position 11 with $51 million; live cattle in 13 with $28 million; and edible offal and viscera of cattle in the 16th place with $24 million.Although these data belonged to all the Nicaraguan livestock production, Jurgen Guevara Alonso, the head of Extractive Industries for the environmental NGO Humboldt Center, recalled that three-quarters of the Nicaraguan territory is forested, although the soil is used for other activities, such as agriculture, or livestock in the case of Nueva Guinea.Nueva Guinea is not a conventional cattle ranch municipality. According to the latest National Agricultural Census (IV Cenagro 2011), this is the jurisdiction with the most cattle farms in Nicaragua, all developed in the buffer zone of the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua.Despite the strong impact of livestock farming on forests, the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua is the area with the most cattle activity in the country. Photo by Wilder Pérez R. for MongabayAccording to the census, of a total of 136,687 records of livestock activity in Nicaragua, 19,193 are established in Nueva Guinea, which represents 14 percent.This positions Nueva Guinea as the Nicaraguan municipality with the greatest livestock activity—despite being inside the reserve—surpassing even jurisdictions that are known historically for cattle ranching activities, such as Boaco and Chontales, in the central part of the country.Distinguishing areas of cattle ranching on a satellite map is challenging because they are combined with forested areas in a sort of mosaic around the core areas.The threat of ‘chontalinization’What happened in Nueva Guinea and is now affecting the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua is locally known as ‘chontalinization:’ the transformation of forests into land for extensive cattle ranching. This happened at the end of the last century in the province of Chontales, in the center of the country, where pastures replaced forests.Extensive livestock farming is the most widely used production technique in Nicaragua, and consists of allocating one block (0.7 hectares) for each head of cattle, which explains, in part, why the development of this industry threatens sites such as the southeast reserve, where there is constant rain and the terrain is flat and suitable for the fast growth of pasture.Attracted by these advantages, farmer José Santos Casco arrived in Nueva Guinea more than three decades ago. With around 1,200 head of cattle on his farms, today he is one of the biggest cattle producers in the southeast.In southeastern Nicaragua, forests can still be seen near pastures; deforestation gradually gains ground towards the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua. Photo by Wilder Pérez R. for Mongabay“I was Chinandegano (from the northwest), now I am from Nueva Guinea, we came here because of the same problem: in the northern area we have little rain, and since we like cattle ranching, we came here because it rains all year round,” said Casco.Like most of the wealthiest ranchers in the area, Casco wears a plaid shirt, jeans, boots, and a hat. His simplicity contrasts with the SUV parked near his spacious house. He has no problem taking responsibility for forest degradation, but also insists that he is now aware of forest conservation, something he did not know when he first arrived in Nueva Guinea.Not all ranchers are like Casco. Most people avoid talking to strangers, even if they were sent by somebody the rancher knew. After apologizing, they continue working on their farms, side by side with their employees, sinking their rubber boots into the mud while they inspect the cattle, give orders to take the cows that have already been milked to the paddocks, remind the landlord that fences need repair, and ask for a horse so that they can supervise the lands that are destined for cattle ranching.‘Chontalinization’ began in southeastern Nicaragua in the late 1960s as a result of a volcanic eruption in the northwest, across the country.“With the eruption of Cerro Negro in 1968, the government decided to transport some of the victims to those remote places (southeastern Nicaragua) as a solution to the destruction of their crops. But these people knew nothing of forest management so they began cutting down forests,” Jaime Incer Barquero, scientist and the presidential advisor for environmental issues, told Mongabay-Latam.Deforestation and desertification in southeastern Nicaragua has not stopped since then, not with the establishment of the seven protected areas that make up the Biosphere Reserve nor with the investment of more than $80,000 in park ranger monitoring posts between 1999 and 2003, as part of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB).Landscapes such as these are common in the buffer zone of the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua, where forests formerly dominated. Photo by Wilder Pérez R. for MongabayThis is confirmed by the latest report issued by the Humboldt Center (2016), specifying that in the last five years (2011-2016) more than 54,000 hectares of forests were converted into grasslands in the core area of the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua: 19.4 percent of its size.However, verifying the transformation of forests into grasslands within the core zone is complicated, as these patches are dispersed and often one can find peasants with a maximum of five livestock.Getting to the core area of the reserve through Nueva Guinea is not easy, the poor state of the roads or lack thereof, as well as the lack of transportation, makes it difficult to enter the area. Also, some farmers present a hostile attitude because they see the presence of people from outside the area as a threat.That is why an evangelical pastor of Punta Gorda, in the northern part of the biosphere reserve, refuses to give his name but confirms that “there is cattle (in the core area), not much, but there is. It’s hard to find the owners, and if you see them they just do not want to talk to you. They do not say anything because they know they have their business inside the core area.”Researcher Amaru Ruiz, who studies the dynamics of land concentration for the environmental NGO Fundación del Río and the agency for inclusive development Nitlapan, confirmed that in the core area there are families who own two to five head of cattle, although their activity is mainly agricultural.It is possible that the authorities have the exact data, but officials give different excuses for not revealing them. In Nueva Guinea, the local government also opted to close the Office of Public Information and send the press chief to attend the Municipal Library, where it has discretionary hours.But this is not an isolated case, the government of Daniel Ortega is characterized by providing public information only through official media, or by the daily speeches of the vice president Rosario Murillo, with all the limitations that this entails.The advance of cattle ranching into the forestAccording to Ruiz, ‘chontalinization’ advances due to “a land purchase issue that has generated population displacement, which in turn increases the invasion-deforestation processes inside the reserve.”According to cattle producer Alfredo Hidalgo, the acquisition and sale of land happens in different ways inside the reserve. The most common one is when large cattle farmers deliver some of their cattle to small producers established in plots deeper inside the reserve—they sometimes also force animals inside their plots—and force them to sell their land.The purchase and sale of land for livestock production is a common practice inside the buffer zone of the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua. Photo by Wilder Pérez R. for MongabayThe farmer states that there are people who steal livestock and then register them under their name, which means they need more land for their stolen cows.There are also properties that lose value for agricultural companies and are taken advantage of by farmers. Also there are ones offered by the ‘tomatierras’ who take the government’s word, which in different ways promote cattle raising and farm titling in the area, as happened in the municipality of El Almendro in the last decade, which gave rise to villages such as La Filadelfia in 2006, in the buffer zone of the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua.“The government continues to encourage and resolve social problems by expelling peasants and forcing them to move inside forest reserves, even at the expense of affecting indigenous communities,” added Incer Barquero, who said that he does not worry about a possible dismissal as a presidential adviser for criticizing the Executive.Likewise, Ruiz believes that the government has direct responsibility for what is happening.“The public policies favoring the raising, fattening and selling of livestock promoted by the government, coupled with the extensive way in which livestock is traditionally established, have created the necessary conditions for the increase of new areas dedicated to livestock inside the buffer zones,” said Ruiz.For Hidalgo, owner of about 30 head of cattle, the purchase and sale of plots in the southeast reserve “is widespread and because of that the agricultural frontier is advancing.”This old farmer, with a thick mustache, string bracelets, a white shirt with long sleeves and bare chest, assured that the main reason for the trade of land in the reserve is the economic crisis that the population faces, but is not reflected in a macroeconomic point of view, which places Nicaragua as the country with the highest economic growth in Central America in recent years, averaging 4.7 percent, compared to 3.7 percent in the rest of the region, according to the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN).The impact of livestock productionHidalgo confirms that there are thousands of livestock farmers who have a maximum of five head of cattle, some of which buy land within the southeast reserve because it is cheaper, about $2,000 per block, compared to $4,000 near the roads. Production costs have tripled because of inflation —at least 3 percent annually— while meat, milk or live cattle prices have declined by about 15 percent.Forested areas of southeastern Nicaragua are gradually becoming infertile because of the permanent presence of ruminants. Photo by Wilder Pérez R. for MongabayThe sale of land for agricultural production in southeastern Nicaragua has not only displaced the populations of the reserve into the depths of the forest, it also makes them migrate to the cities of Nueva Guinea and Bluefields, or Costa Rica, in search of better incomes, according to the statements of Hidalgo and the pastor of Punta Gorda.Incer Barquero identified other impacts as striking as the displacement of indigenous populations, such as the change of forest composition, loss of biodiversity, the change from a tropical humid climate to a dry one, increased vulnerability to disasters and the effects of climate change, reduced rainfall, more frequent flooding, sedimentation of rivers, destruction of aquatic fauna, and disruption of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, stretching from Mexico to Costa Rica.Experts agree that livestock production has the capacity to completely deforest the biosphere reserve because it requires the minimum presence of trees, which are replaced by grass. Pastures, apart from not giving greater value to biodiversity, grow for a short period because cattle compress the soil —an effect that, combined with the rain and the lack of flora, eliminates the nutrients of the soil.Gerd Schnepel, an adviser of the agro-ecological organization Sano y Salvo, said that although the livestock industry contributes millions of dollars to Nicaragua (10 percent of the gross domestic product, according to official data), its producers do not pay the actual cost of their business.If they “had to pay the expenses of their activity, it would not be sustainable at all, because the society is the one that pays the consequences with scarcity of water, disease, hunger, thirst, dry rivers. Farmers do not pay for the consequences of their activity, they only think about their profit,” explained Schnepel.The necessary changeCasco insists that while most livestock producers ignore the new techniques of livestock activities, there are some who have begun putting them into practice. New techniques include forestry which mixes the cultivation of forests with livestock.“We are learning and we are trying to improve,” he insisted.However, the Humboldt Center considers that the demand should be higher, and advocates for intensive livestock, which consists of raising more cattle in less area, in combination with systems such as forestry, explained Guevara Alonso.Schnepel proposes a technique of organic agriculture that consists of “imitating nature,” so that, instead of cutting trees, the owners of farms plant species such as cacao, vanilla or vines, as well as tubers or musaceae. As for livestock, he recommends that it should be limited to guaranteeing family consumption.“No one is convinced here because the cattle are not used to it, they are not fattened and they are stressed,” said Hidalgo referring to the fact that cattle are not adapted to graze in confined spaces.Schnepel stated that more than cattle itself, the owners are the ones who do not get used to practicing different ways of cattle ranching; this is the case of Sano and Salvo, that started the project in Nueva Guinea five years ago with about 300 producers, and now there are only 100. The majority were not willing to wait between eight and 20 years to see gains.“First we have to develop a new attitude, organic farming is not a technical method, but a way of life,” explained Schnepel.But the way of life will not change if the government continues stimulating livestock activity and showing an inability to control the loss of forests, insisted Incer Barquero.Nicaragua is the largest exporter of milk in Central America and the fourth in Latin America, according to the Pan-American Dairy Federation (Fepale), all based on extensive cattle ranching. Photo by Wilder Pérez R. for MongabayLast January the government of Nicaragua and the European Union announced an agricultural development project that aims to provide technology and training to 9,000 families in the southeast to develop sustainable livestock production over the next four years at a cost of $21.7 million.The experts cross their fingers for the project to deliver the expected results, as they remember that it is not the first of its kind announced in Nicaragua.Incer Barquero, who for two decades predicted ‘chontalinization’ and accelerated degradation of forest cover in his country, insisted that, as the forest decreases in the Biosphere Reserve of Southeast Nicaragua, all the wealth will be lost in about 20 years, “being very optimistic.”Getting out of a biosphere reserve always produces restlessness, not so much because you leave nature, but because, as you stop seeing the enormous laurels, palm trees and almond trees rising above humus, you begin to notice the pastures and monocultures of the east of Nicaragua as an omen of what could happen.Banner image by Wilder Pérez R. for MongabayThis story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on March 8, 2017. 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 Agriculture, Biodiversity, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Protected Areas center_img Article published by Romina Castagninolast_img read more

Vandals ravage Mother Nature (commentary)

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 Biodiversity, Commentary, Conservation, Editorials, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Law, National Parks, Protected Areas Given the popularity of National Parks, Forests, and Monuments, the number of vandals is quite low, but they have an everlasting impact that scars our natural heritage.Penalties for vandalism in protected areas can be increased by an act of Congress, but that would only be an effective tactic if it either dissuades people from destroying our heritage or if the culprits are caught and properly penalized.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Could someone explain why torching an unused forest lookout post is a more serious crime than dynamiting a sandstone arch, millions of years old, inside of a National Park? Burning down a federal building can incarcerate you for 20 years; destroying a veteran’s monument could jail you for 10 years; but the willful and intentional vandalism of irreplaceable geological features and landscapes in our National Parks could lock you up for 5 years, if considered a felony, or only 6 months, if deemed a misdemeanor. Painting graffiti on a California freeway sign carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail, along with a $5,000 fine, but defacing unique rock formations with marker pens and acrylic paint in seven National Parks resulted in no monetary fine, and only two years of probation, along with 200 hours of community service.In September/October 2014, Casey Nockett went on a vandalism spree where she painted a blue-haired profile of a woman’s head on a rock viewpoint overlooking Crater Lake, OR, as well as painting and marking up rock formations at Yosemite National Park, CA, Canyonlands National Park, UT, Rocky Mountains National Park, CO, and elsewhere. Her defense was “It’s art, not vandalism. I am an artist.” She decided to plead guilty to seven misdemeanor charges of “damaging government property” which, along with the above penalties, also resulted in her ban from entering U. S. National Parks during her probation period. The sandblasting and chemicals needed to remove her ‘artwork’ not only come from your tax dollars and mine, but could further damage the delicate rock structures that she thought were a painting easel.Bryce Canyon National Park, United States. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Given the popularity of National Parks, Forests, and Monuments, the number of vandals is quite low, but they have an everlasting impact that scars our natural heritage. The National Park Service has a budget of around $3 billion, and employs some 12-13,000 full-time people to oversee approximately 84,500,000 acres of protected areas, ranging in size from the 0.2 acre Thaddeus Kosciusko National Memorial, PA to the 13,200,000 acre Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve, AK. In 2016, 330,971,689 visitors officially traveled to the National Parks, which was a greater number than the population of the United States in the same year (approximately 325,000,000)! These vast landscapes, and enormous number of guests, are protected by a slim force of NPS Park Rangers. Of all the full-time employees, fewer than 1,500 are specially designated NPS Enforcement Rangers. My sons’ high school had more students. If all of these Park Rangers were equally distributed across the protected regions of our country, then every one of them would be responsible for 56,333 acres, or 88 square miles, an area four times the size of Manhattan Island. These women and men have the gigantic task of not only ensuring our safety in the parks, but of maintaining trails, leading tours, answering questions, giving lectures, and monitoring the flora and fauna of the protected places.Adding to this list is trying to stop people from permanently destroying our collective property. We own the parks; they belong to all of us.Fifteen people were murdered in National Park Service areas in 2014. Between 1872 and 2015, a 145-year period, eight people were killed by grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park, MT. Your odds of being killed by a person in a National Park dwarf your odds of being eaten by a grizzly bear.Grizzly bear. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.In 1897, John Muir wrote: “Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed – chased and hunted down as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones…” Trees are not the only natural feature unable to escape vandals; so are cliffs, boulders, natural arch bridges, and even the ground. What is going on? Tragically, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have returned to extract their toll on us, but in the form of Selfishness, Greed, Irresponsibility, and Disrespect. Fools are destroying not only trees, but unique landscapes that took millions of years to form, at an alarming rate.Kate Cannon, Superintendent of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, UT, has had first-hand experience with vandalism in her protected realms. In November 2016, she received the Stephen T. Mather Award from the National Parks Conservation Association in recognition of her long-term service, commitment, and devotion to protecting our parks. About six months before the honor was bestowed upon her, Arches National Park was victimized by vandals. At Frame Arch, a stop along the way to Delicate Arch, the 150 million year old formation was gouged out and chiseled with some names and markings. The damage was so extensive that repairs to the pre-existing state are improbable, making the arch an eyesore for the 1.5 million people who visit the park each year. Cannon, following the incident, commented “It’s a small part of a huge problem…[We are experiencing]…a tidal wave” of graffiti and senseless destruction to the wonders of nature.The epidemic of vandalism for last year alone includes:February 2016: The rusty red rocks characteristic of Cocinino National Forest, Sedona, AZ, were desecrated when Actess Vanessa Hudgens and her boyfriend, Austin Butler, carved their names, surrounded by a heart, into the landscape.  She paid a $1,000 fine with the funds targeted for erasing and removing her vandalism that ruined the very landscape that the two of them were enjoying.  She has a net worth estimated at $10,000,000.April 2016: Three completely inebriated men, after shooting some rabbits and tossing around some empty beer bottles, jumped a fence and trespassed into a protected area at Devil’s Hole, Death Valley National Park, CA, where they proceeded to create havoc by churning up the sediment as they trampled through the water refuge housing the only population of an endangered species of pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis).  This remnant population numbers only 100-200 individuals during the winter, with April/May the key spawning months.  The drunken fools killed at least one pupfish.  Killing an endangered species is a federal crime that can result in a fine of $50,000.  But, in April 2011, two men were fined only $ 1, plus $500 in legal fees, for killing an endangered whooping crane (Grus americana) in Indiana.May 2016: As two people spray painted “Evans 16” on rocks at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, another visitor photographed them in the act.  The picture was shared with the National Park Service, whose Facebook posting was then shared by over 16,000 people.  The culprits were identified as a result of the picture sharing.  As in the case of Casey Nockett, social media was instrumental in identifying the vandals.  Charles Cuvelier, appointed the chief of the National Park Service Division of Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Services in 2013, after 20 years of service, remarked on “the important role that the public can play in identifying and sharing evidence of illegal behavior in parks.  It is clear that the public cares deeply for the special places that the National Park Service represents.”May 2016: Petersburg National Battlefield, VA, a 2,700 acre Civil War site marking the deaths of over 1,000 soldiers during the siege of the Confederate capitol, became pockmarked when vandals ripped up and dug into the hallowed ground in search of ‘collectibles’, such as buttons, bullets, and buckles.  The Park Superintendent, Lewis Rogers, called the destruction “disgusting”, as well as “egregious” given that the vandals conducted their rampage just before Memorial Day weekend.June 2016: On Chilnualna Falls Trail, Yosemite National Park, CA, a common place for mountain lion sightings, some visitors apparently thought that they were very erudite and clever to paraphrase Julius Cesar by writing “I came, I saw, I vandalized National Park property” on the boulders along the trail.  Except that the National Park Service does not really own the property.  We do.  The National Park Service works on our behalf as the caretakers of the land and the inhabitants.June 2016: The Roosevelt Arch, in the Fort Yellowstone National Historic Landmark District, MT was marred when a man carved his initials into the basalt archway.  In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt traveled to Yellowstone National Park with conservationist John Burroughs and laid one of the cornerstones to the arch.  The top of the archway greets visitors with the declaration “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people“.  The vandal was fined $250 and sentenced to three days in jail.July 2016: National Park Service Rangers reported 11,000 cases where they had to deal with vandalism, illegal camping, theft, harassment of wildlife, and other infractions at ten popular parks.  One visitor reportedly wanted to give a wild grizzly bear a cookie.August 2016: Native American petroglyphs at Capitol Reef National Park, UT were ruined by vandals who gouged “Dallas, TX” into the delicate red rocks.  Although some vandals equate their rock carving with Native American engravings, others find that the modern-day graffiti is in a completely different category.September 2016: The Samuel Colt Mounument, Coltsville National Park, CT, was the victim of theft of the bronze coat-of-arms embedded into the structure.  The statues of the firearms manufacturer, and the bronze plate, had been on display for 110 years without incident.  In an ironic choice of words, Bert Barnett, National Park Ranger at the site, said that the theft “wounds me something fierce.”September 2016: Ten miles of tire tracks were etched into the pristine landscape at Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Monument, CA.  The name was neither an invitation to vehicular vandalism nor a West Coast site for ATV racing.  The site was named because of a unique combination of geological features and weather patterns.  Rain fills the playa deep enough to partly submerge huge boulders weighing as much as 700 pounds.  Overnight freezing temperature turns the water to ice, and when the ice thaws and cracks, the rocks and boulders are moved along the ground and etch tracks into the sand.  The remote area requires a high clearance 4×4 vehicle to reach, but visitors are not supposed to damage the natural landscape with their monster trucks once they reach their destination.American wolf. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Last month, along the Hanging Lake Trail, Glenwood Canyon, CO, vandals spray painted rocks and trees at the edges of the trail that was visited by over 135,000 people in Summer 2015. The word “Blest”, sometimes accompanied by an arrow, was painted in red or white on trees, tree stumps, and rocks in a half a dozen locations. The U. S. Forest Service has estimated that the costs of cleanup will be at least $3,000. The Forest Service is also mulling closing the trail until after Memorial Day, when patrols will be re-activated. Along with the graffit, the rangers have had to cope with illegal parking and swimming.The number of vandalism incidents pales in comparison to the number of visitors who cherish our national refuges and reserves. Penalties for vandalism in protected areas can be increased by an act of Congress, but that would only be an effective tactic if it either dissuades people from destroying our heritage or if the culprits are caught and properly penalized. In some of the above cases, social media had a key role in apprehending the criminals. One need not confront these morons; taking a photo and sharing it with the Park Service is all that is necessary. The Investigative Services Branch of the National Park Service operates all year round, 24/7, and asks that visitors who spot vandalism get in contact by calling, e-mailing, sending a Facebook message, or completing an online tip form (https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1563/contactus.htm). As Jeffrey Olson, a spokesperson for the National Park Service, said, “Vandalism is a violation of the law, and it also damages and sometimes destroys often irreplaceable treasures that belong to all Americans.”Theodore Roosevelt not only place a cornerstone at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park, but also made the point that “Of all the questions which come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.” In his opinion, those who “permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature” are as guilty of vandalism as those who commit the crime. We can do what we can prevent the destruction of what is beautiful in nature. Use social media to help stop the epidemic that is ravaging Mother Nature.In February 1940, the 28 year old Woody Guthrie wrote a song shortly after moving from Oklahoma to New York City. “This Land is Your Land” was not released until 1951, but the melody and chorus are probably known to more people than most other songs written that long ago:This land is your land…This land is my land……This land was made for you and meThis land is our land; the parks, forests, deserts, mountains, reserves, monuments, and wilderness areas are our heritage. Mother Nature is awesome, so let us protect her from those who try to permanently ruin our priceless heritage and her domain.Forest in Crater Lake National Park, United States. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.center_img Article published by Maria Salazarlast_img read more

Surprisingly, Indonesia’s most famous dive site is also a playground for whales and dolphins (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Raja Ampat — an island chain in Indonesia’s West Papua province — is world renowned for its beautiful and unique marine biodiversity. But its marine mammals have not received as much attention.Half of the 31 whale and dolphin species found in all of Indonesia — 16 different types — have been regularly observed there.However, a designated long-term study of the behavior of whales and dolphins there has yet to be conducted. We don’t know much about them; more to the point, we don’t know how to effectively protect them.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Bottlenose dolphins in Raja Ampat. Photo by Heike Iris Vester / Ocean Sounds.Raja Ampat — an island chain in Indonesia’s West Papua province — is world-renowned for its beautiful and unique marine biodiversity. But its marine mammals have not received much attention despite the fact that half of the 31 whale and dolphin species found in all of Indonesia — 16 different types — have been regularly observed there.Raja Ampat, or “four kings,” consists of hundreds of islands, although the four largest dominate: Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool. The archipelago’s Dampier and Sagewin Straits host major oceanic and biomass exchanges between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, making Raja Ampat a major transit point for megafauna like whales and dolphins. Our preliminary research indicates that multiple species are feeding, mating, and calving in the area, making Raja Ampat a critical habitat for whales. However, a designated long-term study of the behavior of whales and dolphins there has yet to be conducted. We don’t know much about them; more to the point, we don’t know how to effectively protect them.Short-finned pilot whales in Raja Ampat. Photo by Heike Iris Vester / Ocean Sounds.Whales play a key role in the health of marine ecosystems, from predator-prey interactions to fertilization through prodigious amounts of poop and upwelling of deep-sea nutrients. Across Raja Ampat, small dolphins are numerous; these predators influence fish populations, and at the same time they are preyed upon by large sharks and killer whales. Sperm, Baleen, and other large whales bring nutrients from their 3,000-meter-deep dives to the ocean’s surface, adding essential nutrients and supporting a healthy marine ecosystem. In Raja Ampat, both sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera brydei) are seen regularly and in great numbers; their role in the health of the marine ecosystem in Raja Ampat is profound.Usually marine mammals are found in cold, nutrient-rich waters near the poles. Although many whales and dolphins make long migrations between polar feeding grounds and breeding grounds closer to the equator, we did not expect the rich abundance of whales and dolphins in Raja Ampat.Sperm whales in Raja Ampat. Photo by Heike Iris Vester / Ocean Sounds.In January 2015, equipped with a camera and hydrophone to record whale sounds, we went out into Raja Ampat’s Dampier Strait, and to our shock, found 15 different species of whales, dolphins, and dugong in the first week. On every boat trip out we encountered small Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). More numerous were the oceanic dolphins, such as the acrobatic spinner dolphins and spotted dolphins which can travel in packs of over 1,000! We encountered large groups of short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) feeding on squid; they were often accompanied by bottlenose dolphins, Fraser’s dolphins (Lagenodelphis hosei), and even pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata). We found Bryde’s whales: filter-feeders of the Baleen family that consume plankton and small fish. We also saw pods of sperm whales: these huge mammals, as well as Bryde’s whales, were observed mating and calving in previously unknown feeding and breeding grounds, with peak activity between December and early March. We even encountered a large adult killer whale (Orcinus orca) in the Dampier: these are rare in tropical waters, but two pods have been spotted. In Raja Ampat they feed on manta rays, dolphins, and newborn Bryde’s whales.Negative impacts on cetaceans were also observed. Whales are scarred from boat collisions; some dorsal fins were completely severed. Boat traffic, especially from large speed boats and ferries, are a major threat to cetaceans in the Dampier Strait; the daily Sorong–Waisai passenger ferry nearly collided with a sperm whale when we were on it. The need to educate people using the strait, and establish protocols for shipping traffic, is obvious, as is the need to introduce and regulate whale-watching tourism, so that locals can benefit from the giants in their neighborhood.Short-finned pilot whale with severed dorsal fin, Dampier Strait, February 2015 . Photo by Heike Iris Vester / Ocean Sounds.In order to assess the health of Raja Ampat’s biodiversity, and the Bird’s Head ecosystem — that off the northwestern coast of New Guinea island — more broadly, it is essential to both protect and study whales and dolphins. In the coming years, the University of Papua and Ocean Sounds, an international NGO, will be doing so, in order to better understand cetacean life cycles and behaviors, and ultimately, to create protection plans. We’ll be tracking individual whales through non-invasive photo identification and the building of databases that will ultimately show the routes by which whales travel throughout Indonesia.We intend to establish a marine research station in Raja Ampat, not only to conduct research, but also to teach people about whales and dolphins.Kabupaten Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. Photo by Buzz.About the authors:Heike Iris Vester (heike_vester@ocean-sounds.org) is the founder and director of Ocean Sounds, a group dedicated to marine research, education and conservation through engagement with local communities. Ocean Sounds focuses on the biology and vocal communication of cetaceans, and has projects in Chile and Norway; they will soon open an office in Indonesia. Ricardo F. Tapilatu (rf.tapilatu@unipa.ac.id) is the director of the Research Center for Pacific Marine Resources at the University of Papua (UNIPA). The Center is dedicated to the research and conservation of Pacific Marine Resources across the Bird’s Head Seascape in the western Pacific region. The Centre is the only local organization engaged in Pacific Leatherback Turtle protection in the world’s largest remaining nesting beaches in West Papua.Ocean Sounds and UNIPA both work closely with APEX Environmental, a group with extensive expertise in oceanic whale and dolphin surveys, cetacean ecology research, conservation, management, policy development, and training.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Animals, Conservation, Dolphins, Environment, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Mammals, Whales, Wildlife last_img read more

As Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem faces multiple threats, local resistance grows

first_imgLand cleared to grow oil palm within the Leuser Ecosystem. Photo by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay-Indonesia. Land cleared to grow corn in the Mount Leuser National Park. Photo by Junaidi Hanafiah/Mongabay-Indonesia. 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 1234567 read more

Brazil’s Temer threatens constitutional indigenous land rights

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer 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 Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Mining, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Crime, environmental justice, Environmental Politics, Ethnocide, Featured, Forests, Green, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Illegal Timber Trade, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mining, Pasture, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Ranching, Roads, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Saving The Amazon, Social Conflict, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, timber trade, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation center_img President Temer, influenced by the rural lobby in congress whose votes he needs to not be tried by the Supreme Court on corruption charges, has okayed new criteria meant to delegitimize indigenous land boundary claims, legal experts say.One rule rejects any indigenous demarcation of land where Indians were not physically present on a traditional territory in 1988, which would disqualify many legitimate claims.Another allows government to undertake “strategic” public works, such as dams and roads, without indigenous consent, violating the International Labor Organization’s 169 Convention, signed by Brazil.The administration also introduced a bill likely to be passed by congress that reclassifies 349,000 hectares (1,347 square miles) of Jamanxim National Forest in the Amazon, gutting protections, allowing economic activities — logging, ranching, farming and mining — and legitimizing land grabs there. A traditional Munduruku dance. Hundreds of thousands of Indians live on indigenous lands in Brazil, but much of that land has never been officially demarcated due to decades of government delay. Now, President Temer’s political maneuvering threatens to shut down the demarcation process in favor of land thieves, ranchers, soy growers, mining concerns, and construction companies with much to profit from Amazon dam and road government contracts. Photo by Thais BorgesA storm of protest greeted the 19 July announcement that Brazilian President Michel Temer has approved a recommendation made by the Attorney General’s office (AGU), that federal government bodies should adopt new criteria for setting the boundaries of indigenous land.Respected lawyer Dalmo de Abreu Dallari, who headed the University of São Paulo’s legal faculty for many years, said that the recommendation was a “legal farce,” with the objective of “extorting from the indigenous communities their right to the land they have traditionally occupied.”But the bancada ruralista rural caucus in Congress is triumphant. Federal deputy Luiz Carlos Heinze, a leading member of the caucus, celebrated the AGU recommendation, saying in a video circulated on social media that it will lead to a reassessment of more than 700 cases, resulting ultimately in the dismissal of 90 percent of ongoing indigenous territory land claims.The Civil Office of the Presidency has already returned to the justice ministry 19 indigenous territories, covering 792,370 hectares (3,059 square miles), which were close to completion, saying that the recognition of these reserves is to be reviewed. With the process for recognizing many of the other new territories at an early stage, it is impossible to calculate precisely how much land is involved.However, if created, the new reserves would undoubtedly add millions of hectares to the 177 million hectares (683,400 square miles), 13.8 percent of the Brazilian territory, that is in indigenous hands. By far the largest share — 98 percent of all indigenous territory — is located in the Amazon, where the reserves prove an effective bulwark against deforestation. The long process of recognizing indigenous ownership is not complete in all these territories, so some of these lands could become vulnerable to reclassification.Indigenous reserves and conservation units in the Amazon. Newly created indigenous reserves would add vast new protected territories to the Amazon, a possibility that runs counter to Brazil’s powerful ruralistas. Map by Mauricio TorresThe “Marco temporal” debateThe most controversial aspect of the AGU’s recommendation is the introduction of the so-called “marco temporal” an arbitrary cut-off date for land claims.Under the new measure, Indian groups will only have the legal right to claim traditionally held territory that they were physically occupying as of 5 October 1988, the day the most recent federal Constitution was approved — a date, historians point out, by which many Indian groups had already been forced from their lands.The concept of “marco temporal” was first adopted by the Supreme Federal Court (STF), when it settled a long, contentious dispute over boundaries for the Raposa/Serra do Sol indigenous reserve in Roraima in 2009.The Dilma Rousseff government, with its strong anti-indigenous bent, was keen to make this cut-off point vinculante, a norm to be universally followed for establishing other indigenous territories in the future, and the AGU issued Portaria 303/2012, an order to that effect. However, STF minister Ricardo Lewandowski, in a 2013 ruling, made it clear that the 19 conditions for such settlements — including the “marco temporal” — could not legally be applied to the demarcation of all indigenous lands. This decision, combined with strong indigenous pressure, led to Portaria 303’s eventual revocation.Lawyer Dalmo de Abreu Dallari, who headed the University of São Paulo legal faculty, called the AGU recommendation a “legal farce,” with the objective of depriving “indigenous communities [of] their right to the land they have traditionally occupied.” Photo courtesy of universoedu.brThe rural elite, however, never accepted the high court’s finding. It wanted the criteria, especially that referring to the “marco temporal,” along with another that forbids the enlargement of indigenous territory already marked out, to become vinculante, the norm and extended to all future cases.Importantly, the AGU’s July recommendation also makes it possible to undertake “strategic” public works, such as hydroelectric dams and roads, without Indian consent. This seems to be a direct breach of the International Labor Organization’s 169 Convention, signed by Brazil, in which nations commit to full consultation with indigenous people whenever a public work will affect their land or way of life.Outcry against demarcation rule changesProtests against the AGU’s recommendation, particularly the 1988 cut-off date, have been vociferous, despite the huge amount of civil strife already unfolding in Brazil — with landless peasants occupying elite estates, including one owned by the family of agriculture minister Blairo Maggi, and with President Temer’s legitimacy threatened by serious corruption charges.Journalist Rubens Valente, who has just published a book about Brazilian atrocities committed against Indians during the military dictatorship, called Temer’s July decision “a 50-year setback. It’s as if the International Labor Organization’s 169 Convention didn’t exist.”Well-known forestry consultant Tasso Azevedo, former director of Brazil’s National Forest program under the Lula government, fumed: “Imagine a Polish law that said that the claimant — for example, a Jewish family persecuted during the Second World War — could only get their property back if they were living in the house when it was expropriated? It would be seen as absurd.” He went on: “The AGU recommendation shreds indigenous rights. You want a road? No need to ask. Just go ahead and do it.”A patchwork of legal forest reserves, pasture and soy farms in the Brazilian Amazon. The bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby, which includes powerful ranchers and soy growers, has long put pressure on government to rollback indigenous land rights. President Michel Temer received crucial support from the bancada ruralista in his controversial 2016 bid for power, and is now taking steps to reduce indigenous rights and end recognition of new indigenous territories. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerOthers point to the tragic predicament of Guarani Indian groups in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. These indigenous people were forcibly evicted from their territories after the state government sold their land to farmers. For years they’ve struggled to regain their territories and many still squat at roadsides, barred by fences from moving back onto their land. But because they were evicted before 1988, the AGU recommendation would negate all claims.Crizantho Alves Fialho Neto, from FUNAI, Brazil’s federal indigenous agency, says that the ruling ignores the legal standing of indigenous territory: “Indigenous possession of land is different from a landowner’s ownership of land. It is not possession as defined in civil law. It is possession as defined in the constitution.” In theory at least, this means that indigenous rights are “inviolable, exclusive and perpetual.”Lawyer José Afonso da Silva, a specialist in constitutional law, also questions the validity of the 1988 cut-off date: “the beginning of the legal recognition of indigenous rights was in June 1611 with the Royal Charter (Carta Régia) promulgated by the Portuguese king Philip lll … All other constitutions continued along these lines. The 1988 Constitution just carried on this tradition.” Based on these legal precedents, he says, there is no reason to give that date a special status — unless, critics say, the government’s plan is to deprive indigenous people of their demarcation rights in order to legitimize land thefts that occurred before that date.Many other legal experts have protested. Érika Yamada, an independent United Nations indigenous expert, says that the recommendation “exceeds all limits of administrative law, because the president is signing a recommendation that is an attempt to legislate, to alter the 1988 Constitution.” She argues that the new measure is unconstitutional and may well lead to challenges in the ILO, the Organization of American States and the United Nations.Tasso Azevedo, former director of Brazil’s National Forest program under the Lula government: “The AGU recommendation shreds indigenous rights. You want a road? No need to ask. Just go ahead and do it.” Photo courtesy of the Instituto SocioambientalIndigenous organizations have already called for a legal counteroffensive. The Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR) will be challenging in the courts the legality of actions that replicate the “unconstitutional” conditions established in the Raposa/Serra do Sol case.These legal challenges may well succeed, but that will take time. Meanwhile, serious damage could be done to indigenous groups. Temer has already said that he expects FUNAI and other government bodies to start implementing the AGU guidance.The risk of escalating violenceThere is another concern: Valente believes that the new criteria could catalyse unrest in the countryside, which is already at record levels: “The Indians want to regain their old lands and they are increasingly well organized.… The AGU recommendation may well provoke violence, as it is telling these groups that the doors are closing for them to get what they want through the justice system or from the executive.” The recommendation could also embolden land grabbers eager to exploit indigenous demarcation disputes, experts say.Azevedo has no doubt why the president approved the AGU recommendations: “Temer endorsed the ruling for the worst possible motive: to buy political support in Congress so that he won’t be tried for corruption by the Federal Supreme Court.”Federal deputy Luiz Carlos Heinze, a leading bancada ruralista rural caucus member in Congress. He claims the AGU recommendation will lead to a reassessment of more than 700 indigenous cases, resulting ultimately in the dismissal of 90 percent of the ongoing indigenous territory land claims. Photo courtesy of PavablogIndeed, the rural caucus has made no secret of the role it played in Temer’s rise, and that it could play in his fall. In the already mentioned video, Luiz Carlos Heinze revealed that the AGU recommendation was agreed to in an April meeting between then Justice Minister Osmar Serraglio (a leading member of the rural caucus), Presidential Head of Staff Eliseu Padilha, and Federal Attorney General Grace Maria Fernandes Mendonça. The three made a pact, he claims, that represents “a great advance for all Brazilian [agribusiness] producers who have been feeling frustrated and anxious because of the pressure they have been receiving from FUNAI” to vacate lands they’ve claimed for years.Experts see the AGU recommendation as just one bargaining chip being used by Temer, an experienced Congressional operator, to make sure he gains sufficient votes in the Lower House to prevent a two-thirds majority from voting that he should be tried by the Supreme Court for the corruption accusation made against him by the Attorney General. That crucial vote is scheduled for this Wednesday. The latest opinion polls show that 81 percent of Brazilians want Temer tried for corruption.Temer’s environmental concessionsEnvironmental protection also appears to be an expendable pawn in Temer’s congressional game.In recent weeks, the president allowed his environmental minister, José Sarney Filho, to introduce a bill to reclassify a large portion of Jamanxim National Forest in the Amazon allowing economic activities within it — including logging, ranching, farming and mining — a dismemberment for which the rural elite has long lobbied, and that would legitimize land grabs underway there for years.Dancing Munduruku warriors. The Munduruku have battled for years with the Brazilian government to get their lands formally demarcated, as have many other indigenous groups. Temer’s actions are likely to make that fight more contentious, with an escalation of violence, as the ruralistas are emboldened to oppose indigenous territory claims. Photo by Mauricio TorresPreviously, Temer planned to achieve this goal via a provisional measure (MP 756), which he himself proposed, but which in the end, he was forced to veto in the face of intense national and international pressure.Groups at home and abroad are now campaigning hard to stop the newest Jamanxim dismemberment bill, which would reclassify an even larger part of the forest than the original provisional measure­­ –– 349,000 hectares (1,347 square miles). But this time the counterattack may not be as effective, because bills of this kind only require congressional approval and are not subject to a presidential veto.The runaway power of the rural caucus in congress and within the Temer administration, and the ruralistas growing confidence that they will not be held accountable, is now having serious consequences for the environment, Indians, quilombolas (those living in communities set up by runaway slaves), peasant farmers and other rural inhabitants.According to Global Witness, more rural and environmental activists have been killed in Brazil than in any other country in the world over the past five years. Moreover, nine out of ten murders occurred in Legal Amazonia, with most in Rondônia and eastern Pará state. There were 47 total homicides in the Amazon in 2016, with 33 in the first five months of this year, putting 2017 on track to be the bloodiest year in recent Amazon history.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Banner image by Agência Brasil and used under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Brazil License.last_img read more

Colombian shamans want to restore traditional power via national network

first_imgArticle published by Genevieve Belmaker Amazon People, Featured, Forests, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Rainforests A Colombian organization known by the acronym CAAENOC is comprised of 35 elders from across Colombia.CAAENOC seeks to revive an ancient shamanic network that had existed for thousands of years until the 1600s.Employing indigenous beliefs in the spiritual realm, shamans in Colombia are attempting to restore the natural balance of the world based on a holistic concept of cosmology, land, memory and justice.Known as derechos mayores (or higher authority), at the local level, it seeks to restore the traditional place of the shaman within indigenous communities as the political and spiritual leaders of the tribe. SASAIMA, Colombia – On April 1, floods devastated the Colombian town of Mocoa, situated in a rural southwestern corner of the country between the Amazon jungle and the Andean foothills. That day, record high rainfalls caused huge landslides that killed 329 people.Unfortunately, it was a tragedy foretold.The state environmental department had put a warning out about the threat nine months previously, stating that deforestation coupled with inadequate town planning and erratic weather caused by climate change would sooner or later cause a huge disaster.Among the victims of the Mocoa tragedy were a number of shamans who formed part of a little-known national council of Colombian shamans that goes by its Spanish acronym, CAAENOC. When word got out about their deaths, a CAAENOC delegation traveled across the country to help out in the aftermath of the disaster, which took weeks.Formed in 2008, CAAENOC is an organisation of 35 shamans from across Colombia’s diverse regions, from the Amazon basin to the far northern sierras and deserts of its Caribbean coast. The council seeks to revive an ancient shamanic network that had existed for thousands of years until the 1600s, when settlers began to divide, conquer and even hunt its indigenous population.“Walk of Recognition for the Ancient Homeland.” Valle de Saquenzipa, 2014. Photo courtesy of Duvan Murillo EscobarEmploying indigenous beliefs in the spiritual realm, CAAENOC is attempting to restore the natural balance of the world based on a holistic concept of cosmology, land, memory and justice, known as derechos mayores (or higher authority). At the local level, it seeks to restore the traditional place of the shaman within indigenous communities as the political and spiritual leaders of the tribe – a position that has all but disappeared in modern day Colombia.As part of its initiative, the council has led a select group, known as “walkers,” to travel up Colombia’s nine sacred mountaintops over the last decade in order to spiritually “cleanse” them – an elaborate pilgrimage to restore the damage done to the land over the last 500 years since the arrival of the first conquistadors.Shamanism is often misunderstood. The classical definition of shamanism refers to an archaic religion that originated in Siberia and later spread throughout the native cultures of the Americas – from the Arctic Circle down to the Amazon jungle, and beyond. Nowadays, shamanism is associated with a romantic – and perhaps a fetishized – idea of a generic Indian sage, or at worst with new-age hucksters brandishing the title in order to peddle merchandise.But the term shaman isn’t used in Colombia. They prefer Mayor, Mamo, Taita or Originario, which roughly translates to “wise one,” “sage” and “the first people.” Each community tends to have its own term for it, but what they all have in common is that the shaman holds a central position in the community as a spiritual leader, a storyteller and a doctor. Traditionally he would have been the political leader too.Colombia has long been a pilgrimage site for shamanism, first popularized in the 1950s with William Burroughs’s beatnik experiments with ayahuasca, and then by the Harvard ethno-botanist Richard Schultz’s own forays into the jungle in the 1940s. Then came the psychedelic tourists of the hippy era, which has evolved today into the ayahuasca retreats found throughout South America offered by “shamans” or “medicine men.”Whether authentic or not, it was a category that was first imposed on the indigenous population by anthropologists eager to make sense of cultures that they couldn’t fully grasp, and is now a title saturated by the global economy – a commodity that can be bought and sold.Future plansOne of the leaders of the council, who has acted as a spokesman and traveled extensively, is Lorenzo Seuny Izquierdo Arroyo. Lorenzo is referred to reverently as Mamo Lorenzo, or the wise Lorenzo. He is an Arhuaco shaman from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains in the Caribbean, though he now lives on a farm two hours south of the Colombian capital of Bogota. Lorenzo moved here from the Sierra with his 11 children to have a central meeting point that would make it easier for shamans across the country to travel to.For now, Lorenzo’s home acts as CAAENOC’s base, but the plan is to build a permanent office in Bogota, which is one of the nine sacred sites in Colombia. Soon, says Lorenzo, the council will publish a manifesto based on years of spiritual work and meetings, which will state CAAENOC’S mission and its directives as the “higher authority” of Colombia’s indigenous people.CAAENOC is the fruit of a collaborative project between the Arhuaco community indigenous to the Sierra Nevada and a group from Bogota’s National University, called Region and Territory. The original aim of the project was to record the oral history of the Arhuaco, which went back 3,600 years – equivalent to over 90 generations. The Arhuaco share their ancestral land with 9 other indigenous clans, numbering more than 40,000.Talking Circle. Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, 2014. Photo courtesy of Duvan Murillo EscobarOne of the so-called philosopher tribes of Colombia, they believe themselves to be the guardians of the world (Arhuaco translates to “those who guard life”) and consider any upset in the natural balance of the world to be their responsibility. Existence itself is seen as upsetting the balance of the world; therefore it is their responsibility to make offerings and incantations to maintain that balance.The Arhuaco have a mandate to restore the ancient alliances between tribes that had long been abandoned, which brought shamans from across the country together to trade goods, maintain alliances and share medicinal knowledge.This mandate was based on a prophecy that the indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada all share: they foresaw that “brothers” from another continent would come to destroy their “alters” – everything they held sacred – and loot their gold. But there would be a rebirth, with Arhuacos of the Sierra at the helm.This rebirth began with the pilgrimage to Colombia’s nine sacred mountaintops.Examining national identityThe undertaking comes at a time when Colombia is redefining its national identity. With the official end of the longest-running conflict in the western hemisphere, the FARC guerrillas have retreated to 26 demobilization zones, leaving almost a third of the country that was previously occupied by the insurgency, or a no-mans-land, under the sovereignty of the state.One of the unlikely positives of the civil war has been that it has conserved huge swaths of forest and impeded most mega development projects like hydroelectric dams and industrial goldmines.Recently, environmental experts have argued that for Colombia to reach its Paris Climate goal of 20 per cent reduction of carbon emissions by 2020, the government needs to strengthen local governance, especially that of indigenous communities, who have best protected the land in the past (over 70 percent of Colombia’s indigenous people live in the countryside).Colombia has the eighth largest forest cover on earth according to Global Forest Watch. In addition, close to half of Colombia’s carbon emissions are a result of deforestation related to agriculture and cattle ranching, according to a report by Mapping the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP). Massive invasion of national parks is also an issue, with 37 of its 59 parks currently affected.Meanwhile, the National Planning Department calculates that Colombia could potentially save $2.4 billion if it controls the current level of environmental degradation, no small sum for a country that is currently grappling with a government budget deficit.A new approachGovernments have largely ignored and disregarded indigenous knowledge in the past, since it was seen as parochial, and unscientific. This knowledge wasn’t deemed “useful,” but now that Earth is officially in the age of biological annihilation brought on by manmade climate change, experts are turning to indigenous communities to combat climate change. UN officials have stressed the need to incorporate traditional herding and climate forecasting methods, and some governments are beginning to listen, too.In 2002, Australia set up the Bureau of Meteorology’s Indigenous Weather Knowledge, which uses aboriginal forecasting methods based on the observation of animal and plants. While science is often seen through a narrow purview, new research is blurring the lines. In the field of biological psychology and zoology, researchers have discovered that the African grey parrot, among other animals, also have consciousness and complex language systems. What was before considered mystical or folkloric is entering the mainstream.One of the remarkable aspects of the shamanic tradition is the knowledge and history it can store. One community in southern Australia could describe mountains that had been under the ocean for more than 10,000 years.  The Arhuaco have an oral history that goes back almost four thousand years, and it is only through their culture – through their shamanism, their myths and rituals – that this is possible.Myths, stories of origin, and family histories are often interwoven and narrated in many different forms – from dances, to songs or painted. This form of recording history is astoundingly robust, but only insofar as the fabric of the community stays strong.According to Duvan Murillo Escobar, an anthropologist and member of CAAENOC, this initiative is rescuing the traditional place of the shaman while also protecting an insurmountable wealth of ancient knowledge, which is increasingly threatened. One aspect of this is the loss of language – on average one language dies every 14 days worldwide.Indigenous people, he says, have had to pick up arms in the past, lobby the government, and even join it. But this is a new form of resistance, which is in line with a broad cosmology and tradition that dates back millennia.Still vulnerableThe disaster in Mocoa was a tragic reminder that mismanagement of the environment comes at a high cost. The only area that was left standing in the town was a patch of virgin forest, less than one square miles in area. Almost 400 municipalities around the country remain equally as vulnerable as Mocoa. If the government had acted quicker and heeded the warnings, then perhaps the disaster could have been avoided.Shaman Hade Ramón Gil in the Talking Circle. Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, 2014. Photo courtesy of Duvan Murillo EscobarThough the council’s initiative is currently national, Lorenzo says that the goal is “global.” He has already traveled to the US, Chile and several European countries to swap ideas with other shamans and divulge the council’s teachings. CAAENOC was formed to conserve the collective knowledge and memory of Colombia’s shamans. It is a closed group that doesn’t share its esoteric knowledge and rituals with outsiders, and that is part of its strength.Mamo Lorenzo believes his purpose is to look after the world and teach us how to live on it.“I [left the mountains and came here] on purpose to divulge this message. The point is not to show but to remember,” he said. “We are losing our spirituality – the more technology we acquire the more we regress. We are becoming uncivilized…we used to be telepathic, we didn’t need cell phones,” he added.Though Lorenzo owns a cell phone and uses Facebook, he says the essential role of the shaman hasn’t changed.“We’ve had to adapt, our diet has changed – many things have changed,” he says. “Because of this, other mamos think they have lost the light of the sun. But that means they’ve lost the horizon, not the light.Banner image: Mamo Lorenzo with shaman Pachankachay in the Talking Circle (left to right). Valle de Saquenzipa, 2014. Photo courtesy of Duvan Murillo EscobarMaximo Anderson is a freelance journalist and photographer currently based in Colombia. You can find him on Twitter at @MaximoLamar.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.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

Apply Animal Welfare Act rules to recreational hunting, says advocacy group

first_imgThe Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) says captive hunt ranches are operating in a legal loophole, and need a stricter standard over treatment of their animals.Ranches should abide by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the organization’s senior staff attorney, Anthony Eliseuson, argues in a letter to the USDA’s animal care unit.Ranchers keep certain breeds of animals and allow them to be culled via hunting for a price. An animal advocacy group wants landowners with captive wildlife for hunt to be governed under the same rules that govern humane and legal treatment of animals in the US. A recent investigation by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) found that most of these canned hunting ranches – and likely all of them – are operating without what’s called “an exhibitor’s license.”Also known as captive hunt facilities, the facilities either import or breed and then kill some of the exotic or endangered animals at the facilities. Typically, breeding is done for the “propagation of the species,” according to submitted application materials online, and animals are thinned out through guided hunting for a price.The 30-day public review period on four current applications or renewals for captive hunt facilities expired August 31. It was part of a mandatory review period for all new and renewed licenses for these captive hunt facilities. Permitting for the facilities is currently done through a lengthy application and permit application through the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. The agency could not be reached for comment on the issue.The ALDF says these facilities operate in a legal loophole, and should be required to follow a stricter standard in regards to the treatment of the species. They should also abide by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), says ALDF’s senior staff attorney Anthony Eliseuson.“Captive hunt facilities are commercial enterprises that profit from selling the opportunity to view and kill the animals they exhibit, often including endangered and threatened species,” said Eliseuson in an August 17 letter to the USDA’s animal care unit.Specifically, the law says that “any person exhibiting any animals which were purchased in commerce or the intended distribution of which affects commerce, or will affect commerce, to the public for compensation is an exhibitor and must be licensed.”More significantly, the AWA governs human care standards like access to adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care.  If hunting ranches were governed under the AWA, enforcement would help ensure animals were not suffering from lack of those basic necessities, according to Eliseuson. Other practices are included, such as the ability to legally intervene if a hunting ranch mistreats any animals under the guidelines of the AWA.Captive hunt facilities are remarkably mainstream across the US and around the world. They aim to appeal both to those who want to view animals in the wild and to hunters’ desire to track and kill them. Among the most well-known of these operations is Turner Ranch Outfitting, owned by Ted Turner Enterprises, which runs several facilities. They could not be reached for comment on the issue.The ALDF also wants to increase pressure during the public commenting period on several captive hunt facilities which are currently applying for new licenses or renewals. Eliseuson said that the ALDF is willing to take legal action to resolve the permissions.There are four applications being reviewed for culling, captive breeding, interstate commerce and export through a website run by the Federal Register called Regulations.gov. The website houses federal regulations and other related documents issued by the US government in a searchable online database. It allows for open posting of public comments on application under the 30-day review period.One of these applications is under the name of Jack L. Phillips of Gladewater, Texas for a renewal of his 5 year-old captive-bred wildlife registration. The application is for the red lechwe (Kobus leche), “to enhance the propagation or survival of the species” for five more years. Phillips could not be reached for comment.In the application and related correspondence publicly posted on Regulations.gov, Phillips states in a letter that he is raising the red lechwe for propagation of the species only.“We are a ranch operation,” writes Phillips in a letter from earlier this year. “We do not have a license or registration under the Animal Welfare Act regulations of the U. S. Department of Agriculture or any state license.” Phillips also refers to his operation as “ranching for restoration,” a common application of the law among of the at least two dozen such ranches around the country. There are similar operations overseas: notably in countries like South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.According to application materials from Phillips, there are several ways the red lechwe are cared for in his herd.“The herd is culled and the very old animals are hunted each year, to get rid of the inferior animals and the animals are allowed to breed freely, on the 8,000 acre ranch. Any progeny are also allowed to roam free, grow to adulthood, and allowed to freely breed in an effort to carry on the breeding and population to increase the herd.”Phillips also describes how the animals are hunted, and why.They “are culled as their parents before them… to maintain a superior herd.”How the animals are kept – and die – are legal questions the ALDF wants to address, says Eliseuson.“It’s just one of those situations that nobody paid attention to these areas to see if they follow” AWA rules, Eliseuson said. He said that by the ALDF’s count, there are “hundreds” of these canned hunting facilities throughout the US.Eliseuson says it goes beyond just a clear cut case of non-compliance, and his organization is willing to pursue a legal route if necessary.“It’s morally wrong,” he said. Animal Rights, Animal Welfare, Animals, Captive Breeding, Hunting 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

‘Queen of Coal’ named corruption suspect in Indonesia

first_imgRita Widyasari was named suspect by Indonesia’s antigraft body earlier this month.She was alleged to accept a a 6 billion rupiah ($442,000) bribe from plantation businessman Hari Susanto Gun.The head of Kutai Kartanegara district in East Kalimantan is often dubbed the “queen of coal” given the number of mining permits she has issued. JAKARTA — A district chief from Indonesian Borneo has been named a corruption suspect over the issuance of an oil palm plantation permit, opening the door for law enforcers to unravel other cases related to natural resources in the coal-rich jurisdiction.Rita Widyasari, the elected head of Kutai Kutanegara, a district in East Kalimatan province, allegedly accepted a 6 billion rupiah ($442,000) bribe from Hari Susanto Gun, CEO of oil palm grower PT Sawit Golden Prima, in 2010. The money was in exchange for a plantation permit.Indonesia’s antigraft agency, known as the KPK, has instigated a massive effort to review the legality of thousands of licenses held by mining and, more recently, oil palm companies across the country. It has already revoked hundreds of mining permits. It is not yet clear whether Rita’s status as a suspect is directly connected to the initiative. Either way, the case against Rita over a permit she handed out seven years ago marks a departure from the agency’s usual approach to corruption over licensing: catching them in the act of taking a bribe, usually after tapping their phones.Kutai Kartanegara district is highlighted in red. It lies on the island of Borneo. Image by Ewesewes at Indonesian Wikipedia.Rita, whose second term in office is due to end in 2020, has announced plans to run for governor of East Kalimantan next year. Her father, Syaukani Hasan Rais, a former head of Kutai Kartanegara, was convicted of corruption in 2007.Given the number of permits she has issued, local media have dubbed her the “queen of coal.”Besides Rita, the KPK named as suspects Gun and Khairudin, an alleged middleman in the case.KPK commissioner Basaria Pandjaitan said Khairudin, who is a commissioner at local newspaper company PT Media Bangun Bersama (MBB), led a group of middlemen called Team 11 that helped Rita in some projects.According to Basaria, the KPK plans to use the case as a gateway to uncover other corruption cases in the region, with the antigraft body suspecting Rita and Khairudin of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from other projects.KPK investigators raided local government offices following the naming of Rita as a suspect. They also seized four cars allegedly belonging to Rita but purchased under other people’s names.The agency plans to examine Rita’s personal assets, which grew almost tenfold from 2011, the year after she became district chief, to 2015, when she ran for re-election. That year, she declared total assets of 236.7 billion rupiah, Basaria said.Rita has denied her role in the case, saying that the 6 billion rupiah that she received from Gun was not a bribe but a payment for gold she sold him.According to government data, there are 1,430 mining permit holders in East Kalimantan province — 820 companies holding exploration permits, with the rest given permission to operate. Altogether, these companies hold concessions covering 5.13 million hectares (12.7 million acres), just over 40 percent of the province’s total land area.Meanwhile, there are 625 mining permit holders in Kutai Kartanegara, making it the district with the largest number of mining permits in the province.Many coal companies have broken the law with impunity, failing to fill in their abandoned mining pits as required by law. These holes have claimed the lives of at least 27 people, mostly children. In May, Mongabay published an investigation into the identities of these companies’ owners, undertaken in partnership with Tempo magazine, Indonesia’s largest newsweekly.Rita herself is connected to coal miner PT Sinar Kumala Naga, suspected to have left behind 15 pits.Her mother, Dayang Kartini, is listed as the company’s largest shareholder. Her sister, Silvi Agustinia, is also listed as a commissioner, as is Golkar Party politician Azis Syamsuddin. Rita chairs the East Kalimantan chapter of Golkar.Maryati Abdullah, national coordinator of mining sector oversight at Publish What You Pay Indonesia, an NGO, urged the KPK to use Rita’s case as a stepping stone to probe the district’s mining sector.“There’s a need to investigate when and how mining permits are obtained [in the district]. Was there any conflict of interest? Because in the past, the district head had an authority to issue mining permits,” she said in an interview. “How come a district head could issue a mining permit for herself? It’s not normal.” Corruption, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Law, Governance, Indonesia, Law Enforcement, Mining, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Mining Banner image: Coal mined in East Kalimantan being transported by river barge. More than 237 million tons of coal were mined in East Kalimantan in 2015. Photo by Tommy Apriando for Mongabay-Indonesia. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong 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