Nearly 14,000 graduates were honored Friday as USC marked its 129th annual commencement ceremony with a keynote address from award-winning journalist Christiane Amanpour.Amanpour is the third female speaker since 1983.In her speech, she urged the new alumni to face their future with courage.Keynote · Christiane Amanpour, a correspondent for ABC News, delivered the commencement address to the class of 2012 and encouraged the nearly 14,000 graduates to pursue careers that they are passionate about. – Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan“Times are tough; I know the economy and the job market [don’t] look fantastic, but you … are the best equipped to come into this environment right now,” Amanpour said. “[God] has given all of us — all of you — exceptional talents, and what counts is what you do with them.”Amanpour encouraged students to find vocations that they could be passionate about.“Find something that sets you on fire,” she said. “But I hope that you don’t feel the need to hurry too much on the road. Don’t be too impatient. Don’t feel entitled. Don’t feel that the world owes you or that you have to be at the top of your profession a week after leaving graduate school or a week after leaving your university.”Chase Blood, who graduated with a master’s degree in building science, said Amanpour’s address was reassuring.“Her speech was full of things that you can stamp on your heart for the rest of your life,” Blood said. “It was definitely encouraging to hear that you don’t always have to work for the big company; you don’t always have to do the same things our parents did to be successful in your career.”But not all students were satisfied with Amanpour’s speech.David Crary, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in applied and computational mathematics, said he thought her message was underwhelming.“Her speech was uninspired and disappointing, and she offered poor advice throughout,” Crary said. “She said you shouldn’t worry about being the best, which I feel conveys mediocrity.”USC President C. L. Max Nikias conferred honorary degrees to USC’s Nisei alumni, first generation Japanese-American students who were forced to abandon their studies during the internment of Japanese nationals and American citizens of Japanese descent in the 1940s.Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan“The entire university community feels privileged to honor you [Nisei alumni] for your accomplishments,” Nikias said.USC also recognized seven other honorary degree recipients for their accomplishments, including philanthropic leader Julie Mork; CEO of Energy Corp. of America and USC Trustee John Mork; entrepreneur Armas C. “Mike” Markkula; pharmaceuticals scientist Victoria Hale; international humanitarian Dana Dornsife; USC Trustee David Dornsife; and Canadian Sen. Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire.The university acknowledged three students for their work: salutatorians Sonam Kapadia, who majored in biological sciences and health promotion and disease prevention studies, and Ryan Hill, who majored in biological sciences and kinesiology, and valedictorian Genevieve Hoffman, who majored in economics and international relations. Hoffman asked the graduates to use their knowledge as a means of bettering the world.“Our education at USC has given us the skills to be important and positive contributors,” Hoffman said. Austin Byron contributed to this report.
Poaching, illegal logging and illegal fishing of rare species protected under CITES occurs in 45 percent of the natural World Heritage sites, a new WWF report says.Illegal harvesting degrades the unique values that gave the heritage sites the status in the first place, the report says.Current approaches to preventing illegal harvesting of CITES listed species in World Heritage sites is not working, the report concludes. Wildlife crime plagues nearly half of the world’s natural UNESCO World Heritage sites, according to a new WWF report.Illegal harvesting — poaching, illegal logging and illegal fishing — of rare species protected under CITES (Convention on International trade in Endangered Species), and their trafficking, occurs in 45 percent of the more than 200 natural World Heritage sites, the study reported.Poaching of threatened animal species, such as elephants, rhinos and tigers, has been reported in at least 43 World Heritage sites, for example. Illegal logging of high-value tree species like rosewood and ebony was found to occur in 26 heritage properties, and illegal fishing has been reported from 18 out of the current 39 marine and coastal properties.Illegal rosewood stockpiles in Antalaha, Madagascar, in 2007. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.Natural World Heritage sites, from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to the Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Galápagos Islands, include some of the world’s most iconic species. Many of these sites are also the last refuges of critically endangered species.For example, Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia is believed to host the last remaining wild population of around 60 critically endangered Javan rhinos. Similarly, the Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California is home to the critically endangered vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise. The extremely rare vaquita is now estimated to be down to the last 30 individuals.Conservationists fear that if current levels of illegal harvesting continue in World Heritage sites, many species could soon become extinct.“This report is a sobering reminder of just how far this type of organized crime can reach, extending even into the supposed safety of World Heritage sites,” Inger Andersen, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said in a statement. “This is a global challenge that can only be tackled through collective, international action.”Less than 100 Sumatran rhinos remain, mostly in Indonesia’s Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Illegal harvesting of rare species from the World Heritage sites degrades the unique values that gave these places the status in the first place, the report says. Many of these sites also generate considerable tourism and local revenue, and decline of species due to illegal trade undermines the sites’ attractiveness to tourists, and threatens the livelihoods of the local communities.Wildlife trafficking also endangers the lives of conservation workers, the report notes. Between 2009 and 2016, for example, at least 595 rangers were killed in the line of duty, many of whom were protecting World Heritage sites.Current approaches to preventing illegal harvesting of CITES listed species in World Heritage sites is not working, the report concludes.“Governments must redouble their efforts and address the entire wildlife trafficking value chain, before it’s too late.” Marco Lambertini, Director General at WWF International, said in the statement. “We urgently need more collaboration and integration between CITES, the World Heritage Convention and national authorities to lead a more coordinated, comprehensive response to halt wildlife trafficking — from harvesting of species in source countries, transportation through processing destinations, to sales in consumer markets.”John Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, added: “This report provides a range of options to further enhance coordination between CITES and the World Heritage Convention, focused around World Heritage sites. It is essential that CITES is fully implemented and that these irreplaceable sites are fully protected. In doing so, we will benefit our heritage and our wildlife, provide security to people and places, and support national economies and the rural communities that depend on these sites for their livelihoods.”World Heritage sites host almost a third of all remaining wild tigers. Photo by Rhett A. Butler. Animals, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Elephants, Endangered Environmentalists, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Crime, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Marine Mammals, Plants, Protected Areas, Rhinos, Rosewood, Tigers, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Crime, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking, World Heritage Convention Article published by Shreya Dasgupta 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