first_imgAnimals, Birds, Cities, Conservation, Diseases, Environment, Green, Infectious Wildlife Disease, Pollution, Urbanization, Wildlife, Zoonotic Diseases House sparrows exposed to light at night had higher levels of West Nile virus in their blood for two days longer than sparrows that were exposed to darkness, according to a new study.The research sought to mimic the effects of light pollution common to urban environments on virus levels in a known reservoir of West Nile virus, which can cause a flu-like fever in humans.The team’s research suggests that an outbreak could be 41 percent more likely to happen as a result of the persistence of the virus in this host. Light pollution could lead to more infections with West Nile virus by increasing the amount of time that small songbirds hold on to the virus, according to a new study.“The findings may be the first indication that light pollution can affect the spread of zoonotic diseases,” Meredith Kernbach, a doctoral student in global health at the University of South Florida and lead author of the study, said in a statement. Kernbach and her colleagues published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences on July 24.Scientists already know that exposure to artificial light can affect animal biology, including our own, interfering with immune system functioning, metabolism and behavior.City lights in the United States. Image courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory.“Many hosts and vectors use light cues to coordinate daily and seasonal rhythms,” Kernbach said. “[D]isruption of these rhythms by light exposure at night could affect immune responses, generating the effects we see here.”She and her colleagues wondered whether artificial light might influence the way the birds’ bodies react to the virus that causes West Nile fever. Symptoms, when they do appear, are typically similar to those of the flu in humans, and in rare cases can be fatal.Research has shown that songbirds like house sparrows (Passer domesticus) carry West Nile virus, along with other diseases. They’re also frequent visitors to towns and cities, where light pollution abounds and where there are dense human populations to which they can hand off the virus through successive bites by the same mosquito.One of the house sparrows used in the study. Image courtesy of the University of South Florida.To test their hypothesis, the team kept two groups of wild house sparrows under different lighting conditions. The control group experienced 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness each day for up to three weeks. The second group of birds was kept in an area with 12 hours of light as well, but then the researchers exposed them to 12 hours of dim light meant to mimic the nighttime street and building lights of an urban environment. In the midst of the light exposure experiments, Kernbach and her colleagues inoculated the birds with West Nile virus.Beginning two days after exposure to the virus, the team measured the amount of the virus in the blood of each bird. They all had comparable levels of the virus after four days, but six days in, the birds being exposed to the nighttime lights had significantly higher levels of West Nile virus in their blood than the control group.The researchers also created a statistical model demonstrating that the lingering viral load in light-pollution-exposed sparrows could increase the chances of an outbreak of West Nile fever by 41 percent.A mosquito (Culex pipiens pipiens) known to transmit West Nile virus. Image by Fabrizio Montarsi via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0).Earlier research had shown that higher levels of the stress hormone corticosterone made another species of birds more enticing to hungry mosquitos, and the scientists did notice a slight bump in this compound in the birds exposed to the dim night lights. But that alone didn’t explain the persistence of West Nile virus in the animals’ blood samples, pointing to the need for more research. The stress that light induces could have other effects, for example, on the secretion of the hormone melatonin, that could affect bird behavior, the authors write.In the meantime, the team suggests that motion-sensitive lights might diminish exposure to light pollution and that lights could be turned off at night when the transmission of West Nile virus is particularly high.Banner image of a house sparrow courtesy of the University of South Florida. Citation:Kernbach, M. E., Newhouse, D. J., Miller, J. M., Hall, R. J., Gibbons, J., Oberstaller, J., … Martin, L. B. (2019). Light pollution increases West Nile virus competence of a ubiquitous passerine reservoir species. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1907), 20191051. doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.1051FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannoncenter_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

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first_imgArticle published by dilrukshi With fewer species of sea cucumbers being recorded in catches, Sri Lanka stands to benefit from a proposal that is calling for increased protection of threatened species under CITES Appendix II.Experts say there’s good precedent for believing that the listing will raise awareness and spur action to protect the sea cucumbers, citing the example of various shark species that received greater attention after being listed. In the early 1980s, a common sight along the still unpolluted beaches of southern Sri Lanka was that of fisherfolk sun-drying small, blackish, cylindrical objects. They called them sea slugs, sea leeches, or sea cucumbers. These marine invertebrates were so abundant in the shallow coastal regions that they could be picked by hand during low tide.But growing demand for sea cucumbers, considered a delicacy across Asia, has since driven the largely export-oriented Sri Lankan fishery to unsustainable levels.After the sea cucumbers in shallow coastal waters were harvested, the populations in deeper areas were targeted by snorkeling fishermen and skin divers. The fishing pressure was so enormous that the sea cucumber fishery in southern Sri Lanka collapsed within a few years.The eastern coast of the island suffered the same fate, and today the sea cucumber fishery is confined to the northern arc of Sri Lanka. Experts say they fear the remaining sea cucumber populations there, too, will be depleted if not managed properly.A drive to promote the farming of live sea cucumbers is being attempted in Sri Lanka as an alternative to collecting them from the wild. Image courtesy of Kumudini Ekaratne.“As mostly scuba divers hand pick sea cucumbers now, the pressure particularly on high value species are high. Some of these high value sea cucumber species are already rare to not available on many sites,” Chamari Dissanayake, from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, told Mongabay.Dissanayake was a former research officer at the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) who studied the sea cucumber fishery. She identified 24 sea cucumber species in Sri Lankan waters, of which 20 have some sort of commercial value.But the number being caught and sold is fast shrinking. A study published in May this year in the journal Aquatic Living Resources records nine sea cucumber species in commercial catches from November 2015 to January 2017 in Sri Lanka. That’s down from 11 species recorded in a study carried out in 2012, prompting researchers to conclude that some species are already overfished. These include the high-value Holothuria fuscogilva, known as the white teatfish and listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.Teatfish are generally in high demand, and overfishing has caused the populations to decline in many countries. H. nobilis, the black teatfish, is another rare species found in the Sri Lankan waters and listed as endangered.Weak species management systems, overexploitation by fishers, and vulnerable biological traits are the key reasons why teatfish sea cucumbers are under threat across their wide geographic range, said Steven Purcell, an expert on sea cucumbers at Australia’s Southern Cross University.“The teatfish species of sea cucumbers are impacted by a compounding problem called ‘opportunistic exploitation,’” he told Mongabay. “This occurs when fishers over-harvest high-value species and then shift to harvesting lower-value species but can still collect the last of the high-value ones opportunistically, while they are out in the sea. This means that the high-value species, such as the teatfish types, can be harvested to the level of local extinction.”As these teatfish require higher levels of protection against the international trade, a proposal has been submitted to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to list H. fuscogilva, H. nobilis and the endangered H. whitmaei (not recorded in Sri Lankan waters) in CITES Appendix II.The proposal, supported by the European Union, Kenya, Senegal, the Seychelles and the U.S., will be considered at the 18th Conference of Parties (CoP18) to CITES in Geneva from Aug. 17 to 28.There are three appendices under CITES offering varying degrees of protection for species. Inclusion in Appendix II will require countries to justify, through data collection and research, that exploitation and trade of the teatfish species in question won’t jeopardize their populations in the wild.A mix of sea cucumbers freshly collected from the ocean bed. Image courtesy of Terney Pradeep Kumara.For Sri Lanka, that could mean investing in field surveys to determine current population densities of black and white teatfish at multiple sites around the country, and socioeconomic surveys to determine which species, and how many, are collected by fishers, as well as identifying prevailing trading practices, Purcell said. This research would be required for assessing non-detriment findings and to inform decisions about whether trade should be allowed to continue at present levels.Dissanayake’s research indicates that about 10,000 people depend on the sea cucumber fishery, a key earner of foreign currency.“A solution has to be found by offering alternative livelihoods,” Dissanayake said.Sea cucumbers are processed to make bêche-de-mer, a popular delicacy in East Asia. Image courtesy of Terney Pradeep Kumara.Daniel Fernando, a co-founder of Blue Resources Trust, a marine research and conservation nonprofit, said there was good precedent to believe that achieving CITES listing for the overexploited sea cucumbers would be a key step toward protecting the species.“Many people still consider marine fish just as a commodity and there is little focus on their protection,” he told Mongabay. “But CITES listing of marine species made lot of people around the globe to change this outlook.”He pointed in particular to the listing of several shark species in various CITES appendices as helping to spur action for their protection.“As a result of previous listing of sharks, many countries including Sri Lanka began investing in the protection of the species,” Fernando said. “All these marine species become threatened due to unsustainable fishing practices and lack of management.”Citations:Kumara, P. B., Cumaranathunga, P. R., & Linden, O. (2005). Present status of the sea cucumber fishery in southern Sri Lanka: A resource depleted industry. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin, 22, 24-29.Nishanthan, G., Kumara, A., Prasada, P., & Dissanayake, C. (2019). Sea cucumber fishing pattern and the socio-economic characteristics of fisher communities in Sri Lanka. Aquatic Living Resources,32(12). doi:10.1051/alr/2019009Banner image of a fisherman drying boiled sea cucumbers in the sun on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, courtesy of Terney Pradeep Kumara. Cites, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation 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

read more

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 Article published by Isabel Esterman Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Encroachment, Endangered Species, Environment, Featured, Infrastructure, Mammals, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforests, Roads, Tigers, Wildlife center_img Sumatra’s Kerinci Seblat National Park is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS), which has been inscribed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger since 2011.UNESCO has noted particular concern about a spate of road projects planned for Kerinci Seblat and other protected areas within the TRHS.According to park officials, Indonesia’s forestry ministry has refused permits for all new roads within the park; the sole project to receive permission is the upgrade of an existing road.The park still faces immense pressure from encroachment for agriculture, logging, mining and poaching. The rainforests that once carpeted Indonesia’s Sumatra Island are among the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, home to iconic species like the Sumatran tiger, rhino and orangutan. They are also among the most imperiled; in just two decades, between 1990 and 2010, Sumatra lost 40 percent of its old-growth forest. The tigers, rhinos and orangutans that roamed those forests are now critically endangered.Much of the intact forest that remains is protected, at least nominally, in a series of National Parks, and, since 2004, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS).Rainforest foliage surrounds a waterfall outside Lempur village in Sumatra. Image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.In recent years, concern has grown that Indonesian authorities are not doing enough to protect this critical biodiversity hotspot. Since 2011, the site has been inscribed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage In Danger due to the risks of logging, encroachment, road expansion and poaching.In 2016, UNESCO flagged up concerns about road construction in the area, particularly in Kerinci Seblat National Park, a protected area extending for 350 kilometers (217 miles) from northwest to southeast along the rugged spine of the Bukit Barisan Mountains.In the years since, it’s been some good news and some bad news for Kerinci Seblat National Park.Canceled RoadsIn 2016, UNESCO identified 12 planned or proposed road projects in four zones of the park. Now, park officials say, the list of road expansion projects of concern has been whittled down to five. And of those, four are cancelled. The only project currently set to go forward is the improvement of an existing road, which runs from Sandaran Agung mountain across to Tapan near the West coast.A slide presentation from the Kerinci Seblat National Park office details proposed road projects, four of which have been canceled.According to Hadinata Karyadi, a spokesman for Kerinci Seblat National Park in Sungai Penuh, the town encircled by the park, the local office of the forestry ministry had formally recommended to the minister that the four now-cancelled projects be denied approval. For example, Karyadi says his office urged the ministry to refuse approval for a proposed road through the village of Lempur because it threatened critical tiger habitat. Those rejections were duly issued over a two-year period, with the last project being denied a permit in 2018.The road-improvement project that was approved presents fewer environmental concerns, Karyadi says, because it involves upgrading an already existing road rather than building a new one. The current road is steep, winding and currently in such bad condition that even public minibuses will not use it, Karyadi says. Once improved, though, he says the road will be sufficient to serve as an evacuation route in case of natural disasters — one of the frequent justifications for proposing new road projects in the park. “Improving the existing road is better than building a new one,” he says. “If it is good, it will be enough for evacuation needs for now.”Some concerns do remain, because any increase in traffic on a road through the park could affect the local wildlife. In late 2018, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), an NGO working closely with the national park management, planned an “intensive biodiversity survey” to “assess impacts of upgrading a road running through the national park and make recommendations to government.”For now, the most hazardous road proposals seem to be off the table, though FFI notes that “local political elites” continue to push for the revival of the cancelled projects. But the park and its ecosystems remain under serious threat due to population growth, agriculture and industry.“Encroachment on the national park is the main problem,” Karyadi says. He adds that the current staff of around 70 rangers isn’t enough to police the huge perimeter and that his office has requested a larger budget.This road from Lempur village towards the Kerinci Seblat National Park was proposed for upgrading by local politicians. So far park authorities have refused because the area it would cross is in a highly sensitive biodiversity area and tiger core zone. Image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.A rejected roadOne of the most controversial projects was the proposed new road in the south of the park, through Lempur. At present a trail runs from Lempur, through the village rice fields and continues as a wide rocky walking trail that winds through the forest. According to locals, it’s been there ever since anyone can remember. These days it’s used mainly to get to local tourist sites such as Kaco Lake and for trekking to the national park.“My team made a full report and gave it to the ranger,” says trekking guide Andi Tiasanoawa in Lempur, explaining his response to the road proposal. “We don’t want people cutting the trees,” he says, adding that he makes his living from the forest and doesn’t want it damaged.Guide Zacky Zaid, who has been trekking these hills regularly for 10 years, says a past road project in the area made people aware of the potential downsides such developments can bring. Zaid says that around five years ago the government agreed to build an access road to the village of Renah Kemumu inside the park boundary. “This route was one of the popular five-day treks that we did,” Zaid says. But once the road was built, the wildlife that the tourists came to see dwindled. “Lots of people cut the trees when the government built the road,” he says. “The nature is not really good anymore. There are no big trees anymore. For us I’m so sad. We closed trip there a couple of years ago.”Ultimately, the Lempur road was rejected “because it threatened the tiger core area,” Karyadi says.A woman fills a sack with freshly harvested rice in a paddy field near Sungai Penuh in the Kerinci valley. Image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.Fertile farmingAt 3,805 meters (12,483 feet) above sea level, Mount Kerinci is the tallest volcano in Indonesia, and dominates the landscape here. The alluvial sediment deposited by past eruptions provides the valley with mineral-rich soil that draws farmers. Steep hills that ring the valley create the boundary to the national park beyond. Migration into the valley has led to pressure on the park as farmers encroach on the hills.A huge 10,000-hectare (24,700-acre) tea plantation stretches across the valley floor; in between, farmer’s plots host a variety of everything from potatoes to tomatoes and coffee.As the elevation rises and the valley floor gives way to the steep mountain slopes, the crops change to cinnamon, rubber, coffee and cloves. These tree crops give the slopes a forested appearance, but close up the hills are cultivated and densely populated with farming communities.“The cinnamon boom is a particular problem” driving encroachment, says Karyadi. Others see it as a benign and sustainable traditional practice that also has economic benefits for poor farmers.In the farming village of Talang Kemulun at the foot of the hills that form the valley’s southern perimeter, Eibru Hajar says he mainly grows cinnamon and coffee on his own land. “I have around a hundred cinnamon trees and cut them in a rotation cycle of 15 years,” he says. “I get around 50 kilos [110 pounds] per tree.“The rangers come by every couple of months,” Hajar adds. “So I’m afraid of cutting the trees [inside the park boundary]. The penalty for cutting forest trees is a big fine and if you don’t have money you get several months in prison.”Eibru Hajar is a cinammon farmer in Talang Kemulun village which sits at the bottom of steep hills marking the border of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. Image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.But the threat of penalties doesn’t deter everybody, and NGOs like FFI report that land continues to be cleared within the borders of the park.Illegal mining is another threat. In a 2018 report, FFI said it found alluvial gold mining sites in and around the park’s borders, “posing serious threat to a key tiger corridor with a dirt road constructed which entered the edge of the national park.” Despite the central government’s commitment to protecting the park, local political pressure on the park remains high. In 2017, it spilled into open conflict when gold miners held a municipal government official hostage, according to FFI.FFI also tracks illegal logging and poaching of pangolins, tigers and other wildlife. It notes that law enforcement efforts since 2016 did seem to have an impact on reducing the poaching, but that these efforts remain a challenge.With agribusiness and extractive industries hungry for new land, the pressure on Sumatra’s forests is relentless. Kerinci Seblat is no exception, and migrant farmers have swelled the local population, placing further pressure on the national park.Last year the park management set up a Role Model Program, to try and stem escalating encroachment, especially by migrant farmers who frequently claim that the park’s boundaries are unclear.“The park boundary is well demarcated with concrete markers about one meter [3 feet] tall,” Karyadi says. “In some places locals have dug up the marker posts.”The scheme aims to restore encroached forest and establish alternative livelihoods. Along the way are manifold obstacles, not least gaining the participation and cooperation of sometimes reluctant farmers.“This week we caught some illegal loggers and handed them to the police. They will be judged by the law,” Karyadi says. His office is trying to navigate a tricky path between encouraging farmers to change their practices through incentives (some get financial rewards under the Role Model scheme), and punishing offenders who have clearly broken national park rules.For now, encroachment by farmers is ongoing, but local political attempts to accelerate this by opening up new areas through road-building have been limited. Meanwhile, political tensions remain between politicians seeking more infrastructure building and the forestry ministry, which works with the support of international NGOs to maintain the integrity of the national park and its borders.Rainforest overhangs Kaco Lake near Lempur village near Kerinci Seblat National Park. Image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.Banner Image: a Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), one of the park’s iconic species, by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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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, Deep Sea, Deep Sea Mining, Featured, Interviews, Oceans, Research Article published by Erik Hoffnercenter_img Dr. Diva Amon was raised on the shores of the Caribbean Sea and has become an expert on what lies deep below its surface, where light refuses to go.“We can’t effectively manage what we don’t understand or protect what we don’t know,” she tells Mongabay in a new interview.The promise and peril of deep sea mining is just one of the reasons she and her colleagues are working hard to understand the biodiversity of the oceans’ greatest depths.Dr. Amon is speaking at the upcoming Jackson Wild Summit in Wyoming later this month. Deep sea biologist Diva Amon is a Trinidadian who was raised by the shore of the Caribbean Sea, but has become well known not for the sea’s edge, but rather for what lies deep beneath it. She co-founded SpeSeas, a non-profit NGO focused on increasing marine science, education and advocacy in Trinidad and Tobago, and is currently a Research Fellow at the National History Museum, London.She will be part of the deep sea session of the upcoming Jackson Wild Summit in Jackson, WY, September 21-27, which will have a focus on ‘Living Oceans’ (more information and registration for the event is here).Prior to heading for Wyoming, Dr. Amon took a break to answer a few questions.Diva Amon in a research submersible. Photo courtesy of Novus Select.Mongabay: Hydrothermal vents and the communities that thrive on them have been a regular source of  discovery in recent years, can you describe your new study‘s assessment of their biodiversity?Dr. Diva Amon: Cruise reports, initial observations and assessments from research cruises are an overlooked source of biological information. This recently published study has used all available cruise reports from cruises that went to hydrothermal vents to show that global research effort has been skewed geographically. We know much more about vents in the Northern Hemisphere, in places like the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, while regions such as the Southern and Indian Oceans are practically unexplored. Under business as usual scenarios, this would propel us scientists to increase our work in understudied areas, but with mining of hydrothermal vents looming, it is an alarm bell.We must make it a priority to gather more data so that accurate environmental assessments of the impact of mining can be made, especially vent sites [that] are unique, and many more vent sites are threatened by deep-sea mining in the Southern Hemisphere. As it currently stands, as Andrew, the lead author says, “we’re drawing on data from very different ecosystems. It’s like trying to understand the impacts of logging in a tropical rainforest, but only using forestry data from the Pacific Northwest.” We desperately need to correct this if mining at deep-sea hydrothermal vents is to move forward responsibly.What gaps are there in our knowledge of these communities? Our assessment also reminded us that despite hydrothermal vents being some of the most well-explored deep-sea habitats, when compared with terrestrial ones, we know next to nothing about them. Globally, many sites are only inferred from chemical signals and have never been visited [and] others we don’t even know exist. For those where scientists have been working, a big gap is the natural variability of these habitats and the communities there.Hydrothermal vents were only discovered in 1977, with new sites being discovered nearly every year. Many of these sites have only been visited once, or a handful of times, so that temporal aspect is missing. We also are only now grasping how communities are connected with – and travel between – vent sites, not just on local scales, but also regionally and globally. And what about the big roles that vents are playing for the rest of the deep sea, our oceans and our planet?One of Dr. Amon’s favorite animals to see on a dive, the dumbo octopus. Image via Smithsonian Institution.Collaboration is a key way to gather those missing pieces! Firstly, between scientists from around the world, especially from countries that have not previously had the financial or technological capability to conduct studies, even within their own waters themselves. Secondly, with industry. Industry may have access to resources and data that science may not, and vice versa. Thirdly, with the regulators, so that  regulations can be adopted, as well as enforced, effectively. We must continue to explore the deep ocean in order to understand it better.What inspired you to study these nearly impossible to reach depths?I’m Trinidadian and grew up in the Caribbean, which meant spending a lot of time by the sea. I knew I loved the ocean but I never gave the deep ocean any thought. It wasn’t until my first deep-sea biology course, I was struck hearing that less than 1% of our deep ocean had ever been explored. That is a staggering figure! Everyone has some inner desire to explore, to see things no one has ever seen, to answer questions that have never been answered, to have experiences that few have ever had. Deep-sea science was my gateway to that excitement of never knowing what you’re going to see in an unexplored and ever-changing ocean.You are a leader of the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI)’s minerals working group: what is that group doing to safeguard the deep ocean and inform sustainable use of things like deep-sea minerals? DOSI is an expert group that seeks to integrate science, technology, policy, law and economics to advise on ecosystem-based management of resources in the deep ocean and strategies to maintain the integrity of deep-ocean ecosystems. We work across a range of issues, from deep-sea fishing to oil and gas extraction, deep-sea mining, and even the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) negotiations at the UN. Many of us assist in collecting mandatory and crucial deep-sea data and then we take that science, as well as from other colleagues, and translate it so that it can be used to guide policy through conversations with stakeholders.A submersible inspects a newly discovered hydrothermal vent. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.What are the chief challenges to meaningful deep sea stewardship? Lack of data and understanding! Less than 1% of the deep sea has ever been imaged or seen, so it’s currently very difficult to make stewardship decisions. Not only do the deep ocean, its inhabitants, and their functions amaze and inspire us, but they also have the potential to provide solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges, but we just don’t know yet. We can’t effectively manage what we don’t understand or protect what we don’t know.What creature has given you the greatest joy of seeing in the deep so far during one of your expeditions?Dumbo octopus get me every time! They are just so cute! Also headless chicken monsters (Enypniastes eximia), which are a type of sea cucumber capable of swimming. Their movement is just hypnotic, like a lava lamp. We see these often but there is great video from a cruise to the Gulf of Mexico in 2017.What do you yearn to see?Has to be giant tubeworms from the Pacific vents (Riftia pachyptila). They are one of the most iconic deep-sea species, and would be like seeing a big cat during a safari. It’s on my bucket list!Photo of one of the largest concentrations of Riftia pachyptila ever observed, with anemones and mussels colonizing in close proximity. Image courtesy of the 2011 NOAA Galapagos Rift Expedition.Dr. Amon will be part of the deep sea session of the Jackson Wild Summit in Jackson, WY, September 21-27, which will have a focus on ocean health. More information and registration for the event is here.last_img read more

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first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Climate Change, Climate Change And Forests, Commentary, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Editorials, Environment, Forest Fires, Forests, Global Warming, Indigenous Peoples, Ranching, Researcher Perspective Series In New York’s Battery Park last Friday night, Greta Thunberg rightly said, “This is an emergency. Our house is on fire.” She continued, “This Monday, world leaders are going to be gathered here in New York City for the U.N. Climate Action Summit. The eyes of the world will be on them. They have a chance to take leadership, to prove they actually hear us.”In Mesoamerica, leaders are listening and acting. During the Climate Summit, Mesoamerica’s leaders announced their commitment to protect the “Five Great Forests of Mesoamerica” and shared some of their governments’ lessons learned to date to reduce forest fires and tackle deforestation.We are supporting them by promoting an initiative in which governments, Indigenous Peoples, and civil society are coming together to protect 10 million hectares and restore 500,000 hectares in these critical forest areas, thereby helping safeguard the world’s climate.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. This week’s Climate Strike mobilized and inspired millions of people around the world, including us.On Friday, we stood with young protesters in New York’s Battery Park, listening to Greta Thunberg’s speech. Her courageous words, her grit, her honesty, her powerful presence, the overwhelming gravity and urgency of her message coming from such an unlikely leader… Greta brought us to tears.We both belong to conservation organizations and have dedicated our lives and careers to protecting forests and wildlife. In other words, we are already believers in Greta’s message. We know that the world’s intact forests, along with the ocean, sequester half of humankind’s carbon emissions every year, and that protecting them and working to restore ecosystems around the planet are the most efficient ways to mitigate climate change.We have seen firsthand the magic and majesty of Mesoamerica’s last five great, intact forests. Spanning from Mexico to Colombia, this “Amazon” of Mesoamerica covers an area three times the size of Switzerland and is home to more than 7.5 percent of the planet’s biodiversity, such as the jaguar and endangered Baird’s tapir. The five forests hold nearly 50 percent of the region’s forest carbon stocks and provide important ecosystem services to 5 million people, including clean water, clean air, food security, and climate stability.The jaguar’s range currently extends from Mexico through Central America to South America. The species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and the population is declining. Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher.Yet we have also seen the devastation. Since 2000, an insatiable global demand for beef has driven reduction of three of Mesoamerica’s five great forests by more than 23 percent. Ninety percent of deforestation in the five forests results from illegal cattle ranching — sometimes used as a front for organized crime and drug trafficking and sometimes connected to international markets.To make matters worse, climate change-induced drought has sparked widespread forest fires, with smoke eclipsing the sun and choking both humans and wildlife. At times, it feels apocalyptic.Greta rightly said, “This is an emergency. Our house is on fire.” She continued, “This Monday, world leaders are going to be gathered here in New York City for the U.N. Climate Action Summit. The eyes of the world will be on them. They have a chance to take leadership, to prove they actually hear us.”In Mesoamerica, leaders are listening and acting.During the Climate Summit, Mesoamerica’s leaders announced their commitment to protect the “Five Great Forests of Mesoamerica” and shared some of their governments’ lessons learned to date to reduce forest fires and tackle deforestation. We are supporting them by promoting an initiative in which governments, Indigenous Peoples, and civil society are coming together to protect 10 million hectares and restore 500,000 hectares in these critical forest areas, thereby helping safeguard the world’s climate.The Five Forest Initiative follows four key principles that give us hope for its success.A movement, not a projectThe Five Forests Initiative will convene and support a “Five Forests Alliance,” including the region’s governments, civil society, universities, and local and indigenous communities, collectively working along a single, coherent strategy. Through mass mobilization of resources channeled to an alliance of the most effective partners in each of the forests, the initiative will effect broad and lasting impact.Addressing the primary threatGreater than 90 percent of the deforestation within the Five Forests is caused by illegal cattle ranching that has been allowed to invade protected areas and indigenous territories. The Five Forests Initiative will work to address illegal ranching while providing economic alternatives for local people that result in more trees and fewer cows and that are compatible with local and indigenous cultures.Local solutionsNearly half of the Five Forests of Mesoamerica are governed by Indigenous Peoples who have lived and worked sustainably in them for centuries. They have time-tested solutions for how to live and work in these landscapes in ways that promote biodiversity conservation and limit forest degradation and deforestation. The Five Forests Alliance is committed to integrating local and indigenous voices as leaders to understand, promote, and scale community-based solutions.Trust in local capacityThe Five Forests Initiative endeavors to empower the conservationists of Mesoamerica to create the conditions in which they can implement their own innovative ideas and generate the change needed to save the region’s forests, including consistent and well-paid employment.Mesoamerica’s people, culture, biodiversity, economic health, resilience to climate change—the very essence of Mesoamerica—all depend on these five great forests. To survive as a planet and stave off the worst effects of climate change, we all depend on the success of movements like Mesoamerica’s Five Great Forests Initiative.As Greta famously said, “I want you to act. I want you to act as if our house is on fire.”Mesoamerica’s forests are literally on fire. The region’s governments, Indigenous Peoples, civil society, and the broader conservation community now commit to protect them.La Mosquitia is a region of rainforest in the easternmost part of Honduras. Photo Credit: John Polisar, WCS.CITATION• Baccini, A. G. S. J., Goetz, S. J., Walker, W. S., Laporte, N. T., Sun, M., Sulla-Menashe, D., … & Samanta, S. (2012). Estimated carbon dioxide emissions from tropical deforestation improved by carbon-density maps. Nature climate change, 2(3), 182. doi:10.1038/nclimate1354Dr. Jeremy Radachowsky is Regional Director of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean for WCS and has worked for more than two decades to conserve Mesoamerica’s forests.Dr. Chris Jordan is the Central America and Tropical Andes Coordinator for Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC).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

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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 Banner image: Beatrice Rukanyana looks out over a sugar plantation near Bugoma Forest. Photo: Thomas Lewton for MongabayFEEDBACK: 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. Bugoma is one of the most biodiverse forests in Uganda, home to a wide variety of plants and animals including chimpanzees and Uganda mangabeys (Lophocebus ugandae) like this one (photographed in Kibale National Park). Photo: Duncan Wright/Wikicommons (CC-SA-3.0) Article published by terna gyuse Agriculture, Community-based Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Global Forest Watch, Green, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Tropical Forests Like other protected areas in Uganda, Bugoma Forest has been threatened by encroachment for decades; now up to a fifth of what remains could be cleared to plant sugar cane.Women, generally responsible for growing food, and collecting water and firewood, feel the impacts of forest degradation acutely.Despite many obstacles, they are taking up a leading role in defending the environment, particularly against increasing pressure from extractive industries. KAMPALA, Uganda – “How come these people are coming to Bugoma to destroy our nature? Nature is protecting us,” says Beatrice Rukanyanga as she strides along the forest boundary. Twisting hardwood trees protrude from a tangle of foliage on one side, neat rows of pine and eucalyptus stand on the other.Rukanyanga cuts into the forest and adeptly maneuvers through the thick undergrowth, selecting leaves from different plants as she goes. “I’m picking medicine for stomach upsets. We’ve also got plants that treat malaria and skin problems,” she explains. For women who live close to the forest, it has always been an important source of food, medicine, and firewood — resources that are dwindling along with the forest.Bugoma Forest spans 40,000 hectares (98,800 acres) along the northern tip of the Albertine Rift Valley, which divides Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Around 500 chimpanzees have made their home here, alongside a species of mangabey monkey found only in Uganda and hundreds of species of birds, trees and shrubs, making the forest one of the most biodiverse in the country.For decades, Bugoma Forest has been shrinking. Locals say illegal loggers pay off officials to turn a blind eye to their activities, while tea and timber plantations on the perimeter push the forest’s boundary back piece by piece. Across Uganda, forest cover has declined from 24 percent of the country’s total land area in 1990 to 9 percent in 2015, according to the Ministry of Water and Environment.Now the forest faces a new and grievous threat. On Bugoma’s northern edge, a yellow bulldozer stands, waiting to begin clearing away forest to make way for a sugarcane plantation. In 2016, the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom leased one-fifth of the remaining protected forest to Hoima Sugar Ltd. The lease was challenged, but a High Court ruling in April 2019 found in favor of Hoima Sugar and the Kingdom, once one of the most powerful empires in East and Central Africa, which still enjoys significant autonomy under the state. The National Forest Authority has applied for the court order to be suspended, and is appealing the decision.“When we were young, this forest was thick,” says Rukanyanga. “It was giving a lot of rainfall; it was dark wherever you passed.” Photo: Thomas Lewton for MongabayThe rise of extractivesFrom oil wells springing up along the Albertine Rift Valley, to forested islands on Lake Victoria razed for oil palm plantations, Uganda’s government is supporting the rapid growth of extractive industries. But ranged against this is the swift growth of an eco-feminist movement that regards protection of the environment as essential to the protection of human rights.A grassroots network of women is working to raise awareness, share knowledge, and directly resist the destruction of the environment while creating alternative models of development. The movement hopes to strengthen the political and economic power of women in society — and so push back destruction of the natural environment.“When we were young, this forest was thick,” recalls Rukanyanga, remembering a time before industrial plantations arrived in the region. “It was giving a lot of rainfall; it was dark wherever you passed.” Rukanyanga is the coordinator of the Kwataniza Women Farmers Group, who live near Bugoma Forest and who make and sell charcoal-saving stoves while also educating women about their land rights and the sustainable use of natural resources.Rainfall patterns in the region have been disrupted in recent years, which Rukanyanga attributes to widespread deforestation. A 2012 study in Nature found that deforestation in the tropics reduces local rainfall. “Climate change has been real,” she says. “Last year people waited for rains, planted and the seed just died in the soil. There is now food insecurity in most of our homes.”Traditionally, women are responsible for growing food, and collecting water and firewood — and so they feel the impacts of environmental destruction acutely. Incidents of domestic violence also increase when food is scarce. “When you violate these resources, you are also violating women,” says Sostine Namanya, who coordinates an eco-feminist network in her role for the National Association for Professional Environmentalists (NAPE).NAPE, along with sister organization the National Association for Women’s Action in Development, has brought together more than 5,000 women from across Uganda to demand both gender and economic justice from the government and its industrial partners. “Women get to know each other, they share experiences and strategize together,” she says, reflecting on how they facilitate exchanges between women’s groups across the country.They follow in the footsteps of pioneering African eco-feminists such as Wangari Maathai, who in the 1970s founded the Green Belt Movement — responsible for planting more than 50 million trees in Kenya and training tens of thousands of women in practices such as forestry and beekeeping.In Kampala, Uganda’s Fridays for Future movement, inspired by Greta Thunberg, has young women and girls at its forefront. And in the country’s north, radical feminist traditions are challenging the government and corporate interests. Here Acholi women are known to strip in public to invoke a curse on their enemies; in 2017, this tactic was used by elderly women leaders to oppose 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) of land being taken to build a sugar-processing facility in Amuru district. The police responded with violence and, despite these protests, the government continued with land evictions.Speaking out publicly against the government, or the industries they back, is fraught with risk in Uganda. “They can teargas you,” says Rukanyanga, noting that the 2013 Public Order Management Act makes it illegal to organize public meetings without police consent. “So we make a peaceful demonstration. We write placards and we go with letters to the authorities,” she says.Earlier this year, women living around Bugoma Forest petitioned parliament to oppose the lease to Hoima Sugar, while community forest management groups, whose membership is majority women, patrol the forest boundary and inform the National Forest Authority if they suspect illegal activity.Namanya acknowledges that Uganda’s political climate limits the activities of the eco-feminist movement, noting that several members have been physically assaulted or unlawfully arrested after speaking publicly about land-grabbing.But working quietly, from the grassroots, changing attitudes and building communities, can be effective too, Namanya says. “The government, even the president, always says: ‘Ah, you [can] leave the women, they cannot change anything, they are not a threat.’ That is something that we silently take advantage of, to do the organizing and resisting.”A truck loaded with sugar cane on one of the dirt roads around Bugoma Forest. Photo: Thomas Lewton for Mongabay.Who benefits?With tax exemptions and long leases on land offered by the government, Uganda is considered an attractive destination for foreign investors in the mining and plantation industries. In the case of sugarcane, production has quadrupled in the last two decades, and Uganda now exports tens of thousands of tons each year.Fifty kilometers (30 miles) to the north of Bugoma Forest, a string of oil wells is under construction along the shore of Lake Albert. Since 2006, multi-billion-barrel reserves of crude oil have been discovered in the region, and with the first oil expected to flow in 2022, the Minister of Works and Transport anticipates up to $20 billion of investment in the next three years. And along the northern shore of Lake Victoria since 2003, BIDCO, a transnational soap and oil producer headquartered in Kenya, has cleared thousands of hectares of forest and grassland to plant oil palm.Government officials say that encouraging these industries is vital for the growth of Uganda’s economy and for local job creation, particularly in impoverished rural areas. Uganda’s GDP per capita is among the lowest in the world.But an investigation by the eco-watchdog Global Witness in 2017 exposed “endemic corruption and mismanagement” in Uganda’s fledgling petroleum sector, with local economic interests and protection of the environment losing out in favor of international investors and “crooked officials.”“It is the state, it is big shots in government, it is foreigners who benefit,” Namanya says, pointing to other mineral-rich countries in sub-Saharan Africa that have fallen foul of the resource curse. “How come they are still extremely poor and there is a gross violation of rights? It will not be different for Uganda. We have to find better ways,” she says.Of concern for the eco-feminist movement is the way in which land is acquired by extractive industries operating in Uganda; illegal evictions following false land claims, and inadequate compensation for land rights are common. On the island of Buvuma, chosen for the next phase of the government’s ambitious oil palm development project, the tensions between economic growth, gender justice and environmental protection are marked.Members of the Ganyana Women’s Group on Buvuma Island: women here have demonstrated a deep understanding of the value of land and the natural services it provides to their families. Photo: Thomas Lewton for MongabayCase study: Buvuma Island“At first, when I used to pass by, most of the islands had forests, but along the landing sites you could see timber waiting for boats to be taken across. Then after a few years it was charcoal,” says Jameson Muberwa, a government agricultural adviser who moved to Buvuma, a tropical island along Lake Victoria’s northern shore, in 1995. “Now you no longer see trees being brought along the landing site.”Between 1991 and 2014, the population of Buvuma increased fivefold to 90,000 people as cheap land and the hope of work encouraged mass immigration from the mainland. Much of the island’s enduring mosaic of indigenous forest, grass savanna, and wetlands quickly became agricultural land for smallholder farmers. Now dramatic changes are carving up the landscape once again with the imminent development of a 10,000-hectare oil palm plantation on the island, part of the government’s Vegetable Oil Development Project, in partnership with BIDCO.“The palm oil project is a welcome development for the people,” says Gladys Nalunkuma, Buvuma district’s natural resources officer. She notes how dwindling fish stocks in the lake, crop failures linked to reduced rainfall in recent years, and the decline of the timber and charcoal industries have plunged many residents into poverty. One-third of the land designated for oil palm has been earmarked for around 2,000 local farmers, who will supply palm fruit to BIDCO.Yet many of Buvuma’s residents are questioning whether they have anything to gain from the project.“For us local people who didn’t go to school, we would be earning very little,” says Shmirah Nansimbe, chairperson of the Bukigindi Tree Planting Women’s Group. Through dialogues with women on the nearby Ssesse Islands, the location of BIDCO’s original 10,000-hectare plantation, which began operating in 2003, eco-feminists share knowledge about the realities of industrial oil palm.While the Ssesse Islands project has created around 3,700 jobs, most of these jobs pay less than prevailing wages in the area — and often with poor working conditions. As a result, much of the workforce are migrants to the island, while local communities struggle to continue fishing, farming and living from forest products because of the environmental degradation. With smallholders’ land now occupied by oil palm, food prices on the island have also risen. Despite concerns that these conditions will be replicated on Buvuma, some residents have had little choice over whether they sell their land to the government.“When BIDCO came in they didn’t teach people about the positives and negatives,” says Mariam Nakatu, who is leading a legal case against the government by 250 evicted households of Buvuma. “One morning you just see BIDCO people coming with the local chairman, and they would say that the land title has already been given away [by the landlord].”She describes how land surveyors would then discreetly transfer the tenancy and occupancy rights of large segments of land to their associates, so they would only receive a fraction of the compensation they were due. A report published in 2019 by the NGOs Tropenbos International and the Ecological Trends Alliance found that the Uganda Land Commission skipped processes during land acquisition and created leaseholds in favor of BIDCO. According to the report, “free, prior informed consent was not strictly adhered to,” while a murky valuation and compensation process alongside a lack of legal representation led to “high numbers of very disgruntled” residents on the island.“When BIDCO came in they didn’t teach people about the positives and negatives,” says Mariam Nakatu, who is leading a legal case against the government brought by more than 600 evicted residents of Buvuma. Photo: Thomas Lewton for Mongabay.By bringing women to the fore during land negotiations, the eco-feminist movement hopes to slow the sale of land for extractive industries. Women, Namanya says, have a deeper understanding of the value of land and the natural services it provides to families, and so are less willing to sell in the first place. “Our husbands sell the land that we are farming on without us knowing, and when they receive the money they run off and marry other wives,” says Benine Naluyima, of the Ganyana Women’s Group, a cooperative making charcoal-saving stoves and replanting trees on the island.Seeking out alternative, sustainable livelihoods on Buvuma, the Bukigindi Tree Planting Women’s Group has also replanted 18 hectares (45 acres) of degraded land, which was once protected rainforest, with indigenous species such as mahogany and musizi. Nansimbe leads the group up a hillside, pointing out the crops the community is growing in the protective shade of young trees. Gradually, as the forest thickens, they will have a renewed source of firewood and other forest products.Yet the process of regeneration is slow, and their work is becoming more challenging as the climate changes. “The sun is shining too much during the dry season now, and it’s difficult to get water to the trees from the lake,” Nansimbe says.Considering the strength of the palm oil industry, and the government’s support of it, others are willing to compromise. Betty Kabwaalu Nanyonjo, who grew up on the Ssesse Islands, regularly visits Buvuma, sharing her experiences and advising women not to sell their land. “People from outside coming to buy your land. Is that development?” she asks. Yet Nanyonjo encourages women to “get involved” in growing oil palm. “Let the people grow the oil palm and the investors buy the oil,” she says. “You welcome the project, because whether you like it or not the project will take off.”The Bukigindi Tree Planting Women’s Group has replanted 18 hectares (45 acres) of degraded land near Bugoma with indigenous species. Photo: Thomas Lewton for Mongabaylast_img read more

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first_imgThis year’s August Amazon fires grabbed headlines around the world. In response, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his administration accused the media of lying and exaggerating the disaster, then finally sent in the army to combat the blazes. As of October, many of the fires were under control.But experts note that the fires are only a symptom of a far greater problem: rampant and rising deforestation. Altogether, 7,604 square kilometers (2,970 square miles) of rainforest were felled during the first nine months of this year, an 85 percent increase over the same period last year.Unscrupulous land speculators are growing rich, say experts, as they mine, log and clear rainforest — operations often conducted illegally on protected lands. Typically, the speculators cut valuable trees, burn the remainder, and sell the cleared land at a heavily marked up price to cattle ranchers or agribusiness.So far, Bolsonaro has done little to inhibit these activities, while doing and saying much to encourage deforestation, mining and agribusiness. The government has de-toothed the nation’s environmental agencies and slashed their budgets, while hampering officials from enforcing environmental laws. Deforestation caused by an Illegal gold mine and encampment within Yanomami Park, July 2018. An estimated 20,000 illegal goldminers (garimpeiros) have entered Yanomami Park, one of Brazil’s biggest indigenous reserves, located in Roraima and Amazonas states, near the border with Venezuela. Image courtesy of Rogerio Assis / ISA.In late August, as dramatic images of raging Amazon fires were relayed around the globe, the Brazilian government at first made denials, then finally took action. President Jair Bolsonaro announced his Guarantee of Law and Order Operation (GLO), and the nation’s armed forces were rapidly deployed to implement the plan and control blazes.A month later the army proclaimed the operation “effective,” having “destroyed 17 illegal camps and apprehended 74 vehicles and over 20,000 liters [3,500 gallons] of fuel.” Most important, the number of forest fires fell by 25.1 percent in September, according to IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency. General Hamilton Mourão, standing in as president while Bolsonaro visited the UN in New York in September, decided to extend the operation for another month.By the end of October, GLO will have cost 90 million reais (US$22 million) — more than the 76.8 million reais (US$18.7 million) annual 2020 budget earmarked for IBAMA. It is IBAMA that principally fought past Amazon fires with considerable success, but whose budget cuts and disempowerment under presidents Michel Temer, and especially Bolsonaro, have left the agency largely unable to battle this year’s conflagrations.Now, with fewer dramatic images of out of control fires appearing on the Internet, the Amazon rainforest has again dropped out of the world’s headlines. But what really matters for the long-term survival of the biome are not the wildfires themselves, but the extent to which people are cutting down trees.Land grabbers set fire to an IBAMA office in Humaitá in Amazonas state in 2017. Ruralist hostility to Brazil’s environmental agency has escalated during the Bolsonaro administration. Image by Raolin Magalhães / Rede Amazônica.RedeBrasilAtual.Deforestation risingThe deforestation situation in the Brazilian Amazon, far from improving, has dramatically deteriorated. Alerts from the DETER satellite monitoring system, run by the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), indicate that deforestation increased by 222 percent in August, compared with August of last year, and by 96 percent in September, compared with September of 2018.Altogether, 7,604 square kilometers (2,970 square miles) of rainforest were felled during the first nine months of this year, an 85 percent increase over the same period last year. The Amazon fires were a mere indicator of this massive amount of deforestation, as agribusiness and land grabbers burned away the dried downed trees, creating ash which helps fertilize grass to feed the cattle herds that will move in to replace the forests.Deforestation rates are rising rapidly again, for two reasons: it is a very profitable activity, and the government is doing little to stop it, say analysts.Logging, land grabbing and mining, often carried out illegally on protected land, are making some unscrupulous operators very rich. So far, Bolsonaro has done next to nothing to inhibit their activities. Indeed, employees working for IBAMA have told Mongabay on condition of anonymity that the government is encouraging land grabbers to deforest. A closer look at GLO helps back up their accusations.IBAMA destroys an illegal mine inside Jamanxim National Park in September 2019. Under Bolsonaro, illegal incursions into neighboring Jamanxim National Forest and deforestation have dramatically increased, with the so-called “Day of Fire” seeing many illegal blazes intentionally set within the preserve. Image by VINÍCIUS MENDONÇA (IBAMA).Military firefighters, meet the deforestation mafiaA Mongabay contributor and co-author of this article was in Pará state and Altamira in August — the municipality with the most reported fires — and witnessed a large number of troops arriving there, supported by sophisticated military hardware including aircraft and vehicles.The GLO operation in Pará, however, overlooked a crucial factor: geography. Altamira is Brazil’s largest municipality, covering almost 160,000 square kilometers (61,800 square miles), an area bigger than Greece, with much of it rural. While it is true that Altamira saw more fires than anywhere else, most were occurring on the municipality’s edges, hundreds of kilometers away from the city of Altamira itself. In fact, army helicopters deploying from that urban area couldn’t reach the fires without refueling.Which is why the army next shifted its base to the town of Novo Progresso, in southwest Altamira, much closer to most fires. It was there that the ruralistas — elite land owners and speculators — announced a “day of fire” on 10 August, apparently to demonstrate to Bolsonaro their wish to work. The main target of many illegal acts of burning occurring then was Jamanxim National Forest, a large protected area long targeted by land grabbers.Paulo de Tarso, a public prosecutor at the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), a group of independent government litigators, commented: “The gang [felling forest in Jamanxim National Forest] has been active in the region for many years. It was dismantled in Operation Castanheira in August 2014, a joint initiative by the Federal Police, the environment agency IBAMA, the Internal Revenue Service, and the MPF. Deforestation and the numbers of fires fell heavily at the time, but the gang survived.”And it may be seeing a resurgence under Bolsonaro; the MPF is presently investigating the gang’s involvement in this year’s blazes. “The actions seem to have been orchestrated and planned for a long while,” Raquel Dodge, a former Prosecutor-General of the Republic, said at a recent press conference.While Bolsonaro and others in his administration often claim that much Amazon burning is legally done by small-scale farmers, de Tarso notes instead that the clearing is generally well organized and “done by various groups of criminals. Some fell the forest, others extract and sell the valuable timber, and [still] others set fire to the vegetation and [then] plant pasture. There is yet another group that finds laranjas, stooges, that let their identities be used to register the land,” to get round the legal limits on land ownership by a single individual.Carrying out this systematic large-scale deforestation does not come cheap — it costs an estimated one million reais (US$243,000) to clear 1,000 hectares (3.9 square miles) of forest. But, as de Tarso explains, the rewards can be enormous: “The group is betting that at some moment in the future the Brazilian state will give into pressure and remove the protected status currently enjoyed by this land. It will then be worth a fortune.”If necessary, the land grabbers can wait. “Men who carry out ‘speculative deforestation’ are in for the long haul,” explained a Novo Progresso inhabitant, speaking off the record. “They will wait until next year to burn what they are felling this year [if need be]. They’re not interested [in immediately] getting the land to produce, but [rather] in eventually selling it at a huge profit.”Land grabbers set fire to an IBAMA government vehicle near the Zoró Indigenous Reserve in Rondônia state in July 2019. Image courtesy of RondoniaoVivo.Indicators of government complicitySeveral pieces of evidence seem to indicate that the Bolsonaro administration, while anxious to put out fires and extinguish international outrage, is doing little to combat land speculation linked to deforestation, along with illegal mining, which also brings major environmental harm. On the contrary: IBAMA officials say confidentially that the government is sending clear signs that illegal activities should be tolerated by enforcers.One indication is the drastic decline in the number and amount of fines imposed by IBAMA for illegal deforestation in 2019 under Bolsonaro, as compared to in 2018 under Temer —data that helps explain this year’s rapid rise in deforestation.In September 2018, IBAMA issued 258 fines, totaling 139.5 million reais (US$33.8 million) in the Amazon states of Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Pará, Rondônia and Roraima. This year, in that same month (the first month of GLO) and covering the same states, the number of fines fell to 128, with a total value of 42.9 million reais (US$10.4 million) — that’s a 50 percent drop in number, and a more than 60 percent decline in amount.Speaking to BBC Brasil, environment minister Ricardo Salles shrugged off the statistics. “Only about 1 percent of the fines were ever paid. And this shows that to impose a large number of fines is not a good policy. It is better to have far fewer, properly investigated fines that are paid.” But, far from ensuring that fines will henceforth be paid, the government has further facilitated non-payment.  In April it passed decree 9,760 that set up “centers of conciliation” which will allow those fined to appeal. They may have their fines reduced or even cancelled. IBAMA officials see this as a further green light to illegal deforestation.An illegal gold mine destroyed by FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous agency, in Yanomami Park during Operation Walopali, 23 September to 3 October, 2019. Image courtesy of FUNAI.De-toothing IBAMA enforcementAnother indication of the administration’s failure to curb illegal activities is the refusal of GLO’s military commanders to offer IBAMA employees protection when combatting illegal mining activities, even when an operation is so dangerous that it can’t be undertaken without army security. This happened on at least three occasions in September alone.Mongabay saw an internal IBAMA report that explained why: “The Military Commands refused to help because the IBAMA operation could have involved the destruction of assets.” This issue has become a serious bone of contention between IBAMA and land invaders. Speaking to Mongabay off-the-record, the owner of a goldmine near Novo Progress, who has also been involved in illegal logging, said: “The problem arises when they [the environment agencies] destroy [mining and logging] machinery. People aren’t worried by fines — they don’t pay them in any case — but it hurts when they destroy machinery.”Decree 6,514, passed in 2008 by the federal government, has served for over a decade as a key enforcement tool that IBAMA uses as a last resort against perpetrators. The destruction of illegally deployed mining and logging equipment — expensive trucks, tractors, bulldozers, mining dredges and more — has exposed loggers and land grabbers to major financial risk.But Bolsonaro is very unhappy with the policy. In a video shot last April and widely circulated among land grabbers and miners, the president said that “nothing should be burnt, not machinery, nor tractors, nothing, that is the instruction I am giving.” However, Decree 6,514 remains an active statute on the books.Equipment being destroyed at an illegal mine in Yanomami Park by a FUNAI agent in September 2019. President Bolsonaro objects strongly to the currently legal practice of destroying machinery used for illegal purposes in the remote Amazon. Image courtesy of FUNAI.IBAMA raids called off, FUNAI raid goes forwardOne of the planned IBAMA operations that had to be cancelled because of the army’s refusal to provide support was particularly important. It concerned an illegal mine inside the Trincheira Bacajá Indigenous Territory, in the São Félix do Xingu municipality in Pará state. According to the not-for-profit organization, IMAZON, in July and August invaders cut down more forest in this indigenous reserve than in all other reserves in the country, bar one.Because federal authorities failed to respond to repeated indigenous requests for help there, armed Xicrin warriors organized an expedition in late August to expel the invaders. According to the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, the intruders, when confronted, agreed to leave but then sent the Indians a threatening WhatsApp message: “Just take a look around you. There are now over 300 men in the forest hunting Indians.” While no loss of life has been reported since, there is a very real risk that this conflict could escalate and erupt in violence.However, Amazon miners and land grabbers don’t always get it their way. On 23 September, FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency, with the support of the army, launched, a federal and state coordinated 12-day operation to evict the thousands of miners who recently illegally swarmed into the 9.6 million hectare (37,000 square mile) Yanomami Park, in Roraima state. Demarcated in 1992 in the lead up to the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, the birth of this reserve has been hailed as one of the greatest achievements of the indigenous movement in Brazil.Since the invasion earlier this year the Yanomami leader Davi Kopenawa and others have campaigned ceaselessly for decisive action to evict invaders. Indeed, the army’s decision to support the operation may well be linked to the attention that the international press has paid to the Yanomami case.FUNAI’s operation led to the destruction of 30 illegal mines, a helicopter, dozens of pieces of expensive equipment, along with an illegal landing strip. In addition, a BAPE (Base of Ethno-environmental Protection) was reopened on the Mucajaí River, which should help FUNAI prevent future illegal mining incursions.But the intervention in the Yanomami Park remains at present an isolated case. It has done nothing to halt the ongoing campaign organized by some of Bolsonaro’s most fervent supporters, who are urging the president to permanently shut down the nation’s two chief environment agencies — IBAMA and ICMBio (the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation which manages park lands).On 3 October, as the FUNAI operation in Yanomami Park was finishing, Bolsonaro once again expressed his support for the nation’s miners, saying in his weekly Facebook video address: “I will do all I can — and I depend on Congress — to give miners a free hand to search for gold, diamonds, all over Brazil, provided they preserve the environment and don’t use mercury.”Meanwhile, violent acts against IBAMA have escalated. In July, illegal loggers burned two bridges across the Transamazonian Highway, and set fire to an IBAMA vehicle after officials attempted to end illegal logging in the Zoró Indigenous Reserve in Espigão d’Oeste municipality, in Rondônia state. In September, miners reacted furiously when IBAMA and ICMBio teams set fire to backhoes — land moving equipment — at an illegal mine in Crepori National Forest in Pará state. The miners sent angry messages on WhatApp and via other social media. One of them shot a video in which a miner stood in front of a burning backhoe shouting: “I want you, Bolsonaro, to see this video and explain to Brazil what is happening! You said that this wouldn’t happen anymore.”On 18 September, the government hastily organized a meeting with a delegation of miners. In attendance were top officials, including Environment Minister Ricardo Salles; Presidential Chief-of-Staff, Onyx Lorenzoni; and Chief-of-Staff for Institutional Security, General Augusto Heleno. The administration listened to the miners’ complaints and promised to soon find “a structural, long-term solution for their demands.”One attending miner said afterward that they’d been told that never before had so many ministers been present at a meeting of this type. He boasted: “We achieved a great deal with our actions. We should all congratulate ourselves.”The government’s sympathetic reaction to miners’ demands angered IBAMA staff: “The same people who practice environmental crimes and invade indigenous land are asking for protection from the army and the president,” Denis Riva, President of the National Association of Civil Servants Specialized in the Environment (ASCEMA), told Mongabay. “At the very least, that leaves us in a very awkward position.”Banner image caption: A FUNAI agent looks out over deforestation resulting from illegal gold mining in Yanomami Park. The miners were expelled from the indigenous territory in a September 2019 raid conducted by the Bolsonaro government. Image courtesy of FUNAI.If you’re interested in learning more about protests against the fires in Brazil, watch here:FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by 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 overSponsoredcenter_img Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Mining, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Conservation, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Featured, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Use Change, Mining, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation last_img read more

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first_imgThe people of Indonesia’s Aru Islands fended off a land grab that would have led to the destruction of a vast area of rainforest, through a sophisticated grassroots campaign that held power to account.The campaign holds lessons for rural communities facing similar threats, but their prospects have been diminished by new legislation that strengthens the hand of the powerful and corrupt.The legislation has provoked mass street protests in the capital city, Jakarta. As in Aru, it now comes down to civil society to ensure that democracy prevails. This article was produced in partnership with The Gecko Project.When Mika Ganobal, a 35-year-old civil servant, mounted the top of a van in the ramshackle town of Dobo to rouse a crowd of protesters, in 2013, it was an act that said much about how Indonesia had changed in its first 15 years of democracy.Two decades earlier, the form of mass demonstration he helped organize, with thousands of people flooding the streets to protests against the government and a private company, would have been unthinkable. The tight grip of the authoritarian Suharto regime, and the constant threat of state violence, would have suppressed the very idea.The act said just as much about how Indonesia had not changed. Almost a decade after they had elected their own district head, for the first time, the people of Aru discovered that that district head had sought to lease the majority of their land to investors, to be cleared for a giant sugar plantation.The most immediate failing in democracy was apparent: a politician, elected by these people, had taken a decision so manifestly against their wishes, and entirely without their consent. Direct elections, at least in Aru, had delivered a leader taking decisions in the interests of a private investor above those of his constituents.The 28 licenses issued by Theddy Tengko to the Menara Group covered two thirds of the Aru Islands.In most cases where community land is granted to private corporations in Indonesia, whether for mining or plantations, a deeper malaise usually sets in. District and provincial parliaments, police and ministries all act to support the transfer of land to investors, without the consent of the people. With thousands of conflicts over land across the country, many communities that push back fail to break through the noise and attract the attention of the media or influential institutions in the capital, Jakarta.The breakdown in democratic accountability begins with local officials who exercise direct control over land. But almost all of the bodies that should subsequently act as a check on power, in a functioning democracy, fail too.In Aru something different happened. Eight months after the movement was born, through a sophisticated campaign chronicled in-depth in “Saving Aru,” a recent article by The Gecko Project and Mongabay, the Aruese forced the government to cancel the project. They protested, gained media attention, deployed the new potential of social media, obtained the backing of district and provincial politicians, secured parliamentary hearings, and forced influential institutions to look into the case, before the project was finally killed by a government minister.Protesters in Aru, 2013.The obvious question is whether the methods the Aruese deployed could be replicated in other localized social movements to defend land rights in Indonesia. It’s a question that arises at an important inflection point in the nation’s political history, as the government embarks on an assault on the very things that helped save Aru. As Indonesia moves into its third decade of democracy, then, does it become more or less likely that other movements like it will win?Saving AruFrom the very beginning, the sugar plantation project should have sounded alarm bells. The first permits for the project were issued by the district head, Theddy Tengko, just one month before he was charged with corruption for embezzling millions of dollars from the state budget. They were issued less than a week before he stood for re-election, in a campaign in which he was accused of illegally distributing money to voters.Theddy was later convicted of corruption over his raids on the district budget, but there was no scrutiny of his decision to grant licenses across two-thirds of the entire district. The Aruese activists would later discover he had issued them illegally, without a legally required, public assessment of how the project would impact the people and environment of the district.The project, the brainchild of a corrupt politician, ran roughshod over the rule of law and any safeguards the Aruese might have hoped would protect them.A woman sells vegetables at the market in Dobo, in 2017. Aru is one of the least economically developed areas in Indonesia, but the elected district head embezzled millions of dollars from the district budget. By Leo Plunkett/The Gecko Project.The Save Aru activists unearthed and repeatedly exposed the illegalities, the flawed science underpinning the project, and the groundswell of opposition to it. They broke through into the public consciousness by using social media platforms that buzzed with news, photos and graphics, generating attention across Indonesia and abroad.They cleverly marshaled this attention to secure the backing of scientists, the biggest university in the provincial capital, the Protestant Church of Maluku, a provincial legislator named Mercy Barends, two national NGOs, and a famous R&B artist. Before long these individuals and institutions, and not just the activists, were all loudly outing the improprieties.This helped them catch the attention of government watchdogs in Jakarta, notably an influential presidential agency, known as UKP4, and the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK. These wielded influence and, more importantly, teeth; the KPK’s record in arresting officials from the upper echelons of the state has earned it fear and respect in equal measure.The Aru activists attracted the attention from across Indonesia and the world through social media. Their supporters set messages of support via Twitter, through photos in which they held up the hashtag #SaveAru.In the end, it was Zulkifli Hasan, then the minister of forestry, who canceled the project, just as he was signing off on the destruction of vast areas of forest and indigenous lands elsewhere in Indonesia.That they were able to win depended in large part on the attention of powerful agencies. But it was this ecosystem of other actions — protest, media attention, online petitions, the support of politicians and “softer” institutions —  that brought that pressure to bear. In that respect, no one thing killed the project. It was a groundswell of public opposition, filtered through multiple principles that can only thrive in a democratic society.The methods used by the Aruese (outlined in more detail in a separate article by The Gecko Project and Mongabay) may hold lessons for any community facing the same challenge. Few campaigns are likely to generate the same level of attention that Save Aru did. But the principles of gathering and ruthlessly exposing evidence, intelligent use of social media, and of seeking support wherever it can be found, could still have an effect.Yet Aru is also a cautionary tale. The lengths the activists had to go to, to secure the cancellation of a project so demonstrably flawed, exposed a political system functioning largely in the interests of the powerful.What happened next, on the national stage, tells us that the political establishment in Indonesia were fully aware that was the case. And events in the past few weeks show how the fight to change this system is as vital now as it ever has been.Saving democracyThe project was cancelled just months before President Joko Widodo took office in 2014. He was the first president to come from outside the military or political elite, elected on a wave of belief that he would re-inject energy into reformasi, the transition to democracy.Millions of indigenous people believed a campaign promise that he would recognize and protect 12.7 million hectares of customary land, safeguarding them from precisely the kind of top-down project that threatened Aru. In the nine priorities for his administration he promised “clean, effective, democratic and reliable governance,” restoring faith in democratic institutions, and a reform of the “system and law enforcement” to rid them of corruption.Joko Widodo in October 2014, when many rural Indonesians held out hope he would end the hegemony of oligarchs and land grabbers. Photo by Uyeah.The statements were clear. Jokowi, as he is known, would redress the balance of power through the infrastructure of government, making both politicians and the oligarchs who controlled land, plantations and mines accountable to the disempowered. It was made clear in particular that he would strengthen the hand of the KPK, the nation’s most trusted institution, which had done more than any other to blunt the worst instincts of the political elite.But neither the promised land rights reform nor the rebalancing of power through institutions ever arrived. Communities continued to lose their land, and land rights conflicts simmered unresolved through Jokowi’s first term. As it drew to a close he finally froze new permits for palm oil plantations, a particularly virulent driver of human rights abuses. But that measure is a sticking plaster that doesn’t address the systemic problems the Aruese and so many others have fought against.In the past few weeks, on the cusp of Jokowi’s second term, that balance of power has lurched further in the wrong direction. The national parliament launched an assault on the very laws and institutions they needed to reinforce. Representatives have pursued a broad and swift legislative agenda that, critics in civil society say, will ease the transfer of rights and resources from the poor and increase the prospects that those who push back will face criminalization at the hands of the police.Above all, an amendment to the KPK Law threatens to “destroy” the agency, attacking “the very institutional features and powers” the KPK deployed against the powerful. As recently as March this year, the KPK itself had proposed a quite different set of reforms, one that would criminalize the corrupt sell-off of land by politicians through influence trading and force courts to take the social and environmental impact of corruption into account.This government assault on the state only diminishes the prospect that other campaigns like Save Aru can succeed, by eroding the few features of the system that worked in favor of the Aruese. But there are parallels between the response to the government actions in Aru, in 2013, and across the country today. Just as the people of Aru once flooded the streets of Dobo, tens of thousands of students took to the streets across the country to object to the assault on democracy.Student protesters in the streets of Jakarta, in front of the parliament building, in September 2019.The measures the students are demonstrating against almost all entrench the power of elite interests, by diminishing civil liberties and the capacity of ordinary citizens to defend the disempowered. They also emerged in part because of a disaffection with Jokowi, the “good” leader who was supposed to defend those principles. His actions are a profound illustration that democratic health cannot be invested in the executive branch, but must rest in the institutions that pull against any powerful leader, amplifying their good instincts and taking the sting out of their worst.Indeed, the students have articulated a broad and considered set of demands, aimed at balancing the power of the government, stemming the environmental destruction it has overseen, and preventing the criminalization of communities who stand up against it. The fight for rural communities in Aru, and places like it, is now at the heart of the national consciousness. Their actions reveal that a deep belief in the same principles is coursing across Indonesian society.In both cases the protests captured the attention of a global audience. In 2014, international attention helped push agencies in Jakarta to focus their attention on the fate of Aru. Today it may help focus the thoughts of the new Jokowi administration, to recognize that corruption and human rights violations could hamper its vision for economic development. A coalition of almost 100 organizations from across the world has urged the government to uphold anti-corruption principles agreed in international forums.Ultimately, the Save Aru campaign is a reminder that even in the most unlikely circumstances, social movements can hold government to account, even when the levers of power are gripped firmly by the powerful.Since the fall of Suharto, Indonesia has been held up as a successful democracy in large part due to its free and fair presidential elections. The actions of Theddy Tengko a decade ago, and Jokowi today, reveal the limitations of elections as a tool of accountability. They show that democracy doesn’t reside in an elected leader, but in the people and institutions who could hold them to account.Read Saving Aru, the story of how the Aruese people organized to successfully defend their forested islands from a massive plantation proposal, here.Banner image: Mika Ganobal in the forest near his home village of Lorang, central Aru. By Leo Plunkett/The Gecko Project. 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 Article published by Erik Hoffnercenter_img Activism, Conservation, Corruption, Environment, Environmental Activism, Featured, Forests, Governance, Palm Oil, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforests, Tropical Forests last_img read more

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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 Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Soy, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Conservation, Controversial, Corruption, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Industrial Agriculture, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, timber trade, Transparency, Tropical Deforestation Recent research finds that a failure to track environmental infractions and to enforce environmental laws and regulations is aiding and abetting ever escalating rates of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado.Researchers studied the failings of three environmental initiatives: the TAC da Carne, blocking cattle sales raised in deforestation embargoed areas; the Amazon Soy Moratorium, stopping sales of soy grown on deforested lands; and DOF timber permitting, which allows logging only in approved areas.The study found that timber, soy and cattle producers often subvert Brazil’s environmental laws by illegally “laundering” harvested logs, beef and soy to conceal illegal deforestation. These practices have been largely helped by the weak governance of the Jair Bolsonaro administration.The scientists recommend the closing of illegal soy, cattle and logging laundering loopholes via the strengthening of Brazilian environmental agencies, the improvement of monitoring technologies, better integration of policies and systems, and putting market pressure on producers. Confiscated timber harvested illegally within a Brazilian indigenous reserve in Roraima state. Law enforcement raids like this one have largely become a thing of the past under President Jair Bolsonaro. Image courtesy of IBAMA.Brazil’s deforestation control agreements and environmental legislation — once considered strong and successful — now require an “urgent” upgrade as soy planters, cattle ranchers and timber merchants have found ways to easily circumvent regulations, experts warn in a recent scientific study.At the center of the problem are the country’s current inadequate enforcement and legal system — weakened first under President Michel Temer, and now further under Jair Bolsonaro — which provides multiple opportunities for environmental law infractions to go undetected or unpunished, according to the findings published by the Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation journal.“It’s a priority not only to keep what already exists, but also to consider new and better policies,” said Philip Fearnside, a research professor at Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA) and one of the six authors of the study.Through their findings, the scientists shed light on the limitations of three key Brazilian environmental initiatives; the researchers also listed measures that could help the nation reverse the upward trend in deforestation occurring since 2012, as clearing rates rise in the Amazon and Cerrado savanna biomes.These recommendations include the strengthening of Brazilian environmental agencies, improvement of monitoring technologies, better integration of environmental policies, and putting market pressure on producers, along with other measures.Ranching in Pará state, Brazil. The nation is home to more than 200 million head, with “cattle laundering” made easy by weak monitoring and enforcement. Photo credit: acmoraes on Visualhunt / CC BY.TAC Agreement bypassed via “cattle laundering”In 2009, meatpacking companies, cattle producers and the Brazilian government signed a voluntary agreement known as the TAC da Carne, aimed at blocking the sale of cattle produced within areas embargoed due to illegal forest clearing.However, since then, producers have learned how to bypass the agreement by “laundering” their cattle — raising and fattening them on ranches responsible for deforestation, then shifting them to ranches where no deforestation has occurred, from which middle-men sell to slaughterhouses who only track the final sale. This finding is according to audits made by federal prosecutors.Despite this rampant illegal process, there has been no punishment for slaughterhouses or producers routinely using the cattle tracking loophole. Nor has the government made any effort to close that loophole by demanding better reporting and enforcement. The result is a weak TAC agreement, the study showed, which fails to curb deforestation.A viable solution, Fearnside said, is tracking the cattle continuously from origin to slaughterhouse. “In England, since the mad cow crisis, they started tagging the cattle,” he noted. “Each animal has an individual code that tracks all the farms where the cattle have been. It is also possible to be done in Brazil.”The integration of systems that track complementary regulatory regimes is another solution proposed by the authors. The federal government, for example, could link its animal transit permit (GTA) system — a legally required hygiene check of transported livestock — to its rural environmental register (CAR) — which identifies all rural properties and their location within mandatory forest preservation areas. Tying together those two systems would enable monitoring compliance with environmental legislation and livestock agreements.An IBAMA agent measures timber volume and confirms botanical identification at a sawmill suspected of receiving illegal Ipê logs in Pará state. Fraud occurs along the entire timber supply chain according to experts. Image © Marizilda Cruppe / Greenpeace.Timber harvesting plagued by permit fraud As with cattle producers, timber merchants regularly launder trees logged in the Amazon and elsewhere to conceal illegal deforestation.They typically do so by subverting a compulsory license, known as a DOF, intended to track and control the origin and transportation of native forest products and by-products. Illicit merchants conceal the illegal cutting of trees by purchasing black market invoices and DOFs from locales where the government has authorized extraction, the report showed.The fraud scheme also relies on overestimating the high volumes of commercially valuable timber species found within approved extraction areas, and then tagging trees of that same species illegally cut elsewhere to the permit, according to the findings.Impunity fuels criminal action in both the cattle and timber industries, agrees Ricardo Abad, a long-term remote sensing expert at the Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA), an NGO. “The problem,” he notes, “is that there is no oversight, no punishment for those producers caught in an irregular situation; fines are never paid, the system is bureaucratic, and people are corrupted along the way.”New soy fields and neighboring forest in the Brazilian Cerrado. Image by Jim Wickens, Ecostorm / Mighty Earth.Amazon Soy Moratorium evadedA third environmental initiative subject to both “laundering” and “leakage,” the study notes, is the Amazon Soy Moratorium, a voluntary agreement between producers, commodities companies, environmental NGOs and government, by which major soy traders have agreed not to purchase soybeans grown in Amazon areas deforested after July 2008.However, soy laundering is carried out in much the same way as cattle laundering, via fraudulent tracking that allows soy produced in embargoed areas to be listed as being produced in “regularized” areas free of recent deforestation, or under the names of laranjas, or “oranges,” poor people who pretend to hold land deeds in order to conceal actual ownership by large landholders, according to the findings.Thanks to such scams, researchers say, a commodity company making a final soy purchase may not know the true source of the beans. Indeed, since many producers own multiple farms, soy produced in an embargoed area can easily be moved from an embargoed plantation to one with regularized status, before sale to a trading firm.Meat for sale in São Paulo, Brazil. Cattle aren’t tracked from their point of origin in Brazil, so deforestation can easily be concealed along the supply chain as livestock is resold before arriving at a slaughterhouse. Photo credit: wallyg on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND.The consumer’s roleRicardo Abad, an expert who dedicated the last 10 years to assessing Brazil’s supply chains, says that the most successful approach for achieving environmental enforcement is through market pressure to create a more sustainable commodities industry. He notes that transnational companies, especially those in the European Union, have been changing their supply chain requirements to include social and environmental factors, and this is key to ensuring that promises made under agreements such as the TAC da Carne and Amazon Soy Moratorium are kept.According to the study, eight years after TAC da Carne’s creation, 63 meatpackers — responsible for the processing of approximately 70 percent of cattle produced in the Amazon — had joined that agreement, with some positive results. However, there remains no real market pressure for non-signatory companies to join TAC, with many importers, including the increasingly key Chinese market, not requiring any kind of monitoring and enforcement of rules regarding cattle origin and deforestation.For Abad, it’s not only a matter of having the enforcement tools but using them to prevent buyers from accessing these products. He believes that “big traders, such as Walmart and Carrefour, are also responsible [for deforestation within their supply chains] and need to be really held accountable.” This can best be done by raising consumer awareness.A tractor ploughs up newly deforested land in the Cerrado, Brazil’s savanna. While fines are often issued for illegal deforestation, few are ever paid due to lax government enforcement. Photo by Jim Wickens, Ecostorm / Mighty Earth.Political challenges aheadAccording to Carlos Souza, a Research Associate at Imazon, a Brazilian NGO that independently tracks Amazon deforestation, there is already available technology to monitor and identify environmental infractions. The problem, he says, resides in the government’s failure to enforce and punish.Recent rising deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon, Souza says, should serve as a wakeup call to trigger action to halt forest degradation and destruction, but, he adds, “we have an even bigger challenge now under this government,” a reference to the Bolsonaro administration.Still, Souza hopes to see improvements in Brazil’s current environmental agreements. “As a society, we all expect a new 2.0 version of these agreements to fight deforestation,” he concludes.Without these enhancements, the researchers agree, escalating deforestation and the loss of all habitat types will continue across Brazil’s biomes, turning the country into an ever more fragmented patchwork of soy plantations and cattle pastures.Banner image caption: An IBAMA raid on illegal deforesters within a Munduruku indigenous reserve under a previous administration; President Bolsonaro has greatly diminished the agency’s law enforcement capacity. Image courtesy of IBAMA.Amazon rainforest cleared by burning, the primary means of converting forests into pastureland. Photo credit: bbcworldservice on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC.center_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

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first_imgConservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content. Tropical forestsAn official has reported “uncontrolled logging” in Liberia’s rainforest (Liberian Observer).A new study has found that malaria cases don’t increase in Africa following deforestation (Center for Global Development).Jaguar numbers are down in Ecuador as their habitat has been converted to agriculture, and scientists say that entire ecosystems could suffer (The Guardian).Diverse ecosystems are often more productive, according to recent research in the Amazon (Science Times).Corporations are trying to protect the plants that are the sources of their products (Ensia).Retailer Carrefour Brazil is pressuring its suppliers to do away with deforestation (Food Navigator).Cattle ranching for foreign beef markets takes a toll on forests in Brazil (China Dialogues).Nepal is set to sign a REDD+ deal, providing funds for development in exchange for protecting its forests (Carbon Pulse).Malawi’s Liwonde National Park has 17 new black rhinos, brought over from South Africa (Reuters).Children in Guyana are learning about conservation firsthand (CIFOR Forests News).Other newsDoctors warn that children face different health threats than their parents did as a result of climate change (Los Angeles Times, The New York Times).Corals are struggling to adapt to artificial lights, new research has found (Hakai Magazine).Australia is bracing for a destructive heavy fire season (The New York Times).The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule requiring the release of confidential health data that would make it harder for scientists to influence policy (The New York Times).Watchdog NGOs are using data to combat destructive blast-fishing practices in Southeast Asia and Africa (OZY).Ocean researchers are harnessing the power of underwater robots (Outside).Scientists find evidence of a chain reaction initiated by climate change in the Sea of Okhotsk between Japan and Russia (The Washington Post).An ecologist argues that successful conservation entails restoring species’ roles in ecosystems (Undark).A tax plan with bipartisan support could cut U.S. carbon emissions (The Atlantic).A new study shows which land animals are the most well-traveled (The New York Times).Plastic trash from the U.S. is being burned to make tofu in Indonesia, tainting the food in the process (The New York Times).A new podcast series looks at the struggle to control Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Pulitzer Center).Artists and scientists have teamed up using music to draw attention to climate change (The New York Times).The discovery of coyote-red wolf hybrids surprises scientists (The Atlantic).A deadly disease is tearing through Florida’s orange groves (The Washington Post).Deforestation has less of an impact on climate change than previously thought, a new study has found (The Lantern).Norman Myers, an early proponent of environmental stewardship, has died (The New York Times).An ecologist with a lifelong passion for butterflies says they’re disappearing in California (Los Angeles Times).Architect Maya Lin has a new installation of “ghost forests” affected by climate change (The New York Times).Scientists increasingly play starring roles at eco-resorts around the world (The New York Times).A recent study looking back more than 100 years finds that the most damaging hurricanes are becoming more common (Los Angeles Times).Banner image of a red wolf by Matthew Zalewski via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0 ).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannoncenter_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

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