first_imgFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Agriculture, Aquaculture, Community Development, Deforestation, Development, Ecosystem Services, Featured, Forests, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Loss, Industrial Agriculture, Land Rights, Mangroves, Poverty, Poverty Alleviation, Rainforests, Trees, Wildlife A truck laden with Acacia logs is transported along a trail in Pitas district, Sabah, East Malaysia. Photo by Rod Harbinson for Mongabay.According to AFI literature, HASB is: “a Sabah based company the ultimate shareholders of which are two international timber funds. Tropical Asia Forest Fund (TAFF) is the majority shareholder managed by New Forests.”Requests for comment sent to AFI were unanswered by press time. However, in a subsequent statement, a representative from New Forests said, “AFI has undertaken an extensive participatory mapping program with the support of local NGO PACOS in order to support the Pitas/Bengkoka communities in defining customary land rights and securing formal land rights as well as to clarify operating boundaries and planted areas of the company’s plantation estate.” Read New Forests’ full statement here.Rumindon explained that his people, the Rungus indigenous people, were originally nomadic. He and his neighbors agreed to settle on the land offered to them by the government. He said the state offered 15 acres of land per family if they agreed to give up their nomadic tradition, settle there and clear the forest to cultivate crops.“There was a survey conducted and stones put in the ground in 1974,” Rumindon explained, thumbing through a thick folder of correspondence with government officials.According to Rumindon, in the late 1970s the community agreed to requests from the original acacia company, Hijuan Planters, to rent the land, because the company said it would clear it. Mongabay visited AFI’s loading dock where cranes load vast piles of acacia logs onto barges destined for pulp and paper mills.“SAFODA says we are encroachers” said Rumindon, who despite his age is still struggling for a just outcome and says it was SAFODA that leased it to the company. Rumindon says the land was never returned. AFI, which took over operations more recently, retains occupation of the plantation area still under operation, and their claim appears to be supported by SAFODA.“It took seven years to get hold of the [paper] plan,” Rumindon explained, unrolling a large detailed plan of community land from the land department. It appears to conflict with an earlier plan that clearly shows the plots allocated to community families.“SAFODA began designing reforestation and settlement projects in Bengkoka in early 1979,” reads a translated version of SAFODA’s website. “Acacia mangium cultivation was started in 1981. This project is the only large-scale institutional farm dedicated to commercial purposes.” The site does not mention an earlier land agreement, and requests for comment sent by Mongabay to several senior SAFODA staff went unanswered.Mastupang Bin Somoi inspects the operations of the AFI company that operates acacia plantations on land claimed by the neighboring communities. Photo by Rod Harbinson for Mongabay.Mastupang Bin Somoi stands amongst the threatened mangroves he is campaigning to get recognized under community native customary rights and thereby prevent their conversion to shrimp farms. Photo by Rod Harbinson for Mongabay.In its charter, translated from Malay to English, SAFODA says it is committed to: “Restoring and maintaining an environmentally friendly balance including flora and fauna through forestry activities.”Rapid clearance of natural eco-systems for development projects in Sabah is an ongoing issue of concern to conservationists, and the situation in Pitas is no exception. As forest is razed for development, already-threatened species may be placed at greater risk. Meanwhile, local communities may face the loss of the many valuable ecosystem services mangrove forests provide, such as fishing, foraging and water catchment.So far, local indigenous groups say their appeals for official recognition of their rights over these lands have largely been ignored. Critics say government development plans remain firmly in favor of supporting big businesses, despite damaging environmental consequences.Rumindon explained that his people, the Rungus indigenous people, were originally nomadic. He and his neighbors agreed to settle on the land offered to them by the government. He said the state offered 15 acres of land per family if they agreed to give up their nomadic tradition, settle there and clear the forest to cultivate crops.Clarifications and corrections:This story was amended with clarifying information from Lanash Thanda. (9/21/17)A statement from New Forests on behalf of AFI was added. (9/21/17)A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Rumindon said the government offered 18 acres of land per family. That number has been corrected to 15 acres. (9/22/17)center_img A development plan establishing shrimp farms and timber plantations begun purportedly to reduce poverty in northern Sabah, Malaysia, has attracted criticism from local communities and NGOs, which say the project is ignoring communities’ land rights.Satellite imagery shows the clearing of large tracts of mangrove forest for shrimp farms. Critics of the development say this is depriving forest-dependent local communities of their livelihoods as well as threatening mangrove wildlife.Several communities have banded together and are together petitioning the government to officially recognize their rights to the remaining mangroves and prevent further clearing for development. TELAGA, Malaysia — The district of Pitas in the Malaysian state of Sabah is situated on the 40-kilometer Bengkoka peninsula on the island of Borneo, stretching east into the South China sea.This forested, hilly area slopes down to the coast along the Telaga River, through ancient mangrove forest. But since the 1980s, it has been increasingly opened up by government-sanctioned development projects; more recently, in 2013, mangrove clearance has resumed for the commercial farming of shrimp (also referred to as prawns). This resurgence has brought the company Sunlight Inno Seafood Company Sdn Bhd, which is supported by the government, into conflict with local communities that depend on the mangroves for their livelihoods.Satellite data from the University of Maryland show heavy tree cover loss in the district of Pitas in northern Sabah between 2001 and 2015, which reflects both deforestation and the harvesting of tree plantations. Blotches of dark pink in mangrove areas indicate the clearance of mangrove forest. The data indicate the Telaga area has been one of the most heavily affected. Data source: Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA, accessed through Global Forest Watch.Satellite images from Planet Labs show shrimp farms have supplanted much of the mangrove forest around Telaga over the last several years.In response to mangrove clearance, six indigenous Orang Asli communities in the district have come together to form the “Group of Six” (G6) collective Pitas action committee. It aims to save around 1,000 acres of the remaining mangroves and get this area legally designated under their Native Customary Rights (NCR).Farmer and fisherman Mastupang Bin Somoi, 52, from Kampung Sungai Eloi, is founder and Chairman of the G6 collective. In his gardens he grows vegetables, rice and a few rubber and oil palm trees. He shows me a handful of large shellfish he has gathered from the muddy riverbed at the nearby boat landing. He says the villagers in the area depend on a mix of farming, fishing and collecting non-timber forest products from the mangrove forest for their livelihoods.Mastupang Bin Somoi, 52, from Kampung Sungai Eloi paddles his boat through ancient mangrove forests on which his community depends. Much of the forest has already been cleared and the community is keen to maintain an area to sustain their livelihoods. Photo by Rod Harbinson for Mongabay.Mastupang Bin Somoi, from Kampung Sungai Eloi in Pitas holds a handful of shellfish that he has collected from a stream in the mangrove forest. Photo by Rod Harbinson for Mongabay.“They used to be quite friendly, they were not scared of humans, but now after their habitat’s been destroyed they’ll keep their distance,” Somoi says as he watches two proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) bound through the trees. As the boat he’s on proceeds along a channel through the mangroves, a two-meter (6.5-foot) estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) slides from the bank into the water. These mangrove forests are home to a wide diversity of vulnerable species, some of them listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).“This sign says, ‘no encroachment’,” says Somoi, pointing to a sign tied to a tree. The signs have been placed by the communities to demarcate the perimeter of the mangrove forest claimed under their NCR. Around 2,300 acres have already been cleared under the project and this is set to expand next into an additional 1,000 acres, pending the outcome of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) started in 2015.Further along, Somoi points out a burial site he says is sacred to the communities. Soon the dense mangrove forest opens into a clearing of stark devastation with dead mangrove roots bleached silver by the tropical sun and the dark peat earth beneath torn into grooves by heavy equipment. Most of the forest has already been cleared and the communities are desperate to retain the remainder on which they depend for resources, as well as the other ecosystem services it provides.The shrimp farms cut out of the mangrove forests are secured with two-meter-high solid metal fences backed with coils of razor wire to keep people out. One plot visited by Mongabay was an area about 400 meters (1,300 feet) across containing artificial ponds in which water was being circulated with turbine pumps; a handful of workers was on-site.A fenced-off area of shrimp farm established in an area cleared from the surrounding mangrove forest. Photo by Rod Harbinson for Mongabay.Lanash Thanda, president of the NGO Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA), described how the project was originally initiated by the Sabah Forest Development Authority (SAFODA) as part of the 2010 Malaysian Economic Transformation Programme to bring economic development to the poverty stricken area.“There is no [clean] water connection so people save rainwater from their roofs and when that is gone have to pay for deliveries,” Thanda said. She explained that levels of poverty in Pitas are high compared with most of Sabah.However, according to Thanda, the project has floundered due to mismanagement and a lack of processing, storage and transportation infrastructure.“Look at their office – it’s new. That’s the prawn farm company. When I came in November it wasn’t there,” said Thanda, explaining how the project is proceeding despite initial deficiencies.“The Sunlight company was supposed to open a plant in Pitas to process prawns and provide 3,000 jobs, but nothing is happening,” Thanda told Mongabay. She said local people are dismayed that foreign workers have been brought in, and that few of the jobs originally promised have materialized. Sunlight Inno Seafood Company Sdn Bhd did not respond to requests for comment. (Thanda later clarified that there has been no more evidence of them since 2016.)The boat stops at a large stand of dead mangrove trees. The communities suspect they were poisoned because at the same time the trees died, “all the fish died” in the area, Thanda said. This area of mangroves was frequently used by local communities, and its destruction galvanized members from the G6 collective into action. In June 2015 they confronted workers clearing the area with heavy equipment.Mastupang Bin Somoi, 52, from Kampung Sungai Eloi stands in front of an area of mangrove forest that has died through unknown means. The authority for clearing the area is contested because at the time the company responsible had not conducted an environmental impact assessment. Photo by Rod Harbinson for Mongabay.“We spoke to the other G6 communities. Thirty-seven members came down. We posted a notice and painted the hitachis [digging equipment],” Somoi said. “In the notice we explained that we are giving you [the equipment operators] 24 hours notice to vacate this area, because this is our NCR [Native Customary Rights] area. If you do not leave after this we will not be responsible for actions taken against you from the communities. Then we left.”The equipment was subsequently removed and the Environmental Protection Department responded that an EIA would now be conducted on the area to assess whether clearance should proceed. But despite beginning in 2015, the EIA is still pending. The G6 collective has since been active in denouncing the conduct of the EIA process and the project in general. Meanwhile, according to SEPA, in December 2015 the State Cabinet approved clearance of a further 3,000 acres of mangrove forest in the region.Two indigenous Orang Asli fishers row through an area of mangroves that has been cleared. Photo by Rod Harbinson for Mongabay.On April 27, 2017, a delegation from the G6 collective travelled to the state capital Kota Kinabalu to deliver a letter to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, requesting that he intervene to stop the mangrove clearance. The Borneo Post reported that the letter requested the First Minister “to intervene and protect the land in their villages from alleged encroachment by the owners of a prawn farming project there.” The Chief Minister has yet to respond to their request.Clearance of the forest is nothing new to the communities. Bihahon Rumindon, 67, from Kampong Boluuh village (which is a member of the G6 collective), has been fighting for recognition of his land title for years. He says that while he was awarded the land by the Sabah government in 1971, the state did not follow though on the allocation commitment and instead used it for a local acacia plantation project now managed by Acacia Forest Industries Sdn Bhd (AFI). The company is currently structured as a 50:50 joint venture between the Sabah Forestry Development Authority (SAFODA) and the Hijauan Bengkoka Plantations Sdn Bhd (HASB) company and supported by SAFODA. Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_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 Featured, Forests, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Illegal Trade, Law, Law Enforcement, Timber Laws Article published by Genevieve Belmakercenter_img Beyond the logistics of moving and selling illegal timber, a former smuggler says he used to pay thousands of dollars in bribes to officials to move his products.The mobile checkpoints move from place to place, giving Myanmar’s timber management authority the element of surprise.Sometimes smuggled timber is abandoned, other times the smuggler is captured, surprise search and seizure operations have become a strong deterrent. NORTHERN SHAN STATE, Myanmar – Looking back, it just seemed natural for Aung Tin Oo* to become a timber smuggler. Especially given that he hails from a central trading point in Myanmar near Mandalay.Timber smuggling has long been a hot business there, and Oo’s friends and uncles were doing it at the time. They assured him that it was the “get-rich” fast path. That was the start of a four-year smuggling career.Oo is now retired and in his mid-40’s. He began as a smuggler who would occasionally bring timber along while working as a taxi driver. Then he worked up to owning three small cars for timber smuggling, then to a mini van, and finally to an actual trader.As a trader, he was personally involved in purchasing and selling timber at the China-Myanmar border.A check point 15 miles from Lashio in Northern Shan. Forestry department officers set up mobile check points to inspect incoming trucks for illegal timber. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.Sitting in his brick home in Myanmar’s Northern Shan state with his young son, Oo describes his numerous trips into the wild forest to buy timber. He shows a picture of himself chest-deep in a river to transport timber as proof of his exploits.It’s a three-month journey from buying timber at the logging sites in Sagaing forest in northwest Myanmar to crossing the Mandalay-Muse road to China.Bribery and risky logisticsDespite his time as a timber smuggler, Oo is a proud man. He says he did it for his family, but also admits the money and adventure were draws. When asked whether his life was in danger, he smiles and makes the gesture of counting money with his fingers.In the end, smuggling is a cash-heavy business that at least half a dozen types of individuals profit from. It’s difficult to say who profits and how much, but business is still good.According to Oo, the smugglers are usually prepared with cash, paying off checkpoint officers to bypass inspecting their cars, and working with armed groups to finish transporting timber across the border to China. Bribes and payoffs can be hefty. A recent nearly year-long investigation by Mongabay into illegal timber trading routes from Myanmar to China revealed that on one road alone the annual payouts to officials and military could be as high as $10 million a year just for charcoal made from area timber.Beyond being complicated and dangerous, timber smuggling is also no cheap task – and not just because of the bribes. A calculation by Oo of payments he gave out make the cost of moving the timber from forest to be about $2,500 per every ton of wood. And don’t forget the bribery fee for checkpoint officers.Forest Department officers inspect trucks on the side of the highway by climbing up the trucks to look with flashlights. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.“I used to personally give money to the check point officers not to check my cars unless there were high-ranking officers,” Oo said. “I had to pay 100,000 kyats ($75) in each toll gates.” There can be as many as half a dozen checkpoints on these types of routes.According to Forest Act Section 39(1)(B), the import, export, collection or moving of any forest produce without prior written permission from the forest authorities is prohibited. All wood is considered legal if it has the stamps of the state-owned Myanmar Timber Enterprise (MTE) under the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forests (MOECAF) and is exported via Yangon’s seaports. In other words, any timber trade via land within or from Myanmar is illegal.Yet unless you get caught, losing money smuggling timber seems to be nearly impossible. Some species of rare and endangered wood, such as rosewood, fetch an incredibly high price.“The demand was quite high, so we did not have to worry about how to sell it,” Oo said. “Sometimes we were paid half of the price even when the product was still in Mandalay. So we never had to cross to China, everything was done in Myanmar only.”He adds that to really play the game it’s all about upgrading tools and inventory.“We cannot deal with the Chinese dealer if we have only small amount (of timber). So only big players could do that and they usually have 10 acres of land just to store the wood. They also need to spend a lot of money to pay both Myanmar and Chinese police,”  Oo said. “I did not need to go thought the 105 miles (main checkpoint on the Mandalay-Muse road), because there is a small village where I drop off the wood, and the armed groups will carry it to China border.”The smugglers often work in concentrated groups and rely on a well-connected network of informants along the highway to China to avoid capture.“I was never even close to getting arrested because we usually go in groups like 10 cars, so if our group is passing one toll gate, the officers would get at least $365,” Oo said.U Tin Myo Aung, assistant director of Yu Pu check point, displaying a seized car loaded with smuggled rosewood destined for China. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.Oo retired from the smuggling business three years ago and now runs a DVD shop. He says he made the change for personal reasons, but also because of the increasingly unpredictable and tightening mobile checkpoints.A mobile check point moves around the highway to carry out surprise checks, usually with a smaller team of officers. For Oo and other smugglers at the time, there rate of arrests – more than four dozen a day – made the risk just too high for the potential reward. The mobile units continue to operate today.Check point operationsFor land timber smuggling, there are two main roads to China. One is through Kachin State and another is via Northern Shan State. After the arrest of 155 Chinese nationals caught logging in Kachin in 2015 , there continues to be conflict between KIA and Tatmadaw Kachin Independent Army, ethnic armed groups in the north and the Myanmar military. The conflict and related movements cause roads to be shut down.The timber trade is focused mainly throughout Northern Shan State to China.In theory, to tackle illegal timber trade via land authorities just have to apprehend the smugglers on the one main road to China, the Mandalay-Muse Road, a 450-kilometer (280 miles) journey to China. They work in teams.While one forestry department officer asks for documents from a truck driver, another one will bang on the side of the truck with his bare hands. Based on experience, the officer will usually know if there is timber inside the truck from the sound of the echo. Just to be certain, another officer might climb up the truck and stick a waist long iron stick through the stock pile to feel if there is hidden timber.The team is made up of five Forest Department officers and five Forest Department policeman. None are armed nor wearing protective gear or security cameras. This is typical of a Forest Department mobile checkpoint team.The Mandalay-Muse roadOperating between speeding trucks, mobile inspection teams do surprise checks between Nawnghkio and Muse, a 331 kilometer (205 miles) route, part of the Mandalay-Muse road.The Mandalay-Muse road is one of Myanmar’s most important routes. Each day about 1,500 trucks travel the road, which accounts for up to 80 percent of trade between Myanmar and its largest trading partner, China. Between 15,000 and 20,000 tons of good pass daily along the road, much of it is agricultural products from Myanmar, according to the Ministry of Commerce.Yu Pu check point, 52 miles from Lashio on the way to China, is permanent and the last check point in Northern Shan before trucks go into armed group territories. The check point was hit by a rocket in December 2016 by armed groups warning against interference with their smuggling business. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.“There are more than ten checkpoints including three permanent checkpoints on this road,” said a senior officer* from Lashio Forestry department during a recent interview. The officer oversees operations in Northern Shan State.“Aside from the permanent checkpoints, because we are very understaffed, the team has to rotate to do surprise checks. But we cannot check all the cars at all these checkpoints because it will cause a traffic jam.”The road is also currently under heavy construction for widening.There is another catch. Although there are three permanent checkpoints – Mandalay, Yu Pu, and Muse – if smugglers can bypass the Yu Pu checkpoint, they can detour via small roads into armed group territory and trade the timber via unofficial borders. In that case, there is nothing the forestry department officers can do.During a recent interview, the senior officer* with the Lashio forestry department showed pictures of himself in his car stuck on a road blocked by armed groups. He also showed handwritten messages sent to him, threatening his life if “you take what is belongs to us.”But it has not stopped the operations of the Lashio office. According to their records, they have seized a total of 435.6 tons of illegal timber between July to August, the majority of which was redwood, coveted for furniture in China.All current information can be find on Lashio Forestry department’s Facebook page, the first active state social media account for the public to monitor the work of a state level forestry department. The page has garnered both hatred and praise, but forestry officials say they have a higher purpose. They want to increase transparency in their work, raise awareness about illegal logging, and hopefully receive tips from the public.Yu Pu check point difficultiesIt’s only U Tin Myo Aung’s third month working as the assistant director of Yu Pu checkpoint, who is a custom officer from the Ministry of Planning and Finance. To avoid corporation, it’s a six month to one year position.“Nobody wanted to come work at this post, the work is tiring, the location is far and it’s very dangerous,” Aung said. He originally worked from the office in Yangon, the commercial capital of Myanmar. There have already been at least 30 arrests related to timber smuggling since he took the position, he said.The situation at the Yu Pu checkpoint is no easier than at Lashio. Located between two hills, both occupied with armed groups Lashio is just one hour from China. The first thing one notices about Yu Pu checkpoint is a big hole in the wall of the booth for truck inspection. A rocket hit the checkpoint in December 2016 to warn officers of their presence and their business interests.It was closed in 2010 and reopened in January 2017. The armed group has set up three explosives at their gate within this year.A driver (far left) helps officers inspect his truck for illegal timber. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.Yu Pu checkpoint is a joint operation with 12 departments, including the forestry department and has a total of 81 staff, working in 24-hour shifts with armed forces guarding the location.“From my point of view, around 60-70 percent of the smugglers get arrested,” Aung said. “Some get away because they act in large groups and they are smart. For example, when they operate in group, they usually have a clean car and that car would cross the checkpoint first and inform all the situation at the checkpoints to another driver who is at the back and he would later act accordingly.”The operation priorities are to seize the timber first, but it is equally important to arrest the smugglers for further investigation into illegal logging, according to Aung. However, it’s usually one or the other. Both the operation team and the smugglers rely heavily on local informants, and the smugglers usually abandon their car with the timber, and disappear into roadside restaurants or villages before officers can reach them.Many officers believe that no matter what they do, illegal trade will still happen as long as there is demand.“I would like China to stop buying illegal wood,”Aung said.China is the world’s largest importer of logs and wood pulp, it imported 48.7 million cubic meters of logs in 2016 – an increase of 9 percent from 2015, with most logs coming from Russia, USA, New Zealand and Canada, according to the official China Customs statistics website.  A MoU was signed between Myanmar and China during Myanmar’s presidents U Htin Kyaw’s visit to China in April, 2017.The Chinese perspectiveLin Ji is executive secretary for Global Environmental Institute (GEI), a Chinese NGO based in Beijing. Their mission is to design and implement market-based models for solving environmental problems. Ji said China has previously avoided collaborating with Myanmar because of an unfriendly atmosphere toward China.“Illegal logging is a very sensitive issue for China, it’s also about the law in China, because the root of the problem is that both counties have different definition when it comes to the legality of the timber,” Ji said in an interview. “Also if it’s a domestic law from Myanmar, the Chinese government have no responsibility to comply with it. For example, If the logs came to Chinese customs with all the required documents, the timber is considered legal in China.”*Names have been changed for the safety of the interview subjects. Banner image: A car of seized rosewood close to Yu Pu check point. The driver heard rumors of an active check point and left his car at a nearby restaurant and disappeared before the officers arrived. Photo by Ann Wang for Mongabay.Ann Wang is a foreign correspondent and photojournalist based in Myanmar. You can find her on Instagram at AnnWang077.Editor’s Note: An interview reflecting the perspective of China was added to an updated version of the story.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_imgA new species of wrasse discovered in mesophotic reefs off the coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania, underlines how little is known about marine environments.Deeper-lying reefs are just as threatened by climate change and other human impacts as shallow reefs and need greater protection.Mesophotic reefs could be an important and under-recognised source of fish larvae that supports coastal fisheries. A striking new species of wrasse discovered off the coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania, underlines how little is known about marine environments — even those relatively close to shore. Deeper-lying reefs like the one that is home to the newly described fish are ecologically connected to their shallower neighbors, and need greater protection.Luiz Rocha and Hudson Pinheiro, from the California Academy of Sciences (CAS), were into the fourth day of a Hope for Reefs diving expedition off the coast of Zanzibar. In the dim light 70 to 80 meters (230 to 260 feet) down, the team saw rock falls, sponges, hard, pinkish-red coralline algae and soft corals; there were plenty of fish, glimpses of familiar anthias, damselfish, and other reef species.Hope for Reefs is a five-year project aimed at better understanding and protecting reefs, and Pinheiro and Rocha’s team was conducting a general biodiversity assessment of a mesophotic reef, which are found at depths of between 30 and 150 meters (100 to 500 feet), are less well-studied than shallower reefs, but are also richly diverse ecosystems.Then something spectacular swam by.Vibranium fairy wrasses have deep purple scales so pigmented, they retain their color (which is typically lost) when preserved for research. Photo: Luiz Rocha/California Academy of Sciences“When we saw the fish we stopped right away and thought ‘Wow,’” Pinheiro says. “It was super beautiful. That is the first impression that we had.”The fish Rocha and Pinheiro saw was a kaleidoscope of colors: a pale yellow head, fading into white or pinkish scales, a bluish-purple dorsal fin, bright fuchsia on other parts, with almost translucent magenta pelvic fins, a transparent blue tail, and a chain link of purple markings across the rest of its body. This unique shading inspired the name the researchers gave the fish: the vibranium fairy wrasse, or Cirrhilabrus wakanda, after the mythical African kingdom of Wakanda from the Marvel comic books and movies, and the miracle element from which it draws its power.Rocha, the CAS curator of fishes and Follett Chair of Ichthyology, has discovered and described more than 30 species. “We were both 99 percent certain it was a new species. I really knew it was different though when I looked at the picture I took (with strobes) which revealed the purple markings,” he tells Mongabay.Rocha and Pinheiro sent a picture to a fish taxonomy savant in Sydney named Tea Yi-Kai. Tea, an ichthyology Ph.D. student at the University of Sydney, was aware of other fairy wrasse species in the Indian Ocean, but he knew there was a missing species.“Cirrhilabrus wakanda happens to belong to a particular group that is pretty well studied. We can predict, based on their patterns of distribution, that a species could very well occur along the East African coast — and this was it,” he tells Mongabay.The wrasse family is hugely diverse, with close to 600 species; there are nearly 60 known species of Cirrhilabrus alone — “habitat specific”, Tea says, mostly living in rubble zones adjacent to coral reefs. If C. wakanda is like other wrasses, it lives in large groups of mostly females, juveniles and a few males.“The bright purple markings and the overall pattern of this fish is very reminiscent of the fabric motifs and colour scheme of the clothes worn by the native Wakandans,” Tea says. “The details are also similar to Black Panther’s suit, which is made of a rare substance called vibranium. We thought this was a nice complement to its species name, wakanda,” Tea says.Cirrhilabrus wakanda sp. nov. Photo: H.T. Pinheiro and B. Shepherd.Extend protection to deep-lying reefsWhile fairy wrasses are common across a range of oceans, including the Pacific and Indian oceans and the Red Sea, the identification of a new wrasse species here is particularly significant for its habitat and future conservation.Scientists know relatively little about mesophotic reefs as these areas are too deep for conventional diving, yet too shallow for submersible research vessels. Diving to these depths requires scientists to be trained in the rebreather method, carrying additional tanks that recycle the air they breathe as they go.Last year, Rocha, Pinheiro and others published a report in Science outlining how these deeper-lying reefs are just as threatened by the climate crisis and other human impacts as shallow reefs and urging greater protection for them.“The species that are down there are different than the shallow ones, it’s a different community,” Rocha says. “Think rainforests versus savanna, they share a few trees but most species are different between these two habitats, and both are threatened, so nobody claims that one is a refuge for the other. Same for deep versus shallow reefs.”Dominic Andradi-Brown, a scientist at the WWF working to support marine protected area (MPA) monitoring and evaluation activities, is familiar with the Science report and has collaborated with several of the scientists who produced the research.“It’s hard to truly predict what’s at stake when we still have so much to learn about the biodiversity that inhabits mesophotic reefs,” he tells Mongabay in an email. “Much of the unknown biodiversity that relies on these unique ecosystems could be destroyed before we discover and identify it.”He adds that the role of mesophotic reefs in supporting coastal communities is likely overlooked, as “deeper reefs could be an important and under-recognised source of fish larvae for supporting coastal fisheries.”Dive site off Zanzibar: exploring mesophotic reefs requires scientists to be trained in the rebreather method, carrying additional tanks that recycle the air they breathe as they go. Photo: Luiz Rocha/California Academy of SciencesThe Hope for Reefs dive off Zanzibar found trash, abandoned fishing gear and sedimentation (likely linked to coastal soil erosion and can affect coral health). One way to better protect mesophotic reefs like the one where C. wakanda was discovered is to extend marine protected areas to include them.There are currently 23 MPAs in Tanzania, including in Zanzibar, that protect mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds and the open sea.“Because most people thought deep reefs were immune to human impacts, many marine protected areas don’t include them. We are trying to change that view and include them in more protected areas, as well as create some specifically for them,” Rocha says.But the ecosystems of shallow and deeper-lying reefs are connected. Many species, born and raised in the shallow reefs, cross the continental shelves and spend other parts of their life cycle in the deeper reefs.The discovery of the beautiful vibranium fairy wrasse may be the way to ensure these areas are protected, Pinheiro says.“It’s very important for us to be discovering and showing this biodiversity we have and be discussing with the public and managers about how to better take care of these habitats,” he says. CitationsTea, Y-K, Pinheiro, HT, Shepherd, B, Rocha, LA (2019) Cirrhilabrus wakanda, a new species of fairy wrasse from mesophotic ecosystems of Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa (Teleostei, Labridae). ZooKeys 863: 85-96. doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.863.35580Rocha, LA, Pinheiro, HT, Shepherd, B, Papastamatiou, Y, Luiz, OJ, Pyle, RL, Bongaerts, P (2018) Mesophotic coral ecosystems are threatened and ecologically distinct from shallow water reefs. Science vol 361, issue 6399: 281-284. doi: 10.1126/science.aaq1614Banner image: Female Cirrhilabrus wakanda. Photo: Luiz Rocha/California Academy of Sciences.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 terna gyuse Animals, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change And Coral Reefs, Conservation, Coral Reefs, Environment, Fish, Fishing, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Protected Areas, Wildlife 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_imgControversial, Diseases, Environment, Governance, Government, Green, Ocean Crisis, Oceans, Oil, Oil Spills, Pollution, Regulations, Water Pollution 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 The disastrous oil spill on Brazil’s northeast coast began August 30, with 116 municipalities already impacted and 6,000 tons of crude recovered so far. The oil continues to move southward and is now threatening Rio de Janeiro state. However, almost three months into the spill, the debate over its origin continues.Yesterday, an expert from the Federal University of Alagoas reported to Congress that the tanker responsible for the spill may be the Voyager I, which he said was off the coast of Brazil with its location transponder turned off during the period the spill would have occurred. Satellite detection of two slicks seem to implicate Voyager I.But other experts disagree, saying transponder evidence puts Voyager I near India during the critical late July period when the spill occurred. Since this story’s publication, Voyager I representatives have also provided evidence of the India location at the time of the spill (see box and links at end of this story).More than 100 ships passed through the seas near the eastern tip of Brazil between July 19 and 24. As a result, debate over the source of the oil spill is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. The Voyager I tanker, which Federal University of Alagoas researchers have implicated in the oil spill. Other researchers disagree with this conclusion. Image © MarineTraffic.comThe massive oil spill on Brazil’s northeast coast beginning August 30 has now impacted 675 locations in 116 municipalities, with experts expecting the crude to soon reach as far south as Rio de Janeiro state. Yet, nearly three months after the first oil came ashore, speculation over the disaster’s source continues.However, this week may have seen a break in the case. On November 17, the Laboratory for Analyzing and Processing Satellite Images (LAPIS) at the Federal University of Alagoas issued a statement saying that it had identified a possible culprit.Yesterday, November 21, LAPIS director Prof. Humberto Barbosa testified to Brazil’s Congress that satellite images suggest a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker, the Voyager I, is responsible for the disaster.Barbosa told the Chamber of Deputies that the Voyager had its AIS location transponder turned off during the July 19 to 24 period when satellite images first identified slicks off the coast of Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte. “Both [oil slicks] correspond considering the ship’s normal speed and course, although the Voyager I had its transponder turned off in that region,” he testified.However, oil pollution watchdog SkyTruth raised questions about LAPIS’ conclusions. SkyTruth analyst Bjorn Bergman told Mongabay via email: “This doesn’t make sense because AIS shows other vessels at the scene. I also still haven’t seen anything to confirm that the vessel [Voyager I] ever left port in India in July.”LAPIS reports that between July 19 and 24, 111 ships passed through the seas near the eastern tip of Brazil.Emmanuel Belostrino, a crude oil market analyst, added data to support Bergman’s doubts. Belostrino works with Kpler, a data intelligence firm offering transparency solutions in commodity markets. Belostrino told Mongabay via email that the Voyager I’s signal registered off the coast of India on July 6. The ship’s next available signal registered on July 24, again near the port of Vadinar in India. According to Kpler’s calculations, a one-way journey from Vadinar to the port of José in Venezuela via Cape Town, South Africa takes 35 days at a speed of 12 knots.Asked about this discrepancy, Barbosa told Mongabay that LAPIS had identified the Voyager I´s transponder signal off the Brazilian coast.Bergman wondered whether LAPIS has additional information that hasn’t been made public. He also noted that SkyTruth has identified a bilge dump that seems to have originated from a Brazilian-flagged ship on July 19th. Bilge is the dirty water, oil and other contaminants that collect in the bottom of a ship’s hold. This bilge water is periodically pumped out either properly in port or improperly into the ocean. In the latter case, it is called ”bilge dumping.” Earlier this month, Bergman authored a blog post discussing ships that were “loitering” in the area off Brazil that analysts have identified as the location where the spill likely originated.Communities all along the contaminated sections of the Brazilian coast responded to the call to action and joined in the cleanup. Image by Clemente Coelho / State University of Pernambuco.As of now, more than 6,000 tons of oil have been recovered from the Brazilian coastal environment according to CBN Radio. The Brazilian Navy reports the beaches of Espirito Santo, the state just north of Rio de Janeiro, were clean of oil as of November 20.Even so, many observers continue to be critical of the government’s disaster readiness. Fabiana Martins, a board member of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association, wrote in an article that her calls for better regulations to prevent and deal with marine accidents have met with skepticism.A Voyager I representative responds Nov. 23, 2019: I’m writing on behalf of the owner of the Voyager 1, Sanibel Seatrade. (I’m the director of Navigate Response, a London based public relations agency). Our client has independent evidence (satellite imagery, port authority data) that the evidence presented by Prof Humbero Barbosa was completely incorrect. Its vessel Voyager 1 was 11,000 km away in India between 20 June and 21 Aug 2019. The Marshall Islands flag has also backed this up: There’s a story here where this is reported. The quote from the Marshall Islands is: “The Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator confirms that the Pole Star Long Range Identification and Tracking data shows the vessel VOYAGER 1 (IMO 9233789) in the vicinity of Vladinar Terminal, India between 20 June and 21 August 2019.” Our statement can be downloaded here. I would be grateful if you could update your story to reflect this.Kind regards — Bill LinesBanner Image caption: More than 100 ships were off the Brazilian coast in the proximity of the oil spill at the time it occurred, so finding the guilty tanker is proving a challenge for scientists, especially since tankers moving oil out of U.S. sanctioned Venezuela often turn off their locator transponders becoming “dark ships” to avoid detection. Photo on Visual huntFEEDBACK: 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_imgOn today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we speak with Chris Fagan about the investigative report he recently filed for Mongabay that revealed a large-scale illegal land invasion encroaching on national parks and indigenous reserves in the Peruvian Amazon.While traveling up the Sepahua River with indigenous guides who are part of local vigilance committees dedicated to protecting the land, Fagan counted more than 250 plots of land illegally parceled out. Some of those parcels were still untouched, but others had already been deforested and converted to cropland.Fagan joins us today to discuss the findings of his investigation, what it was like to encounter the deforestation he and his guides discovered deep in the Amazon rainforest, and who is responsible for evicting the land grabbers. On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we speak with Chris Fagan about the investigative report he recently filed for Mongabay that revealed a large-scale illegal land invasion encroaching on national parks and indigenous reserves in the Peruvian Amazon.Listen here: Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Amazon Rainforest, Deforestation, Environment, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Reserves, Interviews, Land Grabbing, Podcast, Rivers Article published by Mike Gaworecki Many of the land grabbers are from a region of Peru notorious for cocaine production, Fagan found, and were recruited by land traffickers to join agricultural associations focused on growing cacao, though the traffickers’ ultimate goal is likely to grow coca, the raw material cocaine is made from.While traveling up the Sepahua River with indigenous guides who are part of local vigilance committees dedicated to protecting the land, Fagan counted more than 250 plots of land illegally parceled out. Some of those parcels were still untouched, but others had already been deforested and converted to cropland.Fagan, who has worked in the Peruvian Amazon for over 15 years as executive director of the Upper Amazon Conservancy, joins us today to discuss the findings of his investigation, what it was like to encounter the deforestation he and his guides discovered deep in the Amazon rainforest, and who is responsible for evicting the land grabbers. You can read his investigative report here on Mongabay.Here’s this episode’s top news:Revealed: Government officials say permits for mega-plantation in Papua were falsifiedHopes dim as COP25 delegates dicker over Article 6 and world burns: criticsNewly spotted calves boost Javan rhino population to 72Would you like to hear how Mongabay grew out of its founder’s childhood adventures in rainforests and a fascination with frogs? Or how a Mongabay editor reacted to meeting one of the world’s last Bornean rhinos? We now offer Insider Content that delivers behind-the-scenes reporting and stories like these from our team. For a small monthly donation, you’ll get exclusive access and support our work in a new way. Visit mongabay.com/insider to learn more and join the growing community of Mongabay readers on the inside track.If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page, at patreon.com/mongabay. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS, Castbox, Pocket Casts, and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.Chris Fagan (front), Executive Director of Upper Amazon Conservancy (UAC) with Sepahua Community Vigilance Committee Coordinator Pasqual Miqueas Murayori. Upper Sepahua River, Peru. Photo Credit: Jason Houston/Upper Amazon Conservancy.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. 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_imgTwenty-seven-year-old Nicholas Baig, the Guyanese man who stabbed his nine-month pregnant Trinidadian wife to death in Canada in 2017, has been sentenced to life imprisonment.Arianna Goberdhan and her husband, Nicholas Baig in happier timesHe pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of Arianna Goberdhan earlier in the year but was sentenced on Thursday in an Oshawa courtroom by Superior Court Justice Jocelyn Speyer.The Judge ordered that Baig serve at least 17 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. She also gave Baig’s guilty plea and the “senseless act of cruelty” as reasons for her decision.Arianna Goberdhan, 27, at the time of her death, as found with “obvious signs of trauma” inside the couple’s home after officers were initially called to the scene about a domestic disturbance.She was pronounced dead at the scene and her unborn child did not survive.Baig was arrested on a second-degree murder charge the following evening, at a residence in Markham.The couple got married in November 2016 and had been living with two others at the time of the incident, in a house owned by Baig’s parents, neighbours said.last_img read more

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first_img…after successful vision screeningThe Lions Club on Thursday donated eye wear to a student of the Graham’s Hall Primary School, who was among the many children screened on Monday for sight complications.Through partnership with ReVision Optical, the Lions Services for Children, District 60A, were able to supply the eyewear to students who underwent the test and required intervention.After 100 children were screened at the school, a collaboration from ReVision Optical and other corporate sponsors would have made the venture successful.Last Monday saw the students of the Graham’s Hall Primary School involved in a vision-screening exercise, with the objective of detecting sight disorders at an early age.A vision screening, also called an eye test, is a brief exam that looks for potential vision problems and eye disorders. Vision screenings are often done by primary-care providers as part of regular check-ups.During the activity, the Club was able to achieve its target of 100 individuals at the School. A similar exercise was carried out the following day at the Peters Hall Primary on the East Bank of Demerara. Students were sourced from the Grades One to Six classes, aged six to 12.Chairperson of the Lions Services for Children, Ambika Singh had said it was a joint effort between different branches of the organisation and ReVision Optical.“We’re collaborating with the Lions of East Demerara. The optometrist is here doing the screening with the children and we’re also doing this in keeping with one of the five service areas of the Lions, which is vision. This is Vision Month so we’re doing it with that and in keeping with our district goals,” Singh posited.A significant percentage of screened students displayed conditions which may require them to wear spectacles. Vision screening is a very important way to identify vision problems. During an exam, the doctor looks for eye disease and checks to see if the eyes are working properly. Children with a family history of childhood vision problems are more likely to have eye problems. Teachers of the school would have also capitalised on the opportunity to get screened.last_img read more

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first_imgNo-confidence resolutionThe People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has slammed Government for its attempt to disregard the Constitution of Guyana. This move come as documents emerged on Saturday showing that Government plans to approach Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland to ask him to reverse the no-confidence vote, which brought them down on December 21, 2018.Both President David Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had previously accepted the results of the No-confidence MotionAccording to the document, which was written in the format of a legal opinion with Attorney General Basil Williams’ name attached to it, Government wants the Speaker to use his powers to reverse the vote; arguing, among other things, that 34 out of 65 constitutes a majority in Guyana’s National Assembly.The opinion argues that 50 per cent of the 65 votes in the National Assembly constitutes 32.5, which has to then be rounded up to 33, with an extra vote added to it making it 34. According to the opinion provided by the Government, passing a no-confidence motion is different from passing legislation. This argument which Williams is now using in his legal opinion was first peddled by Attorney Nigel Hughes; the husband of Government Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes.The opinion goes on to claim that since former Alliance For Change (AFC) parliamentarian Charrandas Persaud is a Canadian citizen and had allegedly travelled on his Canadian passport, he forfeited his vote.In the opinion, Government admits that Persaud’s private travelling records were accessed from Guyana’s Immigration Department and states that a copy will be provided to the Speaker.As stated in the document, the Government also intends to challenge: Whether the Speaker can reverse the ruling that the No-confidence Motion was carried? What is the effect of the sub judice rule should the Speaker’s ruling be legally challenged in the courts” and “Whether the Speaker’s ruling on the vote can be quashed by the courts?”No powerHowever, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Saturday denouncing the document and attempts by the Government “to subvert and trample upon our Constitution, the integrity of the National Assembly and indeed, the rule of law.”The Opposition Leader made it clear that the Speaker’s role has come to an end, having previously ruled that the No-confidence Motion was carried. In addition, it was noted that Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Issacs issued a resolution pursuant to the motion.“The Speaker has no further role to play in relation to the No-confidence Motion. Certainly, he has no review powers whatsoever over the already completed process. This ‘legal memorandum’ is the latest act of desperation of a power drunk group who wish to cling to power at all cost,” Jagdeo pointed out.Jagdeo noted that both President David Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had previously accepted the results of the No-confidence Motion and had pledged to follow the Constitution and the steps it outlines.“The ‘legal memorandum’ constitutes an amalgam of misconceived and ill-conceived legal arguments and the citation of a host of case law authorities that are absolutely irrelevant to the propositions which they purport to support.”“In the circumstances, we reject this ‘legal memorandum’ as vexatious, frivolous and wholly irrelevant. The Speaker is urged to do likewise,” Jagdeo stated.On December 21, 2018, the No-confidence Motion brought by the parliamentary Opposition – the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) – against the Government succeeded when Charrandas Persaud, a former AFC Member of Parliament, broke rank and made a conscience vote in favour of the motion.With the Government’s defeat, the next steps are spelt out in the Constitution of Guyana. Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”Meanwhile, clause 7 goes on to state that “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”In light of the constitutional provisions, Jagdeo renewed his calls on the Government for them to immediately begin the preparations for holding General and Regional Elections in accordance with Article 106 of the Constitution.last_img read more

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first_img2 Will Jose Mourinho be replaced as Chelsea manager soon? There are reports Jose Mourinho has a week to save his job as Chelsea manager beginning with the League Cup clash against Stoke and the Premier League visit of Liverpool on Saturday.But if the who could replace him immediately if he does go? Here, talkSPORT looks at the latest news surrounding the Portuguese’s future.REHIRE ANCELOTTIFew top class managers are out of work right now, but the Italian is one of them. Carlo Ancelotti won the Premier League and FA Cup in 2010 before losing his job the following season and has expressed an interest in returning to England’s top flight.SHORT TERM OPTION IN HIDDINKDutchman Guus Hiddink is out of work and has been linked with the club he managed in a short term capacity before, when he won the FA Cup with Chelsea in 2009.ANCELOTTI THINKS MOURINHO WILL GET IT RIGHTSpeaking in Italy, Ancelotti has backed Mourinho to pull Chelsea out of the crisis they find themselves in. “Last year they won by a mile, now they are more relaxed. Don’t worry, Mourinho will sort it out. He is the right man,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.GUARDIOLA ATTRACTED TO LONDON JOBChelsea owner Roman Abramovich tried to persuade Pep Guardiola to take the Chelsea job in 2013 before the successful Spaniard moved to Munich. His contract at Bayern expires at the end of the season with no new one agreed and the Telegraph report Abramovich’s minions are working behind the scenes to sound Guardiola out about the possibility of taking over should Mourinho lose his job. The Mail, meanwhile, are reporting the Bayern boss is keen on a move to London and has told friends as much.GUARDIOLA AND SIMEONE ON THE WISH-LISTThe London Evening Standard claim that both Guardiola and Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone are the top candidates wanted by Abramovich. Spanish-based journalist Graham Hunter has spoken, in the Mail, of similarities between the latter and Mourinho, while pointing out that Diego Costa, Radamel Falcao and Thibaut Courtois all played and enjoyed success under Simeone. 2 MONACO INTERESTED IN MOURINHOAlessandro Proto, a shareholder at the Ligue 1 club, told Spanish newspaper Sport: “On Saturday night the first contact was made with Jose Mourinho about training Monaco.”last_img read more

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first_imgREVIEW: THOSE folk in the Rosses certainly know how to dance!At least that’s the first review from their performance on Friday night.Absolutely brilliant first night and a great performance. The audience left very entertained and the feedback was so positive. The technical lads…all local current and former club players were outstanding in the production, car park attendents, door staff and the ladies players with club gear collecting votes, make up and hair, Michelle as hostess, a great community supporter.The great venue that is an Aislann is fast establishing itself as a first class venue of pride for us all. Fiona, Pius and Marie we are sure were proud .However…the greatest thanks of course goes to the dancers who gave it their all to entertain….and entertain they did. At a time when the great wee nation goes through its toughest time in decades…..the dancers were able to give over 3 hours of entertainment and a great lift to the spirits of our local community….even if not a penny was raised…that in itself is a result.Those who have tickets for Saturday night should count themselves lucky indeed. A great show….well done to all. TAKE A BOW! GREAT FIRST NIGHT FOR ROSSES JIGS N REELS SHOW! was last modified: March 31st, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:TAKE A BOW! GREAT FIRST NIGHT FOR ROSSES JIGS N REELS SHOW!last_img read more

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