A court ruled on 20 October that the TV station, ordered off the air in August, could resume broadcasting, the French news agency Agence France-Presse reported.Okacha is also charged with inciting the president’s assassination and the government’s overthrow. His trial on these charges is due to open on 7 November. He was arrested on 30 September for outstanding petty offences and released the next day. When he went to a police station to ascertain his judicial status, he was told he had been given two six-month sentences in his absence for issuing bad cheques and two of one month each for stealing electrical power. February 6, 2021 Find out more Organisation February 1, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Crédit Photo: AFP January 22, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information EgyptMiddle East – North Africa News In Arabic (بالعربية)A court in Luxor yesterday convicted Tawfiq Okacha, the owner of the TV station El-Faraeen (The Pharaons) and a program presenter known for his hostility to the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi, of defamation under the criminal code and sentenced him to four months’ imprisonment and a fine of 100 Egyptian pounds (12.55 euros). Such a conviction and sentence based on the criminal code sends out a highly negative message for freedom of information in Egypt. Reporters Without Borders urges the country’s new authorities to review the provisions relating to press offences and to abolish imprisonment as a penalty for comments judged to be offensive or defamatory. The case arose from a complaint by a former member of Parliament, Nasreddine Moghazi, after a program was aired in late August in which Okacha was highly critical of Morsi. His trial opened on 1 September. Receive email alerts to go further EgyptMiddle East – North Africa Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison Follow the news on Egypt News Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison staff News News Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution October 23, 2012 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Jail sentence for defamation is bad sign for freedom of information
For a list of all the latest deals, check out the transfers page.TRANSFER GOSSIPGuardian back pageStriker Radamel Falcao, 29, will have to wait until May to discover if Manchester United are to make his loan move from Monaco permanent. (Guardian) Barcelona defender Dani Alves, 31, is close to joining a new club on a free transfer in the summer, with Manchester United one of the teams interested in the Brazil international. (Sun – subscription required) Porto full-back Danilo, 23, is expected to reject interest from Liverpool, Arsenal and Man United in favour of a £27m switch to Real Madrid. (Daily Mirror) Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham, Southampton and Everton are considering a move for Lyon’s 21-year-old defender Samuel Umtiti. (FootMercato.net in French) Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out a move for Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca, 28. (Turnstyle) Lille want to keep Manchester City attacking midfielder Marcos Lopes, 19, on loan for another season. (Daily Mail) Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby, 28, looks set to be released this summer with boss Arsene Wenger planning to sell either Mikel Arteta or Mathieu Flamini to clear the way for a major midfield signing. (Sun – subscription required) Chelsea are watching Anderlecht midfielders Youri Tielemans, 17, and Leander Dendoncker, 19. (Daily Mail) OTHER GOSSIP Daily Express back pageDiego Simeone is stalling on a new contract as Atletico Madrid manager – in the hope of getting the Manchester City job. (Daily Mirror) Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson is set for a new deal to stop him moving to a Premier League side, despite having 12 months remaining on his current deal. (Daily Star) Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says he will not bow to fans urging the team to “attack, attack, attack”. (London Evening Standard) Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng, 26, turned down an offer to join Barcelona during the summer. (Bild in German) Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva believes Mesut Ozil, 26, must improve if the Gunners are going to challenge for the Premier League title again. (London Evening Standard) BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIAHull City goalkeeper Steve Harper tweeted his admiration for Fabricio Coloccini’s gesture after the Newcastle captain handed the armband to Jonas Gutierrez on his return after 17 months out with cancer. Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: “Standing ovation for Jonas Gutierrez as he comes on at St James’ Park 11 months after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Lovely moment.”AND FINALLY….Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo pays a stylist to regularly brush the hair on his official waxwork at the Museo Cera wax museum in Madrid. (Independent) Liverpool’s Javier Manquillo is the least dirty defender in the Premier League with 16 tackles for every foul conceded. (Talksport) Everton striker Chris Long, 20, celebrated the first goals of his loan spell at Brentford by revealing he dragged up memories of Michael Owen to help him finish the chances. (Liverpool Echo)
Alexis Sara CobbCollege football is starting this week and I can’t stop smiling. I am beyond giddy that the season has started again. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s predictably unpredictable. And that uncertainty is what makes college football so delectable. There are so many unanswered questions that need to be resolved with the upcoming season.Will Florida State be as formidable as they were last year? Will Nick Saban’s Alabama team come back with a vengeance? Will the SEC try to start another streak of dominance after last year’s debacle? Will Charlie Strong’s Texas team be competitive? Who will be the breakout star of the season? Will the playoff system be enjoyable or will we end up missing the flawed BCS?But as the college football season starts, I want those of us who love college football to think about this game from a different perspective.I am going to buck against the status quo and say that I appreciate student-athletes. I know as a society, we don’t hear much positivity regarding college football players. The headlines that grab us are generally about off the field character issues or problems with fellow teammates or coaches. But I’m going to resolve to start this season off right by saying thank you.Thank you college football athletes for playing the game that I love with such passion.Thank you parents and guardians for supporting your children at all cost and giving them the emotional support that they so desperately need.We, as fans, are brutal on our college football players. We scream. We ridicule. We love them. We hate them. But let’s just pause before the season starts to remember that they are someone’s son. They are someone’s brother. They are someone’s grandson. They can be someone’s father. They are not professional athletes. They are student-athletes.Student-athletes have to practice, lift, eat certain diets, learn the playbook, fight for their spots on the depth chart, all while maintaining their coursework, managing their personal lives, and living away from family. Then, in addition to those responsibilities and others, many student-athletes must deal with the stigma that comes with being a football player.It’s not all glamorous. We have seen how these student-athletes can struggle with financial problems and lack of basic necessities.Also, let’s try to keep in mind that the college football athletes are people who are growing up in front of the world. These college football players are kids that are still in college. So, yeah they are going to occasionally make some boneheaded decisions.Don’t you remember college? Some of our best college stories revolve around boneheaded decisions we made that we may or may not admit to now. You know what you and your friends did! So, I’ll reserve my judgment on their character till they have already grown up.And while college football fans are busy swearing and calling players out of their names because they may have dropped the ball against the rival team, gotten a penalty, or missed an interception. Take a step back and remember that college football players are playing a game for our enjoyment.At certain levels, they may be getting free tuition, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to drag the player’s name down through Facebook, twitter or any other form of social media and print media. The players can read your nonsense. Their families can read your venomous foolishness. And nobody likes to be the object of ridicule.Hey, its college football season and we are allowed to be passionate fans. But let’s think about the individual people wearing the pads while we root for the team wearing our school colors.Alexis Sara Cobb may be reached at: [email protected] or (724) 561-8082 Follow her on Twitter: @alexissara
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 Rhett Butler Amazon Soy, Cattle Ranching, Climate Change, Commentary, Deforestation, Editorials, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Green, Impact Of Climate Change, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests Forbes columnist Michael Shellenberger gets a few things right about the Amazon fires, but he also spreads misinformation not founded in fact or science.What Shellenberger gets right: The Amazon is being mischaracterized by the media as “the lungs of the planet”, the number of fires have been higher in the past, and there is a need to engage Brazilian ranchers and farmers to help curb deforestation and burning.What Shellenberger gets wrong: According to scientists, the big issue is that the Brazilian Amazon stores a vast amount of carbon. Increased deforestation combined with climate change is pushing the Amazon ever closer to a forest-to-savanna tipping point, triggering a large release of carbon and worsening global warming.Also downplayed: the role Jair Bolsonaro is playing in the crisis. Since January, he has dismantled environmental enforcement agencies and used incendiary language to incite ranchers and farmers to illegally clear forest. This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. I understand the desire to correct misinformation that proliferates in the aftermath of breaking news events. And I understand the frustration of sensationalist headlines that mislead readers. But columnist Michael Shellenberger’s attempt in Forbes to correct the record on fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon was sloppy at best, and deceiving at worst.Shellenberger is right on several points, including the poor choice of “Lungs of the Earth” as a moniker for the Amazon rainforest, the fact that both deforestation and fires have been substantially higher in the recent past, the widespread use by the media of old or irrelevant photos to depict the current fires, the need to meaningfully engage ranchers and farmers in Amazon preservation, and the under-appreciation of the impact of sub-canopy fires.But he’s wrong about some other important points. These are listed and refuted below.Cumulative fire hotspots in the Brazilian Amazon according to INPE. Note: August 2019 data is through August 24.Cumulative deforestation through July for each year from 2008 according to INPE’s DETER system. Note that the chart switches from DETER to DETER-B in August 2016.What about The New York Times claim that “If enough rain forest is lost and can’t be restored, the area will become savanna, which doesn’t store as much carbon, meaning a reduction in the planet’s ‘lung capacity’”?Shellenberger’s hang up on oxygen here misleads and misdirects the reader. Scientists, including Dan Nepstad who is quoted extensively in the Forbes piece, have indeed warned that large-scale loss of tree cover in the Amazon rainforest could tip the ecosystem toward a drier, savanna-like ecosystem similar to the adjacent Cerrado. This new ecosystem would store vastly less carbon than a rainforest, increasing emissions and potentially escalating the rate of global climate change.“As I’ve written on extensively, the Amazon forest dieback—savannization, as it is sometimes called—is the biggest threat to the Amazon forest in my opinion,” said Nepstad.Importantly, some scientists argue that a vegetation transition of this magnitude would disrupt local transpiration and could even shift the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone affecting regional precipitation patterns and potentially impacting hydropower output, urban water supplies and agriculture production across Brazil—even to the point of threatening the Latin American nation’s position as a global agribusiness powerhouse, potentially endangering the food supply to millions in the EU and China who rely on Brazil for meat, soy and other vital commodities.This image, based on measurements taken by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), shows the areas of the Amazon basin that were affected by the severe 2005 drought. Areas in yellow, orange, and red experienced light, moderate, and severe drought, respectively. Green areas did not experience drought. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech /GoogleOne of Brazil’s leading environmental journalists agrees that media coverage of the fires has been misleading. “It was under [Workers Party President] Lula and [Environment Secretary] Marina Silva (2003-2008) that Brazil had the highest incidence of burning,” Leonardo Coutinho told me over email. “But neither Lula nor Marina was accused of putting the Amazon at risk.”Shellenberger is quoting Leonardo Coutinho here, but it is certainly not true that the world turned a blind eye to deforestation and burning under the Lula Presidency. A simple search of any news archive will produce reams of stories reporting on the issue, public outrage over Amazon deforestation at the time, as well as Nepstad’s studies warning of an Amazon forest to savanna tipping point. And in fact Marina Silva very publicly resigned as Environment Minister in May 2008, a story which garnered significant press attention. Shellenberger failed to do his due diligence here.Reached by Mongabay, Nepstad added that it was international attention that led the Lula government to pursue its successful deforestation reduction program, which resulted in massive emissions reductions that went largely unrewarded by the rest of the world.“The reason President Lula prioritized the Amazon was the very high level of international outrage expressed through media coverage of the high deforestation rates in 2002-2004,” Nepstad told Mongabay.Amazon forest fires are hidden by the tree canopy and only increase during drought years.While sub-canopy fires are far more pervasive in drought years, especially during strong El Niño events, Amazon forest fires do not only increase in drought years as the burning this season—which isn’t historically dry—demonstrates. Overlaying satellite data from NASA with recent tree cover loss detected by Global Forest Watch’s GLAD system shows that fires are burning in close proximity to rainforests in the Amazon. Given that fires are burning hotter than normal this year, it’s almost certain that sub-canopy fires are burning from agricultural areas and slashed forests into rainforests. We’ll know for sure once the smoke clears and scientists are able to assess the situation on the ground. Shellenberger is wrong here.CANDEIRAS DO JAMARI, RONDÔNIA, BRAZIL: Aerial view of a large burned area in the city of Candeiras do Jamari in the state of Rondônia. Photo taken August 23, 2019. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)What increased by 7% in 2019 are the fires of dry scrub and trees cut down for cattle ranching as a strategy to gain ownership of land. There is no evidence to support Shellenberger’s contention here that dry scrub and “trees cut down for cattle ranching” represent 100 percent of the increase in fires in 2019.Half of the Amazon is protected against deforestation under federal law. Incursions into protected areas and indigenous territories as well as the weakening and widespread disregard of the Forest Code means that while half the Amazon may be protected on paper, it is not protected in practice. Invasions of conserved areas, illegal logging and the terrorizing of rural populations by loggers, miners and land grabbers under past governments, and especially under the government of Jair Bolsonaro have been regularly reported.For example, Jamanxim National Forest lost 3 percent of its forest cover — 44,800 hectares (110,700 acres) — in May alone. Meanwhile, the much heralded Surui Paiter indigenous carbon offset project in Rondônia has been invaded by illegal miners, forcing the tribe to suspend the initiative.And just 3% of the Amazon is suitable for soy farming. The biggest driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is cattle ranching, not soy farming.But even so, Nepstad said “3 percent of the forests outside of protected areas are suitable for soy cultivation”. That’s far different than the entire Amazon.Both Nepstad and Coutinho say the real threat is from accidental forest fires in drought years, which climate change could worsen. Shellenberger is misleading here. “Accidental fire” makes it sound like fires aren’t intentionally being set, but that’s not the case.Nepstad: “Virtually all fires in the Amazon are started by people. They often escape their intended boundaries, into neighboring forests.” There is nothing accidental about Amazon deforestation via the use of fire as a tool. Importantly, land speculators also regularly employ fire intentionally in the Brazilian Amazon as a primary tool of illegal deforestation, as preparation for illicit land sales at highly inflated prices to cattlemen and farmers.Today, 18 – 20% of the Amazon forest remains at risk of being deforested.There is absolutely no evidence to support Shellenberger’s claim here.Nepstad said Shellenberger could be referencing land in the Brazilian Amazon that is still undesignated.“About one fifth of the Amazon forest is still undesignated—it is “up for grabs”, terra devoluta,” he said. “This is certainly not the only forest that is under threat of deforestation or fire.”CANDEIRAS DO JAMARI, RONDÔNIA, BRAZIL: Aerial view of a large burned area in the city of Candeiras do Jamari in the state of Rondônia. Photo taken August 23, 2019. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)Missing the big pictureIn his eagerness to critique the media and lambast celebrities, Shellenberger effectively dismisses the broader concerns over recent developments in the Amazon. The fear is that Brazil’s past progress in reducing deforestation and fires is being reversed as a result of the Bolsonaro administration’s undercutting of the regulatory framework, the institutions, the civil society groups, and the science that enabled the country to achieve those outcomes.This reversal also comes as a warming planet makes the world’s largest rainforest more vulnerable to drought and fire. A return to the peak deforestation of the mid-1990s through mid-2000s would be even more damaging today given the greater frequency of drought and elevated temperatures in the Amazon as well as the higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, which gives us even less time to curb emissions.And while Nepstad’s comments in Shellenberger’s piece seemed to also be dismissive of the global attention currently paid to the situation in Brazil, the scientist reiterated that now is a very important moment for the Amazon. In his own words:“Fire is a huge problem in the Amazon region. Large-scale fires in standing forests during extreme dry periods are the biggest threat to these forests in a warming world. Once burned, forests become more vulnerable to further burning. And as deforestation and repeated fire reduce forest cover, rainfall is inhibited.A deforestation and forest loss scenario for 2030 developed by Dan Nepstad and colleagues at the Woods Hole Research Institute in 2008.“In 2019 this problem is getting the attention it deserves. The number of fires and the amount of smoke they are producing has increased, probably because of the large number of felled forests that have been dried and are now burning. The good news is that there is no evidence that the area of standing forests catching fire is significantly greater than the area of forest that typically burns this time of year. It is still early, however. The bad news is that weather forecasts indicate that the dry season the Amazon is currently in could become quite severe. Forests could begin to burn over large areas.“Brazil has a rare opportunity to focus on fire now and design some systemic solutions to fire, including short-term and long-term components, as described in the blog. These solutions start on the ground—there is enormous expertise in fire prevention and fire control among the farmers, communities, fire brigades and local governments of the Amazon. In the long-term, a shift to more tree crops, agroforestry systems, aquaculture, and more intensive cattle production could greatly reduce the use of fire and greater increase investments in fire control.”Chart showing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, 1988-2018Chart showing deforestation alerts in the Brazilian Amazon since 2010Andrew Revkin, the former New York Times reporter and current Founding Director of the Initiative on Communication & Sustainability at The Earth Institute at Columbia University who was also quoted in Shellenberger’s column, agreed that the current reporting around the Amazon fires by mainstream media has often been problematic, failing to distill important nuances. But he told Mongabay that he wasn’t thrilled with Shellenberger’s framing.“I don’t endorse the framing of the article and absolutely don’t agree with the caricatured distillation of the situation,” he wrote via email. “Amazon threats and solutions are as varied and widespread as the basin itself. Simple characterizations of catastrophe — as in a lot of media coverage — miss substantial opportunities to slow loss and even turn the tide toward restoration and sustainability.”“As with doomism around climate change, they can prompt paralysis and disengagement when the opposite is needed. But simplistic interpretations of the motives of those challenging Brazil’s current leadership are as unhelpful.”PORTO VELHO, RONDÔNIA, BRAZIL. Aerial view of burned areas in the Amazon rainforest, in the city of Porto Velho, Rondônia state. Photo taken August 23, 2019. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)Header image: Aerial view of burned areas in the Amazon rainforest, in the city of Porto Velho, Rondônia state. Photo taken August 23, 2019. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)
Fifteen years ago, Martha Valencia relied on the nearby river for water and for food. But then oil palm crops arrived in the area and polluted the river, say Martha and her neighbors. The community took the oil palm grower to court, which ultimately resulted in a ruling in their favor.“It is determined that there had been serious environmental effects in the territory of the communities … which should have been prevented by the Ecuadorian government,” the ruling read, and a judge ordered compensation for those affected.That was two years ago. And Martha and her neighbors say they are still waiting for things to change.No clean waterThe river and the community, both named La Chiquita, are located within the municipality of San Lorenzo in the Esmeraldas province of Ecuador. Logging and oil palm plantations, in addition to its proximity to the Colombian border where drug trafficking and armed conflict is rife, contribute to the area’s dubious honor of having the highest levels of poverty and violence in the country.Every eight to 15 days, the municipality sends a water truck to La Chiquita. The tank fills a 1,500-liter blue plastic tank “but not even that water is clean. We were told by the Municipality to put chlorine before drinking it,” says Olga, another community member.Residents of La Chiquita say they don’t have adequate access to safe drinking water. Photo by David Silva.When a new truck does not arrive in town before their tank runs dry, residents say they can buy 20-liter water canisters in San Lorenzo, which last three or four days. However, this option often proves too expensive for community members who must subsist off meager profits from small farms. They say that in that case, they are forced to walk great distances to other rivers.There’s little in the way of alternatives for people living in the area. According to the National Statistical System and the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC), 16% of San Lorenzo residents are illiterate, which is more than double the national rate of 6.8%. Almost half of its population is engaged in agriculture and fishing due to a lack of industrial development in the area.Two years have passed since the Jan. 2017 ruling of Esmeraldas’ Provincial Court of Justice, and those affected in La Chiquita are still waiting for the judge to order the provision of drinking water, among other compensations. The ruling also requires the construction of a health center and a school.La Chiquita lies in the the Chocó-Darién, an ecosystem that extends from Panama to northwest Ecuador and is known for its unique forests and vast biological wealth – both of which are disappearing at a fast clip due to agribusiness and other human pressures.Oil palm companies are required to have a buffer zone between planted fields and water sources. They must remove any crops that are located less than ten meters (33 feet) from community water sources and replace them with endemic species such as guadua bamboo. According to former environment ministers, a fine is applied “for obvious negligence in the performance of their duties.”“It is a historic ruling, although it has objections and inaccuracies that must be corrected in its execution,” says Manolo Morales, a lawyer and representative of the Corporation of Management and Environmental Law (Ecolex) that sponsored the lawsuit.Oil palm cultivation is one of the primary drivers of deforestation in the province of Esmeraldas. Photo by Eduardo Rebolledo.The ruling also calls for the Ministry of Environment, together with affected communities, to reforest 500 hectares of degraded land with native species. However, La Chiquita resident Isaha Ezequiel says this is absurd. “Companies are the ones that have polluted and killed the forest but they want us to reforest,” he told Mongabay.Violence is common in the region. The murder rate in San Lorenzo in 2018 was 96 per 100,000 inhabitants – almost ten times the national rate. The area gained further notoriety that year when a reporting team from the El Comercio newspaper was kidnapped and then killed by FARC dissident groups. The incident occurred in Mataje, a border town near Guadalito, Colombia.Although four companies were referenced during the trial, two were included in the ruling: Palmera de los Andes and Palmar de los Esteros (Palesema). Only Palmera de los Andes agreed to comment for this story.Never-ending battleOil palm plantations in Ecuador cover about 250,000 hectares (617,763 acres) and are distributed among several provinces. Due to its suitable growing conditions, Esmeraldas has the lion’s share.Palm oil companies arrived in San Lorenzo in the late 1990s and early 2000s, settling in an area of around 30,000 hectares (74,131 acres) that was later expanded to 50,000 (123,552 acres). The inhabitants of La Chiquita, who are mostly the descendants of enslaved people of African ancestry, say local children began to develop stomach diseases and that they noticed oil and pesticide residue in a river that was their primary water source.When La Chiquita residents went into the forest to investigate the cause of this pollution, they discovered that one of the oil palm growers had installed a palm oil mill less than three kilometers upriver that was dumping liquid waste into the water. The same thing was reported by members of the Awá Guadalito indigenous community, who also joined the demand for change and reparations.Aerial view of a young oil palm plantation in Esmeraldas. Photo: Eduardo RebolledoHowever, a representative of Palmera de los Andes contends claims of pollution.“We have 11 processing pools with strict environmental controls,” said Fabián Miño, a lawyer and director of the company’s legal department. “It is false that we are the cause of any contamination.” He explained that, after the palm oil refinement process, wastewater is treated in each pool until it is decontaminated. “To confirm that the liquid comes out clean from our building, in the last two pools we have fish and seaweed,” he said.Miño says communities have been manipulated by NGOs with ulterior motives. He claims Ecolex is an environmental organization that receives funds from abroad, and that the organization attacks oil palm growers to justify its activities and budget regardless of the employment and development opportunities plantations create.Manolo Morales, of Ecolex, says Miño’s accusations are absurd. He says the organization has worked in the area since 1998 helping local communities gain legal rights to their ancestral territories. He claims that in the intervening years the government promoted and encouraged the cultivation of oil palm and that many inhabitants were persuaded to sell their territories to agroindustry companies. He said he made the decision to advise La Chiquita and Guadalito when he learned of the problems they face.In 2005, a water quality study by the Al Tropic environmental foundation detected the presence of endosulfan and terbufos in the tributaries that provide water for these two communities. Commonly used as pesticides, these compounds can cause severe illness and death in humans, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies both as Category 1 toxins – a designation reserved for the most dangerous substances. This information was included in a report from the Ministry of Environment (MAE) in 2009 and served as the basis for initiating the trial. However, subsequent water studies were not decisive enough to directly hold oil palm companies accountable. Therefore, the judge only partially accepted the claim, ordering the government to fulfill some of the requested reparations to affected communities.Ecolex reported that oil palm grower companies were alerted by government authorities before officials went to take water samples looking for the presence of toxins. Meanwhile, Fabián Miño, from Palmera de los Andes, claims that the organization was trying to obtain samples of stagnant water.“They went out of their way to find pollution,” Miño said. “We have all the environmental certifications, national and international.”Satellite image of oil palm plantations in San Lorenzo. Image courtesy of Rodrigo Sierra.Isaha Ezequiel and his neighbors say two years have passed and they have seen no progress towards court-mandated reparations. According to Nathalia Bonilla, an environmental engineer and coordinator with the NGO Ecological Action in Ecuador, this is because the judge did not report the verdict to the ministries responsible for carrying them out.Because there is a mountain between the towns of Guadalito and La Chiquita, the judge ordered the building of a school in each. However, Bonilla says the Ministry of Education was also not made aware of this ruling.Palmera de los Andes reports that it has already begun fulfilling the reparations required by the ruling. However, company representatives say it is doing so because such activities are within its environmental responsibilities and protocols, not because it considers the ruling to be right.“We are reforesting as required by the ruling,” says lawyer Fabián Miño. He adds that the company has a 1200-hectare (2,965-acre) forest reserve, which was not requested in the reparations, and that the company has an environmental license and provides upwards of 700 jobs to local residents. “They should applaud us and not judge us,” he said.A refuge for many speciesDeforestation in northern Esmeraldas began well before oil palm moved in. In the 1960s, the government implemented its Northwest Forestry Development project that established 14 forest concessions. According to project data, more than 400,000 hectares (988,421 acres) of dense forest was cleared between 1966 and 1975. Five more concessions were subsequently created.“This is how the primary forests of Esmeraldas were cut down,” says Walter Palacios, a forest engineer and associate researcher at the National Institute of Biodiversity (Inabio). He explains that the primary forests of northwestern Ecuador are home to around 4,000 species of plants, and says many may have disappeared due to habitat loss without biologists ever knowing them.Oil palm plantations in San Lorenzo, Ecuador. Photo by Eduardo Rebolledo.The region’s protected areas preserve what has been lost to agriculture elsewhere: reserves, rich in orchids and giant ferns, extend to the paramos of the Ecuadorian highlands, providing vital habitat for a multitude of species including jaguars and ocelots. A microcosm of the biodiversity of the Chocó-Darién can be seen in just one of its massive trees. A Sande tree, for example, can be covered by as many as 60 species of ferns, orchids and other plants, its fruit important food for birds and insects.According to Walter Palacios, when the palm plantations first appeared in the area, the secondary forests that had regenerated after the mass clearing of the 1960s were cleared once again.“A secondary forest no longer has the same species density, it has less wildlife,” Palacios said. “However, it is better to preserve them than to turn them into monocultures.”Of the region’s remaining primary forest, Palacios says he hopes that the government spares these areas from the expansion of the agricultural frontier.Oil palm crops near the town of San Lorenzo. Photo by Eduardo Rebolledo.Residents say conversion of forest to plantations has affected their lives.“I used to make with my mother wicker baskets out of Piquigua – an endemic plant,” Martha Valencia said. “We used the baskets to transport fish, or the meat of guanta, deer and other animals that we hunted. The forest and the river gave us everything, now we have to go to San Lorenzo to buy the food that was taken from us.”Residents like Valencia say they know everything they had before will not return in their lifetimes, but that they should still be able to expect clean water. “That is why we need the reparations promised by the ruling,” says Wilberto Valencia, another community member.The current Minister of Environment in Ecuador is Raúl Ledesma, who assumed the position four months ago. In an appearance before the National Assembly, together with the affected community members, Ledesma offered to further investigate the situation in La Chiquita to verify the damage that Wilberto Valencia and others say is affecting their ability to live. At that same meeting, Ledesma said he was aware that Energy Palma is breaking environmental standards.Inhabitants of La Chiquita are fighting against the pollution of their water sources. Photo by David Silva.What does the future hold?Large-scale plantations aren’t the only places where oil palm is grown in Ecuador, and advocates of the crop say stricter regulations on its cultivation could hurt small farmers.“If there are infractions, justice must act,” says Wilfredo Acosta, executive director of the National Association of Palm Oil Growers (Ancupa). “But 89% are small producers and for us, it is an agricultural activity, like any other, that encourages the development of the country.”In recent years oil palm crops have been beset with “bud rot.” As of October 2019, the fungal disease had wiped out 15,000 hectares (37,065 acres) of plantations, according to Acosta. His proposed solution: support farmers with credits and provide, through the Ministry of Agriculture, new seeds that are resistant to this disease.Assemblyman Lenin Plaza, a native of Esmeraldas and president of the Committee on Food Sovereignty, together with Ancupa, is promoting a bill in the National Assembly, which has already passed the first debate. One of its objectives is to double palm oil yields for biofuel production, but Plaza says that does not necessarily mean expanding the agricultural frontier with new plantations. “This will depend on the country’s demand,” Plasa said. “The important thing now is to help the producers.”Assemblyman Lenin Plaza has proposed a law to increase palm oil production. He says it is necessary to help small producers. Photo by Cecilia Puebla.Acosta says oil palm expansion could take advantage of underutilized land once used for agriculture but which has since been abandoned.“It’s not necessary to expand, it’s about optimizing crops,” Acosta said. “With that, we take the pressure off the forests.”However, even if the majority of producers may be small, environmental organizations say large companies control around 80% of land used for oil palm cultivation.“The big companies are the ones that benefit,” said Nathalia Bonilla of Ecological Action. “What they say about small producers is just a story. [Oil] palm is an activity that uses chemicals that seep into the earth [and] needs large areas, and working conditions are precarious.” Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis This story was first reported by Mongabay’s Latam team and published here on our Latam site on October 7, 2019.Banner image: Residents of La Chiquita say their river is polluted. Phot by: David Silva. Agriculture, Animals, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Green, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Industrial Agriculture, Oil Palm, Old Growth Forests, Palm Oil, Plantations, Primary Forests, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, 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 overSponsored Residents of the communities of La Chiquita and Awá Guadalito say their drinking water has been contaminated by pollution from oil palm plantations.A court ruling ordered two oil palm companies and the state to pay reparations for social and environmental impacts caused by the oil palm cultivation.However, in the two years since the ruling was issued, two communities in San Lorenzo say they have yet to see any changes. This story is a journalistic collaboration between Revista Vistazo and Mongabay Latam.
Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.ALAMEDA — With the stipulation that nobody truly knows how draft picks will play out in both the near and distant future, some observations on the Raiders’ class of 2019:ProsChemistry set: The Raiders are unafraid to bring aboard a proven veteran with baggage (Antonio Brown for example) but are wisely seeking longterm foundation fits with their rookies. Clelin Ferrell of Clemson (first round, No. 4), Josh Jacobs of …
5 May 2014 South African surfer Grant “Twiggy” Baker picked up two awards at the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards in Southern California on Friday evening, cementing his position as one of the world’s great big wave riders. Baker received the award for winning the 2013/14 ASP Big Wave World Tour and also claimed the Surfline Best Overall Performance.‘Travel and surf’ “All I ever wanted to do is travel and surf and that’s what this world title means to me,” Baker said at the Awards. “I’m feeling more competitive than ever. I’d love to have a heat with Kelly Slater in 25-foot-plus waves. He’d probably still beat me, but at least I’d have a chance.”‘Fantastic’ The Billabong XXL Ride of the Year went the way of Greg Long. “To win Ride of the Year is fantastic, but riding those waves is what I’m here to do,” he commented. “The fear is an underlying motivator and turning the fear into something positive is what big wave surfing does for me. When you’re riding a big wave you’re so focused and it’s like time goes into slow motion.” ‘It’s like winning the Oscars’ The Billabong Women’s Best Overall Performance was awarded to Hawaii’s Keala Kennelly. “It’s like winning the Oscars, especially in front of all the other big wave guys,” she said. “Last year I won this award, cashed the check and three days later I was in Teahupoo for a big swell. It was the first time I’d been back since my face injury there. To come back and overcome my fear and get the best wave was a huge personal triumph for me.”Biggest wave Frenchman Gautier Garanx picked up the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award for a 62- footer he rode in Belharra, Spain. “To be here is a dream,” said Gautier Garanx. “All my idols are here, the superstars, and tonight I’m with them. That wave was easily the biggest of my life.”AWARD WINNERSASP Big Wave World Tour Champion: Grant “Twiggy” BakerTube of the Year: Koa RothmanBillabong Women’s Best Overall Performance: Keala KennellyBillabong XXL Wipeout: Koa RothmanBiggest Paddle: Mark HealeySurfline Best Overall Performance: Grant “Twiggy” BakerBillabong XXL Biggest Wave: Gautier GaranxBillabong XXL Ride of the Year: Greg Long2014/15 ASP Big Wave World Tour Southern Hemisphere (15 April 2014 through 31 August 2014)Punta de Lobos, ChilePico Alto, PeruDungeons, South Africa Northern Hemisphere (1 October 2014 to 28 February 2015)Todos Santos, MexicoPunta Galea, Basque Country SpainPe’ahi (Jaws), Maui, Hawaii
PTOLEMAIDA, Greece — If earthquakes struck in slow motion, the results might be visible in a place like the Greek village of Anargyri, a hardscrabble enclave in a black landscape gutted by coal mining.The village in northern Greece once had more than 400 people. Now it has fewer than 50, after being torn apart over decades. Its roads are slowly buckling, its door frames have shifted, its walls and home foundations have cracked beyond repair. Residents are leaving not in panic but out of desperation.One after another, the tiny villages in Greece’s lignite belt have been destroyed by mining as the ground becomes too unsteady to hold homes upright. Bells at one church in the area are not rung regularly for fear of causing more cracks in the walls.Cattle farmer Michalis Bitas first noticed the damage to homes in Anargyri in 1986.“That’s when mining started locally. It slowly began to eat up the houses before it went on to eat us up too,” he said.Bitas is from one of the few dozen households in the village who have refused a power company’s offer to move them to a rented apartment in a nearby town. These villagers are demanding full compensation for their homes — a right only granted by law if mining occurs directly below a settlement.“I have sheep and machinery. What am I supposed to do? Move them into an apartment?” Bitas said.Heavy-duty coal excavators and vehicles on the horizon near the village look like toy trucks, dwarfed by the scale of the blackened mining fields.Greek is still hooked on coal, despite warnings about the dire consequences of global warming issued both by a new scientific report and experts at the recent U.N. climate talks in Poland and despite ambitious European Union-wide targets to replace coal use with renewable energy.Greece is currently the world’s 12th largest producer of lignite — known as brown coal — mining 36 million tons annually, according to U.S. federal government energy data. Lignite is a low-grade coal that throws off higher carbon dioxide emissions than black coal. It is often burned near where it is mined since its low energy density makes it too expensive to transport very far.Nearly a third of Greece’s electricity is produced by coal-fired plants and the country has no phase-out plan to stop using domestically produced coal, unlike most parts of Western Europe. Despite abundant wind and sun, only around 15 per cent of Greece’s energy is produced by renewable sources. Most of its reduction in coal use in recent years has been offset by an increased use of imported natural gas.Under measures hammered out with Greece’s bailout creditors, the state-controlled power company, PPC, will privatize three coal-fired electricity plants, prolonging their life.Also, contrary to many of its EU neighbours, Greece is on course to expand its dependence on oil and gas as the nation tries to attract overseas investment to counter a financial crisis that lasted nearly a decade. The Greek government has embarked on a major exploration drive for oil and gas off its western and southern coasts.The oil and gas ventures have alarmed environmental groups, which have issued an urgent plea to the Greek government to reverse its course and switch investments to the renewable sources like solar and wind power.“We must act directly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but our country is moving in the opposite direction,” a letter addressed to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said. It was signed by 34 environmental and human rights groups, including Greenpeace, the World Wide Fund for Nature, Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders.Greece is planning to invest “in fossil fuels for decades, along with worrying delivery of hundreds of thousands of square kilometres, on and offshore, for hydrocarbon extraction,” the letter said. “This would surrender the country to the nightmare consequences of climate change.”In Anargyri, despite the destruction of their homes, residents have mixed feelings about coal, since PPC is a key employer that provides 5,000 local jobs. The other attraction is that lignite, mined domestically, is not vulnerable to financial market swings or geopolitical shocks, unlike imported oil and gas, which in Greece mostly comes from Russia.“Clearly, lignite activity will be reduced and will be replaced by other sources of energy, renewable sources of energy,” PPC executive Konstantinos Theodoridis told The Associated Press.“But lignite will continue to be a strategic fuel that, in any geopolitical instability, is the only energy-producing fuel that is absolutely controlled by our country,” he said.___Derek Gatopoulos in Athens contributed. Follow Kantouris at http://www.twitter.com/CostasKantouris___Read more about climate issues from The Associated Press at https://www.apnews.com/ClimateCostas Kantouris, The Associated Press
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Luis von Ahn, the 40-year-old co-founder and CEO of popular language-learning app Duolingo, says one of the challenges of seeing his business grow is having to let go of doing everything. Motivating people and trusting them become important, he says.The Pittsburgh-based startup employs 150 people and has grown rapidly since its 2014 launch. It had more than $40 million in revenue this year and boasts 300 million users worldwide.Von Ahn spoke with The Associated Press after winning the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Prize for inventors who’ve made a positive social impact. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.Q: How did you learn how to manage people as Duolingo grew?A: This is probably the toughest thing I’ve done. As a professor I spent most of my time coming up with inventions or new products. With Duolingo it’s been a shift. Over time, you get to a point where you don’t know everybody’s name. You’re not even talking directly to the people who are doing the stuff. It’s about learning how to motivate and direct a large group of very intelligent people. Usually intelligent people have their own will, their own ideas. It’s a balance between letting them innovate by themselves, but also everybody pointing in the same direction.Q: How’d you figure it out?A: Most of it was through trial and error. My approach to most things in life is, “OK, we’re going to try this, as long as you know what the success condition is.” What’s failure, what’s success? As long as you’re pretty good at that, you can try a lot of things. And as long as everyone you’re working with knows you have the company’s best interests in mind, they allow you to try things.Q: How did you let go from being involved in everything?A: It’s been very difficult. One of the reasons why Duolingo was successful early on was because I was very detail-oriented. I was on top of every single thing. It was psychologically difficult for me to let go. It was a tough realization when the product didn’t get any worse when I stopped being on top of it. But eventually you get through it because you have to. It is now literally impossible for me to be on top of everything we do. I just can’t. It’s available in multiple platforms, multiple languages. I can’t test everything myself.Q: Is it any easier to grow a tech company in Pittsburgh than in San Francisco or New York?A: Probably the biggest difference is the amount of time each person stays in the company. People come to Duolingo and very rarely leave. We have much less churn of employees. On the flip side, there’s just not that many people in the ecosystem. We put a billboard on U.S. 101 in San Francisco that says, “Own a home, work in tech, move to Pittsburgh.” We’ve gotten a ton of applicants.Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press
HUDSON’S HOPE, B.C. — The Hudson’s Hope RCMP say they responded to approximately 25 calls for service over the last four weeks. During the month of March, the Hudson’s Hope RCMP issued 33 Motor Vehicle Act Warnings and Violation Tickets. Three impaired drivers were stopped and charged during this period. The Hudson’s Hope RCMP is still investigating the incident of slashed tires of one of the police vehicles that occurred at an RCMP residence. This act of mischief put residents at risk by delaying any emergency police response that would have been needed during that night and next morning. Any residents with information can call the local detachment or Crime Stoppers to report anonymously. Anyone with information regarding current or past investigations can contact the Hudson’s Hope RCMP directly at 250-783-5241 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Visit http://crimestoppersnebc.ca/ for advice on submitting tips online and to browse the area’s “most wanted” page. The Hudson’s Hope RCMP is still investigating the attempted theft of ATM machine from the local Credit Union. Anyone with information regarding this incident can call the local detachment or Crime Stoppers to report anonymously. On March 17th, 2018, Hudson’s Hope RCMP responded to a complaint of an erratic driver on Hwy 29 heading toward Hudson’s Hope. The vehicle was located and the driver was arrested for a warrant and for being impaired by drug. Suspected drugs were located in the vehicle. Charges are pending.On March 17th, 2018, Hudson’s Hope RCMP stopped a vehicle for speeding at 153 Km/hr in the 90 Km/hr zone. The vehicle plate was not associated to the vehicle and several violation tickets were issued to the driver. On March 23rd, 2018, Hudson’s Hope RCMP responded to two reports of the same tractor trailer spun out on two different hills along Hwy 29. The driver was issued a Notice and Order to repair or replace his tire chains as they were in poor condition causing the vehicle to spin out and block traffic on two occasions. The chains were replaced the following day. On March 24th, 2018, Hudson’s Hope RCMP observed a snowmobile travelling on local streets. The snowmobile took off but was eventually located at a local residence thanks to a tip from a citizen. The owner of the snowmobile was issued written warnings for no insurance and non-registered off road vehicle on public road. On March 31st, 2018, a vehicle was stopped for speeding and the driver was issued a 3 day immediate roadside driving prohibition after providing a breath sample. On April 8th, 2018, a driver was stopped on Beattie Drive for speeding. The driver was found to not have a driver license and failed two road side breath tests. The driver was issued a 90 day immediate road side driving prohibition, a violation ticket for no driver license, and the vehicle was impounded for 30 days. On April 15th, 2018, Hudson’s Hope RCMP responded to a local property to assist BC Conservation office with a complaint of dogs attacking a small deer. The investigation revealed that a resident had fired a firearm from a vehicle while close to a residence. A charge for careless use of firearm is being investigated and charges are pending. As the weather improves, many people will be heading out to enjoy the local trails and rivers. The RCMP would like to remind everyone to conduct themselves in a safe manner while obeying the rules and regulations pertaining to proper and safe operation of off road and marine vehicles. Know the requirements prior to heading out. Leave a travel plan with someone who will know where you are going and when you will be expected to return. Hudson’s Hope RCMP will be conducting ORV and Marine patrols throughout the area and operators may be issued tickets for non-compliance.