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Archive of posts published in the tag: 上海龙凤419

UK government faces legal challenge over local authority scheme veto

first_imgThe UK government is facing a legal challenge over its veto on local authority pension fund investments.The government says these funds, steered by local councillors and worth more than £200bn (€238bn) in total, must follow national foreign policy.The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), the organisation making the challenge, is fearful the government’s veto will curtail pension funds’ ability to act in their members’ best interest and has applied for a judicial review of the powers.The trade union Unison has previously called on its 1m members in local government to campaign for divestment from companies involved in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. The government says a judicial review is unnecessary and that the powers exist to prevent local authorities from pursuing a political, non-financial agenda with members’ savings.The PSC’s challenge argues that the UK government veto could contravene EU law, which prohibits governments from directing where pension schemes put their money.The UK government claims local authority pension funds are exempt from this law because town hall workers, unlike private-sector pension schemes, are guaranteed retirement benefits regardless of whether their savings in the pension fund do well or badly.Government minister Marcus Jones, speaking in Parliament in November,  said benefits were guaranteed by statute.This claim is repeated in a legal response from the government to the PSC’s lawyers.But the claim is disputed.The Scheme Advisory Board, which monitors the entire £200bn Local Government Pension Scheme, has legal opinion that there is no statutory guarantee from central government.The PSC has now hired the same lawyer who gave that opinion, Nigel Giffin.Peter Wallach, head of the Merseyside Pension Fund, one of the largest in the Local Government Pension Scheme, said: “There is no legal underpin to LGPS benefits. It is purely an assumption.“I do not worry overly about this, but, at the same time, we cannot dismiss the possibility that this could be an issue at some point in the future.”Cllr Kieran Quinn, chair of the UK Local Authority Pension Fund Forum and executive leader of Tameside Borough Council, is also fairly relaxed about the intervention power.In the January issue of IPE magazine, Quinn writes: “While I agree there is a greater scope for central intervention in theory, I remain relaxed about what this will mean in practice.“Pension funds can often do better than the likes of the Foreign Office in both identifying investment opportunities abroad and realising when it is prudent to step back, and, in my experience, the people who are the quickest to accuse pension funds of playing politics are almost always unable to provide specific examples to support their argument.”last_img read more

Wisconsin to head east for tough tests

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoThe Wisconsin men’s hockey team couldn’t have asked for a tougher opening to its 2008-09 season.Mike Eaves’ Badgers head to the East Coast this weekend, where they’ll take on the top-ranked Boston College Eagles — last season’s national champions — tonight and then travel to Durham, N.H. to face No. 7 New Hampshire Saturday.As tough as this opening series may be, many of the Badgers are excited to start out against the nation’s best.“It’s going to test how mature we are, our leadership,” senior goaltender Shane Connelly said. “The freshmen are going to have to learn. They’re going right into the fire. I think it’s an awesome way to start.”“It’s just exciting to sort of test things out against the best team in the country right now,” said senior forward Ben Street, one of the team’s two co-captains along with junior Blake Geoffrion. “We’ve had a lot of good practices. The team’s coming together, so we have to find out where we’re at.”The Badgers finished last season 16-17-7 overall and fell one game short of making the NCAA Frozen Four after losing to North Dakota 3-2 in late March. They lost just five players from last season’s squad and welcome in seven freshmen.Highlighting the list of newcomers is Jake Gardiner, a defenseman from Minnetonka, Minn., who was drafted 17th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Just like the rest of his new teammates, Gardiner is anxious to hit the ice.“They’re going to be raising the [national championship] banner right when we get there, so that’s pretty cool,” Gardiner said. “I think we’re ready for them.”Gardiner will be one of the newest components of an already solid defensive corps that returns all but two players from a year ago. Junior Jamie McBain led all scorers last season with five goals and 19 assists, while linemate Ryan McDonagh finished with 12 points.“They’re impressive. It’s hard to find a more talented group of defensemen in the nation,” Connelly said. “They’re young, but they have experience, they have the talent, they’re mature enough. It’s going to be fun to watch them, especially for me watching them grow. … The sky’s the limit for that ‘D’ corps.”With the loss of Kyle Turris, last year’s leading scorer — who jumped to the NHL after just one season with UW — the Badgers will rely on a team-oriented approach to scoring. For McBain and the other blueliners, that changes their role a bit.“As far as putting the puck in the back of the net, I think if we can do that and kind of help our forwards out in that aspect until they find their scoring touch, that’ll definitely help us out,” McBain said. “I think when we’re at our best and we’re involved in the offense, our team ultimately has the most success.”Geoffrion knows he and the other forwards will also have to pick up the scoring as a unit.“I think it’s going to come all around. It won’t just be one guy,” Geoffrion said. “Losing a guy like Turris obviously hurts, but I think we’ll be a lot more spread out for sure.”Behind the defensemen will be an experienced netminder in Connelly, who posted 2.44 goals against average last season in his first full year as a starter. With other teams in the WCHA — namely North Dakota, Denver and Michigan Tech — losing veteran goalies over the offseason, having Connelly between the pipes will be a source of comfort for Wisconsin. “Just my experience with all of last year, I’m not going in not knowing what’s going on,” Connelly said. “I know everything I need to do and everything that’s expected of me. It makes my job a lot easier.”Leading this young Badger team offensively will be co-captains Street and Geoffrion, who admittedly have different leadership styles — Street as the lead-by-example type, Geoffrion embracing a more vocal role. Both finished last year with 30 points each and were voted as captains by their teammates before the season began.“It’s a huge honor,” Street said. “There’s a lot of great players that have played here before to wear the ‘C.’ I’m just going to do my best to keep that tradition going.”Street still has memories of his sophomore season, when Boston College came to Madison and swept the then-defending national champion Badgers. So when he and Wisconsin take the ice tonight, they’re hoping to turn the tables.“We go up against the best team in the country, and we get a chance to knock them off,” Street said. “I remember a couple years ago they came in right after we had had a big year, and they kind of paid the favor back to us. Hopefully we can repeat history.”last_img read more

Wardwell turns in solid performance for otherwise-sluggish Orange

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] DURHAM, N.C. — Despite allowing 21 goals against Duke on Sunday, Syracuse did receive a steady performance from one of its goalkeepers.Backup goalie Bobby Wardwell replaced Dominic Lamolinara in the second half and allowed only eight goals on 22 shots in No. 6 Syracuse’s (4-3, 0-3 Atlantic Coast) 21-7 loss to the No. 4 Blue Devils (8-2, 2-1) at Koskinen Stadium.“I thought Bobby did a pretty good job in the second half,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “He had a bunch of saves. But I think they put up almost 60 shots on us today. You’re going to get more shots when you play a zone defense.”After the game, Wardwell didn’t complain about the sloppy weather conditions or the cloudy background he faced. He said the weather was actually better than most practices the team has outside in Syracuse and the visibility was better than what he normally has inside Manley Field House.Wardwell allowed only three goals in the third quarter, giving the Orange some hope of making the score more respectable.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe junior said before he came in Lamolinara told him what the Duke offense was doing – shooting a multitude of shots from the outside – and that the SU defense was struggling to rotate to the Duke player on the backside of the offense.“They have tremendous offensive players,” said Wardwell, who made multiple saves with his legs. “ … If you take that many shots in a game, you’re going to score.”Despite one of the only standout performances for the Orange, Wardwell didn’t look too much into it.Wardwell said he and Lamolinara went into this season splitting time, and he doesn’t see that changing.“Dom basically won us the past two games (against Johns Hopkins and St. John’s),” Wardwell said. “He played absolutely tremendous. Sometimes the shooters just have a good day.” Commentslast_img read more

Trump Unveils Plan to Reopen Economy, Tells Governors “You’re Going to Call Your Own Shots”

first_img“My highest priority on this task force will be to ensure the federal government’s efforts to reopen our economy are bipartisan, data-driven, and based on the expertise of public health professionals,” said Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia.Business leaders also told the President during calls on Wednesday that a significant increase in testing, in addition to wider availability of protective equipment, is necessary before they can safely restart operations.The federal government foresees a gradual national recovery from the coronavirus. That means disruptive mitigation measures may be needed in some places at least until a vaccine becomes available, which may not happen until next year.“It’s not going to immediately be a situation where we have stadiums full of people,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Thursday. “We’re Americans. We will adapt,” he added.President Trump said on Wednesday that data indicates the U.S. is “past the peak” of the COVID-19 epidemic. He added that the numbers have “put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country.”Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, added that the data shows the nation “improving,” but cautioned that Americans had to recommit to social distancing in order to keep up the positive momentum.There are 654,301 cases and 31,628 deaths across the U.S. as of Thursday morning. Florida had 22,235 confirmed cases and 662 deaths. New White House guidelines reportedly outline a phased approach to restoring normal commerce and services across the country, but only for areas that have strong testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases.President Trump unveiled his administration’s plans to ease social distancing requirements on a call Thursday with the nation’s governors.Places that have a declining number of infections and strong testing would start a three-phased gradual reopening of businesses and schools, with each phase lasting at least 14 days, in order to ensure that the outbreak does not accelerate again.“You’re going to call your own shots,” Trump told governors, according to an audio recording obtained by The Associated Press. “We’re going to be standing along side of you.”Under the federal guidelines, those most susceptible to the disease would be advised to remain sheltered in place until their area enters the final phase. Even after that point, they will be advised to take precautions in order to avoid close contact with other people.Trump held conference calls earlier Thursday with lawmakers that he has named to a new congressional advisory task force.New federal data shows that at least 22 million Americans have been laid off or furloughed in the last month.However, the legislators also urged the President not to risk public health in an effort to reopen the economy.last_img read more

West Nile virus lingers longer in birds exposed to light pollution

first_imgAnimals, Birds, Cities, Conservation, Diseases, Environment, Green, Infectious Wildlife Disease, Pollution, Urbanization, Wildlife, Zoonotic Diseases House sparrows exposed to light at night had higher levels of West Nile virus in their blood for two days longer than sparrows that were exposed to darkness, according to a new study.The research sought to mimic the effects of light pollution common to urban environments on virus levels in a known reservoir of West Nile virus, which can cause a flu-like fever in humans.The team’s research suggests that an outbreak could be 41 percent more likely to happen as a result of the persistence of the virus in this host. Light pollution could lead to more infections with West Nile virus by increasing the amount of time that small songbirds hold on to the virus, according to a new study.“The findings may be the first indication that light pollution can affect the spread of zoonotic diseases,” Meredith Kernbach, a doctoral student in global health at the University of South Florida and lead author of the study, said in a statement. Kernbach and her colleagues published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences on July 24.Scientists already know that exposure to artificial light can affect animal biology, including our own, interfering with immune system functioning, metabolism and behavior.City lights in the United States. Image courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory.“Many hosts and vectors use light cues to coordinate daily and seasonal rhythms,” Kernbach said. “[D]isruption of these rhythms by light exposure at night could affect immune responses, generating the effects we see here.”She and her colleagues wondered whether artificial light might influence the way the birds’ bodies react to the virus that causes West Nile fever. Symptoms, when they do appear, are typically similar to those of the flu in humans, and in rare cases can be fatal.Research has shown that songbirds like house sparrows (Passer domesticus) carry West Nile virus, along with other diseases. They’re also frequent visitors to towns and cities, where light pollution abounds and where there are dense human populations to which they can hand off the virus through successive bites by the same mosquito.One of the house sparrows used in the study. Image courtesy of the University of South Florida.To test their hypothesis, the team kept two groups of wild house sparrows under different lighting conditions. The control group experienced 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness each day for up to three weeks. The second group of birds was kept in an area with 12 hours of light as well, but then the researchers exposed them to 12 hours of dim light meant to mimic the nighttime street and building lights of an urban environment. In the midst of the light exposure experiments, Kernbach and her colleagues inoculated the birds with West Nile virus.Beginning two days after exposure to the virus, the team measured the amount of the virus in the blood of each bird. They all had comparable levels of the virus after four days, but six days in, the birds being exposed to the nighttime lights had significantly higher levels of West Nile virus in their blood than the control group.The researchers also created a statistical model demonstrating that the lingering viral load in light-pollution-exposed sparrows could increase the chances of an outbreak of West Nile fever by 41 percent.A mosquito (Culex pipiens pipiens) known to transmit West Nile virus. Image by Fabrizio Montarsi via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0).Earlier research had shown that higher levels of the stress hormone corticosterone made another species of birds more enticing to hungry mosquitos, and the scientists did notice a slight bump in this compound in the birds exposed to the dim night lights. But that alone didn’t explain the persistence of West Nile virus in the animals’ blood samples, pointing to the need for more research. The stress that light induces could have other effects, for example, on the secretion of the hormone melatonin, that could affect bird behavior, the authors write.In the meantime, the team suggests that motion-sensitive lights might diminish exposure to light pollution and that lights could be turned off at night when the transmission of West Nile virus is particularly high.Banner image of a house sparrow courtesy of the University of South Florida. Citation:Kernbach, M. E., Newhouse, D. J., Miller, J. M., Hall, R. J., Gibbons, J., Oberstaller, J., … Martin, L. B. (2019). Light pollution increases West Nile virus competence of a ubiquitous passerine reservoir species. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1907), 20191051. doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.1051FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Sri Lanka pushes for protection of sea cucumbers amid overexploitation

first_imgArticle published by dilrukshi With fewer species of sea cucumbers being recorded in catches, Sri Lanka stands to benefit from a proposal that is calling for increased protection of threatened species under CITES Appendix II.Experts say there’s good precedent for believing that the listing will raise awareness and spur action to protect the sea cucumbers, citing the example of various shark species that received greater attention after being listed. In the early 1980s, a common sight along the still unpolluted beaches of southern Sri Lanka was that of fisherfolk sun-drying small, blackish, cylindrical objects. They called them sea slugs, sea leeches, or sea cucumbers. These marine invertebrates were so abundant in the shallow coastal regions that they could be picked by hand during low tide.But growing demand for sea cucumbers, considered a delicacy across Asia, has since driven the largely export-oriented Sri Lankan fishery to unsustainable levels.After the sea cucumbers in shallow coastal waters were harvested, the populations in deeper areas were targeted by snorkeling fishermen and skin divers. The fishing pressure was so enormous that the sea cucumber fishery in southern Sri Lanka collapsed within a few years.The eastern coast of the island suffered the same fate, and today the sea cucumber fishery is confined to the northern arc of Sri Lanka. Experts say they fear the remaining sea cucumber populations there, too, will be depleted if not managed properly.A drive to promote the farming of live sea cucumbers is being attempted in Sri Lanka as an alternative to collecting them from the wild. Image courtesy of Kumudini Ekaratne.“As mostly scuba divers hand pick sea cucumbers now, the pressure particularly on high value species are high. Some of these high value sea cucumber species are already rare to not available on many sites,” Chamari Dissanayake, from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, told Mongabay.Dissanayake was a former research officer at the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) who studied the sea cucumber fishery. She identified 24 sea cucumber species in Sri Lankan waters, of which 20 have some sort of commercial value.But the number being caught and sold is fast shrinking. A study published in May this year in the journal Aquatic Living Resources records nine sea cucumber species in commercial catches from November 2015 to January 2017 in Sri Lanka. That’s down from 11 species recorded in a study carried out in 2012, prompting researchers to conclude that some species are already overfished. These include the high-value Holothuria fuscogilva, known as the white teatfish and listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.Teatfish are generally in high demand, and overfishing has caused the populations to decline in many countries. H. nobilis, the black teatfish, is another rare species found in the Sri Lankan waters and listed as endangered.Weak species management systems, overexploitation by fishers, and vulnerable biological traits are the key reasons why teatfish sea cucumbers are under threat across their wide geographic range, said Steven Purcell, an expert on sea cucumbers at Australia’s Southern Cross University.“The teatfish species of sea cucumbers are impacted by a compounding problem called ‘opportunistic exploitation,’” he told Mongabay. “This occurs when fishers over-harvest high-value species and then shift to harvesting lower-value species but can still collect the last of the high-value ones opportunistically, while they are out in the sea. This means that the high-value species, such as the teatfish types, can be harvested to the level of local extinction.”As these teatfish require higher levels of protection against the international trade, a proposal has been submitted to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to list H. fuscogilva, H. nobilis and the endangered H. whitmaei (not recorded in Sri Lankan waters) in CITES Appendix II.The proposal, supported by the European Union, Kenya, Senegal, the Seychelles and the U.S., will be considered at the 18th Conference of Parties (CoP18) to CITES in Geneva from Aug. 17 to 28.There are three appendices under CITES offering varying degrees of protection for species. Inclusion in Appendix II will require countries to justify, through data collection and research, that exploitation and trade of the teatfish species in question won’t jeopardize their populations in the wild.A mix of sea cucumbers freshly collected from the ocean bed. Image courtesy of Terney Pradeep Kumara.For Sri Lanka, that could mean investing in field surveys to determine current population densities of black and white teatfish at multiple sites around the country, and socioeconomic surveys to determine which species, and how many, are collected by fishers, as well as identifying prevailing trading practices, Purcell said. This research would be required for assessing non-detriment findings and to inform decisions about whether trade should be allowed to continue at present levels.Dissanayake’s research indicates that about 10,000 people depend on the sea cucumber fishery, a key earner of foreign currency.“A solution has to be found by offering alternative livelihoods,” Dissanayake said.Sea cucumbers are processed to make bêche-de-mer, a popular delicacy in East Asia. Image courtesy of Terney Pradeep Kumara.Daniel Fernando, a co-founder of Blue Resources Trust, a marine research and conservation nonprofit, said there was good precedent to believe that achieving CITES listing for the overexploited sea cucumbers would be a key step toward protecting the species.“Many people still consider marine fish just as a commodity and there is little focus on their protection,” he told Mongabay. “But CITES listing of marine species made lot of people around the globe to change this outlook.”He pointed in particular to the listing of several shark species in various CITES appendices as helping to spur action for their protection.“As a result of previous listing of sharks, many countries including Sri Lanka began investing in the protection of the species,” Fernando said. “All these marine species become threatened due to unsustainable fishing practices and lack of management.”Citations:Kumara, P. B., Cumaranathunga, P. R., & Linden, O. (2005). Present status of the sea cucumber fishery in southern Sri Lanka: A resource depleted industry. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin, 22, 24-29.Nishanthan, G., Kumara, A., Prasada, P., & Dissanayake, C. (2019). Sea cucumber fishing pattern and the socio-economic characteristics of fisher communities in Sri Lanka. Aquatic Living Resources,32(12). doi:10.1051/alr/2019009Banner image of a fisherman drying boiled sea cucumbers in the sun on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, courtesy of Terney Pradeep Kumara. Cites, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

A tiger refuge in Sumatra gets a reprieve from road building

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Isabel Esterman Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Encroachment, Endangered Species, Environment, Featured, Infrastructure, Mammals, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforests, Roads, Tigers, Wildlife center_img Sumatra’s Kerinci Seblat National Park is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS), which has been inscribed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger since 2011.UNESCO has noted particular concern about a spate of road projects planned for Kerinci Seblat and other protected areas within the TRHS.According to park officials, Indonesia’s forestry ministry has refused permits for all new roads within the park; the sole project to receive permission is the upgrade of an existing road.The park still faces immense pressure from encroachment for agriculture, logging, mining and poaching. The rainforests that once carpeted Indonesia’s Sumatra Island are among the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, home to iconic species like the Sumatran tiger, rhino and orangutan. They are also among the most imperiled; in just two decades, between 1990 and 2010, Sumatra lost 40 percent of its old-growth forest. The tigers, rhinos and orangutans that roamed those forests are now critically endangered.Much of the intact forest that remains is protected, at least nominally, in a series of National Parks, and, since 2004, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS).Rainforest foliage surrounds a waterfall outside Lempur village in Sumatra. Image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.In recent years, concern has grown that Indonesian authorities are not doing enough to protect this critical biodiversity hotspot. Since 2011, the site has been inscribed on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage In Danger due to the risks of logging, encroachment, road expansion and poaching.In 2016, UNESCO flagged up concerns about road construction in the area, particularly in Kerinci Seblat National Park, a protected area extending for 350 kilometers (217 miles) from northwest to southeast along the rugged spine of the Bukit Barisan Mountains.In the years since, it’s been some good news and some bad news for Kerinci Seblat National Park.Canceled RoadsIn 2016, UNESCO identified 12 planned or proposed road projects in four zones of the park. Now, park officials say, the list of road expansion projects of concern has been whittled down to five. And of those, four are cancelled. The only project currently set to go forward is the improvement of an existing road, which runs from Sandaran Agung mountain across to Tapan near the West coast.A slide presentation from the Kerinci Seblat National Park office details proposed road projects, four of which have been canceled.According to Hadinata Karyadi, a spokesman for Kerinci Seblat National Park in Sungai Penuh, the town encircled by the park, the local office of the forestry ministry had formally recommended to the minister that the four now-cancelled projects be denied approval. For example, Karyadi says his office urged the ministry to refuse approval for a proposed road through the village of Lempur because it threatened critical tiger habitat. Those rejections were duly issued over a two-year period, with the last project being denied a permit in 2018.The road-improvement project that was approved presents fewer environmental concerns, Karyadi says, because it involves upgrading an already existing road rather than building a new one. The current road is steep, winding and currently in such bad condition that even public minibuses will not use it, Karyadi says. Once improved, though, he says the road will be sufficient to serve as an evacuation route in case of natural disasters — one of the frequent justifications for proposing new road projects in the park. “Improving the existing road is better than building a new one,” he says. “If it is good, it will be enough for evacuation needs for now.”Some concerns do remain, because any increase in traffic on a road through the park could affect the local wildlife. In late 2018, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), an NGO working closely with the national park management, planned an “intensive biodiversity survey” to “assess impacts of upgrading a road running through the national park and make recommendations to government.”For now, the most hazardous road proposals seem to be off the table, though FFI notes that “local political elites” continue to push for the revival of the cancelled projects. But the park and its ecosystems remain under serious threat due to population growth, agriculture and industry.“Encroachment on the national park is the main problem,” Karyadi says. He adds that the current staff of around 70 rangers isn’t enough to police the huge perimeter and that his office has requested a larger budget.This road from Lempur village towards the Kerinci Seblat National Park was proposed for upgrading by local politicians. So far park authorities have refused because the area it would cross is in a highly sensitive biodiversity area and tiger core zone. Image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.A rejected roadOne of the most controversial projects was the proposed new road in the south of the park, through Lempur. At present a trail runs from Lempur, through the village rice fields and continues as a wide rocky walking trail that winds through the forest. According to locals, it’s been there ever since anyone can remember. These days it’s used mainly to get to local tourist sites such as Kaco Lake and for trekking to the national park.“My team made a full report and gave it to the ranger,” says trekking guide Andi Tiasanoawa in Lempur, explaining his response to the road proposal. “We don’t want people cutting the trees,” he says, adding that he makes his living from the forest and doesn’t want it damaged.Guide Zacky Zaid, who has been trekking these hills regularly for 10 years, says a past road project in the area made people aware of the potential downsides such developments can bring. Zaid says that around five years ago the government agreed to build an access road to the village of Renah Kemumu inside the park boundary. “This route was one of the popular five-day treks that we did,” Zaid says. But once the road was built, the wildlife that the tourists came to see dwindled. “Lots of people cut the trees when the government built the road,” he says. “The nature is not really good anymore. There are no big trees anymore. For us I’m so sad. We closed trip there a couple of years ago.”Ultimately, the Lempur road was rejected “because it threatened the tiger core area,” Karyadi says.A woman fills a sack with freshly harvested rice in a paddy field near Sungai Penuh in the Kerinci valley. Image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.Fertile farmingAt 3,805 meters (12,483 feet) above sea level, Mount Kerinci is the tallest volcano in Indonesia, and dominates the landscape here. The alluvial sediment deposited by past eruptions provides the valley with mineral-rich soil that draws farmers. Steep hills that ring the valley create the boundary to the national park beyond. Migration into the valley has led to pressure on the park as farmers encroach on the hills.A huge 10,000-hectare (24,700-acre) tea plantation stretches across the valley floor; in between, farmer’s plots host a variety of everything from potatoes to tomatoes and coffee.As the elevation rises and the valley floor gives way to the steep mountain slopes, the crops change to cinnamon, rubber, coffee and cloves. These tree crops give the slopes a forested appearance, but close up the hills are cultivated and densely populated with farming communities.“The cinnamon boom is a particular problem” driving encroachment, says Karyadi. Others see it as a benign and sustainable traditional practice that also has economic benefits for poor farmers.In the farming village of Talang Kemulun at the foot of the hills that form the valley’s southern perimeter, Eibru Hajar says he mainly grows cinnamon and coffee on his own land. “I have around a hundred cinnamon trees and cut them in a rotation cycle of 15 years,” he says. “I get around 50 kilos [110 pounds] per tree.“The rangers come by every couple of months,” Hajar adds. “So I’m afraid of cutting the trees [inside the park boundary]. The penalty for cutting forest trees is a big fine and if you don’t have money you get several months in prison.”Eibru Hajar is a cinammon farmer in Talang Kemulun village which sits at the bottom of steep hills marking the border of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. Image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.But the threat of penalties doesn’t deter everybody, and NGOs like FFI report that land continues to be cleared within the borders of the park.Illegal mining is another threat. In a 2018 report, FFI said it found alluvial gold mining sites in and around the park’s borders, “posing serious threat to a key tiger corridor with a dirt road constructed which entered the edge of the national park.” Despite the central government’s commitment to protecting the park, local political pressure on the park remains high. In 2017, it spilled into open conflict when gold miners held a municipal government official hostage, according to FFI.FFI also tracks illegal logging and poaching of pangolins, tigers and other wildlife. It notes that law enforcement efforts since 2016 did seem to have an impact on reducing the poaching, but that these efforts remain a challenge.With agribusiness and extractive industries hungry for new land, the pressure on Sumatra’s forests is relentless. Kerinci Seblat is no exception, and migrant farmers have swelled the local population, placing further pressure on the national park.Last year the park management set up a Role Model Program, to try and stem escalating encroachment, especially by migrant farmers who frequently claim that the park’s boundaries are unclear.“The park boundary is well demarcated with concrete markers about one meter [3 feet] tall,” Karyadi says. “In some places locals have dug up the marker posts.”The scheme aims to restore encroached forest and establish alternative livelihoods. Along the way are manifold obstacles, not least gaining the participation and cooperation of sometimes reluctant farmers.“This week we caught some illegal loggers and handed them to the police. They will be judged by the law,” Karyadi says. His office is trying to navigate a tricky path between encouraging farmers to change their practices through incentives (some get financial rewards under the Role Model scheme), and punishing offenders who have clearly broken national park rules.For now, encroachment by farmers is ongoing, but local political attempts to accelerate this by opening up new areas through road-building have been limited. Meanwhile, political tensions remain between politicians seeking more infrastructure building and the forestry ministry, which works with the support of international NGOs to maintain the integrity of the national park and its borders.Rainforest overhangs Kaco Lake near Lempur village near Kerinci Seblat National Park. Image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com.Banner Image: a Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), one of the park’s iconic species, by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Into the abyss with deep sea biologist Diva Amon

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Biodiversity, Deep Sea, Deep Sea Mining, Featured, Interviews, Oceans, Research Article published by Erik Hoffnercenter_img Dr. Diva Amon was raised on the shores of the Caribbean Sea and has become an expert on what lies deep below its surface, where light refuses to go.“We can’t effectively manage what we don’t understand or protect what we don’t know,” she tells Mongabay in a new interview.The promise and peril of deep sea mining is just one of the reasons she and her colleagues are working hard to understand the biodiversity of the oceans’ greatest depths.Dr. Amon is speaking at the upcoming Jackson Wild Summit in Wyoming later this month. Deep sea biologist Diva Amon is a Trinidadian who was raised by the shore of the Caribbean Sea, but has become well known not for the sea’s edge, but rather for what lies deep beneath it. She co-founded SpeSeas, a non-profit NGO focused on increasing marine science, education and advocacy in Trinidad and Tobago, and is currently a Research Fellow at the National History Museum, London.She will be part of the deep sea session of the upcoming Jackson Wild Summit in Jackson, WY, September 21-27, which will have a focus on ‘Living Oceans’ (more information and registration for the event is here).Prior to heading for Wyoming, Dr. Amon took a break to answer a few questions.Diva Amon in a research submersible. Photo courtesy of Novus Select.Mongabay: Hydrothermal vents and the communities that thrive on them have been a regular source of  discovery in recent years, can you describe your new study‘s assessment of their biodiversity?Dr. Diva Amon: Cruise reports, initial observations and assessments from research cruises are an overlooked source of biological information. This recently published study has used all available cruise reports from cruises that went to hydrothermal vents to show that global research effort has been skewed geographically. We know much more about vents in the Northern Hemisphere, in places like the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, while regions such as the Southern and Indian Oceans are practically unexplored. Under business as usual scenarios, this would propel us scientists to increase our work in understudied areas, but with mining of hydrothermal vents looming, it is an alarm bell.We must make it a priority to gather more data so that accurate environmental assessments of the impact of mining can be made, especially vent sites [that] are unique, and many more vent sites are threatened by deep-sea mining in the Southern Hemisphere. As it currently stands, as Andrew, the lead author says, “we’re drawing on data from very different ecosystems. It’s like trying to understand the impacts of logging in a tropical rainforest, but only using forestry data from the Pacific Northwest.” We desperately need to correct this if mining at deep-sea hydrothermal vents is to move forward responsibly.What gaps are there in our knowledge of these communities? Our assessment also reminded us that despite hydrothermal vents being some of the most well-explored deep-sea habitats, when compared with terrestrial ones, we know next to nothing about them. Globally, many sites are only inferred from chemical signals and have never been visited [and] others we don’t even know exist. For those where scientists have been working, a big gap is the natural variability of these habitats and the communities there.Hydrothermal vents were only discovered in 1977, with new sites being discovered nearly every year. Many of these sites have only been visited once, or a handful of times, so that temporal aspect is missing. We also are only now grasping how communities are connected with – and travel between – vent sites, not just on local scales, but also regionally and globally. And what about the big roles that vents are playing for the rest of the deep sea, our oceans and our planet?One of Dr. Amon’s favorite animals to see on a dive, the dumbo octopus. Image via Smithsonian Institution.Collaboration is a key way to gather those missing pieces! Firstly, between scientists from around the world, especially from countries that have not previously had the financial or technological capability to conduct studies, even within their own waters themselves. Secondly, with industry. Industry may have access to resources and data that science may not, and vice versa. Thirdly, with the regulators, so that  regulations can be adopted, as well as enforced, effectively. We must continue to explore the deep ocean in order to understand it better.What inspired you to study these nearly impossible to reach depths?I’m Trinidadian and grew up in the Caribbean, which meant spending a lot of time by the sea. I knew I loved the ocean but I never gave the deep ocean any thought. It wasn’t until my first deep-sea biology course, I was struck hearing that less than 1% of our deep ocean had ever been explored. That is a staggering figure! Everyone has some inner desire to explore, to see things no one has ever seen, to answer questions that have never been answered, to have experiences that few have ever had. Deep-sea science was my gateway to that excitement of never knowing what you’re going to see in an unexplored and ever-changing ocean.You are a leader of the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI)’s minerals working group: what is that group doing to safeguard the deep ocean and inform sustainable use of things like deep-sea minerals? DOSI is an expert group that seeks to integrate science, technology, policy, law and economics to advise on ecosystem-based management of resources in the deep ocean and strategies to maintain the integrity of deep-ocean ecosystems. We work across a range of issues, from deep-sea fishing to oil and gas extraction, deep-sea mining, and even the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) negotiations at the UN. Many of us assist in collecting mandatory and crucial deep-sea data and then we take that science, as well as from other colleagues, and translate it so that it can be used to guide policy through conversations with stakeholders.A submersible inspects a newly discovered hydrothermal vent. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.What are the chief challenges to meaningful deep sea stewardship? Lack of data and understanding! Less than 1% of the deep sea has ever been imaged or seen, so it’s currently very difficult to make stewardship decisions. Not only do the deep ocean, its inhabitants, and their functions amaze and inspire us, but they also have the potential to provide solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges, but we just don’t know yet. We can’t effectively manage what we don’t understand or protect what we don’t know.What creature has given you the greatest joy of seeing in the deep so far during one of your expeditions?Dumbo octopus get me every time! They are just so cute! Also headless chicken monsters (Enypniastes eximia), which are a type of sea cucumber capable of swimming. Their movement is just hypnotic, like a lava lamp. We see these often but there is great video from a cruise to the Gulf of Mexico in 2017.What do you yearn to see?Has to be giant tubeworms from the Pacific vents (Riftia pachyptila). They are one of the most iconic deep-sea species, and would be like seeing a big cat during a safari. It’s on my bucket list!Photo of one of the largest concentrations of Riftia pachyptila ever observed, with anemones and mussels colonizing in close proximity. Image courtesy of the 2011 NOAA Galapagos Rift Expedition.Dr. Amon will be part of the deep sea session of the Jackson Wild Summit in Jackson, WY, September 21-27, which will have a focus on ocean health. More information and registration for the event is here.last_img read more

Greta and Mesoamerica’s five great forests (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Climate Change, Climate Change And Forests, Commentary, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Editorials, Environment, Forest Fires, Forests, Global Warming, Indigenous Peoples, Ranching, Researcher Perspective Series In New York’s Battery Park last Friday night, Greta Thunberg rightly said, “This is an emergency. Our house is on fire.” She continued, “This Monday, world leaders are going to be gathered here in New York City for the U.N. Climate Action Summit. The eyes of the world will be on them. They have a chance to take leadership, to prove they actually hear us.”In Mesoamerica, leaders are listening and acting. During the Climate Summit, Mesoamerica’s leaders announced their commitment to protect the “Five Great Forests of Mesoamerica” and shared some of their governments’ lessons learned to date to reduce forest fires and tackle deforestation.We are supporting them by promoting an initiative in which governments, Indigenous Peoples, and civil society are coming together to protect 10 million hectares and restore 500,000 hectares in these critical forest areas, thereby helping safeguard the world’s climate.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. This week’s Climate Strike mobilized and inspired millions of people around the world, including us.On Friday, we stood with young protesters in New York’s Battery Park, listening to Greta Thunberg’s speech. Her courageous words, her grit, her honesty, her powerful presence, the overwhelming gravity and urgency of her message coming from such an unlikely leader… Greta brought us to tears.We both belong to conservation organizations and have dedicated our lives and careers to protecting forests and wildlife. In other words, we are already believers in Greta’s message. We know that the world’s intact forests, along with the ocean, sequester half of humankind’s carbon emissions every year, and that protecting them and working to restore ecosystems around the planet are the most efficient ways to mitigate climate change.We have seen firsthand the magic and majesty of Mesoamerica’s last five great, intact forests. Spanning from Mexico to Colombia, this “Amazon” of Mesoamerica covers an area three times the size of Switzerland and is home to more than 7.5 percent of the planet’s biodiversity, such as the jaguar and endangered Baird’s tapir. The five forests hold nearly 50 percent of the region’s forest carbon stocks and provide important ecosystem services to 5 million people, including clean water, clean air, food security, and climate stability.The jaguar’s range currently extends from Mexico through Central America to South America. The species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and the population is declining. Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher.Yet we have also seen the devastation. Since 2000, an insatiable global demand for beef has driven reduction of three of Mesoamerica’s five great forests by more than 23 percent. Ninety percent of deforestation in the five forests results from illegal cattle ranching — sometimes used as a front for organized crime and drug trafficking and sometimes connected to international markets.To make matters worse, climate change-induced drought has sparked widespread forest fires, with smoke eclipsing the sun and choking both humans and wildlife. At times, it feels apocalyptic.Greta rightly said, “This is an emergency. Our house is on fire.” She continued, “This Monday, world leaders are going to be gathered here in New York City for the U.N. Climate Action Summit. The eyes of the world will be on them. They have a chance to take leadership, to prove they actually hear us.”In Mesoamerica, leaders are listening and acting.During the Climate Summit, Mesoamerica’s leaders announced their commitment to protect the “Five Great Forests of Mesoamerica” and shared some of their governments’ lessons learned to date to reduce forest fires and tackle deforestation. We are supporting them by promoting an initiative in which governments, Indigenous Peoples, and civil society are coming together to protect 10 million hectares and restore 500,000 hectares in these critical forest areas, thereby helping safeguard the world’s climate.The Five Forest Initiative follows four key principles that give us hope for its success.A movement, not a projectThe Five Forests Initiative will convene and support a “Five Forests Alliance,” including the region’s governments, civil society, universities, and local and indigenous communities, collectively working along a single, coherent strategy. Through mass mobilization of resources channeled to an alliance of the most effective partners in each of the forests, the initiative will effect broad and lasting impact.Addressing the primary threatGreater than 90 percent of the deforestation within the Five Forests is caused by illegal cattle ranching that has been allowed to invade protected areas and indigenous territories. The Five Forests Initiative will work to address illegal ranching while providing economic alternatives for local people that result in more trees and fewer cows and that are compatible with local and indigenous cultures.Local solutionsNearly half of the Five Forests of Mesoamerica are governed by Indigenous Peoples who have lived and worked sustainably in them for centuries. They have time-tested solutions for how to live and work in these landscapes in ways that promote biodiversity conservation and limit forest degradation and deforestation. The Five Forests Alliance is committed to integrating local and indigenous voices as leaders to understand, promote, and scale community-based solutions.Trust in local capacityThe Five Forests Initiative endeavors to empower the conservationists of Mesoamerica to create the conditions in which they can implement their own innovative ideas and generate the change needed to save the region’s forests, including consistent and well-paid employment.Mesoamerica’s people, culture, biodiversity, economic health, resilience to climate change—the very essence of Mesoamerica—all depend on these five great forests. To survive as a planet and stave off the worst effects of climate change, we all depend on the success of movements like Mesoamerica’s Five Great Forests Initiative.As Greta famously said, “I want you to act. I want you to act as if our house is on fire.”Mesoamerica’s forests are literally on fire. The region’s governments, Indigenous Peoples, civil society, and the broader conservation community now commit to protect them.La Mosquitia is a region of rainforest in the easternmost part of Honduras. Photo Credit: John Polisar, WCS.CITATION• Baccini, A. G. S. J., Goetz, S. J., Walker, W. S., Laporte, N. T., Sun, M., Sulla-Menashe, D., … & Samanta, S. (2012). Estimated carbon dioxide emissions from tropical deforestation improved by carbon-density maps. Nature climate change, 2(3), 182. doi:10.1038/nclimate1354Dr. Jeremy Radachowsky is Regional Director of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean for WCS and has worked for more than two decades to conserve Mesoamerica’s forests.Dr. Chris Jordan is the Central America and Tropical Andes Coordinator for Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Uganda’s eco-feminists are taking on mining and plantation industries

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Banner image: Beatrice Rukanyana looks out over a sugar plantation near Bugoma Forest. Photo: Thomas Lewton for MongabayFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Bugoma is one of the most biodiverse forests in Uganda, home to a wide variety of plants and animals including chimpanzees and Uganda mangabeys (Lophocebus ugandae) like this one (photographed in Kibale National Park). Photo: Duncan Wright/Wikicommons (CC-SA-3.0) Article published by terna gyuse Agriculture, Community-based Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Global Forest Watch, Green, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Tropical Forests Like other protected areas in Uganda, Bugoma Forest has been threatened by encroachment for decades; now up to a fifth of what remains could be cleared to plant sugar cane.Women, generally responsible for growing food, and collecting water and firewood, feel the impacts of forest degradation acutely.Despite many obstacles, they are taking up a leading role in defending the environment, particularly against increasing pressure from extractive industries. KAMPALA, Uganda – “How come these people are coming to Bugoma to destroy our nature? Nature is protecting us,” says Beatrice Rukanyanga as she strides along the forest boundary. Twisting hardwood trees protrude from a tangle of foliage on one side, neat rows of pine and eucalyptus stand on the other.Rukanyanga cuts into the forest and adeptly maneuvers through the thick undergrowth, selecting leaves from different plants as she goes. “I’m picking medicine for stomach upsets. We’ve also got plants that treat malaria and skin problems,” she explains. For women who live close to the forest, it has always been an important source of food, medicine, and firewood — resources that are dwindling along with the forest.Bugoma Forest spans 40,000 hectares (98,800 acres) along the northern tip of the Albertine Rift Valley, which divides Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Around 500 chimpanzees have made their home here, alongside a species of mangabey monkey found only in Uganda and hundreds of species of birds, trees and shrubs, making the forest one of the most biodiverse in the country.For decades, Bugoma Forest has been shrinking. Locals say illegal loggers pay off officials to turn a blind eye to their activities, while tea and timber plantations on the perimeter push the forest’s boundary back piece by piece. Across Uganda, forest cover has declined from 24 percent of the country’s total land area in 1990 to 9 percent in 2015, according to the Ministry of Water and Environment.Now the forest faces a new and grievous threat. On Bugoma’s northern edge, a yellow bulldozer stands, waiting to begin clearing away forest to make way for a sugarcane plantation. In 2016, the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom leased one-fifth of the remaining protected forest to Hoima Sugar Ltd. The lease was challenged, but a High Court ruling in April 2019 found in favor of Hoima Sugar and the Kingdom, once one of the most powerful empires in East and Central Africa, which still enjoys significant autonomy under the state. The National Forest Authority has applied for the court order to be suspended, and is appealing the decision.“When we were young, this forest was thick,” says Rukanyanga. “It was giving a lot of rainfall; it was dark wherever you passed.” Photo: Thomas Lewton for MongabayThe rise of extractivesFrom oil wells springing up along the Albertine Rift Valley, to forested islands on Lake Victoria razed for oil palm plantations, Uganda’s government is supporting the rapid growth of extractive industries. But ranged against this is the swift growth of an eco-feminist movement that regards protection of the environment as essential to the protection of human rights.A grassroots network of women is working to raise awareness, share knowledge, and directly resist the destruction of the environment while creating alternative models of development. The movement hopes to strengthen the political and economic power of women in society — and so push back destruction of the natural environment.“When we were young, this forest was thick,” recalls Rukanyanga, remembering a time before industrial plantations arrived in the region. “It was giving a lot of rainfall; it was dark wherever you passed.” Rukanyanga is the coordinator of the Kwataniza Women Farmers Group, who live near Bugoma Forest and who make and sell charcoal-saving stoves while also educating women about their land rights and the sustainable use of natural resources.Rainfall patterns in the region have been disrupted in recent years, which Rukanyanga attributes to widespread deforestation. A 2012 study in Nature found that deforestation in the tropics reduces local rainfall. “Climate change has been real,” she says. “Last year people waited for rains, planted and the seed just died in the soil. There is now food insecurity in most of our homes.”Traditionally, women are responsible for growing food, and collecting water and firewood — and so they feel the impacts of environmental destruction acutely. Incidents of domestic violence also increase when food is scarce. “When you violate these resources, you are also violating women,” says Sostine Namanya, who coordinates an eco-feminist network in her role for the National Association for Professional Environmentalists (NAPE).NAPE, along with sister organization the National Association for Women’s Action in Development, has brought together more than 5,000 women from across Uganda to demand both gender and economic justice from the government and its industrial partners. “Women get to know each other, they share experiences and strategize together,” she says, reflecting on how they facilitate exchanges between women’s groups across the country.They follow in the footsteps of pioneering African eco-feminists such as Wangari Maathai, who in the 1970s founded the Green Belt Movement — responsible for planting more than 50 million trees in Kenya and training tens of thousands of women in practices such as forestry and beekeeping.In Kampala, Uganda’s Fridays for Future movement, inspired by Greta Thunberg, has young women and girls at its forefront. And in the country’s north, radical feminist traditions are challenging the government and corporate interests. Here Acholi women are known to strip in public to invoke a curse on their enemies; in 2017, this tactic was used by elderly women leaders to oppose 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) of land being taken to build a sugar-processing facility in Amuru district. The police responded with violence and, despite these protests, the government continued with land evictions.Speaking out publicly against the government, or the industries they back, is fraught with risk in Uganda. “They can teargas you,” says Rukanyanga, noting that the 2013 Public Order Management Act makes it illegal to organize public meetings without police consent. “So we make a peaceful demonstration. We write placards and we go with letters to the authorities,” she says.Earlier this year, women living around Bugoma Forest petitioned parliament to oppose the lease to Hoima Sugar, while community forest management groups, whose membership is majority women, patrol the forest boundary and inform the National Forest Authority if they suspect illegal activity.Namanya acknowledges that Uganda’s political climate limits the activities of the eco-feminist movement, noting that several members have been physically assaulted or unlawfully arrested after speaking publicly about land-grabbing.But working quietly, from the grassroots, changing attitudes and building communities, can be effective too, Namanya says. “The government, even the president, always says: ‘Ah, you [can] leave the women, they cannot change anything, they are not a threat.’ That is something that we silently take advantage of, to do the organizing and resisting.”A truck loaded with sugar cane on one of the dirt roads around Bugoma Forest. Photo: Thomas Lewton for Mongabay.Who benefits?With tax exemptions and long leases on land offered by the government, Uganda is considered an attractive destination for foreign investors in the mining and plantation industries. In the case of sugarcane, production has quadrupled in the last two decades, and Uganda now exports tens of thousands of tons each year.Fifty kilometers (30 miles) to the north of Bugoma Forest, a string of oil wells is under construction along the shore of Lake Albert. Since 2006, multi-billion-barrel reserves of crude oil have been discovered in the region, and with the first oil expected to flow in 2022, the Minister of Works and Transport anticipates up to $20 billion of investment in the next three years. And along the northern shore of Lake Victoria since 2003, BIDCO, a transnational soap and oil producer headquartered in Kenya, has cleared thousands of hectares of forest and grassland to plant oil palm.Government officials say that encouraging these industries is vital for the growth of Uganda’s economy and for local job creation, particularly in impoverished rural areas. Uganda’s GDP per capita is among the lowest in the world.But an investigation by the eco-watchdog Global Witness in 2017 exposed “endemic corruption and mismanagement” in Uganda’s fledgling petroleum sector, with local economic interests and protection of the environment losing out in favor of international investors and “crooked officials.”“It is the state, it is big shots in government, it is foreigners who benefit,” Namanya says, pointing to other mineral-rich countries in sub-Saharan Africa that have fallen foul of the resource curse. “How come they are still extremely poor and there is a gross violation of rights? It will not be different for Uganda. We have to find better ways,” she says.Of concern for the eco-feminist movement is the way in which land is acquired by extractive industries operating in Uganda; illegal evictions following false land claims, and inadequate compensation for land rights are common. On the island of Buvuma, chosen for the next phase of the government’s ambitious oil palm development project, the tensions between economic growth, gender justice and environmental protection are marked.Members of the Ganyana Women’s Group on Buvuma Island: women here have demonstrated a deep understanding of the value of land and the natural services it provides to their families. Photo: Thomas Lewton for MongabayCase study: Buvuma Island“At first, when I used to pass by, most of the islands had forests, but along the landing sites you could see timber waiting for boats to be taken across. Then after a few years it was charcoal,” says Jameson Muberwa, a government agricultural adviser who moved to Buvuma, a tropical island along Lake Victoria’s northern shore, in 1995. “Now you no longer see trees being brought along the landing site.”Between 1991 and 2014, the population of Buvuma increased fivefold to 90,000 people as cheap land and the hope of work encouraged mass immigration from the mainland. Much of the island’s enduring mosaic of indigenous forest, grass savanna, and wetlands quickly became agricultural land for smallholder farmers. Now dramatic changes are carving up the landscape once again with the imminent development of a 10,000-hectare oil palm plantation on the island, part of the government’s Vegetable Oil Development Project, in partnership with BIDCO.“The palm oil project is a welcome development for the people,” says Gladys Nalunkuma, Buvuma district’s natural resources officer. She notes how dwindling fish stocks in the lake, crop failures linked to reduced rainfall in recent years, and the decline of the timber and charcoal industries have plunged many residents into poverty. One-third of the land designated for oil palm has been earmarked for around 2,000 local farmers, who will supply palm fruit to BIDCO.Yet many of Buvuma’s residents are questioning whether they have anything to gain from the project.“For us local people who didn’t go to school, we would be earning very little,” says Shmirah Nansimbe, chairperson of the Bukigindi Tree Planting Women’s Group. Through dialogues with women on the nearby Ssesse Islands, the location of BIDCO’s original 10,000-hectare plantation, which began operating in 2003, eco-feminists share knowledge about the realities of industrial oil palm.While the Ssesse Islands project has created around 3,700 jobs, most of these jobs pay less than prevailing wages in the area — and often with poor working conditions. As a result, much of the workforce are migrants to the island, while local communities struggle to continue fishing, farming and living from forest products because of the environmental degradation. With smallholders’ land now occupied by oil palm, food prices on the island have also risen. Despite concerns that these conditions will be replicated on Buvuma, some residents have had little choice over whether they sell their land to the government.“When BIDCO came in they didn’t teach people about the positives and negatives,” says Mariam Nakatu, who is leading a legal case against the government by 250 evicted households of Buvuma. “One morning you just see BIDCO people coming with the local chairman, and they would say that the land title has already been given away [by the landlord].”She describes how land surveyors would then discreetly transfer the tenancy and occupancy rights of large segments of land to their associates, so they would only receive a fraction of the compensation they were due. A report published in 2019 by the NGOs Tropenbos International and the Ecological Trends Alliance found that the Uganda Land Commission skipped processes during land acquisition and created leaseholds in favor of BIDCO. According to the report, “free, prior informed consent was not strictly adhered to,” while a murky valuation and compensation process alongside a lack of legal representation led to “high numbers of very disgruntled” residents on the island.“When BIDCO came in they didn’t teach people about the positives and negatives,” says Mariam Nakatu, who is leading a legal case against the government brought by more than 600 evicted residents of Buvuma. Photo: Thomas Lewton for Mongabay.By bringing women to the fore during land negotiations, the eco-feminist movement hopes to slow the sale of land for extractive industries. Women, Namanya says, have a deeper understanding of the value of land and the natural services it provides to families, and so are less willing to sell in the first place. “Our husbands sell the land that we are farming on without us knowing, and when they receive the money they run off and marry other wives,” says Benine Naluyima, of the Ganyana Women’s Group, a cooperative making charcoal-saving stoves and replanting trees on the island.Seeking out alternative, sustainable livelihoods on Buvuma, the Bukigindi Tree Planting Women’s Group has also replanted 18 hectares (45 acres) of degraded land, which was once protected rainforest, with indigenous species such as mahogany and musizi. Nansimbe leads the group up a hillside, pointing out the crops the community is growing in the protective shade of young trees. Gradually, as the forest thickens, they will have a renewed source of firewood and other forest products.Yet the process of regeneration is slow, and their work is becoming more challenging as the climate changes. “The sun is shining too much during the dry season now, and it’s difficult to get water to the trees from the lake,” Nansimbe says.Considering the strength of the palm oil industry, and the government’s support of it, others are willing to compromise. Betty Kabwaalu Nanyonjo, who grew up on the Ssesse Islands, regularly visits Buvuma, sharing her experiences and advising women not to sell their land. “People from outside coming to buy your land. Is that development?” she asks. Yet Nanyonjo encourages women to “get involved” in growing oil palm. “Let the people grow the oil palm and the investors buy the oil,” she says. “You welcome the project, because whether you like it or not the project will take off.”The Bukigindi Tree Planting Women’s Group has replanted 18 hectares (45 acres) of degraded land near Bugoma with indigenous species. Photo: Thomas Lewton for Mongabaylast_img read more