HAVANA (AP) — Cuban authorities say they’ll tighten measures against the spread of COVID-19 by requiring tourists and others who visit the island to isolate at their own expense for several days until tests for the new coronavirus come out negative. The announcement Saturday by Cuba’s director of epidemiology comes as the country is seeing a sharp rise in new cases. Officials say that as of Feb. 6, arriving tourists and Cubans who live abroad will be sent to hotels to wait for the results of a PCR test for the new coronavirus, which will be given on their fifth day in the country.
The port city of Dalian in Liaoning province has reported three cases in recent days after going nearly four months without any.The fresh outbreak has been linked to a seafood processing company that deals with imported products.On Friday, the Dalian health commission said the city had to “quickly enter wartime mode, go all-out, mobilize all people and resolutely curb the spread of the epidemic”.It announced strict new measures, including on-the-spot nucleic acid tests for everyone taking the subway line that passes the affected seafood company. Kindergartens and nurseries have been closed, and some communities have been placed under lockdown, according to state-run newspaper Global Times.City authorities said they would test more than 190,000 people, including employees at shopping malls, wholesale markets and warehouses.The outbreak comes as hundreds of football players from the Chinese Super League — which will kick off its much delayed season Saturday — are in a sealed-off hotel in the city.The league’s 16 teams have been split into two groups for the first games of the drastically rejigged season, with the others to be played in Suzhou, near Shanghai.The latest cluster has turned the spotlight on the country’s food supply chain, and China has banned imports from a number of overseas food producers involved in virus outbreaks.One Chinese importer told AFP that exporters had earlier been asked to guarantee their shipments were not contaminated.A document published Thursday by China’s State Council also warned that the country’s public health system should prepare for a possible second wave of the virus in the winter.At a press conference earlier this month, officials said samples taken from Whiteleg shrimp packaging in Dalian had tested positive for the virus.There were 21 coronavirus cases reported in China on Friday, including two of the three recent Dalian cases and 13 in the western region of Xinjiang.The other six were imported. Topics : A Chinese city of nearly six million people will introduce a wave of coronavirus testing to stamp out a small cluster of cases, authorities said Friday, with state media reporting communities will be locked down.Since the virus first surfaced in the central city of Wuhan late last year, the country’s official number of infections has been restricted to a trickle, mainly among arrivals from abroad. All mass lockdowns have been lifted.But recent domestic outbreaks have proved the difficulty of stamping out the contagion entirely.
NZ Herald 24 January 2020Family First Comment: “freedom of expression must never be at the expense of the right to protect children and families from offensive and inappropriate behaviour. Public nudity will offend against generally prevailing community standards of decency. Most families don’t want their children being confronted by naked men and women or ‘adult behaviour’… It is not for those families to ‘get out of the way’.”Lobby group Family First has put its support behind a Taupō mother who said she was “horrified” by naked swimmers in the district.Katrina Payne said 14 naked men and women at a popular swimming spot on Monday night deserved to be fined, after they arrived at Spa Thermal Park, where she swam with her 13-year-old daughter Hollie.The public reserve is in need of a “g-string ban” according to other concerned Taupō mothers who spoke to NZME earlier this month.In a public statement, Family First’s national director Bob McCoskrie has called on councils “to amend their bylaws to clarify clearly that nudity is banned from public places”.He said: “freedom of expression must never be at the expense of the right to protect children and families from offensive and inappropriate behaviour.”“Public nudity will offend against generally prevailing community standards of decency.”In his opinion: “Most families don’t want their children being confronted by naked men and women or ‘adult behaviour’… It is not for those families to ‘get out of the way’.”“It is also important to note that family nakedness in the home is completely different to stranger nakedness in public… These ‘show-ponies’ should be told to cover up and do it at home.”Taupō mayor David Tewavas told NZME today councillors hadn’t discussed the issue and it was “a matter of the common courtesies of life”.“The town is absolutely jam-packed with people, chock-a-block with visitors at the moment.”http://nzh.tw/12303088 (behind paywall)Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.
With a view to providing a map of forest philanthropy, the Environmental Funders Network’s Forest Funders Group – an affinity group for foundations focused on forest conservation – has developed a methodology for describing forest grants by geography, focal issue, and approach.The mapping has been piloted on grants data submitted by five European-based foundations that made 652 grants between them in the study period (2011 to 2015), averaging £3.1m per year.Although this captures just a fraction of the forest grants made worldwide, it yields tantalising points for reflection.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.” So said US baseball legend Yogi Berra, on the importance of having a goal in sight and a map for getting there. Those of us engaged in forest philanthropy — the investment of grants with the aim of protecting and replenishing the world’s forests — have well-formed ideas about the best places in which to seek change. Some funders focus on policy reform, others on shifting commodity supply chains, empowering communities, or direct conservation.All of these approaches are valid. They and others besides will be needed to roll back deforestation. But if we accept it is possible to do too much of one thing and too little of another, or that some change-making activities are simply more reliant on philanthropic finance (adversarial campaigns or anything ‘too political’ being a case in point), we see that grant-makers would be wise to reference their strategies against choices made by other donors.What is the flow of grant finance around specific issues, forest regions, and theories of change? Where do gaps and opportunities lie? How do forest programmes operated by foundations and governments compare? The total dollar value of forest philanthropy is much smaller than that associated with government-backed climate and development funds. But foundation grants can pack good bang for the buck — get it right and you maximise philanthropy’s potential for taking risks, building movements and pioneering change; get it less right and you could end up subsidising work that is already well-funded elsewhere.A working knowledge of the grants market seems important if we are to lean towards effective philanthropy. But as it stands, forest grants are poorly mapped compared to the forest-related spending of government donors (including REDD+ pledges tracked at Climate Funds Updates) or the voluntary carbon market (tracked by Forest Trends).With a view to providing a map of forest philanthropy, the Environmental Funders Network’s Forest Funders Group — an affinity group for foundations focused on forest conservation — has developed a methodology for describing forest grants by geography, focal issue, and approach. The mapping has been piloted on grants data submitted by five European-based foundations that made 652 grants between them during the study period (2011 to 2015), averaging £3.1m per year. (Full disclosure: I am a grants manager at JMG Foundation, one of the foundations included in the forest philanthropy mapping, and a committee member of the Environmental Funders Network.) Although this captures just a fraction of the forest grants made worldwide, it yields tantalising points for reflection, and we aim to run the mapping on a larger group of foundations this year.The picture that emerges shows great variability between foundations, in terms of spending, investment priorities, and grantees. Overall spend is dominated by a small number of large grants (in this case, including four £1m+ awards), followed by a goodly chunk of funds in the £20,000 to £200,000 bracket, with a long tail of smaller grants (including 470 of less than £5,000 within this sample).The five foundations dispersed funding to grantees based in 67 countries in total. More than half of these countries received less than one grant per year of the study period, via organisations based there (not counting grants directed to these countries but made via organisations headquartered elsewhere). By far the most grant spend (£12.4m, or 80 percent) accrued to large organisations headquartered in the UK and US, the majority of it geared towards protecting forests in tropical countries. This included work directly in those countries (such as training conservation leaders or developing sustainable livelihoods) and work geared towards international policy and markets (such as reforming the supply chain of forest-risk commodities).FIG 1: GRANTEE HQ – TOP 10UK- and US-based groups received a lower proportion in terms of grant numbers (172 grants, 25 percent of the total), with the sub-£5,000 grants in particular tending to go directly to groups based in forest countries. India, Papua New Guinea, Russia, and Cameroon are among the countries in which there appears to be high demand for grants among local organisations, but relatively little funding available, at least among the set of foundations analysed here.Again, these results pose interesting questions. Is the concentration of forest philanthropy upon a relatively small set of Western-based organisations problematic? What is the scale of re-granting going on from these international groups to their in-country partners? Should funders look to make more grants directly to NGOs based in forest countries? What are the barriers to doing so?Turning to the forest regions prioritised by grantees, we see that one-third of grant spend (£5.2m) was directed towards South and Central America, one-fifth (£3m) to Asia and one-sixth (£2.4m) to Africa — of which less than £1m focused on the Congo Basin countries.FIG 2: WORK LOCATIONS (CONTINENTAL REGION)Grants were assigned to six issue categories: Landscape Change (including forest restoration, park management, REDD+, and climate adaptation work), Agricultural Conversion (where four out of five grants were related to palm oil), Forestry (grants to counter industrial and illegal logging, and reform the wood pulp sector), Local Use (sustainable farming and income generation), Energy & Extractives (mining, hydropower, oil), and Other Infrastructure (roads, ports, etc). Figure 3, below, shows the breakdown of grants between these categories, and Figure 4, below that, the average grant size per category.FIG 3: FOCAL FOREST ISSUESFIG 4: FOCAL ISSUES BY AVERAGE GRANT SIZEAs we see, Landscape Change, Forestry, and Agricultural Conversion grants are relatively large and Local Use, Energy & Extractives, and Infrastructure grants much smaller — begging the question of what is a ‘useful’ scale for grant finance. On the surface of it, £11,000 may be enough to deliver a Local Use project, for instance a community forestry scheme (though probably not enough to scale that up at regional level). Equally, £7,000 might pay for some activism against mining or oil projects, but does not seem much to set against the powerful interests who tend to want Energy & Extractives projects delivered. Of course, some individual grants are larger than the average grant size, but in general the lowly sums available to counter damaging infrastructure schemes is striking.Figure 5 starts to tell the story of these issues at regional level. We see a large number of Agricultural Conversion and Forestry grants focused upon Southeast Asia, reflecting major campaigns to reform Indonesia’s palm oil and pulp sectors. South America received by far the largest number of grants on Energy & Extractives (though spending attached to the Landscape Change category was much higher), while Landscape Change and Local Use featured strongly in East Africa (including projects to promote sustainable land cultivation and reduce dependency on fuel wood).FIG 5: ISSUES BY REGIONThis analysis invites the question of how well forest grant allocation maps onto the real-world distribution of threats and opportunities. Take-home points from this dataset include the relative lack of funding directed towards the Congo rainforests, the dominance of palm oil among grants geared towards forest-risk commodities (far ahead of pulp, rubber, cattle, and soy), and a near-complete absence of grants targeted on non-energy infrastructure such as roads and ports.Are philanthropies doing too much of some things and too little of others? The answer is for individual foundations to interpret and decide, but grants mapping exercises at least help to orient the discussion.Rainforest at Tampolo on the Masoala Peninsula in Madagascar. Photo by Rhett Butler.Harriet Williams is a grants manager at the JMG Foundation, where she heads up a program on tropical forests. She is a committee member of the Environmental Funders Network, whose mission is to increase the effectiveness of environmental philanthropy as well as the total funding directed to environmental causes. The JMG Foundation is a member of EFN’s Forest Funders Group, which carried out the grants mapping reported here. Follow EFN on Twitter: @greenfunders.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworecki 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 Activism, Cattle, Climate Change, Commentary, Conservation, Conservation Finance, Editorials, Energy, Environment, Forestry, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Illegal Logging, Infrastructure, Land Use Change, Mining, Oil, Palm Oil, Pulp And Paper, Redd, Reforestation, Research, Researcher Perspectives Series, Roads, Rubber, Soy
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was accorded an awesome reception last week on her tour of Lofa County. In every city, town and village she entered, many expressed joy at seeing for the first time, the Liberian leader they have overwhelmingly supported over the years.It is no secret that Lofa County is a ruling Unity Party stronghold that overwhelmingly voted for Ellen in the 2005 and 2011 general elections. This is why the President, kicking off her 2014 nationwide tour with a first stop at Lofa, looks like an attempt at showing her appreciation.Mrs. Sirleaf was feted with traditional dances, and many other activities. These festivities did not stop the people from engaging their leader on critical issues that—if addressed—would improve their standard of living as well as that of future generations. Lofians had nothing more to demand from the Liberian leader than better health and educational facilities with a qualified and well-paid staff to carry out their duties effectively.The citizens said that most of the teachers and nurses assigned in their areas do not receive pay. This is a critical issue that government needs to take into consideration.The citizens also spoke of the need to have vocational and technical training centers constructed in strategic locations in the county that focus on the manpower development of young people and women. They indicated the empowerment of young people is a serious issue that needs immediate attentions.In various position statements presented to President Sirleaf, the citizens called on the Liberian leader to address the plight of teachers and nurses serving in the county. Some of these, they said are providing sacrificial services and are yet to be placed on government payroll.Vahun district Representative, Fofi Sahr Baimba, reading the district’s position statement told the Liberian leader that his people had unanimously agreed that education, including technical and vocational, was the best means by which their lives might be improved.He, however, asked President Sirleaf for the construction of a technical training center where the young people would go to acquire skills. The people of Vahun also asked for the construction of additional high schools in their district, due to the high number of school-age students.He said this would help keep the youths in the district and discourage migration in order to pursue higher education and opportunities. “Madam President, our young people are in need of empowerment, so we are asking you to please help us construct a vocation school in our district. That will help them acquire technical skills to sustain them and their families.”“The construction of an additional high school for our growing number of student will be laudable because we have only one high school in the district and this can no longer accommodate our children who want to seek high school education. If the vocational and the high school are built, it will help retain our children in the district, thereby discouraging migration,” Rep. Baimba said.The administrators of the various health facilities in Kolahun, Vahun, Foya, and Zorzor petitioned the Liberian President to augment the subsidies that they currently receive from the Central Government due to the administrative and financial constraints that they frequently face. They indicated that NGOs supports are no longer forthcoming and that government should now take full control.They also told President Sirleaf to help address the nurses that have served many years and continue to serve the public and are yet to be placed on payroll. Some of the nurses were observing the go slow action that is being observed by health workers throughout the country.Kolahun Hospital Medical Director, Dr. Josephus Bolongei said that the hospital now runs on only one generator. He requested that the Liberian leader lent a helping hand before the situation became worse.Dr. Bolongei said the hospital has carried out 60 successful operations, without any deaths, since August 2013 when it lost NGO support. He also admonished his medical staff to remain mature in seeking redress to their grievances.Meanwhile at the Telewoyan Memorial Referral Hospital, in Voinjama, nurses were said to be observing the go-slow when President Sirleaf arrived. The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Zuannah Kamara, informed the President that only he and his wife were keeping open the doors of the facilities, and that the two of them were able to treat and discharge all patients before the nurses went on their go- slow.At the St. Theresa Episcopal Church in Voinjama, where an intercessory service was held to mark her arrival in Voinjama, President Sirleaf voiced serious disappointment over the conduct of the nurses at Telewoyan Hospital, calling their action a betrayal of their oath to save lives, come what may.“The nurses should know that their action is not harming me, nor Dr. Gwenigale, but the very people all of us took an oath to serve. Though they may have genuine concerns, the approach taken is wrong and should claim the attention of all of us in this church,” said President Sirleaf.“We know we have many challenges, but if anyone here says we have done nothing to address these concerns, then said person must be living on the moon,” she said. President Sirleaf said her government has always been open for dialogue to resolve issues. She encouraged the striking nurses in Voinjama to rethink their decision.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)