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Archive of posts published in the tag: 2019最新上海419龙凤

Sri Lanka, in bid for species protection, is stymied by lack of data (commentary)

first_imgSri Lanka was supposed to host the 18th Conference of the Parties to CITES in May 2019, but the event has been rescheduled for Geneva in August due to security concerns after the Easter Sunday bombings.Sri Lanka is involved in nine proposals concerning 43 species, the most for a single party at the upcoming CoP. Six of the proposals concern species of reptiles and spiders endemic to Sri Lanka or South Asia, and the other three concern species of saltwater fish.The CITES Secretariat has recommended rejecting four of Sri Lanka’s proposals and adopting five, highlighting how lack of data is hampering conservation efforts in the country.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. The 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP) to CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, should have started on May 23 in Colombo. It was supposed to showcase Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity to an international audience, boost local conservation efforts, and vitalize the country’s ecotourism.However, the terrorist attacks in Colombo on Easter Sunday that killed 259 people created security concerns. After a U.N. security assessment and lobbying from different organizations, the CITES secretary-general announced on June 12 that the conference would be moved to the CITES headquarters in Geneva and take place in August.Ultimately, safety concerns and the need for a timely conduction of the conference outweighed other considerations. As a triannual conference with several thousand participants, CITES CoPs are planned long in advance, and finding another venue to keep the timelines intact was essential.However, the shift to Geneva does not mean that Sri Lanka has been left outside the door. It has submitted or co-submitted more proposals than any other single nation. Out of 57 total proposals, Sri Lanka is involved in almost 16 percent, many of which concern species endemic to the island. By virtue of that alone, it will play a large role during the conference and retain some of the spotlight.Sri Lanka’s proposalsSo, what is Sri Lanka proposing? Do its proposals have a reasonable chance of success?The goal of CITES is to protect wild flora and fauna from unsustainable exploitation and extinction caused by international trade. It maintains three lists of species with descending levels of protection: Appendix I, which prohibits any international trade of species threatened by extinction; Appendix II, which monitors and regulates the trade of species that might otherwise become threatened; and Appendix III, which provides international cooperation to help CITES parties protect certain species.Only parties to CITES can propose amendments to Appendices I and II, and only the CoP can decide on these proposals.The CoP strives for consensus decisions but can otherwise pass proposals with a two-thirds majority. Decisions on appendix amendments are informed by scientific data provided by the parties and outside organizations like the IUCN’s Species Survival Commission. They are mainly based on the criteria outlined in resolution Conf. 9.24 of CoP9 in 1994 (revised at COP17 in 2016).Sri Lanka wants to include several endemic reptiles into Appendix I, specifically two species of garden lizards, five species of horned lizards, two species of pygmy lizards, and one species of hump-nosed lizard. None of them are on any appendix so far, although their export from Sri Lanka is banned under the domestic Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance. Sri Lanka and India also want to move the Indian star tortoise from Appendix II to Appendix I to curb their flourishing illegal trade.Together with the EU and a host of other countries, Sri Lanka also proposes to include several marine species into Appendix II: two species of mako sharks, six species of giant guitarfish, and 10 species of wedgefish. Finally, Sri Lanka and the United States want to list 15 species of ornamental tarantulas in Appendix II as well.This brings Sri Lanka to nine proposals and 43 species, 25 of them terrestrial and 18 aquatic. However, when the CITES Secretariat presented its recommendations on May 1, it recommended four of Sri Lanka’s nine proposals for rejection and expressed some concerns over the other five.To be eligible for inclusion in Appendix I, species must be threatened by extinction because they either have a small and vulnerable population, a limited geographic range, or a marked decline in population size.The detailed assessment of Sri Lanka’s five Appendix I proposals highlights one of the main problems for Sri Lankan conservationism: scarcity of data. The assessment is littered with phrases such as “is unclear,” “indicates,” “is inferred,” “suggests,” “information is very limited,” “quotes anecdotal information,” “opportunistic observations,” or “little is known.”Despite this, the Secretariat has applied a precautionary approach and recommended the adoption of three lizard proposals. It recommended rejecting the hump-nosed lizard and the Indian star tortoise, the latter because of its large populations and the fact that most traded specimens come from captive breeding, which is not covered under CITES.The criteria for Appendix II are more lenient: the regulation of trade must be necessary to prevent species from becoming eligible for Appendix I. The Secretariat has recommended the inclusion of giant guitarfish and wedgefish but ruled for the rejection of the mako shark proposal after extensive feedback from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Expert Panel stating that the shark populations are stable and not projected to decline significantly.Sri Lanka and the United States jointly submitted the last proposal, which had been rejected before at CoP11 in 2000. It concerns Poecilotheria, a genus of 15 species of completely arboreal tarantulas threatened by deforestation and habitat loss. Their range is limited to Sri Lanka and India, but the proposal lacks hard evidence of the impact of legal and illegal trade on their wild population. Therefore, the CITES Secretariat has again recommended the rejection of this proposal.This August in Geneva, Sri Lanka has the chance to make a difference and draw attention to its biodiversity, its range of endemic species, its potential for ecotourism, and its fight against wildlife trafficking. It remains to be seen which proposals will be adopted, but the Secretariat’s recommendations have highlighted problems that hinder conservation efforts in the country.The issues of lacking wildlife data and wildlife trafficking will need to be addressed to preserve biodiversity in Sri Lanka and around the globe.Hear an interview with the new Secretary General of CITES about the upcoming COP in August 2019 on Mongabay’s podcast, here.Dennis Mombauer is a freelance writer and researcher on climate change, conservation and special needs education based in Colombo. He focuses on ecosystem-based adaptation and sustainable urban development as well as on autism spectrum disorder. 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 of a lyre-headed lizard (Lyriocephalus scutatus), a species endemic to Sri Lanka, courtesy of Anslem de Silva. Biodiversity, Cites, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Article published by dilrukshilast_img read more

When it comes to captive breeding, not all Sumatran rhinos are equal

first_imgArticle published by Isabel Esterman 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 Animals, Archive, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Ex-situ Conservation, Governance, Mammals, Protected Areas, Rhinos, Saving Species From Extinction, Sumatran Rhino, Wildlife center_img A new partnership called Sumatran Rhino Rescue aims to capture critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceroses to reinvigorate a captive-breeding program.Most experts agree that captive breeding is necessary to prevent extinction; with wild populations small and fragmented, too few baby rhinos are being born to keep the species alive.The current plan approved by the Indonesian government focuses on capturing “doomed” or “isolated” animals in populations too small to survive in the long term.However, female Sumatran rhinos living in isolation are particularly susceptible to reproductive problems, leading some experts to argue that it makes more sense to focus on capturing rhinos from healthier populations where rhinos are known to be breeding successfully — perhaps at the risk of harming the survival prospects of those populations. In November 2018, a small female Sumatran rhino plunged into a pit trap in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Pahu, as she came to be called, was the first of what is hoped to be a number of captive animals for a new partnership called Sumatran Rhino Rescue. The partnership’s plan is to capture enough wild Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) to build a sustainable captive-breeding program, one that could finally ensure the species’ survival. But the question now is, where to start? With four distinct populations, some almost totally obliterated, the question of which rhinos to catch takes on a terrible weight.Currently, the plan, with approval from the Indonesian government, is to first target the so-called isolated or doomed animals. These are animals like Pahu, stuck in small fragments of forests in groups too small to survive in the near term, let alone the long term.“We are currently focusing on finding and capturing the small, isolated populations,” says Barney Long, the senior director of species conservation at Global Wildlife Conservation, one of the partners of Sumatran Rhino Rescue. But he adds that capturing isolated animals “has never been stated as the only thing the alliance and project will focus on.”He points to the expert advisory board that will counsel the Indonesian government on where to target rhinos for capture. The board is part of Sumatran Rhino Rescue and made up of 13 voting experts from around the world. A board meeting is currently scheduled for July 29 to Aug. 1 in Jakarta.“The project will adapt based on the recommendations made by this group,” Long notes.Nan Schaffer, the founder of SOS Rhino and a veterinary expert on Sumatran rhinos, says that going after animals simply because they’re isolated is the wrong course of action. Instead of focusing on doomed animals, she says there should be one goal in mind: capturing animals that are proven breeders. The current course of action would largely focus captures in Indonesian Borneo and in southwestern Sumatra’s Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, if there are any rhinos left there. Captures may also begin in some areas of Aceh in northern Sumatra if rhinos there are found to be separated from the main population. But Schaffer, who is also a member of the expert advisory board, says she believes the first course of action should be capturing females from Way Kambas National Park, in southeastern Sumatra, and Aceh, both areas where camera traps actually have footage of baby rhinos.The priority, according to Schaffer, is to “produce as many babies as fast as possible.”Officially there are fewer than 100 wild Sumatran rhinos left on the planet; the actual number probably ranges anywhere from 30 to 80 animals, though no one really knows for certain. There are nine Sumatran rhinos currently in captivity, but only one pair of proven breeders. Six of the captive rhinos are female, but only one has borne children (Ratu); three appear incapable of breeding (Iman, Rosa, and Bina); one has yet to be tried (Pahu); while the last is still too young (Delilah).“This is an emergency,” Schaffer says, adding, “we have to be efficient and effective.”Female Sumatran rhino with calf at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Parl. Following two successful rhino births, the facility is home to seven rhinos. Image by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay.com.A plague of infertile femalesSchaffer’s argument for catching proven breeders rests on history.In 1984, conservationists began catching Sumatran rhinos in the wild for captive breeding. The program, for decades, was a disaster. While the project at first suffered from a lack of knowledge about the species, the biggest hurdle was that many of the females already had or quickly developed severe reproductive pathologies, including tumors, cysts, cystic endometrial hyperplasia (abnormally thick lining of the uterus), and a propensity to lose fetuses even when able to get pregnant. It took the program 17 years and dozens of rhinos to finally produce a baby, in 2001.While there is still some debate as to the exact causes of these fertility problems, experts generally believe that if a female rhino doesn’t get pregnant and bear young frequently, she will eventually lose the ability to do so.“We think that the repeated exposure to fluctuating hormone concentrations that occur in females who cycle regularly but never get pregnant cause or exacerbate the development of [a reproductive] pathology,” says Terri Roth, the head of CREW, a research facility at Cincinnati Zoo and the scientist who finally figured out how to breed Sumatran rhinos in captivity. “In a healthy wild population, the female would rarely cycle because she would always be pregnant or lactating.”Upon reaching maturity, a steady exposure to hormones such as estrogen may turn females nearly infertile within a few years.Schaffer, who was the first to ultrasound a female rhino, discovered the various pathologies in 1991, and has been studying them ever since. In a still-unpublished paper, Schaffer describes how most of the females captured over the last 35 years developed reproductive problems.“What I discovered over subsequent years was that almost all the females had the same pathology in their uterus,” Schaffer says.And this isn’t an issue that only develops in captivity: it’s happening in the wild too. The first Indonesian female caught in 1986 had tumors in her uterus, according to Schaffer, and necropsies on rhinos killed by poachers have shown them to suffer from similar reproductive problems.In many ways, these reproductive problems explain why wild populations have collapsed over the last four decades: when a population falls to a certain size, or becomes too disconnected, females simply don’t have enough children to stave off major fertility problems. Eventually they become incapable of breeding, and the number of deaths in the rhino population begins to eclipse births.“After ten years and survey after survey the only information we had about the Malaysian Borneo population was that the population had not rebounded, the estimates just continued to decline,” Schaffer says. “The remnant population was not viable and we needed to bring them into captivity. Just a few years later, this ghost population was gone. The same thing is happening across each of the remaining populations in Indonesia.”Schaffer says the problem isn’t limited to older females, but can even show up in young rhinos.“Rosa had tumors five years after she reached maturity,” she says of one of the females residing at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park, in southern Sumatra. “The quick progression of fertility loss makes immediate action critical.“Doomed [or isolated] animals are likely infertile,” Schaffer adds. “This policy [of catching doomed rhinos] has set the program back since the 80s.  We focused capture efforts on areas that contained [reproductively] compromised rhinos, but didn’t know it. At this point we should know better.”For Schaffer, rhinos stuck in isolated, or doomed, forests should be put on the backburner to make way for animals that she says will be much more likely to successfully produce offspring.In addition, Indonesia’s hesitance so far to attempt advanced breeding technologies, which can come with their own challenges and dangers, has meant that infertile rhinos are not utilized. For example, Schaffer says Rosa could still be useful to the larger population if here eggs were collected.Schaffer’s views are supported by a number of other experts.John Payne, the head of the Borneo Rhino Alliance, says the focus on catching isolated animals “failed spectacularly” because isolated animals tended to be older, less healthy, and came into captivity with pre-existing reproductive issues.Payne has been desperately trying to breed females with reproductive problems for decades, with no success to date. Now, the last known male rhino in Borneo, Tam, has died.“After 35 years we should know not to keep on doing the same thing and expecting a different result,” he says. “The focus must now be on locating those rhinos that are most likely to be fertile.”Two of the remaining Sumatran rhino habitats, Way Kambas and Bukit Barisan National Parks, lie on opposite coasts at the south of Sumatra Island.Location, location, locationFor those who support Schaffer’s views, the first targets for capture should be the rhinos of Way Kambas National Park and Aceh, not Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. (Capture efforts could still go ahead in Kalimantan given the rhinos there, if any indeed survive, are a distinct subspecies.)Payne says it should be “easy” to get five reproductively healthy female rhinos out of Way Kambas, given the flat terrain and the fact that experts believe the park is home to 20 to 30 animals. But he also warns the population will be “severely inbred” — a reality at this point potentially for all surviving animals, except perhaps in Aceh.Petra Kretzschmar, an expert on rhinos and advanced reproductive techniques with the Berlin-based Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, believes Aceh to hold the only “healthy population” left and therefore the best place to begin captures.Officials are currently considering building a new captive breeding facility in Aceh.The challenge with Aceh is that the mountainous and remote terrain may make captures difficult, according to Payne.“And in some locations practically almost impossible,” he adds.The focus should also be on younger rhinos, even juveniles. Payne also advocates targeting mothers and babies using a surface trap designed in Malaysian Borneo to catch rhinos without relying on them falling into a pit.Still, some point out that there is a downside to catching very young rhinos: they would have to spend years in captivity before mating could be attempted.Some rhino experts, however, don’t view the issue as quite so black-and-white.Both Roth of Cincinnati Zoo and Margaret Kinnaird, global wildlife leader with WWF International, say that while the best way to find breeding females is to go into areas where babies are known to be present, there is still value in capturing isolated animals.“The isolated animals are probably doomed if we do not do anything, so it seems worthwhile to at least capture them and see what they look like,” Roth says.Kinnaird agrees, noting that some of these animals have only become isolated “recently,” meaning they still could be reproductively healthy.Removing animals from Way Kambas and Aceh also comes with risks. Not only could animals be injured or killed during capture, as happened with Najaq a female in Borneo, but the efforts could harm the chances for survival of the two wild populations.“That is a hard decision to make,” Roth says. “If populations are reproducing well in the forest, the tendency is to leave them there and protect them.  After all, that is ultimately what we are striving for with this species.”Of course, the question then becomes, are any of these populations actually viable in the long term? Do births actually outnumber deaths anywhere? And are rhinos, even in remote Aceh, actually protected from the threats of poaching and snaring? Rhinos in captivity are safer from those threats, yet that only assumes they can be successfully and safely captured, which isn’t guaranteed.“Many feel that giving this option of [catching isolated rhinos] is worth the risk of leaving the two known breeding populations in the wild for a couple more years until we have captured some isolated rhinos and assessed their reproductive potential,” says Long, who declines to take a side on the issue.This debate isn’t new. It’s been going on for decades, but since Indonesia has now agreed to new captures for the first time since the 1990s, it has gone from a hypothetical to the need to make tough decisions.“I don’t think there is a clear right or wrong here, but opinions behind each option are strong,” Long says.The challenges of the decision are highlighted by the most recent animal caught, Pahu.Ratu with her firstborn, Andatu, four days after his birth in June 2012. Ratu is currently the only female Sumatran rhino in captivity known to be capable of bearing live calves. Image courtesy of the International Rhino FoundationThe Pahu puzzlePahu was an isolated rhino and is believed to be quite old, around 25 years. But experts say they’ve found no obvious reproductive problems or tumors with Pahu. So far, Pahu may have bucked the trend and arguably provides support for the idea that catching isolated rhinos may bear some fruit.“If we had abandoned Pahu, she would have very likely died in a snare. There was no chance of her remaining in her forest fragment, which was rapidly being encroached by logging, mining and other activities,” Kinnaird says. “Although other females captured in Bornean Malaysia have shown reproductive problems, Pahu does not at this point.”But there are other problems with mating Pahu. She’s small — very small: she weighs around 360 kilograms (790 pounds), and while this may sound large, the average weight of a Sumatran rhino is more than double that. Schaffer says she may even be suffering from dwarfism. And some fear that attempting to mate her with a male could lead to injury or even death; Sumatran rhino mating is a violent, raucous affair. Others fear that, given her size, she would be unable to safely birth a regular-sized baby. Breeding success with her remains untested and unknown.Currently, Pahu sits in a facility in Kalimantan while experts decide the next course of action.But the rhinos of Kalimantan provide another last-ditch opportunity. They are distinct representatives of a nearly extinct subspecies. Tam, who recently died, may have been the last male Bornean rhino. Capturing more animals in Kalimantan, assuming any are there, could maintain at least some of the subspecies’ distinct genetics, even if it means mating them with the Sumatran line.For her part, Kinnaird says a strategy of catching both isolated animals and some from core populations is the best way forward.She notes that isolated animals include males, which don’t suffer from the same reproductive pathologies. New males are needed almost as desperately today as females, given that all three males currently in captivity are directly related.A rhino calf, photographed in 2016 at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas. The park that hosts the sanctuary is also home to a population of wild rhinos. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.No easy way forwardAlthough there’s finally a plan to capture wild rhinos, it doesn’t mean the way forward is clear or easy.“Each of the last seven animals that have come into captivity have had fertility problems — abortions, cysts and tumors.  How many more will it take before we shift our focus?” Schaffer says.But there are other considerations here. Long says that Sumatran Rhino Rescue has only secured political will from Indonesia to catch isolated rhinos, but not yet rhinos from the core populations.“This does not mean this support can’t be secured or that we would not try to secure it,” he adds, but notes that getting the support of the government would require “more work.”It took years to convince Indonesia to move forward with captures at all.Time, space, resources and money are running out. Catching infertile females will mean spending limited resources on animals that will very likely not carry the population forward. Already there are three females in captivity that are unlikely to contribute to future generations, unless Indonesia finally agrees to go ahead with utilizing advanced technologies and success is swift. These females all require funding, space, and employee time.“If we have limited time, limited capture teams, limited resources and limited space in our sanctuary, we have to take the most efficient route toward the goal of increasing birthrates,” Schaffer says. “Given that the emergency is the need for production of babies as soon as possible, the rescue of isolated animals is secondary.“We are at the final crossroad,” she adds: “It truly is now or never.”A Sumatran rhino at the Way Kambas sanctuary. Image by Tiffany Roufs for Mongabay.Correction: this article has been updated to correct the name of one of the female rhinos, Iman, that is likely to be infertile.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. 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Indonesian flooding disaster bears the hallmarks of agriculture and mining impacts

first_imgLast June, North Konawe, a land of hills and valleys on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, was struck by devastating floods, displacing thousands of people.In the wake of the disaster, a public debate has ensued over the cause. Some government agencies have concluded that deforestation by plantation and mining companies exacerbated the floods.Some villages, including the riverside community of Tapuwatu, were almost completely washed away. TAPUWATU, Indonesia — Muhammad Arfa says he thinks a miracle saved his home.A wave of mud that swept through this riverside village on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi when floods ravaged the area last June razed dozens of his neighbors’ houses down to the foundations. Today there’s little left but upturned trees, scattered roofing material, and muddy marks high up the trunks of the coconut trees, a reminder of the height of the water.“It was the very end of Idul Fitri, the rain didn’t stop,” the 46-year-old said from his porch, referring to the holiday that marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. At first, the 2-meter-high (6-foot) stilts holding up his house kept the water from entering. But as the waters rose and fell, the rain persisted for three days.“Then the water starting rising again, so I told my family to grab their clothes and get in a boat.” When Arfa returned a week later, after the floods had receded, the mud line had reached the ceiling of his home, some 4 meters above the ground. Most of the other houses in the village lay in ruins.Almost 20,000 people were affected by the floods that struck North Konawe, a hilly district in Southeast Sulawesi province, according to government figures. No one is known to have died, but thousands were displaced. When Mongabay visited the area with the national disaster agency last month, refugees living in makeshift tarpaulin shelters were salvaging what they could from the wreckage on the banks of the Lasolo River. Officials have proposed to create entirely new villages for the approximately 700 families who need new homes.In the wake of the disaster, a public debate has ensued over its causes. Many are pointing the finger at the agribusiness and extractive companies clearing rainforest in North Konawe.Trees hold the soil in place, preventing erosion that clogs up rivers with earthy material, a process known as silting. A river polluted by excess sediment is more likely to overflow, so damaging the forest in a river’s headwaters can increase the risk of flooding downstream.LAPAN, the Indonesian space agency, has released satellite imagery showing that 370 square kilometers (140 square miles) of forest in North Konawe, an area bigger than Philadelphia, was cleared from 2013 to 2018. Much of this deforestation occurred upstream of Tapuwatu, and nearly all of it was due to plantation development, according to Rokhis Khomarudin, the head of the agency’s remote-sensing division.Deforestation in North Konawe. Source: Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA, accessed through Global Forest Watch.Satellite images of Tapuwatu before and after the floods. Source: Planet Labs, Inc.While Rokhis was reluctant to say conclusively whether the deforestation exacerbated the flooding, a report being prepared by the ombudsman of Southeast Sulawesi province, seen by Mongabay, says that “generally the cause [of the flooding] was land conversion for plantations, mining and illegal logging.” The assertion reflects the views of groups like Walhi, Indonesia’s biggest environmental NGO, which also believes the disaster was “caused by the extractive industries,” says campaign manager Dwi Sawung.An analysis of the floods in June by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry names “river silting” and “oil palm plantations” as among the causes of the disaster.Extensive mining along North Konawe’s coast may also be a factor. The mining has fueled silting near the mouth of the Lasolo River, resulting in a “backwater effect” that further exacerbated the floods, the ministry’s report says.“If someone says that the mine doesn’t damage the environment, it’s wrong,” Laode Syarif, a deputy head of the nation’s anti-corruption agency, said at an event in Kendari, the provincial capital, in June. “Environmental damage occurs from upstream to downstream as a result of mining.”Others have been more hesitant to attribute the floods to widespread land-use change. At the event in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi Governor Ali Mazi declined to assign blame for the disaster (other than to attribute it to “God’s will”), promising instead to form a team to look into the causes.Ruksamin, the head of North Konawe district, similarly warned against jumping to conclusions, though he acknowledged that silting in the rivers had become serious.“What we know for certain is that there was a lot of rain during those three days,” he told Mongabay in Tapuwatu, as disaster recovery teams worked to clear mud from people’s homes. “If the rivers are not deep enough, we can dredge them.”Ruksamin, the district chief, in Tapuwatu. Image by Ian Morse for Mongabay.Medi Herlianto, director of emergency services at the national disaster agency, compared the flooding in North Konawe to the floods that struck Bengkulu, on the island of Sumatra, in May, killing 30 people and displacing thousands. Environmental groups there blamed the disaster on coal mining upstream.“We have to learn from the incident [in Bengkulu],” Medi told Mongabay. “There the environment was damaged, so we had to focus on reducing the vulnerability of areas to the impacts of disaster. But in Indonesia, the local government is the most responsible. The local government has to be the one to prohibit land conversion.”Tapuwatu sits right across the river from a giant oil palm estate owned by PT Sultra Prima Lestari, which belongs to members of Indonesia’s billionaire Widjaja family, corporate records show. The ombudsman’s report names the firm as among those that have contributed to silting in the rivers. The company could not be reached for comment.An oil palm estate belonging to PT Sultra Prima Lestari, across the river from Tapuwatu. Image by Ian Morse for Mongabay.Farther upstream, in the village of Asemi Nunulai, residents have been protesting against a sugar plantation company they say is clearing forest without the required permits. A company spokesman identified as Ardi denied it had begun operating in any capacity because it didn’t have an environmental permit. The company, PT Aman Fortuna Nusantara, is thought to be an arm of the Jhonlin Group, a conglomerate owned by the Indonesian tycoon Andi Syamsuddin Arsyad, better known as Haji Isam.“We anticipated that the flooding was going to occur before it did, because we see so much timber being taken from the highland forests,” Asemi Nunulai resident Husni Ibrahim, 37, told Mongabay by phone from the village. “I have never seen flooding like this in the 37 years I’ve lived here.”Many companies operating in North Konawe received permits from the district’s former chief, Aswad Sulaiman, who is now in prison for corruption related to a construction project. Two years ago, Aswad was charged by the nation’s anti-graft agency with accepting bribes in exchange for issuing permits to mine nickel. That case is still ongoing.One problem, says Henri Subagiyo, executive director of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law, is that the government lacks a system for assessing the collective impact of many companies on the environment. A company that wants to mine or build a plantation must carry out an environmental impact assessment. But those studies are considered individually, with no holistic overview of the combined impacts of several companies operating in a given area.“For example, the floods can’t be said to have been caused by only one company,” Henri said at his office in Jakarta. “In Indonesia, the weakness is making a policy that’s macro-level.”A man in Tapuwatu stands by a coconut tree where the mud line marks the height of the floods. Image by Ian Morse for Mongabay.Displaced people in Tapuwatu have been receiving food from the disaster agency as they wait for new housing, but some whose homes were consumed by mud still go without electricity, phone service and showers. Rather than fixing the land destroyed by flooding, district chief Ruksamin said, the government will resettle those impacted, even if houses can be rebuilt. More flooding may only be another heavy rain away.If more companies that have already received permits start operating, the floods could get even worse, said Mastri Susilo, the province’s ombudsman.“We’ve urged the local government offices to do more research into this, because we need to know how to prevent this,” Mastri said in an interview at his office. “It might be that we need more mining reclamation projects [to rehabilitate land no longer mined] or that we don’t give out anymore plantation permits.”Masriyani, a 38-year-old mother of three who found her home in Tapuwatu filled to the windows with mud, says she doesn’t know how her family can earn a living now.“We need heavy-duty equipment to fix the rice fields,” she said. “It’s all sand mixed with dirt now. We can’t plant rice there.” She’s cleaned out the mud from her house, but the destroyed furniture means it’s still far from becoming a home again.Masriyani and her daughter outside their house. Image by Ian Morse for Mongabay.Some in Tapuwatu are not opposed to leaving it behind. It’s a young village, built only 15 years ago to support the oil palm plantation nearby.“I think it’s true that people are clearing land recklessly in North Konawe,” Arfa said. “But there will be no one sad to leave this place.”Follow Ian Morse on Twitter: @ianjmorseFEEDBACK: 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. Agriculture, Corruption, Deforestation, Disasters, Environment, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Environmental Refugees, Featured, Flooding, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Green, Logging, Mining, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Remote Sensing, Satellite Imagery, Tropical Forests Article published by mongabayauthorcenter_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

Indonesia eyes palm oil export boost to China amid mounting U.S. trade war

first_imgFEEDBACK: 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 Hans Nicholas Jong 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: Oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.center_img Indonesia has welcomed a move by China to remove palm oil from its import tariff quota management.That would allow Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, to increase its exports to China, its No. 3 market.A senior Indonesian official said there would be no forest-clearing to support any anticipated increase in exports, with higher yields expected to come from better technology and seeds.The move presents a respite for Indonesia, which faces a biofuel phase-out in the EU and a likely increase in duties in India, its top two export markets. JAKARTA — Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, is anticipating a boost in exports of the commodity to China, taking advantage of an opportunity opened up by the escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington.The move also presents Indonesia with a respite from its own trade woes, namely a planned phase-out of palm oil from biofuel in the European Union, its second-biggest export market, and a likely increase in duties by India, its No. 1 export customer.Montty Girianna, the deputy for energy in the office of the coordinating minister for the economy, said Indonesia was always looking to expand the market for its crude palm oil (CPO), including in China, it’s third-largest market.“We’re the biggest CPO supplier. We can dictate the price. That’s the beauty of being the biggest supplier,” Montty said.But boosting exports to China will not mean clearing more forests to plant oil palms, Montty said. Instead, Indonesian producers will increase yields through better technology and seeds, rather than more acreage.There are currently 162,000 square kilometers (64,500 square miles) of palm oil plantations across Indonesia, Montty said. “If possible it will stay that way,” he said. “We’re prioritizing increasing the productivity by using oil palm seeds with good standard.”The statement comes after China’s commerce ministry announced Aug. 7 that it plans to remove palm, soybean and rapeseed oil from its import tariff quota management. The decision follows the ministry’s announcement that Chinese companies would stop importing U.S. agricultural products, in retaliation for $300 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports imposed by the Trump administration.For Indonesia, the U.S.-China trade war presents an opportunity to expand beyond a European market that’s become increasingly hostile to palm oil because of its environmental implications. The European Commission passed a measure in March to phase out palm oil-based biofuels by 2030, over concerns that production of the crop, often on land cleared of rainforest, contributes to global carbon emissions and thus exacerbates climate change.In August, the commission announced it had started imposing temporary duties ranging from 8 to 18 percent on imports of biodiesel from Indonesia to counter Indonesian government subsidies to producers. The new duties will be in effect for four months, with a possibility for extension. The Indonesian government has vowed to retaliate with tariffs of 20 to 25 percent on EU dairy products.The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) welcomed the Chinese government’s decision to end palm oil import quotas, saying there was lots of room for export growth in China, where soybean oil is the dominant vegetable oil.“Honestly, China consumes much more soybean oil than palm oil,” GAPKI spokesman Tofan Mahdi told Mongabay. “So the potential is huge” to disrupt that market share.But he said Indonesia wasn’t abandoning its market in the EU.“It doesn’t mean that we’re giving up in reclaiming our market in the EU,” Tofan said. “The government has to fight even harder in the EU so that our palm oil products could be accepted as the ingredient for food, oleochemicals and biofuels.”Exports account for about 70 percent of Indonesia’s palm oil production, but the government is trying to boost domestic consumption to mitigate demand risks. In particular, it has required the state-owned oil company to increase the palm oil content of biodiesel to 50 percent by the end of 2020.The Indonesian palm oil industry has long been criticized for its unsustainable practices. Producers have cleared vast swaths of rainforest across the archipelago to make way for oil palm plantations, destroying unique and highly biodiverse habitats and driving rare wildlife to the brink of extinction.The Rainforest Foundation Norway estimates that 45,000 square kilometers (17,400 square miles), of rainforests and peatlands, an area larger than the Netherlands, might be destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations to feed biofuel demand through 2030. This, it warns, would result in the release of 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 20 years. Agriculture, Biodiesel, Bioenergy, Biofuels, Climate Change, Deforestation, Energy, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Tropical Forests last_img read more

On Peru’s border, the Tikuna tribe takes on illegal coca growers

first_imgDeforestation patches detected inside the Buen Jardín community territories. Video by: Rainforest Foundation.In 2014, the Corah Special Project, a government initiative to eradicate illegal coca crops throughout the country, began to operate in Mariscal Ramón Castilla, inside the region known as Bajo Amazonas, or the Lower Amazon. That raid and the one in 2015 succeeded in reducing the area of illegal coca cultivation in Bajo Amazonas to 370 hectares (914 acres), according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). However, in 2017 there was a significant replanting effort, and the cultivated area expanded to 1,823 hectares (4,500 acres). More acreage has since been added.Coca production here feeds the Colombian market thanks to the proximity of the border and the lack of drying equipment in this part of Peru, which suggests the coca leaf is processed “green,” as is customary in Colombia, according to the UNODC.Police in Peru told Mongabay Latam that Colombian individuals pay Peruvian communities in this border region to plant coca, and then buy all their harvest from them.The prosecutor’s arrivalFed up with the threats, the residents of Buen Jardín decided to take the evidence they had gathered — GPS coordinates, photographs and videos — to the authorities. The Regional Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the East (ORPIO) helped them file their complaint, which reached Alberto Yusen Caraza, the provincial prosecutor for the Loreto branch of FEMA, the office of the Special Attorney for Environmental Matters (FEMA).In an interview with Mongabay Latam, Caraza confirmed the deforestation that was occurring and the presence of illegal coca crops, and attributed both to the security situation in the region.“It is a coca-growing area that is always guarded by armed people,” Caraza said, adding that this wasn’t the only complaint his office had received this year.The residents of Buen Jardín, at a loss for what to do, now have to deal with a newly discovered patch of deforestation, spanning 30 hectares of the 1,771 hectares (74 acres out of 4,376 acres) that belongs to the community. “Before, there was no coca; now it’s full of it,” Pablo says of the deforested area.“Here we can’t talk openly about what the mafia is,” he adds. “If we go report them to the police, the police sell us out. In what way? They go and warn them. You go to make a deal in Tabatinga (in Brazil), and you disappear.”The mood of impunity in Bellavista is a far cry from the climate of fear that reigns in Buen Jardín. The town’s small port is full of motorboats, well-stocked restaurants and stores — different from any of the other Tikuna communities in the region. Witnesses indicated to Mongabay Latam that people arrive from different areas of Colombia and Peru every day to work as raspachines, coca harvesters, or to operate processing laboratories that have popped up within the community, on the outskirts of town. Deforestation, Endangered Environmentalists, Forests, GPS tracking, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Logging, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Tropical Forests 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 Patrolling activities in Buen Jardín. Video by: Alexa Vélez.The area underwent the same coca eradication campaign as the rest of the region under the Corah Special Project, followed by the same spurt in replanting, as alternative crops promoted by the government failed to catch on. “Around here, the majority of the people are dedicated to [growing coca] because there is no alternative,” says Teodoro Ayde Lozano, Bellavista’s apu, referring to the indigenous community members. “We plant coca to survive, because if we waited for the cacao [to mature], how long would it take?”The Rainforest Foundation US’s Peru program has equipped 36 indigenous communities in Loreto, including in Buen Jardín, with technology to monitor deforestation. But the community members who serve as monitors are vulnerable because of the work they do, says program director Tom Bewick.“The important thing for us is that the government takes action to protect the indigenous environmental advocates who put themselves on the front lines to protect the forests,” he says.‘You’re a snitch’Every three days, Isaac Witancor and Leidi Valentín patrol their territory, guided by the deforestation alerts they receive on their phones. They live in the Tikuna community of Nueva Galilea, and they face an enormous challenge: the protection of 2,787 hectares (6,887 acres) of forest.Between 2001 and 2017, according to the Rainforest Foundation US, the community lost more than 682 hectares (1,685 acres) of forest to invaders who cleared the jungle.Valentín, the only female monitor in the community, says the loss of forest is regrettable, primarily because the birds, peccaries and tapirs have been driven out. Now, she says, her only chance to hear the animals’ calls is when she goes on patrol in the mountains.Being a forest monitor in an area gripped by drug trafficking can be risky, but 19-year-old Valentín, who says she’s obsessed with protecting Nueva Galilea’s forests, isn’t daunted by the risks.Darwin Isuiza is the oldest of all of Nueva Galilea’s forest monitors, and he’s fully aware of the dangers that they all face during patrols.“Sometimes they say that someone is a ‘snitch’ — you’re a snitch because you use GPS, because we can spread the word. That is what they’re telling me,” Isuiza says. He adds he’s considering abandoning his work as a monitor: “They can do something to me there.”The residents of Nueva Galilea are inevitably moving into a gray area: even though they want to conserve their forest and make a legitimate living, they haven’t been able to find a stable market for the cacao that they produce. There’s nowhere for them to take the crop and no one to buy it. A large portion of it usually ends up rotting because, according to the residents, the government only assisted them at the start of their transition away from cultivating coca.Community leaders say this has compelled the residents to continue working as coca leaf harvesters, at least twice a month. Even then, they invest some of the money they earn into their own cacao crops.Isaac Witancor is one of the Bellavista environmental monitors who has seen the deforestation patches. Photo by: Alexa Vélez.The forgotten people on the borderA Tikuna woman who asked to be identified by the pseudonym Sara, citing security reasons, says she clearly remembers the day the coca eradication campaign came to Cushillococha.“There were not many people injured, but there were lots of confrontations, fights, and arguments. We told them that it is not fair to do these things to us, and that we live from that,” Sara says, adding that she vividly remembers the look of desperation on the people’s faces.She also recalls that DEVIDA, the government institution in charge of national anti-drug strategies, and PEDICP, a Ministry of Agriculture initiative to develop the Putumayo River Basin, arrived a year later.Both agencies, according to those interviewed, proposed the same projects to all the communities in the area: planting cacao or cassava, known locally as yuca and used to produce fariña flour. Most people remember the intervention in the same way: the arrival of the campaign workers in the communities, training sessions, large amounts of fertilizer left for the communities — and a lack of food.Mongabay Latam attempted to ask DEVIDA about how the organization plans to meet the needs of the indigenous communities, but it refused to grant us an interview.Its official website, however, indicates that its strategy has made progress in at least 15 indigenous communities in Bajo Amazonas. It has announced the development of fariña production chains, community development, leadership training, capacity strengthening, technical advice, and more. It also mentions the three indigenous communities highlighted in this article. But members of these communities tell Mongabay Latam that there has been barely any progress; nor were any improvements evident when we visited the region.In Buen Jardín de Callarú, Nueva Galilea and other indigenous Tikuna communities, the neglect is manifested in the details: a lack of medical clinics, or clinics without enough medicine; single-room schools with three teachers for five different grades; basic needs that go unmet; a dependence on an illegal crop to survive poverty; a lack of confidence in the authorities; drug trafficking; and many lives hanging by a thread.With everything seemingly against them — no near-term opportunities, and threats coming from all directions — the forest monitors nevertheless persevere in conserving their forest, even as the constant sound of the coca growers’ chainsaws endures.Banner image: Pablo García, surrounded by coca crops. Photo by: Alexa Vélez.This article was first published by Mongabay Latam. Edits by Erik Hoffner. center_img Article published by Maria Salazar Members of the Tikuna indigenous people in Peru’s border region with Colombia and Brazil have chosen to guard their forests against the rapid expansion of illegal coca crops, the plant from which cocaine is derived.Equipped with GPS-enabled cellphones and satellite maps, they confront loggers and drug traffickers who have threatened them with death.The community wants the government to do more to help them, including assisting in their transition to growing food crops from which they can make a legitimate living. The last time the Peruvian government swooped in to eradicate coca crops in its northern Amazonian border region near Colombia and Brazil was in 2015. For the indigenous people of this area, who made a living harvesting the leaves, there was a sense of despair at the prospect of having to start all over again.The affected areas included the indigenous Tikuna communities of Buen Jardín de Callarú, Nueva Galilea and Cushillococha, among others, here in Mariscal Ramón Castilla province, in Peru’s Loreto department. But for Pablo García, a community leader in Buen Jardín, that 2015 raid presented an opportunity to turn a new leaf: to abandon an illicit livelihood and, along with three of his friends, to become a forest monitor. Since then, equipped with a GPS-enabled cellphone and a satellite map, he follows deforestation alerts whenever they appear on his screen.Yet since that 2015 raid, illegal coca cultivation has resumed, sprouting up in Buen Jardín and the other Tikuna communities. The problem Pablo now faces is that he has to confront the loggers and drug traffickers who invade his territory from the other side of the river. He knows that it’s not just his livelihood that’s at stake, but his very life itself. For Pablo and the others like him, the question they face is, what’s at stake when you want to take care of the forest?Deforestation patch detected by environmental monitors with the use of a drone. Image by: Buen Jardín monitors.‘He said he would kill us’The deforestation that takes place on their indigenous territory doesn’t go unnoticed by Pablo or the other forest monitors. They know very well the limits of their territory, not only because they patrol it, but because they’ve been able to see, for the first time, its full extent on a satellite map.During a visit by Mongabay Latam to Buen Jardín, the monitors took us to one of the patches of most concern. They took out a drone, which they’ve learned to use with the help of the Rainforest Foundation US, a New York-based NGO that has trained them in the use of this and other technologies, and turned it on to show the deforestation. Almost 300 square meters (3,200 square feet) of forest had been lost.When they received their first alert, in mid-2018, they immediately went to investigate the area.“We went to the boundary and we found an invader from Bellavista,” Pablo says. He says the monitors confronted him and told him they would call in the authorities, but the invader “kept threatening us, saying he would kill us.”Because he didn’t leave and continued threatening them, Pablo and Jorge Guerrero, the apu, or spiritual leader, of Buen Jardín, went to talk with the apu of the Tikuna community of Bellavista de Callarú, whose territory borders theirs. But they returned to Buen Jardín with very little hope, especially because before going into the meeting they were threatened again: “We are going to hang you.”last_img read more

Japan builds coal plants abroad that wouldn’t be allowed at home: Report

first_imgArticle published by Hans Nicholas Jong Air Pollution, carbon, Carbon Emissions, Clean Energy, Climate, Climate Change, Coal, Emission Reduction, Energy, Environment, Fossil Fuels, Fossils, Green Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Pollution, Renewable Energy Banner image of activists demanding that Japan stop financing coal projects overseas during the 2018 U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Japan is investing heavily in building coal-fired power plants overseas that would fall short of its own domestic emissions standards, according to a Greenpeace report.Pollution from these plants, in places such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh, could potentially lead to 410,000 premature deaths over the 30-year lifetime of the plants.Japan is the only country in the G7 group of wealthiest nations still actively building coal-fired plants domestically and overseas, which threatens international efforts to reduce carbon emissions and stall global warning.Activists say by building on its own renewable energy potential, Japan can set a positive example for the countries in which it’s investing in energy infrastructure. JAKARTA — Japan is exporting pollution and endangering public health overseas by funding coal-fired power plants that wouldn’t meet the strict emissions standards it imposes at home, a new report says.Emissions from the plants being financed by Japanese public institutions could lead to 410,000 premature deaths over a 30-year period, according to the report published Aug. 20 by Greenpeace. That’s because the countries in which they’re located, including India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh, typically have less stringent emissions controls than in Japan.In some cases, the report says, the Japanese-funded plants could emit up to 13 times more nitrogen oxides, 33 times more sulfur dioxide and 40 times more dust pollution than coal-fired plants in Japan.Japan is the only country in the G7 group of wealthiest nations still actively building coal-fired plants domestically and overseas, according to Greenpeace. Exacerbating this “pollution export” is the fact that many of the countries hosting these overseas plants already struggle with poor air quality from other causes, including forest fires, vehicle emissions, and burning of fuelwood.“Japanese investments in coal power are making it even harder for these countries to reduce air pollution and meet public health standards,” the report says.Activists protesting the construction of a Japanese-funded coal power plant in Java wear ghost costumes as they demonstrate outside the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta. Image by Safir Makki/Greenpeace.‘Not good enough’By continuing to fund coal projects overseas with poor emission standards, Japan has broken its own promises of exporting quality infrastructure, said Hanna Hakko, Greenpeace Japan senior energy campaigner.The policy is also at odds with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s global call to “join Japan and act now to save our planet” by reducing the use of fossil fuels, as well as Japan’s past environmental leadership as the host of the landmark 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which committed nearly 200 nations to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.“Japan should honor its trading partners and citizens of those countries by promoting energy technologies that stop hurting people’s health and the environment,” Hakko said.Tata Mustasya, Greenpeace Southeast Asia regional climate and energy campaign coordinator, said Japan’s double standard on emissions standards was unacceptable.“If it’s not good enough for Japan, it’s not good enough for Indonesia,” he said.Indonesia could potentially account for up to 72,000 premature deaths as a result of exposure to the pollution from the Japanese-funded coal-fired power plants there over the 30-year lifetime of the plants, the Greenpeace report estimates. It also warns of up to 160,000 premature deaths in India, 36,000 in Vietnam, and 14,000 in Bangladesh.Japan has faced criticism for its involvement in Indonesia’s coal industry. Here, a street theater performance is held in front of the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta to protest Japanese financial institutions’ support of a coal-fired power plant in Java. Image by Jurnasyanto Sukarno/Greenpeace.More money in coalAs a growing number of governments around the world, including Indonesia, push to phase out coal in favor of cleaner energy sources, Japanese banks, insurance companies and trading houses have begun scaling back their investments in coal projects.But the Japanese government continues to pour money into coal plants overseas through its public finance agencies: $16.7 billion between January 2013 and May 2019, according to Greenpeace.As a result, Japan is the second-biggest public investor in overseas coal plant projects among the G20 countries, behind only China.In Indonesia, Japan has underwritten nearly 3,000 megawatts of coal power plants in the past eight years, and China nearly 1,000 megawatts, according to an analysis by the local NGO Association of Ecological Action and People’s Emancipation (PAEER). By 2022, Japanese- and Chinese-funded coal plants will account for more than double that capacity, nearly 9,000 megawatts.“Japanese and Chinese companies’ involvement in coal-fired plants helps to dictate the energy landscape in Indonesia,” PAEER researcher Jasman Simanjuntak said. “In coming years, their involvement in coal will increase. But the destructive impact that goes along with it also needs to be considered.”Japan’s continued investment in coal infrastructure both at home and overseas makes it an outlier among developed countries, with an estimated development pipeline of 18 gigawatts.That may be because of how lucrative the coal power business remains in developing countries. A 2018 survey of energy stakeholders in Indonesia by the consultancy PwC found that most expected returns of more than 15 percent on investments in power plants. The global average was 10.6 percent.Greenpeace activists and fishermen occupy piling barges in Batang, Central Java, on March 30, 2017. a 2,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant, said to be the largest in Southeast Asia, is being built there at a cost of $4 billion, funded in part by the government-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Image by Micka Bayu Kristiawan/Greenpeace.Starting at homeIn Japan, coal accounts for about a third of the energy mix, a reliance that the government has justified on the fuel being “cheap and more economical with scale.”The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) says the country faces insurmountable challenges, particularly geographical ones, in promoting renewables. Due to the mountainous terrain, there’s not much suitable land for solar farms, making solar generation twice as expensive per kilowatt hour in Japan as in Europe.But analysts say developing renewables over coal energy still make financial sense in the long run. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) estimates that a new utility-scale solar PV will be cheaper than coal in 2024, while the best new onshore wind projects will be cost-competitive with new coal before 2030.The government has a target of increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix from 15 percent in 2016 to up to 24 percent by 2030. During that same period, it also envisions reducing the share of coal from 32 percent to 26 percent.Giving up coal would also allow Japan to contribute to international carbon-reduction efforts to limit global warming under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Japan’s current policies and plans for new coal-fired power generation would result in levels of carbon pollution almost three times what’s consistent with the Paris deal between now and 2050, according to a report published by Climate Analytics with the collaboration of the Renewable Energy Institute of Japan (REI).That should give the government in Tokyo a good reason to tap into Japan’s renewable potential and start exporting clean technology overseas to set an example for other countries, Greenpeace’s Hakko said.“Japan could become a champion for renewables, but that requires giving up the harmful export of polluting coal technology,” she said.The governments in the countries hosting the Japanese-funded coal plants should also take action to limit the pollution and emissions from these plants, Greenpeace’s Tata said. They can do this by “setting stronger emission standards and rapidly transitioning away from coal to clean and renewable energy,” he said.“This change in policies and investments has to happen now, for human and environmental health, and to safeguard the future of our planet,” Tata said. 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

How Laos lost its tigers

first_imgAnimals, Anti-poaching, Big Cats, Cats, China wildlife trade, Endangered Species, Featured, Hunting, Leopards, Mammals, National Parks, Poaching, Predators, Protected Areas, Saving Species From Extinction, Snares, Tigers, Top Predators, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking 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 Jeremy Hance An incredible image of a tiger snarling in 2005 in the park. Probably one of the last individuals to survive there. How it perished no one knows. Photo by: WCS-Laos.Citations:Gray, T.N.E., Hughes, A.C., Laurance, W.F. et al. The wildlife snaring crisis: an insidious and pervasive threat to biodiversity in Southeast Asia. Biodivers Conserv (2018) 27: 1031. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-017-1450-5Johnson, A., Goodrich, J., Hansel, T., Rasphone, A., Saypanya, S., Vongkhamheng, C., Venevongphet & Strindberg, S. 2016. To protect or neglect? Design, monitoring, and evaluation of a law enforcement strategy to recover small populations of wild tigers and their prey. Biological Conservation, 202: 99-109.Rasphone, A., Kéry, M., Kamler, J.F., Macdonald, D.W., Documenting the demise of tiger and leopard, and the status of other carnivores and prey, in Lao PDR’s most prized protected area: Nam et – Phou louey, Global Ecology and Conservation (2019), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00766 . A sun bear, one of the park’s remaining large mammals. Photo: Akchousanh Rasphone, WildCRU, WCS-Laos. A new camera trap study finds that tigers vanished from Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area by 2014, their last stand in Laos.Leopards were killed off 10 years prior, making these big cats also extinct in Laos.Scientists believe it’s most likely that the last tigers and leopards of Laos succumbed to snares, which are proliferating in astounding numbers across Southeast Asian protected areas.The Indochinese tiger now only survives in Thailand and Myanmar, and may be on the edge of extinction. The last tiger in Lao PDR likely died in terrible anguish. Its foot caught in a snare, the animal probably died of dehydration. Or maybe, in a desperate bid to free itself from a snare crafted from a simple and cheap motorbike cable, it tore off a leg and died from the blood loss. Perhaps the Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), a distinct subspecies, was able to free itself from the snare, only to have the wound fester and kill it in the end. Or, and this isn’t impossible either, the last tiger of Lao PDR (or Laos) was simply shot to death by poachers who then butchered its body and sold its parts in the illegal trafficking trade to feed a seemingly insatiable demand for tiger bits and bones for sham medicine or status symbols.However it died, it probably wasn’t peaceful.A new paper in Global Conservation and Ecology finds that the last tigers of Laos vanished shortly after 2013 from Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area. And the scientists believe it was most likely a surge in snaring that did them in, despite large-scale investments in the park, relative to the region. With the loss of tigers in Laos’s largest protected area, the tiger is most likely extinct in Laos, as it probably is in both Cambodia and Vietnam. That’s an area significantly larger than Texas in Southeast Asia that’s now bereft of its proper top predator.One of the first tigers photographed during a baseline survey. This photo is from 2003 about ten years before tigers would vanish. Photo by: WCS-Laos.And the tiger isn’t the only victim: the researchers also believe Indochinese leopards (Panthera pardus delacouri) are extinct in Laos now, wiped out from Nam Et-Phou Louey and other protected areas by the same snaring crisis.This tragedy is simply another sign of industrial-scale “empty forest” syndrome across Southeast Asia, as poachers with guns and snares continue to wipe out animal populations, targeting anything the size of a mouse or sparrow and larger.In the early 2000s, conservationists saw Nam-Et Phou Louey National Protected Area as a major priority, given it still had populations of tiger, leopard and many other large mammals that had increasingly gone extinct across Southeast Asia. At the time, it was dubbed one of the most important tiger populations in the region.In 2003 and 2004, conservationists believed there were at least seven tigers in Nam-Et Phou Louey and maybe up to 23. New conservation strategies, including increased law enforcement and working with local communities, were jump started in 2005. But by 2013, researchers found only two tigers on camera trap. And no tiger has been seen since.“This represented a sharp decline and extirpation of tigers in Nam-Et Phou Louey in only 10 years,” says lead author Akchousanh Rasphone, with the Wildlife Research Conservation Unit, known as WildCRU, at the University of Oxford.“We’ve looked at various factors for the decline, such as prey numbers and amount of guns confiscated in the park, and the only factor that seems directly related to the tiger decline was the exponential increase in snares,” she added.Camera traps find no tigers or leopardsRasphone and her colleagues systematically surveyed the park from 2013 to 2017 with camera traps in what they describe as the largest endeavor of its kind ever conducted in Laos.Their survey found no leopards at all; the last one was recorded in 2004. And the last two tigers simply vanished after 2013, denoting they were most likely killed either by snare or gun.When asked if they could have missed tigers on the camera traps, Rasphone said, “If tigers are using an area, then typically they’re easily photographed in cameras set along trails.”An Indochinese leopard photographed in Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park. Poachers wiped leopards out of the park before tigers. This animal was photographed in 2003 and was probably one of the very last leopards in Laos. Photo by: WCS-Laos.Tigers are massive, easily distinguished from other animals, tend to use well-trodden paths, and cover huge areas of territory, making photographing them far easier than many other more cryptic species on camera.The only other place in Laos tigers were thought to maybe persist was Nakai-Nam Thuem National Biodiversity Conservation Area.“Recent camera trapping in Nakai-Nam Thuen suggests that tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, and golden cats have now been extirpated from this protected area,” said a conservationist who spoke on the condition of anonymity.So, tigers are very likely gone from Laos, just as they have recently been wiped out from Cambodia and Vietnam. Given all the attention and money for tigers, how did this happen?Again.What the #!*&*$ happened?Jessica Hartel, the director of the Kibale Snare Removal Program in Uganda, told me in 2015 that snares are “the landmines of the forest.”“Like landmines, snares do not discriminate, are virtually undetectable, and can cause irreversible permanent physical damage within a split second,” she said. “Like landmines, snares are unforgiving death traps that cause pain, suffering, and mutilation. Like landmines, snares are detonated automatically by way of pressure from the animals stepping into or through it.”And big cats like tigers and leopards are “particularly vulnerable to snaring,” says Jan Kamler, co-author of the recent study also with WildCRU — even if snares are mostly set for bushmeat animals, such as deer and wild pigs.“[Tigers and leopards] occur at relatively low densities to begin with (compared to prey species), and they have the widest ranging movements of all species,” Kamler wrote to me. “Consequently, even if snaring is stopped within a protected area, as long as snaring occurs along the boundary, then tiger and leopard populations may ultimately become extirpated.”With only a handful of tigers left to begin with, it only takes a few encounters with snares to kill off an entire population. Ditto for leopards.Hundreds of confiscated snares in Cambodia. These wire traps are decimating wildlife across Southeast Asia. They kill indiscriminately and cause incredible suffering to ensnared animals. Cheap and easy to make, snares are difficult for wildlife rangers to find and many parks have not adapted to this new threat. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler/ Mongabay.Kamler theorizes that the reason leopards vanished a decade before tigers is that the presence of tigers — the apex killer in the park and known to harry other predators — forced leopards into the park’s buffer area. Here they more quickly succumbed to snares and guns that hadn’t as completely infiltrated the core area.Research from last year in Biological Conservation found that wildlife rangers removed more than 200,000 snares from just five protected areas in Southeast Asia, including Nam-Et Phou Louey, over five years.But Thomas Gray, the paper’s lead author and the science director for the Wildlife Alliance, told me last year that he believed even the best-trained rangers would only find a third of the snares planted in protected areas — and rangers in Nam-Et Phou Louey were not among the best, according to Gray in 2018.“Snaring is very difficult to control because snares are cheaply made, and a single person can set hundreds and sometimes thousands of snares,” Rasphone said.Today, millions of snares likely blanket Southeast Asia’s protected areas, indiscriminately wiping out wildlife until there is little left to kill.‘Too little, too late’ Troy Hansel, the former Laos country director for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), said funding and resources for Nam-Et Phou Louey came “too little too late … to secure the tiger population.”Headed by WCS Laos, conservation groups spent between $150,000 and $200,000 annually from 2009 to 2012, according to Rasphone. The money came from international donors such as the World Bank, USFWS, and the French Development Agency (AFD). While this may sound like a lot for a developing country, the money was meant to manage a national park more than half the size of Jamaica and covered in thick forest.Rasphone says the money definitely helped stop gun-toting poachers — gun confiscations increased with the rise of funding — but did not “stop the exponential increase in snaring.”Hunters caught on camera trap in Laos. Some hunting is allowed in the buffer zones of Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area. But only for particular unprotected species and under certain regulations. Photo by: WCS-Laos.When conservation actions really took off in 2005, conservationists had the ambitious goal of increasing tiger number by 50 percent within ten years and eventually get to a point where the protected area contained 25 breeding females—turning this park into a “source site” for Indochinese tigers, according to a 2016 paper in Biological Conservation.Lead author of that research and also a former country director of WCS Laos, Arlyne Johnson, ,says the paper was intended to evaluate the program’s success or lack of it. It records how conservationists saw the sudden rise in snaring during that decade—and how it may have been a deliberate strategy by poachers to kill off the last tigers.“The increased snaring likely resulted from local hunters changing techniques to more effectively target tigers,” Johnson and her colleagues wrote. “Snares were not common until Vietnamese and Chinese traders from outside the area began providing local hunters with this gear.”While increased funding helped boost ungulate populations and curb hunters, the park needed to more than double the investment of funds even during peak funding in order to keep tigers safe, according to the study.That kind of money never happened (this is hardly unique to Laos: conservation the world over is underfunded, under-resourced, and under-prioritized).Johnson said that while snares definitely played a role in wiping out the park’s tigers and leopards, there were other problems: poachers were rarely arrested and convicted and, over time, funding declined.“It has been very difficult to get enough funding to adequately support patrol teams,” said Paul Eshoo, who’s worked both in ecotourism and conservation in Laos. “As donors are not willing to support day-to-day operations and patrol staff salaries directly … and instead prefer to put most of their funds into livelihood programs.”Even without tigers and leopards, Nam Et-Phou Louey National Park remains a hugely important protected area for rare and threatened species. This was the first ever photo of Owston’s palm civet, a species listed as endangered, in Laos. Photo by: WCS-Laos.Other issues may have been more structural. For example, Laos does not have any career rangers.According to Eshoo, patrols in Nam-Et Phou Louey were largely made up of a motley crew of government employees, volunteers, military, and villagers —but none of whom were career park rangers, a career which simply doesn’t exist in the country.“They are changed often, and require training by the project when they arrive,” he said. Lack of expertise, experience and high turnover certainly hurt the chances of saving the park’s tigers.“The management system in Nam Et-Phou Louey was and still remains one of the best in the country,” Eshoo added. “But, to protect a species like the tiger, which is highly threatened, requires A+ protection with a more professional and committed national parks system in the long-term.”Investment still matteredConservationists, and journalists, can get blinkered by their obsession with tigers, but, in fact, even though the investment was “too late, too late” for leopards and tigers, it’s likely had a major role in maintaining other animal populations in Laos’s largest protected area.Johnson said other species “definitely benefited” from tiger funding as her research in 2016 showed an increase in ungulates in the park. Meanwhile, many threatened Asian animals still inhabit the park, including dholes (Cuon alpinus), clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus), sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), gaur (Bos gaurus), sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), Owston’s palm civet (Chrotogale owstoni), as well as several primate and otter species.Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) once roamed the northern portion of park, but disappeared around a decade ago, though Rasphone says there was a potential footprints were found in 2015. It may be that a herd of elephants is migrating between the park and Vietnam – but conservationists just don’t know at this point.The loss of leopards and tigers has restructured the park’s carnivore hierarchy to potentially benefit the next biggest carnivore: dholes.Wild dogs with a badass reputation, dholes are considered endangered on the IUCN Red List, and number fewer than tigers worldwide.“Dholes no longer have major competition for food and space, and their populations may benefit from that,” Kamler said, though he added grimly, “as long as snaring doesn’t eventually cause the extinction of this species as well.”A dhole in Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area. The wild dog is now the top predator of the park. It may benefit from a lack of tigers and leopards, but it faces many of the same challenges for long-term survival. This species is rarer than tigers globally and listed as endangered. Photo by: WCS-Laos.As for the Indochinese tiger, Kamler says the conservation focus must now turn to Thailand and Myanmar.“If these last few populations are not protected with strong law enforcement, then the entire subspecies will go extinct.”Currently, the Indochinese tiger is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, but an update is overdue; that assessment was done in 2010. Today, it may very likely be critically endangered. In 2010, conservationists estimated 20 tigers in Cambodia (now extinct), 20 in Vietnam (also extinct), and 17 in Laos (alas, extinct). Thailand and Myanmar remain the only countries that likely house any semblance of a reproducing wild population. At the time, researchers believed there may be 352 Indochinese tigers left. If today it’s below 250, it would qualify for critically endangered status.“All protected areas in Southeast Asia should be especially vigilant towards the snaring crises in the region,” Kamler said, adding that the region needs “strong community engagement and education programs.”He also calls for continuous monitoring via camera trap so conservationists and staff on the ground can catch these declines quicker.Perhaps most vital, according to the anonymous source, is to increase the importance of conservation across the Laos government. They said that Nam-Et Phou Louey was never “seriously recognized” by the three provincial governments that overlapped with the national park, and the national government, due to the decentralization of protected areas, took little note.“Protected areas and species conservation are not a high priority for the government,” the source said. “National protected areas are not given the same level of authority or respect as other agencies. Protected area managers do not have even an official stamp and have lower authority than district authorities.”An impressive gaur is photographed in the darkness at Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area. Listed as vulnerable, this species is a victim of poaching for Chinese traditional medicine as well. Photo by: WCS-Laos.The source called on groups like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and USAID to “encourage” the Laos government to support conservation and make much-needed structural changes.“These species and habitats can bring wealth to the country if protected,” the source said.Hasan Rahman, a tiger expert with WCS in Bangladesh, however said a final component is essential for successful tiger conservation: “public support.”“No amount of money, arms, ammunition, forest patrol, and law enforcement can really save any species for long period of time without public support,” he said. “It’s not that we don’t need all those, but the public ownership is the key. Not only support from the people living surrounding landscape, but also from the people of the entire region, and even the world is needed to save the most of the ‘charismatic’ species.”Laos may have lost its tigers. But the potential for conservation there remains huge, as it does in Nam-Et Phou Louey National Protected Area.And it’s not impossible, with far greater protection efforts across the region, that one day tigers and leopards could find their way back to Laos — assuming we can save them from extinction in the first place.A photo of a tiger taken on the most recent survey, meaning this was one of the last tigers in Laos before it vanished. Photo by: Akchousanh Rasphone, WildCRU, and WCS-Laos. A rare image of two clouded leopards. These animals are now the biggest cats in the park. Photo by: Akchousanh Rasphone, WildCRU, WCS-Laos.last_img read more

As 2019 Amazon fires die down, Brazilian deforestation roars ahead

first_imgThis year’s August Amazon fires grabbed headlines around the world. In response, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his administration accused the media of lying and exaggerating the disaster, then finally sent in the army to combat the blazes. As of October, many of the fires were under control.But experts note that the fires are only a symptom of a far greater problem: rampant and rising deforestation. Altogether, 7,604 square kilometers (2,970 square miles) of rainforest were felled during the first nine months of this year, an 85 percent increase over the same period last year.Unscrupulous land speculators are growing rich, say experts, as they mine, log and clear rainforest — operations often conducted illegally on protected lands. Typically, the speculators cut valuable trees, burn the remainder, and sell the cleared land at a heavily marked up price to cattle ranchers or agribusiness.So far, Bolsonaro has done little to inhibit these activities, while doing and saying much to encourage deforestation, mining and agribusiness. The government has de-toothed the nation’s environmental agencies and slashed their budgets, while hampering officials from enforcing environmental laws. Deforestation caused by an Illegal gold mine and encampment within Yanomami Park, July 2018. An estimated 20,000 illegal goldminers (garimpeiros) have entered Yanomami Park, one of Brazil’s biggest indigenous reserves, located in Roraima and Amazonas states, near the border with Venezuela. Image courtesy of Rogerio Assis / ISA.In late August, as dramatic images of raging Amazon fires were relayed around the globe, the Brazilian government at first made denials, then finally took action. President Jair Bolsonaro announced his Guarantee of Law and Order Operation (GLO), and the nation’s armed forces were rapidly deployed to implement the plan and control blazes.A month later the army proclaimed the operation “effective,” having “destroyed 17 illegal camps and apprehended 74 vehicles and over 20,000 liters [3,500 gallons] of fuel.” Most important, the number of forest fires fell by 25.1 percent in September, according to IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency. General Hamilton Mourão, standing in as president while Bolsonaro visited the UN in New York in September, decided to extend the operation for another month.By the end of October, GLO will have cost 90 million reais (US$22 million) — more than the 76.8 million reais (US$18.7 million) annual 2020 budget earmarked for IBAMA. It is IBAMA that principally fought past Amazon fires with considerable success, but whose budget cuts and disempowerment under presidents Michel Temer, and especially Bolsonaro, have left the agency largely unable to battle this year’s conflagrations.Now, with fewer dramatic images of out of control fires appearing on the Internet, the Amazon rainforest has again dropped out of the world’s headlines. But what really matters for the long-term survival of the biome are not the wildfires themselves, but the extent to which people are cutting down trees.Land grabbers set fire to an IBAMA office in Humaitá in Amazonas state in 2017. Ruralist hostility to Brazil’s environmental agency has escalated during the Bolsonaro administration. Image by Raolin Magalhães / Rede Amazônica.RedeBrasilAtual.Deforestation risingThe deforestation situation in the Brazilian Amazon, far from improving, has dramatically deteriorated. Alerts from the DETER satellite monitoring system, run by the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), indicate that deforestation increased by 222 percent in August, compared with August of last year, and by 96 percent in September, compared with September of 2018.Altogether, 7,604 square kilometers (2,970 square miles) of rainforest were felled during the first nine months of this year, an 85 percent increase over the same period last year. The Amazon fires were a mere indicator of this massive amount of deforestation, as agribusiness and land grabbers burned away the dried downed trees, creating ash which helps fertilize grass to feed the cattle herds that will move in to replace the forests.Deforestation rates are rising rapidly again, for two reasons: it is a very profitable activity, and the government is doing little to stop it, say analysts.Logging, land grabbing and mining, often carried out illegally on protected land, are making some unscrupulous operators very rich. So far, Bolsonaro has done next to nothing to inhibit their activities. Indeed, employees working for IBAMA have told Mongabay on condition of anonymity that the government is encouraging land grabbers to deforest. A closer look at GLO helps back up their accusations.IBAMA destroys an illegal mine inside Jamanxim National Park in September 2019. Under Bolsonaro, illegal incursions into neighboring Jamanxim National Forest and deforestation have dramatically increased, with the so-called “Day of Fire” seeing many illegal blazes intentionally set within the preserve. Image by VINÍCIUS MENDONÇA (IBAMA).Military firefighters, meet the deforestation mafiaA Mongabay contributor and co-author of this article was in Pará state and Altamira in August — the municipality with the most reported fires — and witnessed a large number of troops arriving there, supported by sophisticated military hardware including aircraft and vehicles.The GLO operation in Pará, however, overlooked a crucial factor: geography. Altamira is Brazil’s largest municipality, covering almost 160,000 square kilometers (61,800 square miles), an area bigger than Greece, with much of it rural. While it is true that Altamira saw more fires than anywhere else, most were occurring on the municipality’s edges, hundreds of kilometers away from the city of Altamira itself. In fact, army helicopters deploying from that urban area couldn’t reach the fires without refueling.Which is why the army next shifted its base to the town of Novo Progresso, in southwest Altamira, much closer to most fires. It was there that the ruralistas — elite land owners and speculators — announced a “day of fire” on 10 August, apparently to demonstrate to Bolsonaro their wish to work. The main target of many illegal acts of burning occurring then was Jamanxim National Forest, a large protected area long targeted by land grabbers.Paulo de Tarso, a public prosecutor at the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), a group of independent government litigators, commented: “The gang [felling forest in Jamanxim National Forest] has been active in the region for many years. It was dismantled in Operation Castanheira in August 2014, a joint initiative by the Federal Police, the environment agency IBAMA, the Internal Revenue Service, and the MPF. Deforestation and the numbers of fires fell heavily at the time, but the gang survived.”And it may be seeing a resurgence under Bolsonaro; the MPF is presently investigating the gang’s involvement in this year’s blazes. “The actions seem to have been orchestrated and planned for a long while,” Raquel Dodge, a former Prosecutor-General of the Republic, said at a recent press conference.While Bolsonaro and others in his administration often claim that much Amazon burning is legally done by small-scale farmers, de Tarso notes instead that the clearing is generally well organized and “done by various groups of criminals. Some fell the forest, others extract and sell the valuable timber, and [still] others set fire to the vegetation and [then] plant pasture. There is yet another group that finds laranjas, stooges, that let their identities be used to register the land,” to get round the legal limits on land ownership by a single individual.Carrying out this systematic large-scale deforestation does not come cheap — it costs an estimated one million reais (US$243,000) to clear 1,000 hectares (3.9 square miles) of forest. But, as de Tarso explains, the rewards can be enormous: “The group is betting that at some moment in the future the Brazilian state will give into pressure and remove the protected status currently enjoyed by this land. It will then be worth a fortune.”If necessary, the land grabbers can wait. “Men who carry out ‘speculative deforestation’ are in for the long haul,” explained a Novo Progresso inhabitant, speaking off the record. “They will wait until next year to burn what they are felling this year [if need be]. They’re not interested [in immediately] getting the land to produce, but [rather] in eventually selling it at a huge profit.”Land grabbers set fire to an IBAMA government vehicle near the Zoró Indigenous Reserve in Rondônia state in July 2019. Image courtesy of RondoniaoVivo.Indicators of government complicitySeveral pieces of evidence seem to indicate that the Bolsonaro administration, while anxious to put out fires and extinguish international outrage, is doing little to combat land speculation linked to deforestation, along with illegal mining, which also brings major environmental harm. On the contrary: IBAMA officials say confidentially that the government is sending clear signs that illegal activities should be tolerated by enforcers.One indication is the drastic decline in the number and amount of fines imposed by IBAMA for illegal deforestation in 2019 under Bolsonaro, as compared to in 2018 under Temer —data that helps explain this year’s rapid rise in deforestation.In September 2018, IBAMA issued 258 fines, totaling 139.5 million reais (US$33.8 million) in the Amazon states of Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Pará, Rondônia and Roraima. This year, in that same month (the first month of GLO) and covering the same states, the number of fines fell to 128, with a total value of 42.9 million reais (US$10.4 million) — that’s a 50 percent drop in number, and a more than 60 percent decline in amount.Speaking to BBC Brasil, environment minister Ricardo Salles shrugged off the statistics. “Only about 1 percent of the fines were ever paid. And this shows that to impose a large number of fines is not a good policy. It is better to have far fewer, properly investigated fines that are paid.” But, far from ensuring that fines will henceforth be paid, the government has further facilitated non-payment.  In April it passed decree 9,760 that set up “centers of conciliation” which will allow those fined to appeal. They may have their fines reduced or even cancelled. IBAMA officials see this as a further green light to illegal deforestation.An illegal gold mine destroyed by FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous agency, in Yanomami Park during Operation Walopali, 23 September to 3 October, 2019. Image courtesy of FUNAI.De-toothing IBAMA enforcementAnother indication of the administration’s failure to curb illegal activities is the refusal of GLO’s military commanders to offer IBAMA employees protection when combatting illegal mining activities, even when an operation is so dangerous that it can’t be undertaken without army security. This happened on at least three occasions in September alone.Mongabay saw an internal IBAMA report that explained why: “The Military Commands refused to help because the IBAMA operation could have involved the destruction of assets.” This issue has become a serious bone of contention between IBAMA and land invaders. Speaking to Mongabay off-the-record, the owner of a goldmine near Novo Progress, who has also been involved in illegal logging, said: “The problem arises when they [the environment agencies] destroy [mining and logging] machinery. People aren’t worried by fines — they don’t pay them in any case — but it hurts when they destroy machinery.”Decree 6,514, passed in 2008 by the federal government, has served for over a decade as a key enforcement tool that IBAMA uses as a last resort against perpetrators. The destruction of illegally deployed mining and logging equipment — expensive trucks, tractors, bulldozers, mining dredges and more — has exposed loggers and land grabbers to major financial risk.But Bolsonaro is very unhappy with the policy. In a video shot last April and widely circulated among land grabbers and miners, the president said that “nothing should be burnt, not machinery, nor tractors, nothing, that is the instruction I am giving.” However, Decree 6,514 remains an active statute on the books.Equipment being destroyed at an illegal mine in Yanomami Park by a FUNAI agent in September 2019. President Bolsonaro objects strongly to the currently legal practice of destroying machinery used for illegal purposes in the remote Amazon. Image courtesy of FUNAI.IBAMA raids called off, FUNAI raid goes forwardOne of the planned IBAMA operations that had to be cancelled because of the army’s refusal to provide support was particularly important. It concerned an illegal mine inside the Trincheira Bacajá Indigenous Territory, in the São Félix do Xingu municipality in Pará state. According to the not-for-profit organization, IMAZON, in July and August invaders cut down more forest in this indigenous reserve than in all other reserves in the country, bar one.Because federal authorities failed to respond to repeated indigenous requests for help there, armed Xicrin warriors organized an expedition in late August to expel the invaders. According to the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, the intruders, when confronted, agreed to leave but then sent the Indians a threatening WhatsApp message: “Just take a look around you. There are now over 300 men in the forest hunting Indians.” While no loss of life has been reported since, there is a very real risk that this conflict could escalate and erupt in violence.However, Amazon miners and land grabbers don’t always get it their way. On 23 September, FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency, with the support of the army, launched, a federal and state coordinated 12-day operation to evict the thousands of miners who recently illegally swarmed into the 9.6 million hectare (37,000 square mile) Yanomami Park, in Roraima state. Demarcated in 1992 in the lead up to the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, the birth of this reserve has been hailed as one of the greatest achievements of the indigenous movement in Brazil.Since the invasion earlier this year the Yanomami leader Davi Kopenawa and others have campaigned ceaselessly for decisive action to evict invaders. Indeed, the army’s decision to support the operation may well be linked to the attention that the international press has paid to the Yanomami case.FUNAI’s operation led to the destruction of 30 illegal mines, a helicopter, dozens of pieces of expensive equipment, along with an illegal landing strip. In addition, a BAPE (Base of Ethno-environmental Protection) was reopened on the Mucajaí River, which should help FUNAI prevent future illegal mining incursions.But the intervention in the Yanomami Park remains at present an isolated case. It has done nothing to halt the ongoing campaign organized by some of Bolsonaro’s most fervent supporters, who are urging the president to permanently shut down the nation’s two chief environment agencies — IBAMA and ICMBio (the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation which manages park lands).On 3 October, as the FUNAI operation in Yanomami Park was finishing, Bolsonaro once again expressed his support for the nation’s miners, saying in his weekly Facebook video address: “I will do all I can — and I depend on Congress — to give miners a free hand to search for gold, diamonds, all over Brazil, provided they preserve the environment and don’t use mercury.”Meanwhile, violent acts against IBAMA have escalated. In July, illegal loggers burned two bridges across the Transamazonian Highway, and set fire to an IBAMA vehicle after officials attempted to end illegal logging in the Zoró Indigenous Reserve in Espigão d’Oeste municipality, in Rondônia state. In September, miners reacted furiously when IBAMA and ICMBio teams set fire to backhoes — land moving equipment — at an illegal mine in Crepori National Forest in Pará state. The miners sent angry messages on WhatApp and via other social media. One of them shot a video in which a miner stood in front of a burning backhoe shouting: “I want you, Bolsonaro, to see this video and explain to Brazil what is happening! You said that this wouldn’t happen anymore.”On 18 September, the government hastily organized a meeting with a delegation of miners. In attendance were top officials, including Environment Minister Ricardo Salles; Presidential Chief-of-Staff, Onyx Lorenzoni; and Chief-of-Staff for Institutional Security, General Augusto Heleno. The administration listened to the miners’ complaints and promised to soon find “a structural, long-term solution for their demands.”One attending miner said afterward that they’d been told that never before had so many ministers been present at a meeting of this type. He boasted: “We achieved a great deal with our actions. We should all congratulate ourselves.”The government’s sympathetic reaction to miners’ demands angered IBAMA staff: “The same people who practice environmental crimes and invade indigenous land are asking for protection from the army and the president,” Denis Riva, President of the National Association of Civil Servants Specialized in the Environment (ASCEMA), told Mongabay. “At the very least, that leaves us in a very awkward position.”Banner image caption: A FUNAI agent looks out over deforestation resulting from illegal gold mining in Yanomami Park. The miners were expelled from the indigenous territory in a September 2019 raid conducted by the Bolsonaro government. Image courtesy of FUNAI.If you’re interested in learning more about protests against the fires in Brazil, watch here:FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Glenn Scherer Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Mining, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Conservation, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Featured, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Use Change, Mining, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation last_img read more

Enforce Brazilian laws to curb criminal Amazon deforestation: study

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Soy, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Conservation, Controversial, Corruption, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Industrial Agriculture, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, timber trade, Transparency, Tropical Deforestation Recent research finds that a failure to track environmental infractions and to enforce environmental laws and regulations is aiding and abetting ever escalating rates of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado.Researchers studied the failings of three environmental initiatives: the TAC da Carne, blocking cattle sales raised in deforestation embargoed areas; the Amazon Soy Moratorium, stopping sales of soy grown on deforested lands; and DOF timber permitting, which allows logging only in approved areas.The study found that timber, soy and cattle producers often subvert Brazil’s environmental laws by illegally “laundering” harvested logs, beef and soy to conceal illegal deforestation. These practices have been largely helped by the weak governance of the Jair Bolsonaro administration.The scientists recommend the closing of illegal soy, cattle and logging laundering loopholes via the strengthening of Brazilian environmental agencies, the improvement of monitoring technologies, better integration of policies and systems, and putting market pressure on producers. Confiscated timber harvested illegally within a Brazilian indigenous reserve in Roraima state. Law enforcement raids like this one have largely become a thing of the past under President Jair Bolsonaro. Image courtesy of IBAMA.Brazil’s deforestation control agreements and environmental legislation — once considered strong and successful — now require an “urgent” upgrade as soy planters, cattle ranchers and timber merchants have found ways to easily circumvent regulations, experts warn in a recent scientific study.At the center of the problem are the country’s current inadequate enforcement and legal system — weakened first under President Michel Temer, and now further under Jair Bolsonaro — which provides multiple opportunities for environmental law infractions to go undetected or unpunished, according to the findings published by the Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation journal.“It’s a priority not only to keep what already exists, but also to consider new and better policies,” said Philip Fearnside, a research professor at Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA) and one of the six authors of the study.Through their findings, the scientists shed light on the limitations of three key Brazilian environmental initiatives; the researchers also listed measures that could help the nation reverse the upward trend in deforestation occurring since 2012, as clearing rates rise in the Amazon and Cerrado savanna biomes.These recommendations include the strengthening of Brazilian environmental agencies, improvement of monitoring technologies, better integration of environmental policies, and putting market pressure on producers, along with other measures.Ranching in Pará state, Brazil. The nation is home to more than 200 million head, with “cattle laundering” made easy by weak monitoring and enforcement. Photo credit: acmoraes on Visualhunt / CC BY.TAC Agreement bypassed via “cattle laundering”In 2009, meatpacking companies, cattle producers and the Brazilian government signed a voluntary agreement known as the TAC da Carne, aimed at blocking the sale of cattle produced within areas embargoed due to illegal forest clearing.However, since then, producers have learned how to bypass the agreement by “laundering” their cattle — raising and fattening them on ranches responsible for deforestation, then shifting them to ranches where no deforestation has occurred, from which middle-men sell to slaughterhouses who only track the final sale. This finding is according to audits made by federal prosecutors.Despite this rampant illegal process, there has been no punishment for slaughterhouses or producers routinely using the cattle tracking loophole. Nor has the government made any effort to close that loophole by demanding better reporting and enforcement. The result is a weak TAC agreement, the study showed, which fails to curb deforestation.A viable solution, Fearnside said, is tracking the cattle continuously from origin to slaughterhouse. “In England, since the mad cow crisis, they started tagging the cattle,” he noted. “Each animal has an individual code that tracks all the farms where the cattle have been. It is also possible to be done in Brazil.”The integration of systems that track complementary regulatory regimes is another solution proposed by the authors. The federal government, for example, could link its animal transit permit (GTA) system — a legally required hygiene check of transported livestock — to its rural environmental register (CAR) — which identifies all rural properties and their location within mandatory forest preservation areas. Tying together those two systems would enable monitoring compliance with environmental legislation and livestock agreements.An IBAMA agent measures timber volume and confirms botanical identification at a sawmill suspected of receiving illegal Ipê logs in Pará state. Fraud occurs along the entire timber supply chain according to experts. Image © Marizilda Cruppe / Greenpeace.Timber harvesting plagued by permit fraud As with cattle producers, timber merchants regularly launder trees logged in the Amazon and elsewhere to conceal illegal deforestation.They typically do so by subverting a compulsory license, known as a DOF, intended to track and control the origin and transportation of native forest products and by-products. Illicit merchants conceal the illegal cutting of trees by purchasing black market invoices and DOFs from locales where the government has authorized extraction, the report showed.The fraud scheme also relies on overestimating the high volumes of commercially valuable timber species found within approved extraction areas, and then tagging trees of that same species illegally cut elsewhere to the permit, according to the findings.Impunity fuels criminal action in both the cattle and timber industries, agrees Ricardo Abad, a long-term remote sensing expert at the Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA), an NGO. “The problem,” he notes, “is that there is no oversight, no punishment for those producers caught in an irregular situation; fines are never paid, the system is bureaucratic, and people are corrupted along the way.”New soy fields and neighboring forest in the Brazilian Cerrado. Image by Jim Wickens, Ecostorm / Mighty Earth.Amazon Soy Moratorium evadedA third environmental initiative subject to both “laundering” and “leakage,” the study notes, is the Amazon Soy Moratorium, a voluntary agreement between producers, commodities companies, environmental NGOs and government, by which major soy traders have agreed not to purchase soybeans grown in Amazon areas deforested after July 2008.However, soy laundering is carried out in much the same way as cattle laundering, via fraudulent tracking that allows soy produced in embargoed areas to be listed as being produced in “regularized” areas free of recent deforestation, or under the names of laranjas, or “oranges,” poor people who pretend to hold land deeds in order to conceal actual ownership by large landholders, according to the findings.Thanks to such scams, researchers say, a commodity company making a final soy purchase may not know the true source of the beans. Indeed, since many producers own multiple farms, soy produced in an embargoed area can easily be moved from an embargoed plantation to one with regularized status, before sale to a trading firm.Meat for sale in São Paulo, Brazil. Cattle aren’t tracked from their point of origin in Brazil, so deforestation can easily be concealed along the supply chain as livestock is resold before arriving at a slaughterhouse. Photo credit: wallyg on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND.The consumer’s roleRicardo Abad, an expert who dedicated the last 10 years to assessing Brazil’s supply chains, says that the most successful approach for achieving environmental enforcement is through market pressure to create a more sustainable commodities industry. He notes that transnational companies, especially those in the European Union, have been changing their supply chain requirements to include social and environmental factors, and this is key to ensuring that promises made under agreements such as the TAC da Carne and Amazon Soy Moratorium are kept.According to the study, eight years after TAC da Carne’s creation, 63 meatpackers — responsible for the processing of approximately 70 percent of cattle produced in the Amazon — had joined that agreement, with some positive results. However, there remains no real market pressure for non-signatory companies to join TAC, with many importers, including the increasingly key Chinese market, not requiring any kind of monitoring and enforcement of rules regarding cattle origin and deforestation.For Abad, it’s not only a matter of having the enforcement tools but using them to prevent buyers from accessing these products. He believes that “big traders, such as Walmart and Carrefour, are also responsible [for deforestation within their supply chains] and need to be really held accountable.” This can best be done by raising consumer awareness.A tractor ploughs up newly deforested land in the Cerrado, Brazil’s savanna. While fines are often issued for illegal deforestation, few are ever paid due to lax government enforcement. Photo by Jim Wickens, Ecostorm / Mighty Earth.Political challenges aheadAccording to Carlos Souza, a Research Associate at Imazon, a Brazilian NGO that independently tracks Amazon deforestation, there is already available technology to monitor and identify environmental infractions. The problem, he says, resides in the government’s failure to enforce and punish.Recent rising deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon, Souza says, should serve as a wakeup call to trigger action to halt forest degradation and destruction, but, he adds, “we have an even bigger challenge now under this government,” a reference to the Bolsonaro administration.Still, Souza hopes to see improvements in Brazil’s current environmental agreements. “As a society, we all expect a new 2.0 version of these agreements to fight deforestation,” he concludes.Without these enhancements, the researchers agree, escalating deforestation and the loss of all habitat types will continue across Brazil’s biomes, turning the country into an ever more fragmented patchwork of soy plantations and cattle pastures.Banner image caption: An IBAMA raid on illegal deforesters within a Munduruku indigenous reserve under a previous administration; President Bolsonaro has greatly diminished the agency’s law enforcement capacity. Image courtesy of IBAMA.Amazon rainforest cleared by burning, the primary means of converting forests into pastureland. Photo credit: bbcworldservice on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC.center_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more