Building environmental community and transparency through maps

first_imgArticle published by Sue Palminteri A new online mapping platform offers spatial data, mapping tools, hosting space, and advice/consulting services to help increase transparency in land use decision-making.Map for Environment was created to be an open repository for environmental data with simple data management and map publishing tools, especially for non-technical users.The platform provides the space and the tools for a decentralized community to share data and produce maps with minimal cost and hassle; for this to succeed, the environmental movement must embrace open-data principles and make critical data more broadly available. As the (English) saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Maps, too, convey a wealth of information in a small space and are doing so more accurately and with more customized information, than ever before.Remote sensing now lets us monitor forest cover, over time, at global and local scales, while GPS units allow explorers and scientists on foot to add data to a specific point on the Earth.However, accessing, combining, and interpreting those data are still challenging.  Environmental, demographic, land use, and infrastructure data are frequently stored privately or in government agencies, making them difficult to access at the scale and resolution needed for monitoring. Powerful mapping platforms tend to be very expensive, though some academic and non-profit institutions have lower-cost licenses to ArcGIS, the most common GIS platform, which also offers a free, limited-use, online version. Most free GIS software, such as QGIS, requires users to have some training and data access.Hiker with GPS on a mobile phone tracing data into OpenStreetMap. Photo credit: Harry Wood via Creative CommonsA new online mapping platform called Map for Environment offers spatial data, basic mapping tools, hosting space, and advice/consulting services for people who want to make maps but don’t need to conduct extensive analyses. These allow the user to:Use one or more of the platform’s pre-made maps or data layersUpload data (e.g., shapefiles, geojson, kml, csv) or link data from another service (e.g., ArcGIS online, raster hosting service such as Amazon Web Services)Manage the data using simple editing and cartography toolsMake maps, stories, or mini websites called “Hubs” for sharing and embeddingHost and share data on an institutionally neutral space.A conservationist – technologist team created Map for Environment to increase transparency in decision-making by making it easy for beginners to produce maps of human activities—such as logging roads, agriculture, dams, and fracking wells—on the landscape. Rather than recreate a Geographic Information System (GIS) with comprehensive analysis capability, the open-source platform hosts a catalog of contributed environment and development spatial data at various scales, though the number and types of data sets varies by country (i.e. some countries have multiple local or national-level data, whereas, others have none). It also provides open access to some basic mapping tools to enable users to view, manage, and share the data layers and quickly publish a map in one of several formats.Forest elephant heading toward the jungle in Loango National Park, Gabon. Photo credit: Rhett ButlerLeo Bottrill, founder and CEO of Map for Environment (M4E), and colleagues began building earlier iterations of M4E in 2011 through Moabi DRC, an initiative that collaboratively monitors natural resource use in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and includes a public database of deforestation drivers in DRC and REDD+ mapping data.Mongabay-Wildtech asked Bottrill about the new platform, why he and the Chief Technology Officer, Kristofor Carle, developed it, and the types of users it targets.MB-WT: What inspired you to develop a new mapping platform?Bottrill: We wanted to build a simple way to share mapping data between multiple organizations regarding drivers of deforestation and bring transparency to an opaque REDD+ process. We began experimenting with different technology but wanted mapping tools that were 100% open-source and simple to use, which led us to use OpenStreetMap – the Wikipedia of maps.We learned a number of lessons from implementing Moabi that inform the creation of M4E and MapHubs – the technology that underpins it.  We realized that for many people, mapping was technically difficult and expensive. Typically, you had to buy expensive, complex software and follow a long training course before you could even begin making simple maps. This made mapping inaccessible for many people who wanted make and use maps in reports, stories, and presentations to explain environmental issues.The other major problem was data accessibility… you often had to visit many different sites to find map data. To understand complex environmental issues such as deforestation in Indonesia, you would need to collect data from different sources, [such as] zoning data from governments, satellite information from NASA or a commercial provider, company information data such as mining permits, and community data such as customary property rights often collected by indigenous rights organizations.[T]here really wasn’t a cross-cutting platform that covered the entire spectrum of environmental topics and geographies and was completely free to use.Hydropower sites in Asia, using a global dams database. Image credit: Map for EnvironmentMB-WT: How does Map for Environment compare to ArcGIS Online or other free GIS platforms, such as QGIS?M4E aims to be a truly open repository for environmental data with simple data management and map publishing tools for both non-technical and experienced users.ArcGIS is really geared for GIS specialists and offers a host of analytical tools and map publishing, which is a little overwhelming for someone with no GIS experience. QGIS is a great open-source alternative to ArcGIS but is only desktop-based and, again, focused more towards technical GIS users who want to perform complex analytics and build sophisticated geospatial visualizations.With MapHubs [the software behind M4E], we can train users with no GIS experience in two days how to use our entire platform – data management, data creation, map/hub/story publishing, and forest monitoring. This allows everyone within an organization to make maps rather than relying on a GIS specialist. It’s not our intention to compete head-to-head with ESRI or other GIS platforms but rather offer a simple service for finding the data and a few essential analytical tools.We do have some analytical tools such as a forest alert system using University of Maryland’s GLAD alerts and a measurement tool so you can measure the size of mapping objects. We will also add more analytical tools but would rather build only the tools where a critical mass of our users demand them.MB-WT: What areas are being mapped by M4E?M4E is already being used to monitor industrial agriculture in Indonesia and the Congo Basin, including oil palm plantations and transport routes. In partnership with Global Forest Watch and European Commission Joint Research Centre, we are mapping logging roads in Congo Basin, Peru, and Indonesia. Using OpenStreetMap, we are also mapping planned dam impacts in the Mekong, and fracking drill pads and access roads in North Dakota. We also highlight new research findings. This past month, we overlaid a map of extensive peatlands in the Congo Basin, described by Professor Simon Lewis and colleagues in a recent paper in the journal Nature, with plantations and logging concessions to highlight potential climate change risks if this area is drained.Map of Congo basin peatlands overlaid with logging concessions and plantations. Image credit: Map for EnvironmentMB-WT: How do you obtain the spatial data on the site?  What are the main obstacles to broadening the map collection and extent?To compile these data, the platform makes use of a variety of existing open-data portals, including Global Forest Watch [which allows users to monitor forest change over time], and OpenStreetMap [which crowd-sources spatial data globally]. For example, if you are interested in international forest issues, we host information from Global Forest Watch, but we supplement this with data from other sources, such as government agencies, advocacy NGOs, and research organizations, and attribute information to the organization that provided the data. And in M4E, you can add your own data and make your own maps.Some organizations, such as palm oil companies, share their data through M4E and manage their data directly. We are encouraging more organizations to open-source their data and not place onerous licensing restrictions on use. M4E gives users a range of data licensing options. If an organization approaches us around a topic, we will help them find the data. The information is then posted on the platform, so everyone can use it. There are plenty of gaps, but the more people contribute, the more the gaps can be filled in, and the more useful M4E becomes.Industrial agriculture and logging concessions in Indonesia. Image credit: Map for EnvironmentMB-WT: Do users uploading data have to make it publicly available?  How does data security play a role in how users make and share maps?  Yes, by default all data uploaded to M4E is public and available for use and download according to the license selected by the user. If users would like to post data but prevent download, we can help with this on a case by case basis.If users need privacy, MapHubs is available for installation in the cloud or if you have serious security concerns, on a local server inside your organizational firewall. This is called MapHubs Pro and can be both a private or public-facing mapping platform that gives you the tools of M4E but with the ability to control access to your own data. The Environmental Investigation Agency currently uses MapHubs Pro for mapping and privately sharing illegal logging and agriculture expansion. MapHubs Pro costs vary, depending on feature and data requirements, but it is more affordable than building a custom mapping website, which can cost from $30K to hundreds of thousands of dollars. We will also be releasing MapHubs Cloud Service in the coming months for those who just want to keep one or two layers private rather than a whole institutional data platform.MB-WT: What are your other plans for the next year?  Where do you see the platform headed?For M4E, we have built a host of new features, such as the forest alerts, and have made it easy to embed satellite imagery, such as Planet scenes [for those with access to Planet imagery]. This year, we will keep refining the M4E’s tools as simplified map editor and increase our outreach efforts, so more people know about M4E and contribute data. We also plan to make data agreements with major organizations so users can have access to critical datasets directly from the source. This will include open imagery such as Sentinel and Landsat imagery, so you can monitor areas and create your data on deforestation and other observable land use changes.We see M4E becoming a community-driven platform for the environmentally concerned citizen and organization. Our vision is a small, decentralized community providing the tools for both sharing data and making and disseminating maps with the minimal amount of cost and hassle. We simply provide the space and let people provide the content. For this to succeed, I think the environmental movement needs to embrace open-data principles and stop restricting access to data that has vital utility to many organizations.Our immediate goal is to build a financial and institutional model that that allows this community to take hold and galvanize a critical mass of organizations to support transparency and data sharing. data, Logging, Mapping, Open-source, Plantations, Remote Sensing, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Technology, Tropical Deforestation, Wildtech 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

More big mammals found in high-carbon forests, says new study

first_imgArticle published by John Cannon The researchers used satellite data to measure forest carbon values and camera trap photographs to tally the mammal species present in forests and oil palm plantations.Finer-scale data did reveal that high-carbon areas do support more species of medium and large mammals that are threatened with extinction.Experts say that this research validates the high carbon stock approach for identifying priority areas for conservation.Still, further research is required to better understand the role of connectivity between high-carbon forests in supporting biodiversity. Carbon-rich tropical forests, which are often among the least-disturbed habitats, seem to be ideal bastions for sensitive and threatened animals, particularly compared to lower-carbon areas like timber and oil palm plantations.But until recently, data-driven conclusions connecting high levels of both carbon and biodiversity have been elusive.“Scientists have been trying to link carbon with biodiversity for a number of years, but with variable success,” said Nicolas Deere, an ecologist at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, in an interview.Recent research by Deere and his colleagues revealed that high-carbon tropical forests do support more biodiversity than those with less carbon, bolstering the case for the use of carbon assessments to identify forests important for conservation on a number of fronts. The team published their findings Nov. 6 in the Journal of Applied Ecology.A Borneo pygmy elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) in Malaysia. Photo by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.The team chose the patchwork of forests and plantations that make up the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems, or SAFE, project area in southern Sabah, in Malaysian Borneo. Critical to demonstrating the relationship between carbon and biodiversity levels was the researchers’ use of high-resolution satellite data to pinpoint areas with the most carbon. They also used camera traps to record the number of species present in different habitats.Previous studies have often looked at coarser data sets, in which the carbon values for larger areas might represent a range of different forest qualities. In places like Sabah, where humans have altered huge parts of the landscape, a relatively pristine remnant of forest might be adjacent to farms or oil palm plantations. When averaged over a large area, Deere said, “The carbon value of that fragment is going to be dragged down by the agricultural areas around it.”Similarly, studies looking at biodiversity on broader scales than the data that’s collected with camera trapping often miss the nuanced impacts that forest quality can have on the diversity of species in an area. For example, the presence of animals that can survive in oil palm plantations might give the mistaken impression that an area still supports a wide range of species. In reality, these “disturbance-tolerant generalist species … obscure the trend,” he said.Forest meets an oil palm plantation in Sabah. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Deere and his team paired both high- and low-resolution carbon data with camera trap captures from both forests and oil palm plantations. While the low-resolution data didn’t bear out a relationship, the finer-scale data did reveal that high-carbon areas support more species of medium and large mammals threatened with extinction.Grant Rosoman, a global forests solutions senior adviser with Greenpeace, who was not an author of the paper, said that the findings support the use of HCS — short for “high-carbon stock” — assessments. This tool can help identify areas for conservation under certification schemes such as those currently being considered for inclusion in the criteria set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.“This is highly significant because it means that identifying forest via the HCS Approach or similar assessments to achieve no deforestation is at the same time protecting biodiversity,” Rosoman said in an email. “This will have a big impact on being able to quickly and efficiently identify tropical forest areas that are priority for both biodiversity and carbon protection.”H added that the proven linkage between carbon and biodiversity could bump up the value of carbon-rich forests for these “biodiversity co-benefits” under payment-for-ecosystem programs such as REDD+. REDD+ stands for “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,” and it aims to compensate developing countries for maintaining standing forests within their borders.A sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sabah. Photo by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.At the same time, Rosoman said unanswered questions remain about “the impact of HCS forest patch shape, connectivity and configuration in the landscape on biodiversity.”In other words, how does biodiversity respond to habitats that are increasingly split up into smaller pieces by human activity?“I can’t emphasize the fragmentation caveat enough” with the current study, Deere said.“We’ve provided the first validation of the HCS approach,” he said. Now, he added, further research is necessary to look into how landscape fragmentation impacts biodiversity and what’s required for “an ecologically functional forest network in these plantation landscapes.”CITATIONSDeere, N., Guillera-Arroita, G., Baking, E., Bernard, H., Pfeifer, M., Reynolds, G., … & Struebig, M. J. (2017). Do high carbon stock forests provide co-benefits for tropical biodiversity? Journal of Applied Ecology.Banner image of a Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Follow John Cannon on Twitter: @johnccannon Agriculture, Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Hotspots, Camera Trapping, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Finance, Carbon Sequestration, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Science, Conservation, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Endangered Species, Extinction, Farming, Forest Carbon, Great Apes, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Oil Palm, Orangutans, Palm Oil, Plantations, Primates, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Redd, Redd And Biodiversity, Remote Sensing, Research, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife 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

CITES rejects Madagascar’s bid to sell rosewood and ebony stockpiles

first_imgThe standing committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) had its annual meeting in Geneva November 27 through December 1.The committee rejected Madagascar’s petition to sell its stockpiles of seized rosewood and ebony that had been illegally cut from the country’s rainforests.CITES delegates agreed that while a future sale of the stockpiles might be possible, Madagascar was not yet ready for such a risky undertaking, which could allow newly chopped logs to be laundered and traded overseas.Other notable outcomes of the CITES meeting dealt with the sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis), pangolins, and the critically endangered vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus). In August, the government of Madagascar drafted a business plan to sell its stockpiles of rosewood and ebony — hundreds of thousands of logs. The plan required the approval of CITES, which has banned the trade of all species of Malagasy rosewood (Dalbergia spp.) and ebony (Diospyros spp.) since 2013.On December 1 during a five-day meeting of its standing committee in Geneva, CITES rejected the plan because of the government’s lack of progress in tackling the so-called rosewood crisis and its failure, thus far, to audit enough of the stockpiles. Illegal logging of rosewood and other precious timber spiked in Madagascar’s northeastern rainforests, including in national parks, following a 2009 coup. The logging has since declined but the fate of stockpiled wood has remained an open question.Madagascar’s government controls only a small portion of the stockpiles. Most of the rosewood covered by the business plan is in “declared” stockpiles that remain in the possession of timber traders and have never been fully counted or verified. Most observers believe that timber barons have over-declared the number of logs in their stockpiles so that they can keep adding to them, and that theStockpiled rosewood logs outside the provincial forestry and environment office in the northeastern city of Antalaha fill more than half the courtyard to head-height, but local officials there have no record of how much wood they are charged with securing. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.stockpiles are now being used as clearinghouses for newly cut, illegal timber. Millions more logs not covered by the government’s sale plan remain in hidden “undeclared” stockpiles around northeast Madagascar, observers believe.CITES delegates from the United States, the European Union, and various non-governmental organizations were vocal participants in rosewood discussions. These parties agreed that while a future sale of the stockpiles might be possible, Madagascar is not yet ready for such a risky undertaking. If not done carefully, such a sale could allow newly chopped logs to enter the international market. The rosewood issue did not come to a vote, but was decided by consensus.In the past few years, Malagasy authorities and foreign consultants made several haphazard efforts to audit the stockpiles. Many of the logs now have colored markings from the different audits. These markings are often found on Malagasy rosewood that is seized at international ports, according to conservation NGOs — a sure sign that traffickers are accessing the stockpiles.“We know that the stockpiles are fluid, and they have been taken from already,” Colman O’Criodain, a policy manager at WWF who attended the CITES meeting told Mongabay. “There have been big seizures of wood that was once in these stockpiles.”Logs in a government stockpile in the northeastern city of Antalaha. Many bear the marks of multiple rosewood inventories carried out since 2010: barcodes affixed in late 2015, as well as blue, yellow, and red paint from earlier counts. Photo by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Rosewood, which has a rich crimson interior, is the most trafficked type of wildlife in the world. Almost all of it ends up in China, where it’s used in high-end furniture.In Madagascar, storage costs are low, but maintaining the stockpiles nonetheless presents major challenges. Traffickers steal from the stockpiles or use them to launder illegal wood, sometimes by swapping out real rosewood logs for pine or eucalyptus. And the longer the wood sits outside government offices or in metal containers, the more its quality diminishes. After a year or two, the wood can grow dry and crack, reducing its value.At the CITES meeting, Johanita Ndahimananjara, Madagascar’s Minister of Environment, Ecology, and Forests, argued that Madagascar needs to sell the stockpiled rosewood in order to fund its rosewood conservation efforts. Her plan called for Madagascar to buy $7 million worth of rosewood and ebony from the owners of the declared stockpiles and then sell it in a series of international auctions. It is unclear how much Madagascar could earn from the such auctions; the business plan listed potential values ranging from under $5 million to upwards of $136 million.Almost everyone in the room opposed Madagascar’s plan. Among other issues, conservation groups did not support the plan to pay timber traders $7 million.“It would undermine the very work they are trying to do” to manage the crisis, Susanne Breitkopf, a forest policy manager at the Environmental Investigation Agency who attended the CITES meeting, told Mongabay.Breitkopf and O’Criodain both told Mongabay that the only party to support Madagascar’s business plan was in fact the World Bank. But Benjamin Garnaud, a natural resource management specialist for the World Bank who is based in Madagascar and who attended the CITES meeting, told Mongabay that he agreed with the NGOs on the central question at hand: Madagascar is absolutely not ready to sell its stock, he said.The World Bank is working with Madagascar to set up a stockpile disposal mechanism: the logs must be inspected, graded, marked with anti-counterfeit technology, transported, and ultimately sold or disposed of in another way. To build this mechanism, the World Bank has already loaned Madagascar $3 to $4 million. Garnaud suggested that if the logs don’t end up being sold, they could be used for furniture in Malagasy schools. Madagascar could also burn the logs, as some African countries have done with ivory from elephant tusks.Last year, CITES declared that Madagascar must audit at least one third of its stockpiles before the ban on the trade of rosewood and ebony could be lifted. But it’s difficult to determine the number of logs in the stockpiles. Garnaud estimates that there are about 30,000 logs in seized government stockpiles, and about 300,000 in declared private stock, but there have been five inventories since 2011, each producing different results. The biggest problem with the “one-third” stipulation, according to Garnaud, is that if Madagascar sold one third of its logs before fully accounting for the rest, it would open the door for timber barons to add newly cut rosewood, or hidden stock, into the “declared” group.Last week, CITES issued a new recommendation to Madagascar: find and recover the rosewood from the hidden stockpiles. The standing committee also, for the first time, explicitly asked Madagascar to prosecute high-level offenders in the rosewood trade, which the government has not done in recent years.The next CITES standing committee meeting will be in Russia in October 2018. That will be Madagascar’s next opportunity to petition the body to sell the stockpiles.Chart shows estimates of the number of rosewood logs in stockpiles of seized wood owned by the Madagascar government (Seized) and in the possession of rosewood operators who have declared them to the government (Declared). There are also  undeclared rosewood stocks in private hands that are believed to outsize even the declared stocks. Numbers for 2010 through 2013 come from a 2016 report by the NGO TRAFFIC that relied on Madagascar government data; numbers for 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 come from a report [pdf] by the Madagascar government to the CITES standing committee in advance of its recent meeting.Other developments at the CITES meetingLast week’s standing committee meeting was the largest on record, with more than 500 participants. They discussed a large slate of issues from around the world, including three that garnered particular attention.Japan came under heavy scrutiny for targeting sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) in the North Pacific. The whales are listed under Appendix I of CITES, meaning they are threatened with extinction and can only be traded “in exceptional circumstances.” Japan says its whaling program is for research purposes, so the standing committee decided to do more fact-finding before taking further action. Environmental groups were disappointed; they say Japan’s program has killed 134 of the endangered whales so far this year.Last year, CITES placed a ban on the trade of pangolins, the world’s most trafficked mammals, but at the Geneva meeting, China requested an exemption for stockpiled pangolin scales. The request was voted down almost unanimously. (This was the only issue that came to a vote all week; most CITES decisions are made by consensus.)In the final action of the week, the United States, Mexico, and China agreed to take steps to protect the vaquita (Phocoena sinus), a small porpoise found only in the Gulf of California. The vaquita is critically endangered, with only around 30 individuals left, due to illegal fishing of totoaba, a critically endangered fish whose swim bladders are often smuggled through the United States en route to China. A high-level CITES mission to Mexico will take place in February.A pangolin at a rescue center in Cambodia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Banner image: Red ruffed lemur (Varecia rubra), a species that lives in northeastern Madagascar, where rosewood logging has been severe. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Biodiversity, Biodiversity Hotspots, Cites, Conservation, Crime, Deforestation, Ecology, Ecosystems, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Policy, Featured, Forest Products, Forests, Governance, Green, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Illegal Logging, Logging, National Parks, Organized Crime, Parks, Protected Areas, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Rosewood, Trees, Wildlife center_img Article published by Rebecca Kesslerlast_img read more

U.S. National Park Service advisory panel disintegrates

first_imgOn Monday, 9 of 12 members of the advisory council resigned in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, citing more than a year of waiting for meetings that are required by law.The board is responsible for National Parks stewardship, and they often interface with the public and scientific experts.Advisory councils generally for agencies and their board members are chosen or re-approved by the administration of the newly-elected leader. The US National Park Service is America’s latest federal environmental agency to lose most of its advisory board. A January 15 letter signed by nine members of the board detailed why they were stepping down from service. Three remained for various professional reasons, such as finishing current projects. The nine resigning board members said they were beset by delay upon delay in trying to accomplish the goals of their positions.“For the last year we have stood by waiting for the chance to meet,” wrote board chair Tony Knowles in a letter published by the Washington Post. “I have a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside.”Such meetings and the related updates are required by law and are part of the board’s mission. The other eight resigning board members included Gretchen Long, Paul Bardacke, Carolyn Finney, Judy Burke, Stephen Pitti, Milton Chen, Belinda Faustinos, and Margaret Wheatley.The Bureau of Land Management also has 38 advisory councils, some of which have experienced delays due to the pace of the review process currently underway. Advisory councils generally exist for state and federal agencies and board members are chosen or re-approved by the administration of the newly-elected governor or president. The Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has already disbanded the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council and the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science. On Wednesday, the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks issued a statement on the National Park Service board resignations, saying they are “deeply disheartened.” “We can understand the members’ deep frustration at the prolonged deactivation of the Board and the complete lack of response from the Department of the Interior to numerous requests in 2017 to meet with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke,” said Phil Francis, chair of the coalition.Banner image: Arches National Park. Courtesy of National Parks Service.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 Genevieve Belmaker Conservation, Conservation Finance, Forests, National Parks, Parks 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

The ozone layer is still getting thinner, new study finds

first_imgChemicals, Climate Change, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Extinction, Conservation, Environment, Extinction, Forests, Industry, Mass Extinction, Ozone Layer, Plants, Research, Trees A team of scientists measured the total amount of ozone in the atmosphere and found that the overall concentration is about the same as it’s been, despite a measured boost in the upper layer.That discovery led the team to surmise that the lower level of the ozone layer is still getting thinner.It could be that climate change is forcing ozone in the atmosphere to spread out more quickly toward the poles.Another hypothesis is that some of the compounds that have replaced CFCs in the past three decades may similarly be stripping the atmosphere of ozone, just as CFCs did. The specter of an environmental problem once thought to have been solved has risen again. A new study published Feb. 6 in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics reports that the ozone layer might still be thinning, despite efforts to halt the use of the human-made chemicals thought to be responsible.That’s not to say that the Montreal Protocol hasn’t been effective. The 1989 agreement banned the use of chemicals such as chlorine-containing chlorofluorocarbons and similar compounds used to cool air in refrigerators and air conditioners, and soon after, there was evidence that the ozone layer was on the mend.“Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, ozone in the upper stratosphere” — above 30 kilometers (19 miles — “has increased significantly since 1998, and the stratosphere is also recovering above the polar regions,” William Ball, an atmospheric researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) and the study’s lead author, said in a statement.Detail of naturally aborted ovulate cone at end of growth season from control (non-irradiated) healthy pine. Another recent study has found that radiation, allowed into the atmosphere by a thinning ozone layer, may sterilize trees. Photo and caption by Jeff Benca/University of California, Berkeley.Most scientists figured that the ozone layer would return to its proper form by 2050 or so. But when Ball and his colleagues measured the total amount of ozone in the atmosphere, they found that the overall concentration was about the same as it’s been, despite that measured boost in the upper layer. That discovery led the team to surmise that the lower level of the ozone layer, which lies between 15 and 24 kilometers (9 and 15 miles) above the Earth’s surface, is still getting thinner. The authors note that this part of the layer usually has the highest density of ozone, which shields the planet from ultraviolet rays and other types of radiation.The researchers acknowledge that several questions remain unanswered. For example, they weren’t able to show definitively that the ozone layer is in fact thinning in those parts of the atmosphere below 15 kilometers.It could be that the warming climate is forcing ozone to spread out toward Earth’s poles more quickly than before. Or a new class of compounds that are taking the place of CFCs, known as very short-lived substances, could be having a similar effect. They, too, contain chlorine and bromine, and while some of them form naturally in the atmosphere, a few others are used in industrial applications.“These short-lived substances could be an insufficiently considered factor in the models,” Ball said.A malformed pollen grain of irradiated pine. Photo and caption by Jeff Benca/University of California, Berkeley.And Ball and his colleagues aren’t sure what the knock-on effects will be or exactly what’s causing it. A related study, published in the journal Science Advances on Feb. 7, puts forth evidence that higher levels of UV radiation could render trees infertile. What’s more, a thinner ozone layer may have played a part in a mass extinction a few hundred million years ago.What is clear is that the steps the global community took nearly 30 years ago in Montreal are working to some degree, said Thomas Peter, an atmospheric chemist at ETH Zurich and one of the study’s authors.“The decline now observed is far less pronounced than before the Montreal Protocol,” Peter said in the statement. “The impact of the Protocol is undisputed, as evidenced by the trend reversal in the upper stratosphere and at the poles.”Still, this study makes it clear that it hasn’t solved the whole problem.“[We] have to keep an eye on the ozone layer and its function as a UV filter in the heavily populated mid-latitudes and tropics,” he added.Banner image of the Cygnus Loop Nebula, a picture that can’t be taken from Earth because the ozone layer would block the UV light, by NASA/JPL-Caltech [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.CITATIONSBall, W. T., Alsing, J., Mortlock, D. J., Staehelin, J., Haigh, J. D., Peter, T., … & Bourassa, A. (2018). Evidence for a continuous decline in lower stratospheric ozone offsetting ozone layer recovery. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(2), 1379-1394.Benca, J. P., Duijnstee, I. A. P., & Looy, C. V. (2018). UV-B–induced forest sterility: Implications of ozone shield failure in Earth’s largest extinction. Science Advances, 4(2).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 John Cannoncenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Sarawak makes 80% forest preservation commitment, but some have doubts

first_imgAgriculture, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Illegal Logging, Industrial Agriculture, Logging, Monkeys, Montane Forests, Oil Palm, Orangutans, Palm Oil, Plantations, Primary Forests, Primates, Rainforests, Secondary Forests, Timber, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Banner photo of cleared forest in Sarawak by John Cannon.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. The Malaysian state of Sarawak is committing to the preservation of 80 percent of its land area as primary and secondary forest, according to an announcement by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.According to data, concession boundaries for oil palm and other kinds of tree plantations covered 32.7 percent of Sarawak’s land area as of 2010/11, suggesting that if Sarawak is to fulfill its commitment to preserve 80 percent of its land as primary and secondary forest, then it may need to cancel some of these concessions.The director of environmental and human rights watchdog organization Earthsight expressed doubts that Sarawak will follow through on the commitment, and recommends the state increase transparency and crack down on illegal logging. The Malaysian state of Sarawak is committing to the preservation of 80 percent of its land area as primary and secondary forest, according to an announcement by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg made February 26 in the city of Kuching. But some in the conservation community are expressing doubt that these promises will come to fruition.Occupying the northern coast of Borneo, Sarawak’s rainforests are home to unique, disappearing species like endangered proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) and critically endangered Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). But plantation agriculture, timber harvesting and other development pressures have supplanted many areas of Sarawak forest, with data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) finding natural forest covered just under 65 percent of the state in 2010. Other research indicates the amount of 2010 forest coverage may be closer to 57 percent – much of that heavily degraded by logging, according a 2013 assessment.Sarawak’s remaining forests are home to threatened species like proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus).Research indicates much of Sarawak’s rainforest has been degraded by logging and other human activities. Photo by John Cannon.But in a speech presented to attendees of a business networking event called The Sarawak Dialogue, Chief Minister Abang Johari indicated the state will be working to preserve and restore the state’s rainforests.“Sarawak is a small state but it has its obligation in its role to preserve the environment,” Abang Johari said, as reported by regional media outlets. “We make sure that 80 percent of our land mass must be covered by primary and secondary forests.”According to news reports of the event, Abang Johari went on to say that Sarawak’s forests provide important environmental services for the world, like generating oxygen.“We do not even claim the credit for this,” Abang Johari reportedly said. “The rest of the world is enjoying when we are providing free of charge.”But some aren’t buying it. Sam Lawson, director of the UK-based environmental and human rights watchdog organization Earthsight, told Mongabay that he is “really suspicious” of Sarawak’s new commitment, and that he has “no reason to believe anything.”“I welcome any serious commitment by the Sarawak government to protect what forest remains,” Lawson said, “but given that the administration has a long history of broken promises and disinformation in this regard, I would treat any such promises with a great deal of skepticism.”Lawson says the state needs to increase transparency and crack down on illegal logging if its conservation commitments are to be believed.“If Sarawak wants its promises to be taken seriously, the first thing it needs to do is release information about all of the areas of forest licensed for conversion to palm oil and timber plantations,” he said. “It also needs to immediately halt the destructive and commonly illegal commercial logging still taking place in some of the last vestiges of intact forest in the state.”According to data from Earthsight and other organization analyzed by Global Forest Watch, concession boundaries for oil palm and other kinds of tree plantations covered 32.7 percent of Sarawak’s land area as of 2010/11. Lawson said he doesn’t believe those boundaries have changed significantly since then, suggesting that if Sarawak is to fulfill its commitment to preserve 80 percent of its land as primary and secondary forest, then it may need to cancel some of these concessions.According to analysis by Global Forest Watch, plantation concessions cover nearly 33 percent of Sarawak’s land area. Data sources: SADIA, Aidenvironment, Global Witness and Earthsight InvestigationsA truck transports recently harvested oil palm fruit, which will be pressed to make palm oil. Photo by John Cannon.A truck transports logged timber. Photo by John Cannon.Mongabay reached out to the office of Sarawak’s Chief Minister, but received no response by presstime.Chief Minister Abang Johari is relatively new to the position, having succeeded Adenan Satem following his death in January 2017. Lawson said that if Abang Johari is really the environmental proponent that he’s claiming to be, “then they need to open the books.”According to reports of Abang Johari’s announcement, he stated Sarawak is doing its best to preserve the environment.“We want to share our resources with the world,” Abang Johari reportedly said. “We hope that Sarawak can become a bridge to the world so as to lead to a new beginning.” Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis 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

UN’s Tauli-Corpuz, accused of terrorism in her native Philippines, plans to keep investigating ‘atrocities’ against indigenous peoples at home

first_imgActivism, Endangered Environmentalists, Environment, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is one of the most prominent figures in the global movement for indigenous rights.This month, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration included her name on a list of suspected terrorists, along with a number of other environmental and human rights defenders.The Philippines is already the most dangerous country in Asia in which to be an environmental defender, with 41 murders recorded last year. Tauli-Corpuz fears it may be getting worse. After Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations special rapporteur on indigenous rights, was included on a list of some 600 people the government of her native Philippines wants declared as terrorists, her colleagues described the move as “retaliation” for her speaking out against recent attacks on indigenous Lumad communities on the country’s main southern island of Mindanao.“I agree with that totally,” Tauli-Corpuz told Mongabay in a phone interview on March 16, citing a series of vitriolic remarks aimed at U.N. rapporteurs by the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte since last December, when she publicly condemned the displacement and killings of Lumads in Mindanao. The region has been under a state of martial law since Islamist militants took over the city of Marawi there in May. (The U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, has also provoked Duterte by criticizing the deaths linked to his war on drugs.)Tauli-Corpuz is the highest-profile name on a petition filed in court this month by the Philippine justice ministry accusing hundreds of people, many of whom are indigenous leaders and environmental activists, of being communist guerrillas associated with the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Tauli-Corpuz insists she has no connection with either group.A Kankana-ey-Igorot woman from the mountainous Cordillera region in the northern Philippines, Tauli-Corpuz has become one of the most prominent figures in the global movement for the recognition of indigenous rights. She worked for years as a community organizer on her home island of Luzon, and helped lead the successful push to get the U.N. General Assembly to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.Tauli-Corpuz also chaired the Cordillera Peoples Allliance, a federation of indigenous peoples’ organizations, in the early 1990s. The list of alleged terrorists, meanwhile, includes a handful of former CPA officials. One of them is Joan Carling, who is now co-convener of the Indigenous Peoples Majors Group for Sustainable Development, which coordinates indigenous participation in international forums. Carling is also an expert member of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.“I have fought for human rights and, in particular, the rights of indigenous peoples my entire life,” Carling said in a statement posted to Facebook, adding, “I therefore denounce this unfounded and false accusation, which not only poses a risk to my security, but is also an affront to the exercise of the fundamental rights and freedoms associated with democratic governance, and to the human rights obligations of the Philippine government.”“I call on the international community to show solidarity and express their concern to the Philippine Government,” Carling added.Joan Carling at the World Conference of Indigenous Women, in Lima, Peru, in 2013. This month she was included on a list of suspected terrorists in her native Philippines. Photo courtesy of Digital Democracy/Flickr.Anyone designated a terrorist in the Philippines can be subject to government monitoring of their movements and communications. The state can freeze their bank accounts.The petition comes at a time when President Duterte is overseeing a vicious war on drugs in which thousands of alleged dealers and users have been slain by police and vigilantes since he took office in 2016. Carlos H. Conde, Philippines researcher for Human Rights Watch, called the petition a “virtual government hit list.” “There’s a long history in the Philippines of the state security forces and pro-government militias assassinating people labeled as [New People’s Army] members or supporters,” he said. AMAN, the main indigenous rights organization in neighboring Indonesia, accused Duterte of “criminalizing” indigenous leaders. AMAN said it was “deeply disturbed to see how the Philippines, once an inspiration to indigenous organizations throughout the world … has descended into being a virtual police state, where any individual or organization who challenges the Executive is accused of terrorism.”Thousands of Lumads have been forced from their homes during the past two years, said Tauli-Corpuz, whose position at the U.N. mandates her to conduct fact-finding missions in countries where indigenous rights are under threat. While this is partly to do with the ongoing military crackdown on the insurgency in Mindanao, the violence is also the result of conflict between indigenous communities and companies eyeing their ancestral lands, especially for mining and, increasingly, oil palm plantations. The government has announced plans to add 10,000 square kilometers (3,860 square miles) of oil palm, an area larger than Puerto Rico, almost all of it in Mindanao.“They send the paramilitary groups, who are also sometimes members of those communities, and then they tell them to get out of those communities,” Tauli-Corpuz said. “Maybe the idea is to get them out so there will be no people supporting the guerrillas. I guess that’s their thinking. But how can you displace people who have been in their territory since time immemorial?”Tauli-Corpuz said she was “constantly trying to raise this issue with the government so that they will be able to do something about it. We are also of course talking to some of the politicians who speak out against these kinds of atrocities.”“It’s not just displacements, it’s also killings,” she said. “Recently there have been several indigenous people and also leaders who have been assassinated.”The Philippines is already the second most dangerous country in the world, after Brazil, in which to be an environmental defender, according to Global Witness. Forty-one activists were slain in the Southeast Asian country in 2017, the NGO reported. Tauli-Corpuz fears the climate may be worsening under Duterte. “It’s very dangerous now for anyone who wants to protect the environment or defend their lands, because of these kinds of extrajudicial means of going against people who are resisting and protesting.”Banner image: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz on a panel in Geneva in 2015. Photo courtesy of UN Geneva/Flickr.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. 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 Article published by Philip Jacobsonlast_img read more

Study reveals the Pacific Garbage Patch is much heftier than thought — and it’s growing

first_imgA recent survey of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch revealed that the aggregated plastic there weighs in at 79,000 metric tons (87,100 short tons).The plastic is floating across an area larger than Mongolia at 1.6 million square kilometers (618,000 square miles).Around 75 percent of the pieces that are larger than 5 centimeters (2 inches) in length, and old fishing nets make up a minimum of 46 percent of the total mass.The scientists calculated that 94 percent of the 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in the patch are microplastics. The great mass of castaway plastic collecting in the northern Pacific Ocean is much larger than past estimates, and it’s growing, according to a new study.As a species, we use and discard millions of tons of plastic each year, and a lot of it ends up in the ocean, where researchers estimate that it kills or injures 100,000 marine animals each year. And while some of it gets broken up and sinks, scientists have found that gyres — swirling areas in the world’s oceans where circulating currents meet — collect a lot of this waste.A recent survey of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest of these collections, revealed that the aggregated plastic there weighs in at 79,000 metric tons (87,100 short tons). That’s between four and 16 times heavier than past estimates. As we continue to produce even more plastic, the patch is growing exponentially heavier by the year, according to measurements of its size over time.A map showing the location of the Pacific Gyre, the location of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Image by NOAA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.What’s more, most of the plastic, floating across an area larger than Mongolia at 1.6 million square kilometers (618,000 square miles), are pieces that are larger than 5 centimeters (2 inches) in length, and some 46 percent of the total mass is made up of old fishing nets. These “ghost nets” effectively become deadly floating traps for all kinds of sea life.“I knew there would be a lot of fishing gear, but 46 percent was unexpectedly high,” Laurent Lebreton, an oceanographer with the nonprofit organization Ocean Cleanup and lead author of the paper, said in an interview with National Geographic News. “Initially, we thought fishing gear would be more in the 20 percent range.”But in fact, better than half of the debris that the team cataloged came from boats and ships at sea. The patch sits between Hawaii and California. Scientists think that it has collected so much plastic because of its location adjacent to the densely populated eastern shores of Asia and in an area that humans fish heavily.Laurent and his team were able to come up with a more comprehensive assessment of the composition of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by adding a new dimension to their investigation. They shared their results on March 22 in the journal Scientific Reports.Previous probes of the garbage patch relied primarily on sampling nets and visual surveys of the garbage patch from boats. For this research, the team also took photographs of the patch from an airplane. From this bird’s-eye view, they write, they were able to more accurately count the large pieces of plastic, such as fishing nets or bottles.Filter-feeding marine animals, such as this whale shark, may face problems when they ingest microplastics in large quantities. Photo by Abe Khao Lak (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.They also sifted through more than 1.1 million pieces of debris from over 650 boat-based sampling trips. Virtually everything they picked up from the massive flotilla of garbage was plastic. And even though bigger pieces accounted for most of the heft, the scientists calculated that small bits called microplastics account for 94 percent of the 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in the patch.Microplastics include additives found in some cosmetics, as well as stubborn fragments of larger, degrading plastic pieces. Small organisms like plankton and fish can ingest these tiny shards, and they’re in turn eaten by larger animals. Microplastics shimmy their way up the food chain until they reach the ocean’s top predators, where they could play havoc with their digestive systems. Once there, they also break down into toxic compounds, potentially causing serious health problems for animal species that are already battling other threats to their survival.Another recent study highlighted the danger that microplastics pose to filter feeders like manta rays and the world’s largest fish, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus).The Ocean Cleanup, based in the Netherlands, has launched a multimillion-dollar effort to develop the technology necessary to clear away half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the next five years. Now, with the nuanced understanding of the plastics that are trapped there that this new research provides, scientists say, we have a better idea of how to prevent our trash from ending up there in the first place.“The interesting piece is that at least half of what they’re finding is not consumer plastics, which are central to much of the current debate, but fishing gear,” marine ecologist George Leonard said in the National Geographic News article. Leonard, the chief scientist at the Ocean Conservancy, was not involved with this research.“This study is confirmation that we know abandoned and lost gear is an important source of mortality for a whole host of animals and we need to broaden the plastic conversation to make sure we solve this wedge of the problem,” he said.Plastic litters a beach in Singapore. Photo by vaidehi shah from Singapore (Litter on Singapore’s ECP) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.Banner image of a whale shark by Arturo de Frias Marques (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.Follow John Cannon on Twitter: @johnccannonCITATIONSGermanov, E. S., Marshall, A. D., Bejder, L., Fossi, M. C., & Loneragan, N. R. (2018). Microplastics: No small problem for filter-feeding megafauna. Trends in ecology & evolution.Lebreton, L., Slat, B., Ferrari, F., Sainte-Rose, B., Aitken, J., Marthouse, R., … Reisser, J. (2018). Evidence that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is rapidly accumulating plastic. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 4666.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. 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 John Cannoncenter_img Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Ecology, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Fish, Fishing, Microplastics, Oceans, Plastic, Pollution, Research, Saltwater Fish, Sharks, Sharks And Rays, Water, Water Pollution, Whale Sharks, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

Special judiciary on environmental crimes established in Peru

first_imgArticle published by Genevieve Belmaker The majority of crimes correspond to illegal mining and illegal logging, two activities that seriously affect the region and that so far in 2018 account for 53 complaints.One of the emblematic cases is related to the regional governor Luis Otsuka Salazar, who has two complaints about illegal mining and negligence in the performance of his duties.Aside from the court in Madre de Dios, experts hope to also see courts in other regions of Peru, including Loreto, Ucayali, Cusco, Piura, Lima and San Martin. On April 1 the first specialized court on environmental issues was launched in Madre de Dios, Peru. The region currently has the highest number of complaints of environmental crimes in the entire country, Julio César Guzmán Mendoza, the public prosecutor specialized in environmental crimes, told Mongabay.“As of February 20, 2018, we have 2,983 active environmental complaints in the judicial district of Madre de Dios,” Guzmán explained. “Of the approximately 20,000 cases in all of Peru almost 3,000 correspond to this region.” Complaints to the prosecutor’s office and related investigations include cases from 2009 through February 2018.Illegal mining is one of the most common environmental crimes in Madre de Dios. Photo by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.Most of the environmental crimes that occur in the region are related to illegal mining and logging, said Guzmán. But we must also add related crimes such as environmental pollution and deforestation.Illegal mining and damage to forestsOf the 64 cases presented so far this year, 15 complaints correspond specifically to illegal mining crimes and 38 refer to crimes against forests. The other 11 are linked to illicit trafficking of chemical inputs and use of machinery in illegal mining, environmental pollution, degradation of protected flora and fauna, and illegal trafficking of forest products.In 2017, of the 491 current cases, 97 are specifically related to illegal mining and 211 for deforestation, that is, 62 percent or 308 of the cases, correspond to these two environmental problems in the region: mining and illegal logging.Last year, in addition to the aforementioned crimes, there were reports of illegal trafficking of species, partly due to public officials granting illegal rights, among other crimes.For the prosecutor, one of the emblematic cases of Madre de Dios is linked to the regional governor Luis Otsuka Salazar, who has had a complaint about illegal mining against him since 2013. The complaint is in two courts, the transitory environmental preparatory investigation court of Cusco and the fourth preparatory investigation court specialized in environmental crimes of Madre de Dios.One of the areas affected by illegal logging is the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve. Photo courtesy of Mininter.In addition, since 2016 the regional governor has also been investigated for the illegal granting of territorial rights, a process that is already in the fourth preparatory investigation court of Madre de Dios.In this case, the complaint was based on an audit report from the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, which revealed the negligence and non-compliance of its functions as a regional authority.As for other emblematic cases, although all are important for the prosecutor, he highlighted those related to illegal mining in the sector called La Pampa or those of the native Tres Islas community.Entrapment in environmental justicePublic prosecutor Guzmán considers that the problem of environmental injustice in Peru can be clearly observed in Madre de Dios, where there is a conflict between the excessive burden of processes and the few assignments of prosecutors and attorneys to deal with them.“Although this new environmental court is a step forward, the problem of the justice system in Peru will not be solved by appointing a new judge or opening a new court,” Guzmán said.He also explained that the problem is not judicial, instead, it is due to the high burden to which prosecutors and attorneys are subject to, which leads to deficiencies in the investigations. “When there are deficient investigations, the judges are forced to release the defendants. And why does this happen? Because of a large amount of procedural burden which prevents further investigations.”Deforestation affects forest concessions in Madre de Dios. Owners must deal with illegal logging. Photo by Jack Lo Lau/Mongabay.In this regard, he mentioned that the office of the Specialized Attorney for Environmental Crimes of the Ministry of the Environment, which he directs, has a staff of eight lawyers for the 20,000 complaints that exist throughout Peru, including the 3,000 in Madre de Dios.In an interview with Mongabay, the president of the Superior Court of Justice of Madre de Dios, Kori Paulet Silva, said that currently there are only 200 cases prosecuted in Madre de Dios and that these are in the preparatory investigation stage in charge of the magistrates who work in the region.“Most of the complaints are still under investigation in the prosecutor’s offices specialized in environmental matters and these have not yet been prosecuted, so we have a low number of cases admitted to the Judiciary,” Paulet Silva explained, reaffirming that the entrapment is presented in the investigation stage, as he says, because in many cases the perpetrators of the crime are not identified, since these occur in remote fields and forests of the region. “If they don’t find the ones responsible for the crimes, and if the investigation does not move forward, then it does not advance towards its judicialization.”Paulet Silva indicated that the criminal activity against the environment is alarming in the region and that most of the cases are related to illegal mining, the same that drags other environmental crimes. “The immense wealth of Madre de Dios, which should be the engine for its development is, unfortunately, the entrance for underdevelopment,” he said.The new environmental courtPaulet Silva said he has some doubts about the new Specialized Court on Environmental Matters, including that the rule does not specify whether a judge will be in charge of a preparatory investigation or a judge for trial. The difference is that the first one is in charge of resolving the accusation requirements of the prosecutors, that is, reviewing the files and approving them so that they can enter the trial. The second one carries the judgments that lead to sanctions.Illegal and informal mining has already deforested more than 2,500 hectares of forest in Madre de Dios and pollutes the rivers with mercury. Photo: SPDA.The resolution of the Judicial Branch published on Jan. 24 in the newspaper El Peruano, states that, “The aforesaid court will have criminal, administrative litigation and constitutional environmental jurisdiction.”Paulet Silva indicated that he has already made the corresponding consultation with the executive directorate of the judiciary and is now awaiting a response. However, he said that this case could use a magistrate dedicated to applying the sanctions since Madre de Dios already has a preparatory investigation office that looks at environmental issues.A comprehensive vision of justice in PeruAlicia Abanto, assistant director for the Environment, Public Services and Indigenous Peoples at the Ombudsman’s Office, said that the creation of the new court is an appropriate measure adopted by the judiciary, especially in the region most affected by illegal mining.MMAP satellite images show deforestation in La Pampa, in Madre de Dios. Image via MAAP/Planet.However, she reflected on the complexity and role of other institutions that should contribute so that a judge can have all the elements to properly sanction the environmental crime.“The prosecution of crime and punishment is not only a function of the judge but also a task of the public ministry, prosecutors, police and other government agencies such as the Ministry of Energy and Mining or the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, to mention some related to environmental issues,” Abanto said.In relation to the overburdening of the Environmental Prosecutor’s Office, Abanto said that it would be convenient for the government to strengthen it with more resources and that also other prosecutors — Energy and Mining, of Agriculture, of Health — should be involved in the defense of the environment. “The protection of the environment is not only the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment but of multiple sectors,” she said.Jean Pierre Araujo, lawyer of the forestry program of the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (also known by its Spanish acronym SPDA), considered that the decision of the Judicial Power is in addition to the decision made by the Peruvian government in 2008, when the Specialized Attorney’s Offices for the Environment were created (also known by its acronym in Spanish, FEMA). “At that time we saw how there was an explosion of environmental complaints,” he explained.The expert of the SPDA stressed that this is a reform that follows from the Strategic Plan of the Environmental System of the Judiciary, approved in 2017 and in force until 2021. “It is a policy document that justifies these changes and allows the Judiciary, progressively, to improve the standards of knowledge and specialization in environmental matters.”However, he said that the courts for environmental crimes should also be established in other regions such as Loreto, Ucayali, Cusco, Piura, Lima and San Martin, among others. “The Strategic Plan includes nine priority regions for the establishment of environmental courts, but this year only one will be launched,” he explained.For his part, Mariano Castro Sánchez-Moreno, former vice minister of environmental management of the Ministry of Environment and ow a professor at the law school of the Catholic University of Peru, believes that the actions of the justice system in Peru have some gaps that must be overcome, such as the specialization.The former vice minister said that the treatment of environmental issues, “requires a sensitive management to what is happening.”“In addition, a knowledge of the legal matter to be treated in all its complexity,” he said. “Decisions should be taken considering the particularities that criminal environmental issues have.”He agreed with the other experts that the justice system, in general, should be strengthened. “The remediation and environmental rehabilitation are part of the system. The activity that has environmental prosecutors, the police and the Directorate General of Captaincies and Coast Guard, which is responsible for monitoring the rivers must have the right elements to perform their work in the right conditions,” concluded the expert.Banner image: La Pampa is another area destroyed by illegal mining in Madre de Dios. Photo courtesy of the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on February 23, 2018.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. 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, Deforestation, Environmental Crime, Featured, Forests, Governance, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Rainforests, Saving Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Tropical Forests last_img read more

Contender opening bout ends in 55 seconds

first_imgThere was an eerie silence and then disbelief at the Chinese Benevolent Association last Wednesday night, when the first fight in the 2016 Contender series between Richard ‘Frog’ Holmes and American Xzaviar Ford ended after only 55 seconds.Holmes was declared the winner by technical knockout (TKO), after Ford tore a tendon in his right shoulder and could not continue.After seeing two amateur bouts that ended by way of first-round knockouts, the large and enthusiastic crowd settled down for what was expected to be an exciting five-round bout between 19-year-old Ford, who is from North Carolina, USA, and Jamaica’s Holmes.Holmes, who is 28, was posted favourite by the crowd, because he had a 10-5 record as opposed to that of Ford, who had one win and three losses going into the fight. Holmes was also runner-up in the competition last year as a middleweight.Ford started aggressively, throwing jabs and moving in and out quickly, in an effort to get himself on the scorecards of the judges early. He landed a few good jabs to Holmes’ body and head, and gave the fans an early promise of an exciting fight.That was not to be, however, because while engaging in an exchange, Ford stopped abruptly, dropped his right shoulder and grimaced. Obviously in great pain, he was taken over to a neutral corner for an assessment by ring physician Dr AndrÈ McDonald, who advised referee Eion Jardine that the fight had to be stopped because Ford was in no condition to continue.Ford was then taken to his dressing room, where he was treated and then taken by ambulance to hospital. An MRI Wednesday night revealed that he had suffered a torn tendon in his right shoulder.He and his trainer Chris Joy left Jamaica yesterday for North Carolina.DISAPPOINTEDHolmes told The Gleaner afterwards that he was very disappointed at the way the fight ended. He said that he was very confident of victory and was sorry that his opponent had been injured and unable to continue.”I wanted a big [win] tonight to take me into the quarter finals, but unfortunately, that did not happen. I just have to move on,” he added.In the amateur bouts on the card, Joel Wedderburn from the St Thomas Boxing Club scored a first-round TKO victory over Iroyno Cleary from the Heavy Metal gym, while Samuel Grant from Sugar Knockout Gym knocked out Heavy Metal gym’s AndrÈ Sloley, also in the first round.last_img read more