Madagascar environmental activist convicted, sentenced — and paroled

first_imgArticle published by Rebecca Kessler Activism, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Environmentalists, Environment, Environmental Activism, Environmental Crime, Environmental Policy, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forests, Gold Mining, Governance, Government, Green, Human Rights, Mining, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Trees At a community meeting on September 27, a farmer named Raleva asked to see the permits of a gold mining company trying to restart work in his village in southeast Madagascar.He was arrested and held in prison for about one month. On October 26, a judge sentenced him to two years in prison, and then promptly released him on parole.This follows a recent pattern in the country in which activists are often given suspended sentences, seemingly as a way of keeping them quiet. ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar — Last week, an environmental activist in southeast Madagascar was convicted, sentenced to two years in prison — and immediately released on parole. This follows a recent pattern in the country in which activists are often given suspended sentences, seemingly as a way of keeping them quiet.The activist, who goes by the name Raleva, is a farmer in the village of Vohilava, where a gold mining company, Mac Lai Sima Gianna, has repeatedly tried to establish operations. At a meeting on September 27, the company announced that it had the permits to resume work in the area. After Raleva asked to see the permits, which, according to the National Environment Office, had not in fact been granted, he was arrested. He remained in prison for about one month leading up to his trial in Mananjary, the district capital, on October 26.Raleva just before he was taken away by the authorities on September 27 after publicly questioning a gold mining project near his village, Vohilava. His full name is Rajoany, but everyone calls him Raleva. Photo courtesy of Anonymous.The chef de district of Mananjary, a local official who had attended the meeting, charged Raleva with stealing his title — that is, falsely claiming that he, Raleva, was the chef de district. Raleva and other meeting attendees say that the charge is completely false. They pointed out to Mongabay that Raleva would have had no reason to lie about who he was while attending a meeting with his fellow villagers, who knew that he was a local farmer and not a government official.In a joint statement, six civil society groups in Madagascar and abroad, including Amnesty International, denounced the verdict.“The two year suspended sentence handed to Raleva continues the trend whereby the judicial system is used by the authorities to silence human rights activists and prevent them from doing their work,” the groups wrote. “He is being punished for exposing an allegedly non-compliant mining company in Madagascar. The suspended sentence must be immediately overturned, and Raleva cleared of any criminal record in relation to his peaceful human rights activism.”Map shows the location of Vohilava, Madagascar, Raleva’s village. Map courtesy of Google Maps.The prime minister’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the trial or the joint statement. The prosecutor’s office in Mananjary also could not be reached for comment this week.After the verdict, Raleva was released; the next day he returned home to Vohilava and his lawyer filed an appeal. A resident of Vohilava told Mongabay the community is thrilled to have Raleva back and is hopeful the appeal will clear his name.Mac Lai Sima Gianna’s machinery remains in Vohilava, but the company has yet to resume working in the area, despite the plans they announced at the September 27 meeting.A gold dredge, owned by the Mac Lai Sima Gianna company, dumping tailings into the Itsaka River near the village of Vohilava in southeast Madagascar last month. Much of the region depends on the river for fresh water. Photo courtesy of Anonymous.Banner image: A white spotted reed frog (Heterixalus alboguttatus) in Ranomafana National Park, about 30 miles west of Vohilava. 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.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

Is a plantation a forest? Indonesia says yes, as it touts a drop in deforestation

first_imgDeforestation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Indonesia, Palm Oil, Plantations, Protected Areas, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Redd, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests Indonesia has reported a second straight year of declining deforestation, and credited more stringent land management policies for the trend.However, the government’s insistence on counting pulpwood plantations as reforested areas has once again sparked controversy over how the very concept of a forest should be defined.Researchers caution that the disparity between Indonesia’s methodology and the standard more commonly used elsewhere could make it difficult for the government to qualify for funding to mitigate carbon emissions from deforestation. JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has reported a second straight annual decline in the country’s deforestation rate, but continues to confound with its definition of what constitutes a forest.The Ministry of Environment and Forestry recorded 4,790 square kilometers (1,850 square miles) of deforestation in 2017. That’s down 24 percent from the 2016 figure, which in turn represented a 42 percent reduction from 2015, when record-breaking fires contributed to a total of 10,900 square kilometers (4,210 square miles) of deforestation across the archipelago.Of the total deforestation that occurred last year, 3,080 square kilometers (1,190 square miles) were recorded in forest areas, while the rest were in “other-use areas,” known as APL and which include oil palm plantations and infrastructure development sites.Intact forest cover was recorded at 936,000 square kilometers, or about 361,400 square miles — an area nearly the size of California’s land mass.An illegally logged tree in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Habitat loss played a critical role in reducing rhino populations, but most experts now believe the species’ low birth rate is a more pressing problem. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Plantations as forestsEnvironment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar credited the decline to “efforts from multiple policies” being put in place. In particular she pointed to so-called production forests, which are typically leased for pulpwood and timber plantations.“There has been a decline in deforestation in production forests, from 63 percent [of total deforestation] in 2014 to 44 percent in 2017,” she said.However, the role of production forests, and the industrial plantations they cover, in deforestation assessments has always been a contentious issue in Indonesia.Researchers and conservation think tanks, such as the World Resources Institute (WRI), define deforestation as the conversion of natural forest cover to other land-cover categories. That means the clearing of forest for the cultivation of industrial plantations — acacia and eucalyptus for pulpwood, for instance — automatically counts as deforestation.The Indonesian government, on the other hand, doesn’t take that view. It counts forest loss in primary forest, secondary forest and man-made plantations, including industrial plantations that are established to produce a high volume of timber in a short period of time.“In the ministry’s classification, there’s only one class of plantations, and that includes all man-made forests,” Belinda Margono, a researcher at the University of Maryland (UMD) and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said in an interview. “So trees in industrial plantations are included [in the calculation].”That means industrial plantations are not perceived as non-forested areas once the areas are replanted with acacia and eucalyptus trees, according to the ministry’s official in charge of gathering forest-cover data, Ruandha Agung Suhardiman.“Planting in industrial forest areas is considered reforestation,” he said.It’s a distinction heavy on semantics: the government defines deforestation as the “permanent alteration from forested area into a non-forested area as a result of human activities,” per a 2009 decree from the forestry minister. Industrial plantations, because of their cycles of planting and harvesting, are seen as not causing “permanent alteration” to the forest cover.An orangutan in a forest in North Sumatra. Photo by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.Disparities in reportingThat difference in definitions has led to stark disparities in how deforestation is reported in Indonesia. A 2014 study led by researchers at UMD found that Indonesia’s deforestation rate had surpassed that of Brazil, giving the archipelago the dubious distinction of having the highest deforestation rate in the world.According to the study, Indonesia lost 8,400 square kilometers (3,240 square miles) of natural, or primary, forest in 2012, while Brazil’s deforestation rate at the time stood at 4,600 square kilometers (1,780 square miles).However, the official deforestation figure from Indonesia’s forestry ministry that year was significantly smaller, at 6,100 square kilometers (2,360 square miles).The WRI, whose Global Forest Watch is the first tool of its kind to monitor global forests on a monthly basis, says it’s important to address this difference.“As far as I know, industrial forest plantations are included in the [ministry’s] calculation,” said WRI Indonesia country director Tjokorda Nirarta Samadhi. “Meanwhile, internationally, at least [in the system] used by Global Forest Watch, industrial forest plantations aren’t counted. Instead, we see deforestation as loss of intact natural forests.”The WRI, a Washington-based think tank with an office in Indonesia, has cautioned that the disparity may hamper Indonesia’s bid to seek foreign funding to support its initiatives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation under a scheme called REDD+: without a universally agreed-on definition of deforestation, it might be difficult for Indonesia to cite its own data to claim funding.“Using your own definition isn’t wrong, and every country has the right to do that,” Nirarta said. “But is the definition agreed on by other global actors?”He cited the example of Norway, which has pledged $1 billion in REDD+ funding for Indonesia, and said that if Norway deemed industrial plantations as contributing to deforestation, “then it’s no use having your own definition.”Minister Siti, though, dismissed the controversy over the definition as part of a conspiracy to paint Indonesia’s forestry sector in a negative light.“The word ‘deforestation’ implies international ‘pressure’ in judging Indonesia for its performances related to sustainability,” she said. “And among other things, [the word can] be restrictive [for Indonesia].”She said deforestation did not always have to have a negative connotation, for instance when it leads to economic development.“Let’s say there are 60 villages in a forest, and they can’t be accessed because all they have are gravel roads,” she said. “We just have to pave the roads. Should we call that deforestation? We still need to clear the land, but in a controlled manner.”Siti added that the concept of “zero deforestation” should not apply to a developing country such as Indonesia.A graph showing Indonesia’s deforestation trend based on the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s data since 1996. Graphic courtesy of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.Palm oil expandingBeyond the disagreement over the definition, the latest data highlight a sustained decline in the rate of deforestation, which averaged more than 10,000 square kilometers (3,860 square miles) a year throughout the 1990s and 2000s. (The highest rates were recorded in 1996 and 2000, topping out at more than 35,000 square kilometers, or 13,500 square miles.)Siti acknowledged the decline in recent years, but cautioned that the trend “is not a given.” Indeed, deforestation in APL areas — driven largely by oil palm plantations — rose to nearly 36 percent of total deforestation, up from 24 percent in 2014.One of the consequences of this proliferation of oil palm plantations has been the destruction of forests that are home to critically endangered species such as orangutans. The problem came into gruesome focus earlier this year with the discovery in Central Kalimantan province of an orangutan that had been decapitated and shot multiple times, in an area bordered by five oil palm plantations.Siti said she was aware of the case and was particularly concerned, noting that more than 200 oil palm plantations were currently operating in orangutan habitat, accounting for a fifth of the 20,000 square kilometers (7,720 square miles) of palm plantation area in Central Kalimantan.Operators of oil palm plantations often consider orangutans a pest because they are known to eat the palm fruit. A 2005 study by the conservation NGO Friends of the Earth found that one such company in Central Kalimantan province would pay local people 150,000 rupiah (about $10) for every orangutan killed.Fire set for peatland clearing in Riau Province, Indonesia in July 2015. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerFires downAnother trend highlighted in the 2017 data is the increase in deforestation in protected and conservation areas, amounting to 20 percent of the total, up from 12 percent in 2014.For Siti, that’s a move “in the right direction,” because it means policies aimed at agrarian reform and empowerment are working. Those policies, under the government’s “social forestry” program, entail moving people out of production forests and into protected and conservation areas, where deforestation can be more stringently controlled.Another government program also yielded good results last year — namely, the packet of policies aimed at preventing forest and land fires, particularly in peat areas.The devastating fires of 2015 scorched 26,100 square kilometers (10,080 square miles) of land; blanketed vast swaths of the country in a haze that sickened half a million Indonesians; sparked a diplomatic row with Singapore and Malaysia; and, at its peak, generated daily carbon dioxide emissions that exceeded those from all U.S. economic activity.In 2016, a string of regulations to better protect peatlands was rolled out, and the incidence of fires decreased. In 2017, the area burned was down to 1,654 square kilometers (640 square miles).“What’s important is to keep mitigating fires and preventing fires on peatlands,” Siti said. Banner image: Buttress roots of a rainforest tree in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Webs under water: The really bizarre lives of intertidal spiders

first_imgAnimals, Arachnids, Biodiversity, Conservation, Habitat, Interns, Oceans, Research, Spiders, Wildlife Article published by Maria Salazar Scientists have discovered a 15th species of intertidal spider, a family of unusual arachnids that live in coastal habitats that are submerged during high tides.The newest species, named after singer Bob Marley, was discovered living on brain coral off the Australian coast.Scientists know that some species create air pockets with their hairs, while others build waterproof webs, but little is known about most of these fascinating spiders.Intertidal spiders face a number of threats, including rising sea levels due to climate change, and pollution. Spiders are one of the most ubiquitous creatures on Earth, found on every continent except Antarctica. Whether in underground caves in the Amazon or the icy climes of Mount Everest, there is a species of spider that has moved into practically every land habitat. But some arachnids are determined to not even let the oceans stand in their way — and scientists have just discovered a new one. A spider named for the late reggae legend Bob Marley is the newest member of the 15 known species of so-called intertidal spiders. These weird spiders inhabit the intertidal zone: a stretch of land that is submerged during high tide and exposed during low. Scientists from Australia’s Queensland Museum and the Zoological Museum at the University of Hamburg, Germany, first found Bob Marley’s spider (Desis bobmarleyi) in 2009 and described it last December. A male Bob Marley’s spider (Desis bobmarleyi), discovered in Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia. Photo by Robert Raven“The connection to Bob Marley was first through his song ‘high tide [or] low tide’ as these spiders live in the high tide low tide zone,” said Barbara Baehr, a research scientist from the Queensland Museum and the lead author of the paper.The mix of land and sea in the intertidal zone supports a wildly diverse set of habitats. For instance, Baehr found Bob Marley’s spider on brain corals in shallow reefs on the rocky Queensland coast. But another intertidal species, Desis formidablis, or the formidable spider, lives under boulders on rocky shores and hides in barnacle shells in South Africa. To date, scientists have recorded intertidal spiders along the coastlines of Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa, the Pacific Islands and India. Bob Marley’s spider (Desis bobmarleyi) on a brain coral at low tide. Photo by Paul HoyeThe most well-known intertidal spider, the marine spider (Desis marina), a species from New Zealand, has been found to live in the holdfasts of bull kelp, a type of seaweed. Holdfasts are like the roots of plants, allowing the seaweed to attach firmly to rocky surfaces in the turbulent intertidal zone. Intertidal spiders shelter in these hideouts during the high tide, and come out during the low tide to feed on amphipods, tiny microscopic crustaceans with no shells.Surviving in this landscape is no mean feat, says David Schiel, professor of marine ecology at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Schiel, though not an arachnologist, has studied other intertidal organisms extensively. He said that apart from adapting to breathing under and above water, animals in the intertidal zone need to survive constant changes in temperature and impact from wave action as well as extreme weather such as storms and cyclones. “Generally speaking, organisms have to be pretty tough and resilient to withstand these extremes, which can occur on a daily, seasonal and inter-annual basis,” he said. While organisms like barnacles, limpets and shellfish have evolved physical adaptations to survive in this wild environment, intertidal spiders are built much like their land relatives. So how do they breathe underwater? In 1967, Bruno Lamoral, an arachnologist from Natal Museum in South Africa, attempted to solve this mystery by studying the formidable spider. Lamoral found that the spider was able to stay underwater for up to 24 hours at a time, thanks to a remarkable adaptation: tiny water-repelling hairs on its body, known as hydrofuge hairs, that trap a layer of air around it. Desis formidablis, the formidable spider from South Africa, has tiny hairs that repel water and trap air when they are underwater. Photo by Sally Sivewright, www.scientistinlimbo.comLamoral believed the spider had more tricks up its sleeve. During his study, he noticed it managed to stay underwater even after the oxygen in the air film was used up, and speculated that the spider’s entire body acted like a gill, fixing oxygen from the water. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to pinpoint how exactly this could happen.More than a decade later, in 1983, Donald Mcqueen and Colin McLay from the University of York in Canada and University of Canterbury, respectively, described more complex adaptations in their study of marine spiders in New Zealand. In some ways, bull kelp is an even tougher habitat because it is only completely exposed during extreme low tides. So unlike its South African cousin, the marine spider is sometimes submerged for days. Yet as Mcqueen and McLay found, they didn’t rely on physical gills.Instead marine spiders spun thick webs inside the holdfasts, which trapped enough air for them to survive the submergence. Examining the webs, the scientists realized the spiders chose spaces that could hold enough air for their body size. Those that didn’t, perished. The root-like holdfasts of the bull kelp in New Zealand can shelter Desis marina, the marine spider, underwater for several days. Photo by Stug Stug via Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA-3.0To make the most of their stored oxygen, marine spiders also lowered their respiration rates, breathing less frequently than their land-dwelling cousins. They also used up to 90 percent of the oxygen in their nest. Thanks to these strategies, marine spiders are able to lead very full lives inside these kelp holdfasts. They hunt amphipods that also live in the kelp, move in with potential mates, and even nest under the sea. The spiders only really need the low tide to find mates. Unfortunately, research into the ecology of these fascinating creatures seems to have come to halt since the 1980s. Apart from the discovery of Bob Marley’s spider, the only new piece of recent information was a 2017 study reporting several new locations of the marine spider in New Zealand. Cor Vink, curator of natural history at Canterbury Museum in New Zealand and the lead author of that study, said records of the marine spider were very sparse, “but once we developed a good technique to find them they turned up to be in more places and greater numbers than previously known.” For the other 14 known species of intertidal spiders scattered around the world, even such basic information on distribution and population is missingAlthough unsure of why intertidal spiders are so poorly studied, Vink was excited by the discovery of the new species. “It’s interesting that new species are still being found in such unusual habitats,” he said.But how safe will those habitats be in the future?According to Schiel, populations of bull kelp are largely stable and grow mostly in places away from human habitation in New Zealand. However, this may not be the case for other spider habitats. “Because of their position between the land and full marine environment, intertidal areas are subjected to impacts in both directions,” Schiel said, citing a list of threats across the planet that include agricultural runoff, excess nutrients, fine sediments from the land, and rising water levels and temperatures from the sea — all of which could impact intertidal spiders. Vink believes these unusual spiders will continue to bewitch more scientists in the future. “There are so many interesting questions,” he said. “How does its web work in salt water? How does it survive submerged for so long? How does it sense when the tide is coming back in?” CitationsBaehr, B. C., Raven, R., & Harms, D. (2017). “High Tide or Low Tide”: Desis bobmarleyi sp. n., a new spider from coral reefs in Australia’s Sunshine State and its relative from Sāmoa (Araneae, Desidae, Desis). Evolutionary Systematics, 1, 111. Lamoral, B. H. (1968). On the ecology and habitat adaptations of two intertidal spiders, Desis formidabilis (OP Cambridge) and Amaurobioides africanus Hewitt, at. Annals of the Natal Museum, 20(1), 151-193. Mcqueen, D. J., & McLay, C. L. (1983). How does the intertidal spider Desis marina (Hector) remain under water for such a long time?. New Zealand journal of zoology, 10(4), 383-391. McLay, C. L., & Hayward, T. L. (1987). Reproductive biology of the intertidal spider Desis marina (Araneae: Desidae) on a New Zealand rocky shore. Journal of Zoology, 211(2), 357-372. Mcqueen, D. J., Pannell, L. K., & McLay, C. L. (1983). Respiration rates for the intertidal spider Desis marina (Hector). New Zealand journal of zoology, 10(4), 393-399. McLay, C. L., & Hayward, T. L. (1987). Population structure and use of Durvillaea antarctica holdfasts by the intertidal spider Desis marina (Araneae: Desidae). New Zealand journal of zoology, 14(1), 29-42. Vink, C. J., McQuillan, B. N., Simpson, A. H., & Correa-Garhwal, S. M. (2017). The marine spider, Desis marina (Araneae: Desidae): new observations and localities. The Weta, 51, 71-79. 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

Films celebrate big cats on World Wildlife Day

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Big cats is the theme of the global celebration of this year’s World Wildlife Day on March 3.A big cats film festival hosted by CITES and Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival at the UN headquarters in New York City will screen 16 films selected as finalists.Big cats are key apex predators that keep ecosystems healthy, and eight species are being celebrated for the event: the clouded leopard, jaguar, cheetah, leopard, lion, snow leopard, tiger and puma. Big cats around the world face many challenges, from diminishing prey populations and habitat degradation, to poaching for their meat and body parts. A current spike in the killing of Bolivia’s jaguars for the illegal trade in their teeth for jewelry is perhaps the most recent and egregious example of the latter.But there are notable efforts to raise awareness and galvanize support for these important apex predators led by some governments and NGOs like the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Panthera, National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative, and many others.Cheetah with cubs. Photo courtesy of ZSLNow added to this list is an upcoming event for World Wildlife Day on March 3. A key celebration of this global event will be the International Big Cats Film Festival, on March 2 and 3, jointly presented by Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The festival will be hosted at the United Nations headquarters in New York City and the Explorers Club, as well as many other places around the world.“When it comes to big cats, there is an urgent need for action, now,” Lisa Samford, executive director of Jackson Hole WILD, told Mongabay by email. “The International Big Cats Film Festival creates a bank of programming for free local events that raise awareness on a global scale to empower local stakeholders and cat conservation advocates as they address local issues. By working together, people around the world can impact public policy decisions governing wildlife trade, thereby really making a difference.”The event and related programming focuses on eight particular species: the clouded leopard, jaguar, cheetah, leopard, lion, snow leopard, tiger and puma.African lion. Photo courtesy of Julie Larsen Maher“These eight cats were chosen by CITES to underscore the systemic importance of these apex predators,” Samford said. “By saving these species and the habitats they range, we simultaneously impact the entire ecosystem of species that share their territories.”“Over the past century we have been losing big cats, the planet’s most majestic predators, at an alarming rate,” CITES secretary-general John Scanlon told Mongabay by email. “Big cats is not only the theme of this international film festival we’re co-organizing with Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, but more importantly the theme of this year’s UN World Wildlife Day.“World Wildlife Day 2018 gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about their plight and to galvanize support for the many global and national actions that are underway to save these iconic species,” Scanlon added. “Through World Wildlife Day, the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife, we will generate the level of attention big cats deserve to be sure they are with us for generations to come.“All species of wild cats, including big cat species, are protected under CITES through the regulation of international trade,” Scanlon said. “For nearly 20 years, CITES has highlighted the role of organized criminal activity in the illicit trafficking in Asian big cats, which have always been high on the CITES agenda, and over the last seven years we have seen our efforts to combat transnational organized wildlife crime at global level and on the front lines significantly enhanced.”Amur tiger and cub. Photo by Julie Larsen MaherIn an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible, the expanded definition of big cats is being used for World Wildlife Day, which includes not only lions, tigers, leopards and jaguars — the four largest wild cats that can roar — but also cheetahs, snow leopards, pumas and clouded leopards. Big cat species are found in Africa, Asia, and North, Central and South America, representing a virtually global distribution.Event organizers have released a list of the 16 finalists for the film festival; these will all be screened at the event and the winners announced.Readers who are not in the New York area or are outside the United States are invited to get involved by hosting a screening of the films in their own communities at a later date. Learn more about that here. Learn more about World Wildlife Day here. Article published by Erik Hoffnercenter_img Animals, Arts, Big Cats, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Cats, Cheetahs, Cites, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Film, Jaguars, Leopards, Lions, Snow Leopards, Tigers last_img read more

Ire and ore: Demands grow for clarity around Cambodian gold mine

first_imgArticle 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 overSponsored Conflict, Environment, Forests, Gold Mining, Industry, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Mercury, Mining, Pollution, Rainforests, Resource Conflict, Tropical Forests, Water Pollution *Name changed on request to protect the anonymity of the person interviewed.Banner photo: A drone photo shows the gold mine site and surrounding forest and farmland near the community of Tropeang Tontem. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaFEEDBACK: 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. Earlier this year, residents of Tropeang Tontem in the province of Preah Vihear submitted a petition to the government Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. It complained about their treatment by local officials and a mining company.According to Cambodian media, the petition was signed by 56 families. It states that government and company officials “forced us, coerced us and cheated us into thumb-printing a document that stated that we were farming on part of the company‘s land.” The petition requests that the document be “annulled in its entirety.”Residents are also concerned about the intensive chemical processing of the gold ore in the open environment, a process that uses highly toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury.A representative from a Cambodian NGO said the organization will be opposed to the mine until an environmental impact assessment of its operations is conducted, and until there is more clarity regarding mine activity. A gold mine in the remote northern Cambodian province of Preah Vihear is being opposed by local people who claim they have lost their land and are being manipulated by authorities acting for the mining company.On January 12, residents from the affected village of Tropeang Tontem in Rovieng district submitted a petition to the government Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. It complained about their treatment by local officials and the company allegedly responsible, Delcom Cambodia Pte Ltd.According to the Phnom Penh Post, the petition statement was signed by 56 families.  Translated from Khmer to English, it states that government and company officials “forced us, coerced us and cheated us into thumb-printing a document that stated that we were farming on part of the company‘s land.” The statement requested that the document be “annulled in its entirety.”The mine site near Tropeang Tontem. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaAccording to local reports, the mine has been expanding since Delcom first obtained a license in 1994. Residents say encroachment on village farmlands and forest by the mine escalated in 2015.“We are completely opposed to this mine continuing its operations until there is a detailed, impartial and independent investigation of the alleged human rights abuses that continue to occur there – which include land-theft,” Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, Director of watchdog organization Mother Nature Cambodia (MNC), said in an interview with Mongabay.Local residents tell of heavy-handed tactics used by Delcom when, in 2011, they say its security forces cleared small artisanal miners out of the site who had flocked to the area to make their fortunes. Residents say one miner was killed and several injured by mine security during the removal. Direct clashes have now given way to simmering discontentment as mining operations have scaled-up but land disputes remain unresolved.“Some other families have land titles but right now a lot of families are still arguing about their land,” said Hun Vannak, an activist with MNC. Fresh out of jail for his video activism, he visited the mine site on three occasions last year resulting in the release of a campaign video. He explained that he and a colleague were stopped by security, including Cambodian soldiers, three times while visiting the area.After release of the MNC video last July, officials made efforts to resolve the land disputes by convening a meeting and inviting two of the affected families to negotiate. One family was awarded alternative land near the site: “They measured that the land was 12.5 hectares belonging to Chet Yi’s family. The provincial head asked the commune head to make the land title,” Hun Vannak said.The assertion by local people that mine security is provided by military units stationed in the area is supported by press reports. Sun Ta* a member of MNC who made three visits to the area in 2017 told Mongabay, “I saw a motorbike with an army number plate.”A motorbike sporting a military-issued license plate reportedly seen near the mine site. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaA pickup truck with a military license plate reportedly observed near the mine. Image courtesy of Mother Nature Cambodia“I am sure. I am not just saying that without knowing about it. It [the mine] is related to H.E. Hing Bung Heng, as those based here are all soldiers, members of his bodyguard unit. I see it every day, they are all from the bodyguard unit,” said village elder Tuy Chenng when he was interviewed by MNC for their video in 2017.General Hing Bun Hiang is reportedly the commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s personal bodyguard unit. The General has neither confirmed nor denied the rumor despite questions that have circulated in the Cambodian media concerning his involvement.“At 6pm I heard the noise of blasting,” said one activist who preferred not to be named, explaining that there are two work shifts at the camp and the blasting takes place at night. She claimed that of the thousand or so workers, most are Chinese with very few Cambodians working there. Above one tower on site the Chinese flag can clearly be seen flying.Representatives from Mother Nature Cambodia report seeing this Chinese flag flying above a drilling rig at the mine site. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaVillagers are also concerned about the intensive chemical processing of the gold ore in the open environment, a process that uses highly toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury.“Chet Yi’s 13-year-old sons found the containers outside the fence [of the mine site] and brought them to the house,” said Hun Vannak, explaining the photos he took in the affected community last June. One shows a 50-kilogram barrel with a label describing the contents as 98 percent pure sodium cyanide manufactured in Anhui, China. Another shows a plastic beverage bottle appearing to contain mercury.“It does suggest use of potassium or sodium cyanide to dissolve and thereby extract gold from heaped or piled up crude ore,” Richard Harkinson, a mining expert and consultant to the London Mining Network, said in an email to Mongabay.An empty 50-kilogram drum of sodium cyanide that was reportedly recovered from the mine perimeter by community members in 2017. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaA child from the village neighboring the mine site shows a plastic beverage bottle that appears to contain mercury, which he says he recovered from the perimeter fence at the mining site. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaAerial drone footage captured near the mine by activists shows what appears to be the heap leaching process whereby the gold rock ore is first crushed before being moved into mounds onto which cyanide or mercury is poured to extract the gold particles.The leftover contaminated mine waste slurry called “tailings” are generally stored behind holding dams. Failure of these often poorly constructed dams has been widely identified as the primary cause of numerous international mining disasters. For example in November 2015 the Samarco Mineracao tailings dam in Brazil collapsed, releasing more than 30 million cubic meters of mining waste into a nearby river.Heaped piles of crushed ore are visible in this drone photo. The gold is extracted by pouring cyanide and/or mercury onto the piles of crushed ore. This produces toxic waste tailings, which are stored in ponds behind small holding dams. Image courtesy of Mother Nature Cambodia“Relatively low concentrations of cyanide can be highly toxic to people and wildlife,” states the website of the Cyanide Code, continuing: “Cyanide is acutely toxic to humans.”The Cyanide Code was set up in 2000 with support from the United Nations Environment Programme as a voluntary mining industry response to repeated spills of cyanide at mine sites. “Spills and other incidents involving cyanide solutions at gold mines such as the January 2000 incident at a Romanian gold mine demonstrated to the gold mining industry‚ governments and the public that better management of cyanide was needed,” its website states.None of the gold mining companies operating in Cambodia are listed as signatories of the Cyanide Code.“The most significant risk from the use of cyanide solutions in gold mining is the possible leaching into soil and groundwater,” states a European Commission report on cyanide. It explains that fish are especially at risk: “Cyanide concentrations of 1 microgram (one-millionth of a gram) per liter of water can be fatal to fish.”“Due to risks to people and the environment a number of countries such as Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic have banned cyanide in mining,” the report explains.Evidence suggests that Deleum Berhad holdings, a Malaysian company, is still majority owner of subsidiary Delcom Cambodia. The Malaysian company has so far denied any involvement. Deleum’s main business is services to oil and gas industries. The gold mine operations were not directly discussed in its 2016 Annual Review, but the review did mention Deleum’s role as majority owner of Cambodian subsidiaries.Deleum Berhad’s report for 2016 indicates that its wholly owned company, called Deleum Services Holding Limited, owns 60 percent of two companies with similar names to that of the company in charge of the gold mining and processing site in Rovieng: Delcom Power (Cambodia) Limited and Delcom Utilities (Cambodia) Limited.Two government mining licenses support this. One is an agreement between the Cambodian government and Delcom Cambodia Pte Ltd. signed in March of 1994, for mining exploration, development and exploitation in an area covering 216 square kilometers. In 2004 the exploration license was renewed by Cambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy. However press reports indicate that the exploitation license lapsed in 2016 and is in the process of renewal.A backhoe clears land to expand the mine site onto land claimed by villagers. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaA fortified perimeter fence surrounds the site, which local residents claim has been built on their farmland. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaOne of the co-signatories of the 1994 contract is a “Mr. Vivekannathan S/O M.V. Nathan,” acting as the president of Delcom Cambodia Pte Ltd and managing director for Delcom Services Sdn Bhd. The latter assumed its present name of Deleum Berhad in 2006. Deleum Berhad’s website lists, as a member of its board of directors, a Malaysian national by the name of Datuk Vivekannathan a/l M.V. Nathan. He is listed as the group’s current non-executive deputy chairman, having held other positions in the group in the past, including that of managing director and president.However, Deleum’s current ownership of the mine is disputed by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party National Assembly member Thavy Nhem, formerly Managing Director of Delcom Cambodia. On August 4, 2017, the Phnom Penh Post reported that he denied Delcom was involved. “But that company is no longer there,” he said. “We don’t know who is there.”The report also supported statements by community members and mine workers that one of the mines belonged to Hun Seng Ny, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s youngest sister.Although Delcom has had a license to explore and exploit gold, The Ministry of Mines and Energy stated in the Khmer Times that the first officially sanctioned gold mine was the more recently established Mesco Gold.Mother Nature Cambodia director Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson says this raises questions about the nature of Delcom’s mining license. “The information on the status of the license was not clear,” Gonzalez-Davidson told Mongabay during an interview. “There is hardly any information at all on what are they officially doing: are they prospecting? Are they extracting?”Gonzalez-Davidson says the organization will be opposed to the mine until there is, “an assessment on the environmental impacts the mining and extraction is creating, and until Cambodians get to know how much gold is being extracted out of the area.”Neither Delcom Cambodia nor Deleum Berhad responded to multiple requests for comment for this story, nor did Chea Sophara, Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. The Ministry of Mines and Energy also declined to comment.last_img read more

Can You Legally Fly A Drone Through A Fireworks Show?

first_img4. Inside the FireworksCreated By: NotaDrone 3. Hong Kong Fireworks 2015Created By: Team Blacksheep Flying a drone through a fireworks show is certainly impressive. But is it legal?Video footage of a drone flying through a fireworks show (like the clips below) is awe-inspiring…but like many dangerous things, it’s also illegal.Can I Use My Drone at a Fireworks Show?NO! Flying a drone through a fireworks show is not only illegal, it’s a felony that is punishable by up to a $40,000 fine and a minimum of 5 years in prison with a maximum of 10 years. Still think that footage is worth it? This is because local law enforcement will establish a no-fly zone around a public fireworks show area. Once they do this, you might as well be flying your drone at an airport in the eyes of the law.There are also other dangers associated with shooting a fireworks show with a drone. For example, if a firework were to hit your drone and bounce towards a crowd, bad things can happen. There’s also the whole ‘getting your drone destroyed by an exploding firework’ thing… that’s no fun.You can shoot a fireworks show from a safe distance away as long as you are not in an active no-fly zone. Just make sure to contact local law offices to see if there are any temporary no-fly zones you need to know about. Also, be on the lookout for any fireworks helicopter tours that may be going on in your area.Can I Fly A Drone Through Fireworks I Shoot Off?This question is a legal grey area and you should look at both your state and local laws regarding this issue. Not just the FAA, but also the local fire department who have authority when it comes to fireworks. If you want more information regarding this subject, I highly recommend checking out Gregory McNeal’s article “Flying A Drone Through Fireworks May Land You In Prison” on Forbes.ConclusionI personally recommend not risking it. You know there are going to be some dummies out there who will shoot drone footage through fireworks shows. Just watch their videos when they upload them on the 5th of July. Oh, and be sure to leave some comments so they’ll have something to read on July 6th after posting bail.In the meantime, here are 5 videos showcasing drones flying through and near fireworks show. Again, this is dangerous and illegal, but the footage is undeniably stunning.1. Fireworks Filmed with DroneCreated By: Nick Ti 5. 2015 Detroit FireworksCreated By: Green Sky CreativeThis is a great example of footage shot from a safe distance. I’m not sure if you can legally fly a drone in downtown Detroit, but the video is nonetheless awesome.Want some more drone inspiration? Check out a few of the following links:15 Videos That Prove Drone Piloting Isn’t EasyReach New Heights of Inspiration With These Drone VideosConcept Art: The Apple DroneHave you ever shot drone footage through a fireworks show? Should it be illegal? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 2. 4th July 2014 Nashville FireworksCreated By: Hytchmelast_img read more

BJP demands apology from Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik over BJD flag on martyr’s coffin

first_imgOpposition BJP on Friday demanded an unconditional apology from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik soon after a photograph of martyr Ajit Kumar Sahoo’s coffin, draped in a BJD flag, went viral on social media. The photograph was taken on Thursday and it was uploaded on Friday. Ajit Kumar Sahoo, a jawan of the 44 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) hailed from Dhenkanal district in Odisha. He was critically injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Jammu & Kashmir’s Pulwama district on June 17 and later succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at the hospital on June 18. “Let BJD president Naveen Patnaik tender unconditional apology for hurting sentiments of the people and the martyr’s family,” BJP Ex-Servicemen Cell State President Colonel B.K. Bastia told reporters here. “It is unfortunate that the martyr’s coffin was draped with a BJD flag instead of the Tricolour,” Mr. Bastia said. BJP national vice -president and former MP Baijayant Panda also demanded an apology from the ruling Party. “Very unfortunate, politicising the death of an Indian soldier by the ruling party in Odisha draping his coffin with their party flag instead of the Tricolour. ….,” Mr. Panda tweeted. “The BJD people offered floral tribute to the martyr near Khuntuni on the way to our village in Dhenkanal district. They covered the coffin with the BJD flag. The BJD flag was removed later. My brother was not working for any political party,” the martyr’s brother, Parameswar Sahoo, said. Odisha governor Ganeshi Lal and many other persons had paid tribute to the martyr as soon the body reached the Biju Patnaik International Airport late night on Wednesday. The coffin was then taken to Dhenkanal Mini Stadium and later to his native village Badasuanla where his mortal remains was consigned to flames. BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra has, however, described the incident as unfortunate and condemnable. “Our Party has a lot of respect for the martyrs and we condemn the incident. Stringent action will be taken against those who are involved in this episode,” he said.last_img read more

Jamaican High Commissioner Opens Emancipation Exhibition in London

first_img Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Her Excellency, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, opened an exhibition in London on Tuesday, November 5, marking the 175th anniversary of the 1838 Emancipation of African slaves in the British West Indies.The exhibition titled: ‘Making Freedom: Riots, Rebellions and Revolutions’, will run at the Royal Geographical Society before touring the UK.It is the initiative of the Windrush Foundation and presents the stories of the men and women, including Jamaica’s National Hero, Samuel Sharpe, whose struggles for freedom across the British colonies helped to bring about the emancipation of millions of slaves.High Commissioner Ndombet-Assamba said the exhibition reminds us that the journey to emancipation was long and difficult.“During this, the 175th anniversary of Emancipation in the Caribbean,  it (exhibition)  also reminds us that …emancipation was not the end as there were many more struggles to overcome such as discrimination, prejudice, and to gain basic human rights,” she said.High Commissioner Ndombet-Assamba commended the Windrush Foundation for not confining the display to Black History Month in October, and also for taking it across the UK.“I am also very pleased that this exhibition … will run throughout the year and will tour the United Kingdom with a special focus on educating teachers about this important aspect of not just Caribbean but also British history. As a Jamaican, all of this is very familiar to me and so I am happy to see that this history is being brought to the wider British public in a very meaningful way,” she added.The Making Freedom exhibition celebrates those who resisted enslavement, those who fought to end it, as well as those in Britain, who worked to improve social, economic and cultural conditions in the Caribbean.It features more than 80 images from the Royal Geographical Society’s collections and includes a number of audio-visual experiences for visitors to delve deeper into individual stories.Visitors will learn about the unrests – such as Jamaica’s 1931 Christmas Rebellion – that ultimately led to emancipation, as well as the struggles for independence that ensued.The High Commissioner said the exhibition showed that the foundation was continuing its core ethos of promoting good community relations, while endeavouring to eliminate discrimination and making the general public aware of the contribution of African and Caribbean settlers and their descendants to Britain’s prosperity and heritage.Windrush Project Director, Arthur Torrington, said that the exhibition is breaking new ground in the way that the story of Emancipation is told. “It shows how the Africans were the agents of their own liberation,” he stated. High Commissioner Ndombet-Assamba said the exhibition reminds us that the journey to emancipation was long and difficult. Story Highlights The exhibition titled: ‘Making Freedom: Riots, Rebellions and Revolutions’, will run at the Royal Geographical Society. Visitors will learn about the unrests – such as Jamaica’s 1931 Christmas Rebellion – that ultimately led to emancipation.last_img read more

GE Nedstack Team Up on ZeroEmission Tech for Cruise Ships

first_imgzoomlllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license General Electric’s (GE) Power Conversion business and Nedstack, a fuel cell manufacturer, have entered into a partnership to develop hydrogen fuel cell systems for powering zero-emission cruise vessels.The ultimate goal of GE and Nedstack is creating a truly zero-emission system that will enable the world’s first sustainable, clean cruise ships.As explained, the cruise industry shares a joint responsibility to eliminate the possible negative impacts it might have on port communities, the health of passengers and staff, and on the environment as a whole.Responsible zero-emission shipping is not only environmentally needed but will greatly contribute to the quality of the cruise experience itself, the two companies believe.Shipowners are already under pressure to comply with the reduced sulfur limit regulations coming into force next year. Both global International Maritime Organization (IMO) and regional regulations require marine vessels to reduce emissions or eliminate them altogether.“Existing clean power solutions are focused on reducing emissions. Eliminating emissions altogether demands a paradigm shift,” Arnoud van de Bree, CEO of Nedstack, said.“Hence why GE and Nedstack have been working extensively on the ‘marinization’ of fuel cell technology to create a total zero-emission alternative that truly meets the needs of tomorrow’s cruise industry,” he added.“We’re proud to be working with Nedstack on what we believe will be a game changer for the cruise industry,” Ed Torres, CEO of Marine and O&G, GE’s Power Conversion business, pointed out.“This partnership brings together a rich pool of expertise that’s spearheading much needed innovation. Given the marine transport and shipping sector’s changing regulatory landscape, this innovation could not be more timely,” he further said.The duo envisages using this technology on passenger ships, replacing traditional diesel engines with fuel cells, and heavy fuel oil (HFO) with hydrogen. So far, Nedstack and GE have designed the concept for a two-megawatt hydrogen fuel cell power plant on an expedition vessel. The review result has been positive, according to the companies.“Ships are increasingly being required to shut down their engines in port. We’ve seen this in California, for example, and China has introduced an emission control area in the Yangtse delta. However, the trend is shifting from emissions reduction to total elimination,” Azeez Mohammed, President and CEO, GE’s Power Conversion business, noted.last_img read more