Biofuel boost threatens even greater deforestation in Indonesia, Malaysia: Study

first_imgA new report projects the global demand for palm oil-based biofuel by 2030 will be six times higher than today if existing and proposed policies in Indonesia, China and the aviation industry hold.That surge in demand could result in the clearing of 45,000 square kilometers (17,374 square miles) of forest in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s biggest palm oil producers, and the release of an additional 7 billion tons of CO2 emissions a year — higher than current annual emissions by the U.S.That impact could be tempered to some degree by the European Union, which plans to phase out all use of palm oil in its biofuel over the next three years, citing environmental concerns. JAKARTA — Global demand for biofuels containing palm oil looks set to grow sixfold by 2030, potentially driving the destruction of Southeast Asian rainforests the size of the Netherlands, a new report warns.Biofuel policies in place or proposed by Indonesia and China, as well as the aviation industry, could push their consumption alone to 45.6 million tons by 2030, according to the report commissioned by Rainforest Foundation Norway.“As we approach 2020, many biofuel policies are being reassessed and renegotiated,” report author Chris Malins, a biofuels policy expert, said in an email. “So this seemed the right time to look at what the best and worst scenarios were for the impact of biofuel policy on deforestation in Southeast Asia for the next decade.”A filling station selling biodiesel. Photo by Robert Couse-Baker/flickr.Biofuel policiesIndonesia, the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, is currently pushing for increased domestic consumption of biodiesel that contains the vegetable oil. The policy calls for a minimum bio, or palm oil, content of 30 percent in all diesel sold in the country by 2020, up from the current requirement of 20 percent.This target is one of the most ambitious biodiesel-blending targets in the world. If achieved, Indonesia’s annual biodiesel consumption would rise to 18.6 million tons.China, meanwhile, has begun discussions with Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest palm oil producer, to boost its own blending target to a minimum of 5 percent palm oil in biodiesel. That would increase China’s palm-based biodiesel consumption to 9 million tons a year.Another key driver of the demand for palm-based biofuels will come from the aviation industry. The UN’s International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) has proposed increasing the use of biofuels for passenger planes, aiming for half of jet fuel to come from biofuels by 2050. This scenario could potentially require 18 million tons of palm-based aviation fuel by 2030.“The report shows that the aviation sector and Indonesia may become the largest consumers of palm oil-based biofuels in 2030,” Nils Hermann Ranum, the campaign and policy chief at Rainforest Foundation Norway, told Mongabay.An oil palm plantation adjacent to tropical forest in Borneo, where a “triple hotspot for biodiversity, carbon and threat, [means] there is a compelling global case for prioritzing their conservation,” the scientists write. Photo by Rhett A. Butler7 billion tons of emissionsAssuming that Indonesia, China and the aviation industry meet stick with and achieve their stated biofuel policies, demand for palm oil for use in biofuels by 2030 could be more than six times higher than today — amounting to 67 million tons.This would account for half of global demand for palm oil, and would exceed the current global production of the commodity, at around 65 million tons annually.Production has remained largely flat over the last 20 years, which means the surge in demand presaged by the policies in Indonesia, China and the aviation sector will call for a massive expansion of existing palm plantations. In Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce 85 percent of the world’s palm oil, this would translate into a sharp escalation of already alarming levels of deforestation. (In Indonesia alone, 40 percent of the deforestation that occurred between 1998 and 2008 can be attributed to palm oil production, according to a 2013 technical study funded by the European Commission.)Barring a massive increase in the average palm oil yields, meeting the global demand would result in the loss of 45,000 square kilometers (17,374 square miles) of forests, an area the size of the Netherlands, by 2030.A loss of forests that size would result in 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next two decades — more than the total annual emissions of the United States.“It’s well understood that the palm oil industry in Southeast Asia is endemically linked to deforestation and peat drainage, but biofuel mandates adopted in the name of climate change mitigation continue to drive palm oil demand higher and higher,” Malins said.Deforestation for oil palm in Malaysia’s Sabah State. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.EU scaling backWhile the environmental prospects look bleak, the impact could be tempered by the European Union’s policy to go in the opposite direction and phase out palm oil in biofuels.The EU is currently the world’s second-biggest importer of palm oil, behind only India, and is in the process of adopting a revised Renewable Energy Directive to take effect from 2020-2030.“The purpose of the EU’s renewable energy policy is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and allowing palm oil-based fuels would be a direct contradiction to that goal,” Ranum said.To that end, the European Parliament last week voted in favor of targets to cap crop-based biofuels, following the parliament’s overwhelming decision last year to ban the use of vegetable oils in biofuels. The amendments will now go to the European Commission and member states before they become law.The amendments call for a reduction to zero of “the contribution from biofuels and bioliquids produced from palm oil” by 2021.Ranum and Malins welcomed the move, saying that it would have a significant impact on global demand. Their report found that without strong measures to avoid palm oil use in biofuels, EU biofuel consumption in 2030 could reach 7.3 million tons, up from the current 3 million tons.An immediate reform of EU biofuel policy could reduce global palm oil demand by 3 million tons, Malins said.“That would take a great deal of pressure off the global market, and could allow 3,000 square kilometers [1,158 square miles] of deforestation to be avoided,” he said.Ranum noted, however, that the amendments still needed to be ratified.“It’s important to bear in mind that while the European Parliament has suggested to exclude palm oil-based biofuels from its renewable energy policy, the EU member states, through the EU Council, have come to an opposite position,” he said. “If the EU decides to avoid palm oil biodiesel, that would be proof that the EU takes the climate effect of its policies seriously.”Last week’s vote triggered a backlash from Indonesia and Malaysia, who called it unfair and misguided. Officials from both countries trotted out the industry-sanctioned argument that other types of vegetable oils used in biofuels also required clearing far greater plots of land for an equivalent yield. The Indonesian government also said it had taken steps to address the environmental impact of the palm oil industry.Malins acknowledged that while such efforts had been made, they had been far from effective.“Sadly, there’s also no question that these measures have failed to date to prevent the most damaging practices of peat drainage and forest clearance,” he said. “A more sustainable palm oil industry is vital to continue to supply vegetable oil for food and oleochemicals, but it would be grossly irresponsible to continue using palm oil for biofuel while peat and forest clearance continue.” Banner image: An oil palm plantation. Photo by Bram Ebus for Mongabay. Biodiesel, Bioenergy, Biofuels, Energy, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Green, Indonesia, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests 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

Deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon dropped 13 percent in 2017

first_imgA new analysis of satellite imagery and data finds 143,425 hectares of forest were lost in the Peruvian Amazon in 2017, down 13 percent from 2016.The analysis identified newly deforestation hotspots in the San Martín and Amazonas regions.The main causes of the loss of forest in the Amazon appear to be cultivation of crops, small- and medium-scale ranching, large oil palm plantations and gold mining. A recent analysis of satellite images gives a glimpse into Peru’s widespread deforestation in 2017. The analysis, which was produced by the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), found 143,425 hectares of forest were lost across the Peruvian Amazon during 2017 — the equivalent of 200,000 soccer fields.Deforestation was down 13 percent from 2016, but the analysis reveals new forest loss hotspots and conservationists remain concerned for the future of Peru’s forests. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored This story was initially published in Spanish on Mongabay Latam on Feb. 8, 2018.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. Satellite images of an area in southern Peru’s Madre de Dios region show the advancement of deforestation from 2016 to 2018. Images courtesy of MAAPMAAP’s report indicates the five most-deforested areas in Peru are spread throughout the country’s Amazonian regions, from Madre de Dios in the south to Ucayali and Huánuco and San Martín in the central part of the country to the Santa María de Nieva area in northern Peru’s Amazonas region.According to the analysis, the main causes of deforestation in these areas are small- and medium-scale ranching, large-scale oil palm cultivation and gold mining.Matt Finer, MAAP’s principal investigator, told Mongabay Latam that advancements in early deforestation alert systems have allowed them to quickly produce a complete panorama of what happened last year.“Historically, we had to wait months and years to know the levels of deforestation that had been reached every year,” he said. A recently deforested area in the Amazonas Region. Images courtesy of MAAPOverall, MAAP found there was 13 percent less deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon in 2017 than in 2016. But experts still worry about the future of the country’s forests. Claudio Schneider, Technical Director of Conservation International Peru, considers the amount of deforestation in Peru to be too high.“Although efforts have been made to improve monitoring — because now we have more reliable data about deforestation — there still isn’t enough being done to stop the loss of forests,” Schneider said.He said that it is a complex issue, and that the Peruvian Amazon continues to be a neglected area with weak governance.“As long as people don’t work in a territorial way, in the titling of the land and in coordination with Indigenous communities and other sectors of the population, the Amazon will continue to be, a little bit, no one’s land,” Schneider said. He added that this disorganization is an open door for illegal activities such as mining or indiscriminate logging.Schneider says that to advance the fight against deforestation, the Peruvian government should launch a stronger land titling campaign for communities that reside in the country’s forests. Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Agriculture, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Gold Mining, Habitat Loss, Mining, Primary Forests, Rainforests, Research, Satellite Imagery, Tropical Forests Satellite imagery shows a new deforestation hotspot in the San Martín Region caused by the cultivation of oil palm. Images courtesy of MAAPIn the area around the Interoceanic Highway, deforestation totals 11,115 hectares and appears to be caused primarily by gold mining and agricultural activity, particularly in areas north of the highway. In Iberia, 3,220 hectares of forest were lost in 2017. In this area, the main drivers are the cultivation of corn, papaya and cacao, according to local sources.A large-scale agricultural project in northeastern San Martín resulted in the deforestation of 740 hectares during the last few months of 2017. According to MAAP, Peru’s National Forest Conservation Program, administered by the Department of the Environment, confirmed that there is a new oil palm plantation on the border between the regions of San Martín and Loreto.Another new deforestation hotspot is also located in the Amazonas Region, in Nieva District along the Bagua-Saramiriza Highway. In this area, 1,135 hectares of frest were lost in 2017. Deforestation in this area was due to crop cultivation and ranching, according to the report. The amount of deforested land has increased to 3,220 hectares in Iberia in Peru’s Madre de Dios region. Images courtesy of MAAPHe added that the satellite analysis has allowed them to learn that the same patterns and drivers of deforestation are repeated throughout many different areas of the country.In the Ucayali and Huánuco regions, MAAP estimates that deforestation affected 23,240 hectares in 2017. “In this area, the main drivers would be ranching and palm oil,” the report states.Madre de Dios, one of Peru’s most-deforested regions, once held a large area of forest that has been lost to the Interoceanic Highway, as well as a deforested area along its border with Brazil.last_img read more

Drought-driven wildfires on rise in Amazon basin, upping CO2 release

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Soy, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Climate Modeling, Controversial, Corruption, Deforestation, Disasters, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Fires, Forest Fragmentation, Forest Loss, Forests, Fragmentation, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Meat, Megafires, Monitoring, Pasture, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Ranching, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Saving The Amazon, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation, wildfires “The authors did a really good job in showing that during droughts, fire activity increases disproportionally across the Amazon ­– even when deforestation rates are in decline,” says Paulo Brando, a researcher at The Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) and the Woods Hole Research Center, Massachusetts, U.S.“This study suggests a decoupling between deforestation fires and drought-induced fires,” added Juan-Carlos Jimenez-Munoz, a remote sensing expert at Spain’s University of Valencia. “This finding has important implications because policy actions focused only on reducing deforestation may be insufficient to reduce carbon emissions.”INPE’s Aragão says he was surprised to find that increases in forest fire rates were decoupled from deforestation to such a high extent: “This is a critical result, as policies for curbing deforestation will not be effective for reducing fires if the processes are not connected” with escalating drought due to climate change.Although the new study doesn’t quantify the reasons for this decoupling, Aragão suggests that severe forest fragmentation, caused by human activity, makes it easier for fires to spread into neighboring forests during drought, meaning that curbing deforestation has little benefit in preventing wildfires. Amazonian forests hold an estimated 269 miligrams of carbon per hectare, which can be released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide during a forest fire, adding to global warming.Slash-and-burn agriculture in Brazil. Forest clearing is often done by local hired laborers who work for wealthy elite ruralists who wish to convert forests to cattle ranches. The world’s rising demand for beef helps drive these fires and the Amazon deforestation they bring. Photo by Alzenir Ferreira de Souza, CC0 1.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Inefficient_Farming_Techniques.jpgA map of “heat points” monitored by satellite in the Amazon biome between 31 July 2016 and 1 August 2017. Heat points do not denote the size of a wildfire, but only location. Source: INPEHowever, cautions Brando, “these results do not mean that deforestation is not an important driver of fire activity.” The findings show, “that the historical deforestation has already increased forest flammability across the entire region.”The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a naturally occurring climate cycle that alters global weather patterns when it brings warm water to the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. (During the opposite La Niña phase, cooler waters flow to the same areas.) These changing ocean temperatures alter the strength of trade winds and during an El Niño result in lower rainfall over the Amazon basin.The last El Niño peaked in 2015, and was linked with one of the most severe Amazonian droughts ever recorded. Tree death due to the drought was so severe that the Amazon rainforest – the lungs of the planet – ceased to absorb carbon dioxide altogether, though the Amazon began to function as a carbon sink again after the event.Aragão found that this powerful ENSO combined with two other oceanic processes to produce 2015’s unusually severe drought. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) alter ocean temperatures in the Pacific over much longer time-scales than ENSO (cycling over tens or hundreds of years), but the three cycles coincided in 2015 to produce a particularly dry year. During that drought, many Amazonian trees died or shed their leaves, providing large amounts of tinder for fires. “Forests, exposed to drier and hotter climate, [produce] an increased amount of fuel, turn[ing] Amazonian forests into a fire prone system,” the INPE researcher says.In the past, tropical rainforests like those in the Amazon were thought to be too wet to see repeated large-scale fire seasons. As climate change escalates, that is no longer true. The 2015 drought and fires were so severe that the Amazon ceased being a carbon sink for a time. Photo courtesy of IBAMAClimate change is expected to enhance the natural swings brought by ENSO, AMO and PDO cycles in future, meaning that the Amazon can expect more droughts like the one it saw in 2015, according to Aragão.The synergy between increasing drought, dryer forests, and more fragmented forests helps create the fuel needed for fires. However, there is another key component required to make more forest fires happen: a source of ignition.The majority of wildfires occurring in the Amazon today, are ignited by people, says Aragão. Typically, they are set using slash-and-burn techniques by local labor hired by wealthy elites to do pasture clearing. Used in this manner, fire becomes a significant deforestation driver, a complex problem propelled by land thieves, cattle ranchers, Brazilian meat processors, along with the world’s insatiable demand for beef. Meanwhile, the Brazilian government offers only weak enforcement to prevent this intentional deforestation, and under the Temer administration has heavily defunded environmental enforcement and firefighting agencies.“With more droughts, it is very likely that fire incidence will also increase if no policy actions are taken to curb ignition sources,” Aragão predicts.“To reduce the likelihood of wildfires, we need to reduce deforestation and have an aggressive strategy to transition from fire-dependent agricultural systems to fire-free ones,” agrees Brando.The researchers say the Brazilian government should seek to become more aware of changing fire dynamics in the Amazon, and plan mitigation strategies that increase forest resilience against drought, including the curbing of forest fragmentation, while simultaneously preventing deforestation due to cattle ranching, soy production, and for other agricultural purposes.The maintenance of healthy, intact forests, they conclude, is the only way to help assure ecosystem resilience in the face of intensifying climate change-driven droughts, to prevent more forest fires, and hold down greenhouse gas emissions.Citation:Aragão, L. E., Anderson, L. O., Fonseca, M. G., Rosan, T. M., Vedovato, L. B., Wagner, F. H., … & Barlow, J. (2018). 21st Century drought-related fires counteract the decline of Amazon deforestation carbon emissions. Nature communications, 9(1), 536. Doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02771-yFEEDBACK: 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.If climate change continues to worsen unchecked, and forest degradation continues unabated, then Amazon fires are likely to increase. Those fires would also increase the release of carbon, worsening climate change, which in turn could intensify Amazon drought even more, leading to even more fires. Photo courtesy of IBAMA Despite a 76 percent decline in deforestation rates between 2003 and 2015, the incidence of forest fires is increasing in Brazil, with new research linking the rise in fires not only to deforestation, but also to severe droughts.El Niño, combined with other oceanic and atmospheric cycles, produced an unusually severe drought in 2015, a year that saw a 36 percent increase in Amazon basin forest fires, which also raised carbon emissions.Severe droughts are expected to become more common in the Brazilian Amazon as natural oceanic cycles are made more extreme by human-induced climate change.In this new climate paradigm, limiting deforestation alone will not be sufficient to reduce fires and curb carbon emissions, scientists say. The maintenance of healthy, intact, unfragmented forests is vital to providing resilience against further increases in Amazon fires. Looking up at the Amazon canopy in Amazonas, Brazil. Intensifying drought in the Amazon is drying out the forest, creating fuel. However, most wildfires are ignited by people, often to clear land for cattle. Photo credit: alextorrenegra on Visualhunt.com / CC BYIntensifying droughts in the Amazon basin are now a primary determinant of increases in forest fires, a reality that will hinder Brazil’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions solely by limiting deforestation, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.An international team of researchers led by Luiz Aragão of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) combined satellite data with greenhouse gas emission inventories and historical climate data to assess and compare the impact of drought and deforestation on forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon between 2003 and 2015.They found that forest fires are becoming increasingly common, and they linked that increase to more frequent and severe droughts in the region. Those fires release a massive amount of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere: the team calculated that forest fires in Brazil currently release around 450 teragrams of carbon each year – roughly one third the emissions produced by Amazonian deforestation.Despite a 76 percent decline in deforestation rates between 2003 and 2015, fires were 36 percent more common during the 2015 drought than in the preceding 12 years. The study adds weight to research published in 2015 suggesting that a previously reported link between deforestation and an uptick in forest fires is beginning to become less important than the link between forest fires and drought.The Amazon’s São Félix do Xingu area is as large as Austria. It saw nearly 10,000 fires in 2017. The region has just eight dedicated fire fighters, but future budget cuts could impact that even further. Photo courtesy of IBAMANumber of fire hotspots in Brazil, 6/1998-9/2017. Source: INPE 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 Glenn Schererlast_img read more

Detecting disasters on community lands in the Amazon: film highlights indigenous struggle

first_imgcameras, Drones, Forests, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Reserves, Indigenous Rights, Mapping, Monitoring, Rainforests, Remote Sensing, Sensors, Technology, Wildtech For decades, indigenous communities across the western Amazon have protested the contamination of their water, soil and other natural resources by oil companies.A short film, “Detecting Disasters,” explores the use by the Kukama Kukamiria and other indigenous groups of small drones to strengthen their case to officials and reduce future damage to their health and that of their forest resources.The successful, consistent use of drones and other new technologies by remote communities requires overcoming several basic challenges, including adequate electricity, training time, and availability of parts to make repairs. Tens of thousands of indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon have been fighting decades of contamination of their natural resources by foreign and domestic oil companies.Oil spills, leaky pipelines, and dumping of toxic production waters have polluted soils, gardens, rivers and lakes, as well as the fish and other animals living there, for more than 40 years. Health problems resulting from drinking and washing with waters contaminated by billions of barrels of toxic waste include epidemics, diarrhea, and skin diseases. These problems continue, though the government frequently blocks or ignores the people’s protests, or it sides with industry’s efforts to hide its trail of impact.Clean-up crew at an oil-contaminated stream in Loreto, northern Peru after a 2016 spill, one of several that year from the PetroPeru pipeline. Image credit: Al Jazeera, YouTubeThe short film “Detecting Disasters” explores one action the Kukama Kukamiria and other indigenous groups are taking to strengthen their case and reduce future damage to their resources—using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, a.k.a. drones) to monitor their lands.The Kukama Kukamiria people’s territory in northern Peru includes the exceptionally biologically diverse Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, which has also been invaded and drilled by oil industry teams.Contamination from oil and gas spills in 2014 in the Kukama Kukamiria people’s water still imperils the community. They and other groups teamed up with the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest  (AIDESEP),  an organization representing indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon, and U.S. non-profits to learn to fly small UAVs.“It’s a way of monitoring territory more efficiently and more quickly,” Apu Alfonso López Tejada, President of the indigenous Kukama Kukamiria organization ACODECOSPAT, explained in the film, below. 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 Sue Palminteri The Kukama training produced high-quality filming and mapping results, and AIDESEP has helped train indigenous groups to monitor their territories using drones since 2015.“We can check very distant areas and also see the potential threats, such as illegal mining and illegal logging, among other activities, which are incompatible with the objective of creating this protected natural area [Pacaya-Samiria],” said participant Edwin Yunga Yauta M., from the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve. “In this way, we can mitigate the impacts currently being caused by hydrocarbons, mining, and also encroachment.”The Amarakaeri people in southeastern Peru also began using UAVs in 2015 to monitor land cover change, specifically from invasions of their territory by illegal loggers and miners.The idea is to train trainers who can build capacity regionally. “We are trying to train an environmental monitor in each of the communities of our organization,” López Tejada said.Nevertheless, introducing UAVs or any new technology to remote societies is not without its difficulties, as highlighted in a 2017 review of the use of UAVs in indigenous territory monitoring.Despite the high enthusiasm of the Kukama training participants, the single workshop’s short duration and a single practice drone, which was then kept by AIDESEP for future use, limited practice time. The lack of practice time, both during and after the 12-day workshop, prevented the group from learning to fly the UAV independently. Similarly, they lack easy access to parts to fix the drone when it crashes and access to the internet to allow the UAV pilots to view the ground below the UAV as it flies.The upper row shows the fixed-wing drone used and some of the workshop participants. The lower row shows drone imagery acquired that found an oil spill within the Kukama territory not yet cleaned after a year. The spill was located some 11 km inside a swampy forest area; reaching the site on foot was unsafe and very challenging. Photo credits: Paneque-Gálvez et. al (2017).Decades of careless management of Amazon hydrocarbon and mining infrastructure continues to take its toll on some of the world’s highest biological and linguistic diversity, including areas far from the drilling and pipeline sites.The 64 Amazonian indigenous peoples include over 1,800 communities that are home to more than 650,000 people in 19 linguistic families. AIDESEP works to defend their rights and lands, highlight their problems, and present alternative proposals for development. The organization conducts periodic trainings, some in conjunction with NGOs and universities.‘If Not Us Then Who?’ is a US non-profit that produced this and other participatory films, photos, and content to highlight the role indigenous and local peoples play in protecting the planet.Banner image shows the lush vegetation in the rainforest canopy of southeastern Peru. Photo credit: Sue PalminteriReferencePaneque-Gálvez, J., Vargas-Ramírez, N., Napoletano, B. M., & Cummings, A. (2017). Grassroots Innovation Using Drones for Indigenous Mapping and Monitoring. Land, 6(4), 86.last_img read more

Javan rhino population holds steady amid ever-present peril

first_imgThe latest survey from the Indonesian government shows the population of the Javan rhino, one of the world’s most endangered large mammals, holding steady in its last remaining habitat.While the findings indicate a healthy and breeding rhino population, wildlife experts warn of the dangers looming over the animal’s existence, including human encroachment into its habitat and the ever-present threat of a volcanic eruption and tsunami.The Javan rhino is one of the last three Asian rhino species — alongside the Sumatran and Indian rhinos —  all of which have been pushed to the brink of extinction. JAKARTA — The Javan rhinoceros, one of the world’s most endangered species, continues to persevere in its last remaining sanctuary, the latest census from the Indonesian government has found.In a statement issued Feb. 26, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said the population of Javan rhinos (Rhinoceros sondaicus) as of the end of 2017 was a minimum of 67 individuals: 37 males and 30 females. All of the rhinos, once the most widespread rhino species in Asia, are now corralled into a single area, Ujung Kulon National Park on the westernmost tip of Java — an area spanning 480 square kilometers (185 square miles), or the combined size of the New York boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn.Ujung Kulon National Park sits on the southwestern tip of Java. Map created using Map For Environment.The census showed the population holding steady from the previous year, park agency head Mamat Rahmat said in the statement.“Our field surveys found no signs of Javan rhino death,” he said.Four rhino protection units, or RPUs, comprising park authorities and representatives of conservation NGOs, regularly patrol the area. They are also helped by community members in joint patrols four times a year.The report indicated that the rhino population included about 13 juveniles — a positive sign, given that Javan rhinos are typically solitary animals known to have a low reproduction rate. Females of the species reach sexual maturity at 3 or 4 years old, while the males mature much later, at around 6 years. The gestation period is 16 months.“The findings reflect a healthy Javan rhino population that’s breeding well,” Widodo Ramono, executive director of the Indonesian Rhino Foundation (YABI), told Mongabay.The Javan rhino is so rare and reclusive that this image, by conservationist and photographer Alain Compost is one of very few that exist. Photo courtesy of Alain Compost.Despite the positive news, Widodo emphasized the importance of sustained protective measures for the animal, and research into the dangers of having only one surviving population of the species.“The habitat eventually will hit its natural limit to provide for the population,” he said.The latest reported number is short of a target, set in 2007, of raising the population to 70 to 80 rhinos by 2015. Some conservationists say they believe the park may not be able to support a larger population than at present.While authorities have reported zero rhinos killed, threats from human encroachment into Ujung Kulon remain real. In September 2017, the park agency reported that dozens of people were caught engaging in illegal activities in Ujung Kulon’s core zone and jungles, including hunting wildlife, collecting wood and other resources, and even planting rice and other crops.The threat of natural disaster is one that has long loomed over the population, whose habitat lies within the danger zone of Anak Krakatau, the ever-growing and active volcano that rose up after the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. That eruption generated a tsunami with 30-meter (100-foot) waves that hammered the Ujung Kulon coast.Indonesian authorities and wildlife experts have since 2015 been scouting a second site to seed a new population of the Javan rhino. The current shortlist includes locations in western Java, but there have also been calls to look further afield at Sumatra, which is home to a distant cousin, the Sumatran rhino.But the prospects of survival for the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) appear bleak. Experts believe the total population in the wild could be as low as 30 individuals. They live in fragmented packets of forest far away from each other, making breeding much more challenging.Poaching and habitat loss have put the Javan and Sumatran rhinos on the IUCN’s list of critically endangered species, or a step away from vanishing from the wild.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 Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Environment, In-situ Conservation, Javan Rhinos, Mammals, One-horned Rhinos, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforests, Rhinos, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img Article published by Basten Gokkonlast_img read more

Video: Rare newborn western lowland gorilla filmed in the wild

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Gorillas, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Videos, Wildlife The baby gorilla was born on Feb. 17 in the rainforests of Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, according to WCS.The infant is the offspring of a female gorilla named Mekome and a male silverback named Kingo, who has been studied by the WCS Congo researchers of the Mondika Gorilla Project for about two decades.Mekome’s newest baby is her fifth offspring, and represents hope for the species, researchers say. Researchers have captured rare video of a newborn western lowland gorilla in the wild.The infant, who was estimated to be only a few hours old when scientists first saw it on Feb. 17, was born in the rainforests of Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, according to a press release from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The baby is the offspring of a female gorilla named Mekome and a male silverback named Kingo, who has been studied by the WCS Congo researchers of the Mondika Gorilla Project for about two decades.“Mekome, one of the females in the group, came climbing down some lianas from the tree canopy,” the WCS Congo team wrote in a blogpost. “As she joined a five-year-old infant in the group on the forest floor, the research team heard a soft whining noise coming from Mekome’s belly. When they looked more closely, they could see that Mekome was carrying a new-born baby; as she passed by very close to the team, maybe to give the team a first introduction to her baby, they could see that the baby was no more than a few hours old.”The critically endangered western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) live in the thick jungles of Central and West Africa. Much like human pregnancy, female gorillas’ pregnancies last nearly nine months, and their babies, like human newborns, are tiny and completely dependent on their mothers.Young gorillas face many threats while growing up, including attacks by other animals, disease and poaching, and few survive to adulthood. Mekome’s newest baby is her fifth offspring. Only one of her previous babies, named Ekendi, is still alive, and has been following Mekome very closely since the infant arrived, the WCS team said.“We’re very excited to be witness to the emergence of the next generation of Kingo’s growing clan,” Mark Gately, director of WCS’s Republic of Congo program, said in a statement. “A baby gorilla represents hope for the entire species.”Mekome with her newborn gorilla. Photo courtesy of WCS Congo.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

Pearl Jam invests in Amazonian reforestation to offset emissions from current Brazil tour

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 Amazon, Amazon Rainforest, Climate Activism, Climate Change, Climate Change And Forests, Environment, Global Warming Mitigation, Mitigation, Rainforests, Reforestation, Restoration, Tropical Forests Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Rock band Pearl Jam has partnered with Conservation International (CI) in purchasing carbon offsets for the estimated 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions that will be generated by its Brazilian tour dates taking place this month.Proceeds from the offset purchase will be used to support a tropical forest restoration project that aims to plant 73 million trees in the Brazilian Amazon by 2023, said to be the largest reforestation effort in the world.“As a band, it’s important for us to recognize the environmental impact of our tours and do what we can to mitigate that,” Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard said in a statement. Rock band Pearl Jam is voluntarily offsetting the carbon emissions of its current tour in Brazil.The band has partnered with Conservation International (CI) in purchasing carbon offsets for the estimated 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions that will be generated by its Brazilian tour dates taking place this month.The offsets were purchased through Amazonia Live, a partnership between Rock in Rio, CI, Brazil’s Environment Ministry, the World Bank, and others. Proceeds from the purchase of the offsets will be used to support a tropical forest restoration project that aims to plant 73 million trees in the Brazilian Amazon by 2023, said to be the largest reforestation effort in the world.“As a band, it’s important for us to recognize the environmental impact of our tours and do what we can to mitigate that,” Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard said in a statement. “This Amazonia Live project is exciting because it helps to offset the CO2 we will emit with our Brazilian tour dates, while providing local employment and food security opportunities.”Pearl Jam is voluntarily offsetting the emissions from its current Brazilian tour. This is not the first time the band has sought to mitigate the climate impact of its tours. Photo courtesy of Conservation International.Rodrigo Medeiros, Vice President of CI Brazil, told Mongabay that the total cost of offsetting those 2,500 tons of carbon was $50,000, and that, more specifically, the money will go to an agroforestry project at the Uatumã Reserve in Amazonas state, Brazil.“This investment will directly benefit 27 families, employing 30 people as seed collectors, nursery workers, planters and agricultural technicians,” Medeiros said.This isn’t the first time Pearl Jam has taken steps to mitigate the climate impact of its tours. The band also teamed up with Conservation International to offset the CO2 emissions of its 2015 tour in Latin America and its 2016 U.S. tour.Pearl Jam says on its website that the carbon footprint of its tours is calculated “based on band and crew flights and hotel stays, truck mileage, bus mileage, shipping weight (miles/mode of transport), and the number of fans attending each show.” Profits from the band’s tours are then allocated to its offsetting efforts in accordance with these calculations.“We’re thrilled to partner with Pearl Jam in protecting the Amazon and spreading the message of its significance well beyond its borders. The Amazon benefits communities that depend upon it for their livelihoods as well as people across the globe. Twenty percent of the world’s freshwater supply comes from the Amazon, its forests provide thirty percent of the solution to climate change,” CI Brazil’s Medeiros said in a statement.“Having a global artist like Pearl Jam join us in this effort is exactly what we need to keep people and the planet thriving.”The Amazon rainforest. Photo courtesy of Conservation International.last_img read more

Audio: Bowhead whales in the Arctic sing hundreds of complex songs

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Marine Mammals, Research, Whales, Wildlife 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 Shreya Dasguptacenter_img Scientists have recorded 184 elaborate, very different bowhead whale songs in a bowhead subpopulation living east of Greenland. This makes it the largest set of bowhead whale song recordings ever.The bowhead’s vocal repertoire is rivaled only by a few species of songbirds, researchers say.But why these whales have so many different song types and why they change their songs each year is still a mystery. Under the Arctic ice, a mysterious concert plays out each winter.Bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) living east of Greenland break into a wide range of complex, intricate songs, showcasing a new set of musical notes every year.Kate Stafford, an oceanographer at the University of Washington, and her colleagues first heard these bowhead whales singing in 2007. The following year, in a preliminary study, Stafford recorded more than 60 unique whale songs from October 2008 to April 2009.“We were hoping when we put the hydrophone out that we might hear a few sounds,” Stafford said in a statement, referring to the study published in 2012. “When we heard, it was astonishing: Bowhead whales were singing loudly, 24 hours a day, from November until April. And they were singing many, many different songs.”A bowhead whale surfaces in Fram Strait, to the northwest of Norway. Photo by Kit Kovacs/Norwegian Polar Institute.Stafford and her team expanded on the study by deploying hydrophones, or underwater microphones, in the Fram Strait between Greenland and the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic from 2010 to 2014. During this period, they recorded 184 different bowhead whale songs, making it the largest set of bowhead song recordings ever, the researchers report in a new study published in Biology Letters.Some song types lasted only a few hours or days, the researchers found. Others persisted over months. But the whales never seemed to repeat their songs between the years.“If humpback whale song is like classical music, bowheads are jazz,” Stafford said. “The sound is more freeform. And when we looked through four winters of acoustic data, not only were there never any song types repeated between years, but each season had a new set of songs.”Bowhead whale song recorded in Fram Strait on Feb. 11, 2013. Kate Stafford/University of WashingtonBowhead whale song recorded in Fram Strait on Dec. 30, 2013. Kate Stafford/University of WashingtonSuch complex songs are rare among mammals, the authors write. Many mammals have short, repetitive calls. But only some mammals sing, that is, produce complex, distinct musical phrases that need to be learned. Such songs have been recorded in a few mammals like some bats, gibbons, mice, rock hyraxes, and humpback and bowhead whales, the authors add.The bowhead’s vocal repertoire, however, is rivaled only by a few species of songbirds, they say. The researchers say bowhead whales might be using their songs to navigate, find food and communicate. But why they have so many different song types and why they change their songs each year is still a mystery. Further monitoring using radio tags might be able to answer these questions, the researchers say.“Bowhead whales do this behavior in the winter, during 24-hour darkness of the polar winter, in 95 to 100 percent sea ice cover. So this is not something that’s easy to figure out,” Stafford said. “We would never have known about this without new acoustic monitoring technology.”The bowhead whales spend all their lives in the icy waters of the Arctic. Their global populations seem to be increasing, according to the IUCN Red List. But the subpopulation that Stafford and her team monitored is listed as critically endangered because the whales were hunted to near extinction by commercial whaling from the 1600s to the early 1900s. The subpopulation is currently estimated to have about 200 individuals.Bowhead whale in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. Photo by Kate Stafford via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).Citation:Stafford, K.M, et al (2018). Extreme diversity in the songs of Spitsbergen’s bowhead whales. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0056last_img read more

Rubber plantation in Cameroon edges closer to UNESCO World Heritage Site

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 Animals, Apes, Deforestation, Environment, Featured, Forests, Great Apes, Habitat Loss, Industrial Agriculture, Plantations, Poaching, Primary Forests, Primates, Protected Areas, Roads, Rubber, Satellite Imagery, Tropical Forests, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wildlife Satellite data indicate the rubber plantation, operated by China-owned Sud Cameroun Hévéa (Sudcam), is currently less than one kilometer away from intact primary forest habitat. Development is ongoing amidst concerns about threats to endangered species within and outside the park, as well as alleged violations of community land rights and political affiliations with the Cameroonian government.The expansion of this rubber plantation is “by far the most devastating new clearing of forest for industrial agriculture in the Congo Basin,” according to Greenpeace.Rubber expansion also stands to affect the 9,500 people who live in villages on the reserve’s periphery. According to Greenpeace Africa, Sudcam did not obtain Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) from these communities before acquiring the land and residents have claimed that subsistence farmland has been taken away with little or no compensation.Members of the conservation community say that in order for rubber development to happen sustainably in Cameroon, companies need to collaborate with conservation NGOs to create robust buffers around wetlands and streams, develop wildlife corridors, establish areas to filter the runoff of toxins and sediment, and create bushmeat alternatives. They also recommend regulatory actions be taken in the U.S. and EU, which are major buyers of rubber. An industrial rubber plantation is currently developing land right on the edge of Cameroon’s Dja Faunal Reserve. And it’s getting closer, according to an analysis of satellite data released by Global Forest Watch. The data indicate the plantation, operated by China-owned Sud Cameroun Hévéa (Sudcam), is currently less than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) away from intact primary forest habitat. Development is ongoing amid concerns about threats to endangered species within and outside the park, as well as alleged violations of community land rights and political affiliations with the Cameroonian government.Global Forest Watch analyzed satellite data collected by the University of Maryland’s Global Land Analysis and Discovery (GLAD) lab. It indicates that expansion is accelerating, with 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles) of tree cover affected between November 2017 and January 2018 alone, according to the report. To date, Sudcam has been awarded more than 450 square kilometers (177 square miles) of land for development, of which it has cleared over 90 square kilometers (35 square miles). A 2018 Greenpeace report called this expansion “by far the most devastating new clearing of forest for industrial agriculture in the Congo Basin.”Imagery from Greenpeace shows the progression of clearing between 2011 and April 2017. Subsequent satellite data collected by the University of Maryland’s GLAD lab between May 2017 and the end of January 2018 show more deforestation. Analysis by Global Forest Watch indicates more than 10 square kilometers of rainforest were lost between November 2017 and January 2018 alone.Since Global Forest Watch’s report came out, more than 4,000 additional GLAD deforestation alerts have been recorded in the concession. One of these newly deforested areas is less than 500 meters (1,600 feet)  from Dja Faunal Reserve, which lies just across The Dja River from the concession. Satellite imagery from Planet Labs shows the extent of this clearing as of March 21.Biodiversity under threatThe Congo Basin contains one of the largest tracts of tropical rainforest in the world. The area protected within the Dja Faunal Reserve is considered one of Africa’s most undisturbed and species-rich rainforests. The reserve’s pristine condition and biodiversity have led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Important Bird Area. Dja is home to 107 known mammal species, including critically endangered western lowland forest gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), endangered chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis), and vulnerable giant pangolins (Smutsia gigantea). The reserve is also home to the indigenous Baka people, who carry out their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle within the forest.The development of agroindustry is currently one of the top three major threats to biodiversity in the Dja area, according to Manfred Aimé Epanda, country coordinator for Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF). He said poaching, another key threat, would likely be exacerbated by increased human traffic and accessibility brought about by plantation development. Clearing forest for the plantation will also fragment the habitat of endangered primates and disrupt wildlife corridors used by forest elephants, Epanda said. In addition, nearby waterways are at risk from pesticide pollution and sedimentation due to agricultural runoff and erosion.“A strategic impact assessment study of the periphery of the Dja is needed in order to capture impacts on biodiversity,” Epanda told Mongabay in an email.Dja Faunal Reserve contains some of Africa’s most pristine and species-rich rainforest. Photo by C. Hance of UNESCO.Critically endangered western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) rely on the dense intact rainforest of the Dja Faunal Reserve.While the reserve contains the most untouched tracts of forest, dense areas of tropical rainforest lie within the concessions awarded to Sudcam as well. According to a 2016 paper by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), an environmental impact assessment of the land earmarked for rubber plantations found that “the project area has abundant wildlife biodiversity.” CIFOR concluded that rubber development “may have serious negative impacts on the [region’s] rich biodiversity … particularly through the destruction of plant cover, increased hunting and poaching, and wildlife disturbance.”Communities at riskRubber expansion also stands to affect the 9,500 people who live in villages on the reserve’s periphery. According to Greenpeace Africa, Sudcam did not obtain Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) from these communities before acquiring the land. Under the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), FPIC is a right that allows indigenous peoples to grant or refuse consent for a project that could affect them or their land. Cameroon was one of the countries that voted in favor of the declaration at a U.N. General Assembly session in 2007. In the case of Sudcam, however, affected residents have claimed that subsistence farmland has been taken away with little or no compensation, Greenpeace Africa forest campaigner Sylvie Djacbou told Mongabay.“The Baka also stress the fact that graves and sacred sites which are very important to them spiritually were also destroyed,” Djacbou said.A young Sudcam rubber plantation near Ekok Village. Image courtesy of Greenpeace AfricaWhile the CIFOR paper stated that Sudcam intended to “build collective social and economic service facilities in the local communities,” Greenpeace says that community residents they interviewed told them that such facilities had not been made accessible. “The school and hospital supposedly built for communities are deep inside the concession, and inaccessible to members of local communities,” Djacbou said. “Since both the school and hospital are just inside Sudcam’s employee camp, we can assume that they are for its employees and not for the communities.”In addition, land tenure experts say Cameroon’s expropriation laws fail to recognize customary land rights. The CIFOR report states that “this causes particularly serious consequences to minority peoples who do not have formal legal titles to land and rely on respect of customary access rules for their subsistence.”Lack of transparencyCritics say a lack of transparency has dogged plantation development, adding to the discontent of local communities. According to CIFOR, Sudcam was awarded a temporary land concession of more than 450 square kilometers through presidential decree in 2008. However, an annual report for 2013 produced by Sudcam’s parent company GMG Global Ltd. lists Sudcam as the outright owner of the land it had originally leased. Since November 2016, GMG Global has been operating as a subsidiary of Halcyon Agri Corporation Ltd.“Greenpeace’s understanding is that Cameroonian law does not provide for freehold allotment of national lands, and Sudcam’s April 2013 land lease clearly indicates that its plantation is on national land,” Djacbou said.In addition, CIFOR’s report states that portions of the concessions now owned by Sudcam had been temporarily granted to logging companies, which were expelled to develop rubber plantations. Since, by law, national domain in Cameroon can only be granted if the land is not currently occupied or used, the report’s authors write that this suggests another breach. In its investigation, CIFOR learned that 20 percent of Sudcam’s shares were owned by an unknown “influential member of the Cameroonian political elite.” This lack of transparency in ownership, along with the suggestion of ties to the Cameroonian government, has led to rumors about possible political motivations behind granting Sudcam the land.Rubber is produced from the sap of the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis).Through interviews with 25 communities affected by plantation activities, Greenpeace Africa has learned that community members fear confronting the company and local authorities with their concerns due to a widespread belief that the president’s family is directly linked to the plantation. Further fueling this belief is the plantation’s close proximity to a mansion owned by President Paul Biya himself, according to the organization.Recent evidence suggests that Sudcam might be developing land outside its concession. In a report titled “The Coming Storm,” the non-profit environmental research organization Earthsight found that Sudcam had cleared roughly 3.3 square kilometers (1.3 square miles) of forest outside of the concession boundaries. While it is possible that additional permissions may have been given to Sudcam that Earthsight was not aware of, “it is notable that Sudcam parent company Halcyon Agri did not take the opportunity to deny this specific allegation in their response to our findings prior to publication,” Earthsight director Sam Lawson told Mongabay.Mongabay reached out to Sudcam, Halcyon Agri and the Cameroon government for comment, but received no responses as of publication time. In a response to Earthsite and Greenpeace reports released April 27, Halcyon Agri denied any connection to the government and clearance of forest outside its boundary, and disputed allegations that it violated land rights.Recommendations for moving forwardEpanda of AWF told Mongabay that there were a number of ways to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of rubber expansion. These include collaborating with conservation NGOs to create robust buffers around wetlands and streams; developing wildlife corridors between plantation blocks; setting up areas to filter the runoff of toxins and sediment; and creating bushmeat alternatives.On a national level, Greenpeace Africa “calls upon the Cameroonian government to suspend Sudcam’s lease agreements until clear preconditions and modalities are established.” Greenpeace also recommends participatory national land use planning and increased transparency. This would include obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of communities living in areas being considered for development.According to Earthsight’s Lawson, countries that are the ultimate destination for the rubber in a plantation, like the U.S. and the EU, must also take responsibility. “These governments need to take regulatory action, as they already have on timber, which forces importers to carry out due diligence to ensure their products and raw materials were legally sourced in the countries of origin,” he said.“They also need to use their influence to encourage the governments of producer countries like Cameroon to improve land governance, including being much more transparent regarding licensing.” Editor’s Note: This story was updated May 9 to include a response statement from Halcyon Agri.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.last_img read more

Cute Dinosaur Forced to Support Evolution

first_imgKnee-high to a human, little Eodromaeus looks like a pet, but its discoverers are making the claim that it represents an early stage in dinosaur evolution.  Do the facts support this claim?    National Geographic announced a “nasty little predator from dinosaur dawn found.”  The BBC News said that Eodromaeus, whose name means “dawn runner” (indicating that the discoverers [Paul Sereno and team, U of Chicago] embedded their interpretation of its evolutionary context into the creature’s name), “casts light on birth of the dinosaurs.”  The news articles went on to discuss how this little fossil fellow, dated at 230 million years old, was the forerunner of T. rex and all the monsters that would emerge in the millions of years to come.    The dinosaur certainly looks well-equipped for running and taking care of itself, but the BBC article claimed, “Even though their descendents may have gone on to great things, neither of the creatures were dominant in their time, and the researchers believe their eventual rise may be down to blind chance, and perhaps some unknown environmental catastrophe.”  Stuff happens.    When interpretation outruns the bones, it’s helpful to go to the original source material.  The discovery paper in Science1 contains some assumptions that should be kept in mind when evaluating the claims that Eodromaeus is the ancestor of the great dinosaurs.  For one thing, the dates: Sereno’s team used radiometric dating of the Ischigualasto formation in Argentina to insert the particular level of the rock into the geological time scale.  The caption of their chart contains on the right side “A current geologic time scale, which assumes an average rate of sedimentation between radioisotopically dated horizons.”  What if that assumption is not valid?  The resulting evolutionary picture could change drastically.    Another glaring observation from their chart is decreasing diversity with time.  If we take their long-age interpretation of the formation, the evidence contradicts evolutionary predictions – and their paper basically admits it [bracketed portions added]:One explanation for the rise of dinosaurs has been that a few key features led gradually to the competitive dominance of dinosaurs [i.e., traditional Darwinism].  This view has been overtaken by a hypothesis of noncompetitive replacement [stuff happens], in which their rise is split into two successive episodes of extinction and noncompetitive infilling of vacant ecospace [opportunity-knocks Darwinism].  In the replacement hypothesis, the earliest dinosaurs are regarded as particularly rare (1 to 3% of terrestrial vertebrates), their abundance and diversity increasing successively at the Carnian-Norian and Triassic-Jurassic boundaries coincident with mass extinction of rhynchosaurs, traversodontid cynodonts, and dicynodonts and later of (noncrocodyliform) crurotarsal archosaurs.    In contrast, the fossil record from Ischigualasto indicates that early dinosaurs in the latter half of the Carnian (231 to 228 Ma) were more common and diverse than previously thought, equaling the percentage of dinosaurian genera in the late Norian fauna from the overlying Los Colorados Formation (Fig. 4).  Thus, in terms of taxonomic diversity, dinosaurs did not increase their percentage among terrestrial vertebrates toward the end of the Triassic in southwestern Pangaea.They went on to note that the disappearance of the other creatures (assuming their timeline) had nothing to do with the rise of dinosaurs: “The disappearance of rhynchosaurs at the Carnian-Norian boundary was not linked to an increase in dinosaur diversity but rather coincided with the local extinction of dinosaurs.”  It’s not like the dinosaurs were taking advantage of space vacated by the unlucky ones that had gone extinct, in other words (vacated perhaps due to their lack of Darwinian fitness).    The authors furthermore hinted that apparent increase of body size of later dinosaurs might be an artifact of preservation.  “Increased body size probably enhanced the preservation potential of late Norian dinosaurs, which are also recorded from many more sites than late Carnian dinosaurs,” they said.  Is there evidence for the conventional story that dinosaurs started small, like Eodromaeus, and gradually became the monsters we associate with dinosaurs?  “We cannot evaluate whether the increase in body size was gradual or rapid,” they said, “as there are no dinosaurs in the section between late Carnian [230-228 mya] and late Norian [226-225 mya] faunas” (brackets added).    They noted with some puzzlement the apparent haphazard distribution of herbivores and carnivores from location to location, part of which they attribute to “taphonomic bias” (luck of the draw with what gets preserved as fossils).  It’s not clear, therefore, that the dots can be connected in just one way.    Moreover, Eodromaeus was a well-developed, complex creature with fast legs and grasping claws, in no way inferior to later dinosaurs in terms of complexity and fitness.  What was there for evolution to do?  Notice what they said about this critter:The discovery of Eodromaeus, the reinterpretation of Eoraptor as a sauropodomorph, and the faunal record of the Ischigualasto Formation provide additional evidence that, by mid Carnian time (~232 Ma), the earliest dinosaurs had already evolved the most functionally important trophic and locomotor features characterizing ornithischians, sauropodomorphs, and theropods.  These attributes are thus unlikely to have functioned as the competitive advantage to account for the dominance of dinosaurs in abundance and diversity in terrestrial habitats some 30 million years later in the earliest Jurassic (~202 Ma).  Eodromaeus increases the range of salient theropod features present in the earliest dinosaurs, and Eoraptor shows that the enlarged naris, basally constricted crowns, and a twisted pollex were present in the earliest sauropodomorphs.The bulk of evolutionary advances thus must have appeared all at once in the earliest dinosaurs, according to their own timeline, with later evolution just variations on the theme.  Is this what Charles Darwin envisaged?    In addition, other paleontologists didn’t react as jubilantly as the press.  They sound downright worried.  Michael Balter in the same issue of Science said this fossil “rattles the dinosaur family tree.”2  He quoted Sereno “No one, even ourselves, predicted this repositioning.”  It means that the sauropods and theropods both appeared together.  Another paleontologist worried, “‘Only further research by independent teams can evaluate’ this radical shakeup of the early dinosaur tree.”1.  Martinez, Sereno, Alcober et al, “A Basal Dinosaur from the Dawn of the Dinosaur Era in Southwestern Pangaea,” Science, 14 January 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6014 pp. 206-210, DOI: 10.1126/science.1198467.2.  Michael Balter, “Pint-Sized Predator Rattles The Dinosaur Family Tree,” Science, 14 January 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6014 p. 134, DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6014.134.The main take-home message from this comedy of puzzles is that the Darwinian story comes first, and the data are props for it.  The data clearly do not indicate long ages of gradual increases in complexity and diversity, as Darwin would have imagined.  For all the facts show, these extinct creatures could have all appeared suddenly fully-formed, varied a little over the years with no new genetic innovation, and then perished together.  But no: in today’s paleontology, bones must be rounded up and commanded, like reluctant slaves, to build temples for Charlie.    When the evolutionists have to admit that, according to their own timeline, they cannot see any progress, or any indication whether “stuff happened” gradually or rapidly, they have left science behind and are dealing in tall tales.  Don’t be confused by jargon like “infilling of vacant ecospace.”  What?  Is some hidden real estate agent pushing animals to evolve so they qualify for vacant government housing or something?  This is ridiculous.  It’s obfuscation by linguistic verbosity negating semantic lucidity.  They’re talking about miracles – miracles of chance, “the rise of dinosaurs” for no apparent reason other than sheer dumb luck, with all the major features of dinosaurs present from the beginning, and calling it evolution.    Unfortunately, the science news reporters take this all as gospel truth and dish it out to the public with no critical analysis whatsoever.  That’s why we’re here, to expose how Darwin Brand Sausage is made.  You never sausage a confused mess.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more