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

first_imgArticle published by John Cannon The researchers used satellite data to measure forest carbon values and camera trap photographs to tally the mammal species present in forests and oil palm plantations.Finer-scale data did reveal that high-carbon areas do support more species of medium and large mammals that are threatened with extinction.Experts say that this research validates the high carbon stock approach for identifying priority areas for conservation.Still, further research is required to better understand the role of connectivity between high-carbon forests in supporting biodiversity. Carbon-rich tropical forests, which are often among the least-disturbed habitats, seem to be ideal bastions for sensitive and threatened animals, particularly compared to lower-carbon areas like timber and oil palm plantations.But until recently, data-driven conclusions connecting high levels of both carbon and biodiversity have been elusive.“Scientists have been trying to link carbon with biodiversity for a number of years, but with variable success,” said Nicolas Deere, an ecologist at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, in an interview.Recent research by Deere and his colleagues revealed that high-carbon tropical forests do support more biodiversity than those with less carbon, bolstering the case for the use of carbon assessments to identify forests important for conservation on a number of fronts. The team published their findings Nov. 6 in the Journal of Applied Ecology.A Borneo pygmy elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) in Malaysia. Photo by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.The team chose the patchwork of forests and plantations that make up the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems, or SAFE, project area in southern Sabah, in Malaysian Borneo. Critical to demonstrating the relationship between carbon and biodiversity levels was the researchers’ use of high-resolution satellite data to pinpoint areas with the most carbon. They also used camera traps to record the number of species present in different habitats.Previous studies have often looked at coarser data sets, in which the carbon values for larger areas might represent a range of different forest qualities. In places like Sabah, where humans have altered huge parts of the landscape, a relatively pristine remnant of forest might be adjacent to farms or oil palm plantations. When averaged over a large area, Deere said, “The carbon value of that fragment is going to be dragged down by the agricultural areas around it.”Similarly, studies looking at biodiversity on broader scales than the data that’s collected with camera trapping often miss the nuanced impacts that forest quality can have on the diversity of species in an area. For example, the presence of animals that can survive in oil palm plantations might give the mistaken impression that an area still supports a wide range of species. In reality, these “disturbance-tolerant generalist species … obscure the trend,” he said.Forest meets an oil palm plantation in Sabah. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Deere and his team paired both high- and low-resolution carbon data with camera trap captures from both forests and oil palm plantations. While the low-resolution data didn’t bear out a relationship, the finer-scale data did reveal that high-carbon areas support more species of medium and large mammals threatened with extinction.Grant Rosoman, a global forests solutions senior adviser with Greenpeace, who was not an author of the paper, said that the findings support the use of HCS — short for “high-carbon stock” — assessments. This tool can help identify areas for conservation under certification schemes such as those currently being considered for inclusion in the criteria set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.“This is highly significant because it means that identifying forest via the HCS Approach or similar assessments to achieve no deforestation is at the same time protecting biodiversity,” Rosoman said in an email. “This will have a big impact on being able to quickly and efficiently identify tropical forest areas that are priority for both biodiversity and carbon protection.”H added that the proven linkage between carbon and biodiversity could bump up the value of carbon-rich forests for these “biodiversity co-benefits” under payment-for-ecosystem programs such as REDD+. REDD+ stands for “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,” and it aims to compensate developing countries for maintaining standing forests within their borders.A sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sabah. Photo by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.At the same time, Rosoman said unanswered questions remain about “the impact of HCS forest patch shape, connectivity and configuration in the landscape on biodiversity.”In other words, how does biodiversity respond to habitats that are increasingly split up into smaller pieces by human activity?“I can’t emphasize the fragmentation caveat enough” with the current study, Deere said.“We’ve provided the first validation of the HCS approach,” he said. Now, he added, further research is necessary to look into how landscape fragmentation impacts biodiversity and what’s required for “an ecologically functional forest network in these plantation landscapes.”CITATIONSDeere, N., Guillera-Arroita, G., Baking, E., Bernard, H., Pfeifer, M., Reynolds, G., … & Struebig, M. J. (2017). Do high carbon stock forests provide co-benefits for tropical biodiversity? Journal of Applied Ecology.Banner image of a Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Follow John Cannon on Twitter: @johnccannon Agriculture, Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Hotspots, Camera Trapping, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Finance, Carbon Sequestration, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Science, Conservation, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Endangered Species, Extinction, Farming, Forest Carbon, Great Apes, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Oil Palm, Orangutans, Palm Oil, Plantations, Primates, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Redd, Redd And Biodiversity, Remote Sensing, Research, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Travel ban hits business travel hard

first_imgUS President Donald Trump. Trump’s executive order prohibits travel from seven predominately Muslim countries to the U.S. Citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen are covered.Today the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled against the Trump Administration’s efforts to impose the ban.The appellate courts’ move may pave the way for the ultimate issue to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Bottom line: for now, at least, the ban is stayed. It’s been at least temporarily lifted.Nonetheless, travel executives remain cautious. Shortly after it was imposed late last week GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick said, “With 30 percent of companies expected to reduce travel, the economy will certainly take a hit.” The GBTA chief says there could be short, mid- and long term consequences. In a prepared release, GBTA concludes, “Thirty-one percent of travel professionals expect the ban to cause a reduction in their company’s business travel in the immediate ensuing three months.Similarly, nearly three in ten also expect the ban to impact to impact their company’s business in travel in both the short-term (29 percent), over the next three to six months and the long-term (28 percent) over the next six to twelve months and beyond.”By the numbers, here are the specifics behind travel professionals’ worries: –    Sixty-three percent say they’re concerned as to just how other countries will respond to the ban, perhaps making it more difficult for U.S. citizens to travel abroad;–    Fifty-six percent say they’re concerned about complications in travel to the U.S.;–    Fifty-four percent take the long view and express worries about the lasting impact of the travel ban.That’s how a select slice of pros believe travel will be hit. But what do they think about the ban itself? The answers reflect the growing political gaps between ideologies in today’s USA. GBTA says its survey found “Half of the travel professionals surveyed strongly or somewhat strongly oppose [Trump’s] action, while nearly four in ten (38 percent) strongly or somewhat support it.”Ironically, based on United States Department of Commerce data, the U.S. Travel Association says international travel to the U.S. has just now returned to pre-9/11 levels. The U.S. lost a significant amount of ground in the international marketplace in the years after 9/11.” USTA President and CEO Roger Drew labels that period “the Lost Decade.”A final note: USTA says the U.S. is the single largest destination for global long-haul travel and the second-largest destination for overall global travel.How long it remains so might well lie in the hands of the courts.last_img read more

Free to call ourselves Muslim in India, say minority Ahmadiyyas

first_imgTayyab Ali, 92, lies on a rusty cot in a large house with a courtyard full of plants. Clad in an off-white kurta, he peers intently through thick glasses as he says, “I moved here in 1946 to protect our heritage. I am still doing the same thing.”Tayyab Ali Bengali, as he likes to be called, had migrated from what is now Bangladesh. He was one of the 313 Ahmadiyyas who, at the time of the Partition, had chosen to stay back in Qadian in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district. It was here that the sect’s founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, had established a religious community in 1889. The Ahmadiyyas believe that their founder was the “promised messiah” of the Muslims, meant to propagate the teachings of Prophet Mohammad. But the majority Sunni Muslims believe the Prophet to be the last messiah. This fundamental difference in religious belief has meant that the Ahmadiyyas are a persecuted minority in every Islamic state.In Pakistan, where over 4 million Ahmadiyyas reside, an ordinance passed by the government in 1984 declared them as “non-Muslims”. It also made it a criminal offence for members of this community to practise Islam or claim to be Muslims.As for the Ahmadiyyas, they call themselves a “revival movement in Islam”, one that rejects “terrorism” and believes in the “jihad of the pen” as opposed to a “jihad of the sword”.Mr. Ali is proud to be a ‘Darvesh’, the title given to each of the 313 who chose to stay in India after the 1947 Partition, leaving their families in Pakistan. He recalls attending a few sermons given by Ahmadiyya leaders in 1945, after which he decided to join the sect. He moved to Qadian the following year.“My parents were Sunnis. They stopped me but I didn’t listen to them. After Partition, my father sent me a money order and asked me to come back. But I sent the money order back,” he says. He last travelled to see his family over 50 years ago, in what was then East Pakistan, but returned in four days. “The environment was hostile. My parents didn’t treat me well. I came back,” he recalls. In India, he says, he wakes up for fajr, the first of the five prayers through the day, rests, eats, and goes to watch kids play football in the evening.The only tough time, he recalls, was the year following Partition. “We lived like prisoners, with a bare minimum of food, for over a year. We couldn’t get out of Qadian. A year later, I started playing football and volleyball, and that became a reason for me to get out of Qadian sometimes for tournaments,” Mr. Ali says.India’s Ahmadiyya population is about 1.5 lakh, About 6,000 of them live in Qadian in a settlement spread across 1,500 acres. It has a residential colony, two mosques, State board-affiliated schools for both girls and boys, a religious college, a few manufacturing units, including a chapatti-making unit, playgrounds, community halls, and religious monuments.Self-sustaining communityModelled as a self-sustaining township of sorts, the community enjoys its own administration, known as the ‘Secretariat’, with separate departments for expenditure, construction, audit, general affairs, information technology, waseehat and jaidaat. All the department heads are appointed by the ‘Khalifa’, or fifth successor of the founder, Mirza Masroor Ahmad. The Khalifa is based in London, which has now become the headquarters of the community.“Most of the money to run the community comes from donations by our members across the country. A significant part of it is generated by a system wherein those who pledge allegiance to the community donate 10% of their property and monthly salary to the administration,” says Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat’s (AMJ) spokesperson Tariq Ahmed. Many members of the community live in houses owned by the sect, pay a nominal rent, and work at the Secretariat.Nasir Waheed, who handles accounts at the Secretariat, says that he gets a salary of just ₹7,000 a month but is grateful for the peaceful life. “My children study in the community school where the fees are low. And because I work for the community, there are a lot of benefits,” he says, adding that his father was a Darvesh. “He worked for free in the initial years and started with a salary of ₹5”.Mr. Waheed’s wife, Swalehah Waheed (37), says the women are mostly occupied in religious programmes scheduled through the year. The entire settlement is divided into 13 sub-areas, each headed by a woman who is responsible for the ‘religious guidance’ of the women of her subdivision. “They give us books of our Khalifa to read and there are regular discussions around it. Every now and then, religious programmes are organised where women and minor girls share what they have read,” says Ms. Waheed, who has a master’s degree in political science from Panjab University.While there are many like Ms. Waheed, there are also women like Tahira Maqbool. Ms. Maqbool is now an Indian citizen but was a Pakistani until two years ago. The 34-year-old mother of three recalls life back “home” in Faisalabad and the pain of living there.‘Home’ truths “I was born in Faisalabad and stayed there till I got married in 2003. It’ll always be home because I’ve spent my childhood there. But in Pakistan we are treated worse than animals,” she says. Recalling an incident, she describes how her brother was once stopped on the street for particular reason, slapped around, and asked to change his faith.Tehmida (29), also a Pakistani born and brought up in Karachi, got married in India in 2013. She, too, has experienced persecution. “I was a bright student in college and my teachers loved me. But the day they came to know that I was an Ahmadiyya, their attitude towards me changed completely. They even asked me to leave the college. I said I’ll only leave if you make a formal complaint.”Unfortunately, for the married Pakistani women in Qadian, the ordeal doesn’t end even after they leave their home country. In India, life without citizenship is not easy either.“Sometimes, I feel like a prisoner because I have to renew my visa every year. I got married here and my four-year-old son is also an Indian. But I can’t leave Qadian. To travel out of this town, I need a No Objection Certificate from the Indian government. This remains a huge problem,” says Ms. Tehmida, adding that her friends from Pakistan often ask her if she has visited Mumbai or the Taj Mahal. “What could I say?”Slow citizenship process Tears roll down the eyes of Ms. Maqbool as she recalls the time her father passed away, in April 2012. She could not go and see him one last time as she had submitted her passport to the Indian government as part of her citizenship application process. “It is a very slow process,” she says. “I received the citizenship certificate only in April 2016.” Rukaiyya Khalam (52), from Pakistan’s Rabwah, has a similar story. She came to India in 1994 and started her citizenship process right then. “My mother passed away in 1996. But there is a requirement that in order to get citizenship, I should not leave India for seven years after I come here. So I didn’t go. Now, more than 20 years later, I am still not an Indian national,” she says.Ms. Tehmida, however, is happy in one respect. “I am free to practise my beliefs the way I want”.Mr. Ahmed, too, dwells on the relief in being able to freely call oneself a Muslim.In September, the Pakistani government had removed Princeton economist Atif Mian, an Ahmadiyya, from the newly set up Economic Advisory Council because of opposition from the Sunni majority. “In Pakistan, we can’t keep the Koran. We can’t celebrate Id. We can’t publish any of our books or periodicals. We can’t greet with Assalamu alaikum. There is not a single month when our people are not martyred. How would they accept one of us in the national Economic Advisory Council? India and most of the 211 other countries where our people live are extremely tolerant in this matter as compared to Pakistan,” he says.Members of the community say that they can lead a normal life In India, like any other Muslim, so long as they don’t show that they’re Ahmadiyya. Mansoor Ahmad, a local who often visits his relatives in Delhi, says that his nieces and nephews go to a private college and none of their friends really care what community they are from. “But it’s not always like this. There have been instances when hardliners in Ludhiana have created a ruckus because of our presence during religious programmes. But even on those occasions things never escalated to violence,” he says.last_img read more

Drewry Container Carriers Still Face High Risk of Failure

first_imgzoom Privately-owned container carriers could risk losing shippers’ trust if they do not provide any data on their level of indebtedness and balance sheet strength, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.The recent failure of South Korean carrier Hanjin Shipping has exposed the high level of financial risk that exists and created renewed demand for financial transparency.While Hanjin’s financial position was at the extreme edges and its demise is not expected to create a domino effect, a number of major carriers are still struggling and the risk of another following the same path as the Korean line cannot be discounted, Drewry said.Drewry’s Z-score carrier financial stress index sunk to its lowest ever point following the first-half 2016 results. The decline in the Z-score index has coincided with the heavy reduction in container freight rates that dropped to historical lows in the second-quarter.“As freight rates staged something of a recovery in third-quarter we expect to see some uptick to the Z-score when the third-quarter 2016 results are published, while the removal of Hanjin from the sample will also benefit the average score. Nonetheless, carriers will almost certainly continue to reside in the so-called ‘distress zone’,” Drewry said.Based on the latest available financial reports Drewry’s Z-score table shows that only two, namely, A.P. Moller-Maersk and OOIL, of the 14 selected companies scored high enough to make it to the cautionary ‘grey zone’, with the remainder struggling in the ‘distress zone’.With shippers expected to pay much closer attention to the financial risks when selecting carriers in future, carriers themselves will need to be sure of the financial health of their alliance and service partners, or potentially risk losing customers.last_img read more