From friends to strangers: The decline of the Irrawaddy dolphin (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki 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 Now critically endangered, the last of the Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are concentrated in nine deep-water pools over a 190-kilometer stretch of the Mekong between Cambodia’s Sambor district and Khone Falls on the Lao border.Today the Mekong’s dolphins face a new threat. The proposed Sambor Dam on the river’s mainstream would catalyze the extinction of the remaining dolphin population and have disastrous consequences for many other fish species, as well as the communities that depend on them.Can Cambodia bring this river dolphin back from the brink of extinction?This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Sitting on the banks of the Mekong River repairing his fishing net, 60-year-old Saron recalls a story from the time of his grandfather: “One cool November morning, Uncle Somnang was casting his net off the shore of his island home when a wave knocked him off balance and into the river. He struggled to right his overturned boat, but was quickly exhausted by the swift current. Suddenly, he felt a surge from below. A grey river dolphin appeared, helped him to right his boat, and gently nudged him back aboard.”Saron’s wife Pin chimes in. “In the past, there were so many river dolphins,” she says, “they would startle us by suddenly jumping up along both sides of our fishing boats. In fact, they were just coming up to greet us and smile at us.“Dolphins are like human beings who live under water,” Pin explains. “Like us, they feed their babies with milk. That’s why our elders taught us to never eat them.”Sambor district sits astride the Mekong River in Central Cambodia. The river is the life force of the district — most of Sambor’s 50,000 inhabitants fish and farm along its fertile banks, or on the large islands that characterize this stretch of the Mekong.Now critically endangered, the last of the Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are concentrated in nine deep-water pools over a 190-kilometer stretch of the Mekong between Sambor district and Khone Falls on the Lao border.Fisherfolk on the Mekong at dawn. Photo Credit: Sabrina Gyorvary.The first major decline in dolphin numbers occurred during the genocidal Pol Pot regime, when the Khmer Rouge used dolphin oil in lamps, motorbikes, and boat engines, and also ate dolphin meat. After the Pol Pot regime, when guns were abundant throughout Cambodia, Vietnamese and Khmer soldiers reportedly shot at dolphins for target practice.Today, the Mekong’s dolphins face a new threat. The proposed Sambor Dam on the river’s mainstream would catalyze the extinction of the remaining dolphin population and have disastrous consequences for many other fish species, as well as the communities that depend on them. Large hydropower dams cause significant shifts in habitat size, water flow, sedimentation, and animal mobility, destroying fish and dolphin habitats and blocking migration to spawning grounds. In addition, the use of explosives during dam construction creates strong sound waves that pose a critical danger to dolphins due to their highly sensitive hearing structures.Already, the Don Sahong Dam in Laos, less than two kilometers from the Cambodian border, has blocked the only year-round migratory channel for fish and dolphins on this section of the Mekong. Due to the impacts of the Don Sahong Dam, in combination with the illegal use of electroshock devices, poison, explosives, and nylon gill fishing nets, the dolphin population is now functionally extinct in Laos.Kampi pool, near Sambor town, is home to around 20 of Cambodia’s last remaining 80 river dolphins. The area is home to a budding ecotourism industry, and local women, in particular, report benefits from the extra household income earned from selling boat rides to see the dolphins.According to WWF, “Research indicates a minimum mortality rate of 16-20 percent over the last 3 years, which is clearly unsustainable. In fact, scientists suggest that mortality rates should not exceed one to two percent to ensure this small population’s long-term survival. Calf mortality rates are mysteriously high, and there is no evidence that a single calf has survived to independence during the last 3 years.”In addition to sounding a death knell for the Mekong dolphins, the Sambor Dam would contribute to the looming food security crisis posed by a series of large hydropower dams planned for the Mekong River’s lower mainstream. If built, these dams would block the major fish migrations that are essential to the life cycle of around 70 percent of the Mekong River’s commercial fish catch. This would result in a total estimated fishery loss of 26 to 42 percent, placing the livelihoods and food security of millions of people at risk.The dam wouldn’t just increase hunger; it would also cause many families to lose their homes. The Mekong River Commission’s 2010 Strategic Environmental Assessment estimates that around 20,000 residents would be evicted from their homes and land to make way for the Sambor Dam’s massive reservoir.With their way of life along the river under threat, local residents worry that their children and grandchildren will only know of dolphins as mythical creatures of the past. “The dolphins have gone from being friends to strangers,” Saron lamented.As Mekong dolphins are revered by local people, the species makes an ideal flagship to mobilize support for broader river environment conservation issues. Rather than investing in environmentally destructive hydropower dams, the Cambodian government could take the opportunity to embrace cost-competitive renewable electricity technologies. At the same time, Cambodia could lead the region in environmental stewardship by bringing the river dolphins back from the brink of extinction.An Irrawaddy dolphin in Cambodia. Photo Credit: Stefan Brending, licensed under CC-by-sa-3.0 de.The names of people in this article were changed to protect their identities.Sabrina Gyorvary is Mekong Program Coordinator with International Rivers. She is based in Thailand.Namthip Khudsavanh is a freelance researcher and folklorist based in Laos.center_img Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Commentary, Conservation, Dams, Dolphins, Ecotourism, Editorials, Endangered Species, Environment, Fisheries, Hydropower, Mammals, Marine Mammals, Mekong Dams, Researcher Perspective Series, Rivers, Saving Species From Extinction, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

Safe spaces: Tackling sexual harassment in science

first_imgConservation, Featured, Forestry, Forests, Rainforests, Research, Science, Social Justice, Tropical Forests, Women In Science Through this 3-month long investigation, Mongabay examined a variety of common situations in sciences where people are victimized by uneven power dynamics and abuses of authority in the sciences across the Americas.Most of those who spoke to Mongabay for this story asked to remain anonymous for fear of serious repercussions for their career.Though those interviewed were based throughout the Americas, Mongabay has received other tips from around the world describing a wide variety of abuses of power. Far away from the red carpets of Hollywood, an aspiring scientist in Guyana, South America, is being discouraged by her parents from going on a field trip because of worries for her reputation and safety. They’ve heard stories of what can happen to young women on such expeditions.“Often more than 90 percent of our field staff are male,” logistics assistant Natasha* told Mongabay. “I’ve heard reports of sexual harassment, and when females go along on these trips, particularly if they are young and unmarried, there’s a perception that because she’s with these men, she will be having sex. Valid or not, this is discouraging for women.”This is #metoo in the world of conservation. There are no shiny pins saying “Time’s Up.” No speeches. No applause. Just ordinary women beating back inappropriate sexual comments, unwanted advances and aggressive behaviour to progress in their chosen career.A field biologist conducts a survey for special status plants. NPS photo.In 2017, high-profile reports of sexual harassment at the hands of male scientists and professors rippled across the scientific community and even into the mainstream media, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg.Under the surfaceWhen Angela* heard the news reports about sexual harassment of scientists in Antarctica it brought back unpleasant memories of her own time at McMurdo, the largest US research center on the icy continent.“When I saw the headline, there were at least three people I was guessing it would be,” the life sciences doctor told Mongabay. “And Dave [Marchant, the man accused] wasn’t one of the three [I thought of]. That’s how rampant this problem is.”The choice to not speak out, said Angela, is often out of self-preservation.“Almost every woman I know in science has a harassment or discrimination story to tell – but, and I speak only for myself, we don’t want to make waves or open old wounds.”Recently, Scientific American published a comprehensive overview, Confronting Sexual Harassment in Science, highlighting moves by different US institutions to intervene in and prevent such behaviors. Another piece in Science magazine also dug into the issue.In one study cited, the Survey of Academic Field Experiences (2014), approximately two-thirds of respondents stated that they had personally experienced sexual harassment – defined here as inappropriate or sexual remarks, comments about physical beauty, cognitive sex differences, or other such jokes.A Mosaics in Science program participant conducts field work at Lava Beds National Monument. NPS Photo.More than 20 percent reported that they had personally experienced sexual assault.To get a sense of some of the issues at play, Mongabay spoke to a cross-section of women working in science across the Americas to hear their experiences.An unwanted lessonFor some of the women we spoke to, it began in the classroom.Just a couple of months into starting her PhD, conservation biologist Monica* was emailed explicit photos by her lab professor. “We’re talking sexual images, very inappropriate,” she told Mongabay. “I thought: this must be a mistake. But then it happened again.”While she said her gut reaction was to raise it with the dean, she ultimately decided not to – worried she wouldn’t get her PhD, would fall out with the university or have to start again. “So I never did anything about it. I just left his lab and started with my next advisor.”For others, the huge pressures to succeed manifested in unequal “consensual” relationships with senior staff.“I have several colleagues who were taken advantage of by their PhD advisers,” Natalia*, doctor of ecology, told Mongabay in an email exchange.“Whereas both parties may at different times perceive this as a ‘normal relationship’, so many times in retrospect (or even as it’s happening) the junior person feels that they have no choice to say no to sleeping with their adviser because it will impact everything – their entire career.”Alone in their fieldThe same power games, harassment and inappropriate behavior continue into the workplace.A graduate student conducts shorebird research at Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. NPS photo.One of the women Mongabay spoke to described being harassed and belittled. In one instance, a high-level official asked her, “Why don’t you just go and have a family and kids?” Another woman recalled a male colleague who would try to initiate explicit conversations, such as “When did you lose your virginity?”For manager Aesha*, even networking has proved problematic. “There are a lot of risks,” she said. “I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve networked with someone, given them my number to keep in touch, and conversations around work quickly became inappropriate and sexual.”Setting boundaries and shutting down unwanted behavior in the field is even trickier.While on expeditions, Monica said she has experienced bullying by men who seemed to be intimated by her familiarity or comfort with the work or setting: “It’s pretty strong when someone immediately wants to undermine you and shake your confidence because they’re insecure.”This can also manifest when romantic advances are turned down. “A couple of times people have tried to discredit me in some way in my work or make up something because it was very clear they were not ok with being rejected,” she said. “It’s really hard because you can’t put out all these fires that other people have lit.”Reporting upThere is an impression among some people that sexual harassment, abuse and intimidation don’t happen in science, especially not in so-called “conscious” fields such as conservation and ecology.On the Essequibo River close to Iwokrama River Lodge. Photo by Carinya Sharples/MongabayScientist Raquel Thomas-Caesar told Mongabay she has found most educated men who care for the environment to be respectful and compassionate.But, she said, she was surprised on one occasion, many years ago, when a trusted, overseas colleague in a supervisory position made an unwelcome sexual approach.She said she never reported the incident as she dealt with the situation privately – but also because she didn’t feel confident that upper-level management would address the situation adequately.Today, Thomas-Caesar makes use of her current employer’s sexual harassment policy to discipline such behavior and there have been a few occasions where staff have been dismissed.Changing the climateHaving specific policies in place is important when tackling institutional sexual harassment, but the reporting process must also be clear, open and non-judgmental – and those found guilty properly penalized.In November 2017, the Huffington Post reported that an engineering professor at Princeton University had been found “responsible for sexual harassment”. His reported punishment: to attend training.“People are really mad on campus right now,” said Andrea Graham, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, in an interview with Mongabay in December. “They’re really angry at such a light punishment.” In response, the university has set up an advisory committee to review its sexual-misconduct policies.Meanwhile, in her own department, Graham chairs a Climate Committee that aims to promote transparency, diversity and inclusivity. The committee, set up in early 2016, is made up of two peer-selected graduate students, post-doctoral students, one staff member and three faculty members.“Just opening the conversation has been incredibly therapeutic and already productive,” she said. “Activism, or just actions, and cultural change induced by how awful things are right now maybe ultimately will make it all worthwhile. That’s what makes it feasible for me to march on despite the horrible news every day.”*Names have been changed to protect the identities of individuals.Carinya Sharples is a Guyana-based foreign correspondent. You can find her on Twitter at @carinyasharples.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Genevieve Belmakerlast_img read more

Tropical forest fragmentation nearing ‘critical point,’ study finds

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 Citation:Taubert, F., Fischer, R., Groeneveld, J., Lehmann, S., Müller, M. S., Rödig, E., … & Huth, A. (2018). Global patterns of tropical forest fragmentation. Nature.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. Agriculture, Big Cats, Environment, Farming, Forest Fragmentation, Forest Loss, Forests, Fragmentation, Habitat Loss, Industrial Agriculture, Jaguars, Logging, Plantations, Predators, Primary Forests, Rainforests, Research, Tigers, Top Predators, Trees, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis In addition to having severe repercussions for animals like jaguars and tigers that require vast tracts of connected habitat, forest fragmentation has a big carbon footprint.A new physics-based study finds fragmentation of tropical forests may be reaching a threshold past which fragmentation will shoot up sharply. At this threshold, even a relatively small amount of deforestation could lead to dramatic fragmentation – and significant habitat loss and greenhouse gas emissions.The team calculated that at current deforestation rates, the number of fragments will increase 33-fold in Central and South America by 2050, and their average size will drop from 17 hectares to 0.25 hectares. Deforestation in the tropics is caused by many different human activities that vary in intensity depending on location. In South America, industrial agriculture is the big driver of deforestation while smallholder farming is pockmarking Congo rainforest and logging for high-value timber species is having devastating effects on the forests of mainland Southeast Asia.Yet, despite the diversity of these activities, a new study published this week in Nature shows they have had a surprisingly similar overall impact on the world’s tropical forests – an impact that appears to be reaching a “critical point” past which the consequences may be catastrophic.The issue here is fragmentation. As humans move in and cut down trees, remaining forest is fragmented into smaller and smaller chunks that are increasingly farther away from each other. In addition to having severe repercussions for animals like jaguars and tigers that require vast tracts of connected habitat, forest fragmentation has a big carbon footprint.In order to find enough food, tigers need huge areas of habitat. Malayan tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) like the one pictured are critically endangered due primarily to forest fragmentation.Research published in 2017 revealed that the world’s tropical forests are currently cut up into around 50 million fragments, and their edges add up to about 50 million kilometers – which put together would make it about a third of the way from Earth to the sun. The study found trees at these fragment edges are much more likely to die than those in the middle of forests, potentially adding 31 percent more greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.But what is the overall impact of these fragments, and what will they look like in the future? To find out, researchers at Germany’s Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) used physics to mathematically describe the fragmentation of tropical forests on a global scale. The team identified fragments via high-resolution satellite data that detects gaps in tree canopies and found fragmentation patterns in the world’s thee main rainforest regions – Africa, Southeast Asia and South/Central America – fit physic’s “percolation theory.”“[Percolation theory] states that in a certain phase of deforestation the forest landscape exhibits fractal, self-similar structures, i.e. structures that can be found again and again on different levels,” said biophysicist Andreas Huth, a coauthor of the study.The team discovered that forest fragments had similar sizes in all three regions, despite being caused by different activities. In Central and South America, they found 11.2 percent of forest fragments are smaller than 10,000 hectares; in Africa it was 9.9 percent, and 9.2 percent in Southeast Asia.“This is surprising because land use noticeably differs from continent to continent,” said Dr. Franziska Taubert, mathematician and lead author of the studyThe team’s results suggest that forest fragmentation is close to what they call a “critical point of percolation” in all three major rainforest regions. In physics, a critical point of percolation is also called a phase transition and happens when something is at the threshold of turning from one form into another – like when liquid water boils and turns into vapor.For forests, the critical point of percolation is the point at which the rate of fragmentation will shoot up dramatically. And the researchers found that the current number and size of fragments suggest that rainforests in all three regions are close to this critical point. They write that near this point, even “small additional amounts of forest loss in the near future would lead to a strong increase in the number of forest fragments.”The team calculated that at current deforestation rates, the number of fragments will increase 33-fold in Central and South America by 2050, and their average size will drop from 17 hectares to 0.25 hectares.The researchers say that in order to turn things around, fragmentation needs to slow way down and more areas need to be reforested than deforested – a tall order since data indicate forest loss continues to rise globally. However the authors offer a bit of hope, adding that “reforestation and protecting large forest areas nevertheless have potential to mitigate the consequences of fragmentation.”last_img read more

Agroforestry bolsters biodiversity and villages in Sri Lanka

first_imgResidents of the rural Sri Lankan village of Pitekele relied on the nearby rainforest as a source of food, fuel, fiber and medicine for generations, until it was made into a park.The forest’s new conservation status and rules for accessing traditional products caused traditional “home garden” agroforestry plots to replace the forest’s role in villagers’ incomes and food procurement strategies.These unusually diverse agroforestry systems have reduced the pressure on native primary rainforest and serve to provide habitat, forest cover, biodiversity and food security within the buffer zone, where land is otherwise increasingly being used for tea cultivation.Sri Lanka is a biodiversity hotspot, and its home gardens are very diverse too: Pitekele’s home gardens support a richness of 219 species in 181 genera and 73 families. PITEKELE, Sri Lanka — Visitors to the Sinharaja Man and Biosphere Reserve, Sri Lanka’s largest remaining primary rainforest, could easily miss the fact that adjoining the forest’s entrance is the old and thriving community of Pitekele. Yet on foot, it takes just a quick turn and a climb over a boulder or two to exit the UNESCO World Heritage Site and enter into this bucolic village landscape of fallow rice paddies, sprawling tea gardens, and homes surrounded by some of the most diverse, and biodiverse, gardens in the whole region.Pitekele, Sinhalese for “the village outside the forest,” is located within the 3-kilometer-wide (1.9-mile) buffer zone on the northwestern side of Sinharaja, the last remaining example of a once extensive mature wet-zone rainforest containing species endemic to Sri Lanka, and is itself a prime example of applied agroforestry.View of a Pitekele home garden surrounding dense plantings of tea. Photo by Chandni Navalkha for MongabayVillagers have a complex relationship with the protected area; while they fully support the conservation of the forest for its contribution to the local climate and clean water, conservation rules implemented after the reserve’s establishment in 1986 have curtailed their ability to use forest resources upon which they have depended for generations.These restrictions have made the villagers’ “home gardens” — multi-story combinations of trees, shrubs, herbs and lianas planted around houses — increasingly important for their livelihoods and food security.Shifting away from forest resourcesForest resources were once a central part of villagers’ livelihoods. Three decades ago, men and children in Pitekele would often go to the forest to gather valuable products for use at home and to sell.Villagers tell of the many different plant species they would gather at different seasons. A favorite was wild cardamom (Elletaria ensal), known locally as enasal, used to flavor curries and sweets. A yellow vine called weniwelgetha (Coscinium fenestratum), which has recognized anti-tetanus properties and is now critically endangered, was prized as medicine for ailments as common as fevers and as rare as snakebites. On their way to tap fishtail palms (Caryota urens), known as kitul, whose sweet sap is used to make hard sugar and syrup, men would gather up nuts and resins from native dipterocarps (Shorea sp.) to eat and to sell.Since the creation of the reserve, these activities are forbidden. Now, to tap palms within the forest, villagers are required to purchase permits. As a result, people rarely enter the forest; even village elders told Mongabay that they go maybe once a year.“Before, we used to go to the forest to gather food, spices, medicine, to tap fishtail palms,” says Guneratne W.* “We used to sell resins and fruits we collected, and now we don’t, we sell areca nut, coconuts, or bananas that we have on our land when we need extra income. Now, we must grow what we want to eat or sell in our home gardens.”Nam nam is a fruit tree common in Sri Lankan home gardens, this one has a fruit that’s almost ready to be picked. Photo by Chandni Navalkha for MongabayAn extraordinarily diverse agroforestry systemScholars believe home gardens in Sri Lanka are an ancient agroforestry system that has been practiced for more than 2,500 years. The age of tropical home gardens is less well understood, but Vijaykumara W.* knows his family has maintained a home garden in Pitekele for at least 200 years. “I am the fifth generation here,” he says, “this is my ancestral village.”According to village elders like Vijaykumara, most of the home gardens in Pitekele were planted between 30 and 50 years ago, established by children when setting up their own households. Some home gardens, those of the older households, are more than 100 years old.These home gardens also feature a high level of diversity compared to other regions of Sri Lanka. A forthcoming study on Pitekele by Klaus Geiger et al. in association with Yale University finds that the tropical home gardens found here demonstrate a much higher species richness than those found in other studies of Sri Lankan home gardens. Through their survey of 10 home gardens in the village, the authors found a total species richness of 219 species in 181 genera and 73 families. Similarly, their mean species richness per home garden of 64 species is much higher compared to other estimates of Sri Lankan home gardens, which range from 42 to 46 in a 2009 study by K. Kumari et al.People here say that their home gardens have existed as far back as they can remember, even if the species mix has changed over time. Jayawira*, a tea planter and kitul tapper in Pitekele, remembers walking 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from Weddagala, the closest town, carrying construction materials for his house on his back.“In the past, there was no road … we would walk,” he recalls. “We had to grow everything we wanted because we couldn’t buy it, including medicine because we were far from the doctors and hospital. Now we have less than we used to in the home gardens because we don’t need to grow medicines anymore, we have the road and can go to the hospital.”While no single home garden in the village is the same — each reflects the individual preferences of a family — all contain a mix of edible, medicinal and ornamental trees and plants. The most common trees in home gardens are the native kitul palms and two species which are ancient introductions: coconut palms (Cocos nucifera), including the famous king coconut (Cocos nucifera v. aurantiaca), and areca palms (Areca catechu), the nuts of which are sold for cash throughout the year.In addition to these native palms, jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and mango (Mangifera indica) trees dominate the canopy of home gardens and provide an important source of both fruit and timber. Exotic fruit species from Latin America and the Asia Pacific, like breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), ambarella (Spondias dulcis), water apple (Syzygium malaccense), and rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum), as well as spice trees like clove (Syzygium aromaticum), compose the mid-canopy.“Here, we don’t buy fruits,” Niyentara G.* says as she hands me a 2-kilo (4.4-pound) bag of ambarella from her garden to make curry for dinner. “We eat from the garden as things come into season. But the animals eat the manioc and bananas, and we still need to buy things like vegetables in town.”Edible and medicinal herbs cover the ground in Pitekele’s home gardens. Photo by Chandni Navalkha for MongabayLower-canopy trees consist of exotic citruses such as lemon (Citrus aurantifolia), orange (Citrus sinensis), and mandarin (Citrus reticulata), plus guava (Psidium guajava) varieties, nam nam (Cynometra cauliflora), the native cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum verum) and medicinal trees such as nika (Vitex negundo) and pawata (Pavetta indica). Black pepper (Piper nigrum) and betel (Piper betel) vines often adorn the trunks of these trees.Ground-story herbs and shrubs supplement edible fruits with edible leaves like koppa (Polyscias scutellaria), niramulia (Hygrophila schulli), gotukola (Centella asiatica) and bowitiya (Osbeckia aspera), used to make the sambal sauces that traditionally accompany meals of rice and curry. Spices like curry (Murraya koenigii) and pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius) leaf are also found in this layer of the home garden, as are popular medicinals like polpala (Aerva lanata) and iraweriya (Plectranthus zatarhendi var. tomentosa), which are used for stomach ailments.Changing livelihoodsThe road is a symbol of the villagers’ changing livelihoods. Two or three decades ago, sheets of freshly tapped and rolled rubber would be drying outdoors on clotheslines; people grew coffee and cinnamon as cash crops, sold forest products, tapped kitul and planted their own rice.Around the same time as the establishment of Sinharaja, however, villagers began replacing their rubber and cinnamon plantations with tea plants and stopped growing rice altogether.According to villagers, this shift began when the price of low-grown tea rose above rubber prices. Infrastructure, like the road and a daily truck sent to pick up villagers’ tea harvest, encouraged people to switch from rubber and cinnamon to tea. “We became busy with growing tea and picking the tea leaves,” Lakshi R.* explains, “We didn’t have time to grow rice, and with our income from tea, we can buy rice instead.”Even as higher incomes enable families to purchase rice from the market, villagers say that as food prices increase home gardens are vital in supplying their households with food staples like peppers, coconuts, spices, and fruits and vegetables. Ashoka W.*, who started his tea plantation in Pitekele about 10 years ago, told Mongabay, “Our lives depend on the price of tea. If it goes down, so does our quality of life.”Useful trees visible in this typical home garden include coconut, jackfruit, areca palm, banana, mango, breadfruit, and citrus varieties. Photo by Chandni Navalkha for MongabayGrowing their own food in home gardens ensures that even if the price of tea decreases, villagers in Pitekele are food secure. The same study by Geiger et al. found that an equal amount of Pitekele’s land area is in tea cultivation as in home gardens.Recognizing this, the Sri Lankan government has encouraged the establishment of home gardens through its rural development and agricultural policies. In 2011, the Sri Lankan Department of Livelihoods (Divi Neguma, later consolidated into the poverty alleviation program known as Samurdhi) launched an initiative to foster the establishment of more than 1 million home gardens. Annual targets continue to extend this number; in 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture aimed to create 500,000 additional home gardens throughout Sri Lanka.Maintaining tree cover and combating climate changeIn a country where deforestation has decreased its original forest area by half since 1956, home gardens like those in Pitekele are crucial to maintaining forest cover and ecosystem services. A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2009 found home gardens compose nearly 15 percent of Sri Lanka’s land area and 33 percent of its total forest area.Like other agroforestry systems globally, home gardens in Sri Lanka play an important role in combating climate change. Annually, agroforestry sequesters 0.73 gigatons of carbon around the world. While quantitative studies of carbon storage in home gardens is lacking, experts agree that Sri Lanka’s tropical home gardens have a high degree of existing and potential carbon storage“These are tree-based systems that store large amounts of carbon in both above-ground biomass and in soils,” says James Roshetko, an expert on agroforestry in Southeast Asia at the World Agroforestry Centre. Along with carbon storage, home gardens boost resilience to climate change: “The diversity of home gardens helps farmers eliminate the risk associated with changing climate conditions.”Mangala De Zoysa, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Ruhuna in Sri Lanka, notes that even as home gardens themselves sequester carbon, they reduce the risk of deforestation and degradation of carbon-sequestering forests like Sinharaja.Sixty percent of Sri Lanka’s timber is supplied by home gardens, he says. “People get their fuelwood and firewood from their gardens, which helps to protect natural forests.”Home gardens capture carbon and provide dense cover for creatures to hide, forage, and nest in, as with this gourd tree. Photo by Chandni Navalkha for MongabaySupporting biodiversity, from monkeys to monitor lizardsAlong with reducing pressure on forest resources, contributing to villagers’ food security and livelihoods, and maintaining forest cover in the buffer zone of Sinharaja, the tropical home gardens of Pitekele support biodiversity conservation in the region by providing a habitat for important fauna, many of which are endemic species.“Home gardens provide excellent habitat for pollinators like insects and birds,” Roshetko says. “And at the same time their diversity helps farmers to keep out pests and disease.”Talking with villagers about the birds and animals they witness commonly within their gardens, they mention just a few of the many species they see.One family often spies the endemic Sri Lankan gray hornbill (Ocyceros gingalensis) eating papaya from a tree in their garden. Villagers put out rice to feed the birds, and the Sri Lankan jungle fowl (Gallus lafayetii) can be seen in many home gardens as a result. Other commonly seen and heard birds are the pied cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus), the brown-headed barbet (Megalaima zeylanica), the Sri Lanka blue magpie (Urocissa ornata), and the rarer Ceylon frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger). Yellow-billed Babbler in a Pitekele garden. Photo by Le Do Ly Lan 1234 read more

GOLF NOTES: PORTSALON GOLF CLUB

first_imgPortsalon Winter LinksThe next outing of the Portsalon Winter Links will be staged on Saturday 26th November All members are requested to adhere to their tee times and due to the large numbers participating all are asked to avoid slow play.Christmas Hamper On Sunday 11th of December Portsalon golf club members will contest for the traditional Christmas hamper. The event will be a shot gun start at 11 a.m. sharp and all participants are asked to record their names (four ball) by 6 pm Saturday to enable a draw to take place for tees and a tee off at 11 a.m..EventsOn Saturday 26th November the Portsalon Winter Links, and Sunday 27th November there will be member’s turkey competitions and on Wednesday 30th November there is gents open stableford competition. Time sheets are in operation for all competitions contact 0749159459 or go online to portsalongolfclub.com.Congratulations. Congratulations to Noreen Mc Conigley who recorded a hole in one on the par 3 10th hole on Sunday last.ResultsThe winner of the Wednesday open was Sean Kelly Ballyliffen (8) 41 points, 2nd Stephen Connolly P/s (5) 41 points, Gross Paddy Sheridan (9) 29 points, 3rd Garret Horkin (19) 39 points The winner of the Saturday open played on 19th was Shaun Shields (14) 43 pointsRunner Up: Keith O Donnell (7) B&S 39pts Gross: Pascal Cullen (5) P/S 33 3rd Michael Dunne (21) P/S 38pts BOT. On Sunday 20th it was a members competition and the winner with a one over gross 42 points was 5 handicaper Seamus Patton, 2nd Rory Kenney (10) 40 points Gross Eamon Mc Dermott (4) 35 points 3rd Sean Gibbons (12) 40 points.SympathyThe Captain Donal Callaghan and the members of Portsalon Golf Club were saddened to learn of the death of our former member Kathleen McFadden. Deepest sympathy is extended to her husband Charlie and family. May she rest in peace. New MembersFree golf at Portsalon golf club is now on its way down to one month as November peters out this will leave your golfing in December free? If you missed the opportunity for this offer! don’t be disappointed, you can still avail of December free in this special golfing offer for new members who join Portsalon Golf Club. All you have to do is make your application pay your fees for 2012 and get November and December 2011 free. For further information please contact 074 9159459.Gift VouchersFancy something special for that special person in your life, why not purchase a Portsalon Golf Club Gift Voucher. It’s the ideal gift for birthdays, Christmas or just to say thanks. For further details contact 074 9159459. Drop OffOver the past few weeks members and visitors have been requested to drop off the 2nd, 7th and 9th fairways. As a result the fairways on the selected holes are improving. The fairways will be clearly identified. Please ensure that you drop off on either side of the fairway.PlacingAll members and visitors should note that six inch placing on all fairways only is in operation at Portsalon Golf Club.On Line BookingMembers and visitors to Portsalon Golf Club should note that on line booking is now available for all competitions at Portsalon at the flick of a button go to portsalongolfclub.comDivot BagsMembers and visitors please note that divot bags are now available on entry to the first tee box. Please ensure that you pick up a bag and assist with the course maintenanceGOLF NOTES: PORTSALON GOLF CLUB was last modified: November 24th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Portsalon Golf Club Noteslast_img read more

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Initial review

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jonathan Coppess, Gary Schnitkey, Nick Paulson, Benjamin Gramig, Krista Swanson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State UniversityOn Monday Dec. 10, 2018, the House and Senate conference committee released the conference report for the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018; the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, the Senate moved quickly to pass the conference report with a final vote in favor of the farm bill of 87 to 13. On Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, the House voted overwhelmingly to pass the farm by 369 to 47 (16 not voting). Given that it passed by veto-proof majorities, it is likely that the President will sign it and the Agricultural Act of 2018 will soon become law.From the beginning of the debate, the outlook for a farm bill in 2018 was clouded by concerns about relatively lower crop prices, the restricting parameters of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline and the political landscape in Congress. Before the farm bill debate began, however, Congress relieved much of the baseline pressure by returning cotton to the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs in Title I and improving dairy assistance in Title I and crop insurance. The House Agriculture Committee moved first but stumbled; intense partisanship, particularly over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Title IV, dominated the House debate.The Senate Agriculture Committee adhered to a more traditional path, moving through a largely status quo farm bill with strong bipartisan support. Resuscitated in the House but remaining a partisan exercise, the farm bill sailed through the Senate on one of the strongest votes in history but the two versions became stuck in a conference stalemate through the mid-term elections.The biggest issues for conference were the controversial provisions for reducing the SNAP program and for eliminating the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in the House farm bill. Ultimately, the conference stalemate appears to have been broken by the results of the mid-term elections combined with the political realities for SNAP.The CBO cost estimate (score) reinforces the view that the bill is largely status quo. CBO estimates very little net change in spending: an increase of $1.8 billion through 2023, but sustained reductions in assumed outlays from 2024-2028 result in only a $70 million increase over the entire 10-year budget window. Commodities (Title I)In general, the 2018 Farm Bill continues the farm programs of the 2014 Farm Bill: Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC); the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program; and the Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL) with Loan Deficiency Payments (LDP). One of the key changes is to the election between ARC and PLC. In the 2014 Farm Bill it was a one-time election that could not be changed over the five-years of the bill. In the 2018 Farm Bill, however, the election is for the 2019 to 2020 crop years and beginning for the 2021 crop year, the farmer can change the ARC/PLC election each year. In all elections, PLC remains the default option.A second major change to farm programs is an option to update program yields for PLC. Owners of an FSA farm will have a one-time option to update their program yields, but the formula is somewhat complicated. It operates in two steps: (1) 90% of the average yield for the 2013 to 2017 crop years, excluding any crop year in which the yield was zero; and (2) reduced by a ratio that compares the 2013 to 2017 national average yields per planted acre to the 2008 to 2012 national average yields.Importantly, FSA is likely to use different yields based on its calculations of national average yield per acre. The effective ratio is multiplied by 90% to estimate a single yield update factor, which will be applied to the average yields on the farm for 2013 to 2017. In short, the yield update factor is the ratio indicating how much of the initial 90% of the 2013 to 2017 county average yields a farmer can claim in the update. For crops where the national average in 2008-2012 is close to the 2013 to 2017 national average, more of the maximum yield update (90% of 2013-2017 yields) can be captured.In addition to the PLC program yield update option, the bill also includes changes to the calculation of yields for the ARC-CO program. Specifically, the plug yield is 80% of the transitional yield and is used in the ARC calculations to replace yields in any year that are below it. The revisions also require the Secretary to calculate a trend-adjusted yield factor to use for the benchmark calculation. This would effectively use trend-adjusted yields used in crop insurance where applicable.For PLC, the statutory reference prices for covered commodities remain the same as in the 2014 Farm Bill, as amended to add seed cotton. The new bill, however, includes an escalator known as the effective reference price. The effective reference price is a feature from the House farm bill, which permits the statutory reference price to increase up to 115% of the statutory reference price. It is calculated as 85% of the 5-year Olympic moving average of the national marketing year average prices (5YOMA).The 2018 Farm Bill also includes modified language regarding base acres. Specifically, it prevents payments on any base acres if all the cropland on the FSA farm was planted to grass or pasture during the years 2009 through 2017. The base acres and program yields for the farms affected by this provision will remain on record with FSA, but payments will not be made on those acres and farms. This provision is likely designed to help offset the cost of the yield update.Finally, the 2018 Farm Bill increases the loan rates for the MAL and LDP programs. This is the first across-the-board increase in loan rates since the 2002 Farm Bill. Crop Insurance (Title XI)There are few changes to the crop insurance program in the 2018 Farm Bill. The most notable revisions involve treatment of cover crop practices. First, the bill defines cover crop termination as a practice that historically and under reasonable circumstances results in termination. It also provides that cover crop practices are to be considered a good farming practice if terminated according to USDA guidelines (or an agricultural expert) and that termination should not impact the insurability of the insurance crop. These changes should help alleviate some of the concerns farmers have with cover crops and may improve adoption of that practice where it makes agronomic sense. Conservation (Title II)The biggest issue for the conservation title going into conference was elimination of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in the House farm bill. The conference committee negotiated a compromise that eliminates it as a stand-alone, acreage-based program. The existing authorities for CSP are combined with the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The CBO score shows a reduction in CSP of -$12.4 over 10 years and an increase for the combined CSP/EQIP of $8.5 billion. Part of this reduction appears to have been used to increase funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program ($1.8 billion) and for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program ($1.7 billion).The conference bill terminates the acreage-based provisions of CSP and converts it to a specific funding level each fiscal year, similar to the way EQIP is funded. The existing acreage-based program ends but current five-year contracts will continue and those expiring before the end of 2019 will be permitted a one-year extension for transition purposes. Overall, the general authorities for CSP are reauthorized with revisions to focus assistance on soil health and conservation planning, cover crops, grazing management, as well as simplification for aspects of application.Buried within all of the changes for CSP is information requiring further analysis. As acreage-based CSP is terminated, program spending goes to zero after FY 2025 as existing contracts expire. Funding for EQIP and the new CSP increases over these years.Finally, in conservation there are changes to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that begin with increases in the current 24 million-acre cap on what can be enrolled. The acreage cap will increase each year, reaching to 27 million by 2023. The bill would also limit the annual rental payments to 85% of the average county rental rate for general sign-up or 90% for continuous practices. It also creates within CRP a new initiative focused on clean lakes, estuaries and rivers as a priority for the continuous enrollments, capped at 8 million of the overall acres in the program. There is also a pilot project for 30-year CRP contracts and a shorter-term CRP for soil health and income protection, using three, four or five year contracts on up to 15% of a field.It appears that the 2018 Farm Bill goes against the trends of recent farm bills where funds and authorities shifted from reserve policies to working lands policies. Under the lower price scenarios, it appears that Congress is shifting some of the funds and authorities back to reserve programs (CRP and easements) and reducing those for working lands.last_img read more

Taking Flight GeoTour – Manatee County, Florida

first_imgWhat Geocachers are saying about Taking Flight GeoTour:Geocaches are located in birding hot spots and each one includes a fun educational activity. GC3RBMY“And the mission has been completed! So many thanks to Manatee County NRD for this series and reward for completing the mission. We had a great two days doing this, and found many spots that we will be coming back for in the future. Keep up the good work with the preserves and we hope to find more open in the future.” – Moseycat“TFTH. very cool of Manatee County to put this GeoTour together. Had great time adventuring about all the different preserves. I’ll be back to camp or hike some of these”. – SunWarrior“Thank you for taking the time to do this GeoTour the right way. I’ll be recommending it to all my caching friends who visit the area.” – bitbrainAdditional Information:This GeoTour was the first in the state of Florida and has served as a model for the State Park Service’s tour as well as tours all over the world. In addition to finding geocaches, each site has a fun activity associated with the cache. Activities include discovering your wingspan, watching for nesting shorebirds, or observing sea level changes. The geocaches on this tour are all different types, so you have the opportunity to find Multi-Caches, Letterboxes, and Mystery as well as Traditionals.Note: All the above information was provided by the GeoTour host. Copy has been edited by Geocaching HQ. SharePrint RelatedTaking Flight GeoTour in Florida’s Manatee County, GT10March 11, 2019In “Community”GeoTour Spotlight: Florida’s Operation Recreation (GT3D)August 9, 2017In “GeoTours”Take Flight on Florida’s New GeoTourFebruary 10, 2013In “Geocaching Info” Share with your Friends:Morecenter_img Geotour: Taking Flight     Location: Manatee County, FloridaTotal Favorite Points: 290Geocachers help take care of the spots on the trail by caching in and trashing out! GC3RBQVWhy Manatee County is a great place to visit:Manatee County’s beaches, including Anna Maria Island and Holmes Beach, are award-winning sites and are considered some of the best beaches in the world. After a long day of geocaching, relax on the shores of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico – there are even caches nearby!Best time of year to visit:Year-round! From the beaches to the interior pine forests, Manatee County is beautiful throughout the entire year. Fall tends to be a favorite time for many northerners visiting. The Florida summer is hot, but many of the caches in this series are easy to access and do not require a great deal of time outside in the heat.Must-see attractions:Check out the Southwest Florida Museum and meet Snooty the Manatee, or stop by De Soto National Memorial to see the possible site of the Spanish explorers landing.Hidden gems only locals know about:Duette Preserve is the County’s largest preserve at over 20,000 acres of land. Explore this beautiful area, and you may even catch a glimpse of the rare Western Scrub-Jay, white-tailed deer, or a burrowing owl. This geocache will take you into the heart of Duette where the Scrub-Jays can be found.Prizes:Individuals who complete the tour will receive a Taking Flight GeoTour trackable tag. This prize is available to those who find 12 of the 15 caches. Make sure to download the PDF passport for the GeoTour before you go.last_img read more

Develop Cross-Platform Apps for both iOS and OSX with Chameleon

first_imgklint finley Chameleon is a development framework for OSX that acts a drop-in replacement for the iOS framework UIKit. According to the project’s site, some application can be ported to OSX from iOS without changing any code. However, Chameleon is still able to provide a desktop OS experience instead of a multitouch experience. You can download it from Github here.The framework was built by Sean Heber and Craig Hockenberry, two senior developers from the software company Iconfactory – makers of the Twitteriffic app for both iOS and OSX. The pair created Chameleon to aid their own port of Twitteriffic from iOS to OSX.“Prior to the creation of Chameleon, we were looking at only being able to re-use about 25-30% of our code from iOS in the Mac version,” the site says. “By porting UIKit instead of the individual view and controller classes, we were able to re-use 90% of our iOS code.”In order to translate the multitouch experience into a traditional desktop experience, Chameleon incorporates the standard OSX AppKit framework and transitions between UIKit and AppKit depending on the context. For example, Chameleon will use AppKit for text entry on OSX instead of bringing up an on-screen keyboard.“Our approach with Chameleon was to use native AppKit constructs in the context of UIKit,” the site says. “The glue that holds these two frameworks together is Core Animation.”To fund this open source project, the creators are selling Chameleon t-shirts for $250:Many open source projects are funded by ancillary services or products. Since we don’t want to go into business porting your products, that model isn’t appropriate for Chameleon.So we’re trying something new.It’s no secret that a Chameleon T-shirt costs us much less than $250 to produce. It’s also no secret that this source code is potentially worth much more than $250 to your software development business. Support Chameleon and everyone benefits.What do you think? Developers on Hacker News have expressed skepticism about the framework’s ability to provide a decent user experience on OSX. Is it possible to translate from one platform to another so easily? How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Tags:#hack#Tools Why You Love Online Quizzescenter_img 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Four-time Meghalaya Chief Minister D.D. Lapang quits Congress

first_imgIn a major blow to the Congress in Meghalaya, four-time Chief Minister Donwa Dethwelson Lapang resigned from the party.In his resignation letter to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday night, Mr. Lapang said he was resigning “reluctantly and with a heavy heart”.The former Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief accused the All India Congress Committee (AICC) of embarking upon a policy of phasing out senior and elderly people.“In my opinion it means that service and contribution of senior and elderly people is no longer useful to the party,” he said in the letter, copies of which were made available to the media.Mr. Lapang said, “This restriction made me frustrated and compelled me to be no longer comfortable in the party.”Mr. Lapang first became Chief Minister in 1992. He was again sworn in as Chief Minister in 2003, 2007 and 2009.AICC general secretary in charge of Meghalaya Luizinho Faleirio said he had not met Mr. Lapang in the last three years. Mr. Faleirio said he did not meet Mr. Lapang during his recent visit to Shillong for revamping the activities of the party.Mr. Lapang, after demitting the office of party chief last year, continued to hold the position of an adviser to the party.MPCC president Celestine Lyngdoh expressed surprise over Mr. Lapang’s decision to quit the party. “We’ll try and find out and, if possible, sort out things at the earliest,” he said.last_img read more