Ancient human sites may have distorted our understanding of the Amazon’s natural ecology

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 Scientists have traditionally based their knowledge of the Amazon rainforest on surveys from fewer than 1,000 plots of land, which they had assumed were representative of the rest of the forest.Research now shows that many of these sites were occupied and modified by ancient peoples, and the trees are still regrowing from those disturbances.These recovering trees absorb carbon at a faster rate than mature trees, so estimates of how well the rainforest can absorb carbon dioxide may be too high. Pristine areas of Amazon rainforest are usually considered to be ancient, untamed jungles overflowing with old trees and biodiversity that have grown for centuries untouched by human hands. But that perception is starting to change.Archaeological and agricultural evidence indicates this romantic idea may be a myth. An estimated eight to 20 million people once lived in the Amazon before their populations collapsed around A.D. 1500, when European settlers arrived. Now, a recent study suggests that human habitation left an imprint on the Amazon that modern ecologists have not fully taken into account when estimating the rainforest’s ability to recycle carbon or evaluating its biodiversity.Many areas of Amazon rainforest are not as old or as undisturbed as was thought, the study shows. When today’s scientists examine the forest’s ecology, they are primarily looking within environments where ancient native peoples lived, cleared land, and cultivated crops. These relatively “young” areas of rainforest are still recovering from human occupation, so they are not representative of the entire Amazon forest.Faster-growing trees in these areas may have led scientists to overestimate the amount of carbon the Amazon as a whole can store, the researchers state.“Everything we know about Amazonian ecology and biodiversity comes from less than 0.0005% of the forest,” said Dr. Crystal McMichael, a paleoecologist at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and the study’s lead author. The sites that scientists use to gain that knowledge are more likely to have been inhabited and altered by ancient people, she said. “That kind of skews our understanding of everything.” McMichael and team’s analysis appeared earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The lush Amazon canopy appears wild and untouched by humans, but land was cleared and many tree species were cultivated by humans for thousands of years. Photo Credit: Rhett A. Butler.McMichael and her colleagues compiled published maps of the plots used by Amazonian research teams to sample the rainforest. Modern scientists have used nearly 1,000 sites to gather data about trees and biodiversity. Of these sites, researchers have studied about 200 plots again and again to gauge how much carbon flows in and out of the forest’s vast array of trees. All told, these survey sites span about 250,000 hectares — a tiny swatch within the greater Amazon basin, which covers some 500 million hectares (or more than 1.2 billion acres).The team then built a novel statistical model of where ancient Amazonian people probably lived. They considered areas of “terra pretas,” or dense rich soil good for farming; geoglyphs, or geometric earthworks; other architectural sites and lake sediments; and evidence of agriculture. Finally, they compared these predicted sites of human occupation, as well as previously known sites, to the data-gathering sites long used by ecologists.The results showed that ecologists have disproportionately measured trees and other forest growth on sites that were likely to have been occupied by ancient peoples. Since humans have a huge impact on their environment, and rainforests take a long time to grow, this land is likely still recovering and does not represent the rainforest as a whole. Thus, the information we have about rainforest trees — which kinds are most common, how tall or densely they grow, how quickly they grow from season to season, and how much carbon they can store in their trunks, leaves, and roots — may not be accurate when ecologists extrapolate to the entire Amazon.Brazil nut trees (Bertholletia excelsa), one of the “hyperdominant” species in the Amazon rainforest, were likely cultivated as food sources by ancient populations along with palms and fruit trees. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.“This pioneering study of the rainforest challenges us to set a new benchmark for measuring things. It gives us a better chance to use the past to predict the future,” said Dr. Alexis Mychajliw, a conservation biologist at the Le Brea Tar Pits and Museum in Los Angeles, California, who was not involved in the study.The clearest impact of the research is on our understanding of tree ecology in the Amazon. More than 200 species of trees are considered “hyperdominant” because they make up about half of the trees found in the rainforest. But many of these trees were probably cultivated on purpose, especially near where people lived, since they were useful as food or shelter. These people-associated trees are probably not as numerous in the rest of the rainforest, the study’s authors believe.As a result, they maintain, scientists may need to start over to see the Amazon as it really is. Over the course of thousands of years, ancient peoples played a key role in the ecological development of the rainforest. Like other populations, they changed the land to suit their needs by burning, cutting, tilling, planting, and building. Before European-introduced diseases decimated the ancient native people around the year 1500, many parts of the Amazon were likely as cultivated as regions in Europe.If some parts of the rainforest have been growing in their current wild state for only 500 years or so, it also changes what scientists can expect from the impact of this “new” growth on climate change. Ecologists believe the Amazon rainforest plays an important role in regulating the global carbon cycle by sequestering massive amounts of carbon released into the atmosphere by human activities. But since the Amazon testing sites used to measure this are probably still growing faster and thus sucking more carbon out of the atmosphere than the rest of the rainforest, scientists might be overestimating how much carbon the rainforest can store in the future, the authors state.“When we think of the Americas, we tend to think of the baseline as after [Christopher] Columbus and the Europeans arrived,” Mychajliw said. But ancient people lived in the Amazon for thousands of years before that, dramatically affecting the landscape, she noted. “And, it is likely that we are underestimating how many people were actually living there back then.”Paleoecologist Crystal McMichael, lead author of the study, conducting fieldwork in Ecuador. Photo courtesy of Crystal McMichael.CITATION• McMichael, C. N., Matthews-Bird, F., Farfan-Rios, W., & Feeley, K. J. (2017). Ancient human disturbances may be skewing our understanding of Amazonian forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(3), 522-527. doi:10.1073/pnas.1614577114Kimber L. Price is a graduate student in the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Other Mongabay stories produced by UCSC students can be found here. Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon People, Amazon Rainforest, Environment, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforests, Research, Trees, Tropical Forests last_img read more

Indigenous environmental activist killed in Myanmar

first_imgActivism, Conservation, Endangered Environmentalists, Environment, Forests, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Rainforests, Tropical Forests Indigenous and environmental activist Saw O Moo was reportedly killed in Myanmar’s Karen State on April 5.According to the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN), Saw O Moo, who worked with KESAN as a “local community partner,” was killed by soldiers with the Myanmar military while returning home from a community meeting to help organize humanitarian aid for villagers displaced by renewed hostilities between the military and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), an armed ethnic group.Saw O Moo was one of the most active local community leaders pushing for the creation of the Salween Peace Park, a proposed 5,400-square-kilometer protected area to be led by indigenous peoples. “We will never forget his dedication in the ongoing struggle to build peace and protect ancestral lands,” KESAN said in a statement. Indigenous and environmental activist Saw O Moo was reportedly killed in Myanmar’s Karen State on April 5.According to the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN), Saw O Moo, who worked with KESAN as a “local community partner,” had attended a community meeting that day to help organize humanitarian aid for villagers displaced by renewed hostilities between Myanmar’s military and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), an armed ethnic group. Despite a nationwide ceasefire agreement signed in October 2015, recent hostilities between the two sides are said to have displaced as many as 2,300 local people.Saw O Moo was reportedly returning to his home in Ler Mu Plaw village by motorbike when he offered a ride to a soldier of the KNLA who was assigned to provide security for Karen civilians in the Ler Mu Plaw area. “At 5:20 PM, just as the two men were nearing Saw O Moo’s home in Ler Mu Plaw, they were ambushed and shot at by Burma Army soldiers at a place called Wah Klo Hta on the edge of the T’Ri Plaw plain,” KESAN reports.According to The Irrawaddy, the Myanmar military has denied any wrongdoing in the killing of Saw O Moo and claimed he was in fact a rebel fighter and that he had grenades on his person. The Irrawaddy reports that, in a statement released early Wednesday, the military says its troops “shot at two fleeing plainclothes men who were suspected of being involved in sabotage attacks and planting mines,” and that the troops had “captured one of the men dead.”The Irrawaddy also reports that Saw O Moo’s family has not been allowed to retrieve the community leader’s body, and that soldiers have fired upon anyone attempting to do so.A tribute to Saw O Moo posted by KESAN notes that:Since 2006, he worked as a local community partner with the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network. Saw O Moo will be remembered for his life-long passion and commitment to preserving Indigenous Karen cultural traditions, promoting customary land stewardship, and leading local community forest conservation activities as the Luthaw Paw Day Community Forest Coordinator.In his roles as Indigenous Wildlife Researcher and Kheshorter Community Forest Committee Advisor, Saw O Moo worked tirelessly to protect some of the last intact old-growth forest and endangered species habitat remaining in Burma. On August 9, 2017, Saw O Moo travelled to Yangon to help launch the Kheshorter Community Forest Documentary in commemoration of World Indigenous Peoples’ Day.Saw O Moo was also one of the most active local community leaders in the Salween Peace Park, a grassroots initiative to create a 5,400-sq. km Indigenous Karen reserve in Mutraw District. Saw O Moo was a member of the Salween Peace Park Committee and firmly believed in its vision for peace, biodiversity conservation, and cultural preservation.Despite the decades of conflict in the region, the Salween River Basin is “one of Asia-Pacific’s most biodiverse ecoregions,” home to species like the Asiatic black bear, sun bear, eastern hoolock gibbon, and Sunda pangolin, Demelza Stokes reported for Mongabay in 2016. Karen leaders like Saw O Moo have joined with local people and NGOs in calling for the creation of Salween Peace Park, envisioned as an indigenous-led protected area.“For us as Indigenous people, the Salween Peace Park represents our deepest desires and needs,” Saw O Moo said at a public consultation meeting in December 2017.“Saw O Moo’s death is yet another casualty of ongoing fighting that has broken out between the Burma Army and the Karen National Liberation Army,” KESAN said in a statement. “Since the fighting began on March 4th, over 2,300 villagers have been forced to flee their homes. Saw O Moo could have followed his wife and children into hiding in the forest, but he chose to remain at his home in Ler Mu Plaw to protect his people from the attacking Burma Army soldiers. For KESAN staff and all Indigenous Karen people of Mutraw, Saw O Moo’s death is an unspeakable tragedy. We will never forget his dedication in the ongoing struggle to build peace and protect ancestral lands.”Saw O Moo was killed by soldiers with the Myanmar military on April 5. Photo courtesy of KESAN.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 Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Major shopping mall for Alexandra

first_imgHowever, while the township was well-known for resistance actions like the Alexandra bus boycott, “from today, Alex must be known for development and progress.” It is anchored by a 2 800m² Pick n Pay, the first in Alexandra. Other national retailers have also taken space, providing a quality shopping environment structured along the lines of leading shopping centres in the country, according to the developers. To loud cheers, Zuma said all townships needed to have infrastructure like the Pan Africa Shopping Centre, and basic services like water, roads and electricity. Economic development should not only be the preserve of the former white suburbs, but should spread to previously disadvantaged communities. “One can walk to the township and buy a suit without spending any transport money,” Zuma said. “Parents working at the centre can now spend quality time with their children. Before the opening of the centre, parents only had a chance to see their children during weekends because they had to wake up very early and knock off very late when their children were already asleep.” “Alexandra is home to many leaders of the ANC,” Zuma said. “We can count leaders like Kgalema Motlanthe, Alfred Nzo, Thomas Nkobi and many more who were residents of this township. [It] has given this country expertise and talent.” Zuma said it was apt that such a huge development was built in Alexandra, one of South Africa’s best-known townships, which played a remarkable role in the fight against apartheid. Mall developers Pan Africa Development Company’s CEO Tebogo Mogashoa said the 16 000m² shopping centre was already fully let and more than 1 000 jobs had been created. A few hours earlier, Zuma had been to Soweto, where he had laid a wreath at the Hector Pieterson Memorial and had visited Maponya Mall. “Pan Africa Shopping Centre represents the dreams and aspirations of the Alexandra people,” Mogashoa said. “We developed it for them”. Infrastructure In the south of the city, a similar kind of development had taken place, he said, referring to Maponya Mall in Soweto. Source: City of Johannesburg Opening the shopping centre was an important occasion, he said. “This is a celebration of investment in the city of Johannesburg. But this is not only a celebration of investment, but what we are seeing today is urban renewal and rejuvenation.” The Pan Africa Shopping Centre is located in one of the busiest and most cosmopolitan areas of Alexandra, with a plethora of informal traders and an assortment of shops selling a range of goods from traditional medicine to exclusive boutique clothing. “During the opening of the mall, Richard Maponya said we had taken Sandton and placed it in Soweto. This shopping centre is part of developing our townships and also part of empowering our people.” The centre The shopping centre would be a catalyst for employment in “ekasi” – the slang term for township – and people would be able to shop “right on their doorstep”. “Surely but slowly, we are changing the face of our townships,” he said. The Pan Africa Shopping Centre, a fully integrated shopping mall and taxi facility located in the heart of Alexandra, was officially opened by President Jacob Zuma on Sunday. 27 May 2009 Gone are the days when Alexandra residents had to travel to other parts of the city to do their shopping. A new mall, featuring the country’s major retail chains, has just opened for business in the township to the north of Johannesburg. Falling under the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP), a programme to upgrade infrastructure and living conditions in one of Johannesburg’s oldest townships, the Pan Africa Shopping Centre forms part of a comprehensive retail and taxi node that includes a 50 000m² taxi rank, a three-level holding facility for taxis, public parking and structured informal trading. Besides the Pan Africa Shopping Centre, Zuma said Alexandra boasted some other economic and social developments. Quality schools, houses and infrastructure had been built since the inception of the ARP. Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and several government officials also attended the function, along with thousands of Alex residents who wanted to catch a glimpse of the President.last_img read more

Debut cookbook for South Africa’s Sibalicious chef

first_img28 January 2016South African chef Sibahle Mtongana’s love for cooking has catapulted her on to the international stage with cooking shows, appearances, and various honours. Now Mtongana – who is best known simply as Siba – has whipped up another feat: her debut cookbook entitled My Table.Make no mistake, this is no ordinary cookbook merely containing recipes and pictures. Using technology, specifically Quick Response (QR) codes, readers are able to watch videos on their mobile devices of Mtongana cooking some of her recipes featured in the book. All the reader has to do is scan the code with their smartphone or tablet.According to her website, it’s a “first of its kind for cookbooks”, giving a more interactive touch to traditional recipe books.Watch how it works:Who’s started using QRcodes in my book to watch videos of me making the recipes? #MyTable #SibasCookbook #WithVids pic.twitter.com/qWOFFZvIFT— Sibahle Mtongana (@SibaMtongana) January 3, 2016Launched in December, Mtongana told the online publication, Media Update, that she was excited about her book, on which she had been working for months. “It’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to do but I wanted to do it right. Now everything has fallen perfectly into place.”She held a book signing on 26 January in Cape Town, to which Brand South Africa was invited. It was an intimate gathering, where Mtongana’s plans for 2016 were highlighted. The chef aims to launch the book internationally by March.According to her website, almost everyone, from busy professionals to couples, single parents and younger people will find something to cook in My Table. She is described as the “queen of convenience” and it shows readers “how to make dinner in no time; and provide the kind of tips that’ll make something you whipped up in under an hour look like you’ve been slaving over the stove all day”.“Her recipes reflect her local roots, international food trends and some of the exotic flavours and ideas she’s picked up on her travels around the world.”The section called “Local is Lekker” is Mtongana’s take on a variety of uniquely South African dishes.About MtonganaMtongana has been the food editor of Drum magazine, and her cooking show, Cooking with Siba, was a hit on DStv’s Mzansi Magic channel.Her most recent show, Siba’s Table, on the Food network has broken into the US market. Filmed in Cape Town, it has gained a viewership of 60 million. She is the first South African chef with a series in the US. It is also aired throughout Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the UK.Last year, she represented South Africa at the annual Taste of Abu Dhabi and was invited to the Taste of Moscow in Russia. Mtongana has also won three Galliova awards for food journalism and involvement in the South African food arena.Reaction from readersHer fans have been vocal on social media, and have praised My Table.@SibaMtongana @brianmtongana Your book is world class.Thank you!The quality is amazing!!@WOOLWORTHS_SA @ProudlySA pic.twitter.com/Kynz31cxo5— Lungelo (@LungeloM_) December 16, 2015Can’t stop pouring over your book @SibaMtongana. Thanks for sharing your gift with the world. Proud of you and your work. Slay! Bless.— Thato (@Miss_Thato) December 23, 2015You’re an Incredible inspiration @SibaMtongana ♥ Thank you for modelling pure Greatness for every South African woman to aspire to #SibaLove— Sindiswa Siyothula (@SindiswaCo2la) December 29, 2015Source: SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Composting tour Aug. 24

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This year’s Composting in Ohio tour, featuring industry issues and innovative facilities, will center around Lake Erie.The Aug. 24 event is for anyone interested in commercial or large-scale composting, including business owners, compost facility staff, farmers, scientists and public officials.Participants on the tour will visit Barnes Nursery Inc.’s compost facility in Huron, which annually turns 20,000 tons of yard waste, food scraps and other materials into plant-friendly soils and composts; and a new system run by the Port of Cleveland and Cleveland’s Kurtz Bros. Inc. that recycles sediment dredged from the lake and the Cuyahoga River.Huron is about 50 miles west of Cleveland along Lake Erie’s shore. Cleveland’s solution for recycling dredgingsDredged sediment is an issue because a new Ohio law will ban dumping it in Lake Erie’s open waters, a longtime disposal method, after July 2020.Cleveland and other ports on the lake scoop up and get rid of nearly 1.5 million tons of sediment every year to keep their waters deep enough for shipping, according to an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency website. Panel discussion in Huron on dredgingsAs a lead-in to the Cleveland stop, a lunch panel discussion at Huron’s Sawmill Creek Resort will look at the characteristics of dredged sediment, its approved uses, and the challenges and benefits of using it. Tour organizers say those benefits are twofold: better water quality, and new opportunities for businesses to recycle the sediment and make products from it.The panel members will be Nick Basta, soil and environmental chemistry professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) at The Ohio State University; Maera Flynn, environmental scientist with Ohio EPA; and Jason Ziss, business development director for Kurtz Bros. Inc.Jim Skora, manager of GT Environmental Inc.’s Stow office, will moderate the panel.Cleveland’s new system captures sand carried by the Cuyahoga River before it gets into Lake Erie, and then cleans and collects it. Doing so cuts the port’s dredging and disposal costs. Project partner Kurtz Bros. then uses or sells the sand for compost mixes, construction material and road fill. A look at Barnes’ best practicesThe Barnes tour stop will feature a new system for controlling surface water; best practices for handling materials such as food waste; and best management of windrows, compost processing and product development.The Barnes facility is an Ohio EPA-rated Class II facility. That means it can take in yard, food, animal and agricultural waste that has been separated from other waste at the source of generation or collection. The source, for example, could be a farm, food processing plant or municipal waste disposal service. How to registerGeneral registration for the event is $40. Student registration is $25. Both include lunch. Details about the tour and a registration form can be downloaded at go.osu.edu/2017CompostTour. For more information, contact CFAES’s Mary Wicks at wicks.14@osu.edu or 330-202-3533.Transportation on the tour will be by the participants’ own vehicles — meet at 10 a.m. at the Barnes Compost Facility, 1630 Camp Road, in Huron — or by a free van ride leaving at 7:30 a.m. from the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), 1680 Madison Ave., in Wooster. Seating in the van is limited and must be reserved when you register. The van will return to Wooster by 6 p.m.OARDC is CFAES’s research arm.The tour is approved for 3.25 hours of continuing education credit for Registered Sanitarians.Co-sponsors of the event are CFAES and the Organics Recycling Associationlast_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

Recruitment racket of NSCN (IM) busted in Nagaland, two held

first_imgSecurity forces have busted a recruitment racket of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) in Nagaland and rescued 32 people during an operation, an official said. Two cadres of the outfit were arrested in this connection.Based on a specific input that a group of people was being taken by NSCN (IM) cadres to Aopao camp in Mon district, a joint team of the Army and the Assam Rifles intercepted a vehicle on Mon-Aboi road on November 21 and foiled the bid, Defence PRO Lt. Col. Sumit Sharma said.Two NSCN (IM) cadres were apprehended and 32 people hailing from Laokkun, Tizit town, Jaboka, Nokzang, Hatothi (Naginimora) and Chingphoi villages were rescued.The people had been lured by the outfit on the pretext of providing jobs, he said.Two accused were handed over to the police on November 22 for further investigation, the PRO added.last_img read more

UFC: Rival Cormier responds to Jones’ failed drug test

first_imgWATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:43PDEA holds surprise drug test at bus terminal in QC for ‘Undas’01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief “We as athletes are entitled to due process, and I will refrain from saying much more until I know exactly what happened,” he said.Still, the 38-year-old former Olympian can’t help but dwell on the disappointing results of their match last July.“In my mind, on July 29, I competed and I lost. I thought Jon Jones was the better man that day,” he said. “I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t believe we are going through all of this again. We will see what happens next.”He also expressed gratitude to the fans who stuck with him during his tough times. “Thank you to all my fans who have supported me during this dark time. I love you all very much.”  Khristian Ibarrola /raADVERTISEMENT Daniel Cormier lands a solid right to the face of Jon Jones during their fight at UFC 182 in January.  AP FILE PHOTOUFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ return to glory was shortlived, as he reportedly tested positive for an anabolic steroid and would most likely receive yet another suspension.READ: UFC champ Jon Jones flagged for another failed doping testADVERTISEMENT LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Gamescenter_img The news comes less than a month after he reclaimed the title from fierce adversary Daniel Cormier via a brutal knockout. The former champion recently spoke to MMAFighting about Jones’ most recent debacle.“It’s hard to find words to describe how I’m feeling right now,” he told the news outlet. “I’m disappointed to hear the news. It’s very emotional.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) made the news public on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) but urged the public to “let due process occur before drawing any conclusions about Mr. Jones.”Despite their differences, Cormier elected to let the investigation proceed before making his assumptions. Read Next MOST READ Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses SEA Games: PH volleybelles in semis, eye crucial win vs Vietnam UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program View commentslast_img read more

PH volleybelles bow to Vietnam, draw Thailand in semis

first_imgSEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Arellano pulls rug from under St. Benilde, ends four-game skid Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games View comments MOST READ UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension The Philippines was hoping for a win that would have given the team a lighter semifinal opponent but will now have to deal with Thailand, which experts have tagged as the gold favorite in this event.But the Filipinos continue to hold on to hope.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We can never tell, the ball is round,” said PH coach Francis Vicente. “We tend to play better when we are up against the wall.”Vietnam overcame the Philippines’ tough stand in the first and third sets to score the victory and set up a semifinal duel with Indonesia. Read Next Vietnam, the 2015 SEA Games silver winner, relied on Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, who had 14 points and team captain Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa, who made 11.Alyssa Valdez topscored with 11 points, while Jaja Santiago added 10. Jovelyn Gonzaga had seven, and Aby Marano five. The Vietnamese will face Indonesia in the other group that Thailand swept. Semis is on Saturday.“Everybody played well. We fought well except in the second set,” said Vicente.Down by two sets, the star-studded Philippines stormed to a 16-12 lead in the third but soon encountered problems in service receives and failed to close out the frame.“We should be happy with the result, they did their best but in the second set I don’t know what happened,” bared the mentor.“We lost by a big margin and I was surprised because we used the same combinations,” he said. “In the third set we changed, it clicked but we couldn’t sustain it.”ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Alyssa Valdez of the Philippines attacks the defense of Vietnam during their women’s volleyball match in the 29th Southeast Asian Games. The Vietnamese prevailed, 26-24, 25-12, 25-23. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES POOLKUALA LUMPUR—The Philippine women’s volleyball team must now take the road it had hoped to avoid in the semifinals.The Nationals are now headed to a semifinal showdown against world-class Thailand after absorbing a stinging 26-24, 25-12, 25-23 defeat to Vietnam Friday at MITEC Hall 11.ADVERTISEMENT Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesseslast_img read more

a month agoChelsea boss Lampard says Mount could make Liverpool clash

first_imgChelsea boss Lampard says Mount could make Liverpool clashby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard says Mason Mount could make their clash on Sunday against Liverpool.Mount, who has scored three goals in Chelsea’s opening five league games, was forced off early in Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Valencia.”He’s got a chance,” Lampard said. “The image of the tackle afterwards made it look really bad, but hopefully it’s not so bad.”We’re trying to get him moving today and it’s one I’ll have to call just before the game with another 24 hours in the bank.”The good thing with Mason is his attitude is so good that he’ll give everything to get out there and play for this club, particularly in a game of this size.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more