‘Yoda bat’ happy to be recognized as new species

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 Article published by Mike Gaworecki Animals, Bats, Environment, Mammals, New Species, Rainforest Animals, Rainforests, Species Discovery, Tropical Forests, Wildlife center_img A new fruit bat species found in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea and described in the Records of the Australian Museum this month resembles Yoda closely enough that it has actually been referred to simply as the “Yoda bat” — at least until now.Acccording to Nancy Irwin, author of the study describing the species, the name Hamamas or “happy” tube-nosed fruit bat was chosen because “Most of the morphological characteristics that separate this bat from other species are associated with a broader, rounder jaw which gives the appearance of a constant smile.”The bat was given its scientific name, N. wrightae, in honor of conservationist Deb Wright, who spent two decades building conservation programs and long-term scientific capacity in Papua New Guinea. The character Yoda, the venerable Jedi Master from the Star Wars franchise, may have come from a galaxy far, far away, but his face seems to pop up a lot here on Earth.Earlier this year, two new species of tarsier were described by scientists. Tarsiers look so much like Yoda that they inspired an unconfirmed rumor that the character was based on the small but surprisingly capable creatures from the island nations of Southeast Asia.A new fruit bat species found in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea and described in the Records of the Australian Museum this month also resembles Yoda closely enough that it has actually been referred to simply as the “Yoda bat” — at least until now.“Since most remote Papuans have never seen Star Wars, I thought it fitting to use a local name: the Hamamas — meaning happy — tube-nosed fruit bat,” Nancy Irwin, an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Biology at the University of York in the UK and author of the study describing the species, said in a statement.Irwin explains why the “happy” moniker seemed an appropriate choice: “The species is very difficult to tell apart from other tube-nosed bat species. Bat species often look similar to each other, but differ significantly in behaviour, feeding and history. Most of the morphological characteristics that separate this bat from other species are associated with a broader, rounder jaw which gives the appearance of a constant smile.”The Hamamas (happy) tube-nosed fruit bat. Photo Credit: Dr. Nancy IrwinThere are 18 known species in the tube-nosed fruit bat genus, Nyctimene, all found in northern Australia, Melanesia, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and the islands of Wallacea (a geographic term referring to a group of islands that are mostly in eastern Indonesia). But the taxonomy of the bats “has remained problematic,” Irwin notes in the study. She combed through the existing scientific literature and examined 3,000 bat specimens from 18 different museums around the world in order to establish the Hamamas tube-nosed fruit bat as a distinct species.The bat was given its scientific name, N. wrightae, in honor of conservationist Deb Wright, who spent two decades building conservation programs and long-term scientific capacity in Papua New Guinea.In the course of her research, Irwin was also able to establish that two other Nyctimene bats, which appear to be close relatives of the Hamamas bat, are in fact separate species, as well. Previously, scientists had differed in their treatment of N. cyclotis and N. certans, with some considering them to be the same species.N. cyclotis and N. certans are sometimes referred to as “the cyclotis group,” and Irwin said she would “tentatively” place N. wrightae in that group as well.Nyctimene bats have attracted attention for hundreds of years, Ωwith their tube noses and bright colors, Irwin notes, but researchers are still finding new hidden species in the group.“There were no illustrations of the cyclotis group of bats which made identifying bats really difficult,” she said. “So difficult was it that Papua New Guinea produced stamps illustrating the bats but could not allocate a species name. Now, with photographs, illustrations and a key of the other species in the group, it makes it possible to distinguish between three species of the group.”Stamp illustrated by Julie Himes.Irwin evaluated the distribution and conservation status for each species in the cyclotis group: “The IUCN threat status recommended for each species is: N. wrightae sp. nov. Least Concern; N. certans (known from < 200 specimens) with unknown population size and trends, Data Deficient; and N. cyclotis, known from only two male specimens, Vulnerable.”She says that, while further research is required on the basic ecology of all three species, simply establishing them as their own species and giving them a name is a crucial first step:“Taxonomy is often the forgotten science but until a species is recognised and has a name, it becomes difficult to recognize the riches of biodiversity and devise management. Fruit bats are crucial to rainforest health, pollinating and dispersing many tree species, therefore it is essential we know what is there and how we can protect it, for our own benefit.”The Hamamas (happy) tube-nosed fruit bat. Photo Credit: Dr. Deb Wright.CITATIONIrwin, Nancy. (2017). A new tube-nosed fruit bat from New Guinea, Nyctimene wrightae sp. nov., a re-diagnosis of N. certans and N. cyclotis (Pteropodidae: Chiroptera), and a review of their conservation status. Records of the Australian Museum 69(2): 73–100. doi:10.3853/j.2201-4349.69.2017.1654Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001last_img read more

Why we can’t lose hope: Dr. David Suzuki speaks out

first_imgBiodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Climate Activism, Climate Change Policy, Climate Politics, Climate Science, Conservation, Consumption, Controversial, Corruption, Culture, Ecology, Ecosystems, Education, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Education, environmental justice, Environmental Law, Environmental Politics, Extinction, Featured, Forests, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Law, Overconsumption, Overpopulation, Population, Science, Social Conflict, Social Justice, Sustainability 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 Suzuki on hope: “I can certainly see that people in the environmental movement are being disheartened… [but] we’ve all got to do our little bit… Actually doing something invigorates you.”On politics: “In many ways, the election of Trump was dismaying, but it has galvanized Americans to oppose him and to get on with reducing carbon emissions.”The big problem: “[T]he values and beliefs we cling to are driving our destructive path… You can’t change the rules of Nature. Our chemistry and biology dictate the way we have to live.”The solutions: “We need to enshrine environmental protection in our Constitution… [A]s consumers, we’ve got a big role to play, [and] we’ve also got to be… much more active in the political process.” Dr. David Suzuki: “We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit… We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.” Photo courtesy of David SuzukiTo many who grew up with the environmental movement, Dr. David Suzuki is a legend. He has always been there — a guiding light. A pragmatic scientist, he has never sugar coated the difficult truths regarding carrying capacity, tipping points, climate change, over-consumption, population, and pollution. But he has also never been a doomsayer.Suzuki, a Canadian geneticist and biologist, has always been about solutions, both societal and individual. And though he became an icon of television, radio, the lecture circuit, and the Internet, and has written more than fifty books, he isn’t just a talker. As co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation he seems to be everywhere: meeting with First Nation leaders, surrounded by children or by performers like Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot as he promotes the Blue Dot Movement and seeks to enshrine the right to a protected environment in the Canadian Constitution.Dr. Suzuki is over 80 years old now, but shows no sign of slowing his advocacy for the Earth or his zest for life. If anything, he has become more frank, more outspoken, in the face of the world’s deepening environmental crisis. Recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology, Suzuki is the recipient of UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for Science, and the United Nations Environment Program Medal, and in 2009 won the Right Livelihood Award — considered the Alternative Nobel Prize.In this exclusive Mongabay interview, Dr. Suzuki speaks his mind, clearly defines the big problems we face, offers up the big solutions we urgently need to pursue, and tells us why we must have hope.David Suzuki arrives by canoe at Porteau Cove, British Columbia, November 2014 to celebrate an environmental victory. Photo by Lisa Wilcox, Squamish NationAN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID SUZUKIGlenn Scherer for Mongabay: You’ve seen a lot of ecological damage in your 80+ years on the planet, what can you say to those who are losing heart?David Suzuki: Yes, I think it’s a very depressing time; especially when you look at the record of our coming to see that there are problems decades ago, and our inaction. It was in 1988 that environmental issues had really risen to the top. I remind you, there was an election in 1988, and a candidate said “if you vote for me, I will be an environmental president.” Do you know who that was?Mongabay: I don’t.David Suzuki: It was George H.W. Bush. There wasn’t a green bone in his body, but he said it because Americans had put the environment at the top of its agenda. And Margaret Thatcher, in 1988, was filmed picking up litter in London, and she turned to the camera and said: “I’m a greenie, too!” The environment had reached great heights in the late 80’s, but then there came a slight recession and immediately, whenever it’s a matter of the economy and the environment, the environment loses every time. So the environment “protectors” disappeared, and we saw the right wing think tanks, and people like the Koch brothers, begin to pour tens of millions of dollars into a campaign of disinformation. So the result is that while Americans, in 1988, were very concerned about the environment, today the concern about the environment is much less.The denial of climate change, for example, is still a significant part of North American society. So I can certainly see that people in the environmental movement are being disheartened, because we’re going in a very depressing direction.My answer to that is twofold: one is: you have no choice! What is the alternative to the situation, do you give up? I think it’s hard to give in to despair, but there are a lot of people who are despairing. The other thing is: we’ve all got to do our little bit, whatever it is. Actually doing something invigorates you, it makes you feel better to be doing something.So yes, these are discouraging times. I look at the Trump election, for example, with dismay. But at the same time, I lived in the United States for eight years, going to university, and I was really impressed that when Americans get something into their minds that they want to do something, they REALLY do something.Trump has presented us with a really, really bad situation that will arouse people to rally people against him. If you look at what the mayors, and over 600 cities, in the United States, and others, like Governor Jerry Brown of California, are saying it is: “to hell with Trump, we’re going to go out and do our best to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”So, in many ways, the election of Trump was dismaying, but it has galvanized Americans to oppose him and to get on with reducing carbon emissions.Suzuki is famous for his lectures, many of which are available on YouTube. Photo by Marie Cressell courtesy of David SuzukiMongabay: Relating to the political situation, you endured a lot of anti-environmentalism in Canada with Prime Minister Stephen Harper… David Suzuki: Nine and a half terrible years.Mongabay: Considering what we’re facing in the States with Donald Trump, and in places like Brazil with Michel Temer, and in India with Narendra Modi, what can you tell us about what you learned from the Harper experience?David Suzuki: I think the big lesson for Canadians was that, we had been building a movement, ever since Rachel Carson, in 1962, when her book, Silent Spring came out. That was the galvanizing beginning of the environmental movement. We saw a huge growth in environmentalism then.When Carson’s book came out, there wasn’t a single department of the environment in any government on the planet; but because of her book and the galvanizing of an environmental movement, we had the laws protecting air, water, soil and endangered species; millions of hectares of land was set aside as parks. It was a very, very powerful and successful movement in the early decades.But all of that painstaking progress that we made in Canada, such as acid rain agreements with the United States, agreements to protect the Great Lakes, greater energy efficiency; all of that, when Harper was elected, went right out the window. He overturned decades of hard won action and legislation and Trump is doing the same now.The thing that’s astonishing to me, now, is that the media is focused, primarily, on the Russian connection, which is a very important issue. But meanwhile, Trump is undermining the energy department, NOAA {the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration], undermining science, undermining the Environmental Protection Agency. All these things are going on that are being ignored because the media is being overwhelmed with the issue of Russia.So, terrible things are going on in America that went on in Canada, and it says to me that we need to enshrine environmental protection in our Constitution.After years of campaigning, David visits the people of the Grassy Narrows and nearby Wabaseemoong (Whitedog) First Nations on the day the Ontario government promised $85 million to clean up the mercury-contaminated Wabigoon River. Photo courtesy of the Suzuki FoundationFor three years now, we’ve had what we call the Blue Dot Movement to raise public concern and to demand that our legislators enshrine the right to a healthy environment in our Constitution. In other words, as a Canadian, we believe it is our right to clean air, clean water, clean soil and biodiversity. Enshrining those rights in the Constitution means that any flyby political party that happens to get in power can’t just toss out those rights, in the way that we’ve seen. We’re putting a lot of focus, right now, on getting that into our government’s legislation, as a right.The response from the public has been overwhelming. We’ve been traveling across Canada and recruited singers like Bruce Cockburn, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, and Tanya Tgaq, poet Shane Koyczan, and others who have joined us. We’ve got Margaret Atwood, the writer, and the Royal Canadian Ballet composed a piece to dance to.We’ve made it into a popular movement to support the right to a healthy environment. We have 153 cities and municipalities, including Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, that have now passed local legislation to a right to a healthy environment. We’re taking it, now, to the federal level, and trying to get federal government politicians to support it.It’s been a very, very exciting thing. We can no longer tolerate the damage that George Bush and Dick Cheney, and Donald Trump and Stephen Harper have done.Mongabay: What do you see as the most significant environmental challenge humanity must face in the next 10 years?David Suzuki: People always ask me that, and if it’s not climate change, it’s species extinctions, or it’s the state of the oceans, or the loss of forests, or toxic pollution in our air, water and soil. There are a number of HUGE issues; any one of which can be catastrophic, ARE being catastrophic. But I see the biggest challenge being the values and beliefs we cling to that are driving our destructive path.So to me, right now, the biggest enemy is capitalism and the concept of corporations that are now driving things. The ten biggest corporations are bigger than the vast majority of countries in the world. When you look at the amount of money they’re pouring into political campaigns in Canada and the United States, you realize that we elect people to run on a “corporate agenda.” Corporations exist for one reason, and one reason only: to make money. It may be that the way they make money is very beneficial or useful to society; but the reality is their driving, sole purpose is to make money.Right now, it’s clear that it is the commitment to economic growth, and to the economy above everything else, that is destroying the planet.David on the Blue Dot Tour in Hamilton, Ontario. Photo courtesy of the Suzuki FoundationWe had a Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who said, over and over again “we can’t do anything about global warming! If we start reducing emissions, it will destroy the economy.” And we elevated the economy above the very atmosphere that keeps us alive!So long as we continue to think we’re so smart — planning our way into the future — and, that if we have a problem, we can solve it with technology; we’re in deep, deep trouble. We haven’t really come to grips with that.Naomi Klein in her book, This Changes Everything, puts her finger right on the problem; and that is capitalism; the construct that we’ve made. And yet, capitalism, the economy, markets, corporations — these are human creations. You can’t change the rules of Nature. Our chemistry and biology dictate the way we have to live.Yet — national borders, economies, or concepts like capitalism or communism — it’s crazy to act as if these things come before everything else. We can change those things; we can’t change Nature.So I think (the greatest challenges facing humanity is this whole attitude that we have, that we’re the dominant species, and it’s our right to go and exploit Nature any way we can; and the belief that we’re so smart that we know how to manage our way into the future.David taking a break from building his grandsons a tree house, Haida Gwaii, August 2014. Photo courtesy of David SuzukiMongabay: So what are the big solutions? What is the alternative to capitalism?David Suzuki: I tell a story that I believe shows what the challenge is: in Canada we’ve been fighting for years against the tar sands oil operations in Alberta. We believe it’s just far too polluting a source of energy and that it’s got to be shut down.I got a call, four years ago, from the CEO of one of the largest companies in the Alberta tar sands, and he said “can I come down and talk?” I said “Of course. We’ve been fighting. We can’t afford to fight anymore, because in a fight there are winners and losers, and we can’t afford losers.” I said “I want to work together with everyone to try to find a way to a different path.”He was at my door the next day, and I told him how thrilled I was, that I was honored, delighted and thanked him for coming. But I said “Before you come in my office, I want you to leave your identity outside the door. I don’t want to know that you’re the CEO of an oil company. I want to meet human being to human being. Because, I said, I’m not interested in talking about oil and energy and all that until you and I agree upon what the fundamental basis is for all of humanity — how we have to live on Earth.”That, I believe, is the challenge for all of us. We have got to start from a position of agreement. If we’re fighting, then what the Hell, we’re all over the place. We don’t have a groundswell or a foundation of agreement, and that, I believe, is a challenge for us. So give this guy credit, he came in through the door, but very reluctantly.I said, “Look, I know this is awkward for you. You came to meet me as the CEO of an oil company and I disarmed you on that. Let me tell you what I’m thinking. We live in a world that is shaped by laws of Nature and there’s nothing we can do about it. We have to live within the limits. Physics tells you, you cannot build a rocket that moves faster than the speed of light. The speed of light is a limit set by physics. The law of gravity says that if I trip on the stairs, I’m going to hit my face on the floor. That’s gravity, and there’s nothing you can do about that. First and second law of thermodynamics tells us you cannot build a perpetual motion machine. So physics tells you the kind of world that we live in and we accept that.Chemistry tells you the same. The atomic properties of the elements dictate the freezing point, the melting point; and dictate the diffusion constants and reaction rates. All of these properties of atoms are dictated and inform us. We know, through the laws of chemistry, what we can or cannot make in a test tube, and we live within those laws. And in biology, it’s the same. Biology dictates that every species has a maximum number where they can be sustained in an ecosystem or habitat. That number is dictated by the carrying capacity of that ecosystem or habitat. Exceed that number and your population will crash.Humans aren’t confined to an ecosystem or a habitat, but to the Biosphere, the zone of air, water, and land where all life exists. That’s where we live, and there is a maximum carrying capacity in the Biosphere, for human beings. That’s dictated by how many humans there are and by our per capita consumption. And that will tell you whether or not we can maintain our population.David Suzuki, Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip. Suzuki has been speaking out for the Earth for more decades and is an icon of the environmental movement. Photo courtesy of the Suzuki FoundationEvery scientist that I’ve talked to agrees: we’ve already passed the carrying capacity for our species because of the hyper consumption of Western society and the sheer bulk of numbers in the developing world. That adds up to more than the planet can carry indefinitely. We’re going towards 8 or 10 billion, and as we do that, we maintain the illusion that everything is okay by using up what should be the rightful legacy of future generations.We’re using it up now. And you know that. Talk to any elder in any area and ask them: “what was it like when you were a kid?” and they’ll describe a world that is completely changed. It’s gone. So carrying capacity is what dictates how many humans can live on the planet and whether it’s sustainable. As well, biology tells us we’re animals. And, as biological beings, I said to this guy, “What do you think is the most important thing that every human being needs?”Instead of answering directly, like any child would, I could see the thinking; he said “well…” and I realized he’s thinking “money, a job, a business” and I said, “Look, if you don’t have air for three minutes, you’re dead. If you have to breath polluted air, you’re sick.”So surely, as a human being, you would agree with me. Clean air is the highest need every human being has, and we should be protecting it above anything else. And then I said, you and I, we’re 60 to 70 percent water by weight. The body needs water for our skin and our eyes, and so on. Water, Mr. CEO, if you don’t have water for three to six days, you’re DEAD. If you have to drink polluted water, you’re sick. So clean air, and clean water, should be the highest need of every human being and we should protect them above everything else.Food is different. We can live for four to six weeks without food, but eventually we die. If you have contaminated food, you sicken. Most of our food comes from the earth, so I said clean food and soil have to be there with clean water and air.Finally, I said, all of the energy that you and I have in our bodies, that we need to grow and move and reproduce and do work, all of that energy is sunlight captured by photosynthesis. We then convert it into chemical energy and we get it by eating plants or animals that eat the plants and we store the energy in our bodies. When we want to work or move, we burn those molecules and radiate the energy of the sun back out throughout our bodies. Photosynthesis joined with clean soil and food, clean water and clean air: those should be the foundation of every society on Earth. Protect the air, the water, the soil, and photosynthesis.David being welcomed by the Squamish First Nation, Porteau Cove, British Columbia, November 2014. Photo by Lisa Wilcox, Squamish NationThe miracle, to me, of life on Earth, is those four elements which Indigenous peoples call Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Those four elements, should be sacred and they are cleansed, replenished, created by the web of living things. It’s all the plants that take carbon dioxide out of the air and put oxygen back into it, for us. It’s all the plants that photosynthesize to capture the sun’s energy. It’s life that creates the soil where we grow our food. It’s life that filters the water so that we can drink it. So biodiversity is as important as Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.I said to him that other things, like the borders that we draw around properties, states, or countries, capitalism, corporations, economies, markets, these are NOT forces of Nature. They are human constructs and they have to be changed in order to fit the demands of the real world — to fit into the forces of Nature.I said, Mr. CEO, if you will shake hands with me, and agree with what I have just said, I will do everything I can to help you and your company, and I believe that’s what we have to do. What do you think he did?He couldn’t. He couldn’t shake hands with me, because if he did, and went back to his shareholders and said “I had a discussion with Suzuki and I agreed with him, whatever we do, we can’t mess with the air, water or soil,” he would get fired so fast because that’s not his job. His job is to make money.Mongabay: Does it come down to a problem with Western Science and it’s compartmentalized, component parts view? Do we need to come back to a more holistic, Indigenous view of the Earth?David Suzuki: Oh, Absolutely. This is why my wife Tara and I have worked with Indigenous people for over thirty years. They’re the only groups, all around the world, with a track record of living sustainably. They’ve lived in their places for literally thousands of years. When the Europeans came to North America, for example, they looked down at these people as primitive savages. Yet the Europeans didn’t realize that the riches of forest, and fish, and rivers had been used by cultures for thousands of years. Look at what we’ve done, to our forests, our rivers, and our fish in just the last hundred years. You know it’s completely unsustainable.These are people for whom the land is sacred, who have come to understand that Earth, Air, Fire and Water are the very source of our livelihoods, and our lives, who have developed rituals to give thanks for Nature’s abundance and generosity, who promise in their ceremonies to care for Nature, to ensure Her continued abundance — You’re damn right we’ve got to learn those back! We’ve forgotten that kind of connection very, very recently.David with Chief Simon Fobister at Grassy Narrows. Photo courtesy of the Suzuki FoundationRemember, the big revolution that happened to human beings was not the Industrial Revolution, although that was big, it was the Agricultural Revolution ten thousand years ago. With the Agricultural Revolution, people could settle down with a reliable source of food and develop permanent homes, and then alternately, villages, cities, and all of the complexities of modern civilization, were made possible by the Agricultural Revolution. And farmers understand, very well, the importance of weather, climate, of water that comes from the snow in the winter, of pollination from insects, of nitrogen fixation through plants. Farmers understand very well that we are dependant on Nature for our wellbeing.I believe a really big change happened about a hundred years ago. In 1900, there were one and a half billion people in the world, but only fourteen cities with more than a million people. London was the largest, with six and a half million people. Tokyo was the seventh largest, with one and a half million people. The vast majority of people in the world lived in rural village communities because they were involved in an aspect of agriculture. Shift a hundred years, to 2000. In the year 2000, there were now four times as many people, six BILLION people, with more than four hundred cities with more than a million people. Tokyo was the largest, with 26 million people.The ten largest cities in the year 2000 all had more than eleven million people. In countries like Canada, the United States, Europe, most people, 80-85 percent of the population, now lived in big cities. In a big city, surrounded by other people, where Nature is not very obvious, your priority becomes your job. You need a job to earn money to buy things you want. The economy, then, to urban people, seems to be the first thing that matters. And we put all our emphasis, then, on the economy. We no longer see the connection between the way we live and the forces of Nature.Surrounded by hope. Almost half of David’s books are written for children. Photo courtesy of the Suzuki FoundationMongabay: Is this why almost half of your books have been directed towards young people?David Suzuki: Yes, I don’t think we have time for young people to grow up and replace us. We’ve got a very, very narrow window of opportunity to change things, now.What I’ve found is that when people go through university, and they get out of university and get a job, and they get married and buy a house, and have kids, and then an environmentalist comes along and says “Look, you’ve got to change the way you’re living,” they get pissed off. They’ve invested a lot of effort to get to where they are. They don’t want to change. This has been the biggest challenge. You can talk to people, you can reason with them, but they’ve put a lot of effort to get to where they’re comfortable and they like their lifestyle. It’s very hard to convince them they have to change.I believe that’s where children come in. Children say “Mum, Dad, I’m worried, what kind of a future are you leaving for me?” Adults, if they really love their children, have no choice but to think hard about what they’re leaving and act on that. That’s the primary reason I’ve written the books for young people. Of course, they have to change the way they look at the world, but they’re the ones who will influence their parents.All scientific seriousness aside, David becomes one with the water element. Photo courtesy of David SuzukiMongabay: What’s the one thing the average person can do, every day, to make an environmental difference?David Suzuki: Everybody’s looking for the magic bullet. There is no magic bullet. The fact is that the current crisis is one of over-consumption. We’re all just using up the Earth. Everything we buy comes out of the Earth and when we’re finished with it, we throw it back into the Earth.The absolute epitome of this hyper-consumption and destruction, are blue jeans. Now, people pay hundreds of dollars for brand new blue jeans that already have tears and rips in them. What is that telling us? That we’re so wealthy we can buy a piece of clothing that is clearly just for show, for a fad, that is not going to be reusable or recyclable and going to end up in the garbage.That is the epitome of what a crazy, destructive society we’re in now. We actually pay money for something that is not durable or passed on. Now, I gather, men can buy blue jeans not only with the rips, but pre-dirtied, with the dirt built into these blue jeans. If this isn’t the height of flaunting our crazy wealth, what is? It just makes me sick to see this crazy fad spreading throughout society today. To me it’s the example. Anyone buying these blue jeans and wearing them clearly is saying “I don’t give a shit about the state of the Earth.”Mongabay: It’s thoughtless…David Suzuki: That’s the problem! Everything we do, we’ve got to be thoughtful about it.If people buy a cotton shirt, how many people think, “Gee, cotton is one of the most chemically intensive crops that we grow, is this organic? Where was this cotton grown? What was the affect of the cotton growing on the people growing and harvesting it?”You’re putting out money to buy a cotton shirt has HUGE repercussions. Same thing for buying a car, a computer, a television set. There’s a lot of metal in these things. Mining is one of our most destructive activities. Where are the metals in these products coming from? What was the impact of the mining on the people that worked there? What about the ecosystems where the mines are dug? We don’t ask any of those questions, because, quite frankly, we don’t care because we’ve been so disconnected we don’t see it.We think, “Well, I’ve worked hard, I’ve got the money, I can buy it!” Well, your buying it has repercussions that reverberate around the planet.David lunching on a fishing boat with grandson’s Ganhlaans and Tiisaan, July 2014. Photo courtesy of David SuzukiMy parents got married during the Great Depression, and that was a critical teaching moment in their lives. They taught us, and said over and over, “Live within your means, save some for tomorrow, share, don’t be greedy, work hard for money to buy the necessities in life. Don’t run after money; it won’t make you a better or more important person.” Those are lessons they taught us because of the hardships they experienced in the Depression.But now, 70 percent of the North American economy is based on consumption. Walmart is the epitome of that consumption demand. Go through a Walmart and ask, “What in this vast array of products do I consider a necessity for me to be able to live at a decent level?” I’d say 95 percent of what you buy in Walmart has nothing to do with the necessities of life. They’re all frills that are there to get you to spend your money.So yes, it’s true, as consumers, we’ve got a big role to play. So we’ve got to look at the way we’re living.But the reality is, all of our impact as consumers is nothing compared to the impact of corporations. I believe that in a time, in a country, where we have democracy, we’ve got to be, as individuals, much more active in the political process.In Canada, something like 62 percent of Canadians go to the polls and vote locally, but at the provincial and municipal level, way fewer than that go and vote. [An estimated 42 percent of eligible voters stayed home in the Trump / Clinton 2016 election.]So we’re not playing a really important part in telling people that we elect to office to do something about the state of the environment; to bring corporations under control; to stop the destructive practices that these corporations are doing. I believe we need way more democracy, and you only get that when you have a very active and committed civil society.Suzuki is a big proponent of human powered solutions, including bicycles and democracy.Mongabay: You say there are no silver bullets, but there are those who believe otherwise. What, for example, do you think about geoengineering? David Suzuki: Geoengineering is the ultimate expression of the problem we face. We know exactly what the problem with climate change is: the emission of greenhouse gases exceeds the capacity of the biosphere to re-absorb those greenhouse gases, so they’re building up.We also know what the solution is: we have to “green” the planet so that the best thing Nature developed, namely plants, will remove more carbon dioxide and we’ve got to get off the use of fossil fuels that contribute to that excess. That’s the problem, and the solution.But we use all kinds of excuses to avoid taking that path to that solution because, they say “it will destroy the economy,” or “it’s impossible to convert from fossil fuels to renewable energy; that’s crazy, we can’t do it!” That’s also what they said about having planes that could fly!We use the current situation as a justification for not doing anything. Then we say “but we’re so smart, we’ll solve it by geoengineering.”Geoengineering is based on the same assumption that led us into using DDT as a pesticide, that led us into nuclear energy as a bomb, that led us into CFCs in spray cans.Each one of these things: nuclear weapons, when they were exploded in Japan, we didn’t know there was such a thing as radioactive fallout. When DDT was used, we didn’t know [the dangers, and instead], we gave a prize to the guy that found out that DDT worked as a pesticide. We didn’t know about bio-magnification up the food chain. When CFCs began to be used in the millions of pounds, we didn’t know that chlorine would break off CFCs and scatter the ozone.Over and over again, we opt for the apparent benefits of the technology without the humility to realize we don’t know enough to anticipate all of the unexpected consequences. So we’re jumping into artificial intelligence, we’re jumping into genetic engineering, we’re jumping into nanotechnology, and we’re jumping into geoengineering. We are totally ignorant of history if we think these are going to be solutions without costs. So geoengineering is just crazy; it’s crazy to keep pitching more technology when technology has created the greatest problems that we already confront.David Suzuki speaks on the Blue Dot Tour. Photo courtesy of Desmog CanadaMongabay: What gives you hope for the future?David Suzuki: Hope is all I have. And it’s not a Pollyannaish, “oh don’t worry, good things will happen, or they’ve always happened,” or anything like that. I believe that we’re so ignorant we can’t even say “it’s too late.” A lot of my colleagues are saying it’s too late; we’ve passed too many critical tipping points to go back, and all of the signs on the curves are very, very dire.I use, as an example to support my hope, the most prized species of salmon in the world called Sockeye salmon with the bright red, oily flesh that we love to eat. The largest run of Sockeye salmon in the world is in the Fraser River in British Columbia, where I live. We like to have a run of 20 to 30 million Sockeye in a year. That’s a strong run, even though it’s well below what it used to be before Europeans came, but 20 to 30 million is a lot of fish.In 2009, just over one million Sockeye came to the Fraser River. I remember, distinctly, looking at my wife and saying “it’s too late, there isn’t enough biomass to get those Sockeye up to the spawning grounds. They’ve had it.” A year later, 2010, we got the biggest run of Sockeye in a hundred years. Nobody knows what the Hell happened. Nature shocked us, and we still have a federal committee trying to find out what the Hell is going on with the Fraser River Sockeye. Nature showed us that, if we can pull back and give her a chance, she will surprise us in many ways.I believe that that’s the challenge: to give Nature the chance, not impose human technology, and try to manage our way into the future. Give Nature — which has had 3.8 billion years to evolve — give Nature a chance, and my hope is that she will be far more generous than we deserve.Thanks to the Creating Equilibrium conference for facilitating the connection with Dr. Suzuki.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.David Suzuki and friends on the Sea Shepherd, the research vessel for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. From left to right, elected Chief Robert (Bob) Chamberlain, David Suzuki, Alex Morton, Chief Ernie Crey, Sea Shepherd Captain Oona Layolle and Pamela Anderson. Photo courtesy of David Suzukicenter_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

Lawsuits test local governments’ ability to clean up Indonesia’s coal mining sector

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 Article published by Isabel Esterman Coal, Energy, Environment, Environmental Law, Governance, Law, Law Enforcement, Mining, Politics, Rainforest Mining center_img A government commission in 2014 found that thousands of mining permits did not meet Indonesia’s legal standards.Some local governments have moved to shut down violating companies. In one province, South Sumatra, companies are fighting back in court.So far, 10 companies have sued to get their permits reinstated. Five have succeeded. A court in Indonesia has once again ruled in favor of coal mining companies whose licenses were revoked by the South Sumatra Provincial Government.A series of lawsuits by coal companies are currently working their way through the Palembang State Administrative Court — a process activists see as a key test of both the resolve and the ability of local governments to stamp out illegality in the mining sector.In late August and early September, four companies successfully sued to have their licenses reinstated, bringing the total number of successful cases in South Sumatra up to five.A coal mining site in Bengkulu, Sumatra. Photo by Taufik Wijaya/Mongabay-Indonesia.Problematic licensesA 2014 review by Indonesia’s anti-graft agency identified problems with roughly 40 percent of the 10,992 mining licenses issued by local officials in 12 provinces, including South Sumatra. Such licenses were deemed not to be “clean and clear,” meaning they had failed to comply with basic laws regarding environmental impact assessments, payment of taxes and royalties, or proper registration of concession boundaries and corporate information.In response, some local officials took action against violating companies. By April 2017 more than 2,100 permits nationwide were either revoked or allowed to expire without being renewed. In South Sumatra, the provincial government revoked 34 licenses and did not renew an additional 43.So far, 10 coal mining firms have fought back, suing the South Sumatra government for revoking their licenses. Five of these companies have prevailed in court as of this month.Most recently, on Sept. 6, the Palembang court ruled in favor of coal miners PT. Trans Power Indonesia and PT. Duta Energi Minerratama.According to Rabin Ibnu Zainal, director of NGO Pilar Nusantara, the court determined that the companies had already taken steps to resolve the problems with their licenses, and should have been subject to administrative sanctions rather than revocation of their licenses. The gubernatorial decrees withdrawing their licenses were ruled void by the panel of judges overseeing the case, explained Zainal, whose organization monitors coal mining in South Sumatra.On Aug. 29, the court ruled in favor of PT. Brayan Bintang Tiga Energi and PT. Sriwijaya Bintang Tiga Energi, who successfully argued that the local government did not have the authority to shut down their operations.“The reasoning of the panel of judges was that both companies are foreign investors, and so the authority to revoke lies with the central government, in this case the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources,” explained Zainal.This followed a June 8 ruling by the same court reinstating the permit of PT Batubara Lahat.Meanwhile, cases filed by four companies have so far failed. Three of these sued the head of energy and mineral resources for South Sumatra: PT Bintan Mineral Resources, PT Buana Minera Harvest and PT Mitra Bisnis Harvest. Another coal miner, PT Andalas Bara Sejahtera, unsuccessfully sued the provincial governor.A mine pit in Indonesian Borneo with signs posted but no fence. The sign on left says the area is property of PT Bukit Baiduri Energi and is still active. The sign on the right prohibits raising fish in the water. Photo by Tommy Apriando for Mongabay-Indonesia.Looking to the futureThe government of South Sumatra is appealing the verdicts against it.In the meantime, environmental activists are concerned that rulings in favor of coal companies will embolden bad actors in the mining sector, and deter officials in South Sumatra and elsewhere from attempting to take action against law-breaking companies.“This sets a bad precedent,” said Zulfan Setiawan of the South Sumatra branch of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN). Noting that the South Sumatra governor’s actions came in the wake of a nationwide investigation into mining permits, Setiawan said he feared these court cases could have wider implications. “I hope the victory of these companies does not annul or eliminate various matters relating to environmental problems resulting from the activities of coal companies,” he added.Of particular concern to Setiawan are companies whose activities he said threaten customary land held by indigenous people in South Sumatra.Across the archipelago, communities living near coal mines have complained of serious negative impacts from mining firms, including water pollution and the dangers of abandoned mine pits, which have claimed the lives of at least 27 people, mostly children.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and was first published on our Indonesian site on Sept. 18, 2017.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.Banner image: an open pit coal mine in operation, by Tommy Apriando for Mongabay-Indonesia.last_img read more

New resource for planning camera trapping, acoustic monitoring, and LiDAR projects

first_imgArticle published by Sue Palminteri Assessing its applicability to your projectHow to design and execute a study (cameras, acoustic)Tips for use of cameras and acoustic sensors in the fieldChallenges and realities in the fieldHow to manage and analyze the data (cameras, LiDAR)What to do with the dataSubstantial list of references for published studies that have used the technologies. 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 Acoustic, Analysis, Camera Trapping, cameras, data, data collection, LiDAR, Monitoring, Remote Sensing, Sensors, Technology, Wildtech WWF-UK has produced a website and series of best-practice guideline documents to help field teams deploy camera trapping, acoustic monitoring, and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR).The guidelines address issues ranging from assessing the relevance of each method to a particular project goal and ecosystem, to practical tips for deployment, to the physics behind the functioning of the technology.The resource should help readers planning a specific project using one or more of these approaches and include extensive lists of published studies for each method. A conservation technology team at WWF-UK has produced a series of best-practice guidelines for three key data collection techniques—camera trapping, passive acoustic monitoring, and remote sensing through Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR).The group consulted experts in each method to compile the extensive peer-edited information now freely available through a website and downloadable guidance documents.Paul Glover-Kapfer, WWF-UK’s Conservation Technology adviser, explained in an email to Mongabay-Wildtech, “We saw a lack of accessible information as one of the primary barriers to the effective use of conservation technologies. Paywall restrictions coupled with the high technical complexity and scattered nature of that information contributed to that barrier, and the downloadable guidelines and website are our attempt to breach it.”Arunachal macaque caught on camera in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Photo credit: Nandini Velho CC 3.0Online tech basicsThe website briefly introduces each technique—acoustic monitoring, camera trapping, or LiDAR—and where and how it is used. It also answers some specific Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about how the relevant technology works, how the data are collected and analyzed, and how it compares to similar techniques.An Assessment for each method takes readers through an interactive series of questions to determine their level of knowledge of the technology and goals for using it in the field. It uses the reader’s answers to provide Instant Advice on deploying the technology to match the project goals, status, and location.Options for learning about three key data collection techniques–camera trapping, LiDAR, and acoustic monitoring– on the Conservatioin Technology website. Image credit: WWF-UKFor example, the photo data needed to identify individual animals differ from those needed to merely confirm the presence of a species. The Instant Advice in the website’s camera trapping section, therefore, offers suggestions for camera features for a particular species and goal (e.g. an infrared flash, fast trigger speed, and wide angle detection for bird studies), the number and potential spatial layout of the cameras, and a minimum study duration. The camera trapping advice also identifies potential challenges that have been experienced by other users, as well as software for analyzing the data (e.g. MARK for Mark-Recapture data, EstimateS or the ‘vegan’ package in R for assessing species diversity).By comparison, most users will purchase, rather than collect, vegetation structure data produced with LiDAR, so the LiDAR FAQs and assessment provide advice on acquiring, processing, and using the data for different aims and vegetation types.Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) image comparing old growth forest, on the right, to a new tree plantation, on left. LiDAR uses a laser to measure distance from a remote source (an airplane or ground sensor) and produces a 3-dimensional view of the surveyed vegetation from the bounce back of pulses emitted by the sensor. Photo credit: Sarah Frey, Oregon State University, CC 2.0Results display with drop-down menus that readers can then select individually to produce different answers. The online answers are brief and direct interested readers to specific sections of the associated best-practice guidelines documents available for download as PDF files.Detailed advice for project planning and implementation Those planning a project using one or more of these approaches will want to consult the extensive guidelines for the appropriate technology, as well as one or more of the peer-reviewed studies provided in each series, for more information. The PDF guidelines documents have a structure similar to that of the website but with much more extensive and detailed information on: The content of each guidelines document reflects the current state of use and development of each technology. More field teams have used camera trapping than acoustic monitoring, so the FAQs and discussion for camera trapping tend to be practical (e.g. “What camera trap model should I buy?”). Those for acoustic monitoring tend to address basics of how it works (e.g. “How do acoustic sensors work, and what data do they collect?”). Few readers will actually collect LiDAR data, so those guidelines focus on understanding, acquiring, processing, and analyzing the data.WWF-UK designed the guidelines with its own field teams in mind. “Whilst the guidelines are designed to aid our teams in the field,” said Glover-Kapfer, “they should also be useful for novices that require a basic introduction to the technologies, highly skilled professionals that are primarily interested in the best practice guidelines for research, and citizen scientists that may have questions about what the technologies can and cannot do.”The acoustic monitoring and LiDAR guides in particular include basics of the technology for those with little experience or knowledge of its use.LiDAR is also used to assess topography and bathymetry. This high-resolution LiDAR map shows faults and formations of seafloor geology, in shaded relief and colored by depth. Image credit: NOAA Ocean Exploration & ResearchKeeping a reference thorough and updatedAdvances in technology have expanded use of these technologies globally. Field research and conservation teams across the globe now conduct camera trapping studies to detect and monitor wildlife, whereas acoustic monitoring is still developing as a data collection technique. Collecting LiDAR data is still prohibitively costly, but governments are increasingly doing so and making the data available for scientific use.Rapid technological advances can render a device or a primer, such as the WWF-UK tech guidelines, out of date the minute it is put on the market or published. For example, its camera trapping FAQs say human eyes must manually inspect all photos, yet the iNaturalist app has recently added automated photo detection algorithms that have been able to identify over 10,000 species.Glover-Kapfer agreed this is a major challenge, reflecting, “How do you ensure that the guidelines and webpages that take 6-12 months to prepare are not outdated as soon as they are published?” He added, “…we do have a plan [for updating] and anyone interested should continue to visit the site and follow the project on ResearchGate for future developments. We are looking for potential partners if anyone is interested.”A camera trapping layout in the field to identify individual jaguars will be more exacting than one needed to simply detect the species’ presence. Photo credit: George Powell, WWF-USThe guidelines suggests links to project sites that do update regularly, and if the site can also be maintained, would serve as a resource for future users.According to Jorge Ahumada, Executive Director of TEAM Network /Wildlife Insights, who reviewed the camera trapping guidelines, “Camera traps will likely become smarter, more connected and will collect more environmental information that is relevant to conservation. The conservation technology website should keep abreast of these changes and review relevant sections of their manuals. Same goes for new analytical tools to understand camera trap data. I see Wildlife Insights promoting and working with the conservation technology website to maintain this importance resource current.”Glover-Kapfer says his group expects to expand the effort. “In addition to the continued evolution of the guidelines and website,” he said, “we’ll be releasing additional guidelines focused on satellite remote sensing and tracking tags and collars and associated webpages in the near future.” How the technology worksHistory and emerging trendsWhat it is used for and examples of applications for conservationDesired features for specific cameras and acoustic sensorsCurrent models and costs of various levels of quality and featuresNational sources of available LiDAR dataCosts of various levels of quality and features (cameras, acoustic)Benefits and limitationslast_img read more

Glimmer of hope as Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhino shows signs of recovery

first_imgActivism, Animal Rescue, Animals, Captive Breeding, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Activism, Mammals, Rhinos, Sumatran Rhino, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Rescues The worst appears to be over for Iman, Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhino, after she suffered massive bleeding from a ruptured tumor in her uterus earlier this month.Veterinarians and rhino experts are hopeful but cautious about Iman’s recovery prospects, and continue to provide around-the-clock care.The rhino is Malaysia’s last hope for saving the nearly extinct species, which is thought to number as few as 30 individuals in the world. JAKARTA — Malaysia’s last remaining female Sumatran rhino appears to have overcome the worst of a serious health condition, less than two weeks after it was announced that her condition had deteriorated.Officials from the Sabah Wildlife Department reported on Dec. 17 that Iman had suffered a ruptured tumor in her uterus, causing massive bleeding. Since then, however, an intensive regimen of medical treatment and feeding has raised hopes about her prospects.“A week ago, I was sure she would die,” John Payne, head of the wildlife conservation group Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), which is involved in the treatment of Iman, said in a text message to Mongabay. “But somehow she did not.”Iman, one of only two remaining Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in Malaysia, was captured in 2014 for a breeding program aimed at saving the critically endangered species from extinction. Though Payne said he was “optimistic” about her recovery, he cautioned that she would still require intensive care.“[The] worst seems [to be] over, but we are still worried because there is still flow of blood from [her] uterus and she is eating much less than normal,” he said. “The worry is a combination of not eating enough, for more than a week now, and risk of sudden major bleeding.”Veterinarians and rhino keepers continue to coax the rhino, which currently lives in a paddock at the Wildlife Reserve in Tabin, near the coastal Lahad Datu district of Malaysia’s Sabah state, with her “favorite foods plus intravenous supplements to make up for blood loss,” Payne said.A team of veterinarians and rhino experts provides intensive care for Iman. Photo courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department.Payne said BORA’s team of vets, led by Zainal Zainuddin, was providing around-the-clock care for Iman. The group hopes that the rhino, which experts believe to be fertile, can recover and resume supplying fertile eggs for in vitro fertilization attempts.“If Iman dies soon, the opportunity will be lost forever, as we do not have the technology to successfully freeze and thaw rhino eggs,” he said.Experts believe that no more than 100 Sumatran rhinos, and perhaps as few as 30, are left on the planet, scattered in tiny populations across Sumatra, Borneo and maybe peninsular Malaysia.The critically endangered species was decimated by poaching and habitat loss in the past, but today observers say the small and fragmented nature of their populations is their biggest threat to their survival. This has led to the establishment of semi-wild sanctuaries in both Sabah and Sumatra in a last-ditch effort to bring together male and female rhinos, which are naturally solitary animals, for breeding purposes.Iman was named after a river near where she was discovered in Sabah’s Danum Valley. She and a male rhino called Kertam, or Tam, are kept at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve under the care of BORA.The news of Iman’s deteriorating health came less than six months after the death of Puntung, Malaysia’s only other female Sumatran rhino at the time. Puntung was euthanized on June 4 after suffering for three months from skin cancer.Hopes of starting an artificial rhino breeding program were dashed when scientists were unable to recover any eggs from Puntung’s ovaries. Meanwhile, repeated requests from Malaysia for frozen sperm from a larger captive-breeding program in Sumatra to inseminate eggs taken from Iman were ignored by the Indonesian government.Banner image: Iman, Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhino, is under around-the-clock care after a tumor in her uterus ruptured, causing massive bleeding and a steep decline in health. Photo courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department.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. Article published by Basten Gokkoncenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

‘New’ giant octopus discovered in the Pacific

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Cryptic Species, Environment, Green, New Species, Oceans, Species Discovery, Wildlife Article published by Rhett Butler The world’s largest octopus — the giant Pacific octopus — is actually represented by more than one species.New research indicates there are at least two species of octopus housed under what is traditionally called the giant Pacific octopus.The new species is called the frilled giant Pacific octopus.The giant Pacific octopus can weigh up to 70 kilograms (150 pounds). The world’s largest octopus — the giant Pacific octopus — is actually represented by more than one species, according to new research led by an undergraduate student at Alaska Pacific University.The study, published in American Malacological Bulletin, describes a second species of the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) based on DNA samples and visual observations of octopuses collected in shrimp pots laid by fishermen in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. The newly distinguished species is called the frilled giant Pacific octopus for the distinctive “frill” that runs the length of its body. A formal description of the species is forthcoming.The newly documented frilled giant Pacific octopus has two distinctive white marks on its head. Photo courtesy of David ScheelThe giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) has only one white mark on its head. Photo courtesy of David ScheelThe visual confirmation of the new species was completed by Nate Hollenbeck, who undertook the research as his senior thesis at at Alaska Pacific University. Hollenbeck’s co-author is his advisor David Scheel.The findings aren’t a huge surprise, according to a story in Earther, which notes that “Scientists have suspected for decades that giant Pacific octopus might be an ‘umbrella name’ covering more than one species.”The newly documented frilled giant Pacific octopus. Photo courtesy of David ScheelThe results suggest that further research may yield more cryptic species currently classified under the giant Pacific octopus, whose range rings the Pacific from California to Japan.CITATION:Hollenbeck, N. and D. Scheel. 2017. Body patterns of the frilled giant Pacific octopus, a new species of octopus from Prince William Sound, AK. American Malacological Bulletin 35(2): 134-144.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Reefscape: A global reef survey to build better satellites for coral conservation

first_imgWhile science has fully documented only a small portion of reef species that occur around our planet, we know that human activities have taken an extensive toll on reef ecosystems worldwide.To gather a more comprehensive understanding of the condition of global reef ecosystems, we need a way to assess and monitor them on a large geographic scale.With our partners, we are planning a new satellite mission for global reef ecosystems, which will advance our ability not only to map reef extent, but also to monitor changes in coral reef health.This post is the first in a series that will chronicle field work ongoing for the next year to develop an understanding of reef characteristics that need to be monitored from Earth orbit. Coral reefs are special places. They contain thousands of species often assembled in kaleidoscopic patterns that defy both our scientific understanding and our imagination. Reef ecosystems feed millions of people and protect our shorelines, acting as buffers to waves and storms. The corals, fish, invertebrates and other creatures residing in reef ecosystems vary greatly from region to region, generating an exciting global-scale tourism industry: a trip to the Caribbean turns up species that can’t be found in the Pacific Ocean; swim off a beach in Indonesia, and you’ll find reef inhabitants different from those in the Red Sea. Coral reefs are said to be the rainforests of the ocean, and indeed, the untrained eye often finds that discerning coral species on a reef is similar in experience to telling tree species apart in the jungle.Coral reefs around the world. Photo courtesy of UNEP-WCMCWhile science has documented only a small portion of reef species that occur around our planet, we do know that human activities have taken an extensive toll on reef ecosystems worldwide. Massive areas of reef have been physically removed by society’s seaside and offshore activities. Even larger areas of coral reef have been degraded by global stressors linked to carbon dioxide emissions from industry, transportation and other human activities. Ocean temperatures are spiking, resulting in coral-bleaching events that destroy vast swaths of reefscape, and ocean acidification is having a negative impact on coral health and growth.Coral bleaching in the 2015 ocean warming event in the Hawaiian Islands. Photo courtesy of Greg AsnerDespite our growing knowledge of how coral reefs are changing around the world, the geography of these changes remains extremely hard to piece together. Reefs in one region respond to stressors differently than reefs in another, and within a reef, individual species react differently. During coral-bleaching events, for example, there are often winners and losers within a given reef, making it difficult to predict whether the ecosystem as a whole will bounce back. This variation among corals is matched by unknown variation among key reef-dwelling fish and invertebrates, the fates of which are linked to that of corals. Given that coral reefs span an estimated 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) in total area, spread over more than 200 million square kilometers (77.2 million square miles) of ocean, it is no wonder that the state of global reefs remains poorly known today.To gather a more comprehensive understanding of the condition of global reef ecosystems, we need a way to assess and monitor them on a large geographic scale. New satellites, such as those from Planet (formerly Planet Labs), are, as of 2017, able to capture near-daily imagery of coral reefs worldwide. Planet’s high-resolution imagery of reef location provides us with an at-your-fingertips understanding of the extent of shallow, horizontally oriented reefs. Satellites miss the vertically inclined reefs — the so-called reef walls — but are evolving to facilitate monitoring the most vulnerable shallow horizontal reef areas over time. Currently, no satellites can provide a way to assess reef health at the resolution of individual or clusters of corals and other reef inhabitants. For this, we need a new satellite mission.Planet imagery allows for mapping of shallow coral reefs, such as on Lighthouse Reef Atoll in Belize. Photo courtesy of Planet Inc.With our partners, we are planning a new satellite mission for global reef ecosystems, a mission that will advance our ability not only to map reef extent, as we can do now with Planet’s current fleet of satellites, but also to monitor changes in coral reef health. The mission concept centers on global-scale reef monitoring using detailed spectral information, which we and others have advanced from high-flying aircraft. A high-tech approach called imaging spectroscopy measures the spectrum of sunlight scattered and absorbed by an object. These spectral patterns differ based on a given object’s unique chemical signature, and so can be used to assess changes in reef health over time.Imaging spectroscopy provides a detailed mapping of coral reefs including some coral species and their health. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Airborne Observatory.To lay the groundwork for a new satellite mission, it is important to develop a baseline understanding of current reef extent, and to pair that information with field-based assessments of reef condition. In addition, improved spectral libraries of corals are required to drive the new satellite design and approach for global monitoring.Divers collect the spectral properties of corals in preparation for future satellite missions. Photo courtesy of Chris BalzottiThe Reefscape project aims to improve our understanding of the condition of coral reefs worldwide, while simultaneously developing spectral libraries needed to advance the development of a new satellite mission. A global-scale field study is a daunting task, and we will need to select regions that maximize our understanding of global reef conditions while collecting the field-based spectral data. Given the magnitude of this undertaking, we and our sponsors decided to take advantage of the unique information and perspectives we will gain in the field and start an outreach component to the project. We are excited to announce a series of articles to be published on Mongabay, and mirrored on the website of our sponsor, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. We hope that our combination of hard-core biology and old-fashioned naturalist reporting will elevate awareness of the state of coral reefs in 2018, as viewed through the lens of spatial ecologists like ourselves. With your help, we can use the Reefscape project to communicate the geography of reef conditions and to get the conservation community prepared for a high-tech satellite mission that will transform how we monitor coral reefs in the next decade and beyond.A coral reef ecosystem in the Sulug Sea, Borneo. Photo courtesy of Greg Asner / DivePhoto.orgAbout the authors: Greg Asner is a spatial ecologist at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology. His scientific interests span the fields of tropical ecology, remote sensing and climate change. Clare LeDuff is a science coordinator at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology. Her areas of focus range from conservation biology to the effects of climate change on agricultural systems. 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 Biodiversity, Climate Change And Coral Reefs, Conservation, Coral Bleaching, Coral Reefs, Featured, Oceans, Remote Sensing, Satellite Imagery, Technology center_img Article published by Rhett Butlerlast_img read more

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

first_imgA new report projects the global demand for palm oil-based biofuel by 2030 will be six times higher than today if existing and proposed policies in Indonesia, China and the aviation industry hold.That surge in demand could result in the clearing of 45,000 square kilometers (17,374 square miles) of forest in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s biggest palm oil producers, and the release of an additional 7 billion tons of CO2 emissions a year — higher than current annual emissions by the U.S.That impact could be tempered to some degree by the European Union, which plans to phase out all use of palm oil in its biofuel over the next three years, citing environmental concerns. JAKARTA — Global demand for biofuels containing palm oil looks set to grow sixfold by 2030, potentially driving the destruction of Southeast Asian rainforests the size of the Netherlands, a new report warns.Biofuel policies in place or proposed by Indonesia and China, as well as the aviation industry, could push their consumption alone to 45.6 million tons by 2030, according to the report commissioned by Rainforest Foundation Norway.“As we approach 2020, many biofuel policies are being reassessed and renegotiated,” report author Chris Malins, a biofuels policy expert, said in an email. “So this seemed the right time to look at what the best and worst scenarios were for the impact of biofuel policy on deforestation in Southeast Asia for the next decade.”A filling station selling biodiesel. Photo by Robert Couse-Baker/flickr.Biofuel policiesIndonesia, the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, is currently pushing for increased domestic consumption of biodiesel that contains the vegetable oil. The policy calls for a minimum bio, or palm oil, content of 30 percent in all diesel sold in the country by 2020, up from the current requirement of 20 percent.This target is one of the most ambitious biodiesel-blending targets in the world. If achieved, Indonesia’s annual biodiesel consumption would rise to 18.6 million tons.China, meanwhile, has begun discussions with Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest palm oil producer, to boost its own blending target to a minimum of 5 percent palm oil in biodiesel. That would increase China’s palm-based biodiesel consumption to 9 million tons a year.Another key driver of the demand for palm-based biofuels will come from the aviation industry. The UN’s International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) has proposed increasing the use of biofuels for passenger planes, aiming for half of jet fuel to come from biofuels by 2050. This scenario could potentially require 18 million tons of palm-based aviation fuel by 2030.“The report shows that the aviation sector and Indonesia may become the largest consumers of palm oil-based biofuels in 2030,” Nils Hermann Ranum, the campaign and policy chief at Rainforest Foundation Norway, told Mongabay.An oil palm plantation adjacent to tropical forest in Borneo, where a “triple hotspot for biodiversity, carbon and threat, [means] there is a compelling global case for prioritzing their conservation,” the scientists write. Photo by Rhett A. Butler7 billion tons of emissionsAssuming that Indonesia, China and the aviation industry meet stick with and achieve their stated biofuel policies, demand for palm oil for use in biofuels by 2030 could be more than six times higher than today — amounting to 67 million tons.This would account for half of global demand for palm oil, and would exceed the current global production of the commodity, at around 65 million tons annually.Production has remained largely flat over the last 20 years, which means the surge in demand presaged by the policies in Indonesia, China and the aviation sector will call for a massive expansion of existing palm plantations. In Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce 85 percent of the world’s palm oil, this would translate into a sharp escalation of already alarming levels of deforestation. (In Indonesia alone, 40 percent of the deforestation that occurred between 1998 and 2008 can be attributed to palm oil production, according to a 2013 technical study funded by the European Commission.)Barring a massive increase in the average palm oil yields, meeting the global demand would result in the loss of 45,000 square kilometers (17,374 square miles) of forests, an area the size of the Netherlands, by 2030.A loss of forests that size would result in 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next two decades — more than the total annual emissions of the United States.“It’s well understood that the palm oil industry in Southeast Asia is endemically linked to deforestation and peat drainage, but biofuel mandates adopted in the name of climate change mitigation continue to drive palm oil demand higher and higher,” Malins said.Deforestation for oil palm in Malaysia’s Sabah State. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.EU scaling backWhile the environmental prospects look bleak, the impact could be tempered by the European Union’s policy to go in the opposite direction and phase out palm oil in biofuels.The EU is currently the world’s second-biggest importer of palm oil, behind only India, and is in the process of adopting a revised Renewable Energy Directive to take effect from 2020-2030.“The purpose of the EU’s renewable energy policy is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and allowing palm oil-based fuels would be a direct contradiction to that goal,” Ranum said.To that end, the European Parliament last week voted in favor of targets to cap crop-based biofuels, following the parliament’s overwhelming decision last year to ban the use of vegetable oils in biofuels. The amendments will now go to the European Commission and member states before they become law.The amendments call for a reduction to zero of “the contribution from biofuels and bioliquids produced from palm oil” by 2021.Ranum and Malins welcomed the move, saying that it would have a significant impact on global demand. Their report found that without strong measures to avoid palm oil use in biofuels, EU biofuel consumption in 2030 could reach 7.3 million tons, up from the current 3 million tons.An immediate reform of EU biofuel policy could reduce global palm oil demand by 3 million tons, Malins said.“That would take a great deal of pressure off the global market, and could allow 3,000 square kilometers [1,158 square miles] of deforestation to be avoided,” he said.Ranum noted, however, that the amendments still needed to be ratified.“It’s important to bear in mind that while the European Parliament has suggested to exclude palm oil-based biofuels from its renewable energy policy, the EU member states, through the EU Council, have come to an opposite position,” he said. “If the EU decides to avoid palm oil biodiesel, that would be proof that the EU takes the climate effect of its policies seriously.”Last week’s vote triggered a backlash from Indonesia and Malaysia, who called it unfair and misguided. Officials from both countries trotted out the industry-sanctioned argument that other types of vegetable oils used in biofuels also required clearing far greater plots of land for an equivalent yield. The Indonesian government also said it had taken steps to address the environmental impact of the palm oil industry.Malins acknowledged that while such efforts had been made, they had been far from effective.“Sadly, there’s also no question that these measures have failed to date to prevent the most damaging practices of peat drainage and forest clearance,” he said. “A more sustainable palm oil industry is vital to continue to supply vegetable oil for food and oleochemicals, but it would be grossly irresponsible to continue using palm oil for biofuel while peat and forest clearance continue.” Banner image: An oil palm plantation. Photo by Bram Ebus for Mongabay. Biodiesel, Bioenergy, Biofuels, Energy, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Green, Indonesia, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Activists eye bigger roles for local officials, businesses in Indonesia’s orangutan protection plan

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon 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 The Indonesian government is drafting another 10-year guideline for orangutan conservation that aims to staunch the decline in the population of the critically endangered great ape.This time around, orangutan experts want the federal government to lay out clearer guidelines for conservation roles to be played by local authorities and companies working in orangutan habitats.Local authorities and companies are seen as key to protecting the animals’ increasingly fragmented habitat, but tend to favor short-term development and business plans that don’t serve long-term conservation goals. JAKARTA — Activists in Indonesia are calling for a set of federal guidelines on orangutan conservation that will compel local authorities and companies to take a more active role in protecting the critically endangered great ape.The call comes in the wake of two violent killings of orangutans in Indonesian Borneo in recent months, and at the end of a 10-year program, launched by the government in 2007, to staunch the decline in the wild orangutan population by protecting their remaining habitats in Sumatra and Borneo.In the years since that Strategy and Action Plan for National Conservation of Orangutans was launched, however, Indonesia has continued to lose its forests at an alarming rate; in 2012, it surpassed Brazil for the sheer amount of primary forest lost. In 2016, the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) was declared a critically endangered species by the IUCN, or a step away from being extinct in the wild, putting it on par with its Sumatran cousin (Pongo abelii).While the Indonesian government has not yet published its official evaluation of the 2007-2017 action plan, some conservationists consider it a failure.An orangutan in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo island. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.As the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry develops a new action plan for the coming decade, orangutan experts are calling for clearer guidelines for local governments, and for the agribusiness and extractives companies that hold licenses to clear orangutan habitats for plantations and mines.“The regional governments play the most important role in making and monitoring the implementation of regulations at the grassroots level,” said Arif Rifqi, an orangutan specialist at The Nature Conservancy, an international NGO involved in the creation of both action plans.The plan, Arif said, must lay out “measurable and realistic” ways to carry out orangutan conservation efforts on the local level.Erik Meijaard, founder of the environmental advocacy group Borneo Futures, said local governments were crucial for addressing the two key issues in orangutan conservation: forest loss, which calls for better land-use planning and implementation; and hunting, where better policy support, education, media campaigns and law enforcement are needed.“I hope the next plan will be much more concrete, e.g., achieve zero loss of orangutan habitat by giving all remaining populations protected status and automatically making these forest areas offlimits for development,” Meijaard wrote in an email exchange. “For each forest areas a responsible manager — government, NGO, company, community — needs to be assigned who has the responsibility to ensure the orangutan population remains stable. The government provides funding for this.”Corruption is one driver of forest loss, as local district chiefs, mayors and governors hand out business permits with impunity, especially during election season.A lack of interest among local officials in protecting orangutans may also be an issue. The 2007-2017 plan ordered local governments to adopt orangutan conservation policies in their development programs and allocate funding for them. But only a few provinces in Sumatra and in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of Borneo, have adopted orangutan conservation schemes into their regional plans, wildlife activists say.“I seem to recall that some provincial governments enacted gubernatorial policies regarding orangutan conservation,” said Ian Singleton, director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, an NGO, but “even if they did, these things are often done just for good PR and some photo ops in the newspapers with little intent to really implement them, unless somehow they are forced to.”Singleton, who was involved in the creation of the 2007-2017 plan, said orangutan conservation was typically low on the list of priorities for local governments.A Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) in the Leuser Ecosystem, which is home to roughly 85 percent of the species’ remaining population. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Jamartin Sihite, director of the Bornean Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), echoed Singleton’s sentiments, adding that conservation issues such as orangutan protection were still considered by local governments as being extraneous to development plans.“The regional governments must start putting environmental costs, including orangutan threats, into the equation when they devise their regional development plans,” Jamartin said. “However, the problem is that local leaders tend to think of short-term wins, and this kind of thinking is an obstacle for conservation.”With a new round of elections approaching in June this year, Jamartin warned that extra attention should be paid to what local authorities do.“Every time there’s an election, conservation plans [at the local level] are likely go back to zero,” he said.The discovery of a new orangutan species endemic to Sumatra has also emphasized the need for guidelines to more clearly designate the conservation roles of local authorities and companies operating in the ape’s habitat. The newly described Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) is known to exist only in North Sumatra’s Batang Toru landscape, large swaths of which have already been allocated for development projects and mining sites. The federal and local governments have pledged to try to keep the population safe from extinction.The bigger picture, though, looks grim. The environment ministry published a study in September last year that confirmed that orangutan numbers were plummeting as their forest habitats continued to be lost to commercial developments. A separate study by researchers from around the world, published in the journal Current Biology in February, calculated that Borneo, which is shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, lost nearly 150,000 orangutans between 1999 and 2015, largely as a result of deforestation and killing.The Indonesian government study put the remaining number of Bornean orangutans in Kalimantan at 57,350 individuals. That translates to a population density of 13 to 47 orangutans per 100 square kilometers, down from around 45 to 76 per square kilometer in 2004.The study also revealed that nearly four-fifths of wild orangutans in Kalimantan lived outside national parks and other protected areas, leaving them more exposed than ever to threats of deforestation and conflicts with humans.Hunting remains a key threat to orangutans, which are often considered pests by farmers and plantation workers. A group of rubber farmers was arrested in January and charged with the killing of an orangutan in Central Kalimantan province the previous month. They admitted to shooting the ape more than a dozen times with an air soft gun and decapitating it. Less than a week after the arrest, another orangutan, this time in West Kalimantan, was found shot with a similar weapon more than 100 times. Four pineapple farmers were charged in that incident. Indonesia also made global headlines in 2011 when at least 20 orangutans were slaughtered by plantation workers in East Kalimantan under the guise of “pest control.”The newly described Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) in Indonesia. Photo by Maxime Aliaga.“In the new plan, partnership [to protect orangutans] with the private sector must be strengthened because some of the forested areas allocated for production … are also orangutan habitats,” said Albertus Tjiu, an orangutan researcher with WWF-Indonesia.Serge Wich, co-vice chair of the section on great apes of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group and a co-author of the study in Current Biology, said the new action plan must increase the focus on landscape conservation of orangutans in Indonesia, given that the animals now live in fragmented populations that transcend borders.“Orangutans need to be managed in large areas in which there will be various land uses — protected forest, plantations, ‘other-use’ land, etc.,” Wich said.“We need to manage orangutans in that matrix and to do that effectively, all parties — governments, local communities, NGOs, companies — need to collaborate in one overall strategy to have an effective spatial plan and have orangutan-friendly management,” he said.Banner image: An orangutan in a Sumatran forest. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Animal Welfare, Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Borneo Orangutan, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Great Apes, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Human-wildlife Conflict, Hunting, Mammals, Orangutans, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Conservation, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

FSC-certified timber importer failed to check legality of shipment from Cameroon

first_imgHardwood Dimensions, a timber importer in the U.K., violated the EU Timber Regulation by not properly verifying the legality of a shipment of Cameroonian ayous in January 2017.A judge ordered Hardwood Dimensions to pay 4,000 pounds ($5,576) plus court costs in the case.The case calls into question the effectiveness of Forest Stewardship Council certification, which Hardwood Dimensions has held since 2000. A British government office has prosecuted a wood importer certified by the Forest Stewardship Council after it was found to have failed to ensure the legality of a shipment of timber from Cameroon.The Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC, is an international organization dedicated to ensuring companies harvest and source timber according to a set of environmental and social standards. On March 2, a judge ruled that Hardwood Dimensions had violated a set of laws known as the EU Timber Regulation that came into force in March 2013. According to a statement, the company didn’t properly verify that a shipment of ayous (Triplochiton scleroxylon), a tropical tree species used to make furniture and guitars, had been legally harvested in Cameroon.Simon Counsell, the executive director of the Rainforest Foundation UK, said such legal violations by certified companies were “red flags.”“To me, what that points to is simply that the FSC system isn’t working properly,” Counsell said in an interview.Cameroon is considered a “high-risk” country for illegal timber, according to conservation NGOs. Photo by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Simon Marsden, a director of Hardwood Dimensions, said the violation demonstrated the stringency of the EU’s laws governing timber imports, in a statement from the Timber Trade Federation, an industry organization.“As a company, we felt we had adequate procedures in place, particularly in this case as we were purchasing FSC Certified material,” Marsden said. “However, this is clearly not the case and we admitted that for this one particular supply line our Due Diligence systems were deficient.”Hardwood Dimensions has held an FSC chain of custody certificate since 2000, meaning it is required to perform checks “at every stage of processing.”A company has the “sole responsibility” to verify that its supply chain is legal, said David Hopkins, managing director of the Timber Trade Federation, in the group’s statement.“FSC alone is no guarantee of having complied with legal process,” Hopkins added.In an email obtained by Mongabay, an FSC representative said the organization was “closely studying” this case and had reported the incident to an assurance provider called Accreditation Services International.FSC works with certification companies to ensure that timber buyers comply with FSC standards. But the fact that the certifier didn’t turn up this gap in Hardwood Dimensions’ due diligence raises the question of whether certifiers might have missed other issues in the past, said Rainforest Foundation UK’s Counsell.“The certifying companies aren’t identifying problems of illegality within the companies that they’re certifying,” he said, “and the FSC isn’t checking that the certifiers are doing their job properly.”A stream runs through the rainforest in western Cameroon. Photo by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.The judge ordered Hardwood Dimensions to pay 4,000 pounds ($5,570) plus court costs in a case brought by the U.K.’s Office for Product Safety and Standards, the British agency in charge of EU Timber Regulation enforcement.The Timber Trade Federation statement said “none of the material imported was from an illegal source,” according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which houses the Office for Product Safety and Standards.But Counsell said “They must have had good information to know that that timber was at least questionable,” particularly when it was coming from a “high-risk country” for timber like Cameroon.A court last year fined U.K. furniture importer Lombok 5,000 pounds ($6,970), plus court costs, for a similar violation of failing to do its due diligence on wood furniture brought in from India.Banner image of a drill in Cameroon by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCorrection: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Accreditation Services International as a partner of FSC and a certifying company. It is neither.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. Article published by John Cannon Certification, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forest Stewardship Council, Forestry, Forests, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Industry, Logging, NGOs, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Sustainability, Threats To Rainforests, Timber, Timber Laws, Tropical Forests center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more