Panama’s Barro Blanco dam to begin operation, indigenous pleas refused

first_imgAgriculture, CDM, Climate Change, Climate Change and Dams, Controversial, Dams, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Flooding, Forests, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Rivers, Social Justice For nearly a decade, Panama’s Barro Blanco dam has met with strong opposition from indigenous Ngäbe communities. It has also generated violent suppression from government forces, and attracted criticism from international organizations.An agreement on the dam’s completion, reached by the government and the community’s now-ousted leader, was voted down by the Ngäbe-Bugle General Congress in September 2016. The dam’s surprise deregistration from the UN Clean Development Mechanism in October 2016 did nothing to stop the project.Now, the General Administrator of Panama’s National Authority for Public Services has declared that the Ngäbe-Bugle General Congress never presented a formal rejection document to the government, meaning dam operations can begin.Panama’s Supreme Court has ruled against the last two legal actions by indigenous communities impacted by Barro Blanco. The Supreme Court decisions cannot be appealed, so the communities have now exhausted all legal avenues within the country, leaving only international processes. Ngäbe-Bugle community members canoe on the Tabasará River. Photo by Camilo Mejia GiraldoThe contentious Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam is set to begin operations within the next few weeks, defying both the relentless opposition by affected communities and the rejection last September by local indigenous authorities of a government proposed project completion agreement.According to Roberto Meana, General Administrator of Panama’s National Authority for Public Services (ASEP), the 28-megawatt gravity dam in western Panama could begin operation within days once necessary tests are finalized. The reservoir’s waters have been rising since August of last year, gradually flooding Ngäbe communities and land.“It can be in five days, or it can be two weeks, but the project is very close to entering its commercial operation,” Meana told Mongabay last Friday.Controversy from the startThe hydroelectric project, partly funded by two European development banks, has been at the epicenter of a complex environmental and human rights battle that has raged on for nearly a decade between a handful of indigenous Ngäbe communities and successive Panamanian administrations.In the last few months alone, the project was removed from the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (UNCDM), a positive result for the indigenous communities; but has also had two pending legal pleas rejected by Panama’s Supreme Court in favor of the government — potentially opening the door for the forceful expulsion of the affected indigenous people from their lands.The structurally complete dam on the Tabasará River is set to create a 258-hectare (1 square mile) reservoir within the province of Chiriqui. It will flood 6.7 hectares (16.5 acres) belonging to the Ngäbe-Buglé comarca — a semi-autonomous region located a few miles upstream of the dam.The Barro Blanco Dam in the Province of Chiriqui, western Panama. The dam is complete and will begin operation within weeks, according to the government. The Ngäbe-Bugle have been opposed to the project since its inception. Photo by Camilo Mejia GiraldoThe imminent operational status of the project now raises serious questions over the future of the local riverside Ngäbe communities, which have continuously called for the dam’s cancellation since it was given the go ahead in 2007.“If the government is going to start generating [electricity], then they are confirming the violation of our rights as an affected community,” Weny Bagama, a Ngäbe-Bugle General Congress delegate and a leader of the outspoken M10 (Movimiento 10 de Abril) group opposing the dam, told Mongabay.“They are doing this even though [the Ngäbe-Bugle General] Congress rejected the past agreement,” she said referring to a now defunct accord to allow the dam’s full operation which was reached by the government and the Cacica (negotiators) of the Ngäbe-Bugle community in August 2016. That deal was in turn rejected by the community in September when the Cacica negotiators were ousted by the Ngäbe-Buglé General Congress, the comarca’s key decision-making body.“The [General] Congress’ decision is the internal decision of the comarca, and if they don’t respect that, then evidently the government just does what it likes and does not respect the jurisdiction established by comarca law,” Bagama said.According to Meana, however, the Ngäbe-Buglé General Congress’ decision to reject the agreement was not followed by submission of the proper paperwork to the government — a formal document outlining the community’s decision and the reasons for the dam’s rejection.“To date, there is no document in which this agreement is rejected. The [Ngäbe-Bugle] Congress sent it to be revised. If the Congress had rejected it, they wouldn’t have set up a commission to review it,” Meana said referring to a commission created by the indigenous General Congress to formally analyze the conflict.These conclusions were strongly opposed by Bagama, who stated that although the congress had not filed a legal rejection document, the congress and the special commission had yet to finalize their response.“The commission was not named to revise the document but to analyze the conflict in its entirety,” she said. “They didn’t give us a time limit or date to present the [legal rejection] document, but the decision of the Congress needs to be free of pressure or conditions, because the comarca has its own procedures and according to our law we have to follow certain procedures.”The Ngäbe-Bugle General Congress meets on September 15, 2016 to debate the Barro Blanco agreement. Photo Courtesy of Weny BagamaThe vote by the indigenous body last September appeared to place a cloud of uncertainty over the project, as it was thought by both parties that they would renew negotiations to reach a final agreement.But even before the indigenous Congress’ rejection, the government allowed the dam’s construction company Generadora del Istmo S.A. (GENISA) to begin test flooding the dam’s reservoir in August, 2016 — a move opposed by the Ngäbe communities that have since lost homes and some of their most fertile land to the rising waters.“As a community we feel that we are prisoners within our own homes, we can’t move around as we used to, the water levels have dropped slightly [due to the dry season], but all the surrounding land has just turned into mud,” Bagama explained.“We live in a situation of constant threat because of this reservoir, with what the government has been doing and their economic interests, which are above our livelihoods as indigenous people,” she added.Panama’s Supreme Court weighs inAs the reservoir’s waters rose toward the end of 2016, there was a series of back-and-forth shifts in the status of the controversial project.In December, Panama’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the hydroelectric project on the last two pending legal processes active within the country. The first of these was a Protection of Constitutional Rights action, filed by lawyers in 2015 on behalf of the Ngäbe communities in order to protect their access to water.“The company had asked for a certain volume of the river’s flow [required for the dam’s operation], and the government actually gave them more than what they asked for,” explained Susana Serracín, an environmental lawyer for Panamanian NGO Alliance for Conservation and Development (ACD), which has been advocating for the affected Ngäbe communities. “This put the community’s water security seriously under threat,” she said.The court rejected this legal action because it was “presented six years after the start of the project” and not within the required first three months of development, which would have allowed time for estimates of environmental damages, stated newspaper La Prensa.The level of the Tabasará River on the shores of the Ngäbe communities of Kiad, Nuevo Palomar and Quebrada Caña have been rising over the past seven months due to the test flooding of the Barro Blanco dam reservoir. The reservoir has not only flooded homes and crops, but has made the river crossing treacherous. Photo by Camilo Mejia GiraldoAlso in December, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a resolution generated in 2013 by Panama’s National Authority for Public Services (ASEP), declaring the construction of Barro Blanco to be in the “public’s interest” and its construction “urgent” even though it was challenged by the Ngäbe communities. Additionally, the resolution gave GENISA the authority to enter indigenous land in order to complete the project.ASEP’s resolution, by declaring the project to be in the national interest, will clear the way for the government to legally expropriate any land needed to move the project to completion, explained Serracín. “The communities have to cede their land in favor of the project. But the government here is obviously not favoring the public interest, because this project has been undertaken by [GENISA] a private company,” she said.The high court’s decision opens the door for the legal forced relocation of the Ngäbe communities now living upstream of Barro Blanco. According to ASEP’s Meana, however, no one to date has been forcibly evicted from their lands despite the reservoirs rising waters.“The project [reservoir] has flooded, it’s already working towards normality and the government has not had to undertake any forced evictions of anything or anyone,” Meana explained, adding that the court’s decision also provides transparency when companies undertake a project such as Barro Blanco and cannot reach an agreement with affected stakeholders.“When you see the reality […] of the two or three people that have been affected by it [the flooding], the state is seeking to compensate them properly. The position of the state is to compensate those that have a rightful claim to the land,” he said.Panama’s Supreme Court’s decisions cannot be appealed, so the community has no recourse under Panama’s laws to continue its legal opposition.“All the cases that have been filed on a national level have been exhausted. The community now has nothing to do. The only processes that are left are the international ones,” ACD’s Serracín said.In March 2016, ACD filed a request for precautionary measures at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in a bid to protect the affected communities. To date, the commission has not responded with a decision, but after a public hearing in Washington last week, it has requested a report from the Panamanian government on the situation of the country’s human rights defenders.Former General Cacica Silvia Carrera and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela sign the Barro Blanco agreement on August 22nd at a ceremony in Llano Tugri, the capital of the Ngäbe-Bugle comarca. The community went on to reject that agreement in September. Photo by Camilo Mejia GiraldoCDM withdrawal makes international action uncertainWith the dam’s operation about to begin and the IACHR decision still pending, the possibility of a successful international appeal by the indigenous communities seems far from likely. The sudden request for the project’s immediate deregistration from the United Nations CDM made by Panama’s Ministry of Environment (MiAmbiente) in October, for example, did nothing to halt the dam or the river’s rising waters.Initially, Barro Blanco’s CDM registration — which had allowed the project to earn Certified Emission Reductions, or carbon credits — had been viewed as a positive development by indigenous community advocates.In the letter of withdrawal, MiAmbiente stated that Barro Blanco’s CDM registration in 2011 was performed under the guise of an outdated 2008 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which analyzed the dam’s impact based on its initial generating capacity of 19 megawatts.But in 2010, GENISA, the project’s construction company, received approval from Panama’s former National Authority of Environment to increase the dam’s capacity to 28 megawatts without a new EIA — a regulatory violation flagged by the indigenous community, national and international NGOs.“Barro Blanco has now become a source of embarrassment for the government, as it obviously does not meet the requirement of sustainable development. It violates the territorial rights of the Ngäbe people, and blatantly disrespects human rights,” ACD executive director Osvaldo Jordan told Mongabay days after the deregistration.According to Jordan, the initial CDM validation report of Barro Blanco by Spanish company AENOR in 2010, and the project’s subsequent registration in 2011, played a key role in the initial and continued funding of the project by European banks — the German Investment Corporation (DEG) and the Dutch development bank, FMO.“This [deregistration] is the result of a failed 10-year policy of hydroelectric projects in Panama […] and it will have an impact on future development projects in the country,” he said.These sentiments are echoed by Brussels-based NGO Carbon Market Watch (CMW), an organization working alongside the affected community. CMW had repeatedly called for the cancellation of Barro Blanco’s UNCDM registration.“Obviously taking into account the very negative effects of Barro Blanco, we really welcome this move. But at the same time it has to be mentioned that even though this is not a CDM project any more, it will still go on. There will still be a Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam in Panama,” Juliane Voigt, CMW’s Policy Officer for sustainable development said.The roof of a flooded house in the Ngäbe community of Quebrada Caña, upstream of the Barro Blanco Dam. Photo by Camilo Mejia GiraldoThe European banks have stayed mostly silent on this issue. According to DEG spokesperson Barbara Schrahe-Timera, both DEG and FMO have not been part of the contentious negotiations between the government and the Ngäbe-Bugle.“We repeatedly — also during the past few months — took active steps in exchange with various parties concerned, including environmental and social experts on site, to contribute to a mutual solution,” Schrahe-Timera told Mongabay. Despite repeated requests for clarification, the DEG spokesperson failed to say what these steps entailed and did not comment on the project’s withdrawal from the UNCDM.Rising waters and no easy solutionFor the Ngäbe communities dotting the shores of the Tabasará River, the tumultuous shifts in the legal battle do not alter their reality on the ground.“We’re in a critical situation,” said Manolo Miranda, a resident from the community of Kiad and a member of the M10 (Movimiento 10 de Abril) group opposing the dam. “Many of our crops, predominantly the banana crops and usable wood, have been lost [to rising waters], and [the dam] has had a heavy impact on the community.”The dam’s waters have receded marginally due to the country’s dry season, likely to end around April. According to Miranda, 11 houses had been flooded so far and an additional four may need to be evacuated as the reservoir expands and continues flooding the comarca.The test flooding over the past seven months has demonstrated, the Ngäbe say, the government’s unwillingness to acknowledge the community’s ongoing concerns. “The government still tries to push forward the project without acknowledging the environmental, social and cultural violations; it doesn’t interest them. And for us it doesn’t make sense,” said Miranda.According to ASEP’s Meana, however, the government has maintained “daily contact with the affected people” regarding their current situation. This contact, he says, is “first to establish the degree of impact, and second to give a specific solution in the long term.” He added that the government also remains in dialogue with representatives of the Ngäbe-Bugle General Congress to resolve the conflict.The communities and their advocates deny that this continuous dialogue with the government has occurred. However, a government delegation that visited Kiad in February was presented with a document that called for the immediate lowering of reservoir levels to the comarca limits, a concession that now seems improbable.“We have asked the levels to be lowered, in writing. They said that the project [would be] 100 percent outside of the Comarca, so generate your electricity outside it, but don’t allow the reservoir to affect the comarca territory,” Weny Bagama said.The government has so far made no direct response to this demand, but has also not moved forward on the forced removal of the Ngäbe communities.The Tabasará River near the Ngäbe community of Kiad. With the Barro Blanco dam likely to go operational any day now, all appeals within Panama now exhausted, and international processes not looking promising, the Ngäbe-Bugle communities have few options left. Whether the government will relocate the community\ies, or how it may compensate people for lost homes or crops is unknown. Photo by Camilo Mejia GiraldoFEEDBACK: 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 Glenn Scherercenter_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

Communities band together to protect El Salvador’s last mangroves

first_imgArticle published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Jiquilisco Bay is home to about half of El Salvador’s remaining mangroves. But many mangrove tracts were nearly wiped out by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, and siltation from upstream deforestation and controlled flooding were damaging the rest.In response, local communities formed a coalition, called the Mangrove Association, to help protect and expand the region’s mangroves.Around 80 communities are involved in the Mangrove Association. They work to restore damaged areas, and have re-planted hundreds of acres of mangrove forest. USULUTAN PROVINCE, El Salvador –  “Without the mangroves, we couldn’t live here,” says José Antonio Hernández. “We wouldn’t have any water.”He is standing on a rare dry patch of soil amid a mangrove forest on El Salvador’s eastern coast. While his green button-up shirt bears the logo of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MARN), Juan works as a volunteer on his daily patrols of the mangroves.José Horacio Soriano accompanies Hernández on the patrol. They both work as Natural Resource Guards for the Mangrove Association, a coalition of 80 communities that protects the mangroves of Usulután province.The Lempa river divides Usulután from the neighboring province of San Vicente. The communities at the river’s southern end where it empties into the Pacific Ocean are known as the Bajo Lempa – or Lower Lempa.Hernández explains that he arrived in the Bajo Lempa at the end of El Salvador’s Civil War. In the 1992 Peace Accords, the government committed to redistributing land to the guerrillas of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) and members of the National Guard and Army.The delta of the Lempa River hosts half of El Salvador’s remaining mangroves. Satellite data from the University of Maryland and imagery from Planet Labs show agricultural expansion has led to tree cover loss in and around the mangroves in the past decade. But communities are trying to stem the disappearance of their mangrove forests.José Horacio Soriano walks through the mangroves, which he patrols daily as a “Natural Resources Guard.” Photo by Martha Pskowski for MongabayHernández served in the National Guard during the war, and claimed three hectares (7.4 acres) in the Bajo Lempa. Most of his neighbors are resettled FMLN fighters.Today Hernández’s only weapon is a machete tucked into his backpack.His companion Soriano crouches in the muddy soil and points out tiny bubbles on its surface.“That’s where the punche are hiding. When we started the mangrove restoration there were barely any here, but now they are all over,” he said. The punche crab is an important local food source.José Horacio Soriano holds a “punche” crab, which have prospered in the area since the mangrove restoration began. Photo by Martha Pskowski for MongabayWe are standing in the middle of a 200-acre expanse of mangroves that almost completely died off after Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The Mangrove Association began restoring the area in 2013, using the Ecological Mangrove Restoration (or REM, its Spanish acronym) technique. The first stage is restoring the normal hydrology of the area, which had been compromised by years of flooding. Now that water can cycle through the mangroves again, newly planted trees are thriving.El Salvador is Latin America’s smallest mainland country. At 21,040 square kilometers (8,100 square miles), it is about the size of Massachusetts, and has the highest population density in the Americas. It is also the region’s second-most deforested country, after Haiti.Mangroves provide a natural buffer to storms coming off the ocean, as well as habitat for birds, crabs, fish and other wildlife. They also act as carbon sinks, with research indicating they store up to four times more carbon than other tropical forests. But advancing agro-industry, over-fishing and erosion have all taken their toll on the country’s mangroves.A porcupine sleeps in a tree in a mangroves tract known as “La Mesita” near the town of La Canoa. Photo by Martha Pskowski for MongabayMARN has recorded a 60 percent reduction in mangrove cover since 1950. Today, there are roughly 40,000 hectares (98,800 acres) of mangroves remaining in El Salvador. Jiquilisco Bay comprises about half of that total, and was designated a RAMSAR site in 2005.For years, the government neglected the region, but efforts by the Mangrove Association and local communities have helped turned the tide against degradation.From plantation barons to local farmersBefore the Salvadoran Civil War in the 1980s, the Bajo Lempa was an important agricultural zone, with large plantations producing cotton and sugar cane. During the war, most inhabitants fled as intense fighting took place between the FMLN and the armed forces.Large landowners were forced to give up their properties when the FMLN took control of the region. Salvadorans who had been in exile in Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica began to repopulate the Bajo Lempa in the late 1980s as fighting subsided.The war ended in 1992, and the remaining refugees gradually returned to El Salvador. FMLN fighters and former members of the armed forces claimed parcels in the post-Peace Accords land reform. But their new home presented unique challenges. Meanwhile at the national level, the right-wing ARENA party held on to the Presidency.Luis Ramos, treasurer of the Mangrove Association, explains that most of the new residents of the Bajo Lempa were unfamiliar with the coastal ecosystem.“People came from other provinces, like Morazon, that are mountainous,” Ramos said. “We didn’t know that here it flooded every year. Once we started to plant we found out.”According to Ramos, the national hydroelectric commission would release water from its dam system along the Lempa River every year, without warning the communities.“It flooded every year,” he said. “But the government never helped us, because they knew most of the people here were from the FMLN and left wing.”Luis Ramos was one of the founders of the Bajo Lempa Cooperative and Mangrove Association in the early 1990s. Photo by Martha Pskowski for MongabayRequests for comment from the El Salvador Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources were declined.In 1995, Ramos and others formed a small group that began meeting to address these problems. Together with seven other communities, they formed the Cooperative of the Bajo Lempa and Jiquilisco Bay. While most members were returned refugees or FMLN combatants, former members of the military began to join as well.The early members of the Cooperative built a meeting space in the town of Ciudad Romero, which had been founded by families returning from exile in Panama and named for martyred Salvadoran bishop Oscar Romero.In 2001, the Cooperative founded the Mangrove Association to serve as its legal entity. Today, the Mangrove Association works with international organizations, including California-based Ecoviva, to support local activities.In 2009, Mauricio Funes won the Presidency, and the FMLN took executive power for the first time. The containing wall on the Lempa River was finally repaired, and the yearly flooding in the Bajo Lempa was reduced.The Mangrove Association currently comprises 80 communities, gathered together into entities called Local Groups of the Cooperative. These groups bring together neighboring communities, which then communicate with the central organizing committee.Living off the mangrovesCeiba Doblada was holding its third annual gastronomic festival during Mongabay’s visit, and participants have prepared dozens of dishes to display the culinary richness of the area. In addition to Salvadoran mainstays like pupusas, atole, elote and fried yucca, there is a rice dish with the punche crab, fish stew and fresh mussels, all harvested in the mangroves.Members of the Community Development Association of Ceiba Doblada show off the local dishes they have prepared for the town’s Gastronomic Festival, including a seafood stew. Photo by Martha Pskowski for MongabaySchool children in Ceiba Doblada line up to fill their plates during the community’s Gastronomic Festival. Photo by Martha Pskowski for MongabayAdela del Carmen Palacios del Cid, 32, is President of the Community Development Association (Adesco) in Ceiba Doblada. Adesco is a member organization of the Mangrove Association.“The mangroves support the crabs, sea turtles, fish, mussels, and birds. It’s an ecosystem that’s so full of life, and nature,” Palacios explained in an interview. “And that’s what allows us to sustain our families.”The Mangrove Association helps local communities design resource management plans and set catch limits for crabs, fish and mussels.In the late 1990s, Palacios was involved in local efforts to educate people about sea turtles and discourage the sale of turtle eggs. Instead of collecting turtle eggs to sell, residents of Ceiba Doblada now bring them to the turtle hatchery that was built nearby.In 2014, community members incubated 125,000 eggs and released 100,000 baby green (Chelonia mydas) and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles – respectively listed as Endangered and Vulnerable by the IUCN – on the nearby island of Montecristo. The Fund of the Americas Initiative (FIAES) based in San Salvador provided technical and financial support for the project.Palacios explains that she was motivated to get involved in her community after Hurricane Mitch ravaged the area in 1998.She ran for a leadership position in the Adesco, and became the first woman to be elected.“Back then it was all men in the organizations. They said women weren’t capable of leading,” she said proudly. Today she is the Adesco President in Ceiba Doblada.FIAES Ecoviva, and the Mangrove Association are teaching local communities how to conserve and restore their mangroves.The mangrove restoration project near La Canoa, referred to as “El Llorón” is the most extensive the Mangrove Association has carried out thus far. The Ecological Mangrove Restoration (REM) process includes a diagnostic of each mangrove site, along with a restoration plan.José Antonio Hernández points out the different varieties of mangrove trees that have prospered since restoration. Photo by Martha Pskowski for MongabayIn the case of La Canoa, strong storms such as Hurricane Mitch and the annual overflow of the Lempa River dam contributed to the mangroves’ degradation. While mangroves are adapted to thrive in a mix of fresh and salt water, major flooding can have detrimental effects on the health of these ecosystems. At La Canoa, flooding clogged the canals with silt, which blocked tidal waters from flowing out of the mangroves.The water quality of the Lempa River is another factor that affects the mangroves. The Lempa watershed is shared between El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Improvements have been made in recent years, but fertilizer run-off, sewage and other waste all pollute the river.As part of the REM technique, volunteers cleared debris out of the canals to restore water flow. Once the canals were cleared, they began propagating new mangroves. There are now four varieties of mangrove trees in El Llorón and the new trees are growing quickly. Some of the mangrove species can grow up to 30 meters (100 feet). Their aerial roots that reach above our heads. Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) buttonwood mangrove (Conocarpus erectus) and Rhizophora racemosa trees all grow in Jiquilisco Bay. The Mangrove Association has also restored mangroves in the communities of Salinas del Portrero, Sisiguayo and Puerto Parada. They hope to replicate this success in other areas.Environmental and social challenges Despite important strides in conservation, the region faces new forms of environmental and social adversity.Of immediate concern is a spike in violent crime in the Bajo Lempa that began in 2014. Despite this year’s 25th anniversary of the Peace Accords, El Salvador has been one of the most dangerous countries in the world outside active war zones in recent years.The Mara Salvatrucha 13 and Barrio 18 gangs, which have their roots in Los Angeles, are at the heart of the conflict, The gangs have battled to control turf in Eastern El Salvador in recent years and. the Bajo Lempa has found itself in the crosshairs. Most cocaine shipments arrive along the Pacific Coast, and while the gangs are not drug traffickers, they seek to control the territory that the traffickers move through.Many families abandoned their homes during the worst of the violence, and travel between communities was dangerous, but has now improved. Increased police operations in the area have reduced crime, but many residents are uneasy with the frequent police patrols.“Things have calmed down, but for a while it really made our work difficult,” said José Maria Argueta, project coordinator for the Mangrove Association.José Antonio Hernández (L) and José Horacio Soriano (R), Natural Resource Guards in the community of La Canoa, look out from a fire tower on the edge of the mangroves. Photo by Martha Pskowski for MongabayThe Mangrove Association used to receive regular groups of international volunteers, but the visits trickled off as violence escalated. The U.S. State Department travel advisory for El Salvador also deters international visitors.“We are able to host volunteers again but it’s not that easy to overcome the reputation,” Argueta lamented.On the dirt road leaving the mangroves, natural resource guards Hernández and Soriano pointed out a cement shack where gang members used to gather. Spray painted on it is “MS 13.”They said that the gang members stole two boats that they used to patrol along the coast, and they have not had funds to replace them.Climate change is another force bearing down on the region, and the Climate Change Vulnerability Index consistently lists El Salvador as one of the most vulnerable countries. The Bajo Lempa and other coastal regions are on the frontlines of sea level rise, and MARN estimates the country will lose between 10 and 28 percent of its coastal territory this century due to sea level rise.Mario Martínez is a disc jockey on “Mangrove Radio” run by the Mangrove Association in the community of Ciudad Romero. Photo by Martha Pskowski for MongabayStronger coastal storms have hit the region hard since the 1990s. Hurricane Mitch in 1998 was followed by tropical depression E12 in 2011, which had devastating impacts on the Bajo Lempa.Droughts also affect local agriculture, and have become more common and pronounced in recent years. Inconsistent rainfall means farmers lose their crops it they misjudge the start of rainy season.Despite the challenges facing the Bajo Lempa, members of local organizations remain optimistic.“We don’t have a lot of economic resources,” Palacios said while the festival attendees waited to dig into the spread of local dishes in Ceiba Doblada. “But if we work together, we can get a little further every day.”FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. carbon, Carbon Sequestration, Climate Change, Coastal Ecosystems, Community Forestry, Community-based Conservation, Deforestation, Ecological Restoration, Environment, Estuaries, Featured, Forests, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mangroves, Reforestation, Restoration, Rivers, Tropical Forests, Wetlands 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

Audio: Frances Seymour on why rich nations need to start paying up to protect the world’s tropical forests

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Seymour shares her thoughts on why now was such an opportune moment for the publication of the book, whether or not the large-scale investment necessary to protect the world’s tropical forests shows signs of materializing any time soon, and which countries are leading the forest conservation charge.We also welcome Mongabay editor Glenn Scherer back to the program to answer a question from Newscast listener Brian Platt about which ‘good news’ stories are worth talking about more in these tough times for environmental and conservation news.All that and the top news on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast. On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we speak with Frances Seymour, a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C. and the lead author of a new book titled Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change, which she co-authored with Jonah Busch.Seymour shares her thoughts on why now is such an opportune moment for the publication of the book, whether or not the large-scale investment necessary to protect the world’s tropical forests shows signs of materializing any time soon, and which countries are leading the forest conservation charge.We also welcome Mongabay editor Glenn Scherer back to the program to answer a question from Newscast listener Brian Platt about which ‘good news’ stories are worth talking about more in these tough times for environmental and conservation news.Here’s this episode’s top news:A new secret runway found in Laguna del Tigre National Park in GuatemalaIndonesian governor asks president to let timber firms drain peat in his provinceChina’s first national park, an experiment in living with snow leopardsPeru lost more than 1 million hectares of Amazon forest over a period of 15 yearsMeet the 2017 ‘Green Oscars’ winnersGoddesses of the wind: How researchers saved Venezuela’s harpy eaglesWant to help spread the top news or the happy, upbeat stories featured on today’s episode? Mongabay publishes most of its features on a Creative Commons 4.0 License, so that anyone can use our original reporting in their own publication or website for free and without prior permission. That’s why you’ll see our features appear in outlets like The Guardian. For information about using Mongabay stories, visit mongabay.com/copyright.Mongabay’s education programs help children learn about the rainforest — at the Kids section of our website you’ll find information, photos, activities for teachers, and more. Find it at kids.mongabay.com.Please help us improve this show by leaving a review on its page at Android, Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, or RSS, or wherever you subscribe to it. Thanks!Photo by Rhett Butler.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: 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. Amazon, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Rainforest, Animals, Birds, Climate Change, Climate Change And Conservation, Climate Change And Forests, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, National Parks, Podcast, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Redd, Saving Rainforests, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Indonesian coal firms shut down for violations fight back in court, with mixed results

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, Environmental Politics, Governance, Mining, Pollution center_img Indonesian authorities have revoked or not renewed more than 2,100 mining licenses that fail to meet legal standards.In South Sumatra province, where 77 licenses were canceled, 10 coal mining firms have sued local officials for taking away their permits.So far, one lawsuit has succeeded, while four other companies have failed to get their licenses reinstated.The legal challenges in South Sumatra underscore the difficulties officials face as they try to clean up Indonesia’s mining sector. As Indonesian authorities move to strip thousands of mining licenses from firms that have failed to meet legal requirements, some companies are fighting back in the courts.Claiming that local officials who revoked mining permits acted arbitrarily or exceeded their authority has so far yielded positive results for at least one company. In June, South Sumatra-based coal miner PT Batubara Lahat successfully sued to have its Mining Business License (IUP) reinstated after it was revoked by the provincial governor.The Palembang Administrative Court ruled in the mining company’s favor, even though the mining firm had previously been found to owe the government more than 27 billion rupiah (~$2 million) in royalties and other non-tax obligations.At the time of the verdict, activists feared the case would set a precedent, emboldening other mining companies to mount similar challenges. In South Sumatra province alone, ten companies have so far sued to have their IUPs reinstated — including two firms who initiated lawsuits after PT Batubara Lahat prevailed in court.Despite that legal victory, similar lawsuits have not fared very well. “Of the five verdicts by the Palembang Administrative Court, only one (PT Babubara Lahat’s case) has gone in favor of the company,” said Rabin Ibnu Zainal, director of Pilar Nusantara, an NGO monitoring coal mining in South Sumatra.Among the firms whose cases have so far failed, three 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 active coal mining site in Bengkulu, Sumatra. Photo by Taufik Wijaya/Mongabay-Indonesia.Violations and revocationsThe legal battles taking place in the South Sumatra represent just a small part of a much larger struggle by Indonesian authorities to stamp out illegality in the mining sector. Indonesia is one of the world’s leading exporters of coal, but civil society groups have for years documented cases of environmental, legal and human rights violations by mining firms.In 2014, the KPK — Indonesia’s anti-graft agency — launched an investigation into the mining industry. In cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the KPK set out to examine the legality of mining permits in 12 provinces.Out of 10,992 licenses examined as part of the investigation, around 40 percent were found not be be “clean and clear” — meaning they failed to meet all legal requirements, such as having proper registration to pay taxes, land rents and royalties. In South Sumatra, things looked even worse. Out of 359 IUPs issued in the province, only 175 were found to be in compliance with the applicable laws.By April 2017, more than 2,100 mining permits nationwide were revoked or left to expire without being renewed, including 77 IUPs in South Sumatra.However, more than 2,500 licenses found to be in violation still remain active, and the fight in South Sumatra underscores how complex it can be to actually shut these companies down.A coal mining pit in Lahat district, South Sumatra. Photo courtesy of Walhi South Sumatra.Like PT Batubara Lahat, many of these violating firms owe large sums of money to the Indonesian government.As of March 2017, coal companies were found to owe the government more than $380.2 million in unpaid royalties. In effect, the public have been denied their share of the profits from mining, while being left to deal with the negative social and environmental impacts of mining. Communities across the archipelago face problems ranging from water pollution and deforestation to community conflict and deadly abandoned mine pits in which at least 27 people have drowned.In some cases — including the PT Batubara Lahat verdict — officials cite fears that revoking IUPs will only make matters worse by provoking companies to simply walk away from unpaid debts and unreclaimed mining sites. But activists insist the government must hold strong in the face of these challenges. “Coal companies operating in Indonesia, especially in South Sumatra, must operate correctly, not only not damaging the environment but also not harming the state,” said Zainal in a June interview.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and was first published on our Indonesian site on Aug. 13, 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.last_img read more

Ivory is out in the UK, as government moves to shutter legal trade

first_imgThe British government began a 12-week consultation period on Oct. 6 to sort out the details for a near-total ban on its domestic ivory trade.Conservation groups have long worried that even a legal trade can mask the illicit movement of ivory and stimulate further demand for ivory from poached elephants.The conservation groups WCS and Stop Ivory applauded the announcement and pledged to work with the government to put the ban in place. The UK government has announced that it will shut down the legal ivory trade within its borders.“The decline in the elephant population fueled by poaching for ivory shames our generation,” UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove said in a statement. “The need for radical and robust action to protect one of the world’s most iconic and treasured species is beyond dispute.”Growing evidence has shown that even a legal trade in ivory can mask illegal sales and feed the demand that drives poaching. Laws in the UK currently allow pieces of worked ivory, such as carvings, made before March 3, 1947, to be sold. Pieces made after that date require a certificate to be traded legally.On Oct. 6, the government began a 12-week consultation period to define a new set of restrictions, during which time conservation groups and art and antique curators will work together “to ensure there is no room for loopholes which continue to fuel the poaching of elephants,” according to the statement.Certain pieces of carved ivory will receive exceptions under the new domestic ivory ban in the UK. Photo by sha (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons.The UK joins the United States and China in their recently announced closures of domestic ivory markets.Under the plan, the government will make exceptions to allow the trade and sale of musical instruments made with ivory and pieces with small amounts of ivory. Trade in objects of “significant historic, artistic or cultural value” will also be allowed, as well as the movement of pieces to and between museums.Gove’s office said that the goal will be to identify “narrowly defined and carefully targeted exemptions for items which do not contribute to the poaching of elephants and where a ban would be unwarranted.”A recent investigation by the Environmental Investigation Agency found that the UK is the biggest exporter of legal ivory, largely to markets in China and Hong Kong.“Illegal ivory hides behind ‘legal’ ivory, and the UK still allows a significant domestic ‘legal’ ivory market,” said Wildlife Conservation Society CEO Cristián Samper in a statement from the organization. “The implementation of a strict ban without loopholes that traders can exploit is essential in the fight against the poaching of elephants and the trafficking in their ivory.”A carved ivory tusk in the Brooklyn Museum. Photo source: Brooklyn Museum [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.In just the past 15 years, forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) numbers in Central Africa are down by 66 percent, Samper said. On the continent as a whole, 20,000 elephants die at the hands of poachers each year. Many scientists fear that savanna (Loxodonta africana) and forest elephants could face extinction in the next few decades if those trends continue.“The only way to save elephants, in addition to strong field and enforcement work, is to ban ivory sales to prevent any opportunities for such laundering,” Samper said.A recent report by the NGO TRAFFIC outlined the elaborate movement of ivory through several Central African countries, largely through “underground” international markets.“The unprecedented crisis we face — with Africa’s natural heritage being destroyed and communities put at risk due to poaching by illegal armed gangs — will only stop when people stop buying ivory,” said John Stephenson, CEO of the NGO Stop Ivory, in the government’s statement. “Along with our partners, we congratulate the government on this important step and look forward to working with it and our colleagues to ensure the ban is implemented robustly and without delay.”In October 2018, the UK will host an international conference on the illegal wildlife trade, which Gove’s office figures is worth 17 billion pounds ($22.4 billion).An African bush elephant in Tanzania. Photo by John C. Cannon.Samper acknowledged the need for “strong field and enforcement work” to protect elephants where they live, but he said that leaders in those countries need help.“We cannot save elephants if the trade in their ivory continues,” Samper said. “The majority of African elephant range countries … have called on the global community to put an end to the ivory trade.”“Elephants need dramatic help now,” he added.Banner image of an elephant in Tanzania by John C. Cannon.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Animals, China wildlife trade, Conservation, Elephants, Environment, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Forest Elephants, Forests, Government, Hunting, Ivory, Ivory Trade, Mammals, Over-hunting, Poaching, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking last_img read more

New thumbnail-sized pygmy squid discovered in Australia

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Ecosystems, New Species, Oceans, Research, Species Discovery, Squid, Wildlife Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img The new species of pygmy squid belongs to the genus Idiosepius, a group of tiny, squid-like marine animals that are believed to be the world’s smallest cephalopods.Researchers have named the new species Idiosepius hallami, or Hallam’s pygmy squid after Australian malacologist Amanda Reid’s son, Hallam, who helped her collect live animals for further comparisons.Pygmy squids are generally found in shallow waters among seagrass and mangroves, some of the most threatened marine habitats. Scientists have just described a new species of “pygmy squid” the size of a thumbnail.The tiny marine creature is not a true squid, though. Rather, it belongs to a group of squid-like animals believed to be the world’s smallest cephalopods, the family of marine creatures that includes octopuses, squid and cuttlefish. Pygmy squids, currently represented by the genus Idiosepius, grow to about 2 centimeters (0.8 inches) in body length (not including the head, arms and tentacles).Cephalopod expert Amanda Reid first encountered the new species of Idiosepius while going through preserved specimens of pygmy squids at the Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI) in Sydney, researchers report in a new study published in Zootaxa. She found that a number of specimens from eastern Australia did not look like the other known pygmy squids, and some specimens had been misidentified.“While identifying some pygmy’s among the AM[RI] collections, I found a species that didn’t ‘fit’ based on its morphological features with those species already known from Australia,” Reid wrote in a blogpost. “In addition, it was shown to occur with another species of pygmy squid throughout the southern part of its range and had been muddled with yet a third species from the north.”To confirm its status, researchers collected several fresh specimens of the new pygmy squid, and compared its morphology and DNA with specimens of other known species of pygmy squids.Idiosepius hallami, attached to a seagrass blade, Cudgen Creek, northern New South Wales. Photo by Amanda Reid.The team has named the new species Idiosepius hallami, or Hallam’s pygmy squid, after Reid’s son, Hallam, who helped her collect the live animals for the DNA sequencing.“We know a lot more about the larger (and often edible) squid species, but these tiny ones are often overlooked,” Jan Strugnell, an associate professor at James Cook University in Australia who carried out the DNA sequencing, said in a statement. “This discovery led to a broader examination of all the species known from this family of tiny squids and also resulted in a revised classification and better understanding of the group as a whole.”The study also suggests placing the southern pygmy squid, Idiosepius notoides, into a new genus, Xipholeptos.“When comparing this new species with the previously known southern pygmy squid, Idiosepius notoides, it also became clear that I. notoides differs remarkably from all other known pygmy squid both in morphological and molecular traits and forms a distinct clade, or branch at the base of the evolutionary tree of pygmy squids,” Reid wrote. “This has resulted in its placement in a new genus Xipholeptos, now only the second genus in the family.”Pygmy squids are generally found in shallow waters among seagrass and mangroves, some of the most threatened marine habitats, but also some of the “most effective carbon absorbers,” Strugnell said.“So, an increased understanding of these habitats and what lives in them is of great importance,” she saidCitation:Reid, A. L. & Strugnell, J. M. (2018). A new pygmy squid, Idiosepius hallami n. sp. (Cephalopoda: Idiosepiidae) from eastern Australia and elevation of the southern endemic ‘notoides’ clade to a new genus, Xipholeptos n. gen. Zootaxa 4369(4): 451–486last_img read more

Europe’s beetle species plummet as trees disappear

first_imgCitation:Cálix, M., Alexander, K.N.A., Nieto, A., Dodelin, B., Soldati, F., Telnov, D., Vazquez-Albalate, X., Aleksandrowicz, O., Audisio, P., Istrate, P., Jansson, N., Legakis, A., Liberto, A., Makris, C., Merkl, O., Mugerwa Pettersson, R., Schlaghamersky, J., Bologna, M.A., Brustel, H., Buse, J., Novák, V. and Purchart, L. 2018. European Red List of Saproxylic Beetles. Brussels, Belgium: IUCNFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Agriculture, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Policy, Forests, Insects, Invertebrates, Iucn, Logging, Old Growth Forests, Research, Trees, Wildlife A new report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) finds nearly 18 percent of saproxylic beetles are threatened with extinction in Europe. That number goes up to almost 22 percent for the EU as a whole.Of Europe’s threatened species, the 2018 report finds five are critically endangered, up from two in 2010. Of these, four are endemic, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world. In the EU overall, the IUCN lists seven species as critically endangered, up from three in 2010.Saproxylic beetles live in and eat dead and decaying wood, and play important ecological roles such as nutrient recycling, pollination and as an important food source for birds and other wildlife.The IUCN says that to stave of greater declines and help saproxylic beetles bounce back, land management should make sure each square kilometer of land contains a mix of trees of different ages, including standing and fallen dead trees. Saproxylic beetles live in and eat dead and decaying wood, and play important ecological roles in nutrient recycling and pollination, and as an important food source for birds and other wildlife. But a new report finds many of Europe’s saproxylic beetles are in trouble, with nearly a fifth threatened with extinction.The report was produced by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) finds nearly 18 percent of saproxylic beetles are threatened with extinction in Europe. That number goes up to almost 22 percent for EU countries.The number of threatened beetle species has increased significantly since the IUCN’s last evaluation in 2010, which found 11 percent were threatened in Europe and 14 percent were threatened in the EU.The IUCN’s Red List includes three threatened categories: Vulnerable, Endangered and Critically Endangered. This latter category is the last rung before regional extinction, and the 2018 report shows it had proportionally the most growth since 2010.Of Europe’s threatened species, the 2018 report finds five are critically endangered, up from two in 2010. Of these five, four are endemic, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world. In the EU, the IUCN lists seven species as critically endangered, up from three in 2010.Iphthiminus italicus adults are active at night and live under thick, dead bark, and in dead branches and hollow trunks of broadleaf trees. It has a small range and is threatened by large-scale tree plantations and an increasing frequency of wildfires. This species is listed as Endangered by the IUCN. Photo by Udo Schmidt via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)The 2018 report also highlights that around a quarter of saproxylic beetle species could not be assessed because there is currently not enough data on them to do so. It estimates that if these species were able to be included in the assessment, then Europe’s 18 percent threatened rate could be as low as 13.5 percent – or as high as 40 percent.Why are these beetles declining? According to the IUCN, it’s because Europe’s trees are disappearing. The report names logging, wood harvesting and other types of tree loss as “by far the greatest threats to both threatened and non-threatened saproxylic beetles, affecting more than half the species, including 76 threatened species.”The report also states urbanization, tourism development and an increasing frequency in wildfires are big drivers of beetle habitat loss.Beetles aren’t the only group of insects in trouble in Europe. A 2017 study found Germany’s flying insect abundance dropped more than 75 percent over 30 years. Scientists are still trying to figure out why, but suspect agricultural intensification may be to blame.Limoniscus violaceus is dependent on old trees as its larvae develop in tree cavities containing wood mold. The species is listed as Endangered by the IUCN, with assessments showing it has become extinct in parts of its European range and is declining in many countries where it is still present. Photo by Udo Schmidt via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)The IUCN says that to stave of greater declines and help saproxylic beetles bounce back, land management should make sure each square kilometer of land contains a mix of trees of different ages, including standing and fallen dead trees. The report states conservation priority should be given to species with small, isolated populations, and ecological corridors should be created to ensure populations of the same species are able to exchange genes.The report includes a number of policy recommendations, including IUCN assessment of data deficient species, regulations aimed at making sure European landscapes maintain enough living and dead trees, and more stringent measures for combatting illegal logging. It also urges the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy promote more effective management of wood pasture habitats that harbor old trees. Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Ecuador: Sarayaku leader Patricia Gualinga defends territory despite threats

first_imgGualinga was cornered and threatened by an intruder at her home in Puyo, in the Ecuadorean Amazon, after the man broke one of her windows with a stone.Amnesty International issued an urgent appeal to Ecuador’s Ministry of Internal Affairs about the threat in a plea for Gualinga’s protection.The investigation is still underway, with no word on any suspects or leads. The struggle to protect the land and the environment in Latin America often costs lives. In 2017 alone, 116 environmental defenders were killed in the region, most of them for protecting their territories from activities such as industrial agriculture, mining, poaching and logging, according to the latest report by Global Witness. So when threats were made against land defender and Sarayaku indigenous leader Patricia Gualinga at her home in the city of Puyo, north of the Ecuadorean Amazon, it raised a red flag.This is the kind of dangerous situation that community leaders face every day.It was dawn on Jan. 5 when Gualinga was surprised by a man who broke the window of her room with a stone and threatened her.“‘The next time I will kill you,’ he told me several times,” Gualinga said in an interview with Mongabay. Her husband and parents were also there. “I was shocked, nobody had threatened me during my leadership.”A policeman passing by her house chased the attacker but never returned. The next day, Gualinga went to the provincial prosecutor’s office to file a complaint. It took some time, but eventually the crime report was registered.In an exclusive interview, Gualinga spoke recently with Mongabay about that day.The Sarayaku defender Patricia Gualinga at the press conference where she reported the threats she received on January 5, 2018. Photo courtesy Patricia Gualinga.“I realized that it was a direct attempt,” said the indigenous leader, who over the past 20 years has focused her efforts on fighting against violations of Amazonian people’s rights — people who are against the operation of extractive projects in their territories. In the past six months, Gualinga has settled in Puyo to take care of her father, and in November 2017 she joined the Climate Change Summit COP23 in Germany to talk about the situation for Amazonian communities.According to the Attorney General’s Office, the crime was registered as “intimidation” under the law, punishable by up to three years in prison. The judicial office told Mongabay in a written response that it had proceeded “To take witness testimonies, a recognition of the place of events, and a delegation for the operational investigation to the Criminal Investigation Unit of the National Police, directed by the prosecutor of the case.”Gualinga and her husband are now required to be part of Ecuador’s witness protection program, which will give them semi-permanent police protection and psychological support.“What the government has achieved is that the police are now watching me in Puyo,” Gualinga said. “But the investigation has [shown] no results.”Patricia Gualinga participated in the Climate Change Summit COP23, in Bonn, Germany. Photo courtesy of Patricia Gualinga.On the same day of the attack, Amnesty International issued an urgent appeal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to publicly acknowledge the work done by Gualinga and all territorial and environmental rights defenders. It also urged authorities to carry out an immediate investigation and make the results public.“I believe that this is a key element to figure out the reasons behind this attack, a quick, immediate, exhaustive investigation,” said María José Veramendi, Amnesty International’s Americas researcher. “These people must have a safe and propitious environment to carry out their work.”Gualinga’s name has been added to the list of threatened defenders called Speak out for Defenders project.An emblematic struggleThe Sarayaku people live on the banks of the Bobonaza River, in the center of the Ecuadorean province of Pastaza. Their seven communities make up a population of around 1,400 people concentrated in the urban center. That center only corresponds to 5 percent of the 1,350 square kilometers (520 square miles) that their territory covers.Seen from above, Sarayaku looks like a green carpet of forest connected to winding rivers, said Mario Melo, the community’s defense lawyer. The community lives in the middle of the jungle, Melo said. “People are always friendly, they serve chicha [a purple corn drink] as an homage when you arrive,” he said.For Gualinga, it’s the area outside the urban center, closer to the primary forest, that she loves. Here there are small ranches where the Sarayaku usually go to pass the time with family.“They are beautiful,” Gualinga said. “The forest is not being deforested, you can listen to the singing of the birds, and have medicinal plants at your fingertips.” The trips she made with her paternal grandparents to the banks of the Rotuno River are particularly fond memories.Aerial view of the Sarayaku territory, located in the Ecuadorian province of Pastaza. Photo by Carlos Mazabanda.The depths of the living forest are home to many sacred spaces for the Sarayaku. These are the places where no human intervention is allowed.“There you can feel the presence of nature and the ecosystem,” Gualinga said. There are lagoons that are home to a variety of lizards, fish and anacondas. The Andayacu, Ishpingo, Rotuno and Capahuari rivers also flow here.But the community has struggled to keep its territory free of extractive activities, ever since the Argentine oil firm Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC) obtained a concession in 1993 of what was then called Block 23. In 2002, CGC entered the community with the objective of beginning exploration activities and buried 1,433 kilograms (3,160 pounds) of high-power dynamite, known as pentolite, to determine how much crude lay underground.“They were very tense moments, the people of Sarayaku went into a state of threat,” Melo said.Ultimately, everyone came together to fight back, and in 2012 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled in favor of the Sarayaku in a case that the community filed against the Ecuadorean government, and that today is in the process of being monitored for compliance.“The people of Sarayaku have understood that this promise of development does not exist, it is false,” said Tatiana Roa, of the Colombian environmental organization CENSAT Agua Viva. “They recognize themselves as indigenous peoples who do not need to follow this promise of development and progress.”Roa described this struggle as emblematic of the Sarayaku people: through discourse, they managed to unite their entire community. Gualinga’s role in this has been fundamental, according to Roa. “I think she has been a woman who has inspired many of these battles in Latin America today in the face of this extractive logic,” she said.She added that the interesting thing about Gualinga and her work was that it had not crystallized in individual terms, but in the representation of a group of people through her vocation as a Saramanta Warmikuna, or messenger of the Amazonian fight.Now the community must protect its territory from the possible exploitation of Blocks 74, 75 and 79, granted to PetroAmazonas and Andes Petroleum during the 11th oil round that divided the southern center of the Amazon into 13 blocks, according to Melo.“The government has a moral and legal obligation to comply,” he said.Ancestral trees of the Sarayaku community, located in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo courtesy of Patricia Gualinga.Gualinga is saddened, though, by what has been lost already.“We are no longer the peaceful community we were before, we are always on the defensive,” she said. She added that it was not a fair match for them to face large, wealthy companies that were often protected by the government. Defending the territory has taken many years of her people’s lives, she said.“We have not claimed our lives back,” she said.The Sarayaku people have proposed to Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, that effective measures need to be taken to comply with the ruling. They have outlined a roadmap to involve the ministries of justice, the environment, hydrocarbons, the interior, defense and the treasury for this purpose. But according to Melo, this isn’t a high priority for the government.The work continues“I did not know I had this vocation,” Gualinga said. “I was dedicated to working and achieving success as a woman, on the radio and later as director of a tourism project.”But once the Argentine company CGC entered her people’s territory, she remembers feeling that she had no choice but to join the fight at the insistence of her people. She decided to take the risk without knowing the possible consequences.“At that time fighting against an oil company was impossible,” she said. “I got into Sarayaku’s issues and I never left.”Patricia Gualinga was threatened with death at her house in Puyo, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, after a man broke a window. Photo courtesy of Amazon Watch/Caroline Bennett.She said the threats she faced earlier this year had revived her struggle and allowed people to become aware of what was happening with the oil blocks that interfered with her people’s territory.“They can’t intimidate us, what I did is what I had to do, defend what was right, that gives me strength, the indignation that makes us fight again,” she said.Her strength, she added, also comes from her father, Sabino, one of the yachak or sages of Sarayaku; her mother, Corina Montalvo, and the many people who showed solidarity with her after the attack.Gualinga said she was inspired to file a report about the death threat by many other women leaders in her community.“The Amazonian women have activated their fight again, they have begun to report their threats,” she said.This was the also case with Miriam Cisneros, elected president of the Sarayaku village in 2017, who spoke about the threats she has received and the theft of hard drives from her computers. José Gualinga, the oldest of Patricia’s four brothers, was also threatened when he presided over the community and now also advises the new authorities. His wife also received threatening messages at the time they were fighting the CGC. Other threatened leaders included Franco Viteri and Marlon Santi, two of the most visible authorities in the community.The Sarayaku people are still waiting for the Ecuadorian Government to comply with the judgment of the IACHR. Photo by Carlos Mazabanda.Gualinga recalled that another decisive moment in her life was when lawyers for the community asked her to be a witness during the case presented before the IACHR, and to be a translator before the court. She also made the final petition for the case and prepared the witnesses that the defense chose.“I felt the weight of responsibility on me,” Gualinga said. “I felt the weight of Sarayaku in me.”Now the focus is on presenting a campaign that rescues the ancestral concept and the larger vision of this community, which seeks to show the rainforest as a living being and at the same time as the habitat of other human beings. For the community, this allows the balance between the elements of the universe.“They require special consideration, and activities such as those by the oil companies showed that these beings can perish or leave the territory,” Melo said.The community in Puyo seeks to promote a public policy proposal that respects this sacred nature of the forest and that can be included in the national constitution, which already recognizes the rights of nature.Gualinga said that in a few months she would leave Puyo to return to the sacred forests that fill her community with the necessary energy for their fight to continue.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on March 1, 2018.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. Amazon, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Amazon Rainforest, Endangered Environmentalists, Featured, Forests, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests Article published by Genevieve Belmakercenter_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

Ire and ore: Demands grow for clarity around Cambodian gold mine

first_imgArticle published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Conflict, Environment, Forests, Gold Mining, Industry, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Mercury, Mining, Pollution, Rainforests, Resource Conflict, Tropical Forests, Water Pollution *Name changed on request to protect the anonymity of the person interviewed.Banner photo: A drone photo shows the gold mine site and surrounding forest and farmland near the community of Tropeang Tontem. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Earlier this year, residents of Tropeang Tontem in the province of Preah Vihear submitted a petition to the government Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. It complained about their treatment by local officials and a mining company.According to Cambodian media, the petition was signed by 56 families. It states that government and company officials “forced us, coerced us and cheated us into thumb-printing a document that stated that we were farming on part of the company‘s land.” The petition requests that the document be “annulled in its entirety.”Residents are also concerned about the intensive chemical processing of the gold ore in the open environment, a process that uses highly toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury.A representative from a Cambodian NGO said the organization will be opposed to the mine until an environmental impact assessment of its operations is conducted, and until there is more clarity regarding mine activity. A gold mine in the remote northern Cambodian province of Preah Vihear is being opposed by local people who claim they have lost their land and are being manipulated by authorities acting for the mining company.On January 12, residents from the affected village of Tropeang Tontem in Rovieng district submitted a petition to the government Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. It complained about their treatment by local officials and the company allegedly responsible, Delcom Cambodia Pte Ltd.According to the Phnom Penh Post, the petition statement was signed by 56 families.  Translated from Khmer to English, it states that government and company officials “forced us, coerced us and cheated us into thumb-printing a document that stated that we were farming on part of the company‘s land.” The statement requested that the document be “annulled in its entirety.”The mine site near Tropeang Tontem. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaAccording to local reports, the mine has been expanding since Delcom first obtained a license in 1994. Residents say encroachment on village farmlands and forest by the mine escalated in 2015.“We are completely opposed to this mine continuing its operations until there is a detailed, impartial and independent investigation of the alleged human rights abuses that continue to occur there – which include land-theft,” Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, Director of watchdog organization Mother Nature Cambodia (MNC), said in an interview with Mongabay.Local residents tell of heavy-handed tactics used by Delcom when, in 2011, they say its security forces cleared small artisanal miners out of the site who had flocked to the area to make their fortunes. Residents say one miner was killed and several injured by mine security during the removal. Direct clashes have now given way to simmering discontentment as mining operations have scaled-up but land disputes remain unresolved.“Some other families have land titles but right now a lot of families are still arguing about their land,” said Hun Vannak, an activist with MNC. Fresh out of jail for his video activism, he visited the mine site on three occasions last year resulting in the release of a campaign video. He explained that he and a colleague were stopped by security, including Cambodian soldiers, three times while visiting the area.After release of the MNC video last July, officials made efforts to resolve the land disputes by convening a meeting and inviting two of the affected families to negotiate. One family was awarded alternative land near the site: “They measured that the land was 12.5 hectares belonging to Chet Yi’s family. The provincial head asked the commune head to make the land title,” Hun Vannak said.The assertion by local people that mine security is provided by military units stationed in the area is supported by press reports. Sun Ta* a member of MNC who made three visits to the area in 2017 told Mongabay, “I saw a motorbike with an army number plate.”A motorbike sporting a military-issued license plate reportedly seen near the mine site. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaA pickup truck with a military license plate reportedly observed near the mine. Image courtesy of Mother Nature Cambodia“I am sure. I am not just saying that without knowing about it. It [the mine] is related to H.E. Hing Bung Heng, as those based here are all soldiers, members of his bodyguard unit. I see it every day, they are all from the bodyguard unit,” said village elder Tuy Chenng when he was interviewed by MNC for their video in 2017.General Hing Bun Hiang is reportedly the commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s personal bodyguard unit. The General has neither confirmed nor denied the rumor despite questions that have circulated in the Cambodian media concerning his involvement.“At 6pm I heard the noise of blasting,” said one activist who preferred not to be named, explaining that there are two work shifts at the camp and the blasting takes place at night. She claimed that of the thousand or so workers, most are Chinese with very few Cambodians working there. Above one tower on site the Chinese flag can clearly be seen flying.Representatives from Mother Nature Cambodia report seeing this Chinese flag flying above a drilling rig at the mine site. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaVillagers are also concerned about the intensive chemical processing of the gold ore in the open environment, a process that uses highly toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury.“Chet Yi’s 13-year-old sons found the containers outside the fence [of the mine site] and brought them to the house,” said Hun Vannak, explaining the photos he took in the affected community last June. One shows a 50-kilogram barrel with a label describing the contents as 98 percent pure sodium cyanide manufactured in Anhui, China. Another shows a plastic beverage bottle appearing to contain mercury.“It does suggest use of potassium or sodium cyanide to dissolve and thereby extract gold from heaped or piled up crude ore,” Richard Harkinson, a mining expert and consultant to the London Mining Network, said in an email to Mongabay.An empty 50-kilogram drum of sodium cyanide that was reportedly recovered from the mine perimeter by community members in 2017. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaA child from the village neighboring the mine site shows a plastic beverage bottle that appears to contain mercury, which he says he recovered from the perimeter fence at the mining site. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaAerial drone footage captured near the mine by activists shows what appears to be the heap leaching process whereby the gold rock ore is first crushed before being moved into mounds onto which cyanide or mercury is poured to extract the gold particles.The leftover contaminated mine waste slurry called “tailings” are generally stored behind holding dams. Failure of these often poorly constructed dams has been widely identified as the primary cause of numerous international mining disasters. For example in November 2015 the Samarco Mineracao tailings dam in Brazil collapsed, releasing more than 30 million cubic meters of mining waste into a nearby river.Heaped piles of crushed ore are visible in this drone photo. The gold is extracted by pouring cyanide and/or mercury onto the piles of crushed ore. This produces toxic waste tailings, which are stored in ponds behind small holding dams. Image courtesy of Mother Nature Cambodia“Relatively low concentrations of cyanide can be highly toxic to people and wildlife,” states the website of the Cyanide Code, continuing: “Cyanide is acutely toxic to humans.”The Cyanide Code was set up in 2000 with support from the United Nations Environment Programme as a voluntary mining industry response to repeated spills of cyanide at mine sites. “Spills and other incidents involving cyanide solutions at gold mines such as the January 2000 incident at a Romanian gold mine demonstrated to the gold mining industry‚ governments and the public that better management of cyanide was needed,” its website states.None of the gold mining companies operating in Cambodia are listed as signatories of the Cyanide Code.“The most significant risk from the use of cyanide solutions in gold mining is the possible leaching into soil and groundwater,” states a European Commission report on cyanide. It explains that fish are especially at risk: “Cyanide concentrations of 1 microgram (one-millionth of a gram) per liter of water can be fatal to fish.”“Due to risks to people and the environment a number of countries such as Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic have banned cyanide in mining,” the report explains.Evidence suggests that Deleum Berhad holdings, a Malaysian company, is still majority owner of subsidiary Delcom Cambodia. The Malaysian company has so far denied any involvement. Deleum’s main business is services to oil and gas industries. The gold mine operations were not directly discussed in its 2016 Annual Review, but the review did mention Deleum’s role as majority owner of Cambodian subsidiaries.Deleum Berhad’s report for 2016 indicates that its wholly owned company, called Deleum Services Holding Limited, owns 60 percent of two companies with similar names to that of the company in charge of the gold mining and processing site in Rovieng: Delcom Power (Cambodia) Limited and Delcom Utilities (Cambodia) Limited.Two government mining licenses support this. One is an agreement between the Cambodian government and Delcom Cambodia Pte Ltd. signed in March of 1994, for mining exploration, development and exploitation in an area covering 216 square kilometers. In 2004 the exploration license was renewed by Cambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy. However press reports indicate that the exploitation license lapsed in 2016 and is in the process of renewal.A backhoe clears land to expand the mine site onto land claimed by villagers. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaA fortified perimeter fence surrounds the site, which local residents claim has been built on their farmland. Image courtesy of Mother Nature CambodiaOne of the co-signatories of the 1994 contract is a “Mr. Vivekannathan S/O M.V. Nathan,” acting as the president of Delcom Cambodia Pte Ltd and managing director for Delcom Services Sdn Bhd. The latter assumed its present name of Deleum Berhad in 2006. Deleum Berhad’s website lists, as a member of its board of directors, a Malaysian national by the name of Datuk Vivekannathan a/l M.V. Nathan. He is listed as the group’s current non-executive deputy chairman, having held other positions in the group in the past, including that of managing director and president.However, Deleum’s current ownership of the mine is disputed by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party National Assembly member Thavy Nhem, formerly Managing Director of Delcom Cambodia. On August 4, 2017, the Phnom Penh Post reported that he denied Delcom was involved. “But that company is no longer there,” he said. “We don’t know who is there.”The report also supported statements by community members and mine workers that one of the mines belonged to Hun Seng Ny, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s youngest sister.Although Delcom has had a license to explore and exploit gold, The Ministry of Mines and Energy stated in the Khmer Times that the first officially sanctioned gold mine was the more recently established Mesco Gold.Mother Nature Cambodia director Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson says this raises questions about the nature of Delcom’s mining license. “The information on the status of the license was not clear,” Gonzalez-Davidson told Mongabay during an interview. “There is hardly any information at all on what are they officially doing: are they prospecting? Are they extracting?”Gonzalez-Davidson says the organization will be opposed to the mine until there is, “an assessment on the environmental impacts the mining and extraction is creating, and until Cambodians get to know how much gold is being extracted out of the area.”Neither Delcom Cambodia nor Deleum Berhad responded to multiple requests for comment for this story, nor did Chea Sophara, Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. The Ministry of Mines and Energy also declined to comment.last_img read more

Pumaren on UE’s Final 4 bid: We’re still here

first_imgMargot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene View comments Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Growling Tigers’ 0-10 card had pushed them out of the Final Four picture.“We were walking today and we let La Salle run,” said Pumaren whose team lost control of the game as early as the second quarter when it fell to a 40-24 deficit. “We can’t have that kind of play against Ateneo because that team is more cohesive and passes a lot more compared to La Salle.”All of UE’s remaining games are all must-win contests and the Red Warriors will also rely on teams like FEU and NU to stumble if they hope to barge into the semifinals.And Pumaren knows the first step is scoring a vital victory, potentially, against the Blue Eagles.“We have to focus on Ateneo first,” said Pumaren. “We have to concentrate on Ateneo on Saturday, and hopefully we’ll be able to steal a game from them.”ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES More than 50k fans attend Ginebra-Meralco Finals Game 6 Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ setcenter_img MOST READ Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netUniversity of the East’s chances for a Final Four spot has slipped to dim levels that it can only be described as “mathematical.”The Red Warriors’ recent 99-78 loss to defending champion De La Salle saw them slip to 3-8 with three games remaining on their schedule.ADVERTISEMENT That premise, however, doesn’t deter UE head coach Derrick Pumaren who still foresees a Red Warrior surprise in the semifinals.“We just have to remain positive, we still have a shot, we’re still here,” said Pumaren Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena. “But I think we have to do a better effort than what we did today.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogUE’s next games are against Final Four teams Ateneo and Far Eastern University with University of Santo Tomas being the lone reprieve.The Blue Eagles are atop the standings with a 10-0 card while the Tamaraws hold the fourth seed with a 5-5 record. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacsonlast_img read more