Amazon Soy Moratorium: defeating deforestation or greenwash diversion?

first_img(Leia essa matéria em português no The Intercept Brasil. You can also read Mongabay’s series on the Tapajós Basin in Portuguese at The Intercept Brasil)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.The Amazon continues to be at risk from deforestation, despite the soy ban. Photo by Mauricio Torres Correction (March 13, 2017 06:00 Pacific): this original version of this story erroneously stated: “But even before the moratorium was signed, the annual rate of Amazon deforestation fell dramatically, by almost 80 percent”. The actual decline was 50 percent, not 80 percent. We regret the error.Clarification (March 13, 2017 09:30 Pacific): we added replaced “new” with “2012” to specify the year of Brazil’s new forest code. Response from Greenpeace BrazilMongabay’s recent article correctly identifies several major impacts from industrial soy production that are not prevented by the Amazon Soy Moratorium. The Moratorium only covers deforestation linked with soy and slave labor in the Amazon and it does not have the scope to address every problem related to the existing agribusiness model in South America such as agrochemicals, land ownership concentration or land conflicts.Acknowledging the agreement’s limitations, Greenpeace cannot agree on the moratorium being dismissed as ‘greenwash.’ The moratorium has produced objectively measured results and represents a genuine investment of resources on the part of NGOs, the Soy industry, financial institutions, soy customers, and the Brazilian Government. One of those results is that there are at least 8 million hectares of Amazon rainforest which have not been converted to soy plantations despite them being suitable for crop production and lacking any official protection (such as being designated Conservation Units, Indigenous People’s lands or even agrarian settlements).The Moratorium continues to present a major step in halting Amazon deforestation as it has effectively contained a significant driver. In previous years, about 30 to 40% of the deforested areas were converted directly to soy plantations and today this number represents just over 1%. The Moratorium is one of the many steps needed to reach zero deforestation. Other necessary pieces of this puzzle still need to materialize fully such as: honoring the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other traditional forest communities, responsible finance, conservation funding, improved monitoring and enforcement, a zero deforestation law, limits on infrastructure development, and containment of other deforestation drivers such as cattle.The Moratorium is a bona fide solution that presented a significant mindshift, being the first voluntary zero deforestation commitment. Nonetheless it would be inappropriate for any company involved to utilize its successes on soy to divert attention from other controversies or other geographies, such as Cerrado. Greenpeace is a supporter of the soy moratorium as an effective platform to halt deforestation and, at the same time, has an active agriculture campaign globally in response to the failed industrial agribusiness model. In Brazil, this agriculture campaign promotes agroecology and has been very critical of the use of agrochemicals. Article published by Glenn Scherer In the early 2000s, public outrage over Amazon clear cutting for soy production caused transnational grain companies including Cargill, Bunge and Brazil’s Amaggi, to join with soy producers and environmental NGOs including Greenpeace to sign the voluntary Amazon Soy Moratorium, banning direct conversion of Amazon forests to soy after 2006.The agreement’s signatories have long proclaimed its phenomenal success. A 2014 study found that in the 2 years preceding the agreement, nearly 30 percent of soy expansion in the Amazon biome occurred through deforestation. But after the ASM direct deforestation for soy fell to only 1 percent of soy expansion in the Amazon biome.Critics say these statistics hide major ASM failings: that its apparent success is largely due to there already being so much deforested land in the Amazon as of 2006, that there was plenty of room for soy expansion without cutting forest. Also, cleared pastureland onto which soy moved, often simply displaced cattle into forests newly cut by land grabbers for ranchers.Of most concern: ASM covers only one of two Legal Amazonia biomes. While marginally protecting the Amazon, it doesn’t cover the Cerrado savanna, where soy growers have aggressively cleared millions of acres of biodiverse habitat — critics see the ASM as corporate and NGO greenwash; defenders say it inspired other tropical deforestation agreements globally. There is a staggering loss of biodiversity when rainforest is converted to soy. Photo by Mayangdi Inzaulgarat(Leia essa matéria em português no The Intercept Brasil. You can also read Mongabay’s series on the Tapajós Basin in Portuguese at The Intercept Brasil)The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build 40+ large dams, a railway, and highways, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions on the planet.Those struggling to shape the Basin’s fate hold conflicting opinions, but because the Tapajós is an isolated region, few of these views get aired in the media. Journalist Sue Branford and social scientist Mauricio Torres travelled there recently for Mongabay, and over coming weeks hope to shed some light on the heated debate that will shape the future of the Amazon. This is the ninth of their reports. Soy growers often expropriates land that is valuable and in use by rural communities in Amazonia. Small plots of subsistence agriculture, football pitches, school and churches all have been converted to soy plantations, without violating the ASM and despite community objections. This rural cemetery in the district of Santarém narrowly escaped that fate, but is now surrounded by soy. Photo by Mayangdi InzaulgaratIvete complains about pollution from neighboring soy plantations: “The people who lived on the plateau had creeks, and they used the water.… All this water became contaminated because the soy farmers put their products there — the pesticides they use on their plantations.”Another rural worker, Dona Maria Alba Pinto de Souza, 62, despaired: “All my life now is in the middle of soybeans, soy farmers. They plant their soy, and it’s bad for us, because you can’t even rear animals.”The soy farmers want her to leave, she said: “They’ve tried three times to buy my plot but I don’t want to sell it.”Dona Maria believes that if she sells her land, she’ll be left “lying flat on the ground, going hungry, having nothing to eat but bread and coffee. I know many people who sold their land and now live in Santarém, with nothing. They don’t have a job. Their sons live on the edge of society, their daughters end up as prostitutes. If I sell my land, I‘ll have to live under a bridge.”Soy moratorium or greenwash?The underlying conundrum — as shown in earlier articles in this series — is that mechanized soybean production on the gigantic industrial scale pursued in Brazil leads to dramatic wholesale changes in land use and destorys biodiversity. It concentrates land ownership with the wealthy few, while exacerbating social inequality and failing to tackle poverty.Seen in this light, the ASM addresses a single narrow aspect of soy production — it reduces direct Amazon soy deforestation somewhat, but ignores grave concerns, which, indeed, were never in its brief.In response, soy moratorium defenders point to the Amazonian deforestation the ASM did prevent, and note that the moratorium became the model for zero deforestation commitments in the global palm oil, pulp and paper, and rubber sectors, as well as helping shape the Brazilian cattle agreement.True, but evidence collected for this story shows that the model, in fact, promised very little and successfully delivered this very little. At the same time, some ASM advocates made wildly overblown claims, even presenting it as “a game changer for the Amazon,” while distracting global attention away from the very serious problems created by soy, further empowering a sector that is causing widespread environmental and social devastation. This has led some progressive Brazilian analysts to label ASM as little more than propaganda and greenwash.Patchwork of legal forest reserves, pasture, and soy farms in the Brazilian Amazon. The ASM went into effect in 2006, but by then there was a great deal of already cleared land (especially old pastureland) that could cheaply be turned into soy plantation, so there was little need to cut more Amazon forest to expand the industry. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerEven so, other analysts, like Dan Nepstad, believe that ASM benefits outweigh shortcomings, though he worries about the future. His 2014 study warns: “Eventually cleared land that is suitable for soy production — the most profitable use of cleared land — will become scarce. As the scarcity sets in, the 120,000 square kilometers [46,300 square miles] of forests that could be profitably converted to soy in the Brazilian Amazonia, and that lie outside protected areas will become the target of deforestation pressure.”At that point, the moratorium might make a real difference. But it remains to be seen if agribusiness’s much publicized commitment to the ASM — a voluntary agreement — and to protecting rainforest, will last when it really matters.Antônio Ioris, professor of human geography at Cardiff University, and author of a book on Mato Grosso agribusiness, believes that up to now the moratorium has made little difference to the way agribusiness conducts itself on the ground: “The moratorium obfuscates the debate,” Ioris told Mongabay. “I think its main objective is to improve the image of the agribusiness sector and to reduce somewhat the stigma of [soy production] being an activity with highly negative [environmental and social] impacts. Those who have gained most with the moratorium are agribusiness leaders, the ministry of the environment and NGOs. Those who have gained least are the ecosystems and the local populations.” At the turn of the 21st century, a juggernaut of expanding soy production moved into the Brazilian rainforest, putting a relentless squeeze on the Amazon. Soy growers arrived from the south, overrunning native forest in Mato Grosso state, then leapfrogged over much of Pará state to the Santarém district, with its flat plateau — ideal for agribusiness.Brazilian social movements sounded the alarm. They were justifiably worried that soy would destroy rainforest livelihoods, along with the Amazon biome. On May Day, 2004, protesters — acting in unison with labor movement protests across Brazil — held a large demonstration in Santarém at the new grain terminal owned by Cargill, the largest U.S. grain trader.Joined by international environmental NGO, Greenpeace, the anti-soy offensive became urgent: Amazon deforestation was exploding. In 2003-04, annual Amazon forest loss topped 27,000 square kilometers (10,424 square miles).Annual rates of deforestation in Legal Amazonia (km2/year) 1994-2016.Source of data: Prodes/Inpe. The bar chart was drawn by Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)An international appealIn 2006, Greenpeace published a hard-hitting report called “Eating up the Amazon“, showing that soy had become a serious driver of deforestation. The NGO accused fast food restaurants, supermarkets and agribusiness, of a “forest crime” for their failure to responsibly manage the 4,000-mile soy supply chain that started with the clearing of virgin Amazon forest and ended in U.S. poultry, pork, and beef feedlots, and on American and European dinner plates.The story resonated with the international press. McDonalds, Walmart and other big transnational food corporations sought a way to shine up a tarnished public image. In a hasty attempt at damage control, they contacted the big grain traders, including Cargill and Bunge, and began talks with Greenpeace.The result: the Amazon Soy Moratorium (ASM), the first major voluntary zero-deforestation agreement achieved in the tropics. In the pact, 90 percent of companies in the Brazilian soy market agreed not to purchase soy grown on land deforested after 2006 within the Amazon biome, and also to blacklist farmers using slave labor.But even before the moratorium was signed, the annual rate of Amazon deforestation fell dramatically, by almost 50 percent. Still the ASM was touted as being responsible for this remarkable decline, with the Ethical Consumer calling it “an incredible success” and Cargill advertising it as “a resounding success.”This reported achievement led to multiple renewals, and in 2016 the soy industry agreed to make the ASM permanent. The only major change over time was a shift in baseline, originally fixed at 2006, then moved to 2008 to fit with the government’s controversial 2012 forest code — which environmentalists argued made concessions to those illegally clearing forest.The question today: has the ASM truly played a key role in stemming Amazon deforestation, and was it ever designed to achieve that result? Or has it largely served as an industry PR tool that distracts global consumers from the environmental and social harm being done by large-scale Brazilian soy plantations?Timber trucks without license plates illegally moving logs out of a Brazilian conservation unit near Uruará. Illegal logging continues to be a major cause of Amazon deforestation, despite implementation of the soy moratorium. Photo by Sue BranfordMeasuring the moratoriumIn 2014, scientists decided to thoroughly investigate the ASM’s overall effectiveness. University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor of geography Holly Gibbs and her team published their results in the prestigious academic journal Science in January 2015:In the 2 years preceding the agreement, nearly 30 percent of soy expansion [in the Amazon biome] occurred through deforestation rather than by replacement of pasture or other previously cleared lands. After the Soy [Moratorium], deforestation for soy dramatically decreased, falling to only 1 percent of expansion in the Amazon biome by 2014.This appears to be an unambiguous vindication of the moratorium. But not necessarily.The study points out that many farmers in Mato Grosso, who accounted for 85 percent of the soy planted in the Amazon biome, were continuing to clear forest illegally on their land, while claiming compliance with the ASM:At least 627 soy properties in Mato Grosso violated the FC [Brazil’s forest code] and cleared forest illegally during the Soy [Moratorium]. Yet only 115 properties were excluded by soy traders for Soy [Moratorium] violations. This discrepancy can occur because the Soy [Moratorium] regulates only the portion of the property where soy is grown — not the entire property.This loophole compromised the effectiveness of the ASM, and puts into question the huge deforestation reductions claimed by soy farmers in the Amazon biome— yet no mention of this shortcoming was ever made in the pro-ASM promotional materials circulated by moratorium advocates.“No more deforestation in the Amazon.” A Greenpeace protest in Brasilia, December, 2007. Greanpeace played a leading role in negotiating the Amazon Soy Moratorium with international commodities companies and soy growers. Photo courtesy of Agência BrasilIt is true that Amazon deforestation fell dramatically during most of the moratorium period. So what caused this decline, if not the ASM? A study published by Science in 2014 found that at least three factors accounted for the reduction, with ASM’s impact marginal. In a Mongabay interview, lead researcher and Earth Innovation institute director Dan Nepstad, cautioned: “It is impossible to quantify exactly the effect of the moratorium on deforestation. I think it was responsible for 5-10 percent of the total decline.”Two other factors had bigger impacts, his team found. By 2004, so much Amazon forest had been cleared that there was plenty of land for agribusiness expansion, and using this already cleared land didn’t violate the ASM. The second factor related to “improvements in livestock yields, which had further reduced the demand for new land to be cleared.”In evaluating the overall effectiveness of the ASM, it is very important to look at exactly what it achieved. Gibbs’ team was extremely careful in its 2015 study’s conclusion, saying that: “deforestation for soy dramatically decreased.” NGOs and some in the press were not so meticulous. Greenpeace, for example, claimed that the moratorium represented “a huge step towards halting Amazon deforestation”.This statement is not accurate: what the moratorium set out to do and largely achieved, was to stop Amazon forest being directly cleared to plant soy. However, this is very different from halting deforestation in the Amazon.Deforested plain in the Brazilian Amazon, now used for cattle. Pre-moratorium pasturelands can be turned into soy plantations without violating the ASM. Rhett A. ButlerGaming the moratoriumThere were other ways, apart from the one described in the Gibbs study, by which farmers got around the ASM.When, for example, soy growers move onto pasturelands cleared before 2008, they are in full compliance with the ASM. But the cattle displaced by that move now require new pasture, which may be secured by Amazon land thieves who drive out indigenous and traditional people, slash and burn the rainforest, then sell the new pasture to ranchers.“Very often the cultivation of soy moves to areas where cattle are reared and the cattle move into the forest”, explained Bernardo Machado Pires, who manages environmental issues for the Brazilian Association of the Vegetable Oil Industries (ABIOVE). He went on: “The soy industry is indirectly responsible”.Research conducted in 2006 by Dan Nepstad reached a similar conclusion: “In my interviews with farmers in Mato Grosso several spoke about the way cattle producers (and land thieves) get capital by selling their land to soy farmers.”Greenpeace was aware of this cattle loophole, and helped negotiate a deal with Brazil’s three largest meatpacking firms who agreed not to purchase cattle reared on illegally cleared Amazon forest lands or from properties using slave labor. But, it seems, the agreement is often infringed. When we were in the district of Castelo de Sonhos in 2014, employees from Brazil’s largest meat-packing company, JBS, told us that the meatpacking firms themselves had found ways of getting round the deal. The most widespread, they said, is “cattle laundering” by which cattle owners move cattle that were reared on illegally cleared land to established pastures, just before they are slaughtered.Large-scale soy production indirectly drives Amazon deforestation in yet another way: new and improved roads, such as highway BR-163, lobbied for by soy growers, and built primarily to move soy from Brazil’s interior to market, give large numbers of illegal loggers, land grabbers and ranchers access to the Amazon’s heart.Against the backdrop of Amazonia’s lush green rainforest, fires lit intentionally to clear the land for agriculture follow along the BR-163 highway in 2014, a process that reveals red-brown soils. A long line of newly cleared agricultural patches snakes east from BR-163 toward the remote Rio Crepori Valley. Extensive deforested areas in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state appear in tan at the top of the image. The fires show the advance of deforestation into Pará state, now second after Mato Grosso in terms of deforestation acreage. Photo and analysis courtesy of NASACommodities companies Cargill, Bunge and Amaggi (Brazil’s largest soy producer) are also committed to a massive soy transportation infrastructure expansion that would pierce the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, helping deforest a region known as the Tapajós basin, bringing new roadways, railways, and an industrial waterway, along with 40+ major dams.Focusing on one biome while ignoring anotherWith so much media attention concentrated on the ASM, another serious problem — that of the destruction of the Cerrado, Brazil’s biodiverse savanna — has been neglected. Legal Amazonia (as demarcated by the Brazilian government) covers two biomes: the Amazon biome and the Cerrado biome. The ASM only covers the former.And both Legal Amazonia biomes contain plenty of room for the soy industry to expand without violating the letter of the ASM agreement.“There still are 40.5 million hectares [156,371 square miles] of anthropized land [degraded by human activity] with a high or medium aptitude for soy — with 22 million hectares [84,942 square miles] in Amazonia and 18.5 million hectares [71,428 square miles] in the Cerrado. It is mainly occupied by pasture and it is to these lands that the government must direct future grain expansion,” said National Institute of Amazonia Research (INPA) scientist Arnaldo Carneiro, whose study looked at the possibilities of commercial agriculture expansion in the region.Legal Amazonia encompasses all of the Amazon biome, plus a portion of the Cerrado biome. The ASM covers only the Amazon, and none of the Cerrado. Map by Mauricio TorresAlthough Carneiro’s work, along with other agribusiness-backed studies, claims this vast acreage as a “sustainable” solution to the industry’s need for new croplands, this doesn’t mean that all of it is readily available to large scale farmers. Much is currently occupied by a wide variety of groups — including land thieves, cattle ranchers, peasant and traditional communities, and agrarian reform settlements — a fact that could bring a great deal of conflict, especially in the Amazon biome, before the destiny of this land is decided. Adding to the complexities of deforestation analysis: some of this “available” land will have been cleared after 2008 and, on paper at least, is banned for soy use by the ASM.This isn’t a problem for agribusiness in the Cerrado: all soy produced there can be marketed with the ASM-accurate, but misleading, claim that it caused “zero deforestation in the productive chain,” even if it was cultivated on recently cleared land. And unfortunately for Brazil, the world, and wildlife living there, the Cerrado is one of the planet’s richest tropical savanna regions, with high levels of endemism.But that biodiversity is rapidly vanishing. Researchers recently used satellite data to determine that Cerrado cropland within a 45 million-hectare (173,745 square mile) study area in Matopiba doubled over the past decade, increasing from 1.3 million hectares (5,019 square miles) in 2003 to 2.5 million hectares (9,652 square miles) in 2013. The researchers also found that almost three-fourths of this agricultural expansion was achieved through the destruction of native Cerrado vegetation.Tractors clearing the Cerrado. Soy expansion is proceeding at full throttle here. Mighty Earth, a global environmental organization, recently reported that: “Across the Cerrado, we visited 15 locations that spanned hundreds of kilometers. Over and over again, we found the same thing: vast areas of savanna recently converted to enormous soybean monocultures that stretch to the horizon. The farms were typically large commercial operations spread over thousands of hectares. We used aerial drones to follow tractors as they ripped up the ancient savanna, and watched soybean farmers use systematic fires to burn the debris and clear the land — sending acrid smoke across the whole region.” Photo by Rhett A. ButlerExperts have seriously questioned the wisdom of placing so much emphasis through the ASM on the damage done exclusively to tropical forests. In 2015, Gibbs called for the Amazon Soy Moratorium to be extended to the Cerrado: “If large-scale soy expansion continues in Matopiba, remaining natural vegetation could be highly susceptible to soy conversion without additional safeguards. Expanding the Soy [Moratorium] could reduce the on-going direct conversion of Cerrado vegetation to soy.”But this hasn’t happened yet.Brazil’s environment minister José Sarney Filho suggested last year that the moratorium be extended to the Cerrado and talks began, said Tica Minami, Greenpeace Brazil’s Amazon Project Leader. But no deal has been struck, largely because the soy industry is reportedly very reluctant to come on board.Meanwhile, soy expansion continues at full throttle there. Mighty Earth, a global environmental organization, recently sent researchers into the region. They travelled for hundreds of miles in the Cerrado and, to their dismay, always found the same: “Vast areas of savanna recently converted to enormous soybean monocultures that stretch to the horizon.”Farmers confirmed to Mighty Earth that they are mainly selling to Cargill and Bunge — two leading ASM signatories — with these companies often providing the financial incentives that are fuelling the savanna’s transformation.A recently cleared section of the Cerrado in Brazil. The Cerrado is home to 44 percent of the country’s agriculture. What forests remain there are fast vanishing, converted to soy and other crops. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe Might Earth report urges a moratorium there: “The kind of deforestation we found in the Cerrado… is not inevitable. In the Brazilian Amazon, Cargill, Bunge and other companies have figured out how to protect ecosystems and still grow their businesses.” But, say critics, the ASM has only worked in the Amazon biome because there was already so much cleared land there, along with the ASM-excluded Cerrado lands, into which soy farmers could expand, without infringing the moratorium.This allowed the companies to publicise their success in protecting the forest without essentially changing the way they operate. As Cargill helps destroy the Cerrado, the company can use the ASM to cover itself with an aura of green sustainability, stating on its website:In Brazil, we have seen great progress as we partnered to advance the soy moratorium in the Amazon for more than a decade. Today, we are working with more than 15,000 soy farmers and collaborating with governments, NGOs and partners to implement the Brazilian forest code and advance forest protection.”So, while the grain companies were helping to destroy the Cerrado, Cargill, together with Greenpeace and McDonalds, were also awarded the Keystone Prize for “leadership in significantly reducing deforestation in 2015. Bunge, Cargill and Amaggi did not respond to requests for comment for this article.Dona Maria Alba Pinto de Souza: “All my life now is in the middle of soybeans, soy farmers.… They’ve tried three times to buy my plot but I don’t want to sell it.… If I sell my land, I‘ll have to live under a bridge.” Photo by Mayangdi InzaulgaratSoy, the environment and social justiceWhile commodity companies loudly trumpet their success in stemming deforestation, they ignore other soy industry impacts. Pesticide use, for instance, is overlooked in ASM promotional materials, according to Dr. Wanderlei Pignati, a lecturer at the Federal University of Mato Grosso and author of several studies on pesticide health and environmental effects.He told Mongabay that about 200 million liters (nearly 52 million gallons) of agrochemicals are dumped annually on Mato Grosso crops. These applications can cause “cancer, fetal malformations, endocrine disruptions, neurological diseases, mental disorders, respiratory and intestinal disorders.”The ASM eclipses other harm done by soy, say Brazil’s social advocates, albeit unintentionally and largely without public notice. The problem: studies that quantify degraded rainforest areas only measure acreage; they don’t take into account traditional communities, or even indigenous lands, unless the latter have been officially demarcated — something Brazil’s government has failed to accomplish in many reserves.For that reason, indigenous and traditional lands are sometimes classified as places where soy is free to expand under the ASM.This has led to injustices, say experts. Though the ASM has likely protected Amazon rainforest in the Santarém district — where soy was consuming large blocks of forest between 2003 and 2005 — a high price is being paid by local communities as agribusiness targets their lands.Many indigenous, peasant and traditional communities carefully clear forested areas, using them for a time, then allowing the land to recover, without destroying biodiversity. These traditional ways of occupying the land were developed over centuries, and represent highly successful and sustainable methods of agro-forestry management. However, the forest areas the people leave fallow, and to which they plan to return, are being counted under the ASM as cleared areas, and so are not protected by the moratorium.Rural worker and union leader Maria Ivete Bastos lives in one such community. She told Mongabay that: “Soybeans took over a large territory of ours, where we cultivated our crops. Little people can’t fight big people, so we had to hand much of our land over. In some cases we sold all of it, just keeping a little plot around the house.”Maria Ivete collecting mangoes. Traditional people have practiced sustainable agro-forestry practices for centuries, cutting forests, growing crops there, then restoring the forest. However, once a forest is cut it is no longer covered by the ASM, and so can be taken over by soy producers, driving out traditional people. Photo by Mayangdi Inzaulgarat Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Controversial, Corruption, Culture, Dams, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Politics, Ethnocide, Featured, Forests, Hydroelectric Power, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Rivers, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People 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

Amazon land speculators poised to gain control of vast public lands

first_img(Leia essa matéria em português no The Intercept Brasil. You can also read Mongabay’s series on the Tapajós Basin in Portuguese at The Intercept Brasil)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. In the Brazilian Amazon, the paving of highways makes adjacent forests far more attractive to land thieves, resulting in major deforestation. The Sustainable BR-163 Plan of 2006 created vast swathes of protected land — eight new conservation units — to prevent land theft and deforestation from happening near the vulnerable BR-163 highway in Pará state.From the start, land speculators wanted to get their hands on one of those units, the National Forest of Jamanxim, known as “Flona Jamaxim.” They’ve occupied large areas of the Flona, making it one of Brazil’s conservation units with the most serious illegal forest clearing. Illicit activities there helped turn the region into a very violent place.The rise of the agribusiness-friendly Temer administration in August 2016 emboldened the land speculators. Working with the bancada ruralista, the agribusiness lobby, they got Temer to pass interim measures in December 2016, dismembering Flona Jamanxim, reclassifying 305,000 hectares, and allowing land thieves to keep the land they had seized.Other conservation units are being targeted: in January 2017, the government announced plans to slash conservation units in Amazonas state — dismembering the Biological Reserve of Manicoré, National Park of Acari, and National Forests of Aripuanã and Urupadi, and more. If approved, one million hectares will lose environmental protection. One of the Novo Progresso supermarkets in Ezequiel Castanha’s chain. A federal operation to arrest land thieves and illegal forest fellers was named after him. Photo by Mauricio Torres(Leia essa matéria em português no The Intercept Brasil. You can also read Mongabay’s series on the Tapajós Basin in Portuguese at The Intercept Brasil)The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build 40+ large dams, a railway, and highways, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions on the planet.Those struggling to shape the Basin’s fate hold conflicting opinions, but because the Tapajós is an isolated region, few of these views get aired in the media. Journalist Sue Branford and social scientist Mauricio Torres travelled there recently for Mongabay, and over coming weeks hope to shed some light on the heated debate that will shape the future of the Amazon. This is the eleventh of their reports. Novo Progresso is a frontier town in northwest Pará state. “Here we don’t have robberies,” a cabby told us proudly on arrival. “Here everyone is armed.” The weapons are often concealed but, indeed, most locals are packing guns, a reality representative of the region’s long history of violence and lawlessness.Founded in 1991, Novo Progresso sprang up around a clandestine landing strip built to provide a rapid way in and out of this remote, inaccessible region by those earning money – and often a lot of it — through illegal gold mining and logging. Peasant families were arriving too, though traveling more slowly along the unpaved BR-163 highway.Today commerce is bustling here, though some hotel and supermarket owners are out on bail, awaiting trial for illegal logging, land theft and conspiracy to commit crimes — all swept up in 2014’s Castanheira Operation, a federal bust named after Ezequiel Castanha, owner of the Castanha supermarket chain, who, it was discovered, had earned more money from his illegal activities than his licit ones.Now pressure by Novo Progresso land speculators — working with Brazil’s agribusiness lobby in the Temer administration and the National Congress — has begun dismantling Brazil’s vast network of conservation units, exposing millions of hectares of currently protected Amazon rainforest to an onslaught of deforestation and development.Conservation Units created in 2006 near the BR-163, before dismemberment. Map by Mauricio Torres. Source ISA/Prodes-InpeA highway pierces the AmazonThe BR-163 highway is also Novo Progresso’s main street, and at the peak of the soy harvest, hundreds of huge trucks rumble through town, stirring up choking clouds of dust. But some residents are happy at the noise and pollution, saying it signals progress for the once isolated region.After an almost 45 year wait, the road’s paving is nearly done and much of Mato Grosso’s bumper soy crop is now flowing along the new northern truck and water route to the Atlantic coast, instead of being driven thousands of miles south to the ports of Santos and Paranaguá.When we visited last November, the hot topic under discussion was whether or not the National Forest of Jamanxim, known as Flona Jamanxin, was going to be dismembered.This conservation unit, covering 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres), an area the size of Puerto Rico, extends alongside the BR-163 to the west of Novo Progresso. It was created, along with seven other conservation units in 2006, as part of an innovative set of environmental protection measures called the Sustainable BR-163 Plan drawn up in 2003 when the paving of the highway was announced.National Forests, once established, don’t allow lands within them to be registered in the name of a private individual. As a result, an Amazon land thief can’t occupy a plot, clear it, ranch on it, and then sell it at a great profit. So “speculative deforestation” — which occurs whenever a new road penetrates Brazilian forest — drops drastically when this kind of conservation unit is established on either side of it, even though the units often exist more on paper than in reality.However, when Flona Jamanxim was created, there were already a few peasant families living inside the unit, and they were understandably reluctant to leave. That fact gave wealthy Novo Progresso land speculators a pretext for rejecting the Flona, and they whipped up wide-scale support for their position. The speculators, already active in the region, had expected the usual land boom that had accompanied other new roads, and didn’t accept that the government was excluding them from making a fortune by invading, clearing, and selling off land that was rapidly rising in value due to the paving of the BR-163.They organized protests, blockaded the highway and published blogs in which they claimed that the Flona had “frozen the region and stopped farmers producing.” They demanded the the conservation unit be abolished or reduced in size.Deforestation in federal conservation units in hectares as of October 2016. Source: ISA/ICMBioFlona Jamanaxim before and after dismemberment. Map by Maurício Torres. Data source: Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA)Land grabbers pounceThis political pressure led to an evaluation by the federal Chico Mendes Institute for the Conservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio), the body that administers federal conservation units.The agency’s 2009 study assessed the speculators’ demand to shrink Flona, and found, contrary to what they alleged, that 67 percent of the land holdings within the unit had been created after the creation of the Flona in 2006, and that 60 percent of the new “residents” didn’t live on their plots. In other words, wealthy land grabbers had been hard at work to seize, deforest and develop public land.ICMBio’s conclusion: a Flona reduction “would lead to a serious setback in the government’s conservation strategy that would have unpredictable consequences, not just for the area of the Flona itself, but also for various other conservation units in Amazonia, which would inevitably suffer from pressure from landowners, invasions and political interests.”The report did, however, recommend that small adjustments be made to satisfy the land claims of peasant families living there before 2006. It recommended that an area of 35,000 hectares (86,500 acres) — 3.7 percent of the total — be removed from the Flona for them.This wasn’t what the speculators wanted and they went on pressuring the government, while continuing to illegally occupy large areas of the Flona.IBAMA and ICMBio pushed back and tried to regain control of the unit. In 2008 and 2009 they undertook large scale enforcement operations, even confiscating cattle reared within the Flona. As a result, forest cutting within the unit declined markedly in 2010, 2011 and 2012.But in 2013 ICMBio suffered huge budget cuts, with newspapers describing the Institute’s situation as “penury.” It was forced to give up much of its fieldwork, and land thieves and loggers returned to business as usual. Flona Jamanxim figured near the top of the list of the country’s conservation units with the most serious illegal forest clearing.IBAMA officials move through the rainforest in hopes of making a bust in 2014. They were acting as part of operation Green Wave, which sought the arrest of land thieves who had illegally cut trees inside the Flona. Governmental budget cuts have significantly reduced federal enforcement efforts there, even though this conservation unit has suffered very high deforestation due to land theft. Photo courtesy of IBAMAIllegally felled trees inside the Flona, documented by IBAMA’s operation Green Wave in 2014. Trees are typically cut in preparation for turning stolen federal lands into cattle pasture in the Amazon. Photo courtesy of IBAMAIBAMA and ICMBio continued running one-off operations, but couldn’t stop the rising tide of land crime. Imazon, a research institute, showed that by 2016 that the average size of a private holding in the Flona had jumped to 1,843 hectares (4,554 acres), a far bigger holding than any peasant family would occupy.There were many violent conflicts. For instance, in June 2016, when an IBAMA team went to the Flona to battle illegal logging, a military policeman was assassinated. Jair Shmitt, the general coordinator of environmental monitoring at IBAMA, described Flona Jamanxim as “one of the most violent conservation units in Amazonia,” located in a region which had “professional assassins involved in illegal felling and in the theft of public land.”IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) and ICMBio (the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity Conservation) did not provide responses to questions submitted for this article.The dismembering of Flona JamanximThe impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff in August 2016 and government takeover by the agribusiness friendly Temer administration emboldened the Novo Progresso speculators. They met regularly in Novo Progresso and organized trips to Brasilia to talk with the bancada ruralista, the agribusiness lobby.We met Agamenom da Silva Menezes, the President of the Rural Trade Union of Novo Progresso and the spokesman for the landowners, in his office in the center of town, just after he returned from one of those Brasilia trips.In good spirits, despite a long, tiring bus journey, he told us that the problem with Flona Jamanxim was its original set up: “This Flona was created at full speed; they ordered it to be signed, without following the proper norms.” Smiling, he assured us everything was going to be sorted out soon, now that there was “a more positive atmosphere” in Brasilia.He was also keen to tell us his views about the environment: “Brazil is poor because it doesn’t deforest. The word, deforest, is a provocation. In fact, what is happening is an alteration in the forest. The [deforested] area isn’t left bare. It’s used for crops, for pasture, for something. A planted forest replaces a native forest.”Agamenom da Silva Menezes in front of the trade union building in Novo Progresso. He has been working hard, partnering with the agribusiness lobby, to guarantee “a more positive atmosphere” in Brasilia. In December 2016, President Temer approved interim measures to dismember Flona Jamanxim, reclassifying and reducing protections for 305,000 hectares, allowing land thieves to keep the land they have illegally seized. Photo by Thais BorgesNot everyone in Novo Progresso agrees with Agemenom: we met Lincoln Brasil Queiroz in his small garden with lovely tropical flowers — a shady oasis in the hot, grey town. He’s one of the few farmers in the region to have legitimate land titles because his father purchased property from the federal government’s land reform institute, INCRA, in the 1970s.He was worried about the political consequences of the possible dismembering of the Flona: “If the land thieves win, those who have organized the campaign will be strengthened,” he said. It will send out a harmful message: “Those who have carried on felling forest, illegally occupying the land, will be rewarded. For the local society, it will seem that crime pays.”The Federal Public Ministry (MPF), Brazil’s independent prosecutors, shares his concerns. With rumors flying about the Flona’s imminent size reduction, the MPF filed a suit calling for the dismemberment process to be halted and for “an intensification in the monitoring” of the Flona. It also demanded that the region’s slaughterhouses be held to account for processing cattle reared on illegally cleared public land.Agemenom was unruffled by the MPF’s actions, possibly because he knew what was coming. In December, President Temer, with the support of the minister of the environment, José Sarney Filho, signed interim measures MP 756 and MP 758. The actions eliminated part of Flona Jamanxim, reclassifying the area demanded by the landowners as an Area of Environmental Protection (APA), a much less restrictive form of conservation unit, and one that would allow those who had stolen federal land already to stay on it.Agemenom’s group, which dictates the editorial line of Novo Progresso’s newspaper, O Progresso, was exultant at the “good news”: “With this, we expect that the west region of the state to have greater economic development with the arrival of heavy investment, both from the private and public sectors.”The two interim measures already have the force of law but they could be overturned by Congress. This is, however, very unlikely to happen. Indeed, the cuts in the Flona could become more severe: 15 amendments have been submitted, of which ten propose further reductions in the Flona. Two deputies — Zé Geraldo and Francisco Chapadinha, both from Pará — are calling for the extinction of the Flona Jamanxim, essentially opening the entire forest to speculators. Congress is expected to vote at the end of March.Lincoln Brasil Queiroz at his home in Novo Progresso: “If the land thieves win, those who have organized the campaign will be strengthened.… Those who have carried on felling forest, illegally occupying the land, will be rewarded. For the local society, it will seem that crime pays.” Photo by Thais BorgesThe Sustainable BR-163 Plan: death by federal cutsThe dismembering of the Flona Jamanxim has sounded the death knell for the Sustainable BR-163 Plan designed 15 years ago to demonstrate that the paving of roads and forest protection can be compatible in the Amazon.But in truth, the whittling away began much earlier. According to Brent Millikan, Amazon Program Director at the NGO International Rivers, the Sustainable BR-163 Plan of 2006 was soon superseded by the Program for the Acceleration of Growth (PAC) of 2007, a high-profile government program for heavy investment in infrastructure.At that time, the overriding priority of the Workers Party (PT) was to stay in power, he said, and to achieve this they “formed alliances with traditional political and economic groups who were interested above all in getting their hands on public assets — public money, natural resources and so on — and this was absolutely incompatible with the objectives of the Sustainable BR-163 Plan.”Even before the dismemberment of the Flona, the Plan had clearly failed. According to Juan Doblas, who monitors the region’s deforestation for the Geoprocessing Laboratory at the NGO, Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA), “ten years after the licensing of the work, accumulated deforestation had reached the worst projections” made about the impact of the paving of the road on the forest.According to Doblas, “the situation would have been much worse, had it not been for the creation of the conservation units,” but now even this gain is being reversed.Map showing deforestation from 2004 to 2015 in Legal Amazonia, a vast region designated by the Brazilian government. Note how deforestation was prevented from spreading by the barrier created by conservation units and indigenous reserves. Source: ISA/Prodes-InpeSetting a precedent for environmental disasterIt was President Dilma Rousseff who created the precedent of reducing the size of protected areas through interim measures (MPs); previously it took a long and complex procedure in Congress to reduce the size of conservation units. She did so out of her desire to build the large São Luiz do Tapajós hydroelectric project, and in 2012 exercised her executive power to redraw the borders of conservation units that stood in the way of this mega-dam.Even though the construction of the São Luiz do Tapajós dam has been halted for now, the precedent of altering the limits of protected areas using MPs was established, giving Temer cover for his recent Flona decision.In the technical note that the Ministry of the Environment published announcing the dismemberment of Flona Jamanxim, it referred to: “the great disparity between the proposals presented by the ICMBio and the Association of Producers.” The conflict between the two groups, it said, had made it impossible to manage the Flona effectively.The “way out” found by the ministry is to rearrange the conservation units. In its new measures, it takes away just over half, 743,000 hectares (1.8 million acres), from the Flona Jamanxim. It then gives just over half of this land, 438,000 hectares (1.1 million acres), to the neighboring National Park of Rio Novo, a category with tougher environmental protection. However, the remaining 305,000 hectares (754,000 acres) are reclassified as an Area of Environmental Protection, the APA Jamanxim — a much freer conservation classification, which allow land speculators easy access.At the same time, the ministry took away part of the National Park of Jamanxim “to permit the passage of Ferrogrão,” the new commodities railroad fast-tracked for construction in 2016 by President Temer to transport soy and other crops to the north for export.All of these boundary shifts provide clear examples of the subordination of conservation to the government’s current infrastructure and agribusiness expansion plans.Paulo Carneiro, ICMBio’s Director for the Creation and Management of Conservation Units, admitted that the dismembering will harm Flona Jamanxim, but said that “we were witnessing such an escalation in the conflict [between the ICMBio and the landowners] that all possibility of dialogue was being destroyed.”But another ICMBio employee, speaking off the record, is horrified at the precedent now established. “The reduction in the size of Flona Jamanxim shows criminals that, if they invade and clear a conservation unit, they can get it reclassified and keep the land,” he told Mongabay. “I want to know if Brasilia will come in the future and help us contain the invasion of more conservations units, as this is sure to happen.”Doblas agrees. He said that ICMBio has given in to the bullying tactics of the land thieves: “When the government declares an APA on the frontier of the expansion of agribusiness, it is effectively reinforcing a speculative race in which various agents are going to fight over the land, which is now seen as ‘thievable,’ and then clear it and occupy it.”A bridge over the Jamanxim River near Novo Progresso in Pará state. Transportation infrastructure improvements in the Amazon provide easier access to the surrounding forest, attracting land thieves who cut trees on federal land, often to make way for cattle ranching, a very lucrative business. Photo by Guto.1992 under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2More conservation losses aheadNow that they have tasted victory, the land speculators seem hungry for more.Other conservation units are being targeted: in January 2017, the government announced a plan to radically reduce the size of conservation units in the state of Amazonas — dismembering the Biological Reserve of Manicoré, National Park of Acari, and National Forests of Aripuanã and Urupadi, and extinguishing the APA of the Campos de Manicoré.If that policy goes ahead, about one million hectares (2.5 million acres) will lose the environmental protection they currently enjoy. In February an open letter from 21 conservation NGOs called on the Brazilian government to rethink the proposal.But, based on the political strength, influence and reach of the agribusiness lobby, a change in policy seems unlikely. In fact, Eliseu Padilha, who heads the General Staff of the Presidency of the Republic, has himself been accused of land theft within another conservation unit — the Serra Ricardo Franco Park — in Mato Grosso.Adriana Ramos, coordinator of Policy and Law at the NGO Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA), told Mongabay that “agribusiness’s strategy, as expressed by the Parliamentary Front for Agriculture and Livestock, is to weaken and neutralize the scope of environmental legislation and the territorial rights of traditional people and communities.” What we are witnessing, she says, in “an attack on social and environmental rights by agribusiness”.Not surprisingly, the landowners see it differently. In his interview with Mongabay, Agamenom da Silva Menezes, the President of the Rural Trade Union of Novo Progresso, said that society has always progressed and that change is inevitable. Leaning towards us, he asked: “Do you miss dinosaurs?” Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_img Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon People, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Controversial, Corruption, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Illegal Logging, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Roads, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon 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

A stubborn dreamer who fought to save Amazon’s Waimiri-Atroari passes

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Activism, Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Controversial, Culture, Dams, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Activism, environmental justice, Environmental Politics, Ethnocide, Flooding, Forests, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Rivers, Roads, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon As a young man in the 1960s, José Porfirio Fontenele de Carvalho decided to resist Brazil’s brutal military dictatorship by going into the Amazon to help indigenous groups in their struggles against the military’s assault on their way of life.He made early contact with the warlike Waimiri-Atroari Indians, who were decimated in their struggle to block the BR-174 highway through their territory. The Indians tell of numerous atrocities committed against them by the government during this period.With Carvalho’s help, a new indigenous reserve, covering 2.6 million hectares (10,000 square miles), was established, along with a conservation unit — the Biological Reserve of Uatumã. Through the years, Carvalho won other concessions for the Waimiri-Atroari.Today, the group has increased its number to nearly 2,000, though the tribe continues fighting the government. President Temer is now determined to put a major transmission line through their lands. Most observers agree: without Carvalho’s assist, the Waimiri-Atroari would likely be extinct, and their forests gone. He died this month at age 70. The proud, warlike Waimiri-Atroari offered strong resistance to the Brazilian government’s many, sometimes violent, attempts to annex their lands. Photo by Mario Vilela courtesy of FUNAISometimes a single person can change history. One such individual is José Porfirio Fontenele de Carvalho, who died on 13 May from cancer, aged 70. Without him, the Waimiri-Atroari, an indigenous group in Brazil, their way of life, and much of the forest they inhabit today would have vanished.After Brazil’s 1964 military coup, he joined other young men who, rather than participating in the armed resistance, moved into the Brazilian interior to help defend indigenous communities who were suffering intensely from the government’s ambitious plan to open up the region with roads, dams, settlements and other big infrastructure projects.About 7,000 Indians of different ethnicities died or “disappeared” during the 25-year rule of the military government, according to Maria Rita Kehl, the coordinator of the indigenous and peasant group in Brazil’s National Truth Commission.José Porfirio Fontenele de Carvalho. Photo courtesy of pib.socioambiental.orgOpposing the military governmentCarvalho joined Brazil’s indigenous agency FUNAI in 1967, and worked in various parts of the country before deciding, with other young colleagues, to seek contact with the Waimiri-Atroari Indians, widely regarded as the country’s most violent indigenous group. At the time, the military was building the BR-174, a road running from Manaus on the Amazon river to the town of Boa Vista in the very north of the country — a route that would take it through the heart of Waimiri-Atroari territory.The Indians resisted fiercely and the government fought back with brutal determination. Later, Carvalho told his story to the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper: “in the early 1970s we went to see General Gentil Nogueira Paes [head of the Amazon Military Command] to ask him to stop the road. He told us: ‘I am going to build this road, even if I have to kill these Indian assassins. I have given orders for the men to shoot.’” The Brazilian army did not wish to comment for this story on the general’s remark.Although a thorough official investigation was never done, the Waimiri-Atroari say they were treated appallingly. Tomás Tamerré, an Waimiri-Atroari indian, told the National Truth Commission: “The road arrived with the army. The Indians shot arrows at a plane. Then the plane flew over the villages and threw out something that scorched people. They soon died.”Carvalho and his colleagues were desperate to make peaceful contact with the Indians to prevent them being wiped out. But this was dangerous work, as the Waimiri-Atroari had no way of distinguishing between “whites” set on killing them and those wishing to protect them.“We made a pact that, however many of us were killed [by the Indians], the survivors would carry on until the last man fell,” Carvalho said. And many were killed, including Carvalho’s close friend, Gilberto Pinto Figueiredo. Carvalho was eventually arrested by the government and charged under the National Security Law.A Waimiri-Atroari village. The indigenous group inhabits the southeastern part of the Brazilian state of Roraima and northeastern portion of Amazonas. Photo courtesy of pib.socioambiental.org.jpgHe moved to another region with the intention of taking up another indigenous cause. But the Waimiri-Atroari, who continued to face serious problems, even after the BR-174 was built, had other ideas. Mario Parwe, whose father died in a clash with “whites,” and one of the group’s main leaders today, explained what happened: “We went to Brasilia and asked FUNAI where [Porfírio Carvalho] lived. We found him, talked to him and he said he would come back and help us.”It was this fateful decision that likely saved the Waimiri-Atroari. Carvalho was shocked at what he saw on his return: “I had carried out a census [in 1969] and counted about 1,500 Indians in 15 villages. When I returned in 1986, there were just 374.” By then General João Baptista Figueiredo, one of the military presidents, had scrapped the Waimiri-Atroari’s indigenous reserve so that a mining company, Paranapanema, could open a tin mine there.Instead, with Carvalho’s help, a new reserve, covering 2.6 million hectares (10,000 square miles), was established, along with a conservation unit — the Biological Reserve of Uatumã — to act as a buffer between the Indians and the economic frontier.Indigenous victoriesCarvalho and the Waimiri-Atroari didn’t manage to stop the Balbina hydroelectric power station from being built on their land in the late 1980s. The dam has been widely criticized for its serious environmental impacts and its low efficiency and was particularly disastrous for the Indians, as it led to the dislocation of about one third of the surviving members of the tribe.However, the Waimiri-Atroari did succeed in getting a sizable compensation from the state electricity company, Eletronorte, the first time such a payment was ever made to an indigenous group. Under Carvalho’s guidance, the Indians used the money to set up the PWA (Waimiri-Atroari Program) to fund improvements in living standards and land protection.The Balbina Dam, built in the late 1980s, drowned Waimiri-Atroari lands and did severe harm to the region’s biodiversity. Photo by Seabirds licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licenseAnother victory came in early 1995. When the government moved forward with plans to pave the BR-174 without consulting the Waimiri-Atroari, the Indians occupied the highway. Márcio Santilli, who later set up the NGO Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA), walked into the middle of the BR-174 battle when he took over as FUNAI president in September 1995.And Santilli knew immediately who to contact: “The first phone call I made was to Porfírio Carvalho,” he recalled. The two men arranged a mission, made up of highly placed representatives from various federal ministries and the state government, to meet with the Waimiri-Atroari in one of their villages. For many “whites” this first visit to an indigenous community was a frightening prospect.But all went well. The Waimiri-Atroari agreed to the paving in exchange for increased PWA funding. A sticking point was the Indians’ demand for up-front funding for a ten-year period — a request the Planning Ministry representative was reluctant to concede. According to Santilli, the Indians initially wouldn’t say, but finally admitted, why this concession was so important to them: “We don’t trust you,” they explained.Once a deal was reached, it was determined that each of the participants should be given a copy of the meeting minutes to avoid future squabbling. But in those days there were no computers, so Carvalho searched out a manual Olivetti typewriter (with the letter ‘n’ missing) with which one copy was typed and seven carbon copies made. It was, until recently, a lasting pact.The agreement worked out well for the Waimiri-Atroari, with much of the money spent monitoring the highway to prevent illegal occupations by land thieves, farmers and settlers. According to Santilli, “the PWA is the most successful official program of indigenous action that I know.”The Waimiri-Atroari continue to practice their traditional ways today on a reserve covering 2.6 million hectares (10,000 square miles). Photo courtesy of pib.socioambiental.orgThe Waimiri-Atroari today are in good health and their number has increased to 1,935, an outcome which Carvalho relished. Shortly before his death he declared: “I feel the happiest person in the world, because I see the Waimiri-Atroari interacting peacefully with non-Indians and, at the same time, there in the forest, they carry on with their dances and hold their marubás [celebrations], without any outside interference.”Trouble with TemerThat being said, the Waimiri-Atroari, like other indigenous communities in Brazil, continue having conflicts with federal authorities, particularly with the current Temer administration.The government wants to route the Manus-Boa Vista electric transmission line through the Indians’ reserve. The Waimiri-Atroari, and FUNAI staff, strongly oppose the plan. The line could take an alternative route, but would cost more. Carvalho strongly supported the Indians on this issue, which, as of now, remains unresolved.Decades of dedication by José Porfirio Fontenele de Carvalho’s helped preserve the Waimiri-Atroari, their way of life, and their forest. However, the tribe is now resisting new pressure from the Temer administration which wants to annex land for a major electrical transmission line. Photo by Mario Vilela courtesy of FUNAIJust a week before he was sacked from the presidency of FUNAI in early May, Antonio Fernandes Toninho Costa (who lasted less than four months in the job), was summoned by President Temer and ordered to remove the Waimiri-Atroari from their lands along the line’s proposed 125 kilometer route. Some have linked Toninho’s dismissal to his unwillingness to take this action.Carvalho was confident at the time of his death that the Waimiri-Atroari would manage perfectly well without him. Indeed, he was very modest about his achievements: “I was just an animator, a stubborn dreamer who carried the utopia of a 20-year-old into Amazonia.”Santilli believes that Carvalho’s role was far greater: “Of course, the heroism, the fighting spirit and the determination of the Waimiri-Atroari contributed to the success of the PWA.… But all involved are unanimous in saying that the main credit should go to Porfírio Carvalho, to whom I offer my most profound thanks.”FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img 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 eases restrictions on environmental organizations

first_imgEnvironment, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Governance, Government, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Rights, Law, NGOs, Politics, Protests This story was reported by Mongabay Latam and first appeared in Spanish on November 23.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. One of the organizations dissolved under the previous regulations, the Pachamama Foundation, recovered its legal status after the Ministry of the Environment recognized that its right to defense had been violated.Although the enactment of a new regulatory order gives a break to social organizations, critics claim that there are still unconstitutional habits that should be corrected to guarantee free association.Stakeholders say the government’s excessive control over the actions and finances of organizations has been reduced, but problems remain. In the last four years, Ecuador’s social organizations have tiptoed over a series of obligations (Executive Orders 16 and 739) imposed for their own subsistence by former president Rafael Correa’s administration. The orders included conditions that limited their activities, allowed their dissolution for numerous reasons, and established a series of obligations. Those obligations were considered interference by directors of indigenous, environmental, and human rights organizations consulted by Mongabay Latam. This shadow has begun to dissipate with the repeal of these orders by President Lenin Moreno, who, despite having come to power last May, is still appearing to try to maintain distance from his predecessor. Moreno is currently struggling to retain control of his political party, Alianza País.The organization Ecological Action (Acción Ecológica) faced the threat of dissolution for supporting social actions in defense of the environment in December 2016. In their case, the document that was used to sanction them was finally shelved. Photo courtesy of Ecological ActionOn his national TV network on Monday, Moreno claimed that with the new Executive Order 193, which replaced the orders that were repealed, “we’re responding to a heartfelt demand from diverse social organizations, which expressed their unease because of the excessive control that these regulations contained.” He also said that they wanted an active nation and that “to think that this is going to promote violence is to believe in a policed and authoritarian state. On the contrary, in a state of law, free association is promoted.” He added that the organized participation of citizens is fundamental for democracy.Political goodwill“What we’re seeing is that they’re removing an order that, in some ways, forced many organizations to have to defend themselves instead of doing the work that they are constituted for,” said Esperanza Martínez, a member of Ecological Action. That organization almost disappeared in December 2016 because of the application of Executive Order 739. The Ministry of the Interior accused the organization of supporting violent acts that were attributed to the Shuar indigenous community, who opposed the open-pit San Carlos Panantza mining project in the Amazonian province of Morona Santiago.“We are content because we think that this form of censorship over organizations is being overtaken, concealed by these obligations that were so unpleasant in form and in content,” Martínez added. Although on this occasion Martínez prefers to see the glass as half-full, she recognizes the concern that the new Executive Order 193 brings to people. “We want to believe in good faith and we want to believe that the vision of seeing organizations as enemies is being undone,” she said.The evacuation of the Shuar community in the Amazonian province of Morona Santiago. Photo by Raúl AnkuashRepresentatives from social organizations consulted by Mongabay Latam argue that the issuance of the new order is a display of political goodwill by President Moreno’s administration – although some representatives are critical.“It’s a half-triumph of social pressures,” said Harold Burbano, a legal advisor from the Regional Human Rights Advisory Foundation (INREDH), who discussed some advances and concerns that the new resolution brings. “What executive order 193 does is facilitate, for civil society, the creation of organizations or the obtaining of legal status, but not with the background of the problems and vices that executive orders 16 and 739 had,” Burbano said.Burbano explained that the requirements for creating a non-profit organization have been reduced substantially, which he says is important because it promotes legal organization. He also says it will reduce the government’s interference in discussions carried out within organizations, and surrounding the use and collection of funds.“Executive Order 16 established the obligation to send all the minutes from the organizations’ meetings to the Secretary of Political Management and to the governing institution of their legal status (the ministry of the involved branch), which was in violation of the right to privacy of organizations. This has been changed by executive order 193,” Burbano told Mongabay Latam.Burbano said that despite these changes, the new executive order is creating more uncertainties than certainties. First, the regulation of social organizations is being done through an executive order, or decree, but the Constitution establishes that they need to be regulated through a law.“The right, of all people, to free association is being regulated by a simple executive decree, which changed overnight, and we are going to stay in the same situation as before, or worse,” Burbano said. “Even though it’s a display of goodwill, we think that it was completely insufficient because what we expected was that the Executive would take a participatory initiative to be able to finally create a free association law that would be able to regulate, in an effective way, everyone’s right to free association.”The second problem with Executive Order 193, according to Burbano, is the possibility of dissolving organizations by open causes. “It’s something that hasn’t changed, and the decree is still unconstitutional in that sense,” he said. He also expressed another criticism: the lack of a procedure that respects the rights of the organizations during the process of dissolution. “Even though executive order 193 establishes the possibility of regaining legal status — that is to say, to revive an organization — both in executive order 16 and in 739, as well as in 193, there isn’t an established process in which an organization can have the right to defense,” Burbano said.These concerns are shared by Juan Auz, who was the executive director of the Pachamama Foundation when President Correa’s administration dissolved it unilaterally in late 2013. The administration subsequently accused him of participating in a violent protest and of digressing from their statutory objectives.“One of the most serious issues of the new decree is that it maintains the problematic causes of dissolution, including some that were used to dissolve the Pachamama Foundation — for example, the cause of digressing from the reasons it was constituted and the cause of intervening in activities reserved for political parties,” Auz told Mongabay Latam. He claims that these causes are ambiguous, and that they can be subject to the discretion of officials. “They can potentially be used to keep dissolving organizations,” he said.The Pachamama Foundation was accused of participating in a violent protest and deviating from its statutory objectives. Photo courtesy of the Pachamama Foundation“Let’s say that an organization was created for social assistance — it has to do that; it can’t enter political situations. That is the problem because in every organization, even the family becomes political,” said Jaime Vargas, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), who was elected in September. “I believe that in a democratic society — in a free, democratic, socialist country — there should exist the liberty to do politics as social organizations, rural organizations, [organizations] of farmers, of youth, of workers, of labor unions, of indigenous peoples. This is going to allow us to generate pretty clear proposals from the ground up in order to be able to build a plurinational state.”Vargas claims that executive orders 16 and 739 were used to delegitimize the struggles of social organizations and create division in the indigenous movement, and that things haven’t changed much. He also said that President Correa’s administration used these regulations to promote pro-government Indigenous organizations.“Imagine that they almost ignored us and they wanted to create a similar CONAIE, which would be under the criteria of Correísmo (the principles of President Correa’s administration). Then this caused us a lot of harm because some ghost organizations were created, which didn’t represent the people and nationalities,” Vargas said. He also remembers the disbanded National Union of Educators (UNE), Ecuador’s main teachers’ union, which had 66 years of legal status. It was dissolved in August 2016 by the Ministry of Education, after it was alleged that it had incurred various breaches within its registry.Looking for common groundJorge Yunda, a member of the assembly of the government movement Alianza País, is receptive to the concerns of organization leaders. He said he is ready to help continue the dialogue promoted by President Moreno to resolve remaining differences.“I believe in the full right of the citizens to organize, for their free association. The more free, the better,” Yunda said. Like others interviewed, he thinks Moreno’s new executive order is an advancement in policy. “But the organizations can keep fighting for their platform. I can help in that way; try to be a bridge with the government,” he told Mongabay Latam.According to Auz, former executive director of the Pachamama Foundation, the enactment of executive order 193 by President Moreno represents legitimization.“Executive Order 16 was the shadow of the previous administration, and you read in the media that [Executive Order 16] is already a reason to applaud the new government, but when you review it well, analyze it well, it shouldn’t be a reason for congratulations, but rather for concern,” Auz said. In regard to his work at the Pachamama Foundation, Auz said “we were an agent of important change; from civil society we influenced many political discussions at the national level, and we tried to develop specific projects in favor of different nationalities.” Among their work was conducting training in human rights and environmental rights in indigenous communities “that were, and continue to be, threatened by extractive projects in their territories,” Auz said. The Pachamama Foundation also worked on the development of community tourism to reduce reliance on oil.Their aim was to support the growth of small-scale economies that are capable of fulfilling the basic needs of communities. “All that came down with the closure [of the Pachamama Foundation],” Auz said.The Pachamama Foundation, based in Quito, was dissolved by order of former President Rafael Correa’s administration in December 2013. The case was brought before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Photo courtesy of the Pachamama Foundation The members of the Pachamama Foundation have since opened a similar organization called Terra Mater to maintain some of their initiatives, but Auz said there is no comparison with the power of their original organization.“We want to restore the Pachamama Foundation as a civil society organization with an important trajectory, as a way of repairing history,” Auz said. “With the connotation that the State used, without any type of process, without any type of valid legal argument, we were eradicated.”The government heard the demands of the members of the Pachamama Foundation, and on November 20 — shortly after Mongabay Latam spoke with Auz — the Ministry of the Environment announced the restoration of the foundation’s legal status. The government recognized that the previous administration had not given the Pachamama Foundation the opportunity to defend itself.“The General Judicial Coordination resolved to extinguish the administrative process initiated over the Pachamama Foundation, because the administrative sanction issued in 2013 violated the due process and the right to defense,” according to an official statement.The Pachamama Foundation celebrated the government’s decision. “This is a historic victory for organized civil society, including the country’s indigenous and environmental movements, which have worked tirelessly for the protection of human rights and of nature,” according to a statement released by the foundation entitled “The Pachamama Foundation Gets Back to Work in Ecuador.” Afterwards, Belén Páez and Juan Auz, spokespeople for the foundation, claimed that the government did not put conditions on them to return legal status and that at this time, they will not take action against the officials who closed their foundation. Meanwhile, their lawyer, Esteban Melo, says the lawsuit that the foundation filed with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will continue. All of this was said in a press conference, during which they were accompanied by the Indigenous leaders who support them.A press conference by the Pachamama Foundation after the resolution that returned their legal status. Photo courtesy of the Pachamama FoundationAll those who were interviewed by Mongabay Latam agreed that environmental organizations were among the most affected by Executive Orders 16 and 739, which were issued in 2013 and 2015, respectively.“The very fact of their existence was a clear message of intimidation towards the organizations that are defending the territory,” said Burbano of INREDH. He also said that “they were established as a cause for dissolution in the national regulations, and going against the extractive industry was what put us at risk.” However, Burbano claims the greatest dangers have been faced by the people who inhabit the areas where socio-environmental conflicts develop.For this, Esperanza Martínez from Ecological Action has a plan. “It isn’t right to see our reason for existing as simply defending ourselves. Our reason for existing is to defend nature. Here there are debts throughout the mining areas, debts in the Yasuní, debts throughout oil areas, debts in many infrastructure projects that have caused displacement, and there are debts that need to be repaid, and Ecological Action is working on a project called The Route for nature and for the people,” she said.“The idea is knowing what the debts are and knowing how to pay them back.” 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 Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

Legal recognition in the works for communities occupying Indonesia’s conservation areas

first_imgThe Indonesian government plans to formally recognize the occupation and use of land inside conservation areas, including national parks, by local and indigenous communities.The program will grant these communities access to clearly defined areas within these conservation zones, in exchange for managing these areas responsibly and sustainably, and not expanding their encroachment.However, the program could clash with a 2017 presidential regulation that emphasizes resettlement as a solution to human encroachment in conservation areas. JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has acquiesced to the reality that local and indigenous communities already manage land within conservation areas, saying it will begin formalizing this de facto stewardship this year.Some 5,860 villages are peppered throughout conservation areas covering a combined 221,000 square kilometers (85,330 square miles) of land, according to data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. National parks account for three-fifths of that land, and though these are ostensibly off-limits to human activity, the reality is that many communities have long existed in these areas, subsisting off the forest and its natural resources.“These are people who have been interacting with national parks and sanctuaries for a long time,” Wiratno, the ministry’s head of conservation, told reporters in Jakarta. “And they’ve been neglected [by the government], without any legal certainty” over access to or management of the land.One prominent case centers on Sumatra’s Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, one of the last bastions on Earth of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino, tiger and elephant. Human encroachment into the park — in the form of coffee farmers and loggers, among others — has prompted alarm among conservationists. A 2012 study found there were at least 100,000 people either living in or farming within the park, with around 15 percent of the park’s 3,568 square kilometers (1,377 square miles) under active encroachment — an area more than five times the size of Paris.Indigenous Indonesians of Mentawai district depend their lives on the resourceful forests. Photo by Vinolia Ahmad/Mongabay-Indonesia.Conservation partnershipTo address the reality of this encroachment, the environment ministry plans to grant rights to local communities to manage 250 square kilometers (97 square miles) of conservation areas this year, with more to be distributed in the following years.Wiratno’s office is drafting technical guidelines on how to implement this so-called conservation partnership program, which forms part of the government’s wider goal of distributing 120,000 square kilometers (46,330 square miles) of land to local communities under various “social forestry” schemes.“Once the technical guidelines are done, this program will be implemented right away,” Wiratno said. He added there were already many recommendations from regional stakeholders on areas that could benefit from the program.The core of the idea is that instead of resettling local communities from national parks to other places or prosecuting them for encroachment, it would be better for the government to legally recognize these communities’ presence in conservation areas and cooperate with them to manage the areas responsibly.Through the scheme, the government will define areas within the conservation zones where communities can continue farming; no farming will be allowed beyond these areas, to prevent further encroachment. The communities will also be responsible for the protection and sustainable management of their designated areas.“They will protect wildlife and also handle conflicts with the wildlife,” Wiratno said. “Local communities will be involved in the planning [of conservation area management] right from the start. In the past, they’ve been perceived as squatters, but now we’re making them the main puzzle piece to solve the problems.”The government will also gather data from these communities to determine whether they are genuine small farmers in need of land, or middlemen fronting for big businesses.“If a local community has 100 hectares of oil palm plantations, then this is not a community that’s deprived,” Wiratno said.The ministry has mapped several conservation areas in Sumatra as candidates for the program, including Bukit Barisan Selatan; Leuser National Park in Aceh province, which spans 200 square kilometers (77 square miles); Tesso Nilo National Park in Riau (80 square kilometers); and Wan Abdul Rachman Forest Park in Lampung (40 square kilometers).“We’re in the process of identifying [conservation partnership sites] in all conservation areas,” Wiratno said. “We have to be really careful [in implementing this program]. Our weakness is usually in the monitoring and evaluation of the program. If the partnership doesn’t succeed, we may have to scrap it.”The program will also include indigenous communities. Citing data from the Indigenous People’s Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), Wiratno said 129 indigenous communities lived on 16,400 square kilometers (6,330 square miles) of conservation areas.These areas will have a special designation that will allow them to be fast-tracked to “customary forests,” or hutan adat in Indonesian. Under a landmark 2013 decision by Indonesia’s highest court, indigenous communities retain full control of customary forests from the state.Crested black macaque. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay.Indigenous rights and identityThe country’s main environmental lobby, the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), has welcomed the program.“It’s quite good as long as it gives legal certainty to the people,” WALHI policy assessment manager Even Sembiring told reporters in Jakarta. He added that a draft of the program’s guidelines “also accommodates indigenous groups.”However, Even cautioned that the program could be hindered by a regulation issued by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in September 2017, which emphasizes enforcement measures —resettlements and prosecutions — for dealing with land conflicts in forest zones.“Resettlement is just a euphemism for eviction,” Even said. “How can we resettle indigenous peoples who have historical and emotional ties to their nature?”The Indonesian Communication Forum on Community Forestry (FKKM), a group of indigenous rights advocates, said that while the program granted a sort of recognition for indigenous groups, the government still needed to do more to legally recognize indigenous peoples.Muhammad Arman, the head of AMAN’s legal and advocacy division, said as many as a million indigenous people in conservation areas were at risk of resettlement under the 2017 regulation.“Moving a person from one place to another doesn’t just impact their livelihood,” he told reporters in Jakarta. “There’s also the effacement of their identity, because for indigenous people, their places are their identity.” Banner image: A Dani man in Indonesia’s Papua, one of the most linguistically diverse regions in the world. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay. Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Indonesia, Protected Areas, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforests 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 Hans Nicholas Jonglast_img read more

Cambodia’s banteng-eating leopards edge closer to extinction, new study finds

first_imgIn just five years, the population density of Indochinese leopards within a protected area in eastern Cambodia has fallen from about 3 leopards per 100 square kilometers in 2009 to 1 leopard per 100 square kilometers in 2014, a new study has found.This is one of the lowest densities of leopards reported in Asia, researchers say.This statistic is worrying because the eastern Cambodian population is the last remaining breeding leopard population within a huge region spanning southeastern China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.Eastern Cambodia’s leopards are also part of the only leopard population in the world to prey predominantly on an animal weighing more than 500 kilograms — the banteng. For Cambodia’s last remaining Indochinese leopards (Panthera pardus delacouri), extinction could be just around the corner, a new study has found.The only breeding population of this leopard subspecies in Cambodia is believed to occur within a large protected area complex in a part of the country called the Eastern Plains Landscape (EPL). But in just five years, leopard density within one protected area in the EPL has fallen from about three leopards per 100 square kilometers (39 square miles) in 2009 to one leopard per 100 square kilometers in 2014, a team of scientists found.This is one of the lowest densities of leopards reported in Asia, researchers write in the recent study published in the Royal Society Open Science journal.“The low density means that this population of Indochinese leopard has a high risk of extirpation in the near future, unless effective conservation action is taken immediately,” said lead author Susana Rostro-García, a postdoctoral researcher at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) at the University of Oxford, U.K.This decline is especially worrying because the Indochinese leopard has already been wiped out from 94 percent of its former range.“This population in eastern Cambodia is the last remaining breeding population within a huge region spanning southeastern China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam,” said co-author Jan F. Kamler, Southeast Asia leopard program coordinator for Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization. “So it’s critically important to try and save this unique population before it goes extinct.”An Indochinese leopard passes a camera trap in the study site. Camera trap image courtesy of Panthera/WildCRU/WWF Cambodia/FA.The loss of Cambodia’s Indochinese leopards would deprive the world of a unique member of the leopard family.When the team analyzed leopard droppings collected from the study area, they found that the male leopard’s main prey was the massive, 500-kilogram-plus (1,100-pound-plus) rare wild cattle species called the banteng (Bos javanicus). This finding was unexpected, the researchers say.Although previous research has recorded instances of African leopards preying on large-sized prey like giraffe or eland, these animals comprise a very small proportion of the leopard’s diet, the authors write. Instead, leopards, which typically weigh less than 90 kilograms (198 pounds) prefer to prey on smaller animals weighing about 10 to 40 kilograms (22 to 88 pounds).By contrast, male Indochinese leopards in the eastern Cambodian study site appear to prey predominantly on an animal more than five times its mass, making this the only known leopard population in the world to do so.The leopards there could be targeting banteng because the large herbivore represents about 70 percent of the available ungulate biomass within the study site, Rostro-García said. Moreover, tigers, whose main prey was the banteng, went locally extinct in the landscape a decade ago, allowing leopards to take over as the apex predator.“Tigers kill and displace leopards, and previous research showed that when tigers are present, leopards consume smaller prey to avoid encounters with tigers,” Rostro-García said. “Thus, the leopards in eastern Cambodia likely changed their predatory behavior to include the banteng, the largest herbivore, which may have been previously off limits to them when tigers were present.”The Indochinese leopard’s main prey in the study area was banteng, a rare species of wild cattle. Camera trap image courtesy of Panthera/WildCRU/WWF Cambodia/FA.But only the male leopards seem to be consuming banteng, the team found. The female leopards preferred muntjac (genus Muntiacus), a small deer. This difference is likely because male leopards can grow up to 50 percent larger than females, the researchers say, suggesting that the banteng might be “too large and dangerous” for female leopards to prey upon, but not for the larger male leopards.Despite the availability of prey of all sizes, Cambodia’s leopards are on the verge of extinction. And poaching is to blame, the researchers say.“Our conclusion was based on evidence we collected during the study: The presence of considerably higher numbers of snares in the core zone compared to previous years, and the documentation of several snared animals, including leopard, in the core zone in recent years,” Rostro-García said. “Other possible explanations, such as prey declines and differences in methods across years, were not likely given that prey densities remained stable across years, and we used the same camera-trap methodologies as in the previous study.”Poachers pass by a camera trap. Camera trap image courtesy of Panthera/WildCRU/WWF Cambodia/FA.In fact, a study published last year reported that Southeast Asia was in the middle of a “snaring crisis.” Between 2010 and 2015, patrol teams removed more than 118,000 snares from just three protected areas in Cambodia, the researchers found.Hunters use these snares to meet the rising demands for bushmeat in Southeast Asia. However, snares kill indiscriminately, trapping not just smaller rodents and mammals, but also larger leopards and baby elephants.“Many areas are covered with thousands of snares set to catch wild pig and deer to supply bushmeat markets,” Kamler said. “Leopards and other wildlife are often caught in these snares as bycatch, and the valuable parts sold to traders.”To protect the last remaining Indochinese leopards in Cambodia, Panthera is focusing on increasing its monitoring efforts and expanding its survey areas. “We are also working with our collaborators, WWF Cambodia, WildCRU, and the Ministry of Environment, to help strengthen environmental laws in eastern Cambodia to develop strictly protected core zones and increase fines from poaching,” Kamler wrote in a blogpost.An Indochinese leopard passes a camera trap in the study site. Camera trap image courtesy of Panthera/WildCRU/WWF Cambodia/FA.Citation:Rostro-García, S., et al. (2018) An adaptable but threatened big cat: density, diet and prey selection of the Indochinese leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) in eastern Cambodia. R. Soc. open sci. 2018 5 171187; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171187 Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Green, Leopards, Mammals, Poaching, Protected Areas, Research, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Trafficking Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Shreya Dasguptalast_img read more

Mysterious new butterfly named after YouTuber Emily Graslie

first_imgArticle 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 overSponsored Animals, Biodiversity, Butterflies, Conservation, Environment, Forests, Green, Invertebrates, New Species, Research, Species Discovery, Wildlife center_img Scientists have named a new species of butterfly for Emily Graslie, the writer, producer and host of the YouTube channel The Brain Scoop, and the chief curiosity correspondent of Chicago’s Field Museum.The postage stamp-sized butterfly Wahydra graslieae is dark rust-colored with jagged bands of silver scales on the underside of its hind wings.The scientists identified the butterfly from a single museum specimen collected by American biologist Harold Greeney from the Ecuadorian Andes in 2004. The specimen remained inside a Tupperware box until 2016. If you’re curious about the natural world, chances are you’ve seen Emily Graslie’s YouTube channel, The Brain Scoop.From wondering about peregrine falcon promiscuity and how owl vomit helps us understand history, to peering into dried Egyptian mummy brains, Graslie, the writer, producer and host of The Brain Scoop, takes viewers behind the scenes at Chicago’s Field Museum, where she holds the unusual title of chief curiosity correspondent. (Read Mongabay’s interview with Graslie here).Now, a team of scientists have named a new species of butterfly after her to honor her efforts to educate people about museum collections and natural history.The postage stamp-sized, dark rust-colored butterfly, Wahydra graslieae, has jagged bands of silver scales on the underside of its hind wings, the scientists report in a new study published in the journal Zootaxa. They identified the butterfly from a single museum specimen that American biologist Harold Greeney had collected in the Ecuadorian Andes in 2004, and which remained inside a Tupperware box of specimens until 2016.“We thought that after spending years explaining why specimens are important and bringing natural history collections to the attention of the public, Emily was definitely someone who should have a bug named after her,” co-author and butterfly expert Andrew D. Warren, senior collections manager of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, said in a statement. “She was really overdue for this kind of recognition.”This is the only known specimen of Wahydra graslieae. The red label marks the butterfly as a holotype, the representative specimen from which a species is described. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace.What makes Wahydra graslieae distinct is that it is much darker than other described Wahydra species. The metallic silver scales on its underwings have also previously been seen only in very distantly related skippers (butterflies of the family Hesperiidae).The newly described butterfly belongs to a curious, little-known genus called Wahydra, a group of small Andean skippers that are found from Venezuela to Argentina, but are rare in collections, Warren said. This is mostly because these butterflies live at high altitudes, frequently experiencing poor weather conditions, which makes it difficult to locate and sample them in the wild.All that scientists seem to know about the 15 identified Wahydra species is that some eat bamboo. “Every 1,500-foot [457-meter] increase in elevation in the Andes results in a complete turnover in bamboo species and the butterflies that feed on them,” Warren said. “That would explain the rarity of Wahydra and the patchiness of their distribution.”Warren thinks that Wahydra graslieae can be rediscovered, “with a little bit of luck and effort.”Graslie expressed her excitement on Twitter and live streamed her conversation with Warren on her YouTube channel.https://twitter.com/Ehmee/status/971546256022614017“Someone might look at Wahydra graslieae and be completely underwhelmed by what they see,” Graslie said in the statement. “After all, it’s tiny, and lacks the explosively dynamic colorations and patterns that come to mind when you think of a monarch butterfly or an atlas moth — two animals, by the way, that already have names with gravity. Monarch. Atlas. But this is not them.“This is Wahydra graslieae, a little-known creature that comes to us with more questions than answers,” she added. “In that way I feel a sense of kindredness with this animal and am absolutely honored that Dr. Warren and his team saw fit to associate such a curious skipper with my name. I can’t wait for further research to reveal more information about them.”Lepidopterist Andrew Warren holds a box containing all of the Florida Museum’s Wahydra specimens. Wahydra graslieae, in the bottom right corner, is distinctly darker than other Wahydra. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace.Jagged bands of metallic silver scales mark the underside of the Wahydra graslieae’s hindwings, a feature only previously seen in very distantly related skippers. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace.Citation:Carneiro E et al (2018). A new species of Wahydra from Ecuador (Hesperiidae, Hesperiinae, Anthoptini). Zootaxa. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4392.1.11last_img read more

‘Bounti’ to headline half-time show

first_imgTop dancehall star, Bounty Killer, will headline the entertainment package at tonight’s Jamaica versus Nicaragua CONCACAF 2018 World Cup Qualifier at the National Stadium.”In keeping with the total experience always provided to football fans at games organised by the Jamaica Football Federation, popular artiste Bounty Killer will spearhead the half-time show at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match,” the Jamaica Football Federation said in a release yesterday.The half-time is sponsored by Digicel.Gates open for the game at 5 p.m. and the pre-game period will also feature popular local artistes, including Khago. Kick-off time is 8 p.m.last_img

Evans hoping to continue golf growth

first_imgIn July last year, then 17-year-old Romaine Evans bagged what was considered an elusive individual golf title for Jamaica.Now, the 18-year-old Tacky high school student, the only golfer in his St Mary-based school is looking to rediscover that winning form, which saw him become one of Jamaica’s most promising junior golfers.”The dream is there. It’s gonna need a lot of work for sure, without hard work, there is no success, and my goal is to keep on doing the right stuff and stay on the right path and try to achieve my goals,” he outlined in a recent interview with The Gleaner.Evans won the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships (CAGC) in the US Virgin Islands and went on to cop a number of local titles here in Jamaica.After winning the prestigious Caribbean Championships, he went to England to play in the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy, an international 54-hole stroke challenge, which features a number of PGA players annually.POSSIBLE TO WIN”It has pushed me really more into the game of golf because I know that it is possible to win tournaments in the Caribbean and internationally,” he pointed out.”It (the CAGE) is the tournament that motivated me to go further in the sport. After winning the tournament, it helped me to learn that I can accomplish a lot of stuff. That tournament motivated me to get my game to the next level,” Evans underlined.Admittedly, short of his best form now, the youngster, who developed as one of the most accomplished golfers in the Sandals Junior golf programme, has his eyes set on going over-seas to study, while playing the sport he loves.”My game is not in the best shape right now, I can tell you. I am not going to say I am going to play at my best, I just keep silently confident,” he continued.The Jamaican is currently ranked 6,154 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking with a 56.1728 points average.Evans added that at his school, golf is not the most favoured sport, but all his schoolmates support his dream.”Everybody is on board supporting me. Every tournament I play, they just want to know the results and (are) confident in me doing the right stuff and pursuing my dreams,” he disclosed.shayne.fairman@gleanerjm.comlast_img read more

Game 1 hero Go deflects credit to Ravena, Eagles

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netHolding a precarious 73-70 lead against La Salle in the waning seconds of Game 1 of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball Finals,  Ateneo knew it needed one last bucket to put the result beyond doubt.Luckily for the Blue Eagles, Thirdy Ravena found an open Isaac Go down low for the undergoal stab plus the foul with 10.4 seconds remaining. Go completing the three-point play and Ateneo held on for a 76-70 win.ADVERTISEMENT “Second, it was Thirdy who found me open, so I have to give credit to Thirdy. Third, at the end of the day, it was a two points for Ateneo. I don’t look at it as a two points for me, but I look at it as a whole, that Ateneo got the two points.”It was the second time in as many games that Go proved to be the hero for Ateneo. He also rescued the Blue Eagles in their Final Four do-or-die against Far Eastern University wherein he drilled the game-tying triple that forced overtime and sank a improbable putback on one knee in the extra period.For some, Go’s heroics was redemption of sorts, especially after he botched a potential go-ahead gimme in the Blue Eagles loss to the Archers in the second round.“There’s always pressure, but we can’t pressure ourselves because it’s a game,” he said. “There’s no external pressure that will force us to change the way we play. Internally, we just have to push ourselves.”ADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson 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 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ LATEST STORIES READ: Ateneo holds on, beats La Salle in Game 1 of UAAP FinalsThe blue gallery was electric but somehow, the 6-foot-7 big man remained stoic as if nothing happened.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBack on the throne“It’s exciting, yes, but the reason that I was not able to celebrate was that first, the game was not finished yet. It was not a buzzer beater,” Go said.READ: Clutch Go delivers anew for Blue Eagles Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Sterling hits late goal as Man City sets EPL record; Arsenal 4th Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ateneo has a golden chance to close the series out in Game 2 on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum as the Eagles aim for their first title since UAAP Season 75.Until then, Go has no reason to celebrate just yet. Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ setlast_img read more