Barrios Earns Second Women’s Basketball Player of the Week Award

first_imgHonorable Mention: Kierra Jordan, Central Arkansas; Breanna Wright, Abilene Christian; Taylin Underwood, Southeastern Louisiana; Kayla Mundy, New Orleans. 2017 Southland Women’s Basketball Week 10 Notes (PDF)FRISCO, Texas – Nicholls junior guard Cassidy Barrios earned her second Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week honor of the season, the league announced Monday. Southland Players of the Week are presented by UniversalCoin.com. The Colonels (7-8, 2-2 SLC) travel to take on McNeese (6-9, 2-2 SLC) at 6:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday before hosting defending league champion Central Arkansas (11-4, 4-0 SLC) on Saturday at 1 p.m. Women’s Basketball Player of the Week – Cassidy Barrios, Nicholls – Jr. – Guard – Raceland, La.Barrios averaged 18.0 points, 15.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists for the Colonels last week, highlighted by a 24-point, 20-rebound effort in a 77-64 win at Houston Baptist. Barrios was instrumental in the Colonels’ rally against the Huskies, leading Nicholls to a 45-22 advantage in the second half to overcome an 11-point deficit. In Wednesday’s matchup with Stephen F. Austin, she nearly recorded a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists with no turnovers. The 20-rebound outing against HBU is the Southland’s single-game high this season and led to her fourth double-double in as many league games (eighth overall). For the week, she shot 12 of 13 from the line and added four steals and two blocks.center_img This marks Barrios’ second weekly award in 2017-18, having garnered the distinction previously on Nov. 13. Nicholls now has three weekly honors as a team, including Tykeria Williamson on Dec. 4. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on at least 25 percent of ballots.last_img read more

50 new spiders discovered in Australia

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Arachnids, Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Invertebrates, New Species, Species Discovery, Spiders, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation The two-week expedition in Australia’s Cape York Peninsula involved 23 scientists, indigenous rangers and traditional owners.This expedition will likely result in the greatest number of new species of spiders discovered on a Bush Blitz research trip, scientists say.The researchers are now identifying and describing the spiders for formal scientific classification. A two-week expedition in Australia’s Cape York Peninsula has uncovered 50 new species of spiders.The expedition, which identified spiders ranging from tarantulas as big as a human face to ant-mimicking spiders smaller than a thumbnail, involved 23 scientists, indigenous rangers and traditional owners. The surveys were part of the Bush Blitz discovery project, a partnership between the Australian Government, BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and Earthwatch.The diversity of spiders in the area was “mind blowing”, Robert Raven, the Principle Curator of spiders at the Queensland Museum told Australian Geographic in an interview.Under just one rock, Raven found spiders from six arachnid orders. “It was absolutely spectacular to see all these six groups together,” he said in the interview.New species of Brush-footed Trap-door spider – Mygalomorphae Barychelidae Idiomata sp. Photo by R. Whyte.This expedition is likely to result in the greatest number of new spiders discovered on a Bush Blitz research trip, scientists say. Bush Blitz expeditions have discovered nearly 1,200 new species till date, including 201 new species of spiders.“This was one of the largest number of species Bush Blitz has ever discovered during one expedition,” the team said in a statement. “Far north Queensland can boast an extraordinary variety of spiders.”The researchers are now identifying and describing the spiders for formal scientific classification.This is the first time the West Quinkan in Cape York Peninsula has been biologically surveyed, said Brad Grogan, Western Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation manager. “Hopefully this expedition will help us identify areas of natural values that we can protect for the future.”New species Saddle-legged Trapdoor, Conothele sp. Nov., family Ctenizidae. Photo by R. Whyte.New species of ant eating spider, Zodariidae Habronestes. Photo by R. Whyte.A new species of Gnaphosidae Ceryerda, “swift spider”. Photo by R. Whyte.New species of jumping spider, Salticidae Jotus sp. nov. cf auripes. Photo by R. Whyte.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

Canopy bridges keep rainforest animals connected over gas pipeline

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Conservation, Deforestation, Ecological Restoration, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Green, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Human-wildlife Conflict, Infrastructure, Mammals, Monkeys, Primates, Rainforest Conservation, Roads, Tropical Deforestation, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation 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 Glenn Scherercenter_img Pipelines, roads, railways and transmission lines cause severe habitat fragmentation in the Amazon rainforest. A new study looked at canopy connectivity for large arboreal mammal populations using natural bridges above a new gas pipeline in Peru.In 7,102 canopy camera trap nights, the crossing rate of natural bridges in the canopy above a new pipeline was surprisingly high: nearly 200 times that of the ground (3,100+ overhead versus 16 ground occurrences).Researchers recorded 25 species from 12 mammal families using natural canopy bridges in 3,372 photo events, including night monkeys, kinkajous, olingos, dwarf porcupines, opossums and squirrels.These results suggest natural and artificial canopy bridges could significantly improve habitat connectivity for rainforest arboreal species when new, or already existing, transportation, mining and energy corridors threaten fragmentation Dwarf porcupines (Coendou ichillus) were documented in camera-trap images, 900 kilometers (560 miles) outside of their known range. Photo courtesy of SCBI-CCSHundreds of square miles of the Amazon are zoned for oil and gas exploration, with commercially viable reserves destined for national and international markets, including the US and the UK. But pipelines fragment the rainforest, dividing populations and disrupting the movements of species that spend their lives in the treetops. Now, a study using canopy camera trapping has shown that these impacts can be mitigated if natural canopy bridges are left in place when pipelines are constructed.The study, in the Urubamba region of the Peruvian Amazon, was led by Tremaine Gregory of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Before construction took place, Gregory and her colleague Farah Carrasco-Rueda, of the University of Florida, worked with the construction company to identify places where trees were large enough that their branches might be able to span the proposed pipeline. Engineering constraints meant that out of a possible 42 sites along a 5.2 kilometer (3.2 mile) stretch of pipeline, only 13 proved to be feasible. A 4 kilometer (2.5 mile) stretch of pipeline was left without any natural bridges as a control, so the effect of bridges on animal movements could be assessed.Gregory’s team walked transects before construction began, and found that arboreal species frequently crossed the pipeline route. Once the pipeline was constructed, Gregory climbed the trees that were left to act as bridges, and installed camera traps to monitor their use. She placed cameras at all locations where animals could cross from one side to the other — some trees had multiple branches forming connections across the pipeline. More cameras were placed near the ground underneath the canopy bridges, and in the control area.The traps monitored animal movements for a year, and upon analyzing the vast number of images generated from 7,102 canopy camera nights, Gregory said she and Carrasco-Rueda were “blown away by the data. The crossing rate in the canopy was nearly 200 times that of the ground (16 versus over 3,100).”In total, they recorded 25 species from 12 mammal families using the natural canopy bridges in 3,372 photo events, with night monkeys (Aotus nigriceps), kinkajous (Potos flavus), olingos (Bassaricyon alleni), dwarf porcupines (Coendou ichillus), opossums (Caluromys lanatus), and squirrels (Hadrosciurus spadiceus) being the most frequently observed commuters. The team estimates that the bridges were used by at least 150 individuals.A tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) with a baby on its back. Natural canopy bridges are already being incorporated into other pipeline projects in Peru, and Gregory hopes they will soon be a government requirement. Photo courtesy of SCBI-CCS“The diversity of mammal species that used the bridges also represents a broad diversity of locomotor habits,” Gregory said. “For example, spider and woolly monkeys can brachiate — or swing by their arms — across slightly disconnected clearings, but dwarf porcupines do not leap, and therefore need branches that are in full contact. Both of these types of species used the bridges, as did many animals with dependent offspring on their backs, suggesting that the animals feel safe enough to cross with precious cargo.”Six canopy species were observed on the ground a total of 16 times, but the absence of 19 species from ground-based camera traps indicates that most arboreal mammals were susceptible to the negative effects of the pipeline.The range of species caught on camera encompassed the majority of arboreal mammal species in the region, suggesting that natural canopy bridges have widespread benefits, Gregory said.“The greatest thing about this research is that it is of significant applied conservation importance,” said Andrew Whitworth, of Osa Conservation, Costa Rica, who previously led camera trap studies in the rainforest canopy of Manu National Park, Peru, but was not involved with the new study.Night monkeys (Aotus nigriceps) making use of a natural canopy bridge across the pipeline. A year-long camera-trap study of 13 natural canopy bridges showed that they were an effective way to mitigate the fragmentation caused by pipelines. Photo courtesy of SCBI-CCSWhitworth highlighted the black-faced spider monkey (Ateles chamek) and the Peruvian woolly monkey (Lagothrix cana) — which were each recorded just once — as particularly important bridge users, as they are classified as Endangered by the IUCN, and are sensitive to hunting, forest degradation and habitat fragmentation. “They are particularly sensitive as they have relatively long reproductive cycles and need to be able to traverse linear clearings to access different food sources and maintain genetic flow between communities.”Whitworth emphasized the value of camera trapping to generate quantities of data “that would have been logistically unfeasible using human observers,” the results of which show “how essential, and cost-effective, maintaining canopy crossings can be for rainforest wildlife.”Gregory said that other pipelines projects in Peru were beginning to incorporate natural bridges, and she’s “hopeful that they will soon be required by the government.”Gray’s bald-faced saki monkeys (Pithecia irrorata). In total, 25 arboreal species from 12 mammal families were recorded using the natural bridges. Photo courtesy of SCBI-CCSBecause trees that are suddenly exposed to the more open habitat of the pipeline can experience environmental stresses, which can lead to branches breaking, Gregory suggests that “companies consider projects that incorporate both natural and artificial bridges, which can be maintained or replaced, if necessary.”“Although this strategy is desperately needed in the Western Amazon right now, where linear clearings for unmarked roads and pipelines are fast expanding due to a ramping up in resource extraction (for logging and mining), this strategy could also help to restore connectivity in areas which have previously been cleared, where such mitigation strategies were never considered,” Whitworth said.Gregory sees huge scope for natural canopy bridges worldwide. “Because forests across the tropics tend to have large arboreal mammal populations, we are hopeful that other countries will also adopt this simple, low-cost method.”Citation:Gregory, T., Carrasco-Rueda, F., Alonso, A., Kolowski J., and Deichmann, J.L. (2017) Natural canopy bridges effectively mitigate tropical forest fragmentation for arboreal mammals. Scientific Reports 7: 3892 DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-04112-xFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

‘Tango in the Wind:’ New film captures courtship dance of critically endangered Hooded Grebe for first time ever

first_imgThe Hooded Grebe wasn’t discovered by scientists until 1974, due mainly to the fact that it lives in one of the most remote and inhospitable environments on Earth: the windswept plateaus of southern Patagonia, often referred to as “The end of the world.”During the breeding season, the birds set up their nesting colonies on just a few basaltic lakes on the arid Patagonian steppes in extreme southwest Argentina, so it’s safe to say that very few people on Earth have ever witnessed its incredible courtship display.But now, thanks to filmmakers Paula and Michael Webster, who captured the mating ritual of the Hooded Grebe on film for the first time, you can watch it from the comfort of your own home. The Hooded Grebe wasn’t discovered by scientists until 1974, due mainly to the fact that it lives in one of the most remote and inhospitable environments on Earth: the windswept plateaus of southern Patagonia, often referred to as “The end of the world.”Hooded Grebes (Podiceps gallardoi) are quite striking in appearance, with their dark grey backs and hindnecks, black heads that contrast sharply with white foreheads and throats, peaked forecrowns that are reddish in color, and intense red eyes that help them to see more clearly amidst the deep blues of the Patagonian landscape.During the breeding season, the birds set up their nesting colonies on just a few basaltic lakes on the arid Patagonian steppes in extreme southwest Argentina, so it’s safe to say that very few people on Earth have ever witnessed its incredible courtship display firsthand. But now, thanks to filmmakers Paula and Michael Webster, who captured the mating ritual of the Hooded Grebe on film for the first time, you can watch it from the comfort of your own home.The full film is embedded below. Here’s a video meme the filmmakers have made featuring the Hooded Grebe’s mating dance in all its glory:Given that Argentina is the birthplace of the tango, Paula Webster tells Mongabay that the title of the documentary film came to her instantly. “This world-first footage reveals the Hooded Grebe has a courtship dance as passionate as the tango,” Webster said. “Immediately I knew the title of the film had to be Tango in the Wind!”The film was commissioned by Aves Argentinas, the BirdLife International partner in Argentina appointed as “Species Guardian” for Hooded Grebes through BirdLife’s Preventing Extinctions Programme.Patagonia National Park, created in 2014, encompasses more than half of the Hooded Grebe’s breeding colonies, but the bird is still facing a number of severe threats to its continued survival.There were an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 Hooded Grebe individuals in the late 1990s, but a 2014-2015 survey found just 771 adults and 138 chicks. This rapid decline earned the Hooded Grebe a Critically Endangered listing on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2012. The main threats to Hooded Grebes are climate change, which has caused less snowfall and higher winds that lead to the lakes the birds rely on for breeding to dry out, and the introduction of the American mink in Patagaonia by fur traders. According to the IUCN, “American Mink threaten the species at all stages of its life, with nests, chicks and adults all vulnerable to predation. In 2010-2011 an American Mink, a new arrival on the Buenos Aires plateau, killed more than half the adults in a breeding colony of two dozen nests.”In the below Q&A, Paula Webster discusses what it was like to live and work in the harsh Patagonian environment for six months while making the film, provides more background on the threats to the Hooded Grebe’s survival, and reveals a few more of the remarkable behaviors she and Michael were able to capture.Watch Tango in the Wind here:Mongabay: For those who aren’t familiar with the species, tell us a little about the Hooded Grebe? Where is it found? How many survive in the wild?Paula Webster: Hooded Grebes are beautiful birds, only found in Patagonia. They spend the winter on the Atlantic coast of Argentina, in particular the sheltered estuary of the Santa Cruz River. In springtime they migrate across the vast Patagonian steppe, out of which rise a series of huge, flat-topped volcanic plateaus. These plateaus are dotted with small shallow lagoons. It is on a few of these lagoons that the Hooded Grebes find conditions suitable for them to spend the summer and breed. These plateaus are virtually inaccessible, ‘Lost Worlds.’For these reasons few people see the birds. Amazingly they were only discovered in 1974, no one had seen the bird before that. Work done in the 1990s led to the understanding that there was a population of 5,000 birds, but the limits of the survey led to the belief that this was a considerable underestimate. More accurate fieldwork since has concluded that the population now is as low as 800 individuals. A very low number, the IUCN has categorised this bird as Critically Endangered. It is one of the rarest birds in South America, tottering on the edge of extinction.Mongabay: What are the biggest threats to the survival of the Hooded Grebe, and what conservation work is currently ongoing to protect the bird?Mankind has surrounded the bird with difficulties. Few species of birds are suffering as much as the Hooded Grebe. In the 1990s two introduced animals started to impact the lives of Hooded Grebes. From the land came the North American Mink attacking breeding colonies on the lagoons. From the water came another foe, Rainbow Trout. They took the young chicks and depleted the quality of the water itself, killing off the Water Milfoil plant, essential for the survival of breeding colonies of the Grebes.A native bird, the Kelp Gull, has experienced a population explosion in recent decades. This has been fuelled by the uncontrolled waste and rubbish in local towns and villages. These Gulls now fly up to the plateau and scavenge on any available food. Tiny Hooded Grebe chicks are easy prey.These three threats are now understood and are being addressed by biologists and a small team of volunteers. These conservation heroes trudge day after day in ferocious winds across razor sharp rocky terrain to identity where the Mink are and control them. Another ground-breaking experiment involves the removal of fish from one of the larger lagoons. This also involves finding the small rivulets up into the hills where the fish go to spawn in the spring. These tributaries have steel grills put across them to prevent the fish passing through.The most sinister threat is the most difficult to control. In recent years there is less winter snow and rain. Many lagoons are drying up and the Hooded Grebes are having to move about in search of suitable places to breed. Climate change at the ‘End of the World’ is an added threat to the birds.The rare hooded grebe lives far north of Patagonia’s famous Torres del Paine National Park. Photo courtesy of Paula and Michael Webster.Mongabay: How did you first become interested in telling the Hooded Grebe’s story through a documentary film?We have been visiting Argentina for the past three years. This experience has enabled us to understand some of the key conservation issues and the people and organisations involved. We were asked by the Birdlife partner in Argentina, Aves Argentinas, if we would make the film for them. We were thrilled to be able to promote the cause of this beautiful bird.Mongabay: What was it like to be a filmmaker living in Patagonia for six months while making this documentary?Patagonia is a challenging environment to work in. The weather is harsh, most days were incredibly windy, driving sandstorms across the landscape and making the cold more intense. Keeping cameras safe was a challenge, sound recording was always fraught with difficulty.The infrastructure is poor with few roads. A well-equipped 4-wheel vehicle is essential, planning and communication is important. Many days we could drive at no more than 10mph for five or eight hours hours at a time.The counterbalance to this was the mind-blowing beauty of the wilderness we experienced.An amorous Hooded Grebe couple courting one another. Photo courtesy of Paula and Michael Webster.Mongabay: You captured the bird’s mating dance on film for the first time. How did you manage that — was it difficult?Grebes around the world are renowned for elaborate courtship displays. Very little was known about that of the Hooded Grebe and so to see and film it was top of our list. Teams of volunteers scoured the plateaus searching for the birds. Spring started to slip by and we had achieved little.One day we came across a remote lagoon, accessible only on foot. A small group of grebes were present. We set up camp in the shelter of a distant cliff. The following day we got our equipment into a suitable position on the lagoon and waited. Eventually the birds started to display. The weather eased and for three days only we were able to witness and film the spectacular display, after that the activity died down and we never saw the full display again.Filming the mating dance of the hooded grebe was vital for Paula and Michael’s documentary. After days of driving between lakes and assessing the conditions, they successfully filmed the dance in full for the first time ever. Photo courtesy of Paula and Michael Webster.Mongabay: What are some of the bird’s other behaviours you captured for the film? And do any of Patagonia’s other wildlife species make any memorable cameos in the film?The Hooded Grebe is a highly social bird. They nest colonially and feed in close proximity to each other. They move around their chosen lagoon, each keeping an eye on the sky for a Peregrine Falcon, Kelp Gull, or Harrier that would occasionally sweep down on them in a surprise attack. Watching and filming their feeding behaviour was important for us, little is known about that. We were able to see that they fed in dense patches of Water Milfoil and brought up crustaceans for their tiny chicks.The wind scoured plateaus rise high out of the Patagonian grasslands. Unique and isolated, the wildlife is specialised. Each plateau has its own distinctive species of lizard, some blue, some green, others dotted brown. Small herds of Guanacos live on the plateau, every evening they would come down to the lagoon to drink.Mongabay: Do you have any favourite characteristics of these birds, or any anecdotes you can share with us after having spent so long observing them?The adults carry their chicks on their backs, sometimes even two chicks struggle to fit on! Even though they are very protective of their young, we did see chicks taken by predators. When this happened the adults became desperate and agitated. They would try and adopt another adult’s chick. Even when rebuffed they would still attempt to feed it.I would sleep in a tent very close to the lake. Some windless nights, with the moon high in the sky, the birds would call to each other. A melodic triple warble, interspersing my dreams.On Paula and Michael Webster’s last few days filming the Hooded Grebe, some chicks emerged. With only around 800 individuals in the wild, the success of this species relies on a few lucky birds, protected by a passionate team of volunteers and scientists. Photo courtesy of Paula and Michael Webster.Mongabay: What can Mongabay’s readers do to help the Hooded Grebe?Watch and enjoy the film, Tango in the Wind, a story by dedicated volunteers working to protect our heritage of wildlife. A donation to the Birdlife ‘Preventing Extinctions Programme’ will help save this species from extinction.The action we recommend: #keepTheDanceAlive by supporting BirdLife’s Nest Quest, or apply to join and work with the Projecto Macá Tobiano in its fight to save the Hooded Grebe from extinction.Paula and Michael Webster, searching for birds in Patagonia. Photo courtesy of Paula and Michael Webster.CITATIONBirdLife International. 2016. Podiceps gallardoi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22696628A93574702. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22696628A93574702.en. Downloaded on 10 August 2017.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworecki Animal Behavior, Animals, Birds, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Film, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Interviews, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Traffickers find new ways to smuggle rhino horn out of Africa

first_imgSmuggling routes for African rhino horn have shifted over time. Here, known routes in 2010-2012 are mapped. Image courtesy of Traffic. Smuggling routes for African rhino horn have shifted over time. Here, known routes in 2013-2015 are mapped. Image courtesy of Traffic. Article published by Isabel Esterman 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 Smuggling routes for African rhino horn have shifted over time. Here, known routes in 2016- June 2017 are mapped. Image courtesy of Traffic.center_img Animals, Biodiversity, Black Rhino, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Law Enforcement, Mammals, Poaching, Rhinos, White Rhino, Wildlife, Wildlife Trafficking 123 read more

Unfair trade: US beef has a climate problem

first_imgAcross the globe, beef consumption, is seeing rapid growth, fed by cheap imports and served by an industrialized agricultural global trade model that’s been linked to a host of environmental impacts, climate change chief among them.Beef consumption in previously meat-light countries like Japan presents profit opportunities for the global beef industry. But scientists and activists argue that increasing beef consumption and industrial farm production go against efforts to combat climate change.President Trump’s recent decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a global trade deal, upset the US beef industry’s plans of expanding into lucrative Asian markets, including Japan, calling into question if, or when, a future deal will be signed.TPP, like other global trade treaties, fails to acknowledge climate change or include mechanisms to curb it. Critics say TPP (which continues to be negotiated by 11 nations) and future trade deals must change radically — protecting not only business and the economy, but the environment. Yoshinoya is one of the biggest fast-food chains in Japan, serving up the popular gyudon beef bowl. The company strongly prefers American beef in its products to the point that it switched to pork when beef from the US was banned briefly in 2003. Photo by Shuichi Aizawa CC BY 2.0 via FlickrGo to any US city and you’ll spot Americans gorging on Big Macs and Whoppers at McDonald’s and Burger King. Visit Japan, and you’ll see folks slurping down gyudon beef bowls, an incredibly popular dish featuring rice, onion and fatty strips of beef simmered in sweet soy sauce. Culture, tradition and geography might divide us, but a love for fast, cheap food that’s rich in beef definitely unites us.But that growing demand for beef has immense environmental repercussions, especially regarding a stable climate – a fact not addressed by global trade agreements.Back in January, one of Donald Trump’s first actions as president was to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), a multi-country trade deal that would have ramped up commerce with Asian countries — and opened Japan to a flood of US beef.But Trump’s move slammed the door on the US beef industry’s designs for the lucrative Japanese market, the top export market for American ranchers, thanks partly to dishes like gyudon.What lies ahead for the industry now that TPP is off the table is unclear. But no matter what transpires, environmentalists fear for the planet’s future if trade deals like TPP don’t start taking climate change into account, instead of encouraging more consumption, production and harm to the Earth.Beef cattle contribute to a variety of environmental problems, ranging from climate change, to conversion of native habitat to pasture, to pollution of aquifers with waste. Photo credit: Jeheme via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-NDJapan is hooked on beef Japan wasn’t always sold on red meat, or any meat at all. But today, you need only look at how beef-bowl outlets have conquered Asian city streets to see how that has changed. Yoshinoya, the Japanese fast-food chain, can now be found in US cities. The company only uses US beef, and this allegiance is so strong that the Yoshinoya beef bowl became a pork bowl in 2003 when Japan banned US beef imports for 20 months over fears of foot-and-mouth disease.Japan’s demand for beef doesn’t look like it will slow down any time soon. Its government is looking to attract 40 million tourists every year by 2020, when it hosts the Olympics, and with tourists come a whole lot of mouths to feed. “It’s pretty exciting,” Philip Seng, CEO of the US Meat Exporters Federation, says. “If you have that many tourists, they’re going to want to eat… We see that consumption is going to increase for the foreseeable future in Japan.”The same beef boom is playing out across Asia, with increasing wealth and disposable income driving demand in previously meat-light countries. In South Korea, a new appetite for craft burgers is just the tip of a beefy iceberg: in 2007, the US exported 25,000 tons of beef to South Korea; last year that figure reached nearly 180,000 tons.The Chinese beef market is expected to grow by as much as 20 percent between 2017 and 2025, and is part of a wider trend toward meat eating; in 1982 the average Chinese person ate around 13 kilograms (28.6 pounds) of meat per year, and today it’s around 63 kilograms (138.8 pounds). McDonald’s plans to open 2,000 more restaurants across the country by 2025 — signs that beef consumption is only going to grow.Asia is clearly fertile ground for those looking to plunge deeper into the market.Kraze Burgers (pronounced “crazy”) began selling American-style burgers in South Korea in 1988; now they have over 100 stores across the country and have since brought their franchise across the Pacific to the US. In 2007, the US exported 25,000 tons of beef to South Korea; last year that figure reached nearly 180,000 tons. Photo by Photocapy CC BY-SA 2.0 via FlickrWhat’s the beef with beef?While all of that growth may be good for the market and profits, beef continues to be the most climate change-intensive foodstuff in the American diet, says Sajatha Bergen, policy specialist in the Food and Agriculture Program at the National Resource Defense Council. And with the beef habit now catching on across Southeast Asia, that problem is only deepening.But defining the range of that problem is tricky. US beef industry carbon dioxide “emissions are actually coming from a few different places,” Bergen says. In the industrial production model, grain is grown to feed cattle, using chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and that requires a lot of fossil fuels. Next, the cow’s digestive system turns some of what it eats into methane — over 20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2, according to scientists. And finally, cow manure is either spread or stored in lagoons, and that can produce additional methane emissions. Taking all this into account, Bergen believes that it’s not unfair to describe cows as “mini-greenhouse gas factories.”Renée Vellvé, a researcher at GRAIN, an international NGO, believes that we have to expand our vision to include the entire industrialized food system in order to get a true sense of just how staggeringly costly beef, and agriculture in general, is to the environment. She notes that, in addition to the obvious impacts, meat must also be packaged, refrigerated all along the supply chain, transported — usually over long distances — and stored in supermarket and home refrigerators.Every step contributes to climate change, says Vellvé, from fertilizing seedling crops all the way to your dinner plate. Thinking about the “food system at large,” not just how the food is produced, is essential, she says: “If you isolate agriculture it’s not enough.”Cheap beef bowls have become a cornerstone of the Japanese fast-food industry and typify the country’s growing taste for meat. The global demand for beef is rising fast, a demand being served by the industrialized agribusiness model. Photo by tc_manasan CC BY 2.0 via FlickrResearch by GRAIN in 2014 found that when using this comprehensive approach, our food system accounts for roughly half of all greenhouse gas emissions — with much of that meat-related. In the US, the EPA currently estimates that agriculture contributes around 9 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions; of that, livestock takes up around 5 percent.For Gidon Eshel, research professor of environmental physics at Bard College, New York, the direct climate impact of beef production isn’t the worst of it. “Beef is responsible for the lion’s share of land use [in the US],” he says. And by overusing fertilizers the industry is also responsible for the release of massive amounts of reactive nitrogen into water supplies, which can undermine water quality in lakes, rivers and estuaries. By spurring algae growth, which can in turn lower oxygen levels when bacteria feed on it, the release of nitrogen can suffocate bodies of water, creating so-called dead zones. Just this year the largest dead zone ever recorded hit the Gulf of Mexico — a calamity tied to meat production.The source of all this harm can be found in the industrial model of agriculture, says Ben Lilliston, director of corporate strategies and climate change at the Institute for Agricultural Trade Policy. “In many ways, it’s been fairly disastrous for the environment.”The industrial system, he explains, is based on producing far more product than is needed and then exporting that product around the globe – an incredibly inefficient system. It has, however, created a global market for really cheap meat, while externalizing all the environmental costs of production to nation states and communities, Lilliston said. “Of course, we’ve expanded that model around the world to other countries.”Bergen agrees: “Even if we export the beef, we still keep the water pollution, the air pollution… is it really fair for US communities to bear the brunt of environmental damage?”Beef production is one of the top causes of tropical deforestation, and contributes heavily to climate change in a variety of ways. Photo by CIFOR CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via FlickrEnter TPP, or exit itThe Trans-Pacific Partnership, from which Trump withdrew the US after taking office, would have offered another boost for the industrial agriculture model, Lilliston said. The negotiations, which were highly influenced and dominated by big business, “facilitated a fairly serious expansion of this industrial model of agriculture where you produce way more than you need.”And that is to be expected. For decades trade deals have been designed to benefit business and make goods flow more smoothly between countries in order to open up new markets. To do this, the deals reduce tariffs (designed to protect local industries) and remove or weaken trade-limiting regulations, including public health and environmental standards.What was really at stake for the US beef industry with TPP was deep access to Japan.Japan used to be a “controlled market,” says Seng, one that always looked after its domestic production first, at the expense of imports. That’s why it’s been a tough nut to crack for beef exporters like those in the US. But over time exporters have penetrated the market, to the point that today about 60 percent of Japan’s beef is imported. In 2015, Japan imported nearly 500,000 tons of beef, around 200,000 tons of it from the US.A 2015 protest of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Though President Trump has pulled the US out of the TPP negotiations, stalling the US beef industry’s effort to penetrate Asian markets, 11 nations have continued work on the treaty, which shows little regard for the global environment or the impacts of international trade on climate change. Photo by Lorena Müller licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licenseTPP would have progressively whittled tariffs on frozen beef from 38.5 percent down to 9 percent by 2032 — a boon for the US. A report released by the US International Trade Commission prior to Trump’s decision to pull out of TPP estimated the value of beef exports to be worth $876 million per year by the end of the 16-year tariff reduction period.Trump’s actions represent a “clear loss” to the industry, according to Andrew Muhammad, associate director of the USDA’s Economic Research Service Market and Economics Division.KORUS, a free-trade agreement between the US and South Korea that was signed in 2012 (which included tariff reductions and the removal of “government-imposed obstacles” to trade, according to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association) resulted in a 42 percent jump in US beef exports over a five-year period there, and an 82 percent rise in annual sales.So it’s easy to see why Trump’s TPP decision wasn’t popular with the US agricultural sector. With his thumbs down, expanded access to the Japanese market was put out of reach for US beef exporters.The problem for the American cattlemen and beef processors didn’t end there. Now Australia has managed to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement with Japan, gaining improved market access, while US beef still is at the mercy of high Japanese tariffs. In August, the tariffs on frozen beef from countries without economic partnership agreements with Japan were raised from 38.5 percent to 50 percent, an increase triggered by a built-in emergency system to guard against spikes in imports.It may taste great, but beef is the most environmentally costly foodstuff that we eat today. Beef needs 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, and 11 times more water, and its production is responsible for almost five times the greenhouse gas emissions. Photo in the public domain via PixabayThat’s why the US beef industry is now desperate to thrash out a trade deal with the Japanese. “Our organization, NCBA [National Cattlemen’s Beef Association], will work with [the Trump] administration on bilateral trade deals, if that’s the way to go,” NCBA president Craig Uden told agriculture.com. “We know that our trade partners want our product, and if we don’t fill the demand, someone else will.”However, speaking from 45 years of experience working with the Japanese, Seng says it will be very difficult to get a bilateral deal that comes close to the benefits TPP would have provided. He explains that there was a “tremendous amount of political capital put on the table” by the Japanese to come down to 9 percent. This included overcoming the doubts of their own agricultural sector who feared an influx of cheap beef would damage their own market share. From Seng’s viewpoint, the objective now is to figure out a way to get back into TPP.In November, the remaining 11 member nations committed to the TPP agreement are due to restart negotiations and plow ahead without the United States. But it looks as if TPP-11, as it has been dubbed, could be tweaked only slightly to encourage the US to enter later.Vellvé isn’t ruling this out. She believes that in the next three or four years the US could well join the TPP, with or without Trump in office, as the business voices calling for it are influential: “The [beef] industry is pushing very hard and is very creative at getting what it wants.”Lilliston, of the Institute for Agricultural Trade Policy, echoes this and says that TPP saw beef-producing multinational corporations, like Cargill, JBS and others, come together to form a “beef alliance” and push their agenda. “They are real forces in these trade negotiations and it’s not the same as seeing things through a national agenda.”Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and industrial agriculture have been linked to the overuse of antibiotics, pollution of ground and surface water, as well as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program CC BY-NC 2.0 via FlickrClimate change, meet trade; trade, meet climate changeBut even as TPP moves forward, with or without the US, another important constituency has not been invited to the negotiating table: Nature, and the NGOs and national environmental agencies that represent her.In a 2009 report, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme said free trade agreements (FTAs) “most likely” lead to increased CO2 emissions.The “trading regime in general, and the United States led [FTAs]… are in tension with the policies for aggressive climate action,” Kevin Gallagher wrote in “Trade in the Balance: Reconciling Trade Policy and Climate Change,” a report released in 2016 by Boston University.“Trade is intrinsic to the success and robustness of the industrial system” of food production, Vellvé says. But trade agreements “very much drive climate change coming from the food system, insofar as the [deals] create demand for cheap commodities,” she explains. For instance, an influx of cheap American beef has made it possible for gyudon chain stores like Yoshinoya to offer their beef bowls to Japanese consumers for around $3 a pop, in the same way that cheap beef has allowed McDonald’s to sell its Big Macs for $4.79 in the States.Those low prices create more consumption, demanding higher industrial production, with bigger environmental costs. But nowhere in the industrial food chain, or in global trade treaties, are allowances made for the mounting environmental harm. This is a dangerous blind spot that, ignored for long enough, is going to bite back with increased climate and weather instability, more severe heatwaves, droughts and hurricanes, rising sea levels and increased ocean acidity — all of which will directly impact food security.Vellvé argues that to reach our climate goals, countries will need to overhaul the way our food is grown. To do so, we’ll need to get rid of large-scale monocrop cultivation, big plantations and the current model of big trade.“That’s a huge shift,” she acknowledges.A CAFO in Missouri. The vast waste lagoons of such operations are supposed to operate without major environmental harm, but intense storms can cause them to overflow into waterways, doing significant harm to fisheries and drinking water. Photo by Socially Responsible Agricultural Project CC BY-SA 4.0 via WikicommonsVellvé points to other systems of agriculture as models, like small-scale farming, that could replace industrial-sized Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). This “small is better” approach would not only be less harmful from an environmental point of view, but could also be beneficial for farmers, cheaper to run and involve less labor in some cases.But bridging the disconnect between an agribusiness industry focused on profit, global trade agreements that primarily serve business, and escalating climate change impacts, certainly won’t be easy. A mention of climate change didn’t even appear in the final TPP draft agreement, at the behest of Washington, despite it appearing in some initial drafts. The Paris Agreement also didn’t acknowledge TPP, or any other trade deals for that matter.“By having an [industrialized food economy] like the US – one of the biggest [carbon] polluters – say we don’t care about the Paris Agreement – we’re going to negotiate trade agreements as if climate change doesn’t exist – that’s very problematic,” Lilliston says. The issue is being discussed in places like the WTO, he adds, but those people who matter, the trade negotiators, are proceeding as in the past, and acting as if environmental concerns didn’t exist.As it stands, he says, strict trade rules furnish global markets with cheap goods that can price out local producers, and those treaties deregulate in a way that almost always favors industrial farming, making it impossible for smaller-scale operations to compete.A TPP protest goes airborne. Much of the public criticism over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and other trade agreements, centers around negotiations conducted in secret and without public input or consideration for the environment. Photo credit: Backbone Campaign via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SALilliston argues that unless we change trade agreements to nurture local and sustainable food producers, allowing them to grow and participate on a level playing field in global markets, or at least put climate-friendly policies in place, we’ll soon be in a tough spot economically and environmentally.Take drought, for example: it has deepened significantly over the US Midwest and West in recent decades, and severely impacted cattle herds and curtailed industry profits. And severe drought, like that seen in 2012, is projected to only worsen in future years as climate change escalates, further affecting the beef industry.The good news: moves are being made by the beef sector to encourage sustainability, cut waste and decrease its climate impact. Seng at USMEF says that the beef industry is “working tenaciously to reduce any kind of greenhouse gases.” Jude Capper, an agricultural sustainability consultant, suggests the US beef industry has already made advances along this road in past decades: “US beef is considerably more productive and has a lower carbon footprint per unit than in many less efficient countries,” she says.But others, like Vellvé, question whether these baby steps will be nearly enough. She acknowledges the efforts of the industry, but describes that work as little more than “eye shadow”.“It’s not going to get us where we need to [go, to] stay within the [emissions] targets that were set at the Paris Agreement,” she says.Beef on sale in Osaka, Japan. Cultures that once ate little beef are now becoming fast growing markets for meat. Photo credit: Ted’s photos – For Me & You via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SANRDC’s Bergen agrees. There are a lot of ways to cut the environmental costs of beef production, but the rapidly rising demand for beef worldwide will negate any positive effects: “Ultimately we need to reduce the amount of beef we eat.”The decision by Donald Trump to back out of TPP has halted, at least for now, the beef industry’s drive to gain Japanese market share. But what is truly needed now is not the same old type of treaty, but a new deal — a TPP that acknowledges and addresses the deep links between industrial food production and climate change.With the US now out of TPP, will the other 11 countries work climate change back into the agreement? It’s possible, and would be a big step forward, says Lilliston, but only on one big condition: “If TPP was to include climate considerations, how does the enforcement work on that?”It’s pretty simple what needs to be done, Lilliston concludes: Future trade deals in the US, and around the world, must explicitly assure that trade and profit do not override climate policy: “That’s a fairly radical idea and would be a major change in trade agreements,” he says. “But at some point we are going to have to make that decision.”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.US beef cattle on the range. If the world is to effectively combat climate change, it will need to deal with its growing beef addiction. Photo credit: USDAgov via Visualhunt.com / CC BY Article published by Glenn Scherer Adaptation To Climate Change, Animals, Beef, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Food, Climate Change Denial, Climate Change Politics, climate policy, Climate Politics, Drought, Ecology, Ecosystems, Environment, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Featured, Food, Food Crisis, food security, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Trade, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Globalization, Green, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Impact Of Climate Change, Overconsumption, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Trade 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

Consensus grows: climate-smart agriculture key to Paris Agreement goals

first_imgAttendees at the annual Global Landscape Forum conference in Bonn, Germany, this week sought approaches for implementing “climate-smart” agricultural practices to help keep global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.Some 40 percent of the earth’s surface is used for food production, with 400 million small farmers worldwide, plus industrial agribusiness, so policymakers understand that climate-smart agriculture, practiced broadly, could play a significant role in reducing carbon emissions and helping nations meet their Paris carbon-reduction pledges.Numerous agricultural management practices to reduce carbon emissions, enhance food security, productivity and profitability, are available now. They include wider use of cover crops, low and no till techniques, increased application of organic fertilizers such as manure, judicious use of chemical fertilizers, and the growing of crops bred for climate resiliency.These techniques are already being embraced to a degree in the U.S. and globally. Land of Lakes and Kellogg’s, for example, are insisting on sustainable farm practices from their suppliers, while John Deere is building low-till equipment that allows for “precision farming,” optimizing returns on inputs while preserving soils and soil carbon. A Peruvian potato farmer. There are an estimated 400 million small-scale farmers around the world. Farming, ranching and land-use changes contribute 25 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Changes in farming techniques, more efficient use of ranch land, and a reduction in deforestation could dramatically reduce land-sector emissions. Photo by Richard TitoThe annual Global Landscapes Forum conference, which took place in Bonn, Germany, this week (19-20 December) comes at an opportune time for land-sector advocates to celebrate a recent victory at COP23, and to begin organizing steps to make critical changes in global agricultural practices to assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.After the approval of the Paris Agreement in 2015, there was widespread recognition that the primary strategy for meeting the pact’s goals – reducing the burning of fossil fuels, while also preserving and restoring forests – would not be enough to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.The earth’s vast land sector, especially agricultural lands, and their carbon emissions would also need to be taken into account.Perhaps the most significant achievement of the 23rd United Nations Climate Summit in Bonn in November, or COP23, was the ending of a six-year stalemate on how to address global agriculture in developed and developing countries. The need is clear: large- and small-scale farming and ranching operations worldwide contribute significantly to global carbon emissions.A high-altitude farm in the Peruvian Andes. Small farms like this often produce carbon emissions via the constant tilling of soil between plantings, which releases CO2 trapped below ground. In fact, much of the carbon emissions produced by developing countries come not from burning fossil fuels, but from the land sector. Photo by Richard TitoPotential solutions – good for both farmers and climate mitigation – will now be officially negotiated in support of Paris Agreement goals through what’s called the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture. That means less debate and more action on the ground to support the three pillars of what the World Bank calls “climate-smart” agricultural projects.Those three pillars: help farmers adapt to climate change, promote food security and profitability, and sequester significant amounts of soil carbon.Climate-smart agricultural projects will be eligible for billions in finance that the World Bank will provide to national agricultural ministries, which in turn will be passed down to individual farms and farmers.Considering that some 40 percent of the earth’s surface is used for food production, and that there are some 400 million small farmers worldwide, it becomes clear that climate-smart agriculture, practiced broadly, could play a significant role in reducing carbon emissions.“If we’re going to slow the rate of global warming,” said Chris Meyer, a senior manager with the Environmental Defense Fund, and familiar with the discussions at the Global Landscape Forum, “we need to accelerate the exchange between policymakers, scientists and farmers.”Cattle ranching, particularly in North and South America, is a leading source of methane emissions – a greenhouse gas more than 20 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. Using manure as an organic fertilizer helps reduce these emissions. So does altering human diets, especially in the U.S., which leads to less beef consumption, fewer beef cattle and lower methane emissions. Credit Photo by marcia-oc on VisualHunt / CC BY-NCAgriculture crucial to Paris goalsThe breakthrough in Bonn last month “is critically important because agriculture and land-use change are 25 percent of the greenhouse gas emission problem. But potentially they could be more than 25 percent of the solution,” said Marc Sadler, a practice manager in climate funds management for the World Bank in Washington, DC.The advance made by COP23 negotiators “has enabled us to open up a new, important channel of information and will enable us to start building much more informed relationships between agriculture, innovation and the dynamic links with climate change,” said Sadler, whose World Bank colleagues led finance discussions at the Global Landscape Forum.Jason Funk, associate director of land use for the Center for Carbon Removal in Washington, has followed the agricultural debate for years; he had all but given up hope for progress at COP23, where resistors were still entrenched.Developing countries, especially in Africa, feared that changing farm practices to achieve climate mitigation goals would diminish crop yields and threaten livelihoods. Likewise, countries with a large industrial agribusiness sector, like Brazil and Argentina, feared the imposition of trade sanctions because cattle ranching and soy production are directly tied to deforestation and increased carbon emissions.“The more the talks went on, the more trust was built and the more fear fell away,” Funk said. “Also, the urgency… to address climate change is rising to the level where [the parties] can’t pretend that the agricultural sector shouldn’t be involved.”A smallholder farmer in Emu, Kenya, prepares a maize plot for planting with improved seed varieties meant to enhance food security. Climate-smart farming methods aim to increase production, reduce crop diseases, sequester soil carbon and improve livelihoods. Photo by CIMMYT on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SAThe understanding reached at COP23 raised the visibility of the agricultural agreement at the Global Landscape Forum this week, where it was an impromptu part of presentations and panel discussions.A recent study led by Bronson Griscom, director of forest carbon science at The Nature Conservancy, was key to convincing policymakers of the need to advance climate-smart initiatives for the land sector – including forests, wetlands and especially agriculture.Griscom, whose work was presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that altered land-sector policies could reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a staggering degree.“Natural climate solutions offer up to 37 percent of the mitigation needed between now and 2030 to keep temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius,” Griscom wrote, reducing emissions by 11.3 million tons by that date. This is the “equivalent to halting the burning of oil, or the combined emissions of the U.S. and the European Union.”A tractor tills a field. This farming practice, ubiquitous throughout the 20th century, is now being replaced by low till, and no till methods, which conserve soils and sequester soil carbon. Photo on Visualhunt.comCommon-sense, climate-smart strategiesJon Sanderman, a co-author with Griscom, as well as a soils experts at Massachusetts’ Woods Hole Research Center, said skeptical farmers are coming to understand that natural techniques used to sequester soil carbon and reduce agricultural emissions also end up benefiting soil health, water retention and crop yields, thus promoting food security – a big worry in developing countries.“There are a thousand different management options out there [that can reduce emissions] depending on your region,” Sanderman said. “Keep green cover on the ground as long as possible. Have cover crops between cereal grains. Till less because tilling releases soil carbon. Make better use of organic fertilizers like manure, [while encouraging] judicious use of chemical fertilizers – which lead to run off and water pollution and also create emissions. Grow crops bred for climate resiliency.”Sanderman explained that strides are already being made toward climate-smart agriculture. U.S. companies, such as Land of Lakes and Kellogg’s, are insisting on more sustainable farm practices from their suppliers. John Deere is building equipment that allows for “precision farming” and less tilling, said Funk. And oft-criticized Monsanto, he added, “is investing in developing crop genetics that are more climate resilient and require less fertilizer.”Betsy Taylor, president of Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions in Maryland, a nonprofit that connects philanthropists with farm projects to promote healthy soil and carbon sequestration, said that farm regulations in red states such as Oklahoma, Nebraska and South Dakota had already shifted to sustainable practices in anticipation of carbon market offsets. When those offsets never materialized, the farms stayed on track due to improved soils, yields and lower costs.Industrialized farms in the American Midwest often contribute to carbon emissions through tilling and overuse of chemical fertilizers. Climate-smart practices include “precision farming” (optimizing returns on inputs while preserving resources) which can involve the use of cover crops, less tilling and more organic fertilizers — methods now being encouraged on large and small U.S. farms. Photo by JamesWatkins on Visualhunt / CC BYAround the world in Ghana, she said, a farmer and PhD scientist named Kofi Boa runs a training program for African farmers that demonstrates how composting, no till practices and the integration of trees and animals into agricultural landscapes help to increase crop yields and promote water retention, while holding more soil carbon. Those trained by Boa go home to make lasting changes on their farms at little or no cost.Maintaining and building momentum is key, now that the stalemate involving agriculture and its role in climate mitigation has been broken. Negotiating co-chairs representing Swaziland and Finland will be refining the agreement and spelling out concrete strategies in advance of the mid-year UN climate summit next spring.Meanwhile, people like Taylor are eager for more action and less talk.“We have gotten too comfortable thinking meetings and goals equal actual emission reductions,” Taylor said. “The lens for success is not statements or reports. It’s actually people on the ground making changes to sequester carbon.”Justin Catanoso is a regular contributor to Mongabay and a professor of journalism at Wake Foreset University in North Carolina, USA. Follow him on Twitter @jcatanosoCitation:Griscom B., et al. (2017) Natural Climate Solutions. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1710465114FEEDBACK: 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.Global Landscape Forum conference participants in Bonn, Germany this week talked up climate-smart crop management as being good for farms, good for farmers, and good for the planet. Photo by Africa Renewal on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA 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 Glenn Scherercenter_img Adaptation To Climate Change, agribusiness, Agriculture, carbon, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Footprint, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Food, Climate Change Policy, Climate Science, Environment, Farming, food security, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Green, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, greenhouse gases, Industrial Agriculture, Organic Farming, Rainforest Agriculture, Soil Carbon, Subsistence Agriculture last_img read more

Better agricultural planning could prevent 88% of biodiversity loss, study finds

first_imgResults of a new study reveal that nearly 90 percent of the biodiversity that scientists expect will be lost to future agricultural expansion could be saved if more effective land-use planning directed this expansion to areas with the fewest species.It found that 10 countries possessed the lion’s share of this potential, and could by themselves reduce the expected loss of the world’s biodiversity by 33 percent.However, there are caveats. The researchers write that most of these countries are among the “20 worst-ranked” in terms of environmental impacts and have governance and political issues that would impede effective land-use planning at a national level. And they say global land-use optimization aimed at protecting the natural resources of the world’s most biodiverse countries may come “at the expense of their own production opportunities and economic development.”The researchers write that in order for the world’s most biodiverse countries to reach their full conservation potential while providing for their human communities, global land-use policy and research need to better integrate the governance, political and economic challenges present in these countries. Better planning could save a lot of wildlife, according to results from a study published recently in Global Change Biology. It found that nearly 90 percent of the biodiversity that scientists expect will be lost to future agricultural expansion could be saved if more effective land-use planning directed this expansion to areas with the fewest species.For their study, researchers at German institutions including the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) looked at distributions and habitat information for almost 20,000 vertebrate species along with projections of agricultural intensification and spatial land-use optimization scenarios.They found that if agriculture expansion was spatially optimized through global coordination to areas with low biodiversity, 88 percent of the world’s expected future biodiversity losses could be avoided. If coordinated at the national level, their study indicates that number would be 61 percent.It found that 10 countries possessed the lion’s share of this potential, and could by themselves reduce the expected loss of the world’s biodiversity by 33 percent.“A few tropical countries including India, Brazil, or Indonesia would have by far the greatest leverage for making global agricultural production more sustainable,” study co-author Carsten Meyer, of iDiv and the University of Leipzig, said in a statement.Land cleared for an oil palm plantation abuts rainforest in Gunung Leuser National Park, Indonesia.The study states that these results imply “huge efficiency gains” are possible through international cooperation — but there are big caveats.The researchers write that most of these countries are among the “20 worst-ranked” in terms of environmental impacts, and have governance and political issues that would impede effective land-use planning at a national level.“Unfortunately, these countries are also often characterized by domestic land-use conflicts as well as by relatively weak land-governing institutions, both of which currently inhibit land-use optimization,” Meyer said.There’s an additional complicating factor, according to lead author Lukas Egli of the University of Göttingen and UFZ. He said global land-use optimization aimed at protecting the natural resources of the world’s most biodiverse countries may come “at the expense of their own production opportunities and economic development.”“Unless such conflicting national interests can be somehow accommodated in international sustainability policies, global cooperation seems unlikely and might generate new socioeconomic dependencies,” Egli said.The researchers write that in order for the world’s most biodiverse countries to reach their full conservation potential while providing for their human communities, global land-use policy and research need to better integrate the governance, political and economic challenges present in these countries. They say their study’s results could be used to “guide international donors and capacity-building institutions in making strategic investments.”“Targeted efforts are needed to improve these countries’ capacities for integrated and sustainable land-use planning,” Meyer said. Citation:Egli, L., Meyer, C., Scherber, C., Kreft, H., & Tscharntke, T. (2018). Winners and losers of national and global efforts to reconcile agricultural intensification and biodiversity conservation. Global change biology.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Agriculture, Animals, Biodiversity, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Industrial Agriculture, Land Use Change, Plantations, Rainforests, Research, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

How one of Indonesia’s biggest companies cut a secret deal to plant oil palm in Borneo

first_imgIn the leadup to the release of the second installment of Indonesia for Sale, our series examining the corruption behind Indonesia’s deforestation and land-rights crisis, we are republishing the first article in the series, “The Palm Oil Fiefdom.” This is the first part of that article, which can be read in full here. (Baca juga dalam Bahasa Indonesia.)Indonesia for Sale is co-produced with The Gecko Project, an initiative of UK-based investigations house Earthsight.Prologue: Jakarta, 2007On Nov. 29, 2007, on the tenth floor of a marble-clad office block in Jakarta, the scion of one of Indonesia’s wealthiest families met with a visitor from the island of Borneo.Arif Rachmat, in his early 30s, was heir to a business empire and an immense fortune that would place him among the richest people in the world. His father had risen as a captain of industry under the 32-year dictatorship of President Suharto. After a regional financial crisis in 1998 forced the dictator to step down, Arif’s father had founded a sprawling conglomerate, the Triputra Group, with businesses ranging from mining to manufacturing.Arif had come of age as one of the most privileged members of the post-Suharto generation, attending an Ivy League university and cutting his teeth in a U.S. blue-chip company. He had recently returned home to join the family firm, taking charge of Triputra’s agribusiness arm. Now he meant to position it as a dominant player in Indonesia’s booming palm oil industry.Arif RachmatArif’s visitor that Thursday was Ahmad Ruswandi, a chubby young man with glasses and a propensity to break out into a nervous smile and giggle. A contemporary of his host at the age of 30, Ruswandi came from a different place, but could have been forgiven for thinking his fortunes were on the rise as he rode the elevator up the Kadin Tower.Ruswandi’s father, Darwan Ali, was chief of a district in Indonesian Borneo named Seruyan, putting him at the vanguard of a new dawn of democracy in Indonesia. Darwan was among the first of the politicians chosen locally to run districts across the nation, after three decades in which Suharto had held the entire country in a tight grip. These politicians, known as bupatis, were afforded vast new powers, including the ability to lease out almost all of the land within their jurisdictions to whomever they deemed fit to develop it.Darwan Ali, left, and his son Ahmad RuswandiThe bupatis had a choice. They could attempt to usher in economic development while safeguarding the rights of the people they represented. Or they could repeat the sins of Suharto, who had plundered Indonesia’s resources in an orgy of crony capitalism.The scene in the Kadin Tower would give some indication of the direction Darwan had taken. As the afternoon rush hour descended on the capital, his son Ruswandi sold Triputra a shell company with a single asset, a license to create an enormous oil palm estate in Seruyan. The license had been issued by Darwan himself, who was now in the midst of an expensive reelection campaign. It was not the first shell company Ruswandi had sold, and he was not the only member of the family who would cash in on Seruyan’s assets.Over the past nine months, The Gecko Project and Mongabay have investigated the land deals that were done in Seruyan during its transition to democracy. We followed the trails of paper and money, tracked down the people involved and talked to those affected by Darwan’s actions. It was a journey that took us from law firms in Jakarta to a prison in Borneo, from backwater legislatures to villages that stand like islands amid a sea of oil palm.Indonesia’s Seruyan district on the island of Borneo, which is shared between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.These deals played a part in one of the greatest explosions of industrial agriculture the world has ever seen. In a few short years after Darwan and dozens of other bupatis assumed authority, plantations multiplied throughout the archipelago nation. The resulting destruction of Indonesia’s tropical rainforests catapulted it toward the top of the list of countries fueling climate change.This agricultural surge is routinely cast as an economic miracle, rapidly bringing income and modernity to undeveloped regions. In this narrative, expansion was planned, controlled and regulated. The harm to the environment was an unfortunate side effect of the moral imperative of development.But there is another version of the story, one that played out through backroom deals and murky partnerships. In this story, unaccountable politicians carved up other people’s land and sold it to the children of billionaires. Farms that fed the rural poor were destroyed so that multinationals could produce food for export. Attempts to reign in the bupatis were undermined by their ability to buy elections with palm oil cash, and they came to be known, in a nod to Suharto, as “little kings.”Darwan’s Seruyan deals, while vast, represent a fraction of the total. Their significance lies in what they tell us about how the system was gamed, to allow district chiefs to exploit natural resources, subvert democracy and turn the state into a force that acts against rural people. By delving into his story, we expose the inner workings of a system that can be seen in operation across the country.Today, the actions of bupatis like Darwan reverberate throughout Indonesia, as conflict and deforestation continue in lands they ceded to companies. Understanding the corruption that occurred in this fragile period may hold the key to ending the crisis.The cover image for ‘The Palm Oil Fiefdom.’Banner image: A sea of oil palm in Seruyan. Read the rest of the story here. And then follow Mongabay and The Gecko Project on Facebook (here and here in English; here and here in Indonesian) for updates on Indonesia for Sale. You can also visit The Gecko Project’s own site, in English or Indonesian. Read the article introducing the series here. Article published by mongabayauthor Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corruption, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Forestry, Forests, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Brazil ignored U.N. letters warning of land defender threats, record killings

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Glenn Scherer United Nations rapporteurs sent two letters to the Temer administration in 2017. The first warned of threats to human rights activists in Minas Gerais state. The second condemned the record number of environmental and land defender killings in Pará state last year. Brazil ignored both letters.The State Public Ministry (MPE), the independent public prosecutor’s office in Minas Gerais, had requested the inclusion of six laborers and their families in the Protection Program of Human Rights Defenders, of the Secretariat of Rights of the Presidency in May, 2017.The laborers say they were threatened by representatives of Anglo American Iron Ore Brazil S.A., a subsidiary of London-based Anglo American, a global mining company. In March Anglo American Brazil reported a mineral duct rupture which contaminated the Santo Antônio and Casca rivers, and riverside communities.908 murders of environmentalists and land defenders occurred in 35 countries between 2002 and 2013. Of those, 448, almost half, happened in Brazil. In 2018 so far, at least 12 Brazilian social activists and politicians have been slain — twice as many as compared to the same period in 2017. Shocked members of the Akroá-Gamellas indigenous group just after a brutal assault by Brazilian farmers in April 2017. Photo by Ruy Sposati / CimiIt has come to light only this month that the administration of Brazilian president Michel Temer failed to respond to two letters sent by United Nations rapporteurs in 2017 warning of pending threats to, and condemning the murders of, human rights activists in Minas Gerais and Pará states. That’s according to the U.N. Human Rights office in Geneva.Last November, the U.N. warned about the threats six peasants and their families received in Conceição do Mato Dentro, Minas Gerais, after they opened a lawsuit against the operations of Anglo American Iron Ore Brazil S.A. in that state. The company is a subsidiary of Anglo American, a global mining firm based in London.The State Public Ministry (MPE), the independent public prosecutor’s office in Minas Gerais, had previously requested the inclusion of the laborers in the Protection Program of Human Rights Defenders, of the Secretariat of Rights of the Presidency in May, 2017. One of them, Lúcio da Silva Pimenta, was reportedly threatened and expelled from his land several times without receiving compensation by representatives of Anglo American. The company did not respond to Mongabay’s request for comment.Anglo American of Brazil is currently waiting for licensing approval in order to begin the expansion of the Sapo iron mine, which is part of the Minas-Rio Project/System that connects the mine (located near the town of Conceição Mato Dentro), to the export terminal Port of Açu, in São João da Barra, Rio de Janeiro, via a 529 kilometer (328 mile) mineral duct.This month’s Anglo American Brazil mineral duct rupture contaminated two Brazilian rivers, and impacted two communities along those waterways. Photo Fala Chico blogOn 12 March, the company halted iron ore production in Minas Gerais after the rupture of a mineral duct in the rural area of Santo Antônio do Grama, which leaked 300 tons of mining material into a local stream, said Anglo American. The Secretary of State and Environment (SEMAD) of Minas Gerais said that the heaviest ore contamination occurred in the Santo Antônio River, while the Casca River was also effected.According to London Mining Work, an alliance of organizations that supports communities impacted by London-based mining companies, ammonia is added to the Minas-Rio duct, allowing ore powder to remain suspended in water for transport in the pipeline. When leaks occur, as happened this month, toxic ammonia and other pollutants can end up in waterways.Earlier this month, the Minas Gerais State Public Ministry (MPMG) filed a public civil action in court against Anglo American requesting R$400 million (US$121 million) in damages compensation to the communities of Conceição do Mato Dentro, Dom Joaquim, and Alvorada de Minas (MG), where Anglo American operates. The MPMG argues that the company has brought social and environmental impacts to the towns, including increased violence, criminality, water shortage, pollution and inequality.Lúcio da Silva Pimenta, a small scale farmer whose land in Minas Gerais was reportedly taken by Anglo American Iron Ore Brazil S.A. Photo by Joana Tavares / Brasil de FatoBrazil holds record for land defender killingsIn a second unanswered letter, the U.N. denounced the murders of ten rural workers by police in the municipality of Pau D’Arco, Pará, and the killing of a human rights advocate, all occurring between May and July 2017.“Over the last 15 years, Brazil has seen the highest number of killings of environmental and land defenders of any country, up to an average of about one every week. Indigenous peoples are especially at risk,” declared U.N. rapporteurs Victoria Tauli Corpuz (Rights of Indigenous Peoples), Michel Forst (Human Rights Defenders), John Knox (Environment), and Francisco Eguiguren Praeli (Rapporteur of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR), in the 2017 document.“We are particularly concerned about future [indigenous] demarcation procedures, as well as about indigenous lands which have already been demarcated,” said the U.N.An investigation by Global Witness has identified 908 murders of environmentalists and land defenders in 35 countries between 2002 and 2013. Of these, 448, almost half, happened in Brazil.In 2018 so far, at least 12 social activists and politicians have been slain in Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco, killed last Wednesday. That’s twice as many as compared to the same period in 2017. Over the last five years, 194 activists have been killed in Brazil, according to the O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.The Brazilian Ministry of Human Rights was contacted for comment by Mongabay, but did not respond.“The omission of the Brazilian government regarding the U.N. letters is a clear indication that it is not concerned with the lives of human rights and environmental defenders of the country, nor with the deepening of violence against indigenous peoples, quilombolas [communities of runaway slave descendants] and peasants,” Cleber Buzatto, executive secretary of the Catholic Church’s Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), told Mongabay.Kum’tum, a leader of the Akroá-Gamellas, who was wounded in the April 2017 attack. Indigenous and environmental leaders are often targeted by Brazilian ruralists attempting to settle land disputes with violence. Photo by Tiago Miotto / CimiConstant menaceA member of the Gamela people, Kum’tum was attacked last April, along with others of his indigenous group in Viana, Maranhão state. They were attempting to occupy a portion of their ancestral lands claimed by farmers, when they were assaulted by men armed with machetes and firearms. Two indigenous people had their hands cut off, some were shot, including Kum’tum. He told Mongabay: “Violence has been increasing as soy plantations, eucalyptus [tree farms], mining and livestock expand. Places where people and communities lived are being torn [apart] with the advance of these sectors.”The Gamelas people have received several additional death threats against them if they continue trying to recover and demarcate their tribal lands.“The killings are the end point of the violence, but while alive we are assaulted, called bums and thieves, and the government does nothing about it,” said Kum’tum, who now lives in a recovered Gamela area. “When the night comes, I wonder what might happen, who will be next, and hope that the dawn will come soon.”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.A grieving Akroá-Gamellas woman just after the April attack. Members of the indigenous group were assaulted by Brazilian farmers while trying to occupy their indigenous ancestral territory in Maranhão state. The hands and feet of some victims were cut off with machetes. Photo by Ruy Sposati / Cimicenter_img Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon People, Controversial, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corporate Responsibility, Corruption, Environment, Environmental Crime, environmental justice, Environmental Law, Environmental Politics, Ethnocide, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forests, Green, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Law, Murdered Activists, Regulations, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Violence last_img read more