Sarasola criticizes the game of Getafe and Antunes jumps: “Looking for respect for you …”

first_img“With women’s football growing and as a professional that you are looking for to be respected as soccer players, you should learn to respect and give a respectful opinion. Another thing, football is much more than touching the ball. It’s a strategy game and everyone plays with their weapons, “replied the Portuguese. Eli Sarasola, goalkeeper of PSV Eindhoven, described as “shame” the game of Getafe at the Johan Cruijff Arena where the Blues, although they lost 2-1, they certified their pass to the round of 16 leaving Ajax behind.“Getafe is not football, it’s a shame, “he said in a tweet That had a lot of repercussion. More than 300 retweets and over a thousand responses where two stand out, that of Vitorino Antunes, Getafe player who was not summoned by Bordalás for this meeting, and that of the club itself. The club azulón, who received no direct mention of his account from the goalkeeper, also entered the discussion. “Thank you, Eli. We accept” constructive criticism “and continue working with respect, humility and above all, respecting the rules of this beautiful sport. Good luck in the season! “Added Getafe.Some tweeters recriminated the comment and accused him of complaining when she also did “shameful things” Attaching a video in which Sarasola is seen hitting an Ajax player during a derby against PSV. Antunes and the ClassicGiven this response, a tweet congratulated Antunes for the pass but criticized his football. “Antunes, it is clear that everyone plays with their weapons but what you have done both in your field and Johan with the waste of time and wallowing on the ground with your teammates is to look at it … Much merit the pass yes, but not anyway, man … “said the user @yeyokk. Antunes replied in reference to the next Real Madrid-Barcelona. “You who are from Barça, to see if you prefer to lose El Clásico with 70% of the ball or win with 30% and six yellows,” he replied.last_img read more

Valencia presents an ERTE

first_imgGiven the consequent forecast of a significant decrease in income, the predisposition of players and coaches of the first team and youth team, in addition to senior management, has been at all times, since the beginning of the talks and in an exercise of responsibility and trust mutual, to help ensure the economic sustainability of the club at a time of difficulty and uncertainty for the future for all.In addition, with the priority of ensuring its commitment to protect its most vulnerable workers against the uncertain evolution of the situation, Valencia CF will supplement its income with a very high percentage of its workers. The club is particularly grateful for the solidarity effort of the first team, by reducing their salaries, to help the entity protect all workers and their families in such difficult circumstances.As a centennial entity and the main civil institution of the Valencian Community, Valencia CF reaffirms itself, more than ever, in its desire to be a benchmark, an example of commitment and a source of help for a society hit by an unprecedented circumstance, especially in its most vulnerable sectors. This is how it is being through various initiatives and this is how it will continue to be done, in a special way as long as the effects of this crisis continue.Valencia CF also wishes to publicly express its solidarity with all those affected by the pandemic, show its deepest condolences to those who have lost a loved one, and share the full force of Valencianism with those who continue to fight to overcome the disease. In particular, the entity wants to express its greatest appreciation and gratitude to all those people, many of them from Valencia, who fight daily on the front line of battle in our land to help leave as soon as possible a situation that continues to shock all of our society”. Valencia has joined the list of League clubs to present a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE). The Mestalla club presented the documentation on the morning of April 20 and in the afternoon made it official through a statement.This economic measure is added to the agreement reached with the captains of the workforce for a salary reduction ranging from 18 to 9 percent depends on when and how the competition resumes. As revealed by AS, the presentation of an ERTE due to the Covid-19 crisis began to be seen by Valencia two weeks ago, despite the fact that at the start of the health crisis Anil Murthy had transmitted the contrary to employees by email. But the club uses this “legal instrument provided for situations of activity reduction due to force majeure” and does so to guarantee the jobs of its employees, who will receive in most cases full payment of their wages . Valencia, which will benefit from tax advantages once the government approves the ERTE, “will make an income supplement for a very high percentage of its workers.” Statement from Valencia in which the ERTE announces“In the current context of an exceptional health crisis worldwide due to the lethal coronavirus pandemic COVID19 and the forced indefinite cessation of its activity as a result of the State of Alarm decreed by the Government, Valencia CF wishes to show its satisfaction at having reached this Monday its objective of adapting to this situation, maintaining its commitment to protect the jobs of all its workers and the wages of its vast majority, through individual agreements and a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE), the legal instrument envisaged for situations of reduced activity due to force majeure.last_img read more

Scimitar-horned oryx return to the Sahara nearly two decades after going extinct in the wild

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki 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 This is the second group to be returned to the wild since the species was listed as Extinct in the Wild on the IUCN Red List in 2000.Eight female and six male scimitar-horned oryx were released on January 21 in the hopes that they would join the herd of 21 oryx that were reintroduced to Chad’s Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Reserve on August 14, 2016.The initial group of oryx — 13 females and 8 males — have reportedly thrived in their new habitat. In fact, on September 21, 2016, the herd welcomed what is believed to be the first scimitar-horned oryx born in the wild in more than 20 years. Conservationists are celebrating the successful reintroduction of an iconic antelope species, the scimitar-horned oryx, to a portion of its historical range on the edge of the Sahara desert after 14 captive-bred animals were released in a remote region of Chad.This is the second group to be returned to the wild since the species was listed as Extinct in the Wild on the IUCN Red List in 2000. “Overhunting and habitat loss, including competition with domestic livestock, have been reported as the main reasons for the extinction of the wild population of Scimitar-horned Oryx,” according to the IUCN.Eight female and six male scimitar-horned oryx were released on January 21 in the hopes that they would join the herd of 21 oryx that were reintroduced to Chad’s Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Reserve on August 14, 2016. The initial group of oryx — 13 females and 8 males — have reportedly thrived in their new habitat. In fact, on September 21, 2016, the herd welcomed what is believed to be the first scimitar-horned oryx born in the wild in more than 20 years.A scimitar-horned oryx released in Chad’s Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Reserve in January 2017. © ZSL.“The mother was pregnant when she arrived in Chad from the breeding group, though her condition only became apparent 3-4 weeks after arrival,” Zoological Society London (ZSL) conservationist Tim Wacher, who has worked on scimitar-horned oryx projects since 1985 and was part of the team that reintroduced the antelopes to the reserve, told Mongabay. “The female and calf remain together; the calf has been growing very well, with growth indicators (e.g. horns already equal head length at 3 months of age) conforming exactly to normal.”The oryx released last August, during the wet season, became completely independent right away and ignored the supplementary food and water available to them at the release site. “They have put on weight and muscle since arriving and at the time of writing look in excellent condition,” Wacher said.The newly released oryx are also all in “very good condition,” Wacher added, though they were released during the dry season and, because the extensive green grazing that was enjoyed by their predecessors was not available to them, they are making more use of the supplementary food. Wacher said that this was to be expected, and their reliance on the supplementary food should reduce as the rainy season arrives.The scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah) was once widespread across the southern Sahara, but was driven to extinction during a period of extended civil unrest throughout the region in the 1980s and ‘90s. A captive breeding program designed to restore the antelope species to its former habitat in Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Reserve was undertaken as a joint initiative by the government of Chad and the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD), with key support provided by global partners such as ZSL. For instance, two female oryx from the herd kept at ZSL’s Whipsnade Zoo were transferred to Abu Dhabi in 2014 to help EAD breed a representative ‘world herd,’ the descendants of which will be part of the reintroduction program.Mother and calf scimitar-horned oryx in Chad’s Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Reserve. The mother was pregnant at the time of release in August 2016. © ZSL.Each individual oryx released in the 78,000-square-kilometer (more than 30,000-square-mile) reserve is fitted with a GPS-enabled satellite collar to allow conservationists to monitor their movements. Another 37 oryx are in pre-release enclosures right now; the plan is to release them this coming August.“This reintroduction represents the result of decades of collaborative effort between national and international conservation organisations, the Chadian government, The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi and local Saharan communities,” ZSL’s Wacher said in a statement. “Releasing these animals back into their native arid grassland landscape after two decades of absence was an emotional moment for all involved.”The birth of the first calf was especially encouraging, he said: “We have high hopes that one day in the not-too-distant future, herds of scimitar-horned oryx will once again be a common sight across their huge protected reserve and hopefully beyond.”First oryx leaving the enclosure. 21 January 2017. © ZSL.Scimitar-horned oryx released in Chad’s Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Reserve in January 2017. © ZSL.CITATIONIUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Oryx dammah. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15568A50191470. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T15568A50191470.en. Downloaded on 20 February 2017.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Animals, Biodiversity, Captive Breeding, Conservation, Deserts, Environment, Ex-situ Conservation, Mammals, Protected Areas, Saving Species From Extinction, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

Forest Stewardship Council cuts ties with Austrian timber giant

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 Morgan Erickson-Davis A year-long investigation by the FSC found Holzindustrie Schweighofer was illegally sourcing wood from Romania – including from national parks. In response, the FSC put the company on probation, a move seen as a slap on the hand by critics.On February 17, the FSC announced its intention to fully disassociate from Schweighofer. Re-association is possible in the future.Romania is home to Europe’s last old-growth lowland forest, which is losing its tree cover to deforestation activities. The Forest Stewardship Council has formally disassociated from Austrian timber giant Holzindustrie Schweighofer. The announcement came last week, February 17, following a year-long investigation that uncovered the company persistently sourced illegal timber from Romania.The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is the word’s most influential forest products certification organization. The announcement follows a two-month probation implemented by the FSC in December, 2016 – a move panned by the NGO Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).The EIA, which described the previous probation as “shocking” given the FSC investigation’s conclusions, is now applauding the decision to disassociate.“Europe’s last great forest is under threat due to illegal logging, and Schweighofer has been the main culprit,” said EIA Executive Director Alexander von Bismarck. “With this decision, FSC is taking concrete action to avoid certifying trade in stolen wood.”Romania hosts Europe’s last old-growth lowland forest, a 1,000-square kilometer (386-square mile) tract home to bears, wolves, and lynx – long lost from many other parts of the continent. The forest is also the site of multiple protected areas, including national parks.However, despite protections, deforestation is an ongoing problem for the forest. Satellite data from the University of Maryland show it lost around 840 hectares of tree cover from 2001 through 2014. While amounting to less than 1 percent of its total area, this deforestation still resulted in the forest losing its status as an “intact forest landscape” – a designation given to areas of native land cover large and undisturbed enough to retain their original levels of biodiversity.While tree cover loss has been decreasing in the old-growth forest, 2014 saw a spike over previous years.The FSC investigation that led to its December probation of, and now, disassociation from Holzindustrie Schweighofer found that the company illegally sourced wood from Retezat National Park, which is contained almost entirely within the old-growth forest tract. In a 2015 statement, Schweighofer asserted they did not accept wood coming from national parks.The disassociation may not be permanent, with an FSC statement on the move stating that re-association is possible if Holzindustrie Schweighofer shows enough progress in its efforts to “develop a roadmap to end the disassociation.”“FSC will begin to build a permanent presence in Romania to effectively engage with its members and stakeholders to secure the right mechanisms, such as the establishment of a dedicated solutions forum, to identify long term solutions to the challenges of responsible forest management in the country,” Kim Carstensen, FSC Director General, said in the statement. “To this effect it will engage in a constructive dialogue with the Schweighofer Group and all relevant stakeholders in the country.”In its own statement, Holzindustrie Schweighofer acknowledged the disassociation and stated its intent to become re-associated by the FSC as quickly as possible.“FSC’s disassociation from us is a good basis to calmly prepare for a new start with FSC,” said Frank Aigner, Managing Director of the Schweighofer Group. He added the company “will continue to follow the strict regulations laid down by the FSC, regardless of whether the group remains disassociated.”In the meantime, the EIA urges more progress preserving what’s left of Romania’s forests.“Romania has taken amazing steps over the last two years to help expose what’s happening in the forest, giving hope for a sustainable future,” said von Bismarck. “Now it’s absolutely critical for Romania to build on that progress.”Banner image by Francis C. Franklin (CC 3.0)FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Environment, Forest Stewardship Council, Forests, Illegal Logging, Logging, Primary Forests, Protected Areas, Temperate Forests, Timber last_img read more

Will changes to Indonesia’s mining law hurt or help the environment?

first_imgIn January, Indonesia relaxed regulations on the export of unprocessed ores, but also required some mining companies to change their operating licenses — most notably U.S.-based Freeport-McMoRan.The 2017 regulation amends a 2014 ban on unprocessed mineral exports. That ban aimed to build a domestic smelting industry but effectively shut down many small mining operations, an unintentional boon for the environment.Indonesia’s long-term mining and mineral processing ambitions could cause serious environmental damage. Better enforcement of environmental law would have a bigger impact than export restrictions, experts say. The Indonesian archipelago is home to a myriad of plants and animals, including Sumatran tigers, birds of paradise, orangutans and leatherback turtles. It is also home to extensive mineral resources such as copper, nickel, tin and bauxite.As one of the world’s leading exporters of these minerals, any changes in mining policies have direct consequences on both the local environment and the global economy.Most recently, a change to Indonesia’s mineral export regulations has seen it locked into a high-stakes public confrontation with Freeport-McMoRan Inc., the U.S. company that operates one of the world’s biggest gold and copper mines in the province of Papua.Debate abounds about whether these policies are good for business. But are they good for the environment?A mining operation in Riau Province on the Indonesian Island of Sumatra. Photo by Rhett Butler for Mongabay.To smelt or not to smelt?The roots of the current controversy over mineral exports go back to January 2014, when regulations limiting the shipment of unprocessed minerals came into effect. The law aimed to boost export revenue by adding value to Indonesia’s raw ores before shipping, and to encourage the growth of domestic refining and smelting capabilities.Mineral exports from Indonesia dropped abruptly in response to the regulations.“It was effectively a moratorium on mining these minerals, given that few smelters had actually been built,” said Eve Warburton, a Ph.D. candidate at Australian National University, whose research interests include the politics of natural resource policy in Indonesia.“With these policies, automatically, there was a decline in operations. Planned mines were postponed, which also meant a reduction in [environmental] damage as a result of limitations on exploration and production,” said Hendrik Siregar of the Auriga Foundation.However, Warburton and Siregar both noted that while export regulations may have temporarily halted some mining operations, the law was not designed with environmental protection in mind.“The long-term goal to establish a domestic smelting industry is not an environmentally friendly one at all,” Warburton said.Smelting adds airborne sulfur dioxide and ash to the air, toxins that Indonesia has had little experience dealing with. “Smelting can be a very polluting process, especially in places like Indonesia where environmental standards are often not enforced or adhered to in the mining sector,” said Warburton.Mining on the shores of Lake Sentani in the Indonesian Province of Papua. Photo by Rhett Butler for Mongabay.What is happening now?A full-scale export ban on concentrates was set to take effect in 2017, but now, with companies lagging behind expectations on smelter development, the restrictions on exports of nickel ore and bauxite have instead been relaxed.The government will continue to allow ore exports by companies who can demonstrate they are in the process of developing smelters. It has also proposed allowing the export of concentrates of copper, zinc, lead, manganese and iron to continue until 2022, provided mining companies are building smelters.However, before concentrate exports can resume, companies must now comply with a range of new rules. In addition to presenting plans to build smelters within five years, they must also convert their Contracts of Work (the legal agreements governing foreign mining operations established before 2009) to special mining business licenses or IUPKs.Freeport-McMoRan, the operator of the Grasberg gold and copper mine, has been fighting the government’s demands to convert to an IUPK, divest 51 percent of its shares and construct a smelter. Freeport’s CEO recently described these demands as “in effect a form of expropriation of our assets,” Reuters reported.On Feb. 10, Freeport abruptly stopped production at Grasberg and began laying off workers, and it has since threatened to take the case to international arbitration. Meanwhile, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has vowed to stand firm.A young Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), one of the many species whose habitats are threatened by Indonesia’s plans to develop its mining industry and the infrastructure that supports it. Photo by Rhett Butler for Mongabay.Beyond FreeportA large domestic smelting industry in Indonesia may lead to increased airborne pollution, but Warburton’s worries extend beyond this. Regardless of the fate of the mineral ban, she and other environmentalists want to see better enforcement of existing environmental regulations so that mining companies adhere to international best practices, state officials do not issue mining licenses in protected forest lands, and mining companies adhere to proper waste-reclamation procedures.In 2009, when the Indonesian government first threatened to ban raw ore exports, mineral companies both large and small were enjoying an export boom in which regulations and monitoring were poor. Companies were extracting and exporting as much cheap ore as they could, particularly to China. In Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia’s most abundant source of nickel, the effects of this rampant mining can be seen in offshore siltation, where mud from decades of mining has leaked into the sea, killing seagrass and fish.Decades of tin production on two of Indonesia’s islands, Bangka and Belitung, have also wreaked environmental havoc. The intensity of tin mining and the uncontrolled, irresponsible way it has been carried out have polluted agriculture and fishing areas and led to rampant forest clearing and siltation of marine ecosystems.“This nature of mining like this is extractive, exploitative … Especially in coastal areas where it pollutes the ocean,” said Parid Ridwanuddin, deputy head of legal and policy advocacy at the People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA).“There was an explosion of mining licenses during the boom, which coincided with decentralization,” said Warburton. “Many of these licenses went to small and inexperienced companies. Monitoring was extremely poor, and the impact on the environment in coal and nickel mining areas has been devastating.”When the 2014 ban was put into effect, it had an outsized impact on smaller companies because they didn’t have the capital to invest in smelting facilities. “In some ways, by reducing the number of companies active in the nickel sector, the ban unintentionally did the environment a favor,” said Warburton.Bigger companies such as Vale, that had the capital to survive and already owned a smelter, generally opposed relaxing the ban. However, the large state-owned mining company, PT Antam, suffered significant losses. Other companies that responded to the ban by ramping up smelting production now find their market undercut as restrictions are relaxed.Companies in Sulawesi, a province with big nickel and bauxite sectors, that shut down after the ban will likely find it hard to start up again, if they do indeed have to demonstrate investments in smelting facilities. “The expectation would be, however, that mining companies that survived the ban will start up their operations again, and this will bring flow-on effects for local industry and for local government coffers,” said Warburton.Meanwhile, according to Ridwanuddin, although the international trade in metal ores may be affected by a mineral ban, domestic demand for construction materials is ensuring that mining continues apace. Coastal areas in places like East Kalimantan and East Nusa Tenggara have been targeted by the cement industry, he said: “The current administration is very focused on infrastructure, which leads to demand for cement.”A mining road cuts through the rainforest in West Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo. Photo by Rhett Butler for Mongabay.Systemic problemsThe environmental effects of the relaxation of the export ban, and the spat with Freeport, remain uncertain. Greater government control over foreign miners appeals to nationalist sentiment, but it doesn’t necessarily result in better environmental practices.In general, Warburton said, publicly listed multinational and Indonesian companies (though not all of them), tend to engage in best practices because they are answerable to shareholders, international media, and the laws of their home country. But big private Indonesian companies, and private companies from other countries operating in Indonesia, are not always well monitored.Some of Indonesia’s biggest mining companies also have direct and personal connections to powerful political figures, which gives them a degree of immunity.“Ultimately, the problems that most concern Indonesia’s environmentalists are the fact that regulations are implemented only loosely and with high levels of discretion, court cases can be bought and sold, and the bureaucrats tasked with monitoring Indonesia’s mines are grossly under-resourced,” said Warburton. “In my mind, these remain the most pressing environmental problems, regardless of whether the government enforces or relaxes an export ban.” Environment, Environmental Politics, Gold Mining, Infrastructure, Mining, Pollution 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 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.Additional reporting by Fidelis E. Satriastanti. Article published by Isabel Estermanlast_img read more

The two sides of Indonesia’s Baluran National Park

first_imgA recent commentary piece by Dr. Erik Meijaard provides a comprehensive view of the current situation and conservation actions undertaken in Baluran National Park as compared to time he spent there in the 1990’sHowever, as so often happens with this beautiful park, the focus remained on the well-known part that has earned it the nickname ‘Africa of Java,’ the area surrounding the Bekol savannah in the southeastern reaches of the park.If one were to slice the park horizontally in two, right through mount Baluran, and compare the northern and southern parts, a sharp contrast would become visible, a contrast of mooing and ringing bells.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. A recent commentary piece by Dr. Erik Meijaard provides a comprehensive view of the current situation and conservation actions undertaken in Baluran National Park as compared to time he spent there in the 1990’s. However, as so often happens with this beautiful park, the focus remained on the well-known part that has earned it the nickname ‘Africa of Java,’ the area surrounding the Bekol savannah in the southeastern reaches of the park.If one were to slice the park horizontally in two, right through mount Baluran, and compare the northern and southern parts, a sharp contrast would become visible, a contrast of mooing and ringing bells. Where the savannah’s in the southern area are stocked more and more with wildlife such as Javan rusa, Water buffallo, and, thanks to breeding efforts, Banteng, those in the northern part are stocked with cattle. About 3,000 head of them, mostly of the local Ongole variety. An unknown number of goats is also present.It is quite an extraordinary sight, as each morning the cattle from the village Karang Teko on the northwestern border of Baluran National Park are let out of their enclosures behind people’s houses and seem to independently find their way to the park’s border, then to their grazing grounds located another six kilometers into the park. And sure enough, as sunset approaches, they all find their way back, some preferring a path through the bush, others taking a shortcut via the local highway that runs parallel to the park’s border.Cattle returning from grazing in the park. Photo by Mark Rademaker.Karang Teko’s herd accounts for about half the cattle grazing in the park. The other half come from the coastal settlement Merak, located 12 kilometers inside the national park boundaries. The miniature cattle migration spectacle that unfolds here daily along the beach has become somewhat of a phenomenon in Java and was featured in the January 2015 issue of the Indonesian National Geographic. Research from livestock veterinary students has shown how remarkably tough the Ongole cattle in Merak are, making it through the long dry seasons and resulting food shortages in the park without needing supplemental feed. Once back in their enclosures, the grazed cattle also do not have access to shelter, withstanding all the wind, rain, and sunshine nature sends at them. Calls have even been made for official protection of this local cattle variety.From all the information above, one might think that the Merak settlement has a long history in the area, with cattle selected over generations to create the special kind that exists today. However, both the settlement and the cattle are a relatively recent phenomenon, whose origin can be traced back to 1975. In that year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs provided a 25-year exploitation permit to a company to use the Merak area (about 297 hectare, or more than 730 acres) for plantation purposes. Employees of the company needed a place to stay, as travelling to and from the area can be troublesome. And so the settlement was born.The problem with this procedure was that the right to allocate land and reborder protected area boundaries, as necessary for the creation of the permit, did not lie with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but with the Ministry of Agriculture. Despite continous protest of the latter and attempts to reach a settlement with the company, the permit was never revoked and exploitation continued until the permit’s expiration in the year 2000. The conflict was then assumed to be over.However, former employees refused to leave, claiming rights to the accession areas. The settlement continued to grow and in 2009 reached over 328 families and 1,069 persons. (This short history of the Merak settlement is excellently explained in a 2014 conference paper from Wianti.)National Park authorities have tried to reach settlements on relocations in the past. However, asking around about why there is still a settlement in the park despite the clear case from a legal perspective mostly produces the response that (1) there is no money for relocation and (2) votes in the area are expensive. The second answer implies vote-buying practices by politicians in the area, who in return provide political back-up to the grazing communities. Instead of actively preventing the grazing, a policy of acquiescence has taken hold, with some lower-ranked park employees even letting their own cattle graze among the herd.Now park authorities are trying it from a differrent angle, employing cooperation instead of coercion. At the end of 2016 and in consultation with various governmental stakeholders, the former accession area was rezoned as a traditional use zone. This means that the villagers now, for the first time, have the legal right to stay and farm in the area. It also means that villagers could start to generate some income from developing tourism in the area. The mangrove areas nearby are very much worth a visit, if only for watching the long-tailed macaques venturing far out onto the shallow reefs in search of food. However, that leaves unanswered the tricky question of what to do with all the cattle that move out of this zone to graze in the park.One option that is being looked into is to reduce the total number of cattle and to start keeping them in more intensive systems, fed with varieties of grasses grown around farming fields and combined with crop by-products. A number of farmers in the area have already taken up this system long-ago, growing their increasingly famous chilli on small plots of land in the dry season and corn in the wet season, combined with elephant grasses around the plots. Next to this, dragonfruit is becoming an increasingly popular planting option, as it benefits from the extended dry season in the area.The results are positive and farmers like the fact that they do not have to worry about the cattle in the park or paying someone to keep watch. In the truly integrated system foreseen for the future, the manure from the cattle could then be used again as an organic fertilizer for the crops, and biological pest control methods could be implemented. The resulting organic products are envisaged to be branded as conservation-supportive agriculture from the Baluran area.Much work still needs to be done to ensure the sustainable future of this little-known part of Baluran National Park for both the wildlife and people relying on it. But perhaps a fitting example of how park management and communities are leading the way together here is their cooperation in rebuilding the small access road to the Merak area. Involvement is completely voluntary and progress measures a couple of meters a day, but both parties are committed. As Indonesians say, ”Sedikit, sedikit, lama lama menjadi bukit” – “Little by little, over time it becomes a hill.”Cattle returning from grazing in the park. Photo by Mark Rademaker.CITATIONWianti, K. F. (2014). Land Tenure Conflict in the Middle of Africa van Java (Baluran National Park). Procedia Environmental Sciences, 20, 459-467.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Animals, Biodiversity, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Commentary, Conservation, Editorials, Environment, National Parks, Protected Areas, Researcher Perspectives Series, Wildlife last_img read more

Amazon Soy Moratorium: defeating deforestation or greenwash diversion?

first_img(Leia essa matéria em português no The Intercept Brasil. You can also read Mongabay’s series on the Tapajós Basin in Portuguese at The Intercept Brasil)FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.The Amazon continues to be at risk from deforestation, despite the soy ban. Photo by Mauricio Torres Correction (March 13, 2017 06:00 Pacific): this original version of this story erroneously stated: “But even before the moratorium was signed, the annual rate of Amazon deforestation fell dramatically, by almost 80 percent”. The actual decline was 50 percent, not 80 percent. We regret the error.Clarification (March 13, 2017 09:30 Pacific): we added replaced “new” with “2012” to specify the year of Brazil’s new forest code. Response from Greenpeace BrazilMongabay’s recent article correctly identifies several major impacts from industrial soy production that are not prevented by the Amazon Soy Moratorium. The Moratorium only covers deforestation linked with soy and slave labor in the Amazon and it does not have the scope to address every problem related to the existing agribusiness model in South America such as agrochemicals, land ownership concentration or land conflicts.Acknowledging the agreement’s limitations, Greenpeace cannot agree on the moratorium being dismissed as ‘greenwash.’ The moratorium has produced objectively measured results and represents a genuine investment of resources on the part of NGOs, the Soy industry, financial institutions, soy customers, and the Brazilian Government. One of those results is that there are at least 8 million hectares of Amazon rainforest which have not been converted to soy plantations despite them being suitable for crop production and lacking any official protection (such as being designated Conservation Units, Indigenous People’s lands or even agrarian settlements).The Moratorium continues to present a major step in halting Amazon deforestation as it has effectively contained a significant driver. In previous years, about 30 to 40% of the deforested areas were converted directly to soy plantations and today this number represents just over 1%. The Moratorium is one of the many steps needed to reach zero deforestation. Other necessary pieces of this puzzle still need to materialize fully such as: honoring the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other traditional forest communities, responsible finance, conservation funding, improved monitoring and enforcement, a zero deforestation law, limits on infrastructure development, and containment of other deforestation drivers such as cattle.The Moratorium is a bona fide solution that presented a significant mindshift, being the first voluntary zero deforestation commitment. Nonetheless it would be inappropriate for any company involved to utilize its successes on soy to divert attention from other controversies or other geographies, such as Cerrado. Greenpeace is a supporter of the soy moratorium as an effective platform to halt deforestation and, at the same time, has an active agriculture campaign globally in response to the failed industrial agribusiness model. In Brazil, this agriculture campaign promotes agroecology and has been very critical of the use of agrochemicals. Article published by Glenn Scherer In the early 2000s, public outrage over Amazon clear cutting for soy production caused transnational grain companies including Cargill, Bunge and Brazil’s Amaggi, to join with soy producers and environmental NGOs including Greenpeace to sign the voluntary Amazon Soy Moratorium, banning direct conversion of Amazon forests to soy after 2006.The agreement’s signatories have long proclaimed its phenomenal success. A 2014 study found that in the 2 years preceding the agreement, nearly 30 percent of soy expansion in the Amazon biome occurred through deforestation. But after the ASM direct deforestation for soy fell to only 1 percent of soy expansion in the Amazon biome.Critics say these statistics hide major ASM failings: that its apparent success is largely due to there already being so much deforested land in the Amazon as of 2006, that there was plenty of room for soy expansion without cutting forest. Also, cleared pastureland onto which soy moved, often simply displaced cattle into forests newly cut by land grabbers for ranchers.Of most concern: ASM covers only one of two Legal Amazonia biomes. While marginally protecting the Amazon, it doesn’t cover the Cerrado savanna, where soy growers have aggressively cleared millions of acres of biodiverse habitat — critics see the ASM as corporate and NGO greenwash; defenders say it inspired other tropical deforestation agreements globally. There is a staggering loss of biodiversity when rainforest is converted to soy. Photo by Mayangdi Inzaulgarat(Leia essa matéria em português no The Intercept Brasil. You can also read Mongabay’s series on the Tapajós Basin in Portuguese at The Intercept Brasil)The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build 40+ large dams, a railway, and highways, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions on the planet.Those struggling to shape the Basin’s fate hold conflicting opinions, but because the Tapajós is an isolated region, few of these views get aired in the media. Journalist Sue Branford and social scientist Mauricio Torres travelled there recently for Mongabay, and over coming weeks hope to shed some light on the heated debate that will shape the future of the Amazon. This is the ninth of their reports. Soy growers often expropriates land that is valuable and in use by rural communities in Amazonia. Small plots of subsistence agriculture, football pitches, school and churches all have been converted to soy plantations, without violating the ASM and despite community objections. This rural cemetery in the district of Santarém narrowly escaped that fate, but is now surrounded by soy. Photo by Mayangdi InzaulgaratIvete complains about pollution from neighboring soy plantations: “The people who lived on the plateau had creeks, and they used the water.… All this water became contaminated because the soy farmers put their products there — the pesticides they use on their plantations.”Another rural worker, Dona Maria Alba Pinto de Souza, 62, despaired: “All my life now is in the middle of soybeans, soy farmers. They plant their soy, and it’s bad for us, because you can’t even rear animals.”The soy farmers want her to leave, she said: “They’ve tried three times to buy my plot but I don’t want to sell it.”Dona Maria believes that if she sells her land, she’ll be left “lying flat on the ground, going hungry, having nothing to eat but bread and coffee. I know many people who sold their land and now live in Santarém, with nothing. They don’t have a job. Their sons live on the edge of society, their daughters end up as prostitutes. If I sell my land, I‘ll have to live under a bridge.”Soy moratorium or greenwash?The underlying conundrum — as shown in earlier articles in this series — is that mechanized soybean production on the gigantic industrial scale pursued in Brazil leads to dramatic wholesale changes in land use and destorys biodiversity. It concentrates land ownership with the wealthy few, while exacerbating social inequality and failing to tackle poverty.Seen in this light, the ASM addresses a single narrow aspect of soy production — it reduces direct Amazon soy deforestation somewhat, but ignores grave concerns, which, indeed, were never in its brief.In response, soy moratorium defenders point to the Amazonian deforestation the ASM did prevent, and note that the moratorium became the model for zero deforestation commitments in the global palm oil, pulp and paper, and rubber sectors, as well as helping shape the Brazilian cattle agreement.True, but evidence collected for this story shows that the model, in fact, promised very little and successfully delivered this very little. At the same time, some ASM advocates made wildly overblown claims, even presenting it as “a game changer for the Amazon,” while distracting global attention away from the very serious problems created by soy, further empowering a sector that is causing widespread environmental and social devastation. This has led some progressive Brazilian analysts to label ASM as little more than propaganda and greenwash.Patchwork of legal forest reserves, pasture, and soy farms in the Brazilian Amazon. The ASM went into effect in 2006, but by then there was a great deal of already cleared land (especially old pastureland) that could cheaply be turned into soy plantation, so there was little need to cut more Amazon forest to expand the industry. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerEven so, other analysts, like Dan Nepstad, believe that ASM benefits outweigh shortcomings, though he worries about the future. His 2014 study warns: “Eventually cleared land that is suitable for soy production — the most profitable use of cleared land — will become scarce. As the scarcity sets in, the 120,000 square kilometers [46,300 square miles] of forests that could be profitably converted to soy in the Brazilian Amazonia, and that lie outside protected areas will become the target of deforestation pressure.”At that point, the moratorium might make a real difference. But it remains to be seen if agribusiness’s much publicized commitment to the ASM — a voluntary agreement — and to protecting rainforest, will last when it really matters.Antônio Ioris, professor of human geography at Cardiff University, and author of a book on Mato Grosso agribusiness, believes that up to now the moratorium has made little difference to the way agribusiness conducts itself on the ground: “The moratorium obfuscates the debate,” Ioris told Mongabay. “I think its main objective is to improve the image of the agribusiness sector and to reduce somewhat the stigma of [soy production] being an activity with highly negative [environmental and social] impacts. Those who have gained most with the moratorium are agribusiness leaders, the ministry of the environment and NGOs. Those who have gained least are the ecosystems and the local populations.” At the turn of the 21st century, a juggernaut of expanding soy production moved into the Brazilian rainforest, putting a relentless squeeze on the Amazon. Soy growers arrived from the south, overrunning native forest in Mato Grosso state, then leapfrogged over much of Pará state to the Santarém district, with its flat plateau — ideal for agribusiness.Brazilian social movements sounded the alarm. They were justifiably worried that soy would destroy rainforest livelihoods, along with the Amazon biome. On May Day, 2004, protesters — acting in unison with labor movement protests across Brazil — held a large demonstration in Santarém at the new grain terminal owned by Cargill, the largest U.S. grain trader.Joined by international environmental NGO, Greenpeace, the anti-soy offensive became urgent: Amazon deforestation was exploding. In 2003-04, annual Amazon forest loss topped 27,000 square kilometers (10,424 square miles).Annual rates of deforestation in Legal Amazonia (km2/year) 1994-2016.Source of data: Prodes/Inpe. The bar chart was drawn by Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)An international appealIn 2006, Greenpeace published a hard-hitting report called “Eating up the Amazon“, showing that soy had become a serious driver of deforestation. The NGO accused fast food restaurants, supermarkets and agribusiness, of a “forest crime” for their failure to responsibly manage the 4,000-mile soy supply chain that started with the clearing of virgin Amazon forest and ended in U.S. poultry, pork, and beef feedlots, and on American and European dinner plates.The story resonated with the international press. McDonalds, Walmart and other big transnational food corporations sought a way to shine up a tarnished public image. In a hasty attempt at damage control, they contacted the big grain traders, including Cargill and Bunge, and began talks with Greenpeace.The result: the Amazon Soy Moratorium (ASM), the first major voluntary zero-deforestation agreement achieved in the tropics. In the pact, 90 percent of companies in the Brazilian soy market agreed not to purchase soy grown on land deforested after 2006 within the Amazon biome, and also to blacklist farmers using slave labor.But even before the moratorium was signed, the annual rate of Amazon deforestation fell dramatically, by almost 50 percent. Still the ASM was touted as being responsible for this remarkable decline, with the Ethical Consumer calling it “an incredible success” and Cargill advertising it as “a resounding success.”This reported achievement led to multiple renewals, and in 2016 the soy industry agreed to make the ASM permanent. The only major change over time was a shift in baseline, originally fixed at 2006, then moved to 2008 to fit with the government’s controversial 2012 forest code — which environmentalists argued made concessions to those illegally clearing forest.The question today: has the ASM truly played a key role in stemming Amazon deforestation, and was it ever designed to achieve that result? Or has it largely served as an industry PR tool that distracts global consumers from the environmental and social harm being done by large-scale Brazilian soy plantations?Timber trucks without license plates illegally moving logs out of a Brazilian conservation unit near Uruará. Illegal logging continues to be a major cause of Amazon deforestation, despite implementation of the soy moratorium. Photo by Sue BranfordMeasuring the moratoriumIn 2014, scientists decided to thoroughly investigate the ASM’s overall effectiveness. University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor of geography Holly Gibbs and her team published their results in the prestigious academic journal Science in January 2015:In the 2 years preceding the agreement, nearly 30 percent of soy expansion [in the Amazon biome] occurred through deforestation rather than by replacement of pasture or other previously cleared lands. After the Soy [Moratorium], deforestation for soy dramatically decreased, falling to only 1 percent of expansion in the Amazon biome by 2014.This appears to be an unambiguous vindication of the moratorium. But not necessarily.The study points out that many farmers in Mato Grosso, who accounted for 85 percent of the soy planted in the Amazon biome, were continuing to clear forest illegally on their land, while claiming compliance with the ASM:At least 627 soy properties in Mato Grosso violated the FC [Brazil’s forest code] and cleared forest illegally during the Soy [Moratorium]. Yet only 115 properties were excluded by soy traders for Soy [Moratorium] violations. This discrepancy can occur because the Soy [Moratorium] regulates only the portion of the property where soy is grown — not the entire property.This loophole compromised the effectiveness of the ASM, and puts into question the huge deforestation reductions claimed by soy farmers in the Amazon biome— yet no mention of this shortcoming was ever made in the pro-ASM promotional materials circulated by moratorium advocates.“No more deforestation in the Amazon.” A Greenpeace protest in Brasilia, December, 2007. Greanpeace played a leading role in negotiating the Amazon Soy Moratorium with international commodities companies and soy growers. Photo courtesy of Agência BrasilIt is true that Amazon deforestation fell dramatically during most of the moratorium period. So what caused this decline, if not the ASM? A study published by Science in 2014 found that at least three factors accounted for the reduction, with ASM’s impact marginal. In a Mongabay interview, lead researcher and Earth Innovation institute director Dan Nepstad, cautioned: “It is impossible to quantify exactly the effect of the moratorium on deforestation. I think it was responsible for 5-10 percent of the total decline.”Two other factors had bigger impacts, his team found. By 2004, so much Amazon forest had been cleared that there was plenty of land for agribusiness expansion, and using this already cleared land didn’t violate the ASM. The second factor related to “improvements in livestock yields, which had further reduced the demand for new land to be cleared.”In evaluating the overall effectiveness of the ASM, it is very important to look at exactly what it achieved. Gibbs’ team was extremely careful in its 2015 study’s conclusion, saying that: “deforestation for soy dramatically decreased.” NGOs and some in the press were not so meticulous. Greenpeace, for example, claimed that the moratorium represented “a huge step towards halting Amazon deforestation”.This statement is not accurate: what the moratorium set out to do and largely achieved, was to stop Amazon forest being directly cleared to plant soy. However, this is very different from halting deforestation in the Amazon.Deforested plain in the Brazilian Amazon, now used for cattle. Pre-moratorium pasturelands can be turned into soy plantations without violating the ASM. Rhett A. ButlerGaming the moratoriumThere were other ways, apart from the one described in the Gibbs study, by which farmers got around the ASM.When, for example, soy growers move onto pasturelands cleared before 2008, they are in full compliance with the ASM. But the cattle displaced by that move now require new pasture, which may be secured by Amazon land thieves who drive out indigenous and traditional people, slash and burn the rainforest, then sell the new pasture to ranchers.“Very often the cultivation of soy moves to areas where cattle are reared and the cattle move into the forest”, explained Bernardo Machado Pires, who manages environmental issues for the Brazilian Association of the Vegetable Oil Industries (ABIOVE). He went on: “The soy industry is indirectly responsible”.Research conducted in 2006 by Dan Nepstad reached a similar conclusion: “In my interviews with farmers in Mato Grosso several spoke about the way cattle producers (and land thieves) get capital by selling their land to soy farmers.”Greenpeace was aware of this cattle loophole, and helped negotiate a deal with Brazil’s three largest meatpacking firms who agreed not to purchase cattle reared on illegally cleared Amazon forest lands or from properties using slave labor. But, it seems, the agreement is often infringed. When we were in the district of Castelo de Sonhos in 2014, employees from Brazil’s largest meat-packing company, JBS, told us that the meatpacking firms themselves had found ways of getting round the deal. The most widespread, they said, is “cattle laundering” by which cattle owners move cattle that were reared on illegally cleared land to established pastures, just before they are slaughtered.Large-scale soy production indirectly drives Amazon deforestation in yet another way: new and improved roads, such as highway BR-163, lobbied for by soy growers, and built primarily to move soy from Brazil’s interior to market, give large numbers of illegal loggers, land grabbers and ranchers access to the Amazon’s heart.Against the backdrop of Amazonia’s lush green rainforest, fires lit intentionally to clear the land for agriculture follow along the BR-163 highway in 2014, a process that reveals red-brown soils. A long line of newly cleared agricultural patches snakes east from BR-163 toward the remote Rio Crepori Valley. Extensive deforested areas in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state appear in tan at the top of the image. The fires show the advance of deforestation into Pará state, now second after Mato Grosso in terms of deforestation acreage. Photo and analysis courtesy of NASACommodities companies Cargill, Bunge and Amaggi (Brazil’s largest soy producer) are also committed to a massive soy transportation infrastructure expansion that would pierce the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, helping deforest a region known as the Tapajós basin, bringing new roadways, railways, and an industrial waterway, along with 40+ major dams.Focusing on one biome while ignoring anotherWith so much media attention concentrated on the ASM, another serious problem — that of the destruction of the Cerrado, Brazil’s biodiverse savanna — has been neglected. Legal Amazonia (as demarcated by the Brazilian government) covers two biomes: the Amazon biome and the Cerrado biome. The ASM only covers the former.And both Legal Amazonia biomes contain plenty of room for the soy industry to expand without violating the letter of the ASM agreement.“There still are 40.5 million hectares [156,371 square miles] of anthropized land [degraded by human activity] with a high or medium aptitude for soy — with 22 million hectares [84,942 square miles] in Amazonia and 18.5 million hectares [71,428 square miles] in the Cerrado. It is mainly occupied by pasture and it is to these lands that the government must direct future grain expansion,” said National Institute of Amazonia Research (INPA) scientist Arnaldo Carneiro, whose study looked at the possibilities of commercial agriculture expansion in the region.Legal Amazonia encompasses all of the Amazon biome, plus a portion of the Cerrado biome. The ASM covers only the Amazon, and none of the Cerrado. Map by Mauricio TorresAlthough Carneiro’s work, along with other agribusiness-backed studies, claims this vast acreage as a “sustainable” solution to the industry’s need for new croplands, this doesn’t mean that all of it is readily available to large scale farmers. Much is currently occupied by a wide variety of groups — including land thieves, cattle ranchers, peasant and traditional communities, and agrarian reform settlements — a fact that could bring a great deal of conflict, especially in the Amazon biome, before the destiny of this land is decided. Adding to the complexities of deforestation analysis: some of this “available” land will have been cleared after 2008 and, on paper at least, is banned for soy use by the ASM.This isn’t a problem for agribusiness in the Cerrado: all soy produced there can be marketed with the ASM-accurate, but misleading, claim that it caused “zero deforestation in the productive chain,” even if it was cultivated on recently cleared land. And unfortunately for Brazil, the world, and wildlife living there, the Cerrado is one of the planet’s richest tropical savanna regions, with high levels of endemism.But that biodiversity is rapidly vanishing. Researchers recently used satellite data to determine that Cerrado cropland within a 45 million-hectare (173,745 square mile) study area in Matopiba doubled over the past decade, increasing from 1.3 million hectares (5,019 square miles) in 2003 to 2.5 million hectares (9,652 square miles) in 2013. The researchers also found that almost three-fourths of this agricultural expansion was achieved through the destruction of native Cerrado vegetation.Tractors clearing the Cerrado. Soy expansion is proceeding at full throttle here. Mighty Earth, a global environmental organization, recently reported that: “Across the Cerrado, we visited 15 locations that spanned hundreds of kilometers. Over and over again, we found the same thing: vast areas of savanna recently converted to enormous soybean monocultures that stretch to the horizon. The farms were typically large commercial operations spread over thousands of hectares. We used aerial drones to follow tractors as they ripped up the ancient savanna, and watched soybean farmers use systematic fires to burn the debris and clear the land — sending acrid smoke across the whole region.” Photo by Rhett A. ButlerExperts have seriously questioned the wisdom of placing so much emphasis through the ASM on the damage done exclusively to tropical forests. In 2015, Gibbs called for the Amazon Soy Moratorium to be extended to the Cerrado: “If large-scale soy expansion continues in Matopiba, remaining natural vegetation could be highly susceptible to soy conversion without additional safeguards. Expanding the Soy [Moratorium] could reduce the on-going direct conversion of Cerrado vegetation to soy.”But this hasn’t happened yet.Brazil’s environment minister José Sarney Filho suggested last year that the moratorium be extended to the Cerrado and talks began, said Tica Minami, Greenpeace Brazil’s Amazon Project Leader. But no deal has been struck, largely because the soy industry is reportedly very reluctant to come on board.Meanwhile, soy expansion continues at full throttle there. Mighty Earth, a global environmental organization, recently sent researchers into the region. They travelled for hundreds of miles in the Cerrado and, to their dismay, always found the same: “Vast areas of savanna recently converted to enormous soybean monocultures that stretch to the horizon.”Farmers confirmed to Mighty Earth that they are mainly selling to Cargill and Bunge — two leading ASM signatories — with these companies often providing the financial incentives that are fuelling the savanna’s transformation.A recently cleared section of the Cerrado in Brazil. The Cerrado is home to 44 percent of the country’s agriculture. What forests remain there are fast vanishing, converted to soy and other crops. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerThe Might Earth report urges a moratorium there: “The kind of deforestation we found in the Cerrado… is not inevitable. In the Brazilian Amazon, Cargill, Bunge and other companies have figured out how to protect ecosystems and still grow their businesses.” But, say critics, the ASM has only worked in the Amazon biome because there was already so much cleared land there, along with the ASM-excluded Cerrado lands, into which soy farmers could expand, without infringing the moratorium.This allowed the companies to publicise their success in protecting the forest without essentially changing the way they operate. As Cargill helps destroy the Cerrado, the company can use the ASM to cover itself with an aura of green sustainability, stating on its website:In Brazil, we have seen great progress as we partnered to advance the soy moratorium in the Amazon for more than a decade. Today, we are working with more than 15,000 soy farmers and collaborating with governments, NGOs and partners to implement the Brazilian forest code and advance forest protection.”So, while the grain companies were helping to destroy the Cerrado, Cargill, together with Greenpeace and McDonalds, were also awarded the Keystone Prize for “leadership in significantly reducing deforestation in 2015. Bunge, Cargill and Amaggi did not respond to requests for comment for this article.Dona Maria Alba Pinto de Souza: “All my life now is in the middle of soybeans, soy farmers.… They’ve tried three times to buy my plot but I don’t want to sell it.… If I sell my land, I‘ll have to live under a bridge.” Photo by Mayangdi InzaulgaratSoy, the environment and social justiceWhile commodity companies loudly trumpet their success in stemming deforestation, they ignore other soy industry impacts. Pesticide use, for instance, is overlooked in ASM promotional materials, according to Dr. Wanderlei Pignati, a lecturer at the Federal University of Mato Grosso and author of several studies on pesticide health and environmental effects.He told Mongabay that about 200 million liters (nearly 52 million gallons) of agrochemicals are dumped annually on Mato Grosso crops. These applications can cause “cancer, fetal malformations, endocrine disruptions, neurological diseases, mental disorders, respiratory and intestinal disorders.”The ASM eclipses other harm done by soy, say Brazil’s social advocates, albeit unintentionally and largely without public notice. The problem: studies that quantify degraded rainforest areas only measure acreage; they don’t take into account traditional communities, or even indigenous lands, unless the latter have been officially demarcated — something Brazil’s government has failed to accomplish in many reserves.For that reason, indigenous and traditional lands are sometimes classified as places where soy is free to expand under the ASM.This has led to injustices, say experts. Though the ASM has likely protected Amazon rainforest in the Santarém district — where soy was consuming large blocks of forest between 2003 and 2005 — a high price is being paid by local communities as agribusiness targets their lands.Many indigenous, peasant and traditional communities carefully clear forested areas, using them for a time, then allowing the land to recover, without destroying biodiversity. These traditional ways of occupying the land were developed over centuries, and represent highly successful and sustainable methods of agro-forestry management. However, the forest areas the people leave fallow, and to which they plan to return, are being counted under the ASM as cleared areas, and so are not protected by the moratorium.Rural worker and union leader Maria Ivete Bastos lives in one such community. She told Mongabay that: “Soybeans took over a large territory of ours, where we cultivated our crops. Little people can’t fight big people, so we had to hand much of our land over. In some cases we sold all of it, just keeping a little plot around the house.”Maria Ivete collecting mangoes. Traditional people have practiced sustainable agro-forestry practices for centuries, cutting forests, growing crops there, then restoring the forest. However, once a forest is cut it is no longer covered by the ASM, and so can be taken over by soy producers, driving out traditional people. Photo by Mayangdi Inzaulgarat Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Controversial, Corruption, Culture, Dams, Energy, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Politics, Ethnocide, Featured, Forests, Hydroelectric Power, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Rivers, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Soy, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Building environmental community and transparency through maps

first_imgArticle published by Sue Palminteri A new online mapping platform offers spatial data, mapping tools, hosting space, and advice/consulting services to help increase transparency in land use decision-making.Map for Environment was created to be an open repository for environmental data with simple data management and map publishing tools, especially for non-technical users.The platform provides the space and the tools for a decentralized community to share data and produce maps with minimal cost and hassle; for this to succeed, the environmental movement must embrace open-data principles and make critical data more broadly available. As the (English) saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Maps, too, convey a wealth of information in a small space and are doing so more accurately and with more customized information, than ever before.Remote sensing now lets us monitor forest cover, over time, at global and local scales, while GPS units allow explorers and scientists on foot to add data to a specific point on the Earth.However, accessing, combining, and interpreting those data are still challenging.  Environmental, demographic, land use, and infrastructure data are frequently stored privately or in government agencies, making them difficult to access at the scale and resolution needed for monitoring. Powerful mapping platforms tend to be very expensive, though some academic and non-profit institutions have lower-cost licenses to ArcGIS, the most common GIS platform, which also offers a free, limited-use, online version. Most free GIS software, such as QGIS, requires users to have some training and data access.Hiker with GPS on a mobile phone tracing data into OpenStreetMap. Photo credit: Harry Wood via Creative CommonsA new online mapping platform called Map for Environment offers spatial data, basic mapping tools, hosting space, and advice/consulting services for people who want to make maps but don’t need to conduct extensive analyses. These allow the user to:Use one or more of the platform’s pre-made maps or data layersUpload data (e.g., shapefiles, geojson, kml, csv) or link data from another service (e.g., ArcGIS online, raster hosting service such as Amazon Web Services)Manage the data using simple editing and cartography toolsMake maps, stories, or mini websites called “Hubs” for sharing and embeddingHost and share data on an institutionally neutral space.A conservationist – technologist team created Map for Environment to increase transparency in decision-making by making it easy for beginners to produce maps of human activities—such as logging roads, agriculture, dams, and fracking wells—on the landscape. Rather than recreate a Geographic Information System (GIS) with comprehensive analysis capability, the open-source platform hosts a catalog of contributed environment and development spatial data at various scales, though the number and types of data sets varies by country (i.e. some countries have multiple local or national-level data, whereas, others have none). It also provides open access to some basic mapping tools to enable users to view, manage, and share the data layers and quickly publish a map in one of several formats.Forest elephant heading toward the jungle in Loango National Park, Gabon. Photo credit: Rhett ButlerLeo Bottrill, founder and CEO of Map for Environment (M4E), and colleagues began building earlier iterations of M4E in 2011 through Moabi DRC, an initiative that collaboratively monitors natural resource use in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and includes a public database of deforestation drivers in DRC and REDD+ mapping data.Mongabay-Wildtech asked Bottrill about the new platform, why he and the Chief Technology Officer, Kristofor Carle, developed it, and the types of users it targets.MB-WT: What inspired you to develop a new mapping platform?Bottrill: We wanted to build a simple way to share mapping data between multiple organizations regarding drivers of deforestation and bring transparency to an opaque REDD+ process. We began experimenting with different technology but wanted mapping tools that were 100% open-source and simple to use, which led us to use OpenStreetMap – the Wikipedia of maps.We learned a number of lessons from implementing Moabi that inform the creation of M4E and MapHubs – the technology that underpins it.  We realized that for many people, mapping was technically difficult and expensive. Typically, you had to buy expensive, complex software and follow a long training course before you could even begin making simple maps. This made mapping inaccessible for many people who wanted make and use maps in reports, stories, and presentations to explain environmental issues.The other major problem was data accessibility… you often had to visit many different sites to find map data. To understand complex environmental issues such as deforestation in Indonesia, you would need to collect data from different sources, [such as] zoning data from governments, satellite information from NASA or a commercial provider, company information data such as mining permits, and community data such as customary property rights often collected by indigenous rights organizations.[T]here really wasn’t a cross-cutting platform that covered the entire spectrum of environmental topics and geographies and was completely free to use.Hydropower sites in Asia, using a global dams database. Image credit: Map for EnvironmentMB-WT: How does Map for Environment compare to ArcGIS Online or other free GIS platforms, such as QGIS?M4E aims to be a truly open repository for environmental data with simple data management and map publishing tools for both non-technical and experienced users.ArcGIS is really geared for GIS specialists and offers a host of analytical tools and map publishing, which is a little overwhelming for someone with no GIS experience. QGIS is a great open-source alternative to ArcGIS but is only desktop-based and, again, focused more towards technical GIS users who want to perform complex analytics and build sophisticated geospatial visualizations.With MapHubs [the software behind M4E], we can train users with no GIS experience in two days how to use our entire platform – data management, data creation, map/hub/story publishing, and forest monitoring. This allows everyone within an organization to make maps rather than relying on a GIS specialist. It’s not our intention to compete head-to-head with ESRI or other GIS platforms but rather offer a simple service for finding the data and a few essential analytical tools.We do have some analytical tools such as a forest alert system using University of Maryland’s GLAD alerts and a measurement tool so you can measure the size of mapping objects. We will also add more analytical tools but would rather build only the tools where a critical mass of our users demand them.MB-WT: What areas are being mapped by M4E?M4E is already being used to monitor industrial agriculture in Indonesia and the Congo Basin, including oil palm plantations and transport routes. In partnership with Global Forest Watch and European Commission Joint Research Centre, we are mapping logging roads in Congo Basin, Peru, and Indonesia. Using OpenStreetMap, we are also mapping planned dam impacts in the Mekong, and fracking drill pads and access roads in North Dakota. We also highlight new research findings. This past month, we overlaid a map of extensive peatlands in the Congo Basin, described by Professor Simon Lewis and colleagues in a recent paper in the journal Nature, with plantations and logging concessions to highlight potential climate change risks if this area is drained.Map of Congo basin peatlands overlaid with logging concessions and plantations. Image credit: Map for EnvironmentMB-WT: How do you obtain the spatial data on the site?  What are the main obstacles to broadening the map collection and extent?To compile these data, the platform makes use of a variety of existing open-data portals, including Global Forest Watch [which allows users to monitor forest change over time], and OpenStreetMap [which crowd-sources spatial data globally]. For example, if you are interested in international forest issues, we host information from Global Forest Watch, but we supplement this with data from other sources, such as government agencies, advocacy NGOs, and research organizations, and attribute information to the organization that provided the data. And in M4E, you can add your own data and make your own maps.Some organizations, such as palm oil companies, share their data through M4E and manage their data directly. We are encouraging more organizations to open-source their data and not place onerous licensing restrictions on use. M4E gives users a range of data licensing options. If an organization approaches us around a topic, we will help them find the data. The information is then posted on the platform, so everyone can use it. There are plenty of gaps, but the more people contribute, the more the gaps can be filled in, and the more useful M4E becomes.Industrial agriculture and logging concessions in Indonesia. Image credit: Map for EnvironmentMB-WT: Do users uploading data have to make it publicly available?  How does data security play a role in how users make and share maps?  Yes, by default all data uploaded to M4E is public and available for use and download according to the license selected by the user. If users would like to post data but prevent download, we can help with this on a case by case basis.If users need privacy, MapHubs is available for installation in the cloud or if you have serious security concerns, on a local server inside your organizational firewall. This is called MapHubs Pro and can be both a private or public-facing mapping platform that gives you the tools of M4E but with the ability to control access to your own data. The Environmental Investigation Agency currently uses MapHubs Pro for mapping and privately sharing illegal logging and agriculture expansion. MapHubs Pro costs vary, depending on feature and data requirements, but it is more affordable than building a custom mapping website, which can cost from $30K to hundreds of thousands of dollars. We will also be releasing MapHubs Cloud Service in the coming months for those who just want to keep one or two layers private rather than a whole institutional data platform.MB-WT: What are your other plans for the next year?  Where do you see the platform headed?For M4E, we have built a host of new features, such as the forest alerts, and have made it easy to embed satellite imagery, such as Planet scenes [for those with access to Planet imagery]. This year, we will keep refining the M4E’s tools as simplified map editor and increase our outreach efforts, so more people know about M4E and contribute data. We also plan to make data agreements with major organizations so users can have access to critical datasets directly from the source. This will include open imagery such as Sentinel and Landsat imagery, so you can monitor areas and create your data on deforestation and other observable land use changes.We see M4E becoming a community-driven platform for the environmentally concerned citizen and organization. Our vision is a small, decentralized community providing the tools for both sharing data and making and disseminating maps with the minimal amount of cost and hassle. We simply provide the space and let people provide the content. For this to succeed, I think the environmental movement needs to embrace open-data principles and stop restricting access to data that has vital utility to many organizations.Our immediate goal is to build a financial and institutional model that that allows this community to take hold and galvanize a critical mass of organizations to support transparency and data sharing. data, Logging, Mapping, Open-source, Plantations, Remote Sensing, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Technology, Tropical Deforestation, Wildtech 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

Successful forest protection in DRC hinges on community participation

first_imgForest covers at least 112 million hectares of the Democratic Republic of Congo.Studies from 2013 show that subsistence agriculture and the need for firewood threaten DRC’s forests, and new investments in the countries forests by industrial outfits could contribute to the problem.DRC’s leaders have signed on to international agreements and have begun to receive millions of dollars to finance projects aimed at keeping DRC’s forests standing, protecting global climate and reducing poverty. The Democratic Republic of Congo’s extensive forests seem like a bright spot in an otherwise-troubled country. With forests covering an area larger than Colombia, DRC has managed to sidestep the surge in losses that forest-rich countries in South America, Southeast Asia and elsewhere in Africa have suffered.It has become an important country partner in the UN’s REDD+ program. Short for “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries,” REDD+ promises DRC hundreds of millions of dollars for environmental and development work, coming from the governments of Norway, Germany, France, the U.K., and the EU. In exchange, the country’s leadership has agreed to preserve the country’s stockpile of carbon tucked away in the vegetation of its forests, estimated to be around 22 billion metric tons (48.5 trillion pounds).A calming of conflicts in the war-weary DRC too appears to be inching forward, pointing toward stability, if not prosperity, that the country hasn’t seen in decades.But concerns have arisen about the precarious foundation for DRC’s success – if it will weather a contentious standoff in which President Joseph Kabila has lingered in office past the end of his final term, and the postponement of presidential elections to 2018, for example – as well as how effective the country’s forest conservation will be in practice.As home to so much forest – pegged at somewhere between 112 million and 154 million hectares (between 432,434 and 594,597 square miles) depending on how it’s defined – DRC has a key role to play in achieving keeping the global average temperature below a 2-degree Celsius rise, laid out at the UN climate talks in Paris in 2015.Realizing gains for both forest conservation and development, however, is still a relatively new idea in DRC. To many of the country’s leaders, “It’s either logging or conservation,” said Lionel Diss, formerly with Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN), in an interview. The thought is that encouraging international investment in logging concessions, as well as other extractive industries such as mining, will bring economic development in tow.The rainforest in DRC, with smoke trails where farmers are readying their fields for planting. Photo by John C. CannonTackling poverty and deforestationRelying on industrial operations alone to drag economic development upward through job creation and profitable exports at the expense of forests and without sorting out local communities’ rights just doesn’t make sense, Diss argues. “There is no evidence in Central Africa that logging has brought sustainable development.”Even so, blame for recent deforestation in DRC, where conflict and political instability have dissuaded many outside corporations from making investments in logging, mining, and agriculture, is often pinned on the people living in or near the forests.According to a series of 2013 studies released by the UN REDD+ Program, subsistence farming – which often employs ‘slash-and-burn’ techniques – and fuelwood collection contributes to around 40 percent of deforestation in the country. More than half of forest degradation – deterioration but not necessarily complete removal – also comes from the search for fuelwood. People collect wood for use in cook fires directly, or it’s often burned with little access to air over a long period of time to make energy-dense charcoal.The UN REDD+ reports were meant to be a critical step toward a better understanding of the landscape and what’s leading to deforestation and degradation in DRC’s forest, one that will allow REDD+ investment in the country to succeed. But the studies acknowledge a shift in the causes of deforestation that may be on the horizon for DRC.The reports’ authors, including researchers from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), universities, NGOs in DRC, and the UN Environment Program, also found that 40 percent of deforestation came from commercial agriculture, aa figure that could increase with a more favorable business climate.Other researchers have picked up on the trend toward industrialization in DRC and other forested countries, as well as the repercussions for forests.“As political and economic stability has entered the region, there has been an increasing rate of deforestation,” said Gillian Galford, an earth systems scientist at the University of Vermont.In 2015 Galford and her colleagues suspected that DRC’s low deforestation rates wouldn’t hold as the situation became more promising for natural resource investments. Using what scientists have learned about the pattern of deforestation in other parts of the world, her team built a computer model that mapped out three different scenarios: deforestation that continues on the current path; installation of a large-scale conservation solution such as REDD+; and allowing agricultural development to come in more or less unchecked.In the model, forests fared the best under conservation, socking away substantial amounts of carbon, while agricultural development led to a hemorrhage of 212 million metric tons (467 million pounds) of carbon a year over the coming two and a half decades.Those conclusions present a serious conundrum for anyone looking to elevate the living standards for the two-thirds of DRC’s citizens living below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.“If you look at sub-Saharan Africa writ large, agricultural development is certainly one of the largest challenges,” Galford said. While the Green Revolution of the mid-20th century boosted standards of living in many other parts of the world, she pointed out that its sweep largely bypassed sub-Saharan Africa.But the spike in unintended knock-on effects that often accompany large-scale development hasn’t typically been accounted for in places like DRC – in particular, what happens with the construction of new roads.“In the DRC, much like the Amazon, we see that deforestation is very much related to roads,” said Galford, and the lack of roads DRC is one reason for the persistence of forest in the country.A 2014 study in the Brazilian Amazon revealed that almost 95 percent of deforestation was within 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) of roads or 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of rivers – which, just as in the Amazon, play the role of de facto highways through the Congo Rainforest.“Roads provide access to areas, and that can lead to further deforestation or degradation,” Galford added.One reason for the persistence of DRC’s forests has been the lack of roads, but increased natural resource development could change that in the future. Photo by John C. CannonNo one-size-fits-all solutionsEven as things stand, just blaming small-scale farmers for destroying forest won’t solve the problem, Diss of RFN said. Not all traditional farming has the same impact on the landscape.“One cannot generalize slash-and-burn activities,” he said. In fact, he pointed out, when farmed areas are rotated and allowed to regenerate, “It is actually sustainable forestry.”“This is the case in many areas in the rainforest, where local communities have driven slash-and-burn in a traditional manner and where they follow customary rules as to land use and forest management that do contribute to rainforest protection.”A problem with slash-and-burn arises when large-scale developments such as logging concessions open new areas of previously remote forests with roads and the settlements that typically follow. Diss pointed to the area around the city of Kisangani on the Congo River, where this type of agriculture “directly connected to logging activities” has been a significant source of deforestation.“Slash-and-burn, charcoal and so-called small-scale [or] artisanal illegal logging are serious problems around major urban areas,” he said. Kisangani, located in central DRC, is the third largest urban are in the country. “There, these activities can indeed be worsened [or] encouraged by industrial logging, and may often be conducted by external actors, not local communities,” Diss added.RFN and its partners in DRC contend that the recognition of traditional claims to the land should be an integral part of the solution. And current research supports that argument.Many policymakers and organizations concerned about both human development and the conservation of forests hold up REDD+ as the best hope for integrating what can appear to be conflicting goals at times. But how this strategy is accomplished is a critical question, said Pieter Moonen, a biological engineer from the University of Leuven in Belgium.“You have to adapt your strategy according to the specific conditions and the specific reasons that people are deforesting,” Moonen said.In a 2016 study, Moonen and his Belgian and Congolese colleagues found that the amount that individuals deforest varies quite a bit based on factors like distance from towns, the size of the local population, and local culture.The team concluded that without considering what’s causing deforestation locally and why – which may vary from community to community – REDD+ won’t be as likely to succeed.A better understanding of local contexts may shed light on why certain conservation efforts might not have the intended impact. For example, a strategy might advocate a transition from slash-and-burn agriculture for subsistence to cash-generating orchards. The problem, Moonen said, is that those trees may take several years to bear fruit.“[Slash-and-burn farmers] need alternatives the next day, not in two or three years, because they don’t have any – or very little – reserves,” he said. “People are still in survival mode, in which they want results quite soon.”Subsistence farmers practice slash-and-burn agriculture in DRC. Photo by John C. CannonRights to the landCrucial to the participation of local communities in conservation is a discussion about their rights to the land, Diss said. And yet, proponents in DRC and at international organizations of a test project area seen as an example of the promise of REDD+ have tiptoed around the issue of community rights to the land.The $70-million REDD+ project began in 2016 in the newly formed province of Maï-Ndombe, which stretches northeast of the “megalopolis” of Kinshasa. A World Bank program called the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, or FCPF, has provided the initial funding.In a summary of the project published in January 2016, the FCPF said the work in Maï-Ndombe is seen by DRC’s government as “a first step in implementing the country’s national REDD+ strategy at jurisdictional level, as a model for green development in the Congo Basin, [and] a key test of climate action on the African continent.”The project’s designers plan to bolster conservation and discourage deforestation through activities to improve farming techniques; to introduce long-term cash crops like coffee, rubber, and oil palm; and to launch forest regeneration projects for charcoal production. About 80 percent of Maï-Ndombe is covered in forest, totaling some 9.8 million hectares, and the province provides a significant amount of wood and charcoal for the cook stoves of many residents in Kinshasa, a city of roughly 10 million people.Despite earlier claims that project leaders would involve community leaders in the project, Diss said they haven’t followed through.“Taking into consideration how hastened and superficial the consultation process has been in the area, how little has been done to identify and secure local communities’ tenure rights, and how timid support to community-based rainforest management is,” he said, “it’s not a good sign that Maï-Ndombe will serve as the template for the rest of the country.”Other organizations have highlighted these concerns and advocated a less-hurried approach to putting DRC’s REDD+ strategy into action.A makeshift bridge in DRC. Photo by John C. CannonREDD+ letter days aheadStill, Diss said the government has made strides toward acknowledging community rights and tailoring project work to their needs.He said that the letter of intent laying out the $200 million in REDD+ funding for DRC through the Central African Forest Initiative includes the first “explicit” reference to the “protection of indigenous peoples’ rights” in DRC, not just their needs. That inclusion, he said, was the result of sustained advocacy by the Rainforest Foundation Norway and other international and Congolese NGOs.But it’s not just a question of ethics. Keeping communities engaged and formalizing their rights to the land makes good conservation sense, Diss said.“Local communities … have been playing a role in forest management for many, many years,” he said. “That’s a potential that should be used in a national REDD+ plan.”The goal now is to maintain DRC’s status as a high-forest, low-deforestation country, while proving to the continent and the world that a strategy as global as REDD+ can work. REDD+ has potential to slow the emissions from forest destruction and provide poor countries with funds for development, but as research in DRC and elsewhere is proving, it will only do that if it’s implemented properly.The solution is far from one-size-fits-all, researchers say, and it will depend on the earnest commitment of local communities.For DRC, as the light of economic and political stability flickers on the horizon, the question is more basic. The country’s forests have survived decades of dysfunction, conflict and failed governance.Now, they stand on the leading edge of a global climate solution. They’re attracting the attention of donor countries and at the same time international corporations looking for new places to develop while also bringing the promise of economic prosperity. Will they survive this ‘success’?CITATIONS:Galford, G. L., Soares-Filho, B. S., Sonter, L. J., & Laporte, N. (2015). Will Passive Protection Save Congo Forests? PloS one, 10(6), e0128473.Moonen, P. C., Verbist, B., Schaepherders, J., Meyi, M. B., Van Rompaey, A., & Muys, B. (2016). Actor-based identification of deforestation drivers paves the road to effective REDD+ in DR Congo. Land Use Policy, 58, 123-132.UN Environmental Program. (2013). Qualitative study of the causes and agents of deforestation and forest degradation in a post-conflict DRC.UN-REDD Program. (2013). Qualitative study of the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the DRC.UN-REDD Program. (2013). Quantitative study of the variables explaining deforestation and forest degradation in the DRC: data from the field.UN-REDD Program. (2013). Quantitative study of the variables explaining deforestation and forest degradation in the DRC: data from remote sensing, and historical and statistical analysis.UN-REDD Program. (2013). Summary report presenting and comparing results from the various studies undertaken on the causes of deforestation and forest degradation in the DRC.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Agriculture, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Sequestration, Cities, Climate Change, Community Development, Community-based Conservation, Conservation Finance, Deforestation, Degraded Lands, Environment, Farming, Featured, Forest Carbon, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Human Rights, Land Rights, Logging, Mining, Rainforests, Redd, Redd And Communities, Remote Sensing, Roads, Social Justice, Subsistence Agriculture, Sustainable Forest Management, United Nations, World Bank last_img read more

Rachel Carson: A sensitive soul who changed the way we see — and treat — the world

first_imgLeon Kolankiewicz is a wildlife biologist and environmental scientist and planner. He is the author of Where Salmon Come to Die: An Autumn on Alaska’s Raincoast, the essay “Overpopulation versus Biodiversity” in Environment and Society: A Reader, and was a contributing writer to Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation. He also is an Advisory Board Member and Senior Writing Fellow with Californians for Population Stabilization. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Mike Gaworecki Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz touted Rachel Carson as a heroine and role model for girls in his comic strips. That may well have been the case, but the more I learned about her as I matured and my interest in nature and the environment deepened, the more she became my hero, too.PBS recently aired a two-hour documentary on the life, times, personal struggles, and influence of Rachel Carson, the soft-spoken, retiring, self-effacing woman who became an unlikely champion for nature and helped launch the modern environmental movement.Carson’s seminal work, Silent Spring, represented a necessary rebuke to the ascendant hubris of the “Atomic Age,” one symbolized by radioactive fallout, “duck and cover,” and the arrogant slogan “better living through chemistry.”This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. I have something in common with the sassy character Lucy, Charlie Brown’s eternal “frenemy” in the iconic Peanuts cartoon series by Charles M. Schulz. We are both great admirers of Rachel Carson.In fact, the first time I ever heard of Rachel Carson was as a kid and an avid fan of syndicated Peanuts cartoons in the funnies section of our daily newspaper and collected in cheap paperback books, which I devoured from cover to cover. (You can see Lucy mentioning Carson in this strip, and in this one as well.)I remember to this day how on more than one occasion Lucy mentioned how much she looked up to Rachel Carson. I had no clue half a century ago just who Rachel Carson was, or even whether she was a fictitious character like Lucy or not. As a youngster, I hadn’t yet heard of Carson’s seminal book Silent Spring or realized my own life’s vocation.Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture.Peanuts creator Schulz touted Rachel Carson as a heroine and role model for girls in his comic strips. That may well have been the case, but the more I learned about her as I matured and my interest in nature and the environment deepened, the more she became my hero, too.PBS recently aired a two-hour documentary on the life, times, personal struggles, and influence of Rachel Carson, the soft-spoken, retiring, self-effacing woman who became an unlikely champion for nature and helped launch the modern environmental movement. The documentary, with Hollywood star Mary-Louise Parker providing the voice of Carson, is an affectionate, intimate portrait of the very private, shy biologist and writer who grew up in Western Pennsylvania, like I did. Carson was born in 1907 on a small, hardscrabble family farm near the Allegheny River upstream of Pittsburgh. Her family struggled to make ends meet.Encouraged by her doting mother, precocious Rachel was a serious bookworm, aspiring writer, and keen naturalist who explored every nook and cranny of her family’s 65-acre farm. By the age of eight, she had already begun writing her first stories about animals, and she became a published writer at 10. Something of a loner, she sensed her calling in life from the time she was a child, when other girls of her age would still have been playing with dolls and toys. She excelled academically, and in 1925 graduated first in her high school class of 45.Carson attended the Pennsylvania College for Women in Pittsburgh, today called Chatham University, majoring first in English, then biology, and writing pieces for the college’s student newspaper and literary supplement. From there, after a summer course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, she began graduate studies in zoology and genetics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.Carson earned an M.S. from Hopkins in 1932 and soon landed a job in Washington as a science writer for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, which later became part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a federal agency where I myself was once an employee and for which I have served as an environmental consultant now for many years.The death of Rachel’s father and then her sister meant that she was soon the sole provider for her aging mother and two young nieces. She began writing articles on the side for The Baltimore Sun and other publications. Ultimately, she was able to make a career of nature writing in the 1940s and ‘50s — and even gain a measure of financial security for herself and her family — with her trilogy of three evocative books about the ocean, the true love of her life: Under the Sea-Wind (1941), The Sea Around Us (1951) and The Edge of the Sea (1955). These books inspired readers with the same sense of passionate wonder Carson herself felt about Mother Earth. I have all three of them.Cover of first edition of Silent Spring. Image via Wikimedia Commons.Due to the huge success of the best-selling The Sea Around Us, which won the 1952 National Book Award for Non-Fiction and remained on The New York Times Best Seller List for 86 weeks, Carson was even able to purchase a cottage on an isolated stretch of the Maine seashore. It was here, along the secluded Maine coast, surrounded and comforted by the trees, tides, and creatures that she loved, that Carson wrote her magnum opus, Silent Spring, released in 1962.The title refers to a spring sometime in the not-so-distant future, one that comes without beloved bird songs, because the birds have all been exterminated by pesticides, or what Carson referred to as biocides, because they are toxic to all life. In Chapter One, “A Fable for Tomorrow,” she wrote:There was a strange stillness. The birds, for example — where had they gone? Many people spoke of them, puzzled and disturbed. The feeding stations in the backyards were deserted. The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices.I first read Silent Spring more than 40 years ago; it was Carson’s searing indictment of the widespread, indiscriminate use of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) and other chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides which had begun to wreak havoc on the natural world. Among their most prominent victims were the majestic birds of prey (raptors) — in particular bald eagles, ospreys, peregrine falcons, and brown pelicans — the populations of which plummeted throughout most of North America.DDT first came into widespread use by the allies during World War II and is credited with saving the lives of many thousands of soldiers. It could be applied directly to human skin and hair with few or no immediate ill consequences (i.e., it had low acute toxicity for humans and other mammals). Such was the gratitude of the world that Swiss chemist Paul Müller was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his 1942 discovery that DDT was effective in killing insects. Unfortunately, it also proved effective in killing birds and fish, as well as persisting and accumulating in the environment. This was a serious drawback.Bald eagles in remote, thinly-populated Alaska, the only state where their numbers did not crash from pesticide contamination. Photo by Leon Kolankiewicz.What DDT and its chemical relatives like aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, and heptachlor did was to interfere with the biochemical process by which calcium was deposited onto the eggshells of these birds. Because of this eggshell thinning, when adults attempted to incubate the eggs, sitting on them in nests, the weaker eggshells would crack under the weight and the developing embryos inside would die. In other words, the raptors’ ability to reproduce themselves was jeopardized. Pesticides affected them more than other birds because of the joint phenomena of “bioaccumulation” and “biomagnification,” by which toxic concentrations increased higher on the food chain.On a personal note, in 1974 and 1975 I worked as a biological technician for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, assisting in contaminants research at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland, rubbing elbows with some of the very scientists upon whose research Carson had drawn, such as Dr. Lucille Stickel, director of the Center from 1972 to 1982. The eminent Stickel was America’s first woman to become a senior scientist as a civil servant of the U.S. government, as well as to be named the director of a national research laboratory. She was also a 1974 recipient of the prestigious Aldo Leopold Memorial Award, given annually by The Wildlife Society, the professional association of wildlife managers and scientists.Dr. Lucille F. Stickel (1915-2007), Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center from 1972 to 1982 and 1974 recipient of the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award from the Wildlife Society. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.More broadly, Silent Spring represented a necessary rebuke to the ascendant hubris of the “Atomic Age,” one symbolized by radioactive fallout, “duck and cover,” and the arrogant slogan “better living through chemistry.” This hubris, empowered by recent technological advances, held uncritically that man knew better than nature — could even manufacture healthier milk for babies than mothers’ breast milk — and could control and exploit nature without heed to unforeseen side-effects or long-term consequences, not only for nature but for our own species.Not only was Silent Spring’s science mostly sound, but it spoke to the misgivings that millions of Americans were beginning to feel about the dizzying pace of change and where we as a species and our vaunted civilization were headed.It is no exaggeration to say that Carson and Silent Spring were attacked savagely by the chemical industry and its allies and apologists, who perceived her arguments as a direct threat to their profitability and survival. Indeed, in the Cold War and sexist spirit of the times, according to one unsubstantiated account, at least one prominent critic claimed that Carson might be a Communist because she was physically attractive but unmarried for some mysterious reason.The actual secret that Rachel Carson did keep from the public was that she was dying of cancer, a cancer that some have said she suspected might have been caused by the very environmental toxins she wrote so compellingly about in Silent Spring. That cancer finally claimed her life in April 1964, before she’d had a chance to fully defend herself and her thesis.A worker spraying DDT (Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane) on mosquito breeding water in Brisbane, Australia in 1949 using a hand operated machine. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.Yet the genie was out of the bottle. President Kennedy authorized a scientific panel to investigate her findings and accusations, which were largely vindicated. And a decade after her death, use of DDT in the United States was effectively banned; other persistent pesticides were similarly eliminated in the following years. They were replaced by less persistent chemicals that tended to have higher acute toxicity for humans and required greater care and training in their appropriate use.Over the decades, while Carson has been revered, she has also been reviled. Some have even accused her of causing the deaths of millions of poor people from malaria and other infectious diseases in the tropics. But DDT use continued for years in some of those countries and does today. There, too, malaria continues to be a scourge, because mosquitoes inevitably evolve resistance to the insecticides intended to kill them, making higher and higher doses necessary and ultimately rendering the poisons ineffective. And it must be said that Carson never opposed pest control in principle; rather, she was an early advocate of so-called “integrated pest management,” by which a variety of adaptive methods are used to keep pests in check while minimizing collateral damage to the environment and non-target species.The PBS documentary does a splendid job of covering all these aspects of Carson’s life, times, and legacy. I highly recommend it.It is telling that in Rachel Carson’s instructions for her own funeral, she asked that a reading be made from the elegiac, poetic final passages of, not Silent Spring, but The Edge of the Sea. The very last paragraph of that book reads:Contemplating the teeming life of the shore, we have an uneasy sense of the communication of some universal truth that lies just beyond our grasp. What is the message signaled by the hordes of diatoms, flashing their microscopic lights in the night? What truth is expressed by the legions of the barnacles, whitening the rocks with their habitations, each small creature within finding the necessities of its existence in the sweep of the surf? And what is the meaning of so tiny a being as the transparent wisp of protoplasm that is a sea lace, existing from some reason inscrutable to us — a reason that demands its presence by the trillion amid the rocks and weeds of the shore? The meaning haunts and ever eludes us, and in its very pursuit we approach the ultimate mystery of Life itself. Activism, Commentary, Editorials, Environment, Environmental Activism, Environmental Heroes, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Pesticides, Researcher Perspectives Series last_img read more