Ladyjacks Named 2020 Southland Softball Favorites

first_imgFRISCO, Texas – Stephen F. Austin is tabbed as the favorite to win the 2020 Softball title as the Southland Conference announced the preseason poll Thursday morning. The poll was voted on by head coaches and sports information directors from around the league. Voting for one’s own school is not permitted.The top-billed Ladyjacks led the vote with 217 points and 11 first-place votes after placing a trio of selections on the preseason all-conference teams. SFA will look to build upon the 2019 season where it finished fourth in regular-season standings and landed three picks on the all-conference roster. The Ladyjacks are led by reigning Southland Freshman of the Year Kassidy Wilbur, who closed out her freshman season with 256 strikeouts, five shutouts and a 20-16 record.Reigning regular-season and Southland Tournament champion Sam Houston State comes in next with 10 first-place votes and 210 points. The Bearkats also landed three picks on the preseason all-conference list, including seniors Tiffany Thompson and Megan McDonald on the first team and Brook Malia on the second team. SHSU is coming off a memorable season after an undefeated run through the conference tournament and a 2-1 win over Texas in the opening round of the NCAA Austin Regional Tournament.McNeese checks in at the third with 202 points and one first-place vote after concluding the 2019 season with a 3-2 record in the National Invitational Softball Championship (NISC). The Cowgirls will be led by preseason first team all- conference pitcher Alexsandra Flores and a defense that led the league with 1,379 putouts last year.Nicholls occupies the fourth-place spot after receiving a pair of first-place votes and 186 points in the vote. After a 21-6 record in conference play last season, the Colonels will be looking to avenge a runner-up finish at the conference tournament. Nicholls also landed a pair of automatic infield selections on the preseason all-conference squad in senior Samantha Dares and junior Caitlin Garcia.Southeastern Louisiana (177), Northwestern State (152), Central Arkansas (122) and Lamar (110) fill the fifth through eighth positions.Abilene Christian received 61 points for the ninth spot, while Houston Baptist was voted 10th with 56 points in the poll. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi finished next with 52 points and UIW rounds out the ballot with 39 points.The 2020 season begins Thursday, Feb. 6, with Central Arkansas traveling to Baton Rouge to take on LSU in a 6 p.m. showdown. Nine more schools debut Friday, Feb. 7, while the remaining two schools open their seasons Saturday, Feb. 8.The 2020 Southland Conference Tournament will be hosted by Southeastern Louisiana at North Oak Park in Hammond, La. Tournament action is slated for an eight-team field May 5-8.Coaches and SIDs Poll (first place votes) 3. McNeese (1) 202 12. UIW 39 1. Stephen F. Austin (11) 217 7. Central Arkansas 122 9. Abilene Christian 61 2. Sam Houston State (10) 210 11. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 52 8. Lamar 110 10. Houston Baptist 56 5. Southeastern Louisiana 177 6. Northwestern State 152 4. Nicholls (2) 186last_img read more

Mourinho called Zouma ‘rubbish’ after calling him into office for blunt chat

first_imgKURT ZOUMA has revealed Jose Mourinho once told him he was “rubbish” after a disappointing Chelsea defeat.The Blues defender was given a dressing down after being beaten 3-1 under Mourinho.1 Kurt Zouma determined prove himself on the pitch after ticking-off from MourinhoCredit: ReutersAccording to reports he says the frank exchange in his old coach’s office made him determined to prove himself.Speaking to RMC Sport Zouma said: “I cannot remember which match we were playing, we were losing 3-1, away from home.”The following day, he catches up with me, he takes me to his office, and he asks me if I am okay.”I said yes, he asked me if I was sure. I said yes again, he replied: “Because you were rubbish this weekend.””It shocked me but it made me want to immediately respond (on the pitch).”Sharp-tongued Mourinho is the subject of a documentary by French TV channel RMC Sport.It features interviews with Zouma, Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and other Premier League stars.”It shocked me, but it made me want to immediately respond (on the pitch).”Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma speaking to RMC Sport Mourinho has come in for criticism from Martial and some of his other former players in recent months.The French international told RMC Sport how he disliked Mourinho criticising his performances in the press.But Zouma defended the managerial style of his old coach.Most read in footballLive Blogblues newsChelsea news LIVE – Latest updates from Stamford BridgeGossipGOING DUTCHChelsea ‘to grab Mbuyamba on free deal’ with defender set to leave BarcelonaCOURT ORDERKante ‘ordered to appear in court’ in £3.4m legal battle with former agentBRIDGE OF SIGHSChelsea stars ‘bored’ and Hazard suffered under Sarri, says ex-No2 ZolaGossipBERN IT UPMan Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea on alert after Bernardeschi reveals Prem plansLive BlogBLUES NEWSChelsea news LIVE: Latest updates and transfer gossip from Stamford BridgeGossipSAMU’LL DOChelsea turn attention to Villarreal’s Chukwueze as United edge closer to SanchoJESUS HEISTChelsea talks with Jesus Corona confirmed as agent reveals ace open to transferThe French international added: “I was able to have my chances, I played my matches.”I don’t know what other people think, we all have different opinions, but from my side, I don’t really agree (with the notion that Mourinho does not give young players a chance).”Mourinho’s Tottenham visit Stamford Bridge next Saturday in vital game in the race for a top-four spotHe replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November after Spurs’s bid for Champion’s League qualification appeared to be failing.last_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

Clothing giant VF Corporation adopts sustainable forestry policy

first_imgClimate Change, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Change Policy, Corporate Role In Conservation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Pulp And Paper, Tropical Forests, Zero Deforestation Commitments The policy, announced late last month, lays out purchasing guidelines for materials that go into the company’s clothing and packaging, especially wood pulp, paper, and wood-based fabrics like rayon and viscose.It also commits VF Corp to using products made with recycled fiber whenever possible, and to promoting the use of Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper and fiber when sourcing virgin materials.VF Corp owns such brands as The North Face, Timberland, Vans, and Wrangler, and is said to be the largest clothing conglomerate in the United States, with 2016 revenues topping $12 billion. U.S.-based clothing conglomerate VF Corporation has adopted its first-ever forestry policy, aimed at eliminating deforestation and human rights abuses from its supply chain.The policy, announced late last month, lays out purchasing guidelines for materials that go into the company’s clothing and packaging, especially wood pulp, paper, and wood-based fabrics like rayon and viscose. It also commits VF Corp to using products made with recycled fiber whenever possible, and to promoting the use of Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper and fiber when sourcing virgin materials.VF Corp owns such brands as The North Face, Timberland, Vans, and Wrangler, and is said to be the largest clothing conglomerate in the United States, with 2016 revenues topping $12 billion.“Deforestation and forest degradation continues to be a global issue affecting climate change and human rights,” said Letitia Webster, VF Corp’s Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability. “This policy provides clear guidance across our many purchasing categories and it enables us to play our part in protecting the world’s forests.”The production of wood pulp often entails the clearing of forests, which are turned into monoculture plantations of pulpwood species like eucalyptus or acacia, as well as a number of environmental and social issues that are frequently associated with deforestation, including biodiversity loss, forced labor, and the violation of indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ rights.Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director of Vancouver-based NGO Canopy, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that VF Corp’s new policy sends a signal that companies and consumers want sustainable fiber that isn’t tied to social conflict and environmental degradation.“There’s 120 million trees that disappear into clothing every year, into rayon and viscose. A significant amount of that comes from endangered forest landscape,” Rycroft said. Many of those trees are from endangered forests, such as the tropical forests of Indonesia and the Amazon Basin as well as Canada’s boreal forest.Demand for wood-based fabrics like rayon and viscose has continued to grow in recent years, which has not only led to more trees being cut down but also contributed to a dire situation for many forest-dependent peoples. “Traditional communities or indigenous communities not being adequately consulted or having free, prior, informed consent over their lands being developed for paper products, for pulp that feeds into the fashion industry, is fairly widespread,” according to Rycroft.VF Corp partnered with Canopy in drafting its new forestry policy, and has also formally joined the CanopyStyle campaign, which aims to eliminate deforestation and social conflict from the global supply chain of wood-based fabrics by December 2017. VF Corp joins nearly 100 other companies already on board with the CanopyStyle campaign, including H&M, Levi Strauss & Co., Ralph Lauren, and Zara.Several of the world’s largest viscose producers have worked with Canopy in developing new wood pulp-sourcing policies, as well. But Rycroft emphasizes the significance of a consumer company the size of VF Corp, which owns nearly 30 popular lifestyle brands, adopting a sustainable forestry policy.“When an apparel giant like VF expands its forest commitment with a policy like this, it adds incredible momentum to global forest conservation and climate efforts,” Rycroft said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the policy. “From hang tags, to packaging, to fabrics, some of America’s favorite global brands are protecting the world’s forests and the species that call them home.”Acacia plantation in Riau, Indonesia. Photo by Rhett Butler. Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_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

A foreseen environmental disaster in Colombia?

first_imgDisasters, Environment, Flooding, Rivers On the morning of April 1, more than 60,000 people were hit by a massive landslide that dragged large amounts of water, dirt and mud downhill and buried 17 neighborhoods of Mocoa in the process.For risk management expert Gustavo Wilches-Chaux, the lack of land use planning is one of the factors that determined the impact of this natural disaster.Wilches-Chaux notes that some Colombian populations have settled along the tributaries of the main rivers of the country — areas highly vulnerable to floods, landslides and avalanches. Mocoa, Colombia – The recent landslide disaster in Mocoa, the capital city of Colombia’s southwestern Putumayo region, left 254 people dead and 203 hospitalized, according to the latest report issued by the National System for Disaster Risk Management (SNGRD). The Corporation for the Sustainable Development of the Southern Amazon (Corpoamazonia) warned about such a possible disaster back in 2015.On the morning of April 1, more than 60,000 people were caught by surprise when a landslide dragged massive amounts of water, dirt and mud downhill, and buried 17 neighborhoods of Mocoa. It also completely wiped out the neighborhood of San Miguel and devastated portions of the Laureles, San Fernando and Progreso neighborhoods, according to regional authorities. On Sunday, April 2 more than 1,300 SNGRD operatives, made up of personnel from the military, police, civil defense, fire department and the Red Cross were dispatched. The government sent 10 helicopters, six airplanes, seven boats and 63 other vehicles to support the specialized rescue personnel.Aerial shot of the effects of the landslide in the Independencia neighborhood, Mocoa. Photo courtesy of CorpoamazoniaThe landslide proved tragically what is already well-known: Putumayo and its capital city have a critical environmental situation. The geography, soil, steep slopes and nearby streams were all factors that contributed to the landslide. Located on the slope of a mountain, the city is at risk when the Mocoa, Sangoyaco and Mulato Rivers overflow.Although the federal government has denied the possibility of another landslide in Mocoa in a press release issued by the SNGRD, Corpoamazonia disagrees. Corpoamazonia says that the difficulty of cleaning the riverbeds, due to big fallen rocks and trees, could generate new obstructions in the streams and rivers, and therefore cause more flooding. The organization’s experts believe that the alert for the Mulato and Sangoyaco rivers and the streams of Taruca, Conejo and Almorzadero —which were the ones responsible for the disaster in Mocoa— are still in force.Corpoamazonia believes that an obstruction of the Mocoa River’s main channel generated the violent landslide, which wiped out hundreds of homes located north of the municipality of Mocoa.Landslide areas located in the middle and upper part of the Taruca micro-watershed. Photo courtesy of CorpoamazoniaFor Luís Alexander Mejía Bustos, director of Corpoamazonia, there is still a red alert, as he stated in an interview granted to Semana Sostenible. According to the director, an overflight showed that the slopes of the streams are fractured, there is river erosion and a lot of debris on the riverbeds and banks.“In fact, there is so much debris that if it rained again like it did on Saturday morning, a replica of the tragedy would happen again,” Mejía said. “The rivers still need to reach their base level and that will take a considerable time.”Other experts agree that the situation is still dangerous. The early warnings issued in the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies’ (IDEAM) daily bulletins remain on high or red alert because rainfall will continue, high volumes of precipitation will fall in the upper basins of the Putumayo rivers and in the Amazonian foothills. IDEAM has also issued an orange alert, which warns of potential landslides throughout the Amazon region.Although deforestation is considered one of the main causes of the Mocoa disaster, IDEAM and Corpoamazonia experts agree that a number of factors, including rainfall volume and geological instability in the area, are also to blame.Mocoa Mayor José Castro, told Mongabay what happened the night of the disaster. “We got out of the house when we heard a tremendous noise, the land roared, but we did not know what it was, and we watched the river take away what was in front of us, entire houses,” he said. “People were caught in the mudslides, but we were able to get out of there.”A foreseen disasterIn 2015, Corpoamazonia and the government of Putumayo carried out modeling studies to accurately assess the area’s risk of flooding. The technical data obtained confirmed that natural phenomena of great proportions, such as the one that occurred in April, could happen, according to Luís Alexander Mejía Bustos, director of Corpoamazonia.In an interview with Semana Sostenible, Mejía said that they warned authorities that disasters such as the recent one could happen due to the “inadequate use of the land” during a workshop with the Colombian Geological Service. They also noted that several Amazonian municipalities such as Mocoa “had not updated their Land Management Plan.”In addition to the Corpoamazonia-Putumayo study, several reports by IDEAM issued the same day of the tragedy in statements sent to all the authorities of the country. Omar Franco, director general of IDEAM, told Mongabay that they also issued an alert for heavy rain and possible landslides in the Municipality of Putumayo in addition to statements given to the central government by Mocoa’s mayor.An alert for heavy rains in the Putumayo region were sent the day before the landslide, warning that March 30 had been the second rainiest day of the month and heavy rains were predicted in the Amazonian foothills and the slopes of the Putumayo region. The night before the disaster, according to IDEAM, 129.3 millimeters (5 inches) of rain fell in the municipality of Mocoa, equivalent to the volume of water that would normally fall over ten days in this part of the Amazon foothills.According to Franco, the concentration of rain was so intense during the night that it increased the magnitude of the disaster and made the tragedy worse. He also said that in the last 25 years, rainfall higher than that has been recorded, but the difference lies in the volume of rain. This time, it was distributed over 24 hours and in Mocoa specifically, and only within three hours.Panoramic view of San Miguel (in Mocoa) and San Antonio (Junín electrical substation). Photo courtesy of CorpoamazoniaAccording to IDEAM’s Franco, the phenomena caused by heavy rains is something that cannot be avoided. “The level of vulnerability of the population, the loss of vegetation cover and the lack of monitoring of those areas, is what makes these heavy rains have a greater impact,” he said. He added that to prevent recurring disasters, it is necessary to have better control of these variables and work on deeper concepts such as land use management.Logs, rocks and mud dragged by the torrential mudslides in San Miguel. Photo courtesy of CorpoamazoniaPossible factors of the tragedyOn the day of the disaster, environmental authorities flew over the affected areas and saw proof of what scientific studies had already established.Iván Darío Melo, deputy director of the environmental management sector of Corpoamazonia, said his organization found conditions of vulnerability in the affected area, how changes in land use and the occurrence of pastures have displaced the forest which previously helped in the regulation of water, and protection and containment of the rivers located in the upper basin.With less forest area, the biological material of the soil is more susceptible to erosion, Melo explained, and if steep slopes are taken into account — with slopes between 50 and 100 degrees — the scenario for the natural disaster was evident. Melo said heavy rain that began around 10 p.m. the night before was the final ingredient for a landslide. “Hours later I was talking with a friend through social media and the last thing she said to me was: ‘the stream is roaring,’” Melo said. Her name now appears on the list of missing people, next to dozens who are missing.IDEAM alerts had also reported deforestation and land use change in the municipality.Human presence in river basins is another factor that Melo says should not be overlooked. According to him, “Many settlements exist on river banks and only when these things happen do we understand that rivers are dynamic and they need space to move.”Rocks accumulated in San Miguel. Photo courtesy of CorpoamazoniaIs deforestation the cause of the tragedy?In the last 25 years, the region of Putumayo has been leading the deforestation figures in Colombia, with the loss of 380,000 hectares (939,000 acres), according to IDEAM. Putumayo has the fifth-highest regional deforestation of Colombia.Edersón Cabrera, coordinator of IDEAM’s forest monitoring system, said that while the Mocoa situation is not the most worrying in the region, deforestation in the 1990s and 2000s — especially in the upper parts of the Mocoa River basin — did cause landslides.“More than 10,000 hectares have been deforested over the last 25 years in the Mocoa River basin, with the highest peaks occurring from 2000 to 2005 and 2005 to 2010, averaging 700 hectares deforested annually in that part of the municipality,” Cabrera explained.The effects of the landslides in Mocoa. Photo courtesy of CorpoamazoniaWhen high-intensity precipitation occurs over short periods, soil becomes saturated and then tends to slide. In this scenario, trees and vegetation typically help to counteract the problem, a role that pastures and crops can not fulfill because they don’t have the type of roots that can contain or mitigate landslides.According to Cabrera, IDEAM analysis has found that deforestation over time has made certain areas more susceptible to landslides. “In the case of the Mocoa River basin, because river banks are so steep, the sediments that go to the riverbeds cause blockages (obstructions) resulting in these phenomena,” Cabrera said.Land use management: a fundamental problem According to the IDEAM director Franco, there are more than 500 municipalities in Colombia that are at differing risk levels, 185 of them are on orange or red alerts, warning that they could be affected by landslides.For risk management expert Gustavo Wilches-Chaux, the lack of land use planning is one of the factors that determined the huge impact of the Mocoa landslide.Wilches-Chaux said some Colombian populations have settled in the tributaries of the main rivers of the country, putting their lives at risk. The areas are highly vulnerable to floods, landslides and avalanches. He said it is not a question of imposing human priorities on the dynamics of nature, but of ordering social needs in such a way that they don’t clash with the dynamics of ecosystems. He said that in order to avoid future disasters, early warnings should be heeded and there should be greater collaboration with communities on land use planning.View of the neighborhood Progreso, Mocoa. Photo courtesy of Corpoamazonia“Climate change and extreme climate variability are forcing us to address the management of territories from a non-anthropocentric ethic, instead based on the recognition of the rights of nature and respect for all human beings and non-humans who share the earth,” Wilches-Chaux said.Cover photo courtesy of CorpoamazoniaThis story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on April 3, 2017. Article published by Romina Castagninocenter_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

Temer signs law that could see millions of acres lost in the Amazon

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon People, Amazon Soy, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Controversial, Corruption, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation 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 MP 759, signed into law this week by President Temer, and little noticed by the media, significantly alters Brazil’s Terra Legal program, introduced in 2009 by President Lula — a program that has already been hijacked by land thieves, critics say.The new law introduces further multiple loopholes to allow land thieves, who have illegally occupied and cleared vast areas of public land in the Amazon, to legalize their land holdings, and to do so both easily and cheaply.MP 759, among other things, increases the land claimable via Terra Legal from 1,500 to 2,500 hectares; allows wealthy land thieves to go on paying very little for land; and offers what in practice is an amnesty for land grabbers who illegally seized public lands between 2004 and 2011.With government regulatory and enforcement agencies hard hit by massive budget cuts, analysts fear that the passage of MP 759 will result in an alarming increase in rural violence, which is already running at very high levels. A landless peasant occupation near highway BR 163 and the town of Novo Progresso in Pará state, Brazil. The newly altered Terra Legal program just approved by President Temer will give large landowners an opportunity to drastically increase their land holdings, likely leading to a major conversion of rainforest into grazing and crop lands. Photo by Thais BorgesBRASILIA, Brazil: On 11 July, President Michel Temer signed into law important new legislation (MP 759) that paves the way for land thieves, who have illegally occupied and cleared vast areas of public land in the Amazon, to legalize their land holdings. The changes introduced by the legislation will make it easier — and very cheap — for wealthy land grabbers (even those who illegally occupied land fairly recently) to gain property rights over vast areas.The bill was passed at a time of drastic cuts in funding for key government regulatory bodies, such as the environmental agency IBAMA, the agrarian reform institute INCRA, and the Indian agency FUNAI.The new law which is likely to embolden land thieves, when combined with the huge enforcement cuts, could lead Brazil into a period of lawlessness and unrest believes Deborah Duprat, Prosecutor for Citizen Rights in the Office of the Attorney General (PFDC).“Among numerous unconstitutional elements, MP 759, which was approved in the midst of protests, transfers into private hands an enormous stock of public land,” said Duprat. “With this, various policies that guarantee land for peoples, the environment and conservation units, are going to become completely compromised. We have to be prepare for a situation in the countryside where — as a result of the bankruptcy of public policies — violence will grow exponentially,” Duprat said.Remote parts of the Amazon are especially expected to be impacted. Experts fear that the passage of MP 759 will greatly accelerate deforestation.The Amazon rainforest is seriously threatened by Temer’s signing of MP 759. Photo credit: sara y tzunky via Visual hunt / CC BY-NCThe new legislation came in the form of a provisional measure, MP 759/2016, which was proposed by the administration, approved by Congress, and then signed by Temer. Despite its expected major impacts, the law has attracted little attention in the mainstream media, largely because of the current political tumult in Brasilia, which is dominating the news.President Temer signed the measure on the same day that Judge Sergio Moro sentenced former president Lula to nearly ten years imprisonment for corruption, on the basis of what many see as flimsy evidence. The Lula conviction announcement, while taking attention away from MP 759, also muted trade union movement protests over a massive erosion of labor rights that was being approved by the Senate. All of this also helped delay voting by a Congressional Commission on the serious corruption accusations Temer is facing.MP 759 alters Terra Legal, a program announced as a means of enabling peasant families to gain ownership of their small land plots, even though legislation for this purpose already existed. Introduced in 2009 under President Lula, Terra Legal has, in fact, largely strengthened big farmers: although peasant farmers make up 85 percent of the program’s beneficiaries, they have only gained 19 percent of the land. The rest has gone mostly to the wealthy elite.The significant changes to Terra Legal, some introduced at a late stage by the bill’s rapporteur, Senator Romero Jucá, will further facilitate land theft. The law includes an increase in the maximum size of individual land occupations that can be regularized from 1,500 to 2,500 hectares (5.8 to 9.6 square miles). This change will make it easier for land grabbers to gain control over larger areas of land, particularly given the common practice by which laranjas (literally oranges, or stooges) who register land in their name but actually hand it over to the land thieves.An area of Amazon forest cleared illegally by the AJ Vilela gang of land thieves near the Baú indigenous reserve. Land grabbing will become significantly easier and cheaper under the new law. Photo courtesy of Brazil’s Environmental Protection Directorate (Diretoria de Proteção Ambiental – IBAMA)There are also fears the new law will negatively impact Brazil’s agrarian reform settlements, many of which were set up due to pressure from Brazil’s globally known landless movement (MST).Gerson Teixeira, an agrarian expert, said that the new law will remove a stipulation that allowed peasant families to delay paying for their plots until the land is supported by adequate infrastructure. “Most of the settlements are in a precarious condition,” Teixeira said. “They don’t have rural credit or infrastructure. Some have existed for 20 years and don’t have a single well.”If peasant families must start paying for their plots immediately, many will have no option but to sell, because without rural credit and adequate roads, they can’t farm profitably, Teixeira added, “Big landowners want to get their hands on the 80 million hectares [308,882 square miles] given over to agrarian reform. Making settlers start paying for their plots will give agribusiness what it wants — land for sale.Ariovaldo Umbelino de Oliveira, from the University of Sao Paulo, believes that current policies, including Terra Legal, will boost the morale of land thieves, encouraging them to form some of the largest rural estates recorded in the history of humanity.The government insists that the main objective of the new legislation is to sort out Brazil’s chaotic land situation. “Our goal is to simplify inefficient procedures and to cut the red tape,” said Eliseu Padilha, the Presidential Chief of Staff. “With the new program the government will turn millions of Brazilians into citizens.”Senator Romero Jucá said that the government was paying its “historic debt” to the thousands of families who had migrated to the Amazon in the 1970s and 1980s and never received the land titles they had been promised.However, according to Brenda Brito, who has a doctorate in law from Stanford University and now works with the Brazilian NGO Institute of Man and the Environment in Amazonia (Imazon), Jucá’s argument is weak, because the new legislation is not needed to provide families with these titles.According to Brito, the government’s real motives can be found in two changes introduced by the new law. The first is to bring forward the cut-off date after which land cannot be registered, from December 2004 to December 2011. “Those who invaded public land after the approval of law 11,952 did it knowing it was illegal to do this, and thus carried out the crime of invasion of public land, set out in article 20 of law 4,947/1966. In extending the date to 2011, the MP is, in practice, providing an amnesty for this crime.”The second change is to consolidate the system by which the government provides a generous subsidy for the land sale. According to Brito, Brazil’s General Accounting Office (Tribunal de Contas da União) had already reported that the charges made by the Terra Legal Program were “derisory” and infringed the law. But, she says, the new law continues with the old system: “just to give an example, a hectare of land in the district of Paragominas in the state of Pará, would have a market cost of up to R$10,000 (US $3,120). But, by the rules of the [new] MP, the government will charge only R$45 (US $14).”Analysts say the newly passed legislation could result in the loss of millions of acres of Amazon rainforest, as well as vast tracts in the Cerrado savanna. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / MongabayBrito concludes: “During a period of economic crisis and increasing deforestation … this MP is doing the opposite of what is needed, by allowing derisory prices to be paid, and stretching out the time periods. The Castanheira and Flying Rivers Operations, carried out by the Federal Police, showed that there is a scramble [by land thieves] to illegally take over public land in Amazonia. For this reason, instead of giving an amnesty and becoming an accessory in this criminal behavior by providing a presidential sanction, the government should have vetoed the MP and sent out the message that this kind of theft of public property will not be tolerated.”The new law also weakens environmental regulations. The final version, signed by Temer, abolishes the earlier stipulation that claimants would lose their title to the land if they cleared the area of forest, called a legal reserve, which they are bound by law to leave untouched. All that is now necessary to deforest is that the claimants register their land with the Rural Environmental Inventory (CAR).MP 759 is just the latest in a series of retrogressive measures that are being pushed rapidly through Congress by the bancada ruralista rural caucus that are undoing the environmental and social advances made by Brazil since the return to civilian rule in 1985. Civil society is protesting vociferously but has been unable to influence the Congress.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 Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

Lawyer opposing U.S. resort developer in Baja Mexico jailed 62 days

first_imgIn 2004, very far from there in Colorado (United States), real estate agency Black Creek Group developed a multimillion-dollar real estate business partnership. They named it “Limited Partnership Interests in Black Creek Mexico Residential Fund LP” to make investments “principally in Mexico,” as they stated to the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, the agency responsible for making sure that laws are followed in the stock exchange.It was the beginning of a story that would turn out to be similar to that of the fishermen, and is now changing the life and landscape within the calm town of Todos Santos. Todos Santos is a getaway for seamen, businesspeople, and American tourists located right in front of a whale sanctuary and beaches perfect for surfing. But the town also has a history of legal battles, displacements, protests, violent evictions, arrests, imprisonments, and loss of natural resources.The beach that has long been the workplace of the fishermen—they figure that their parents and grandparents have worked there for the past 100 years—as well as the swamp and wetlands around it are being replaced by Hotel San Cristóbal. The hotel is part of the tourism development by Black Creek Group, whose motto is “the epicenter of well-being.” The company plans to build 4,472 houses in 25 years (Todos Santos has fewer than 6,500 inhabitants), a tank to store 400,000 liters of water, and two additional boutique hotels like the one being built on Punta Lobos Beach.Punta Lobos Beach before the start of construction for the Tres Santos project. Photo courtesy of BajaSurTVToday, with the advances in construction, this is how the area looks. Photo courtesy of BajaSurTV“After a life of working here, this mega-development group ‘Tres Santos’ appeared overnight saying that now they own everything, and the government tells us that now we have nothing,” lamented Rosario Salvatierra, one of the most experienced fishers in Punta Lobos.The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) of Mexico approved the Tres Santos project in 2013. But the Punta Lobos Fishing Cooperative decided to fight for their right to fish with the help of lawyer John Moreno Rutowski.“We told him ‘look, John, we want you to help us,’ and he said ‘sure, I’ll get involved,’” remembers Salvatierra.Moreno Rutowski —who has dual Mexican and American citizenship— wants the cooperative to file a lawsuit for the delimitation of the private property, and for the federal land to be established in accordance with its historical rights. This would give the members of the cooperative the possibility of continuing to fish there.But on May 19, after more than two years of legal disputes, Moreno Rutowski was arrested in Todos Santos upon leaving his office. The lawyer was jailed in La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur. He was accused of “dispossession” in a case filed in 2014 in which he defended Joella Corado, a young woman who also has dual citizenship, who wanted to recover a piece of land that her parents had inherited in Todos Santos.The case was closed “as non-execution of criminal action,” which means that the Public Ministry determined that in that moment, there was insufficient evidence to continue with the accusation filed by the other party, the person who was said to own Joella Corado’s family property. But three years later, for no apparent reason, the case was revived, according to Moreno Rutowski’s lawyer, Arturo Rubio.The fishermen, who don’t have much experience with legal disputes against companies as big as Black Creek, have put their faith in Moreno Rutowski, who—in addition to his legal knowledge—has an ideology that aligns with the fishermen and others who work with the ocean.Moreno Rutowski is a lawyer in Todos Santos and also has the rank of chief within the Lakota Sioux tribe. He has ample experience opposing projects that threaten the environment.“My roots, and the beliefs of my ethnic group and of the town that has taken me in, are intimately related with the land, with mother nature. Those beliefs follow the principle that the land does not belong to us; we belong to the land, and we have to take care of it and protect it. That is our obligation,” said Moreno Rutowski in an exclusive interview with Mongabay Latam from prison.From her office in Todos Santos, Elena Moreno, John’s mother, said that her son’s time in jail forms part of “his journey” and that he has come to terms with thinking of it this way.“I think that this is going to be a life experience, far from something that’s going to make me give up. This is strengthening my convictions,” said Moreno Rutowski with his hands up against the metal grate.The journey to jailOne factor that caused angry public opinion is the way in which Moreno Rutowski was detained.The Attorney General of Baja California sent three agents, who Moreno Rutowski knows, to arrest him. They did not show him a warrant, but simply asked for his voluntary cooperation. “They took me up to the unit and it wasn’t until they brought me to the Attorney General that they told me about the reason for my arrest,” remembers Moreno Rutowski.For Moreno Rutowski, the real reason for his arrest is that he has stated five popular accusations that oppose the real estate project called Tres Santos. Photo courtesy of BajaSurTVTo accuse Moreno Rutowski in a case that was closed in 2004 and that, according to his lawyer, doesn’t have a legal basis to be reopened, the Attorney General of Baja California Sur made an appearance in which he ordered Moreno Rutowski’s arrest. The important detail is that for this legal action to be effective, it was necessary for the accused to be present.The Attorney General of Baja California Sur claims that Moreno Rutowski was present, while the defense maintains that this is false and that he was never present. To help prove this claim, Moreno Rutowski’s lawyer, Rubio, contacted Humberto Franco Merlos, an expert in criminology, graphoscopy, and dactyloscopy.The specialist determined that Moreno’s signatures were falsified and that the documents were fabricated using photocopies from other court appearances. “The signatures from the alleged appearance are false, and so is the document with which he was supposedly identified,” assured Franco Merlos in a phone interview. This is repeated in the accused party’s statement as well as in the statement of the plaintiff and the two government agents.“I realized that the signatures don’t belong to John Moreno [Rutowski], and to say that he did make an appearance, they put on that photocopy of his voter identification card. From the government documents, I realized that the credentials simply aren’t original; they are taken from another inquiry. They’re appearances that didn’t happen; that is very clear,” confirms Franco Merlos.The evidence of the documents’ falsification was presented before the judge, but up to this point, it has not influenced his decisions.According to Rubio, this evidence is sufficient reason for the trial to be cancelled, and even, he says, for research to be done to find the culprits. “It’s a felony; it’s a counterfeiting crime against the administration of justice. It’s a crime that is pursued ex-officio and that on its own nullifies all the conduct of the Public Ministry,” says Rubio.Mongabay Latam tried to obtain a direct account of Moreno Rutowski’s case from the Attorney General of Baja California Sur via telephone, but up to this point it has been impossible. The only official account is one that was given in a statement on May 19, the day of the arrest. The statement briefly explains that “the affected person” was presented to the Attorney General (no date is given) in order to denounce Moreno Rutowski and Corado for the crime of dispossession committed on June 21, 2014.That is, a person responsible for a real estate project on the land came back after three years to denounce Moreno Rutowski, and for that reason, the trial was reopened.“When, in 2017, Tres Santos began to weigh the pressure between the court and the things that John [Moreno Rutowski] and his team were doing, that’s when the Attorney General brought back the old issues. They called the person in charge of the development, who told them that they did have the right,” explains Rubio.The Public Ministry also explains in the statement that it did have sufficient evidence to arrest the fishermen’s representative.“The real reason for my arrest is that we have put out five popular accusations in opposition to a real estate project called Tres Santos, which gives the developers permission to misinterpret our federal environmental laws and laws having to do with urban development and human settlements in the state,” said Moreno Rutowski, with two guards standing at his sides.The fishermen of the Punta Lobos Fishing Cooperative placed a banner directed at tourists visiting Tres Santos: “If you stay at this hotel, you are contributing to those who are stealing our fishermen’s beach.” Photo by Rodrigo SoberanesOn May 24, five days after Moreno Rutowski’s capture, a federal judge confirmed the right of the Punta Lobos Fishing Cooperative to “protect their traditional beach against the threat of displacement brought about by Tres Santos,” according to a statement provided by the Cooperative. Nevertheless, the issue is still at hand.GroundswellThe fishermen in the Cooperative and lawyer Moreno Rutowski aren’t the only ones who are convinced of the environmental damage that will be done to Punta Lobos Beach.In Nov. 2015, specialist Paula Angeloni del Castillo, a biologist who specializes in oceanography and is a technical advisor for the fishermen of Punta Lobos, sent a letter to the Secretary of the Environment, Carlos Cota. In the letter, she warned of the consequences of construction on dunes and wetlands.“Paradoxically, the first thing they did was destroy the mangrove adjacent to the beach and then started building on top of the first stretch of coastal dunes on Punta Lobos, considering that both of these actions put the environment at risk,” explained Angeloni del Castillo.Aerial view of Punta Lobos Beach during the construction of San Cristóbal Hotel. Photo courtesy of BajaSurTVFor Angeloni del Castillo, the coastal dunes play a central role in assuring the beach’s conservation. “Building like this, in this area which is so ecologically fragile, is not responsible — and the nature here has quickly begun to show that,” added the biologist.Six months after Tres Santos cut out the dunes and filled the wetlands with cement to construct San Cristóbal Hotel, “a real ecological and social disaster began,” says Angeloni del Castillo. The beach in front of the hotel disappeared, and the waves reached the hotel’s walls. The rocks that had been put in place were thrown around and knocked against the boats, and the path that the fishermen took to work was eroded.That path is the same one that the locals in Todos Santos take to get to the beach. It’s the preferred way because the waves are calm there, so it lets them get into the sea. Punta Lobos is also the closest beach to Todos Santos.The company Tres Santos argued that the waves’ arrival up to their cement wall is due to a natural factor called “groundswell,” and offered to pay for the damage done to the fishermen’s boats and equipment.Fishermen from the Punta Lobos Fishing Cooperative unload their boats after a day of work. Photo by Rodrigo Soberanes“If the ‘groundswell’ hypothesis is correct,” added Angeloni del Castillo in her letter, “It begs the questions ‘how does a company that calls itself “green” build over the first stretch of coastal dunes?’ and ‘How does the SEMARNAT allow a retaining wall to be built so close to the sea?’”In Feb. 2017, the head of SEMARNAT, Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, declared that “everything is in order” on the Tres Santos project, according to a note published on the web page The Baja California Informer.Before the legal action, the fishermen created an eight-point petition directed at Tres Santos. The first point was that federal land, which is protected by law, should be set aside based on tidal patterns, which would safeguard the wetlands and mangroves. This did not occur, and the sea was the reason.The fishermen’s petition to the investors also included a request to avoid construction that would cause erosion on the beach, as well as a request that the builders mark off the areas on which they would work. They also requested the “conservation and protection of the Lobos Estuary; no activity, construction, or use that does not foster and protect the wild flora and fauna of said habitat and wetlands in the area.”Aerial view of Punta Lobos Beach prior to the beginning of construction on San Cristóbal Hotel. Photo courtesy of BajaSurTVTres Santos claims that they have always sought dialogue with the fishermen and that they have made a series of proposals. They publicly offered to help those who keep their fishing licenses, and to pay for the damage caused by the waves that crash into their boats because of the groundswell. They also offered free access to the beach with a paved path, and to build new facilities for the fishermen.After Salvatierra’s interview, the fishermen talked for about two hours about the case and agreed that they would go “to the bitter end” because of their distrust of Tres Santos.But not all the fishermen are opposed to the project. Another group from Punta Lobos Beach, organized in the Todos Santos Cooperative, did agree to the company’s offers and gave up the area where they kept their boats. Now, the area has been replaced by the boutique hotel’s terrace, and the boats are next to those of the Punta Lobos Fishing Cooperative.Mongabay tried to contact Tres Santos via telephone to hear their account, but at the time of this article’s original publication, they could not be contacted.Police involvementMoreno Rutowski was arrested during the “most pivotal” moment of the legal dispute, according to Rubio, his lawyer. His capture, says Rubio, was preceded by a total of five accusations presented by Moreno Rutowski and his team as they tried to block Tres Santos’ actions.“The environmental impact is being fought about, and people are reporting damage to the dunes, wetlands, and beach. The damage to the mangrove is criminal. Just when the anti-development movement began, all of a sudden they began to harass John [Moreno Rutowski],” said Rubio.The jailing, according to the defense, also was preceded by threats against Moreno Rutowski, for which he asked for guarantees from the Protective Mechanism for Defenders of Human Rights and Journalists.John Moreno Rutowski with other activists fighting back against the construction of the San Cristóbal Hotel. Photo courtesy of BajaSurTVIn Todos Santos, there are even more people who are said to have received intimidating calls at night. Three activists, including BajaSurTV journalist Ricardo Madrazo, are denounced and walk down the street while using a legal measure which protects at-risk people who believe that their rights could be violated.The dispute between the fishermen and Tres Santos switched from judicial authorities to social protests when, between 2015 and 2016, the fishermen blocked one of the entrances to San Cristóbal Hotel and stopped construction. The standoff, remembers Salvatierra, ended with the fishermen being removed on the morning of Feb. 2, 2016, by dozens of riot control police officers from the Baja California Sur Secretariat of Public Security as well as municipal police from La Paz.BajaSurTV journalist Ricardo Madrazo documented their removal. Witnesses saw public officials and Tres Santos employees come with the police and even ask them to remove the fishermen.Esteban Beltrán Cota, an employee of the Baja California Secretariat of Governance, along with Beatriz Ledesma, Tres Santos assistant manager of projects, witnessed the removal and the stakeout set up by the fishermen, which are shown in the published videos.Moreno Rutowski made various requests for information about the operation to the institutions in charge of public security because, according to witnesses, and based on the presence of Tres Santos employee Ledesma, it was treated as an action that the company had requested.Moreno Rutowski and his clients, who were removed, wanted to know whether the police had removed them by order of the State or were acting as private guards for Tres Santos.La Paz’s local government told Moreno Rutowski that the Director of Public Security, Arturo Torres Valverde, and those he was in charge of, did have a part in the removal and admitted that they did not register the procedure. “There is no documentation that explains their actions in the way that you are requesting.” The Secretariat of Governance was also questioned by the lawyer, and he answered that there was no “instruction, document, authorization, nor mandate.”In the 62 days that Moreno Rutowski has spent in jail, he has been as isolated as possible from the rest of the people in jail, staying inside his cell without calling any attention to himself and analyzing his legal situation.“I don’t go through the common areas, I don’t get involved with anyone; I keep myself as reserved as possible and don’t get involved in anything that could put me at any type of risk,” said Moreno Rutowski from the prison’s phone booth.From the other side of the booth, he assured us that his jailing is related to the power behind the Tres Santos  project, which, with its wealth of legal resources, is trying to stop those in the Punta Lobos Fishing Cooperative from defending themselves.The power of Black Creek GroupThere is data that describes Black Creek Group’s strength within Mexico: in 2010, before the Tres Santos project began, Black Creek Group controlled $2.5 billion within Mexico. It’s no secret that the “right arm” of the company is Mexico Retail Properties (MRP), under which various affiliates are operated. MRP is controlled by Gerónimo Marcos Gerard Rivero, the brother-in-law of former President of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortari.One of those affiliates is MIRA Companies, which uses investment funds to buy and administer properties in different parts of Mexico using the same concept as Tres Santos: with offers of well-being, a healthy life, and spirituality for potential American clients.A July 1 protest demanding that John Moreno Rutowski and Joella Corado be freed. Photo by Rodrigo SoberanesIn this tranquil area, classified as a “magical town” by the Mexican government, MIRA came without any advertisements written in Spanish (all were in English) and settled into the surroundings. “It’s a destination for a demanding group of experienced travelers who long for an alternative to places like Phoenix or Cabo. Here, you find the exoticism and the charm of the old world. Here, you can live authentically,” says Tres Santos on their web page, where they promoted the construction of a “boutique” concept, similar to their existing buildings.Meanwhile, on July 1, about 300 people marched near the breakwater in La Paz. Both Mexicans and Americans participated to demand the freeing of Moreno Rutowski as well as Corado. The march also functioned as a demonstration by members of the Lakota Sioux tribe.A protester wearing a shirt referring to “Chief John” during the protest supporting John Moreno Rutowski. Photo by Rodrigo SoberanesOn Tuesday, July 4, a hearing was held in which the defense hoped that the judge would set a bail amount for Moreno Rutowski and that he would be freed in the following days. According to Moreno Rutowski’s mother, Elena Moreno, the prosecuting party asked to suspend the hearing, but it still took place. “Now we’re waiting for the judge’s decision,” she said.Elena Moreno, who was aware of the hearing, reported that the judge decided to take more days to “thoroughly review” the case. Moreno Rutowski’s release is not scheduled.Moreno Rutowski said that he has received “certain threats,” which he considers a common situation inside a jail. “I spend most of the day inside my cell,” said Moreno Rutowski.Today, it is clear to the fishermen that the company that has displaced them from their place of work has money of epic proportions.“Tres Santos’ fingerprint is all over the subject of John Moreno [Rutowski]. We are daring to tell the government that this isn’t worth it,” said Salvatierra amid the hustle and bustle of the boats, arriving to deliver their goods to buyers.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on July 7, 2017. Coastal Ecosystems, Endangered Environmentalists, Environmental Activism, Fishing, Mangroves An American company plans to build what it dubs Tres Santos: 4,472 houses, a tank to store 400,000 liters of water, and two boutique hotels like one being built on Punta Lobos Beach in Baja California SurAt the time of his arrest, lawyer John Moreno Rutowski was representing the fishing community of Punta Lobos, which opposes the project because it supplants the beach and wetland area they’ve used for 100 yearsFour days after Moreno Rutowski’s incarceration, a federal judge confirmed the right of the fishermen to “protect their traditional beach against the threat of displacement brought about by Tres Santos,” according to Moreno Rutowski’s lawyer62 days later Moreno remains in jail on unclear charges PUNTA LOBOS, Mexico – Every morning at dawn, the fishermen of Punta Lobos take their boats out to the high seas to find shrimp boats and give bread, cookies, and soft drinks to the crew members in exchange for shrimp heads to use as bait.They do this out of necessity. Deep down, they surely would prefer not to have to depend on this. The boats usually arrive at the beaches of Todos Santos, in Baja California Sur, from the neighboring state of Sinaloa. The fishermen practice trawling — taking in tons of shrimp and young sole, a species that artisanal fishermen work with and protect.The shrimp heads are for the fishermen, and the small sole go back into the sea dead. For decades, the members of the Punta Lobos Fishing Cooperative have seen tons of dead fish thrown overboard and have spoken out about it with anger as they take their afternoon breaks.But nowadays, this is the least of their problems: in 2013, the Mexican government approved the construction of a hotel on Punta Lobos Beach and the lawyer who defended the members of the cooperative, John Moreno Rutowski, has been incarcerated in the height of a full legal battle against the company developing the project.Lawyer John Moreno Rutowski, left, has spent 62 days in jail as of July 20, 2017. Photo courtesy of BajaSurTV Article published by Erik Hoffner Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Audio: Dr. Jane Goodall on being proven right about animals having personalities, plus updates direct from COP23

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Animal Behavior, Animal Intelligence, Animals, Apes, Archive, Cites, Climate Change, Climate Change Negotiations, Climate Change Policy, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Heroes, Featured, Forest Fires, Global Warming, Great Apes, Herps, Illegal Logging, Interviews, Law Enforcement, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Mammals, National Parks, Orangutans, Podcast, Protected Areas, Rosewood, Trade, Trophy Hunting, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img On today’s episode, we speak with the legendary Jane Goodall, who truly needs no introduction, and will have a direct report from the United Nations’ climate talks happening now in Bonn, Germany.Just before Mongabay founder and CEO Rhett Butler was scheduled to speak with Goodall recently, research came out that vindicated her contention, which she’s held for nearly 60 years, that animals have personalities just like people. So we decided to record her thoughts about that for the Mongabay Newscast.Our second guest today is Mongabay contributor and Wake Forest University journalism professor Justin Catanoso, who appears on the podcast direct from COP23 to tell us how the UN climate talks are going in Bonn, Germany, what the mood is like amongst delegates, and how the US delegation is factoring into the talks as the Trump Administration continues to pursue a pullout from the Paris Climate Agreement. On today’s episode, we speak with the legendary Jane Goodall, who truly needs no introduction, and will have a direct report from the United Nations’ climate talks happening now in Bonn, Germany.Our first guest is the one and only Jane Goodall, whose work as a primatologist studying animal behavior for the past six decades has made her a household name. She’s written over two dozen books for both adults and children, and has been the subject of more than 40 films including one now touring the US and Canada, called Jane.Mongabay is incredibly lucky to have Jane Goodall on our Advisory Board. Just before Mongabay founder and CEO Rhett Butler was scheduled to speak with Goodall recently, research came out that vindicated her contention, which she’s held for nearly 60 years, that chimps have personalities just like people. So we decided to record her thoughts about that for the Mongabay Newscast.“Quite honestly I think almost everybody recognized that animals have personalities, whether they were in the wild or whether they weren’t,” Goodall tells Butler. “And it was just science saying, ‘Well we can’t prove it therefore it’s better we don’t accept it.’”Goodall discusses what it’s like to be proven correct all these years later, as well as why she thinks the argument that trophy hunting is a valuable way to fund conservation is “rubbish,” the changes she’s seen in the conservation world over her career, and whether she’s hopeful that we can reverse some of the troubling environmental trends we see around the world.This conversation went much deeper and into other topics, as well, such as some positive conservation news out of China; the role celebrities can play in boosting environmental causes; the Jane Goodall Institute’s youth program Roots and Shoots, which has now expanded to 100 countries; Jane’s appeal to send seeds to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, and much more. Read the whole transcript here.You can follow Jane Goodall on Facebook for updates on all of her work. She has also recorded a Master Class consisting of 29 lessons about animal intelligence and conservation that is available now.Our second guest today is Mongabay contributor and Wake Forest University journalism professor Justin Catanoso, who is currently attending his fourth Congress of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23). Just as he did last year, when the COP was held in Marrakesh, Morocco, Catanoso appears on the podcast direct from the convention center in Bonn, Germany to tell us how the COP is going, what the mood is like amongst delegates, and how the US delegation is factoring into the talks as the Trump Administration continues to pursue a pullout from the Paris Climate Agreement.Justin Catanoso will be covering the COP for Mongabay all week, so look for more of his reporting direct from the convention center in Bonn.Here’s this episode’s top news:The Eighth Great Ape: New orangutan species discovered in SumatraCatastrophic fires sweep through iconic Brazilian national parkMadagascar petitions CITES to sell millions in stolen rosewoodMajor Dutch timber company found guilty of dealing in illegal teakVaquitaCPR ends capture program in Gulf of California after vaquita dies in captivityBrilliantly colored ‘lost’ salamander rediscovered after 42 yearsYou can read more about all of these top news items at Mongabay.com. And if you’d like to request email alerts when we publish new stories on specific topics that you care about most, from forests and oceans to indigenous people’s rights and more, visit alerts.mongabay.com and sign up.If you haven’t already, now’s the time to subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast! You don’t want to miss the next episode, when we’ll have best-selling author Margaret Atwood on the program to discuss her conservation-minded comic book series Angel Catbird and much, much more. You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, or RSS.Dr. Jane Goodall beside a waterfall in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. Photo Credit: Jane Goodall Institute / Bill Wallauer.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001last_img read more

From friends to strangers: The decline of the Irrawaddy dolphin (commentary)

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 Now critically endangered, the last of the Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are concentrated in nine deep-water pools over a 190-kilometer stretch of the Mekong between Cambodia’s Sambor district and Khone Falls on the Lao border.Today the Mekong’s dolphins face a new threat. The proposed Sambor Dam on the river’s mainstream would catalyze the extinction of the remaining dolphin population and have disastrous consequences for many other fish species, as well as the communities that depend on them.Can Cambodia bring this river dolphin back from the brink of extinction?This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Sitting on the banks of the Mekong River repairing his fishing net, 60-year-old Saron recalls a story from the time of his grandfather: “One cool November morning, Uncle Somnang was casting his net off the shore of his island home when a wave knocked him off balance and into the river. He struggled to right his overturned boat, but was quickly exhausted by the swift current. Suddenly, he felt a surge from below. A grey river dolphin appeared, helped him to right his boat, and gently nudged him back aboard.”Saron’s wife Pin chimes in. “In the past, there were so many river dolphins,” she says, “they would startle us by suddenly jumping up along both sides of our fishing boats. In fact, they were just coming up to greet us and smile at us.“Dolphins are like human beings who live under water,” Pin explains. “Like us, they feed their babies with milk. That’s why our elders taught us to never eat them.”Sambor district sits astride the Mekong River in Central Cambodia. The river is the life force of the district — most of Sambor’s 50,000 inhabitants fish and farm along its fertile banks, or on the large islands that characterize this stretch of the Mekong.Now critically endangered, the last of the Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are concentrated in nine deep-water pools over a 190-kilometer stretch of the Mekong between Sambor district and Khone Falls on the Lao border.Fisherfolk on the Mekong at dawn. Photo Credit: Sabrina Gyorvary.The first major decline in dolphin numbers occurred during the genocidal Pol Pot regime, when the Khmer Rouge used dolphin oil in lamps, motorbikes, and boat engines, and also ate dolphin meat. After the Pol Pot regime, when guns were abundant throughout Cambodia, Vietnamese and Khmer soldiers reportedly shot at dolphins for target practice.Today, the Mekong’s dolphins face a new threat. The proposed Sambor Dam on the river’s mainstream would catalyze the extinction of the remaining dolphin population and have disastrous consequences for many other fish species, as well as the communities that depend on them. Large hydropower dams cause significant shifts in habitat size, water flow, sedimentation, and animal mobility, destroying fish and dolphin habitats and blocking migration to spawning grounds. In addition, the use of explosives during dam construction creates strong sound waves that pose a critical danger to dolphins due to their highly sensitive hearing structures.Already, the Don Sahong Dam in Laos, less than two kilometers from the Cambodian border, has blocked the only year-round migratory channel for fish and dolphins on this section of the Mekong. Due to the impacts of the Don Sahong Dam, in combination with the illegal use of electroshock devices, poison, explosives, and nylon gill fishing nets, the dolphin population is now functionally extinct in Laos.Kampi pool, near Sambor town, is home to around 20 of Cambodia’s last remaining 80 river dolphins. The area is home to a budding ecotourism industry, and local women, in particular, report benefits from the extra household income earned from selling boat rides to see the dolphins.According to WWF, “Research indicates a minimum mortality rate of 16-20 percent over the last 3 years, which is clearly unsustainable. In fact, scientists suggest that mortality rates should not exceed one to two percent to ensure this small population’s long-term survival. Calf mortality rates are mysteriously high, and there is no evidence that a single calf has survived to independence during the last 3 years.”In addition to sounding a death knell for the Mekong dolphins, the Sambor Dam would contribute to the looming food security crisis posed by a series of large hydropower dams planned for the Mekong River’s lower mainstream. If built, these dams would block the major fish migrations that are essential to the life cycle of around 70 percent of the Mekong River’s commercial fish catch. This would result in a total estimated fishery loss of 26 to 42 percent, placing the livelihoods and food security of millions of people at risk.The dam wouldn’t just increase hunger; it would also cause many families to lose their homes. The Mekong River Commission’s 2010 Strategic Environmental Assessment estimates that around 20,000 residents would be evicted from their homes and land to make way for the Sambor Dam’s massive reservoir.With their way of life along the river under threat, local residents worry that their children and grandchildren will only know of dolphins as mythical creatures of the past. “The dolphins have gone from being friends to strangers,” Saron lamented.As Mekong dolphins are revered by local people, the species makes an ideal flagship to mobilize support for broader river environment conservation issues. Rather than investing in environmentally destructive hydropower dams, the Cambodian government could take the opportunity to embrace cost-competitive renewable electricity technologies. At the same time, Cambodia could lead the region in environmental stewardship by bringing the river dolphins back from the brink of extinction.An Irrawaddy dolphin in Cambodia. Photo Credit: Stefan Brending, licensed under CC-by-sa-3.0 de.The names of people in this article were changed to protect their identities.Sabrina Gyorvary is Mekong Program Coordinator with International Rivers. She is based in Thailand.Namthip Khudsavanh is a freelance researcher and folklorist based in Laos.center_img Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Commentary, Conservation, Dams, Dolphins, Ecotourism, Editorials, Endangered Species, Environment, Fisheries, Hydropower, Mammals, Marine Mammals, Mekong Dams, Researcher Perspective Series, Rivers, Saving Species From Extinction, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

Saving Sumatran orchids from deforestation, one plant at a time

first_imgConversion of forest for agriculture is an ever-present threat in Sumatra, even in protected areas like Kerinci Seblat National Park. Palm oil, acacia, rubber and other plantation crops pressure the park from the outside, while poaching endangers the fauna within.Scientists estimate there are between 25,000 and 30,000 species of orchid in the world, with many yet to be discovered. Around 1,000 species are listed as threatened by the IUCN. Sumatra is one of the world’s orchid hot spots.Conservationist Pungky Nanda Pratama is trying to save at-risk orchids by transplanting them from threatened areas in and around Kerinci Seblat to a nursery where he is aiming propagate them and re-plant them in nearby protected areas.Pratama is also hoping to start an educational center where people can learn about Sumatra’s native plants. When tropical forests are felled and converted into land for oil palm or rubber plantations, it’s easy to think of the orangutans or the tigers that may lose their lives or their habitat. But when trees begin to fall, hundreds of plant species can perish alongside them. Some conservationists on the Indonesian island of Sumatra are fighting to save endangered plants from peril.One of them is Pungky Nanda Pratama. He started off working to save the animals of Sumatra in and around Kerinci Seblat National Park, the island’s largest protected area. But over time he began to notice the harmful effects local practices were having on the flora, as well as the fauna.Kerinci Seblat National Park is known as the last refuge of the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). It’s a huge 14,000-square kilometer (5,400-square mile) park that stretches for 350 kilometers from the middle of the island into its south.But Kerinci Seblat faces a difficult situation. Palm oil, acacia, rubber and other plantation crops pressure it from the outside, while poaching endangers the fauna within.While the area still maintains good tracts of connected forest outside of the protected area, large swathes of previously forested areas have been converted to agriculture. Meanwhile, portions of the park’s buffer zone are being turned over for agriculture, according to Pratama.“There is no significant encroachment into the national park buffer zone (or park) by plantations with one big exception,” Fauna & Flora International’s team in Kerinci told Mongabay by email, adding that any encroachment into this area is “overwhelmingly by rogue smallholders.”A recently burned area in southern Sumatra. Photo by Pungky Nanda PratamaAccording to Pratama, the majority of the agricultural land where he works in the Selangit district of southern Sumtra is made up of rubber plantations. He says these are “very different” than palm oil, as some natural plants can grow under rubber canopies and support native species. Research on the biodiversity in planted rubber plantations found it to be an “impoverished landscape” in comparison to primary forest, but one that still is “invaluable” as a biodiversity refuge.Rubber trees are cut down at intervals, often at around 20 years, after which the land is replanted. Clearing the trees means also removing the terrestrial and tree-dwelling plant species that live on and around them.“We know that flora aren’t like animals who can run quickly to stay away from fire,” Pratama said. If villagers continue just cutting down and burning the land for new plantations then a lot of “flora will be gone forever and just become dust,” he said.Bulbophyllum vaginatum. Pratama said that this species, “with distinctive odors,” likes to grow on rubber plantations, which puts it in harm’s way when the trees are felled. “If the blooming season comes, the plantations will be full of this orchid,” he added. Photo by Pungky Nanda PratamaSo, with funding from the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Agency of South Sumatra, Pratama recently started a pilot flora rescue project to gather up at-risk flora and transport them to a nearby nursery. He’s so far rescued plants from plantations due for replanting and recently felled forest within the buffer zone.After propagating them, he plans to return the refugee plants back to the wild within Kerinci Seblat National Park, where he hopes they will bolster populations and prevent local extinctions.“We focused [on] rescuing orchids because we know that some of them are on the rare list,” said Martialis Puspito, head of the region’s conservation at the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Agency of South Sumatra. He explained that other plants like the bat flower (Tacca chantrieri), are now rarely seen in the area due to the clearing of forest.Orchids under threat Found from the tropics to above the Arctic Circle, orchids are one of the most fascinatingly successful plant species on earth. Scientists estimate there are between 25,000 and 30,000 species of orchid in the world, with many yet to be discovered.Orchidaceae, to which orchids belong, is one of the largest flowering plant families and represents about eight percent of all named plant species. They’ve graced our planet with their colorful blooms for around 100 million years – but many species are on the verge of being snuffed out.Cymbidium bicolor. Photo by Pungky Nanda PratamaLike many other plants and animals in today’s human-dominated world, some orchids are at risk. But exactly how much danger they are in isn’t completely understood, according to Mike Fay, senior research leader in conservation genetics at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens and head of the IUCN’s orchid specialist group. Around 1,000 species are listed on the IUCN Red List, Fay said, with about 70 percent of orchids that have been assessed considered threatened.The list of threats reads like a roll call of anthropogenic impacts: habitat loss, illegal collection and trade and the global decline of insect populations and climate change seem to all be taking a toll on orchids.Sumatra is one of the world’s orchid hot spots and it faces all of these problems in some form or other. There are around 1,100 recognized orchid species on Sumatra.Ramadani Yudha Pasetya, of the Indonesian Orchid Society, said that one species from Sumatra, Paphiopedilum bungebelangi, may well have been smuggled into extinction a mere three to six months after it was described. Given orchids’ long gestation periods, there is some hope that it still exists in the wild. But it’s a slim hope.A hillside recently cleared for agriculture in southern Sumatra. Photo by Pungky Nanda PratamaFor other species, the severity of threats really depends on the where the orchids are growing and how rare they are.In short, “horrible” is how he sums up the state of orchid conservation across most of Indonesia. “It’s not really happening just because our government puts more focus and concern on food security.”The jury is also out on whether conservation actions like Pratama’s are sound, or are simply acting as a small patch on a much larger wound.When it comes to small-scale flora conservation projects in Indonesia, Pasetya is cautious. “Most of them are bullshit,” he said bluntly. “It’s kind of like a tactic to sell orchids legally.” But he also adds that there are people pursuing genuine conservation projects out of sincere concern for the environment. “It should be fine, if a nursery tries to sell their orchids, the propagated ones, not the wild ones.”“The gold standard is to preserve the habitat,” Fay said.Coelogyne asperata. Orchids are threatened around the world due to illegal trade and overharvesting for horticulture, deforestation and, increasingly, climate change. Photo by Pungky Nanda PratamaPeter Tobias, President of the Orchid Conservation Society, agrees: “It is hard to imagine relocating all the really large numbers of orchids that would be destroyed by a new road or creation of rubber, oil, cacao, or coffee plantations, or pasturage.”But, Fay added that intervening may be better than simply letting the orchids disappear altogether.“If a piece of land is slated for development and there is nothing to be done to stop that, then moving the orchids into protective custody, it may be the only thing that you can actually do.”A floral paradise? Going forward, Pratama and Puspito hope to expand their project by saving more plant species.Currently, the small nursery houses 23 species of orchids and a few begonia and aroid species.“Our short-term plans are to make this pilot project recognized by people, especially students or people over here … we can use this place to raise awareness about flora conservation,” Pratama explained.The nursery in southern Sumatra. Photo by Pungky Nanda PratamaRescued plants sit inside the makeshift greenhouse. Pratama plans to propagate the orchids and return them to the wild in a nearby protected area. Photo by Pungky Nanda PratamaIn time, Pratama and Puspito hope to create what they would dub the Flora of South Sumatra Park, a botanic garden of sorts where tourists, locals and students alike can learn about the many plants that dwell there.Pratama also believes that propagated flora could be sold to provide a sustainable source of income for locals, a tactic he hopes would be enough to wean them off unsustainable, and sometimes illegal, practices that endanger wild flora species.“We hope we can educate and teach indigenous peoples about orchids, that [they have benefits] as a commodity for their livelihoods.”But that may be some time in the future. For now, Pratama focusing his efforts on imperilled plants outside of southern Sumatra’s protected areas, beneath local people’s plantations and in the buffer zone of Kerinci Seblat.“I will be rescuing begonia and other plants next week, Pratama said. “We’re so glad. Finally we can save some of the native flora located outside of protected areas.”Banner image: An orchid (Coelogyne asperata) which Pratama says was taken from a rubber plantation before it was cleared for re-planting. Photo courtesy of Pungky Nanda Pratama. FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. 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 Agriculture, Deforestation, Environment, Flowers, Forests, National Parks, Oil Palm, Orchids, Palm Oil, Plantations, Plants, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Rubber, Slash-and-burn, Tigers, Tropical Forests, Wildlife center_img Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more