Oil palm firms advance into Leuser rainforest, defying Aceh governor’s orders

first_imgBanner image: Mahouts atop Sumatran elephants in Aceh. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Conservation, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Elephants, Environment, Environmental Policy, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Law Enforcement, Leuser, Orangutans, Palm Oil, Palm Oil And Biodiversity, Plantations, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests The government of Indonesia’s Aceh province has banned land clearance for oil palm development inside the Leuser Ecosystem.However, deforestation is still ongoing as some companies ignore the moratorium.During the first seven months of 2017, Leuser lost 3,941 hectares of forest cover, an area almost three times as large as Los Angeles International Airport, watchdogs say. Oil palm plantation companies are still eating away at the Leuser Ecosystem, one of Indonesia’s last best rainforests, despite a provincial ban on forest clearance to make way for the lucrative estates.In some cases, fruit from these plantations has entered the refineries of Wilmar International, Golden Agri-Resources, Musim Mas other palm oil giants that have promised to purge their supply chains of deforestation and other ills.Leuser straddles the border of Aceh and North Sumatra provinces, in the archipelago country’s westernmost reaches. It is home to an array of rare animals, including the unique Sumatran varieties of rhino, elephant, tiger and orangutan, In June 2016, the Acehnese government declared a moratorium on forest clearance for oil palm development, in a bid to prevent the loss of critical lowland forests in the Leuser Ecosystem.The moratorium was stipulated in a circular letter that ordered all oil palm firms to stop clearing forests, even within areas they have already been licensed to develop, while the government reviews their permits.That policy came on the heels of an announcement by President Joko Widodo that there should be no new oil palm plantation permits, with the country covered in the licenses already. But more than a year since Aceh issued its moratorium, plantations have continued to expand into Leuser.During the first seven months of 2017, Leuser lost 3,941 hectares of forest cover, an area almost three times as large as Los Angeles International Airport, according to local watchdog Forest, Nature and Environment of Aceh (HAkA).From May to June, Leuser lost 1,093 hectares of forest. In July it was 192 hectares, according to HAkA’s Agung Dwinurcahya.If every company operating inside Leuser adhered to the moratorium, including by guarding its concession against encroachers, he said, then there should be no more forest clearing inside the area.“But the moratorium is defied,” Dwinurcahya said. “Forest destruction clearly still happens every day, whether inside the Leuser Ecosystem or outside. It is done either by companies or by local people living around the forests.”Likewise, satellite monitoring and field investigations done by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), a U.S.-based advocacy group, also showed that deforestation was ongoing in the critical ecosystem.“We know from on-the-ground reports and satellite imagery that the Leuser Ecosystem continues to be destroyed, despite national and regional protections in place,” RAN forests communication manager Emma Rae Lierley wrote in an email.A Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), one of Leuser’s iconic species. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Who are the culprits?Late last year, RAN produced a report about land clearing by oil palm companies within the Leuser Ecosystem. More recently, the NGO has set up a website, Leuser Watch, to provide continual updates on the companies identified in the 2016 report.Some companies operating inside Leuser are respecting the moratorium, RAN found. But others continue to destroy crucial lowland rainforests and peatlands inside the areas ceded to them by district chiefs, who are in charge of licensing for oil palm plantations.In some cases, “It’s not definitive yet that the deforestation was done by the companies,” HAkA’s Dwinurcahya cautioned. “It could be the case of local people entering their concessions and open up new lands.”But in others, RAN presents evidence, such as photos of company-owned bulldozers, indicating the firm is indeed responsible. The companies in question are PT Tualang Raya, PT Tegas Nusantara, PT Agra Bumi Niaga, PT Surya Panen Subur II, PT Aloer Timur, PT Putra Kurnia, PT Indo Alam, PT PNI Blang Tualang, PT Kallista Alam, PT Dua Perkasa Lestari, PT Indo Sawit Perkasa and PT Agro Sinergi Nusantara (ASN), previously known as PT Perkebunan Nusantara I.The most egregious offender is PT Agra Bumi Niaga. The latest data shows that since June 2016, the company has cleared 366 hectares of rainforest, including Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatrensis) habitat.Next on the list is PT Tualang Raya, with 187 hectares deforested in its concession during that the same period, and PT Surya Panen Subur II, with 173 hectares. None of the three could be reached for comment.In many cases, the growers are selling to the biggest names in palm oil, a product found in everything from chocolate to laundry detergent.Aerial view of the recent land clearing inside PT Agra Bumi Niaga’s concession in Peunaron Village. East Aceh, Indonesia. Photo by Paul Hilton for RAN.PT Agra Bumi NiagaRAN tracked the fruit from PT Agra Bumi Niaga’s plantation to a mill owned by PT Ensem Sawita, a supplier to six of the world’s largest palm oil traders: Wilmar International, Musim Mas, Golden Agri-Resources, Cargill, IOI and Archer Daniels Midland.Some companies have responded to the report, such as Wilmar, Musim Mas and IOI.According to Wilmar, PT Ensem Sawita was not aware that its fruit supplier PT Putri Hijau was acquired by Agra Bumi. Therefore, Agra Bumi’s fruit might have entered Ensem Sawita’s supply chain via Putri Hijau.However, Ensem Sawita told Wilmar it had not sourced from Agra Bumi since July, when it learned about the problem via RAN’s report.“PT Ensem Sawita decided not to resume purchase from PT Agra Bumi Niaga until this [fruit] supplier has been assessed and implemented the necessary corrective actions as per recommended by an independent assessor,” Wilmar said in an August statement.Musim Mas said it met with Ensem Sawita in August to discuss the matter, and that during the meeting Ensem confirmed it had stopped buying from Agra Bumi. Ensem also told Musim Mas it had moved to achieve Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil certification, which would mean it had fulfilled basic legal requirements. (Many oil palm companies operate illegally, with district chiefs failing to regulate them.)An aerial image of PT Ensem Sawita’s palm oil mill. Photo by Paul Hilton for RAN.PT Surya Panen SuburPT Surya Panen Subur is operating in the Tripa peatland region, home to one of the largest concentrations of Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii), a critically endangered species. Its fruit makes its way into the supply chain of refiner Golden Agri.Golden Agri says the land clearing in Surya Panen’s concession is the work of local people who have encroached on it, not the company.“This issue is very complex and not an easy fix,” Daniel Prakarsa, head of downstream sustainability implementation at Golden Agri, said in an interview. According to a 2014 report by Golden Agri, the concession is being occupied by residents of Kuala Seumayam village and a company called CV Sawit Mandiri. Kuala Seumayam is home to some 500 people. Residents say they were kicked off their land when the district chief licensed oil palm planters PT Surya Panen and PT Kallista Alam to operate in the 2000s. That’s what they told Golden Agri, too. “The community informed [us] that they have customary rights to the land at these locations and that these areas are important for their livelihoods,” Golden Agri’s report read. “They are not receptive to external party opinion/criticism about their land-clearing activities.”Muhammad M. Nur, Aceh director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment, a pressure group, said the villagers could not be blamed for the land clearing. “It’s the fault of the government,” Nur said in an interview. “Why do they have to give business permits [to companies] for such a vast area of land for such a long period of time?”As for Surya Panen, “The company hasn’t taken firm action to stop illegal land clearing in its concession,” Walhi said in a statement.Golden Agri’s Prakarsa said the refiner would “mentor” its supplier to bring about a solution.“We acknowledge PT Surya Panen Subur II’s commitment and effort to continue seeking the best way to stop encroachment and deforestation by external parties,” he said. “As part of this effort, we are helping mentor PT Surya Panen Subur II to implement conflict resolution mechanism to resolve tenurial issue.”center_img A Sumatran orangutan. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.While deforestation in Leuser is still ongoing, it has slowed in past years.  “On average, the deforestation rate in Leuser is around 12,000 hectares per year,” Dwinurcahya said. “But until July this year, it had just reached 3,941 hectares, not even half of the annual rate.”There were 4,609 hectares deforested in the first six months of 2016 and 10,433 hectares within the same period in 2015.But Dwinurcahya said it was too early to credit the slowdown to the moratorium, because if the moratorium was truly enacted there would be zero forest loss. 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

Record Amazon fires, intensified by forest degradation, burn indigenous lands

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Mining, Amazon People, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Climate Change And Forests, Controversial, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corruption, Deforestation, Disasters, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, environmental justice, Environmental Politics, Ethnocide, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mining, Monitoring, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Ranching, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Saving The Amazon, Social Conflict, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, 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 Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_img As of September 2017, Brazil’s Pará state in the Amazon had seen a 229 percent increase in fires over 2016; in a single week in December the state saw 26,000 fire alerts. By year’s end, the Brazilian Amazon was on track for an all-time record fire season.But 2017 was not a record drought year, so experts have sought other causes. Analysts say most of the wildfires were human-caused, set by people seeking to convert forests to crop or grazing lands. Forest degradation by mining companies, logging and agribusiness added to the problem.Huge cuts made by the Temer administration in the budgets of Brazilian regulatory and enforcement agencies, such as FUNAI, the nation’s indigenous protection agency, and IBAMA, its environmental agency, which fights fires, added to the problem in 2017.The dramatic rise in wildfires has put indigenous communities and their territories at risk. For example, an area covering 24,000 hectares (59,305 acres), lost tree cover within the Kayapó Indigenous Territory from October to December, while the nearby Xikrin Indigenous Territory lost roughly 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) over the same period. An area nearly double the size of San Francisco, 24,000 hectares (59,305), lost tree cover within the Kayapó Indigenous Territory from October to December 2017 due to fires, while the nearby Xikrin Indigenous Territory lost roughly 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) over the same period. Photo courtesy of IBAMAThere were nearly 26,000 fire alerts in the Brazilian Amazon state of Pará over a single week in December of last year, according to Global Forest Fires Watch. And as of September, Pará had seen a stunning 229 percent increase in fires over 2016, as reported by the Guardian newspaper, with 2017 on track to be Brazil´s worst ever fire year, according the World Resources Institute (WRI).But statistics tell only part of the story: Brazil’s likely record wildfire season last year incinerated vast swathes of valuable trees, habitat and wildlife, sometimes within indigenous territories, natural resources which native communities rely on for their survival.WRI estimates that an area nearly double the size of San Francisco, 24,000 hectares (59,305 acres), lost tree cover within the Kayapó Indigenous Territory from October to December 2017 due to fires, while the nearby Xikrin Indigenous Territory lost roughly 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) over the same period.Xikrin Kayapó leaders in Altamira demonstration. Photo credit: International Rivers on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SAThe World Resources Institute´s Places to Watch report notes that these particular fires were not completely natural, but likely exacerbated by “previous degradation. In the 1990s, a logging company exploited an agreement with Xikrin and left the territory over-logged and severely degraded.” Timber removal not properly carried out leaves heaps of slash behind, waste limbs and branches that dry in a drought and serve as tinder for forest fires.Importantly, say experts, while the Amazon in general, and Pará state in particular, suffered drought last autumn, this dry spell did not set a record or explain the remarkably high number of fires. The director of Brazil´s National Institute for Space Research, Alberto Setzer, told the Guardian that there is another explanation for the record blazes: “It is fundamental to understand that these are not natural fires. They are manmade.”Fire in the Brazilian Amazon, according to analysts, is often being used as a tool to convert the region’s forests into pasture and cropland; often fire is even employed as a means of settling land conflicts.Fire hotspots in Brazil, 6/1998-9/2017. Source: INPEThe revised Brazilian forestry code introduced in 2012 may be partly to blame; it gave amnesty to those guilty of illegal deforestation. In fact, deforestation has risen steadily across the Amazon region since then, with a 29 percent increase between 2015 and 2016.The many wildfires threatening the Xikrin indigenous community on the Cateté River last fall weren’t only catalyzed by the lingering degradation of over-eager loggers twenty years ago. In mid-September, a federal court ordered Brazilian mining giant Vale to shut down its Onça Puma nickel mine near the indigenous territory and to suspend operations until the company complies with the terms of its environmental license and pays some 50 million Reals (US$ 15 million) in damages to the Xikrin and Kayapó communities.A report filed by Brazil´s investigative news outlet, Agencia Publica, at the start of December, told how Vale mines nickel on hills near the Xikrin territory and described its mill, located a mere six kilometers (3.7 miles) from the indigenous territory’s boundary. The Xikrin´s land is surrounded by mineral wealth, including the world’s largest iron deposit (and the gigantic Carajás iron mine); along with Brazil´s largest copper reserve; plus an exceptionally pure nickel deposit. The area is also known for its biodiverse rainforest, with towering Brazil nut trees that produce bumper crops of the popular nut.Mining – both legal and not – and illegal logging, along with hunting, all vitiate forest integrity, says Eric de Belém Oliveira, a former regional coordinator for Brazil´s indigenous policy and protection service, FUNAI. And that forest degradation, can make fires more intense and wide ranging once they start.Satellite image showing the Carajás iron mine and its deforestation. Mines also cause forest degradation in surrounding areas, which can increase the likelihood and intensity of wildfires. A recent report found that nearly 10 percent of Amazon deforestation in Brazil is caused by mining and its ancillary supporting services. Photo courtesy of NASA“The flexibility that Brazilian law has introduced into its environmental regulations [since 2012] show that its [regulatory and enforcement] agencies don’t represent institutional power anymore,” Oliveira told Mongabay. “Now it’s [global] capital that calls the shots.”Oliveira worked his way up in FUNAI, starting ten years ago as an intern. But he was laid off last March from his position as the Marabá regional coordinator, a victim of massive draconian budget cuts occurring under the President Michel Temer. Oliveira’s position is still empty nearly a year after his departure. The regional office serves some 7,000 indigenous people in 120 different villages.“We had 20 people, and we lost seven to retirement,” Oliveira told Mongabay. None of these vacancies have been filled. “Since there isn’t anyone to handle situations, this has worsened [conditions] for indigenous communities. In reality, the indigenous villages where we work are suffering serious impacts.” The FUNAI office serving the populations affected by the Belo Monte mega-dam are likewise reportedly understaffed, with similar adverse impacts to the wellbeing of indigenous communities.IBAMA, whose duties include fighting Brazil’s forest fires, has had its budget slashed by 43 percent, from 977 to 446 million Reals (US$ 302.9 million to US$ 138.3 million). Photo courtesy of IBAMAAmazon wildfires seen from space. Photo courtesy of NASAThe Temer administration has been starving FUNAI’s budget. A May statement from the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies said that the agency had suffered a 50 percent reduction in its discretionary budget, dropping from 110.6 million Reals to 49.9 million Reals. The Ministry of the Environment, which houses Brazil’s environmental agency, IBAMA, saw cuts of 43 percent. IBAMA´s many duties include fighting the nation’s forest fires. IBAMA´s budget decreased from 977 to 446 million Reals (US$ 302.9 million to US$ 138.3 million). The cuts left the agency without funds to pay for transportation, electricity and Internet.Oliveira pointed to the Fundão mining tailings dam collapse in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s worst environmental disaster ever, as an indicator of what he says is happening across his nation: “You can see an overall lack of monitoring. And instead of adopting stricter legislation, you see the opposite happening. We see that the advance of [transnational and Brazilian] companies hasn’t just caused environmental impacts, but also [done] damage to relationships among indigenous people because they’ve contributed to internal conflicts.”FUNAI said that it did not have the capacity to respond to questions from Mongabay about its staffing levels or forest degradation on indigenous lands.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.Brazilian indigenous caciques, leaders of the Kayapó group, during a collective interview. Photo by Valter Campanato / Agência Brasillast_img read more

How Tibetan Buddhism and conservation efforts helped Eurasian otters thrive in a city of 200,000 people (commentary)

first_imgAnimals, Commentary, Conservation, Conservation and Religion, Editorials, Environment, Habitat Destruction, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, Pollution, Religions, Researcher Perspective Series, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article 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 overSponsoredcenter_img The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) is now locally extinct in most of its former range in China due to hunting for its pelt, water pollution, and habitat destruction.Recently, researchers recorded a healthy population of otters in Yushu, Qinghai, a city of 200,000 people.What allowed this population to survive? Besides conservation efforts, Tibetan Buddhism traditions also played a vital role in reducing hunting and maintaining freshwater ecosystem health.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. In China, where most rivers are deprived of large mammals due to habitat destruction and over-exploitation, a healthy population of Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) was recently found to thrive right in a city of over 200,000 people, due mainly to the joint support of conservation initiatives and Tibetan Buddhism.Yushu, located on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, is the capital city of the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Two rivers — Zhaqu and Changu — flow through the city to join the Tongtian River in the east, the headwater of the Yangtze river. During a one-month survey, researchers from Shanshui Conservation Center recorded Eurasian otter activities 66 times with seven camera traps. Over 200 spraints (otter dung) and footprints were also discovered along 45 kilometers (about 28 miles) of river, indicating a thriving population of the species.The Eurasian otter used to be heavily hunted for its pelt. As it is now listed under CITES Appendix I and the Schedules of Nationally Protected Fauna and Flora in China, stricter law enforcement has reduced hunting. Even so, its population continues to decline, according to the IUCN, and the species has become locally extinct in most of its former range in many parts of the country. Being a top predator of the freshwater ecosystem, the Eurasian otter is susceptible to pollution and habitat destruction, both of which are common in most waterbodies in China. So, what spared this population in Yushu from the fate of disappearing?Overlooking the Yushu city from the Kyegu Monastery (结古寺). Photo Credit: Chen PENG.One unique fact about Yushu is that over 95 percent of its population is Tibetan. Consequently, this area is heavily influenced by Tibetan Buddhist traditions, which support the conservation of individual organisms and habitats in many ways.A fundamental component of Buddhism is love and compassion for all living beings. It comes from the idea of reincarnation and the belief that an animal could be one’s parent, sibling, or friend in another life. While meat consumption is necessary for local herders to survive in the harsh climate of Tibet, many choose to eat larger animals like yaks, so that fewer lives are taken. For this reason, many locals do not eat fish or other aquatic creatures, securing ample food sources for the otters.Also, the locals believe that cutting trees on sacred mountains will offend mountain gods, and, similarly, polluting water sources will infuriate the water gods. By protecting sacred natural sites in Tibetan Buddhism, people are also conserving important wildlife habitats.What’s more, the demand for otter pelts in the Tibetan region has been drastically reduced in recent years due to the advocacy of religious leaders against the use of animal fur.Baima Wenci, a staff member of the Shanshui Conservation Center, placing a camera trap outside an otter den. Photo Credit: Yifan (Flora) HE.With pro-nature cultural traditions combined with effective conservation initiatives, the chances of survival for otters become even higher. Since the late 20th century, the Chinese government has set conservation as a priority in the Sanjiangyuan region, a 316,000-square-kilometer (more than 78-million-acre) area that includes the headwaters of three great Asian rivers: the Yangtze, the Yellow, and the Mekong. Over 40 percent of the land in this area has been designated as the Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve, and a series of conservation projects are in place, including grassland restoration, a firearm ban, and anti-poaching measures. Being part of the Sanjiangyuan region, Yushu benefits greatly from these projects.This is not the first time that Tibetan Buddhism has been found to support conservation goals. His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism, published a paper in Conservation Biology in 2011 discussing how Buddhism shares many values with the environmental movement. In the case of snow leopards (Panthera uncia), researchers demonstrated that Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and sacred mountains offer valuable habitat protection to this iconic species in the area. When domestic sheep and yaks are killed by snow leopards, local herders often show great sympathy and understanding towards the predators. Retaliatory killing rarely occurs here, in sharp contrast to other areas in China with frequent human-wildlife conflicts.Camera trap photo of an otter. Photo Credit: Shanshui Conservation Center.Of course, from a conservationist’s perspective, traditional values have many facets, and not all are beneficial. In the same rivers where the otters live, people have been releasing fish as a practice of sparing lives that were to be slaughtered. Most of these non-native fish would die, but a few carp species appear to be doing well, raising concerns over invasive species. Conservationists working in this area must address these kinds of challenges in ways that the local people are willing to accept.While the otters in Yushu benefit from both Tibetan traditions and conservation actions, they still face a number of threats, including levee construction, water pollution, and growing traffic in the city. To better understand the impact of human activities on the otter population, Shanshui Conservation Center will continue its efforts in monitoring and research. Eventually, Center staff hope to inform actions such as habitat restoration, anti-poaching, and native fish conservation, based on their findings.Camera trap photo of an otter. Photo Credit: Shanshui Conservation Center.CITATIONS• Dorje, O. T. (2011). Walking the path of environmental Buddhism through compassion and emptiness. Conservation Biology, 25(6), 1094-1097. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2011.01765.x• Gomez, L., Leupen, B. T., Theng, M., Fernandez, K., & Savage, M. (2016). Illegal Otter Trade: An analysis of seizures in selected Asian countries (1980-2015). TRAFFIC.• Li, F., & Chan, B. P. L. (2017). Past and present: the status and distribution of otters (Carnivora: Lutrinae) in China. Oryx, 1-8.doi:10.1017/S0030605317000400• Li, J., Wang, D., Yin, H., Zhaxi, D., Jiagong, Z., Schaller, G. B., … & Xiao, L. (2014). Role of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in snow leopard conservation. Conservation Biology, 28(1), 87-94. doi:10.1111/cobi.12135• Roos, A., Loy, A., de Silva, P., Hajkova, P. & Zemanová, B. 2015. Lutra lutra. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T12419A21935287. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T12419A21935287.en. Downloaded on 07 March 2018.• Shao, Q., Liu, J., Huang, L., Fan, J., Xu, X., & Wang, J. (2013). Integrated assessment on the effectiveness of ecological conservation in Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve. Geographical Research, 32(9). doi:10.11821/dlyj201309007Yifan (Flora) He is a recent Master’s graduate from the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, soon to join Conservation International as a social science coordinator. In early 2018, she volunteered at the Shanshui Conservation Center, working on Eurasion otter monitoring, human-wildlife conflict resolution, and ecotourism development in the Sanjiangyuan region in Qinghai, China.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Report finds projects in DRC ‘REDD+ laboratory’ fall short of development, conservation goals

first_imgAgriculture, Agroforestry, Avoided Deforestation, Biodiversity, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Credits, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Finance, Carbon Market, carbon markets, Carbon Offsets, Carbon Sequestration, Carbon Trading, Certification, Climate Change, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Conservation, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Change Politics, Community Development, Community Forestry, Community Forests, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Ecosystem Services Payments, Environment, Forest Carbon, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Governance, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Reform, Land Rights, Land Speculation, Logging, NGOs, Parks, Payments For Ecosystem Services, Peatlands, Protected Areas, Rainforest Agriculture, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Ecological Services, Rainforest Logging, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Redd, Redd And Biodiversity, Redd And Communities, Saving Rainforests, Sustainability, Tropical Forests, Video The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) released a new report that found that 20 REDD+ projects in a province in DRC aren’t set to address forest conservation and economic development — the primary goals of the strategy.The Paris Agreement explicitly mentions the role of REDD+ projects, which channel funds from wealthy countries to heavily forested ones, in keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius this century.RRI is asking REDD+ donors to pause funding of projects in DRC until coordinators develop a more participatory approach that includes communities and indigenous groups. The camera follows the men through the forest as they arrive at the splintered stump of what looks to have been a massive tree.“For me, the forest is a legacy of our ancestors,” says one of the unnamed men. “We have no gold or diamonds. Our heritage is the forest. We do not like it when people come to destroy it.”He and his companions are from the community of Bayeria, in the province of Mai-Ndombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The short film “Sanctuary” captures their struggle to hold on to the forest that they see as vital to their existence and survival. A few years ago, a logging company came in. With the alleged backing of the police and the military, crews began clearing the forest. Meanwhile, the people from Bayeria who protested what they characterized as an intrusion say they were harassed, beaten and even raped by policemen and security guards for the company.More recently, communities in Mai-Ndombe have had to wrangle with a new challenge to their lives and livelihoods, they say. Paradoxically, it’s come in the shape of a set of projects aimed at both ensuring their economic development and protecting the forest.The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a global coalition that advocates for the forest and land rights of communities and indigenous peoples, released a new report on March 14. In it, the group claims that a set of conservation and development projects known collectively as REDD+ are sidelining local communities in Mai-Ndombe and infringing on their rights to control what happens to their forest homes.“Instead of empowering Indigenous Peoples, communities, and women in the forest communities, the REDD+ programs in Mai-Ndombe are not adequately respecting the rights of local peoples and are failing to protect forests,” said Andy White, the RRI coordinator, in a statement.Until the government formally recognizes the land rights of communities, RRI is imploring donor countries to put off REDD+ project funding to the country “or to cancel it altogether if DRC does not correct course,” White added.But officials in DRC have recently signaled they are trying to end a longstanding moratorium on the issuance of new timber concessions in the country — a step that conservation groups argue will further endanger the success of REDD+. On March 7, a group of conservation and human rights organizations issued a letter calling on donors to stop funding REDD+ pending a pledge from DRC to keep the moratorium in place until it cleans up the corruption that plagues land-use deals in the country.A map showing the communities in Mai-Ndombe province. Image courtesy of RRI.“If the country’s forests are suddenly opened up to much larger-scale logging, then it really does pose a lot of questions about whether REDD+ is going to be viable in DRC,” said Simon Counsell, executive director of the Rainforest Foundation UK, in an interview. Rainforest Foundation UK was one of nearly 60 signatories to the letter.Short for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, REDD+ is a strategy through which mostly wealthy countries channel funding to heavily forested countries like DRC in the name of keeping forests standing — and thereby locking away the carbon dioxide they store. At the same time, it also aims to encourage economic development for people living in these countries. Mai-Ndombe has become a laboratory for REDD+ projects, thanks to the high levels of forest the province contains and its proximity to Kinshasa, DRC’s capital and largest city.REDD+ is seen as a way to compensate those countries, giving them an alternative source of funding for economic development to turning their forests over to industrial agriculture or timber plantations. The global public benefit is that the trees remain standing and continue siphoning climate-warming carbon from the air. Many global organizations, from the United Nations to the development agencies of countries like Norway, have backed the push, and it figures prominently in the Paris Agreement to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius through the end of this century.A second report finds that many forested countries don’t have a legal system that will promote those goals. RRI sees the clear establishment of communities’ rights to the forest, as well as to the carbon contained in its constituent trees, as a critical precursor to the success of REDD+ projects.A man stands in his field in DRC. Photo by John C. Cannon.Land rightsDRC has embraced REDD+ as a national strategy for forest conservation, and after several years of preparing for projects, proponents of the strategy in DRC are ready to move into the implementation phase of REDD+ projects. But the author of the RRI report, Marine Gauthier, said there was still work to do to ensure that “REDD+ actually answers to its first goals, which are halting deforestation and fighting poverty.”“REDD+ right now is conceived in the old-fashioned development approach of development aid, and this transition toward a bottom-up approach is needed,” she said. “The decisions are made in Kinshasa or elsewhere by people who have actually never been to Mai-Ndombe and have never spoken with the people there.”As a result, people from Mai-Ndombe living closest to the forest, who often depend on it for their survival, often aren’t aware that REDD+ exists.“They don’t even know what it is,” Gauthier said. “They don’t even know the risks associated, or the potential benefits they could get from REDD+.”The report suggests that REDD+ projects could incorporate participatory mapping, a strategy to integrate the perspectives of all of the people who depend on the forest, including women and indigenous peoples, as a way to reduce conflict and more concretely establish community claims to the land.Mai-Ndombe province has become a laboratory for REDD+, with 20 projects covering nearly 100,000 square kilometers (38,610 square miles) of forest. Image courtesy of RRI.“Women’s rights to land are important because women are the providers for their households,” said Chouchouna Losale, vice coordinator and program officer for the Coalition of Women for the Environment and Sustainable Development, an NGO in DRC. “The forest is important for women in these communities because it’s their supermarket, their pharmacy, their store, their bank, and their spiritual site.“Recognizing their rights to land thus encourages the development of women’s rights more broadly,” Losale added.Indigenous pygmy groups also struggle to have their perspectives included, according to the report. About 73,000 live in the province, so they’re a small minority among a total provincial population of between 1.5 million and 1.8 million people. Despite international and national protections in DRC, discrimination often confines them to the sidelines of discussions about land use.But right now, REDD+ projects aren’t oriented toward these possibilities, in part because they represent a shift in the way development projects are traditionally run.“Using participatory approaches, working with communities, working with indigenous peoples actually takes time,” Gauthier said. “I don’t think there’s a culture of such community-based approaches in international organizations and in the DRC government right now.”Instead, approaches may sidestep the participation of forest-dependent communities altogether. Gauthier looked at 20 different projects in Mai-Ndombe province. They’re funded by groups like the World Bank and WWF, and they include plans for activities that range from planting cassava and acacia trees on degraded savannas, to reduced-impact logging. Collectively, they cover 98,000 square kilometers (37,840 square miles) of forest. In most of these cases, RRI reports that the projects aren’t likely to address the root causes behind deforestation and that they could harm local communities in the process.The report found that REDD+ projects don’t always take the perspectives of marginalized groups such as women and indigenous peoples into account. Photo by John C. Cannon.Does REDD+ cause conflict?Alain Karsenty, an agricultural economist at the agricultural research organization CIRAD in Montpellier, France, said he didn’t agree with the characterization that REDD+ projects marginalize communities. Karsenty, who was not involved in the research or writing the report, said the organizations supporting these projects would not risk the stain of bad publicity that would no doubt follow allegations of community conflict.If a project does cause conflict, “Greenpeace [or other NGOs] are just going to name and shame the project, and people are going to lose their certification,” Karsenty said. “If they lose that certification, they lose opportunities to trade and to sell their carbon credits.”But to date, the only project in DRC that’s been certified to sell carbon credits on the voluntary market is a conservation concession controlled by a private Canadian company called WWC, and Gauthier unearthed claims of discontent within local communities about the concession. They said that, as recently as July 2017, a community member was arrested for “illegal logging” within the concession boundaries. But according to the report, communities weren’t consulted when the concession was formed in 2011, and there’s little community understanding of the specifications of the concession.Similarly, Gauthier found that a related system, created by the conservation NGO WWF to compensate communities for efforts such as restoring the savanna, isn’t well understood by community members. Only one of the four payment contracts “seems to work properly,” she wrote.The report points out that more participatory approaches through the use of community forest concessions could be a more effective way to get communities involved in REDD+. DRC’s Forest Code gives communities the chance to secure legal rights to a block of forest as large as 500 square kilometers (193 square miles). Right now, however, the governor of Mai-Ndombe has only approved concessions of 3 square kilometers (1.2 square miles) for each of 13 communities that have requested them, even though they requested a total of more than 650 square kilometers (250 square miles).The WWC conservation concession is the only REDD+ project certified to sell carbon credits on the voluntary market in DRC. Image courtesy of RRI.Stewards of the forestTo Gauthier’s mind, REDD+ coordinators could be using that legal basis as a way to secure land rights.“They’re overlooking the opportunity of having community concessions being involved in REDD+,” she said, “giving communities the opportunity to be REDD+ holders themselves and to be the first to benefit from REDD+ money.”Karsenty agreed that conservation concessions like the one run by WWC seemed to run counter to the aims of REDD+ in that they required the removal of people’s rights to the forests. What’s more, they could spur what economists call “leakage” — in this case, perhaps shifting deforestation from the cordoned-off area to another area of forest.“I would prefer to incentivize farmers based on the recognition of their land rights,” he said. Karsenty said he is involved with payment-for-ecosystem-services, or PES, projects in Burkina Faso, and securing land rights was critical to the investment in getting farmers to change their behaviors, for example, to increase the productivity of their fields.To Gauthier, it’s about empowerment of the local people — what she called “the key to a successful process.” And that means two-way communication between REDD+ project coordinators and communities, whom research continues to show can be superlative stewards of forest ecosystems if given the chance.Research shows that local communities and indigenous groups can be among the best stewards of forests. Photo by Kelby Wood © If Not Us Then Who?“It’s a matter of listening to them,” she said. “Communities, especially indigenous peoples, have developed traditional forest management systems for thousands of years, and if, instead of imposing solutions on them, you actually go and listen to their solution, this could be a good way of protecting the forests.”At this point in DRC, “all is not lost,” Andy White of RRI said in the statement. In the view of RRI and others, REDD+ still offers the potential to protect forests. But the approach needs to change if REDD+ is going to avoid the problems that other forms of land development have caused in Mai-Ndombe.“It is not too late,” White said. “Recognizing community land rights and engaging local communities would ensure that this grand experiment underway in the world’s remote rainforests can succeed, unlocking all of the benefits that come with strong forests and forest protectors.”Banner image of farmers in DRC by Kelby Wood © If Not Us Then Who?Correction (Mar. 16, 2018): A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that RRI includes governmental organizations. We regret the error.Follow John Cannon on Twitter: @johnccannonFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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

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

Crunch time for five HDN squads

first_imgIt’s do or die time for five local teams today as the North Coast Section playoffs get under way in baseball and softball.And that means there is little room for error and a little more at stake in every pitch and every swing of the bat.Three of those five teams will get to host a game, including Eureka, which is seeded No. 7 in the Division-III baseball bracket.The Loggers have been impressive this spring, winning 21 games, many of them against some big schools out of the area in a …last_img

What we learned in the Raiders’ loss to the Rams

first_imgWell, that did not go well.The Raiders’ 33-13 loss wasn’t as lopsided as the scoreline might indicate, but it was 100 percent a calamity for a Raiders team that was looking to stat off the second Jon Gruden era with some win and some serious momentum.Instead, the Raiders furthered some already pertinent questions and raised some questions along the way. Here’s what we learned in the Raiders’ Week One loss:1. Dink and dunk Derek is on the hot seat(Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)D …last_img

Sun: A farmer’s friend…and enemy

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Here in the office of Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net, it is painfully clear that I’m the youngest employee around. From the jokes about millennials to the life stories I have yet to relate to, let’s just say the age gap is, well, noticeable.Now that my inexperience is on full display, let’s talk something I have faced that’s unique for my age. Skin cancer has been found on my body twice in my life so far. Both times it was melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The discovery is a bit out of the ordinary for a 23-year-old like me as the average age for melanoma diagnosis is 63, according to the American Cancer Society. We’ve kept a close eye on it ever since and that vigilance has brought me a better understanding of the dangers and precautions associated with sun exposure, something we should all keep in mind.It’s in that spirit that we recently spoke with Ohio State University Dermatologist Dr. Alisha Plotner. She said for farmers especially, the subject is too vital to overlook.“It’s an extremely important topic because we know that farming is one of the highest risk occupations when it comes to skin cancer. The reason for this primarily is just that on a normal day, there is lots of UV exposure to be had by the farmer who’s working outdoors. Whether it’s continuous outdoors in the field or in and out for buildings, there’s just a lot of cumulative UV exposure, which we also know as one of the greatest risk factors for skin cancer. It actually is the greatest risk factor — that combined with skin type,” she said. “We also know that people who have fair skin and light eyes are at particularly high risk for developing skin cancer. So it’s really critical that people in these high risk occupations are aware of the risk of skin cancers.”Plotner said no matter an individual’s background, a general knowledge of skin cancer risk is a must-have.“There are three most common types of skin cancers. Two are very clearly related to excessive UV exposure over time. That’s your most common — basal cell skin cancer and also your squamous cell skin cancer, your second most common type. Then we have melanoma, which we also know that UV exposure is a risk factor for the development of melanoma,”  Plotner said. “Melanoma is a particularly concerning type of skin cancer because it can be deadly, especially when it’s invasive and so it’s very important for farmers to be aware at the health risk of the occupation.”Unlike many cancers, there are easy steps to lower the risk for such complications down the road.“Make time for a reduction of UV exposure and there are really three ways to do that,” Plotner said. “Sun avoidance, I tell all my patients, is first line. But that’s not really practical in most cases on a normal day-to-day basis because the job requires you spend some time outdoors. I encourage my patients to do UV intense activities earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon and evening if possible. If you’re arranging your work day, try to do those UV intense activities earlier in the morning, before about 10 o’clock in the morning or after 3 o’clock in the afternoon if your job would allow you to do that. Number one is just UV avoidance.”Plotner said, if possible, choose to work under some sort of shaded area like a tree or other structure offing a break from the sun in the heat of the day.“The second thing that you can do is sun protective or UV protective clothing. Unlike sunscreens, these UV protective clothing are UPF instead of SPF rated. You want to look for something that has a UPF 50. Over the years, these have really evolved — they’re very lightweight clothes. Often times my patients will be worried they’ll be hot, but we find sometimes quite the opposite by keeping UV off of skin, sometimes they’re even cooling,” she said. “So I recommend a wide brimmed hat that has at least a 3-A serious procedure: Joel Penhorwood’s arm after removing a mole that was melanoma.inch brim all the way around the head to reduce UV exposure to the face and the neck. Also, I really like sun protective clothes like a long sleeve sun shirt which would provide protection for the arms and the neck as well. By wearing a sun shirt, it eliminates the need to put on a greasy sunscreen.“And then finally I recommend sunscreen for exposed areas, so I would really encourage all of our farmers to just make it a part of their regimen when they’re getting ready for the work day in the morning, just to put at least a SPF 30 or higher sunblock on the exposed areas. Ideally we recommend reapplication throughout the day.”Plotner said she is commonly questioned on which sunscreen to wear and what SPF is best. She said surprisingly, a higher number isn’t always the best.“SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it’s a measurement of the degree a sunscreen’s able to reduce a patient’s threshold to burn,” Plotner said. “SPF 30 is the level recommended by the American Academy of Dermatologists. What an SPF 30 sunscreen does is it blocks about 97% of UVB, which are the burning rays. Now you can go higher on your sunblock. If you go to an SPF 50 or 70, you’re blocking maybe about 1% or 2% more rays but there is no sunscreen that blocks 100% of all of the UV rays.”Plotner said SPF 30 with reapplication every two hours stands as the general recommendation.“There are some patients who may have sun sensitive skin conditions, what we would call photosensitivity. In some cases, we’ll recommend those patients go higher and maybe choose an SPF 50 or 70, but for the general population, SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays and that’s what we recommend,” she said.As far as which type of sunscreen to choose, Plotner said the “one that they’ll actually wear.” She noted that since the FDA now regulates sunscreens, there are uniform requirements sunscreens across the board now have to meet. Anything from a stick to a lotion is acceptable and sprays are also fine if used liberally enough.The removal surgery left a serious scar on Joel’s arm.“There are so many different formulations of sunscreen available that I recommend the patient experiment with the different types and find one that they’ll like and that they’ll use,” Plotter said. “Several years ago, the FDA came out and regulated sunscreens and the nice thing is that there’s now some standardization so if you go to the drugstore and you pick something that’s listed as a sunscreen, then it has to meet certain minimum criteria.”“How much sunscreen should I use? The simple answer is more than you think. Most people apply sunscreen too sparingly.”Approximately a shot glass full of sunscreen is the recommend amount to cover the entire body of an adult at the beach. Plotner said the amount would be less for farmers whose skin would be mostly covered by clothing. A quarter of a shot glass full is enough to spread between the arms face and neck.“Essentially you want to put on a layer of sunscreen that’s so thick that you can see it when you first put it on the skin and that you really have to rub in so that it evaporates.”After getting in the rhythm with those precautions, Plotner said that self skin checks are still recommended.“We recommend that you check over your own body and if you see any spots that are sore, any non-healing spots, any spots that look like persistent pimples, spots that are evenly persistently itchy or scaly that aren’t going away within a matter of weeks — those could be signs of a basal cell or a squamous cell type of skin cancer and you should have those checked,” she said. “The other things to look for on your own skin would be moles that are irregular in shape, that are large in size, that are of irregular color — so if they have multiple color throughout or if they have dark colors like blacks or blues — and then any mole that is changing. So if it just doesn’t feel right to you, it always makes sense to err on the side of caution and to get it checked.”A baseline skin exam should never be out of the question, Plotner said. Though there are some more predisposed to a checkup. Those that have personally had skin cancer should be checked at least once a year. Individuals who have a family history of melanoma or a strong family history of other types of skin cancers should be examined as well.“Just sun protect. It’s really going to pay off down the road. I mean there’s so many people in their sixties and seventies that are growing multiple skin cancers in areas that you don’t want to be thinking about having a surgery on like the nose, by the ears, the ear,” she said. “Some of these patients just say if I only would have known. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”last_img read more

10 months agoLeicester defender Morgan defends under-fire Puel

first_imgLeicester defender Morgan defends under-fire Puelby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City defender Wes Morgan has come to the defence of under fire manager Claude Puel.The Premier League side were in good form recently, but suffered two surprising defeats to Cardiff and now Newport County in the FA Cup.The League Two side defeated Leicester, after Puel made several changes to his side.But veteran defender Morgan believes the players are to blame.”If you look at the chances and opportunities we had, we could have won that game quite easily,” Morgan said after the game.”We’ve got a good squad and the gaffer’s got the problem of finding the right balance.”He’s got to give players rest and other players opportunities.”It’s the same for every manager and every team – and I thought we were definitely strong enough.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

17 days agoWijnaldum insists Liverpool not getting carried away

first_imgWijnaldum insists Liverpool not getting carried awayby Paul Vegas17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum insists they’re not getting carried away by title talk.The season is only eight games old but already Jurgen Klopp’s men hold a significant eight-point lead over last season’s champions Manchester City.”We don’t want to think we are already champions. That would be a really wrong thing to do,” Wijnaldum told Sky Sports.”I’m sure the manager will keep us grounded and say that we just have to think about ourselves, and try to play good and try to give 100 per cent every week.”We just have to do what we did before and look at ourselves and not look too much to other teams because we don’t have influence on other teams – we can’t control the performance of other teams.”We just have to make sure we are ready for the games that are to come and to make sure we are ready and try to have good results because we know that it can change quickly.”Then at the end of the season we will see where we stand.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more