To Counter Wildlife Trafficking, Local Enforcement, Not En-Route Interdiction, Is Key (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 Animals, Anti-poaching, Commentary, Editorials, Environment, Law Enforcement, Poaching, Researcher Perspective Series, Wildlife, Wildlife Crime, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking center_img The global poaching crisis has induced large segments of the conservation community to call for far tougher law enforcement. Many look to policing lessons from decades of counter-narcotics efforts for solutions.Boosting enforcement of wildlife regulations is overdue, as they have long been accorded the least priority by many enforcement authorities and corruption has further eviscerated their enforcement in many critical wildlife supply, transshipment, and demand countries.But better and tougher law enforcement is not a silver bullet. In fact, some designs of interdiction modeled on counter-narcotics efforts, including the current conservation community emphasis on greater en-route seizures of smuggled wildlife, can be outright counterproductive.The point in the smuggling chain at which enforcement and interdiction take place matters enormously. In the case of drugs — a non-depletable resource than can be produced in very large volumes indefinitely — seizing drugs close to production, such as in Colombia, Afghanistan, or Myanmar, is not very effective in terms of the cost of their replacement and knock-on effects on retail prices. Seizing drugs close to consumption and retail markets, such as in the United States or Europe, boosts prices much more, thus discouraging some users.However, for political, social, and justice reasons, interdiction in Colombia or Afghanistan that targets drug smuggling organizations and focuses on semi-processed or processed drugs, destruction of processing labs, and arrests of traffickers is still preferable to eradicating the drug crops of poor farmers. Hundreds of thousands of farmers in drug-cultivating countries depend on drug cultivation for their livelihoods. They will mobilize to oppose eradication, and may thus support militant groups, such as the Taliban, that provide them with protection. Moreover, in addition to prioritizing interdiction over eradication, in the case of drugs, it’s important that interdiction be designed to reduce smugglers’ proclivity toward violence and their capacity to corrupt institutions and penetrate political systems. It should also seek to limit the access of militant groups to drug revenues.Like drug crop eradication, preventing poor, marginalized indigenous communities from subsistence hunting or even participating in global wildlife trafficking is ethically questionable and can become politically unsustainable.But, unlike with drugs, focusing interdiction on en-route transshipment is highly problematic. All traffickers, whether in wildlife or drugs, assume they will lose a certain percentage of contraband to enforcement efforts, and therefore will simply pay for the production of larger volumes to cover their predicted losses. They even welcome eradication and seizures since enforcement boosts prices and makes stockpiles more profitable. The traffickers’ ability to increase and adjust supply to offset losses is one of the reasons why prices of drugs have not gone up high enough to reduce the capacity and motivation of consumers to purchase them. Seizures are thus highly unlikely to bankrupt traffickers of drugs or wildlife.Yet increasing the volume of animals poached in order to maintain supply despite law enforcement is a most undesirable and counterproductive side-effect of combating the illegal wildlife trade. Traffickers of rare parrots from Indonesia, whom I encountered during my research, for example, fully expected a 90 to 95 percent mortality rate as a result of their smuggling methods. To evade law-enforcement agencies, they stuffed the parrots into plastic bottles with GPS trackers and threw them into the sea so as to retrieve them on open waters outside the reach of naval interdiction. The fact that less than 10 percent of the parrots survived was not a deterrent to this appalling method, as profits on the remaining specimens were more than sufficient.In fact, prices can be boosted by scarcity so much that absorbing huge losses and driving a species close to extinction can be profitable and attractive for traffickers. The rarer the species, the greater its value. Law enforcement must avoid creating those transshipment inefficiencies that motivate smugglers to organize the poaching of many more animals so as to deliver even a few to the market.Rather than focusing on en-route interdiction, shutting down the retailers of illegal wildlife commodities is critical. Although retail may merely be driven underground, reducing the visibility, accessibility, and advertisement of retail markets helps drive demand down. Shutting down online and social media websites of illegal wildlife products is equally imperative.But the single most effective form of law enforcement in countering wildlife trafficking and poaching is enforcement within areas where the species occur to prevent animals from being killed or removed from the wild in the first place.Such in situ enforcement, however, often runs into the challenge that local populations can be willing participants in poaching for global smuggling networks. If local populations have not internalized laws and consider them an illegitimate imposition of Western values that hamper their socioeconomic survival and advancement, enforcement becomes costly both politically and morally, as well as in terms of resources.Despite claims that today’s wildlife trafficking is all about organized crime groups, in situ law enforcement must be accompanied by socioeconomic aid policies, such as ecotourism, financial transfers, or sustainable trophy hunting, in order to motivate local communities to comply with and internalize wildlife conservation.The White Rhinoceros was on the brink of extinction at the end of the 19th century, but the species has rebounded since then, with approximately 20,000 White Rhinos in Africa today. However, this conservation success story “is being undone by the high levels of rhino poaching since the mid-2000s,” according to TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. Photo by Rhett Butler.Dr. Vanda Felbab-Brown is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of The Extinction Market: Wildlife Trafficking and How to Counter It (Hurst-Oxford University Press, 2017).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Rhino poaching in South Africa dipped slightly last year, but ‘crisis continues unabated,’ conservationists say

first_imgSouth African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa announced in a press briefing today that 1,028 rhinos were illegally killed in the country in 2017.In Kruger National Park, which has typically been the epicenter of rhino poaching in South Africa, 504 illegal killings were recorded last year, Molewa reported. That’s a 24 percent reduction over 2016 — but these gains were offset by poaching in other regions, particularly KwaZulu Natal province.While the rhino poaching rate in South Africa has slowly decreased every year since peaking in 2014 with 1,215 animals lost, conservationists were not encouraged by the slightly lower number of rhinos killed last year. South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa announced in a press briefing today that 1,028 rhinos were illegally killed in the country in 2017.That figure represents a small decrease over 2016’s total of 1,054 illicit rhino killings.Booming demand for rhino horn in newly-affluent Asian countries like Vietnam and China, where rhino horn is used in traditional medicine, is driving a poaching crisis that threatens to overturn the Southern white rhino population’s recovery from as low as 50 individuals in the early 20th century to about 20,000 today. The Southern white rhino is now the most abundant of all rhino subspecies, and South Africa is considered its last stronghold.In Kruger National Park, which has typically been the epicenter of rhino poaching in South Africa, 504 illegal killings were recorded last year, Molewa reported. That’s a 24 percent reduction over 2016 — but these gains were offset by poaching in other regions, particularly KwaZulu Natal province.Official rhino poaching statisitcs reported by South Africa in recent years. © TRAFFIC.Meanwhile, arrests of suspected rhino poachers and traffickers in South Africa dropped by almost a quarter, with just 518 last year compared to 680 in 2016.Molewa also reported a rise in the number of elephants poached in Kruger National Park, as 67 elephants were killed there in 2017. According to Reuters, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement that “The increases in other provinces, coupled with the sharp rise in elephant poaching, tell us that as we progress and evolve, so do the tactics and methods of the poachers.”Indeed, it was reported last year that transnational criminal networks have begun manufacturing jewelry, beads, and other trinkets out of rhino horn in southern Africa rather than smuggling the horns out of the continent whole or in chunks, a new tactic that could possibly be helping illegal exports evade detection.South Africa imposed a moratorium on domestic trade in rhino horn in 2009, but the country’s constitutional court overruled a governmental appeal to keep the ban in place in April of last year. Legal auctions of rhino horn subsequently resumed a few months later. (International trade in rhino horns was banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1977, and that ban remains in place.)While the rhino poaching rate in South Africa has slowly decreased every year since peaking in 2014 with 1,215 animals lost, conservationists were not encouraged by the slightly lower number of rhinos killed last year.“The marginally lower total in 2017 still remains unacceptably high,” Tom Milliken, Rhino Programme Leader for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, said in a statement. Milliken noted that 1,028 total killings works out to nearly three rhinos poached every day in South Africa last year: “the bottom line is the crisis continues unabated.”Milliken also noted that South Africa has yet to formally adopt its National Integrated Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking. “TRAFFIC calls on South Africa urgently to adopt and implement its national strategy to combat wildlife trafficking: the potential growth of new markets for rhino products is a deeply worrying development that needs to be nipped in the bud — we’re far from seeing the light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel,” he said.At the press conference this morning announcing the 2017 rhino poaching data, Minister Molewa acknowledged that there was much work yet to be done to rein in the poaching crisis that is decimating Africa’s rhino and elephant populations, but struck a note of optimism in response to the progress that has been made.According to a tweet by the South African government’s official Twitter account, Molewa said, “It is clear from what we have reported to you as a team this morning that we continue to register successes in our fight against rhino poaching, but we are equally aware that the battle is far from won.”She added: “We will in 2018 continue to draw on our achievements, learn from our mistakes, and adapt international best practice. It is only through a collaborative approach that we have come this far — which is a long way from where we were a few years ago.”A white rhino in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Photo by Rhett Butler.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. Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Elephants, Environment, Illegal Trade, Law Enforcement, Mammals, Organized Crime, Poaching, Rhinos, Wildlife, Wildlife Crime, Wildlife Trade 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

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

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

John Terry ‘playing poker’ with Chelsea to earn new contract, claims former Blues assistant

first_imgChelsea captain John Terry is ‘playing poker’ with the club in an attempt to earn a new contract, according to former Blues coach Steve Clarke.The 35-year-old defender caused a strom by announcing last week that he expects to leave his boyhood club at the end of the season, claiming Chelsea opted not to extend his deal at Stamford Bridge.Terry made his 698th Blues appearance in last week’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United.Chelsea quickly insisted they could yet offer their long-term skipper a fresh deal, with manager Guus Hiddink adamant the door is not closed on the centre-back’s future, but Terry said on Sunday that there was still ‘no communication’ from the club.“It’s a strange one,” former Chelsea assistant Clarke told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. “I think John is playing a little game of poker with the club.“He’s trying to force another deal for himself.“I was at the game against Manchester United last week and John still looks very comfortable.“He still looks as though he can do a good job for the club and hopefully they can come to a sensible agreement which means John can get at least one more season at Chelsea.”last_img read more

Former Raiders star Clem Daniels dies at 83; if you only know about his football prowess, you’re missing out

first_imgClem Daniels, an Oakland Raiders stalwart during the team’s formative years in the early 1960s, has died at 83. His passing was announced by a statement from the team.“The Raider Family mourns the loss of Clem Daniels, an integral part of the Raider organization for six decades,” the statement read. “Clem was the premier all-purpose running back in the American Football League, setting the league’s all-time rushing record, and was one of the original stars of the Silver and Black.”Daniels, a …last_img

Video games in the Olympics? Here’s how it might work

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Top seed Meralco comes back to beat Star in semis opener Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president In this photo, taken on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, an esports competitor takes part in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Including competitive computer games, known as esports, could give the Olympics a younger audience and a huge revenue boost from a rapidly growing market, but would be deeply controversial. (Photo by DAVID ALIAGA / LAUREL Photo Services via AP)ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — The future of the Olympics may just be in a basement in Turkmenistan.With leading Olympic figures considering a possible role for competitive computer games – known as esports – at the 2024 Games in Paris, a pan-Asian competition in the ex-Soviet state offers a possible vision of the future.ADVERTISEMENT Esports aren’t a natural fit for Turkmenistan, one of the poorer ex-Soviet nations, though one where internet access is growing rapidly.The rules weren’t explained in the local language, but that didn’t turn off the crowd of up to 200 in the windowless basement of a sports arena from cheering and whooping at a particularly spectacular kill or skillful strategy.Still, the attendance was tiny compared to big pro esports events, which can pack thousands into traditional sports arenas, and it didn’t make much of a splash online. Fewer than 50 viewers at a time watched some opening-round matches Monday on Twitch, a leading game streaming service that regularly attracts tens of thousands of concurrent viewers to its more popular streams.If esports make it to the Paris Olympics, it would redefine what Olympic sport is meant to be.The International Olympic Committee has previously resisted calls to add “mind sports” like chess that don’t involve physical exertion, or events where machines are key, like auto racing.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Including esports could give the Olympics a younger audience and a huge revenue boost from a rapidly growing market, but would be deeply controversial.The Olympic Council of Asia included esports as an official demonstration event at its Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games this week, with teams from China and nine other nations battling in four games ranging from space combat in “StarCraft II” to card-game strategy in “Hearthstone.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSupporters of esports in the Olympics say their event is a real sporting contest, one which prizes strategy and lightning reactions over physical agility.“It needs different skillsets from different people,” competitor Jess Joaustine Tamboboy from the Philippines told The Associated Press. “It doesn’t really have a physical requirement because you can see around us the players are short and tall, maybe a little bit thin, maybe a little bit fat. But all they have in order to qualify to play for these types of titles are just their cognitive or mind skills.” LATEST STORIES BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fightcenter_img Deciding which games to pick is fraught, too. The IOC has a sponsorship deal with Chinese company Alibaba, which has major esports interests, but rival firms have their own popular brands.The IOC also fears violent games would hurt the Olympics’ image.IOC president Thomas Bach told the South China Morning Post, an Alibaba-owned newspaper, earlier this month that he’d prefer sports simulations.“We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace among people. This doesn’t match with video games, which are about violence, explosions and killing. And there we have to draw a clear line,” he said.All four of the games on the program this week in Turkmenistan featured some form of combat, though in fantasy settings with cartoon-style animation techniques. There weren’t any realistic military-themed shooting games on the program.Bach also said esports needs a firmer structure. The IOC is used to dealing with a single governing body for each sport, like FIFA for soccer or the International Gymnastics Federation. Esports has its own international federation, but with limited influence over a web of private interests including games publishers, competition organizers and players’ teams.The event in Turkmenistan showed how that system doesn’t yet fit smoothly with the Olympic movement.IOC sponsor Alibaba’s Alisports division was in charge of the event, and used an open online qualifying system.That prompted federations from Australia and South Korea to boycott, saying athletes should have been picked by their national Olympic committees in the manner of a traditional sport.If esports make it to the Olympics, other potential problems for the IOC include criticism it’s moving away from promoting a healthy lifestyle, and that it’s ignoring poorer countries where fast computers and brand-new games are unaffordable. MOST READ Read Next Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Esports would also mean the IOC allowing private companies to set the rules of its competitions.Most traditional sports treat the rules with reverence, only occasionally tinkering around the edges. Not so for games publishers, who routinely mix things up to attract new players and keep things fresh.Adding just one new character can reshape the whole “meta” — the game’s constantly evolving web of tactics and counter-tactics.Senior figures in the IOC and the esports world have publicly doubted esports will be ready for an Olympic debut in seven years’ time.“We are still some way away from our vision and we need to start on the right foot,” Asian Esports Federation president Kenneth Fok said last week. “For esports to develop in a positive banner, we need the full support of each and every NOC, their government, and more importantly the general public to have a positive perception of electronic sports.” View commentslast_img read more

21 days agoGranit ​Xhaka ‘very proud’ of Arsenal captaincy

first_imgGranit ​Xhaka ‘very proud’ of Arsenal captaincyby Freddie Taylor21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka admits that he is extremely proud that he was named club captain recently.Boss Unai Emery took the decision to give Xhaka the armband after consulting with the coaching staff and other squad members.The Swiss midfielder is divisive among supporters, but those who train with him every day see his value.”I’m very proud,” he told Arsenal Player. “It’s made me very happy because when I came here, I had a lot of experience before with the Switzerland national team and I was the captain in Germany as well. “When I came here, there were a lot of great players, good personalities, and it was a big step for me to be the captain here as well. “Now I’m the official captain here and it makes me very proud to be the captain of this great club.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare 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

GE Nedstack Team Up on ZeroEmission Tech for Cruise Ships

first_imgzoomlllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license General Electric’s (GE) Power Conversion business and Nedstack, a fuel cell manufacturer, have entered into a partnership to develop hydrogen fuel cell systems for powering zero-emission cruise vessels.The ultimate goal of GE and Nedstack is creating a truly zero-emission system that will enable the world’s first sustainable, clean cruise ships.As explained, the cruise industry shares a joint responsibility to eliminate the possible negative impacts it might have on port communities, the health of passengers and staff, and on the environment as a whole.Responsible zero-emission shipping is not only environmentally needed but will greatly contribute to the quality of the cruise experience itself, the two companies believe.Shipowners are already under pressure to comply with the reduced sulfur limit regulations coming into force next year. Both global International Maritime Organization (IMO) and regional regulations require marine vessels to reduce emissions or eliminate them altogether.“Existing clean power solutions are focused on reducing emissions. Eliminating emissions altogether demands a paradigm shift,” Arnoud van de Bree, CEO of Nedstack, said.“Hence why GE and Nedstack have been working extensively on the ‘marinization’ of fuel cell technology to create a total zero-emission alternative that truly meets the needs of tomorrow’s cruise industry,” he added.“We’re proud to be working with Nedstack on what we believe will be a game changer for the cruise industry,” Ed Torres, CEO of Marine and O&G, GE’s Power Conversion business, pointed out.“This partnership brings together a rich pool of expertise that’s spearheading much needed innovation. Given the marine transport and shipping sector’s changing regulatory landscape, this innovation could not be more timely,” he further said.The duo envisages using this technology on passenger ships, replacing traditional diesel engines with fuel cells, and heavy fuel oil (HFO) with hydrogen. So far, Nedstack and GE have designed the concept for a two-megawatt hydrogen fuel cell power plant on an expedition vessel. The review result has been positive, according to the companies.“Ships are increasingly being required to shut down their engines in port. We’ve seen this in California, for example, and China has introduced an emission control area in the Yangtse delta. However, the trend is shifting from emissions reduction to total elimination,” Azeez Mohammed, President and CEO, GE’s Power Conversion business, noted.last_img read more

2014 NFL Preview Great Players And Gambling Problems In The NFC North

This includes a record 13 touchdowns (the previous career record for any punt returner was 10). Hester also has five touchdowns from kickoff returns (good for eighth on the all-time list9Despite playing for a good defensive team for much of his career and not even returning kicks full-time for parts of it.) and is looking to break his present tie with Deion Sanders for most non-offensive touchdowns in NFL history.Kick and punt returns normally aren’t a big enough part of the game for a good returner to produce much value unless he also does other things well. But Hester is so insanely good he may be as close to an exception as you’ll ever see.Determining how much value Hester added on kick returns is relatively simple. Taken on a season-by-season basis, a typical NFL kick returner would have scored about 1.8 touchdowns on Hester’s attempts, while Hester had 6.0. This leads to about an extra .20 points per game.10Actually it’s .204 points per game, compared to .208 if you estimate the value of additional field position directly.But where things get interesting is with punts. With teams taking such crazy measures to avoid giving him the ball, Chicago’s punt return game benefited greatly whether Hester actually touched the ball or not.11Giving Hester credit for Chicago’s entire return game is neither an aggressive nor a conservative assumption. If the rest of the special teams squad was below average, it’s possible that Hester provided even more value than the squad as a whole.Since 2006, when Hester joined the team, Chicago has had the highest number of yards per punt return, resulting in the best average starting position, and has scored a touchdown on one of every 21 returns. The average for teams other than Chicago was one TD every 82 punt returns. And that’s not even counting all the times other teams punted short or out of bounds to avoid a return.According to ESPN’s “expected points added” metric, Chicago’s punt return game was worth about .15 expected points over expectation for each of the 668 punts they faced, or about .80 points per game total.Combining this .80 with the .20 Hester gained returning kickoffs, he was probably worth around 1 point per game overall.We’re obviously not talking Aaron Rodgers-type value here. But football is a 46-on-46 sport: It’s hard for any one player (aside from a quarterback) to matter much. A reliable 1 point per game is pretty significant.Chicago had an average margin of -2.1 points per game last year, so with Hester’s departure, let’s say the team is starting out in a 3-point hole. If the offense gets worse or the defense gets better, it could go either way from there.Detroit LionsExpected wins: 8.3Playoff probability: 38 percent (25 percent to win the NFC North)Super Bowl win probability: 3 percent Last year, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers missing half the season due to a broken collarbone, the Packers finished with just an 8-7-1 record, and gave up more points than they scored. Despite all that, they still eked out an NFC North division championship for the third year in a row.In the eight games in which Rodgers played more than the opening drive, the Packers went 6-2 with an average margin of victory of 7.4 points. In the eight games that featured the smorgasbord1Matt Flynn, Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace all started games in Rodgers’s absence. of Packers backups, they went 2-5-1 with an average margin of defeat of 8.8 points. It’s difficult to disentangle a quarterback’s performance from that of his teammates (or his coaches), but the Packers’ 2013 results are perhaps the best evidence yet that Rodgers is the real deal.2Though not quite Peyton-esque.Since Rodgers took over for Brett Favre in 2008, the Packers have been one of the NFL’s best franchises. They’ve won the fourth-most games (they’re in essentially a four-way-tie behind the Patriots) and a Super Bowl (as many of those as anyone else over that period, and one more than the Patriots). ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) is one of the most all-encompassing quarterback rating systems out there today.3Note this isn’t necessarily a compliment. In a phenomenon I like to call “The Paradox of Quarterback Metrics,” beyond a certain point, the more information a QB metric takes into account, the less it tends to tell you about the quarterback. Rodgers’s QBR in the last six years is 72.9, second only to Peyton Manning’s 80.7. Rodgers performs fantastically well in a variety of other quarterback metrics.But that’s what happens when you a) play for a good team and b) don’t throw interceptions. These are strongly related. Most interceptions are thrown when the quarterback’s team is trailing (about twice as many as when it’s ahead), and they become more and more likely the more his team is down or the closer they come to the end of the game4Being ahead or behind one score is 0-8 points, two scores is 9-16 points, three scores is 17+ points.:Interceptions are often (even largely) a product of completely rational risk-taking by desperate quarterbacks. A logical implication of this is that if a quarterback is too conservative, he can throw too few interceptions, which can be just as bad as throwing too many.Despite his various successes, it’s possible Rodgers fits this description of an overly conservative quarterback. For example, with his team down by two or more scores (9+ points) he has thrown only three interceptions out of 354 passes attempted (0.8 percent) in his career. This is typically when quarterbacks throw the most INTs, because they’re trying to get their teams back into the game, and high-risk strategies often give them the best chance to win. Overall, quarterbacks throw interceptions about 3.5 percent of the time on average in those situations, with even most great quarterbacks breaking 3.0 percent. Peyton Manning, for example, has averaged 3.1 percent, Drew Brees has averaged 3.3 percent, and even Tom Brady has thrown 2.3 percent (slightly above his career average).5Based on play-by-play from 2001 through 2013.Being insufficiently willing to gamble even when circumstances are dire can be good for a QB’s stats, while bad for his team. And there’s evidence of this in Rodgers’s record as well: He has only engineered six fourth-quarter comebacks in his career — good for 149th all time (Russell Wilson already has eight).There’s nothing wrong with giving your team the lead and then keeping it.6I vividly but hazily recall this being Troy Aikman’s response when someone asked him about his lack of fourth-quarter comebacks back in the ’90s — and he had one about every 10 games. But Rodgers has averaged one fourth-quarter comeback every 14.5 games. This is staggeringly low, even for a player whose team isn’t behind that often. Brady has played for an even more consistently good team and has a fourth-quarter comeback once every 6.2 games. Both brothers Manning have averaged one every six games, Ben Roethlisberger has one every 6.2, Drew Brees and Joe Flacco have one about every eight. Favre (surprisingly) had one only every 9.9 games.But the good news for Packers fans is that Rodgers has some pretty low-hanging room for improvement: If he starts taking more calculated risks (likely sacrificing his stats a little in the process), the Pack may be even more dangerous.Chicago BearsExpected wins: 8.4Playoff probability: 39 percent (25 percent to win the NFC North)Super Bowl win probability: 3 percent ­Editor’s Note: FiveThirtyEight is running a series of eight NFL previews, one division at a time, to highlight the numbers that may influence each team’s season. America’s favorite weekly soap opera is about to begin; get prepped.Green Bay PackersExpected wins (using implied power ratings from Las Vegas point spreads): 9.4Playoff probability: 55 percent (41 percent to win the NFC North)Super Bowl win probability: 6 percent Last year the Detroit Lions finished 7-9, the second-highest win total of quarterback Matthew Stafford’s career. Despite throwing for 4,650 yards and 29 TDs, Stafford now faces headlines like this one from Fox Sports: “Stafford needs to bounce back in a big way.”According to that article, Stafford “must cut down on his crucial mistakes when it’s make-or-break time.” Presumably, this refers to the six fourth-quarter interceptions Stafford threw in one-score games last year.But, see above: Interceptions are hard to interpret. Stafford also had seven touchdowns under those circumstances, and four of his six interceptions were with his team trailing.12Also known as the best time to throw interceptions. So let’s break down Stafford’s interception rate a bit further:With his team down 2+ scores, his interception rate is 2.5 percent. If anything, this may be too low.With his team down one score or less, his interception rate is 2.8 percent. This is probably just about right.With the game tied, his interception rate is 2.2 percent, which is below average.With his team up 2+ scores, his interception rate is about 3 percent, which is a little high, but not necessarily a problem considering the sample size.With his team up one score or less, his interception rate is pretty high: 3.8 percent overall and a whopping 6.7 percent in the second quarter.In other words, if there’s one spot where Stafford has been making an unusually high number of mistakes it hasn’t been “make-or-break time,” it has been earlier in the game, when his team is up one or fewer scores and most QBs would play it safe (league average interception rate is around 2.3 percent under those circumstances).Of course, while throwing interceptions with your team up one score isn’t generally wise, it could be worth it if it’s helping you gain a ton of touchdowns. Indeed, Stafford throws a good number of TDs in these situations.While that 4.5 percent is good, it’s only 0.5 percentage points better than average — in other words, it’s not a very good trade-off considering his interception rate under these circumstances is 1.5 percentage points higher than average.To generalize a bit, you can think of the sum of a player’s touchdown rate and interception rate as his “aggression level.” Stafford is a fairly aggressive quarterback overall, but his aggression level while ahead by one score or less in the second quarter is 10.4 percent, which is off the charts compared to the league average of 6.8 percent. This isn’t really the best time to get aggressive, and it isn’t really working for him.Minnesota VikingsExpected wins: 6.5Playoff probability: 17 percent (9 percent to win the NFC North)Super Bowl win probability: 1 percent Last season, the Chicago Bears finished 8-8, fitting for a team with one of the best offenses (not led by Peyton Manning) and one of the worst defenses in football. That’s a good excuse to talk about their special teams.For as yet unknown reasons, Chicago let its best player7Relative to his position. go.While Devin Hester never developed into the double-threat for Chicago that the team hoped (much less the triple-threat he was at the University of Miami), he is almost certainly the greatest punt returner in NFL history.8Some of that field position is no doubt due to Hester’s reputation and the fact that teams went to great lengths trying to avoid kicking him the ball — so he probably grabbed the ball in better positions. But the average Chicago field position from a non-Hester return was around the 30 yard line. And the fact that Hester was able to take so many returns and still do so much with them is remarkable in its own right. Adrian Peterson now has more than 10,000 yards rushing and 91 touchdowns in his seven-year career, giving him over 2,000 more yards and 24 more touchdowns than anyone in the last seven years. Yet the Vikings finished 5-10-1 last year, their third 10-loss season in four years. They haven’t had a top-10 offense since Brett Favre’s miracle year, nor before that since the Randy Moss era.The utility of the running game in football is still an open question. While pass-heavy offensive approaches typically gain points (and wins) more efficiently than run-heavy ones, we’re nowhere near game-theoretical dominance. In other words, however marginal it may become, the running game still has its uses:The threat of the running game forces defenses to defend multiple strategies, which makes the passing game more efficient.It’s low-risk and eats up the clock: A team that is ahead may be willing to give up a small amount of per-play value in order to shorten the remainder of the game and decrease the chances of a costly turnover.Runs gain positive yards more consistently than passes, which can be useful in a number of ways beyond average yardage. For example, very good running backs (or running games) set up a higher number of second-and-short situations than passes do, and these can be better than first downs.Of course for Nos. 1 and 2 to work most efficiently, you have to run effectively. And running effectively mostly means No. 3.While Peterson breaks a larger share of long runs than typical running backs, he is neither a consistent gainer nor a producer of high-leverage situations.Obviously Adrian Peterson’s long runs are worth something: They’re worth a lot of yards. But yards are easier than ever to come by in today’s game. No matter how great a running back is at breaking long ones, he’s not going to be as efficient at gobbling up yards as his team’s passing game is (no matter how mediocre the team’s quarterbacks are).On the other hand, the better a team is at strategically maximizing the running game, the more valuable those “bonus” yards become — because the running plays that produce them are no longer taking the place of passes.In other words, if you can’t run consistently, it doesn’t matter if you can break a bunch of long runs, because you’d still be better off passing. But if you can run consistently, those long runs become gravy.None of this is to say that Peterson’s shortcomings necessarily reflect poorly on his running skills, no more than we can say the same for any running back’s underperformance. Peterson has simply produced a little below average at the bread-and-butter stuff that keeps the running game relevant, and this undercuts the value of his long runs considerably. With a better offensive line, or quarterback, Peterson’s value would improve doubly.Read more of FiveThirtyEight’s NFL season previews. read more