Mass march rejects U.S.-Pakistan deal

first_imgPeshawar, PakistanA deal in early July papered over frayed relations between U.S. imperialism and Pakistan’s government. But it did little to calm the Pakistani people’s anger at being a target of the U.S. war machine.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton showcased the administration’s military strategy for Central Asia with an “apology” to Pakistan and a pledge to keep Afghanistan a “friend of NATO” should U.S. troops leave as scheduled in 2014.Last December, U.S. planes attacked a military post on the Pakistani side of the frontier with Afghanistan, leaving 24 Pakistani troops and officers dead and the Pakistani army furious. The Pakistani government then blocked NATO supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan. They demanded a formal U.S. apology and later said they would charge $5,000 a truckload through their roads, instead of the prior $200 price.Meanwhile, NATO had to pay an additional $100 million a month to ship supplies using alternate routes.The Pentagon claimed that relations were too cozy between the Pakistani military post and the Taliban-led resistance in Afghanistan. U.S. generals refused to give the apology during the next seven months as U.S.-Pakistani relations soured. Finally, a deal was worked out in early July where Clinton said the U.S. was “sorry” about the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers, the U.S. would restore $1 billion in aid to the Pakistani army, and the supply lines would be reopened.How long will the agreement last? Pakistani military and intelligence officers have friendly relations with the Taliban, which they helped get into power in the 1990s. Since the Pakistani generals can rightly expect that the Taliban will eventually help form the Afghan government, the generals will want to maintain relations and influence in post-occupation Afghanistan.Washington and the Taliban coexisted easily in the mid-1990s. Only after the 2001 invasion and NATO occupation did the Taliban-led Afghan resistance confront and challenge imperialism with the goal of driving the imperialist occupiers out of ­Afghanistan. Now the U.S.-NATO problem is that any clean victory for the Afghanresistance is a humiliation for imperialism.The contradictory interests of the Pakistani military and U.S. imperialism may still lead to a break between the regimes in Islamabad and Washington. This is true even though Pakistan’s wealthy ruling class and its military have been dependent on their relationship with the U.S. throughout their history.Pakistani people in the streetsThe vast majority of Pakistan’s people are furious with U.S. imperialism, not just for the attack on the border post, but for the ongoing drone attacks on Pakistani territory, which kill children and other civilians, though allegedly aimed at “insurgents” that support the Afghan resistance.Though the governments reached a deal, Pakistan’s people have already shown that Clinton’s “sorry” falls short. Some 8,000 people packed 200 vehicles to make the 170-mile “long march” caravan between Lahore and Islamabad to protest the opening of the NATO route.Islamic organizations were the major organizers of this particular protest. Anti-imperialist attitudes, however, go beyond these groups. The Pakistani secular left is also opposed to NATO’s occupation of Afghanistan, to the dominant role of U.S. imperialism in Pakistan and especially to the U.S. drones that target Pakistan.A meeting of the Pakistani-U.S. Freedom Forum in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 23 reflected these attitudes among different sectors of Pakistani society. Everyone was angry about the drones. Many speakers attacked the current U.S. administration as being even more aggressive than the prior George W. Bush administration.In Afghanistan, the war continues. Six more NATO occupation troops lost their lives in an attack by the resistance on July 8 as the war allegedly winds down.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

SOCSOUTH and Nicaragua Participate in Training Exchange

first_imgBy Dialogo May 25, 2012 Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) assigned to SEAL Team-18, in support of Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH), participated in a Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) event in Nicaragua from April 15 to May 15. JCETs allow U.S. Special Operations Forces to train and hone their skills in foreign nations. This event also allowed the SWCC members to train and exchange techniques with Nicaraguan military members. U.S. and Nicaraguan troops routinely train and work together, but this event marked the first time in several years that the U.S. crewmen participated in a formal military exchange program inside Nicaragua’s borders. This joint exercise allowed the SWCC and members of Nicaragua’s Naval Special Operation Detachment and Special Operations Command to train together and exchange military tactics and ideas. These types of exchanges help U.S. Special Operations Forces maintain their combat readiness while enhancing bilateral relations and interoperability with partner nations through improved military-to-military contacts. This exchange greatly benefited the Nicaraguan troops in learning new techniques as they protect the nation from the threat of Transnational Organized Crime. “From the start of this [JCET], we have been training for real-life situations which will help us deter and combat threats such as narcotrafficking and organized crime,” said Nicaraguan 1st Lt. Vicente Roberto Baltodano. “This experience has been very good for us because we have learned critical combat skills, such as first aid, communications, and how to conduct boat interdictions. These are tools that will help us protect our nation from these threats. We have a great amount of respect for them [U.S. military], and it has been a good exchange between us.” Throughout the four-week training, SWCC trained on critical skills such as water survival, tactical casualty combat care, communications, basic maritime navigation, boat handling maneuvers on small tactical boats, weapons familiarization, and tactical boat operations. “One of the main goals coming into this event was to help us increase our skills and help them [Nicaraguan military] increase their interoperability,” said a senior SWCC member. “These types of skills will help them protect their borders and waterways.” The exchange allowed U.S. service members to build upon the strong military partnerships between the two nations.last_img read more

Badgers face former WCHA foe Tigers in weekend dual

first_imgEntering its second of six-straight home series, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team looks to extend its two–game winning streak against a familiar foe.The Badgers will take on former WCHA rival Colorado College (2-10-3, 2-5-3 NCHC) this weekend after earning their first pair of wins in the newly formed Big Ten ice hockey conference. While they are no longer foes fighting for valuable conference points, the players believe the nonconference matchup will not lose any of its usual intensity.“We have a good rivalry with Colorado College and they are certainly a good team, so we are looking forward to having them come in here,” senior defenseman Joe Faust said. “Every single game means something.”Last season, CC swept UW in the Kohl Center in the first series of November as the Badgers suffered a 5-4 overtime loss in game one and were shutout in a 3-0 CC victory in game two.  This season the Tigers have struggled to record wins, earning just their second of the season last weekend against Nebraska-Lincoln. But Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves is not counting on an easy series for his team, saying CC is much better than their current record indicates.“Quite honestly I’m surprised to see their record be what it is. We’re trying to do some homework to see what’s going on there,” Eaves said. “They had a pretty successful weekend last weekend and they got some momentum. They are coming in here to play us, a former rival. They are going to be all juiced up, so we need to be ready for them.”For Wisconsin, the wins against PSU came at a much-needed juncture in the season, just a week after dropping two games to a then-ranked No. 1 Minnesota. The Badgers game came out Friday night with a decisive 7-1 victory in a game Eaves said was much less pretty than the score showed. Saturday was a different story as the Badgers and Nittany Lions battled back and forth before UW came out on top with a 4-3 win and a much better performance.Sophomore forward Nic Kerdiles tallied four points on the weekend including the game-winning third period goal Saturday night. While the season has been one of personal accomplishment for Kerdiles, who is tied with senior forward Michael Mersch for most points at 14, the past weekend’s series served as a momentum boost for the entire team.“Anytime you can get two wins under you belt, especially at home, it helps a lot,” senior forward and assistant captain Jefferson Dahl said. “Now that we are getting into games back-to-back weekends it is definitely a plus too.”Beyond Kerdiles, several Badgers who have not regularly graced the score charts made significant contributions and will be looking to extend their success come Friday against the Tigers. Senior forward Sean Little recorded his sixth goal as a Badger Saturday along with a play-making assist off a hard hit. Freshman Badgers Grant Besse and Jedd Soleway each earned a point on the series, with a goal and assist respectively Friday, and are continuing to make strides in Eaves’ eyes.Eaves specifically noted in his Monday press conference the play of Faust, who he believes is playing the best hockey of his career thus far. Faust is tied for second-most assists on the season with seven. After a goal Saturday, his current eight-point season ties his total points recorded in his first three seasons as a Badgers.“I don’t really know exactly what it is, but I have great players and great coaches around me,” Faust said. “I feel like I have been playing well right now, and it’s fun. And getting those two wins last weekend for our team was huge for us.”Looking ahead, special teams will be a critical area of focus for UW this weekend. The penalty kill unit has seen steady improvement, performing at 83 percent with 44 kills in 53 tries on the season. Meanwhile Wisconsin’s power play earned its first goal with the man-advantage against PSU after 17 straight with no score.  A clear boost of confidence for the lead power play unit of Mersch, Kerdiles, seniors Mark Zengerle and Tyler Barnes and junior Jake McCabe, Eaves is glad to see their work paying off but was quick to say the group has not been without opportunities in the 17 prior lost advantages.“The ultimate satisfaction is scoring goals, but then at the next level it is if we are creating scoring chances and it’s been there,” Eaves said. “It was just a matter of time …. it’s a tough power play because they don’t do anything structured. They have the ability to freelance.”UW will take the ice for the third-straight weekend for the first time this season Friday night, and Eaves believes the series will be a great indicator of the consistency in the team after have three bye weeks already this season.“I think this weekend will really, really have some kind of rhythm when on Friday night we are able to hit our stride earlier than we did this past weekend,” Eaves said.The puck is set at 6:30 p.m. Friday night at the Kohl Center and and on Saturday at 7 p.m.last_img read more

Nadal beats Djokovic for record ninth French Open title

first_imgThe Spanish superstar becomes the first man to win a fifth successive Grand Slam tournamentRafael Nadal came from a set down to beat Novak Djokovic 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 to claim the French Open title.The world number one lost the opening set 6-3 but struck back to win the second 7-5 and benefited from Djokovic’s lapse in form to take the third.Having gone a break down, Djokovic managed to find his way back into the deciding set before a double-fault handed the championship to the Spaniard.The Spaniard became the first man to win five successive titles at Roland Garros to take his overall Grand Slam tally to 14.last_img

Teenager Ansu Fati lights up Barca, Benzema brilliance inspires Real

first_imgMadrid, Spain | AFP | Ansu Fati, the 16-year-old starlet from Guinea Bissau, scored his second goal of the season as Barcelona breezed to a 5-2 win against Valencia on Saturday.Karim Benzema netted twice for Real Madrid as they fought off a late comeback to beat Levante 3-2 as Eden Hazard made his La Liga debut.With Lionel Messi still out and watching from the stands at the Camp Nou it was left to Fati take the plaudits.Fati, who became the third youngest scorer in La Liga history when he came off the bench to net in a 2-2 draw at Osasuna this month, scored in the second minute, before providing the assist for Frenkie de Jong’s seventh minute goal.The teenager got a standing ovation when he came off after an hour.Barca coach Ernesto Valverde marvelled at Fati’s composure.“It’s not usual that on his first touch he scores, and on his second he sets up a goal,” he said.“To get used to being a Barca player is work for anyone, even more so for a boy so young, but he’s a balanced kid, he strikes me as being at ease.”Kevin Gameiro got Valencia off the mark but a brace from the fit-again Luis Suarez meant Max Gomez’s injury time second for the visitors was purely academic.The defeat left Valencia with just four points from four matches, leaving new coach Albert Celades — a former Real Madrid assistant coach — with a huge amount of work to do before the club play their first Champions League group game against Chelsea on Tuesday.– Real show frailties –At a rain-drenched Santiago Bernabeu, Benzema’s goals came just six minutes apart in the first half before Casemiro put Real 3-0 up. However Levante, who had won their previous two outings, made a fight of it in the second half as they pulled goals back through Borja Mayoral and Gonzalo Melero.“The second half was more difficult for us, but the overall feeling was positive,” said coach Zinedine Zidane, whose team had drawn their previous two games.“We have got the three points and we were incredible in the first half, the way we played, the goals, the commitment. We just need to stay focused for the full 90 minutes.”Hazard also came off the bench for the final half-hour to make his first La Liga appearance after a thigh injury had interrupted the start of his Real career following his 100 million-euro ($110 million) move from Chelsea.The Belgian could now start when Real go to Paris Saint-Germain for their opening Champions League game on Wednesday.“I am happy for him,” said Zidane. “He will do us good. He is not ready yet though — he has only trained four times with the team. But when everyone is fit, when we have our rhythm, we will hurt teams.”Gareth Bale will also be available to face PSG after suspension kept him out on Saturday, but Sergio Ramos will be unable to play because of a European ban.Real would have won by a greater margin here had it not been for some inspired goalkeeping from Aitor Fernandez, who produced a stunning one-handed stop to keep out a Benzema shot midway through the first half.Sevilla later moved to the top of the early La Liga table on Sunday as Joan Jordan’s brilliant free-kick helped them seal a 1-0 win at Alaves.Julen Lopetegui’s side continued their excellent start to the campaign, remaining unbeaten and moving a point clear of Atletico Madrid, who lost 2-0 at Real Sociedad on Saturday, at the summit.Sevilla host Real Madrid next Sunday in a meeting of two sides yet to taste defeatShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Now critically endangered, the last of the Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are concentrated in nine deep-water pools over a 190-kilometer stretch of the Mekong between Cambodia’s Sambor district and Khone Falls on the Lao border.Today the Mekong’s dolphins face a new threat. The proposed Sambor Dam on the river’s mainstream would catalyze the extinction of the remaining dolphin population and have disastrous consequences for many other fish species, as well as the communities that depend on them.Can Cambodia bring this river dolphin back from the brink of extinction?This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Sitting on the banks of the Mekong River repairing his fishing net, 60-year-old Saron recalls a story from the time of his grandfather: “One cool November morning, Uncle Somnang was casting his net off the shore of his island home when a wave knocked him off balance and into the river. He struggled to right his overturned boat, but was quickly exhausted by the swift current. Suddenly, he felt a surge from below. A grey river dolphin appeared, helped him to right his boat, and gently nudged him back aboard.”Saron’s wife Pin chimes in. “In the past, there were so many river dolphins,” she says, “they would startle us by suddenly jumping up along both sides of our fishing boats. In fact, they were just coming up to greet us and smile at us.“Dolphins are like human beings who live under water,” Pin explains. “Like us, they feed their babies with milk. That’s why our elders taught us to never eat them.”Sambor district sits astride the Mekong River in Central Cambodia. The river is the life force of the district — most of Sambor’s 50,000 inhabitants fish and farm along its fertile banks, or on the large islands that characterize this stretch of the Mekong.Now critically endangered, the last of the Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are concentrated in nine deep-water pools over a 190-kilometer stretch of the Mekong between Sambor district and Khone Falls on the Lao border.Fisherfolk on the Mekong at dawn. Photo Credit: Sabrina Gyorvary.The first major decline in dolphin numbers occurred during the genocidal Pol Pot regime, when the Khmer Rouge used dolphin oil in lamps, motorbikes, and boat engines, and also ate dolphin meat. After the Pol Pot regime, when guns were abundant throughout Cambodia, Vietnamese and Khmer soldiers reportedly shot at dolphins for target practice.Today, the Mekong’s dolphins face a new threat. The proposed Sambor Dam on the river’s mainstream would catalyze the extinction of the remaining dolphin population and have disastrous consequences for many other fish species, as well as the communities that depend on them. Large hydropower dams cause significant shifts in habitat size, water flow, sedimentation, and animal mobility, destroying fish and dolphin habitats and blocking migration to spawning grounds. In addition, the use of explosives during dam construction creates strong sound waves that pose a critical danger to dolphins due to their highly sensitive hearing structures.Already, the Don Sahong Dam in Laos, less than two kilometers from the Cambodian border, has blocked the only year-round migratory channel for fish and dolphins on this section of the Mekong. Due to the impacts of the Don Sahong Dam, in combination with the illegal use of electroshock devices, poison, explosives, and nylon gill fishing nets, the dolphin population is now functionally extinct in Laos.Kampi pool, near Sambor town, is home to around 20 of Cambodia’s last remaining 80 river dolphins. The area is home to a budding ecotourism industry, and local women, in particular, report benefits from the extra household income earned from selling boat rides to see the dolphins.According to WWF, “Research indicates a minimum mortality rate of 16-20 percent over the last 3 years, which is clearly unsustainable. In fact, scientists suggest that mortality rates should not exceed one to two percent to ensure this small population’s long-term survival. Calf mortality rates are mysteriously high, and there is no evidence that a single calf has survived to independence during the last 3 years.”In addition to sounding a death knell for the Mekong dolphins, the Sambor Dam would contribute to the looming food security crisis posed by a series of large hydropower dams planned for the Mekong River’s lower mainstream. If built, these dams would block the major fish migrations that are essential to the life cycle of around 70 percent of the Mekong River’s commercial fish catch. This would result in a total estimated fishery loss of 26 to 42 percent, placing the livelihoods and food security of millions of people at risk.The dam wouldn’t just increase hunger; it would also cause many families to lose their homes. The Mekong River Commission’s 2010 Strategic Environmental Assessment estimates that around 20,000 residents would be evicted from their homes and land to make way for the Sambor Dam’s massive reservoir.With their way of life along the river under threat, local residents worry that their children and grandchildren will only know of dolphins as mythical creatures of the past. “The dolphins have gone from being friends to strangers,” Saron lamented.As Mekong dolphins are revered by local people, the species makes an ideal flagship to mobilize support for broader river environment conservation issues. Rather than investing in environmentally destructive hydropower dams, the Cambodian government could take the opportunity to embrace cost-competitive renewable electricity technologies. At the same time, Cambodia could lead the region in environmental stewardship by bringing the river dolphins back from the brink of extinction.An Irrawaddy dolphin in Cambodia. Photo Credit: Stefan Brending, licensed under CC-by-sa-3.0 de.The names of people in this article were changed to protect their identities.Sabrina Gyorvary is Mekong Program Coordinator with International Rivers. She is based in Thailand.Namthip Khudsavanh is a freelance researcher and folklorist based in Laos.center_img Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Commentary, Conservation, Dams, Dolphins, Ecotourism, Editorials, Endangered Species, Environment, Fisheries, Hydropower, Mammals, Marine Mammals, Mekong Dams, Researcher Perspective Series, Rivers, Saving Species From Extinction, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

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

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

10 months agoArsenal target Denis Suarez: What I think of Emery

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal target Denis Suarez: What I think of Emeryby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona midfielder Denis Suarez has long been a fan of Arsenal boss Unai Emery.Suarez is expected to soon sign for the Gunners. The pair worked together at Sevilla.Suarez discussed the Spaniard during his time at the club, and spoke very highly of the then Sevilla boss.”He is one of the best coaches around. He really gets the best out of us,” Suarez told UEFA’s official website in 2015. “He considers each and every one of his players and always puts those who are in the best possible shape in his starting line-up.”I have been playing for him for a year and I am really happy.”He always talks to you, both in good moments – to prevent you being distracted – and bad, to help you recover. The way he treats players is exceptional.” last_img read more

Michael J Fox Martin Short to receive Governor Generals lifetime award

first_imgTwo Canadians who hit the big time in Hollywood will be honoured in Ottawa this year with the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.Michael J. Fox – star of Family Ties, Spin City and the Back to the Future films – and Martin Short – formerly of SCTV and Saturday Night Live – are among the laureates announced Thursday by the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation, which this year marks the 25th anniversary of the awards.Other laureates include Quebecois film and TV director Jean Beaudin, the National Arts Centre’s Brigitte Haentjens, and First Nations indigenous writer, director, filmmaker and actor Yves Sioui Durand. “The 2017 laureates are among the world’s finest and best-loved performing artists,” reads a statement by Simon Brault, director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. “As Canadians, we are extremely proud of them and share in their success as they reflect Canada’s boundless creative spirit and its enduring impact on audiences around the world.”Fox, 55, was born in Edmonton and raised in Burnaby, B.C. He moved to Los Angeles at 18, where he landed the role of Alex P. Keaton on the long-running sitcom Family Ties. The Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning actor was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 1991, which he made public in 1998. Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more