Consensus grows: climate-smart agriculture key to Paris Agreement goals

first_imgAttendees at the annual Global Landscape Forum conference in Bonn, Germany, this week sought approaches for implementing “climate-smart” agricultural practices to help keep global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.Some 40 percent of the earth’s surface is used for food production, with 400 million small farmers worldwide, plus industrial agribusiness, so policymakers understand that climate-smart agriculture, practiced broadly, could play a significant role in reducing carbon emissions and helping nations meet their Paris carbon-reduction pledges.Numerous agricultural management practices to reduce carbon emissions, enhance food security, productivity and profitability, are available now. They include wider use of cover crops, low and no till techniques, increased application of organic fertilizers such as manure, judicious use of chemical fertilizers, and the growing of crops bred for climate resiliency.These techniques are already being embraced to a degree in the U.S. and globally. Land of Lakes and Kellogg’s, for example, are insisting on sustainable farm practices from their suppliers, while John Deere is building low-till equipment that allows for “precision farming,” optimizing returns on inputs while preserving soils and soil carbon. A Peruvian potato farmer. There are an estimated 400 million small-scale farmers around the world. Farming, ranching and land-use changes contribute 25 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Changes in farming techniques, more efficient use of ranch land, and a reduction in deforestation could dramatically reduce land-sector emissions. Photo by Richard TitoThe annual Global Landscapes Forum conference, which took place in Bonn, Germany, this week (19-20 December) comes at an opportune time for land-sector advocates to celebrate a recent victory at COP23, and to begin organizing steps to make critical changes in global agricultural practices to assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.After the approval of the Paris Agreement in 2015, there was widespread recognition that the primary strategy for meeting the pact’s goals – reducing the burning of fossil fuels, while also preserving and restoring forests – would not be enough to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.The earth’s vast land sector, especially agricultural lands, and their carbon emissions would also need to be taken into account.Perhaps the most significant achievement of the 23rd United Nations Climate Summit in Bonn in November, or COP23, was the ending of a six-year stalemate on how to address global agriculture in developed and developing countries. The need is clear: large- and small-scale farming and ranching operations worldwide contribute significantly to global carbon emissions.A high-altitude farm in the Peruvian Andes. Small farms like this often produce carbon emissions via the constant tilling of soil between plantings, which releases CO2 trapped below ground. In fact, much of the carbon emissions produced by developing countries come not from burning fossil fuels, but from the land sector. Photo by Richard TitoPotential solutions – good for both farmers and climate mitigation – will now be officially negotiated in support of Paris Agreement goals through what’s called the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture. That means less debate and more action on the ground to support the three pillars of what the World Bank calls “climate-smart” agricultural projects.Those three pillars: help farmers adapt to climate change, promote food security and profitability, and sequester significant amounts of soil carbon.Climate-smart agricultural projects will be eligible for billions in finance that the World Bank will provide to national agricultural ministries, which in turn will be passed down to individual farms and farmers.Considering that some 40 percent of the earth’s surface is used for food production, and that there are some 400 million small farmers worldwide, it becomes clear that climate-smart agriculture, practiced broadly, could play a significant role in reducing carbon emissions.“If we’re going to slow the rate of global warming,” said Chris Meyer, a senior manager with the Environmental Defense Fund, and familiar with the discussions at the Global Landscape Forum, “we need to accelerate the exchange between policymakers, scientists and farmers.”Cattle ranching, particularly in North and South America, is a leading source of methane emissions – a greenhouse gas more than 20 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. Using manure as an organic fertilizer helps reduce these emissions. So does altering human diets, especially in the U.S., which leads to less beef consumption, fewer beef cattle and lower methane emissions. Credit Photo by marcia-oc on VisualHunt / CC BY-NCAgriculture crucial to Paris goalsThe breakthrough in Bonn last month “is critically important because agriculture and land-use change are 25 percent of the greenhouse gas emission problem. But potentially they could be more than 25 percent of the solution,” said Marc Sadler, a practice manager in climate funds management for the World Bank in Washington, DC.The advance made by COP23 negotiators “has enabled us to open up a new, important channel of information and will enable us to start building much more informed relationships between agriculture, innovation and the dynamic links with climate change,” said Sadler, whose World Bank colleagues led finance discussions at the Global Landscape Forum.Jason Funk, associate director of land use for the Center for Carbon Removal in Washington, has followed the agricultural debate for years; he had all but given up hope for progress at COP23, where resistors were still entrenched.Developing countries, especially in Africa, feared that changing farm practices to achieve climate mitigation goals would diminish crop yields and threaten livelihoods. Likewise, countries with a large industrial agribusiness sector, like Brazil and Argentina, feared the imposition of trade sanctions because cattle ranching and soy production are directly tied to deforestation and increased carbon emissions.“The more the talks went on, the more trust was built and the more fear fell away,” Funk said. “Also, the urgency… to address climate change is rising to the level where [the parties] can’t pretend that the agricultural sector shouldn’t be involved.”A smallholder farmer in Emu, Kenya, prepares a maize plot for planting with improved seed varieties meant to enhance food security. Climate-smart farming methods aim to increase production, reduce crop diseases, sequester soil carbon and improve livelihoods. Photo by CIMMYT on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SAThe understanding reached at COP23 raised the visibility of the agricultural agreement at the Global Landscape Forum this week, where it was an impromptu part of presentations and panel discussions.A recent study led by Bronson Griscom, director of forest carbon science at The Nature Conservancy, was key to convincing policymakers of the need to advance climate-smart initiatives for the land sector – including forests, wetlands and especially agriculture.Griscom, whose work was presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that altered land-sector policies could reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a staggering degree.“Natural climate solutions offer up to 37 percent of the mitigation needed between now and 2030 to keep temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius,” Griscom wrote, reducing emissions by 11.3 million tons by that date. This is the “equivalent to halting the burning of oil, or the combined emissions of the U.S. and the European Union.”A tractor tills a field. This farming practice, ubiquitous throughout the 20th century, is now being replaced by low till, and no till methods, which conserve soils and sequester soil carbon. Photo on Visualhunt.comCommon-sense, climate-smart strategiesJon Sanderman, a co-author with Griscom, as well as a soils experts at Massachusetts’ Woods Hole Research Center, said skeptical farmers are coming to understand that natural techniques used to sequester soil carbon and reduce agricultural emissions also end up benefiting soil health, water retention and crop yields, thus promoting food security – a big worry in developing countries.“There are a thousand different management options out there [that can reduce emissions] depending on your region,” Sanderman said. “Keep green cover on the ground as long as possible. Have cover crops between cereal grains. Till less because tilling releases soil carbon. Make better use of organic fertilizers like manure, [while encouraging] judicious use of chemical fertilizers – which lead to run off and water pollution and also create emissions. Grow crops bred for climate resiliency.”Sanderman explained that strides are already being made toward climate-smart agriculture. U.S. companies, such as Land of Lakes and Kellogg’s, are insisting on more sustainable farm practices from their suppliers. John Deere is building equipment that allows for “precision farming” and less tilling, said Funk. And oft-criticized Monsanto, he added, “is investing in developing crop genetics that are more climate resilient and require less fertilizer.”Betsy Taylor, president of Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions in Maryland, a nonprofit that connects philanthropists with farm projects to promote healthy soil and carbon sequestration, said that farm regulations in red states such as Oklahoma, Nebraska and South Dakota had already shifted to sustainable practices in anticipation of carbon market offsets. When those offsets never materialized, the farms stayed on track due to improved soils, yields and lower costs.Industrialized farms in the American Midwest often contribute to carbon emissions through tilling and overuse of chemical fertilizers. Climate-smart practices include “precision farming” (optimizing returns on inputs while preserving resources) which can involve the use of cover crops, less tilling and more organic fertilizers — methods now being encouraged on large and small U.S. farms. Photo by JamesWatkins on Visualhunt / CC BYAround the world in Ghana, she said, a farmer and PhD scientist named Kofi Boa runs a training program for African farmers that demonstrates how composting, no till practices and the integration of trees and animals into agricultural landscapes help to increase crop yields and promote water retention, while holding more soil carbon. Those trained by Boa go home to make lasting changes on their farms at little or no cost.Maintaining and building momentum is key, now that the stalemate involving agriculture and its role in climate mitigation has been broken. Negotiating co-chairs representing Swaziland and Finland will be refining the agreement and spelling out concrete strategies in advance of the mid-year UN climate summit next spring.Meanwhile, people like Taylor are eager for more action and less talk.“We have gotten too comfortable thinking meetings and goals equal actual emission reductions,” Taylor said. “The lens for success is not statements or reports. It’s actually people on the ground making changes to sequester carbon.”Justin Catanoso is a regular contributor to Mongabay and a professor of journalism at Wake Foreset University in North Carolina, USA. Follow him on Twitter @jcatanosoCitation:Griscom B., et al. (2017) Natural Climate Solutions. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1710465114FEEDBACK: 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.Global Landscape Forum conference participants in Bonn, Germany this week talked up climate-smart crop management as being good for farms, good for farmers, and good for the planet. Photo by Africa Renewal on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_img Adaptation To Climate Change, agribusiness, Agriculture, carbon, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Footprint, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Food, Climate Change Policy, Climate Science, Environment, Farming, food security, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Green, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, greenhouse gases, Industrial Agriculture, Organic Farming, Rainforest Agriculture, Soil Carbon, Subsistence Agriculture last_img read more

Do catch and release-induced abortions harm shark and ray populations?

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Maria Salazar CITATIONSAdams, K.R., Fetterplace, L.C., Davis, A.R., Taylor, M.D., & Knott, N.A. (2018). Sharks, rays and abortion: The prevalence of capture-induced parturition in elasmobranchs. Biological Conservation 217: 11-27. Female sharks and rays are more susceptible to aborting their young after being captured than previously realized, according to a recent review of scientific literature.The review found that 88 species that bear live young were susceptible. Among a subset of those species for which adequate data was available, researchers estimated that an average of 24 percent of pregnant females abort their offspring when captured.The authors argue that the phenomenon may be responsible for lost generations of threatened species.However, outside researchers consulted for this story say that the killing of adult sharks poses a much bigger threat to species survival. Scientists have long raised concerns over the future of sharks and rays, of which some 100 million are caught and killed on fishing boats every year. They have paid somewhat less attention, however, to the animals that survive being hauled from the water and tossed back — and which are more susceptible to aborting their young after being captured than previously thought, according to a paper published this month in the journal Biological Conservation.“Capture-induced parturition” (CIP) was the term the researchers settled on to describe the phenomenon, which they believe may be throttling already-declining populations. They sifted through academic papers detailing encounters with elasmobranchs, a group that includes sharks, rays, skates and sawfish, which have cartilage skeletons instead of bone, and large, buoyant livers in place of swim bladders. They were surprised by the frequency of casual references to sharks and rays aborting while caught, with the first account dating to 1810, and by the absence of any research looking directly at the phenomenon.In all, they found 139 reports of CIP in 88 species that bear live young. Twenty-six of those reports contained enough data for the team to estimate the prevalence of CIP in 24 species. For those species, they found that between 2 and 85 percent of pregnant females lose their offspring through the stress of entanglement in nets or ensnarement on lines, for a cross-species average of 24 percent.Kye Adams, lead author of the paper and a doctoral student at the University of Wollongong in Australia, warns that subsequent generations of some species may continue to decline even if direct killing were to be halted. “The 88 species represent a broad range from those that are of least concern for conservation up to some that are critically endangered,” he said.The paper notes that few if any evaluations of shark and ray populations currently account for the loss of pups to CIP or the consequences this could have for populations. It assumes that most prematurely birthed sharks die.“It is possible that this generational mortality could be having an underestimated impact on discarded species with otherwise high survival after release,” Adams said. He and his fellow researchers argue that more studies should investigate the long-term effects of CIP and its prevalence in commercial fishing.Most elasmobranchs are particularly vulnerable to overfishing because they tend to mature late and invest a lot of energy in a small number of offspring. Many species have particularly long gestation periods — the spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) carries its pups for 22 months, for example — while others give birth only once every two years. All this makes elasmobranchs among the slowest organisms to recover from population declines.The researchers think CIP is an evolved stress mechanism, either to distract potential predators or to allow pups to escape the mother’s death.A shortnose spurdog (Squalus megalops) bears a pre-term pup prematurely after being captured in a trawl net. Photo by Lachlan Fetterplace. Banner image: A type of electric ray, the Tasmanian numbfish (Narcine tasmaniensis), with one of its aborted embryos. Photo by Lachlan Fetterplace. Tasmanian numbfishes (Narcine tasmaniensis) abort their litters en-masse. The small embryo size means that many are likely lost through holes in the fishing net before it is brought on deck, making it difficult to determine exactly how many embryos are in a trawl. Photo by Lachlan Fetterplace.The team also searched social media for evidence of CIP in posts by recreational fishers.“There are lots of videos online where people have caught a shark or ray, brought it onto land and it begins premature birth or aborting its litter and it is then kept on land for a long time, often with someone forcibly pulling out pups,” said Lachlan Fetterplace, Adams’s coauthor and fellow researcher at the University of Wollongong.Many of the fishers are well-meaning and even claim to be assisting with the pups’ delivery, failing to realize the animal is undergoing CIP because of the stress of being captured, Fetterplace said. “The best thing to do is return the animal to the water as quickly as possible,” he added.Besides fishing, the paper notes that research on elasmobranchs is a source of CIP, as many experiments on sharks and rays involve capturing individuals, tagging them with a sensor to track their movements and releasing them.An endangered common guitarfish (Rhinobatos rhinobatos) with aborted pups. The yellow yolk sacs provide an energy-rich food source for developing young. Photo by Kolette Grobler.Nicholas Dulvy, a professor of marine biodiversity and conservation at Simon Fraser University in Canada, said he believes the issue of CIP is small fry compared to the slaughter of adult sharks.“Killing breeding adults is the more serious issue … from an extinction risk and fisheries sustainability perspective,” said Dulvy, who co-chairs the Shark Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.He added that most sharks and rays that reach full term and are born under normal circumstances die before breeding anyway. “Hence, [newborns] contribute little to population growth rate, except in the least fecund sharks and rays such as manta and devil rays,” he said.Kim Friedman, a senior fishery resources officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, agreed that the severest impacts to elasmobranchs from fishing arise from the death of adults and was cautious as to whether CIP could be depleting shark and ray populations.“This might not have a huge effect on population growth rate … but that of course will be species dependent,” he said, suggesting that prolific breeders such as the blue shark (Prionace glauca) may be entirely unaffected.The new paper argues that humans can alleviate stress and injury to sharks and rays caught in fishing equipment by keeping them in the water and carefully cutting the line or net around any that are entangled. Friedman agreed that enforcing best practices in terms of “release strategies that promote live release” on fishing boats could help counter both unintended deaths of adults and losses from CIP. But he noted that for now there is no way to know how well fishers adhere to these principles.“This area of rapidly changing practice — improved release of sharks and rays — has no dedicated programs of compliance measurement that are done systematically at present,” he said.Amid uncertainty over how the most vulnerable elasmobranch species are coping with human pressures, study author Adams advocates for caution and further research.“Conservation wise, the biggest chance we can give endangered species that abort when fished is to limit activity in areas that are important nursery grounds,” he said. Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Interns, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Oceans, Rays, Research, Sharks, Sharks And Rays, Wildlife last_img read more

Brazilian lawmakers funded by donors guilty of environmental crimes: report

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Glenn Scherer The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies has 513 members. Of those, 249 received a total of 58.9 million reais (US$18.3 million) in official donations during the 2014 election from companies and people who committed environmental crimes, including illegal clearing of forests, says a recent report by Repórter Brasil.Receiving these donations is not a crime, but it does provide insight into how environmental offenders are connected to, and potentially influencing, lawmakers and their decisions. Of the 249 deputies who received tainted donations, 134 are members of the Bancada Ruralista, the pro-agribusiness rural caucus that dominates the chamber.Since the 2014 general election, Brazil’s election laws have been tightened. In 2015, the Federal Supreme Court passed a decree that made it illegal for companies to donate to candidates and political parties. These new rules will be in effect for the October 2018 presidential election.Analysts still worry that money from those who have committed environmental crimes will go right on flowing to politicians — possibly illegally or utilizing newly discovered campaign finance law loopholes — risking the possibility of influence peddling. Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies during a joint session of the National Congress. Photo by Waldemir Barreto / Agência SenadoRoughly half of the high-ranking politicians serving in Brazil’s lower house of congress received campaign donations in the last general election from companies and individuals that committed environmental crimes, an investigation by Repórter Brasil has found.Of Brazil’s 513 elected members of the Chamber of Deputies, 249 received a total of 58.9 million reais (US$18.3 million) in official donations during the 2014 election from companies and people who illegally cleared and/or burned forests, or committed other environmental crimes. These donations were both direct and indirect (i.e. funneled through committees), and came from 92 companies and 40 individuals registered on a list of environmental crime perpetrators complied by IBAMA, the nation’s environmental agency.Though receiving these donations is not a crime, nor forbidden by Brazil’s Electoral Court, it does provide insight into how environmental offenders are connected to, and potentially influencing, lawmakers and their decisions. Some analysts feel strongly that the raft of anti-environmental legislation launched by the National Congress, which comprises the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate, since 2014, especially under the Temer administration, may be closely linked to these recent campaign contributions.Of the 249 deputies who received tainted donations, 134 are members of the Bancada Ruralista, the pro-agribusiness rural caucus that dominates the chamber.“There are parties, congressmen and rulers who use their offices and draft laws in favor of those who finance them, or in exchange for favors and interests, even though this often means harming their own country,” said Marcio Astrini, coordinator of public policies at Greenpeace Brazil.Repórter Brasil’s data was compiled from donation declarations made by candidates to the High Electoral Court as compared to IBAMA’s list of environmental offenders as of November 2017. A number of these alignments between the acceptance of donations from environmental transgressors, and decisions made by politicians, are particularly notable.Federal Deputy Adilton Sachetti (left), with then President of the Senate, Senator Renan Calheiros (right). Photo by Jonas Pereira / Agência SenadoThe case of Adilton SachettiTake, for example, the case of Adilton Sachetti, a deputy from Mato Grosso state and an active member of the bancada ruralista. Sachetti received $300,000 from five entities that had committed environmental crimes — a quarter of all donations he amassed in the run-up to his 2014 election.In 2015, six months after taking office, Sachetti authored three bills that would have directly benefited the economic interests of these five funders. All three related to the building and utilization of industrial waterways; the first two were to permit companies to more freely utilize waterways on the Paraguia, Tapajos, Teles Pires and Juruena rivers.The third bill would have allowed the construction of industrial waterways for the transport of soy and other commodities on rivers running through the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará and Goiás. If approved, the canals would open the way for large cargo vessels to sail from two Mato Grosso municipalities, where the businesses of the donors charged with environmental crimes are located, northeast all the way to the mouth of the Tapajós River, then down the Amazon to the Atlantic, with the commodities then exported globally. These proposed waterways have long been promoted for their time and economic savings, and for their potentially high profits to agribusiness. All three bills are yet to be voted on in congress.Federal Deputy Adilton Sachetti (right); and then Senator, now Agriculture Minister, Blairo Maggi (left), with Senator Renan Calheiros (center). Photo by Jonas Pereira / Agência SenadoThe Maggi connectionPerhaps the best known of those who donated to Sachetti was Eraí Maggi, an agribusiness producer who inherited the crown of “king of soy” from his cousin, the well-known and highly controversial agriculture minister, Blairo Maggi. Eraí, who donated $15,000 to help put Sachetti into power, is a member of the Bom Futuro Group, an agribusiness concern based just 200 kilometers (124 miles) from where the cargo vessels would leave Mato Grosso headed downriver toward the coast.IBAMA hit Erai with a $136,000 fine and seized his property when the environmental agency learned that he had deforested 1,463 hectares (3,615 acres) of land in 2016.Sachetti, in a statement responding to Repórter Brasil’s findings, said: “With our legislation, whoever works on the agricultural frontier will be unable to avoid getting into trouble with IBAMA. In Mato Grosso, which is a state on the agricultural frontier, there are many rural producers, and it is difficult to find anyone who hasn’t been fined. Yes, I received donations [from people and companies fined by IBAMA], and I have nothing to hide.” He maintains that the donations had no bearing on his policy decisions or votes.About the offending donors, he said: “They are my friends, we are all leaders in the sector. We arrived in Mato Grosso together and I have a history with these people. Eraí Maggi is from the same city that I grew up in, in the interior of Paraná.”Erai Maggi did not respond to Mongabay’s request for comment.Deputy Marco Antônio Cabral, 2015. Courtesy of wikimediaMore coincidencesExperts agree that it is hard to prove that particular campaign contributions result in specific political positions or votes. “The problem is you can’t know if donors are giving money to make a politician behave a certain way, or thanking them for how they would have behaved anyway,” said Taylor Boas, a political science professor from Boston University, who has researched the relationship between campaign donations and policy in Brazil. “But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” he said.Among those who have obtained donations from environmental offenders is Rio de Janeiro State Deputy Marco Antônio Cabral, who received a total of $400,000 in indirect donations from construction and energy companies on IBAMA’s list. He has consistently voted against increasing the size of national parks, and against granting rights to traditional workers.“All donations were made in a transparent manner, complying with the rules of electoral legislation,” Cabral said.Deputy Nilson Leitão. Photo by Ana Volpe / Agência SenadoNilson Leitão, one of the most ardent ruralist deputies in congress, and a staunch member of the bancada ruralista, received a total of $203,000 from construction, energy and agribusiness companies on IBAMA’s list of environmental offenders. In the years following his election he authored a number of bills that would likely have benefited the businesses in which many of his funders work. In 2014, he tried to halt a bill that would prohibit the collection and commercialization of plant species under threat of extinction. He also called for the annulment of the demarcation of two indigenous territories in Mato Grosso and Pará states, where major sugarcane companies are based (though this effort was ultimately unsuccessful). And in 2016, he crafted a bill that would allow rural workers to be paid for their work with food and shelter. None of these bills have been voted on yet.Ceará deputy Antonio Balhmann received a direct donation of $6,000 from melon producer Agricola Famosa Ltda, which has been fined by IBAMA in 2011 for producing its fruit without the required licenses. The following year Balhmann authored a bill, yet to be voted on, that would allow pesticides to be used in non-traditional farming.Luis Carlos Heinze, Federal Deputy of Rio Grande do Sul. Photo by Antonio AraújoLuiz Carlos Heinze, a deputy from Rio Grande do Sul, received around $170,000 in 2014 campaign donations from a wide range of Brazilian corporations on IBAMA’s list, including producers of sugarcane and other crops, and from cleaning products companies located in his state. In the same year, he called for the suspension of legal recognition of a Quilombola, a community of descendants of runaway slaves, in the state. The move was unsuccessful. In 2015, he authored a bill, still in the legislative queue for consideration, to get the letter “T” removed from the packaging of products containing transgenics, a move that seemed aimed at pleasing conventional farmers.Deputies Leitão, Balhmann and Heinze did not respond to Mongabay’s request for comment on the influence of campaign donations on the bills they authored and voted on.The large proportion of funder-offenders giving to ruralist politicians is noteworthy in the context of recent legislative actions that have rolled back environmental regulations and broadened the confines within which companies can legally operate. Among these decisions is a provisional measure that legalizes and facilitates companies invading, acquiring and deforesting public land. Astrini, from Greenpeace, noted that “what this law did was to open the doors to the grabbing of public lands by criminals and mafias, thereby making legal what was before a crime.” Heinze voted in favor of the provisional measure, which has now been made into law; three of his donors had been fined by IBAMA for deforestation.“As a rule of thumb, it can be said that any legal proposal in Brazil that would harm the environment, has behind it the concrete parochial interests of companies or organizations that want to see environmental legislation weakened or overturned,” said Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of the NGO Observatorio da Clima.Brasília: President Michel Temer receives the bancada ruralista, the rural caucus, the Parliamentary Front of Agriculture (FPA). Photo by Antonio Cruz / Agência BrasilToughened campaign finance lawsSince the 2014 general election, Brazil’s election laws have been tightened. In 2015, the Federal Supreme Court passed a decree that made it illegal for companies to donate to candidates and political parties.“As corporate election funding was still legal in the last parliamentary election, many deputies didn’t bother to hide their ties to their funders’ interests,” said Wagner Pralon Mancuso, an academic from the University of São Paulo. “On the contrary, there are deputies who explicitly spell out these links, even as a kind of accountability to those who supported them, and in the expectation that [funder] support will be repeated in the next campaign.”There were five arguments for banning corporate election funding in 2015: combatting the influence of economic power in elections; promoting political equality; catalyzing political competition; defending the public interest; and reducing the influence of donations on elected representatives’ behavior. The new election rules will be in effect for this year’s presidential election.Though hailed by some analysts as a significant democratic advance, others fear the rich and well-connected will still have significant influence over Brazil’s upcoming general elections this October. President Michel Temer helped maintain the link between funders and politicians by fighting to ensure that individual entrepreneurs will still be able to donate up to 10 percent of their gross annual income to candidates. Indeed, in city elections since 2015, Brazil has witnessed the major influence of millionaires.“What is yet to be seen, now that corporate gifts have been made illegal, is whether that organic tie between parliamentarians and business sectors will diminish, or whether it will find new ways to manifest itself,” Mancuso said.One potential concern, cautioned Boas, is that corporations will simply move from making legal donations to making illegal ones, passing money under the table. “They always have done so in the past and there’s no reason to think they won’t in the future,” he said. In recent years, the Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption scandal rocked the nation as investigators unveiled mass political corruption in Brazilian politics.A Brazilian congressional meeting. Photo by Jonas Pereira / Agencia SenadoInternational comparisonsThe link between campaign contributions and politicians isn’t particularly Brazilian. A comparison between Brazil’s campaign finance regulation framework and those of other nations is enlightening, and shows that election regulations are both stronger and weaker elsewhere.Brazil, for example, with its 2015 rule tightening, now has much stricter regulations than the United Kingdom, according to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Brazil presently bans donations by companies to candidates and political parties; Britain allows both. Likewise, Brazil forbids contributions going from trade unions to political parties, as does the United States; such contributions are permitted in the U.K.However, there are no rules in Brazil or the U.K. against receiving donations from individuals who have behaved illegally by breaking environmental laws. As a representative from the Electoral Commission in the U.K. said: “So long as they’re a registered person, their money is valid.”Clearly, lax campaign finance laws can open the door to political influence by wrongdoers. Similarly, in the U.S., a cloak of secrecy enshrouds political action committees (PACs) and other shadowy election finance groups, leading at least to a lack of transparency, and at worst, to influence peddling.That being the case, many academics and environmental activists agree that the Brazilian government needs to crack down even harder to prevent “dirty” money from influencing policy. “I think there should be stricter donor control systems, especially for those who have behaved illegally,” said Greenpeace’s Astrini.If politicians can be barred from running based on a corruption conviction, as may happen with former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, “then it seems logical and fair that convicted individuals could be banned from making campaign donations,” Boas said.There are currently no bills in Brazil’s National Congress that would prevent anyone convicted of crimes from making campaign contributions.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Dams, Amazon Destruction, Controversial, Corruption, Dams, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Energy Politics, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Green, Hydroelectric Power, Hydropower, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Grabbing, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation last_img read more

Deadly oil spill in eastern Borneo spreads to the open sea

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon Environment, Environmental Crime, Fisheries, Fossil Fuels, Marine, Marine Ecosystems, Oil, Oil Spills, Pollution, Water Pollution Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img An oil spill that began on March 31 in Balikpapan Bay has spread out to the Strait of Makassar and now covers an area of 130 square kilometers (50 square miles) — larger than the city of Paris.Indonesian state-owned oil company Pertamina has admitted responsibility after days of denials, but suggested the damage to its undersea pipeline was caused by a vessel passing through the area.The disaster has claimed the lives of five fishermen, contaminated a mangrove forest, prompted thousands of health complaints, and been linked to the death of an endangered dolphin. JAKARTA — An oil spill in Borneo that began over the past weekend has now spread across an area greater than the city of Paris and is heading out to the open ocean, the Indonesian government says.The spill, first reported on March 31, stems from a pipeline operated by state-owned oil firm Pertamina in the city of Balikpapan, in East Kalimantan province. A report released April 4 by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said the slick was spreading out from Balikpapan Bay and into the Strait of Makassar, covering some 130 square kilometers (50 square miles).Pertamina, which for days had denied responsibility for the disaster, finally admitted on April 4 that one of its pipes used for transporting crude oil was the source of the slick.“Our preliminary investigation had indicated that the oil was ship fuel, but it was only until [the evening of April 3] that we got confirmation that it was from us,” Pertamina general manager Togar M.P. told reporters. “Ever since the incident was discovered, we have shut down the pipes.”A satellite image dated April 1 shows the extent of area that is covered with crude oil from an undersea pipe leakage in Balikpapan Bay. Photo courtesy of the Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).The incident has been blamed for the deaths of five fishermen in a fire sparked by clean-up workers who were trying to clear the oil by burning it off the water’s surface.Some 34 hectares (84 acres) of mangrove forests are covered in oil, the environment ministry report said. The slick is also believed to have led to the death of an endangered Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), a protected species under Indonesian law, which was found washed up on the coast near the site of the spill.Thousands of people in Balikpapan, a city of 700,000, have also complained about health problems from the toxic slick.Authorities declared a state of emergency in the city on April 3, and warned residents not to light cigarettes in the area. They also distributed gas masks to protect against the acrid fumes and smoke.The East Kalimantan police and Pertamina are investigating the cause of the leak, after divers from the company found the pipe had moved some 100 meters (328 feet) from its initial position on the seabed.Togar suggested “an external heavy force” had caused the damage to the 20-year-old pipe. Balikpapan Bay sees heavy traffic, particularly of coal barges coming through from the Borneo hinterland.The police say a criminal prosecution may follow.Nearly 70,000 liters (18,300 gallons) of oil was collected as of Tuesday evening, and several oil booms have been deployed to contain the spill, the environment ministry said.“We have told our teams and also Pertamina to prioritize cleaning up the spill near settlements, considering the strong smell and other potential risks [from the slick],” Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said in a statement.The fire from the oil spill in Balikpapan Bay, East Kalimantan province. Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) Balikpapan.Banner image: Indonesian officials clean up parts of the coast of Balikpapan Bay swamped with crude oil. Photo courtesy of the Environment and Forestry Ministry.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