U.S. court ruling complicates Trump’s elephant and lion policy

first_imgAnimals, Big Cats, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Carnivores, Cats, Conservation, Deforestation, Ecosystems, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Law, Environmental Policy, Environmental Politics, Extinction, Global Environmental Crisis, Green, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Hunting, Lions, Mammals, Mass Extinction, Over-hunting, Overconsumption, Rainforest Conservation, Trophy Hunting, Tropical Deforestation, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored A federal appeals court has found that the Obama administration did not follow proper procedures in 2014 when it banned importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe. The USFWS failed to seek public comment at the time, among other infractions.This new ruling puts the Trump administration decision, made in November, ending the ban and allowing elephant trophy hunting imports, into question.Further complicating matters is Trump’s dubbing of the November USFWS decision as a “horror show,” and his putting of the policy on hold awaiting his response. To date, Trump has said nothing further.The way things stand now, U.S. hunters can import elephant trophies from South Africa and Namibia. They can import lion body parts from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. But the legality of importing elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe remains in limbo. Savannah elephant populations have plunged by 30 percent in just seven years, while forest elephant numbers have fallen by 62 percent in ten years, and lion populations have dropped by 43 percent in the last 21 years. Photo courtesy of USFWSOn December 22, a federal appeals court ruled that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) did not properly follow procedures when it banned importing elephant “trophies” – including heads, tusks, or other parts – from Zimbabwe in 2014. While the ruling was aimed at an Obama Administration policy, its impact will likely influence how the Trump administration treats trophy hunting across Africa.Trump’s USFWS made waves in November when it announced that it was overturning the Obama-era ban, and would allow imports of elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe, the latter which was undergoing a coup at the time.Simultaneously, news broke that the administration had quietly okayed lion trophy hunting imports from Zambia and Zimbabwe as well.However, both these decisions were made to reverse the Obama administration ban – a protocol which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has now rejected on a procedural point. The judge wrote that the Obama decision was essentially “rule-making,” meaning it required notice to the public and an open comment period, something the USFWS did not do. The Trump Administration followed by also failing to include a public comment period.“Thus these new findings [by the Trump Administration] are contrary to law,” Anna Frostic, Managing Attorney of Wildlife & Animal Research Litigation for The Humane Society of the U.S., explained. She added that the Trump administration’s recent reversal of the bans “have already been challenged in a case pending before the same federal district court judge who ruled on the 2014-2015 findings.”The lawsuit against the Obama USFWS ruling was brought by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and by Safari Club International – strident trophy hunting advocates. The pending lawsuit against the Trump USFWS was brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Natural Resources Defense Council.Carvings made from elephant ivory on display as part of the USFWS “Buyer Beware” exhibit located in Logan airport, Boston, Massachusetts. The exhibit is designed to educate travelers about the hazards of purchasing wildlife products abroad that are made from endangered or protected species. Photo courtesy of the USFWSThe president muddies the watersAll of this leaves the U.S. government’s current policy on trophy hunting imports up in the air, especially given that the administration is still waiting a decision from the president himself on the matter. Two days after the USFWS announced its new policy allowing elephant trophy imports from Zambia and Zimbabwe, President Trump tweeted that he was putting the decision on hold.“Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal,” he tweeted.However, no decision was forthcoming. Six weeks have now passed since Trump’s tweet and he has not announced a decision either way, leaving everyone in limboThe Department of the Interior has said it will not allow trophies of elephants or lions from 2016 to 2018 to be imported. But Frostic said the department has not “formally rescinded” its November decision allowing imports.“We remain concerned,” she noted, adding that “trophy hunting of elephants and lions undermines the conservation of those species and cannot lawfully be permitted under the Endangered Species Act.”U.S. trophy hunters can currently legally import lion trophies from South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Photo by Ken Stansell / USFWSArguing a point of lawIn order for American trophy hunters to bring their quarries home, the government must find that the hunting “enhances” conservation under current U.S. laws.Proponents argue that trophy hunting brings in vital conservation revenue, especially in remote areas rarely visited by non-hunting tourists and where land might otherwise be converted to agriculture or overrun by cattle. Without trophy hunting, they say, significant chunks of unconserved lands across Africa could be lost.However, critics contend that trophy hunting is a bloodsport that has long outlived its usefulness – if it ever had any. In an age where savannah elephant populations have plunged by 30 percent in just seven years, where forest elephant numbers have fallen by 62 percent in ten years, and lion populations have dropped by 43 percent in the last 21 years, trophy hunting is now seen by conservationists as just one more high card in a deck already stacked heavily against Africa’s megafauna.Many conservationists argue that corruption and lax governance in many African nations means that little money gleaned from trophy hunters ever reaches the parks, rangers, local communities, or the animals needing protection.In recent years, the global public has also become increasingly outraged at the moral implications of wealthy trophy hunters killing endangered species.Still, conservationists remain split on the efficacy of trophy hunting in providing funding and land for species. Even though many scientists and activists – including Jane Goodall – have become increasingly outspoken against the practice.“There is ample scientific evidence showing that lions, leopards, and elephants in particular are highly imperiled and cannot sustain the loss of individuals to recreational hunting… Thus, it is highly concerning that American trophy hunters are fighting to minimize the federal government’s scrutiny of their efforts to slaughter thousands of animals in danger of extinction every year,” said Frostic.A new U.S. federal court ruling puts into limbo the legality of importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe, as banned by the Obama administration in 2014, and as approved in November 2017 by the Trump administration. Photo by Muhammad Mahdi Karim as licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2A legal quandaryWhile the DC federal appeals court found that the Obama Administration did not follow correct protocols in 2014, it also affirmed that the past administration’s decision – i.e. blocking elephant parts from Zimbabawe – was warranted by the evidence.So it remains to be seen how all of this legal wrangling will pan out in 2018. But for now, U.S. trophy hunters can import lion trophies from South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe (according to the most recent information on the USFWS website) and elephant trophies from Namibia and South Africa. Elephant trophy hunting imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia remain unsettled until the Trump administration clarifies its decision on that policy.“We are reviewing the decision,” Gavin Shire, Chief of Public Affairs with the USFWS, said in response to the DC district appeals court ruling.Meanwhile, lawsuits against the Trump administration’s USFWS trophy hunting import changes are already moving ahead through the courts.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Article published by Glenn Schererlast_img read more

U.S. zoos learn how to keep captive pangolins alive, helping wild ones

first_imgThe Pangolin Consortium, a partnership between six U.S. zoos and Pangolin Conservation, an NGO, launched a project in 2014 which today houses fifty White-bellied tree pangolins (Phataginus tricuspis).Common knowledge says that pangolins are almost impossible to keep alive in captivity, but the consortium has done basic research to boost survival rates, traveling to Africa and working with a company, EnviroFlight, to develop a natural nutritious insect-derived diet for pangolins in captivity.While some conservationists are critical of the project, actions by the Pangolin Consortium have resulted in high captive survival rates, and even in the successful breeding of pangolins in captivity.The Pangolin Consortium is able to conduct basic research under controlled conditions at zoos on pangolin behavior and health – research that can’t be done in the wild. Zoos can also present pangolins to the public, educating about their endangered status, improving conservation funding. Captive pangolins can teach researchers much about species behavior and breeding, information that could be valuable to protecting the animals in the wild. Photo by Jim Schulz courtesy of the Chicago Zoological Society“When we first started talking about pangolins, people thought we were saying ‘penguin,’” says Amy Roberts, Curator of Mammals at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. That remains a problem, even today, with the majority of Americans still not knowing what pangolins look like, much less how much deep trouble they’re in.This is just one issue addressed by the Pangolin Consortium – a partnership of six U.S. zoos, along with the Florida-based NGO, Pangolin Conservation. This alliance, begun in 2014, now holds around fifty African White-bellied tree pangolins (Phataginus tricuspis) including a few born in captivity.Which is remarkable, considering that the common wisdom is that captive pangolins almost always quickly waste away and die.There are eight species of wild Asian and African pangolins in the world today, all under extreme pressure from illegal trafficking – especially due to hunting for bushmeat and use of their scales in traditional medicine.Often called the world’s most trafficked mammal, all eight species are considered by the IUCN to be threatened with extinction. Numbers of the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) have declined by 90 percent, and recent research showed that 2.71 million pangolins of the African species are killed every year in Central Africa, an increase of 145 percent since 2000.Some conservationists argue that pangolins ­– with such rapidly plummeting wild populations, and perceived high rates of mortality in zoos – should not be held at all in captivity. But the Pangolin Consortium argues just the opposite: to conserve remaining wild populations, scientists need to know far more about these unusual animals, data that can only be gleaned under controlled conditions like those seen in zoos.The Pangolin Consortium is working diligently to gain that knowledge, and has already made significant breakthroughs. And the more they learn about captive pangolins, say these experts, the more hope there may be for wild ones.Though protected by law, White-bellied tree pangolins (Phataginus tricuspis) were recently offered as smoked bushmeat in the Kantamanto Market in Accra, Ghana. Photo by Alex WilesDespite international and national pangolin protections, these pangolin scales were offered for sale in a rural village in Togo. The scales are falsely believed to have healing properties and used in traditional medicine in parts of Africa and Asia. The scales are made of keratin, the same material as human nails and hair. Photo by Justin MillerThe captive pangolin dietDiet was widely supposed to be the biggest problem with keeping pangolins healthy and alive in captivity, so that was the first problem that Justin Miller, founder of Pangolin Conservation, set out to solve.In the wild pangolins eat insects, using a long, sticky tongue similar to that of an anteater. This diet can be challenging to replicate for a number of reasons. “For a long time, zoos fed them everything from mince meat to dog food, milk, eggs – nothing insect-based –just readily available food that the pangolin would accept,” Miller says.He had become familiar with research done in Taipei, Taiwan where zoos achieved success at keeping and breeding the local pangolin species, data that clarified some key dietary factors. However, just adopting the Taipei diet wasn’t an option, as it included ingredients not readily available in the United States, such as bee larvae and silkworm pupae.So Miller initiated his own research in 2013. First he needed to figure out exactly what wild White-bellied tree pangolins eat. He went to Africa to observe pangolin eating habits and to collect insects, sending them back to the U.S. for nutritional analysis. Miller recalls that he needed a lot of bugs, so he hired locals to gather them, despite the fact that this wasn’t the most appealing business opportunity.Termites were collected in West Africa during reproductive swarms for nutritional analysis and to determine pangolins’ natural diet. Photo by Justin Miller“It was hard to convince people to catch ants,” he says. “When I tried to show them how, it was just entertainment to watch me be bitten en masse during a few failures. I had to start an impressive system of supply and demand with ant prices changing daily, and even hourly, to get the amounts needed.”Next Miller had to convert that nutritional analysis into a food product using ingredients readily available in the United States. Sourcing those ingredients involved networking and creativity. One important consultant was John Gramieri, the Austin, Texas Zoo’s general curator, and former director of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Taxon Advisory Group in charge of xeanrthrans (anteaters, armadillos and sloths), aardvarks and pangolins.Gramieri had helped develop a similar insect-derived diet for captive armadillos, shifting the animals away from the meat diet generally served them in zoos. “I bemoaned the fact that there was very little opportunity in this country to buy insect matter in a manner that was cost effective,” Gramieri says. “If you wanted to feed an armadillo nothing but mealworms, that was incredibly expensive.”The prepared diet developed for pangolins consists of farmed insects and other ingredients nutritious to pangolins and offered in a moist crumble. Photo by Justin MillerThen, one day, someone showed him a United Nations report on insects for human consumption, and it mentioned a company called EnviroFlight. The firm was raising black soldier flies and producing rose fertilizer from their castings and fish food from their larvae. He sent EnviroFlight an email, wondering if there was some chance he could get the raw insects minus the processing.“They called me and said, ‘We’ve got two tons of this stuff in the freezer, what do you want to do with it?’” he says.This led to a couple years research developing an ideal insect-based armadillo diet, which put Gramieri in the perfect position to advise Miller and connect the pangolin researcher with suppliers. Again, Enviroflight turned out to be an excellent collaborator and supplier, but then the delivered insect larvae caused practical problems.“First we got [the larvae] in whole, and they broke a bunch of machines because they gummed them up,” says Jennifer Watts, director of nutrition at the Brookfield Zoo.A specially prepared diet composed of dried insects and other nutritious ingredients is offered to pangolins in “slow feeders” to encourage natural behaviors like clawing. Photo by Justin Miller“The only way we could effectively grind them up, because of the [high] fat content, was to put dry ice with them, freeze them, then grind them,” Miller relates. “But then EnviroFlight said, ‘we can use a cold press, and we can press out the fat and give you what’s left over.’” The company was also able to modify the amount of protein and nutrients in the larvae based on what they were fed.Once Miller designed a nutritionally complete pangolin diet, he acclimated the animals to it while they were still in Africa. “I started them off on their wild diet of ants and termites, and then slowly switched them over to the prepared diet,” he says. This way, when the animals arrived in the U.S., they didn’t need to be persuaded to eat strange food while also acclimating to new surroundings. Lessening stress, the researchers were learning, meant happier, healthier pangolins.Pangolins transported in custom-built crates designed to provide security and reduce stress. Photo by Justin MillerPreparing for the big moveAnother reason pangolins have done poorly in captivity historically is that often captive animals in the past were rescues from trafficking confiscations, so they started out in poor health, which only got worse.Confiscated pangolins “have been in stressful conditions, either obtained from bushmeat markets or hunters,” explains Miller. “They can go through capture myopathy – a buildup of stress that ends up damaging their heart muscles.” When that happens, animals may appear to be doing well, but there is [cardiac] damage, “and then any sort of stressful event can lead to heart failure.”This and other health deficits due to illegal wildlife trafficking puts the animals at a high risk of dying in transit, or shortly thereafter.In contrast, the Pangolin Consortium did everything possible to assure that the animals brought to the U.S. beginning in 2015 started out in good health. While still in their native countries, the pangolins were treated for parasites and infections, with Miller assessing each individual. “Any specimens that showed signs of stress, or any other factors that made them poor candidates, were released into safe areas near their original collection sites [in the wild].” That turned out to be about thirty percent. The remaining captive pangolins were adapted slowly to the presence of people and unusual noises, “primarily consisting of NPR [National Public Radio] and [electric] fans,” Miller says.Miller also minimized the stress and risk of travel, replacing the shocks on transport vehicles to give a smoother ride. “All vans had air conditioning, and I had a spare van follow us in case of vehicle problems. We only traveled during the night so the otherwise busy roads would be clear and allow for shorter transit time and cooler weather in case of air conditioner problems,” he relates. “I never let any specimens out of my sight until they were loaded onto the plane. Even then, I stayed at the cargo warehouse until the plane was in the sky.”An adult male White-bellied tree pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis), photographed at Pangolin Conservation in St Augustine, Florida. Photo by Dev LeeSettling inOnce in the United States, the first priority was to ensure the wellbeing of the pangolins. Only one was put on public exhibit, at Brookfield, while the rest remained in seclusion.“What everyone has committed to is making sure these animals are well established behind the scenes,” says Gramieri. “We want to do a full and detailed analysis of their behavior, their hormone values, their food consumption. We want to be able to assess that in a private, non-trafficked space, so if we do put them on display, we’ll be able to see if their behavior changes at all.”At Brookfield, the researchers will be analyzing stress hormones, determining the estrous cycle, and monitoring pregnancies – natural processes never scientifically observed in this, or pretty much in any African pangolin species.“We are collecting fecals on everyone, every day, for the first year,” Roberts says. The animals are kept in slightly different environments, to see if minor variations affect their behaviors and health. For example, two settings utilize true reverse lighting to simulate nocturnal conditions, while another allows some daylight in. “There are differences in keeper activity, humidity, noise. We’re tracking [all of that] so we can correlate down the road with the fecal hormone results.”The founder of Pangolin Conservation, Justin Miller, offers water to a rescued female White-bellied tree pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis). This animal, captured in the wild by a poacher, was discovered in a plastic bag carried by a motorcyclist who was bringing it to a restaurant in Lomé, Togo’s capital city. Another plastic bag was also confiscated at the time; it contained a weak newborn pangolin pup which had been born to the captive female the night before. Many pangolins die in the hands of smuggling networks, without ever reaching market. Photo by Alex WilesMeanwhile, Miller’s facility is starting a study, analyzing stress hormones in any pangolins utilized in public outreach presentations to make sure those individuals are not being negatively impacted.It’s hoped that all of this advance planning, attention to detail and careful research is likely to increase the chance of success with Phataginus tricuspis, as is the coordination and communication within the consortium.“We’ve never been in a better position within the zoological community to quickly exchange information between facilities and rapidly analyze data like nutritional requirements,” Miller reports. “For example, say our animals have their blood analyzed and it shows a nutritional deficiency. We can then rapidly alter the diet, send it off for analysis, and follow up with new blood work weeks later.”In addition, Grameiri’s research has now led him to question the conventional wisdom that pangolins do poorly in captivity. In fact, he says, their lifespans at zoos were improving even before the Pangolin Consortium project began. He has analyzed longevity records and found survival trend statistics that are much better than the figures often cited, which he says incorrectly interpreted data from currently living animals. By analyzing records of 296 pangolins held in zoos since the animals first appear in records in 1954, he found that the captive lifespan has steadily increased. The 45 animals in zoos at the time of his analysis had been in human care for an average 7 years 8 months, which included many that had been in captivity more than ten years so far.Justin Miller, collecting weaver ants in West Africa for nutritional analysis. The development of a natural food specifically designed to meet the dietary needs of captive pangolins was a major breakthrough for researchers seeking to improve the survival rate of pangolins in zoos. Photo by Steven TillisBreeding pangolinsHelping pangolins survive better in captivity is one thing, breeding pangolins in captivity is quite another matter. Miller says that captive breeding was never a realistic possibility before in Western zoos, because most facilities had so few animals to work with, and because many had been confiscation rescues in poor health.But there was evidence it could be possible – the Taipei Zoo bred Formosan pangolins to the third generation. And indeed, the Pangolin Consortium project has already seen successful zoo births. Most offspring, like two recently weaned at Brookfield, had mothers already pregnant when they arrived at the zoo. However, in November, Miller’s facility saw a successful birth from an animal bred since arriving.Maintaining genetic diversity is important for captive populations, and advance planning is underway to assure it. “We’re doing genetic work on each and every individual of all the founder animals to figure out which to breed together for the maximum amount of diversity,” says Miller. “For a lot of species we don’t have that [baseline data] for the founder stock.”While there are no current plans to release captive animals to the wild – where the situation for pangolins is still dire – this attention to genetic health of a captive population will be important for any future reintroductions.A White-bellied tree pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis). Photo by Jim Schulz courtesy of the Chicago Zoological SocietyAmbassadors and moreSome conservationists have objected to the strategy of bringing pangolins into captivity.Along with the concerns about maintaining them in good health in captivity – an issue that the Pangolin Constortium’s work seems to be addressing successfully – another concern that has been expressed is that the collecting of pangolins for zoos places additional pressure on wild populations. Gramieri thinks it’s worth looking at the statistics: according to conservative estimates “there’s more than a pangolin an hour being poached.” Compared to poaching figures in the millions, the number of animals that have been taken into zoos is miniscule.Pangolin Consortium participants argue that the contribution their efforts make to preserving pangolins in the wild far outweigh the capture of small numbers of individuals, and they have taken significant steps toward that goal. For example, every U.S. zoo that received pangolins was required to pledge its support to in situ conservation. “All the facilities signed off on a strict set of agreements to ensure that this collaborative consortium facilitated research and conservation goals,” says Miller. This includes a mandatory yearly donation that will be pooled and distributed to selected grant applicants who are conducting in situ and ex situ conservation projects.The consortium is also assisting conservation in the wild in other ways. Knowledge gained about the behaviors and breeding of captive pangolins will almost certainly provide useful information that will help their wild relatives.“We’re doing research that would be very difficult in the wild,” says Miller. For example, existing pangolin “reproduction data was grossly inaccurate ­– such as gestation and age of maturity, basic modeling of the population and what is sustainable – none of this is [currently] known, and all can be based off data [gathered] from our captive population.”The careful veterinary attention given to captive pangolins, and veterinary knowledge gained, also has the potential to aid wild populations, especially animals seized from traffickers and in need of immediate medical care and rehabilitation in preparation for return to the wild.The Pangolin Consortium today houses fifty White-bellied tree pangolins (Phataginus tricuspis). Photo by Jim Schulz courtesy of the Chicago Zoological SocietyMiller says it’s unclear how effective current rehabilitation practices are, but notes that the baseline health data gathered at the zoos could be critical to contributing to the health of confiscated and wild populations. He points out that this is information that cannot be easily gathered or analyzed in rehab facilities.Rehab centers “may never have seen a healthy pangolin heart,” he says. “They could be releasing specimens that won’t fare well because they have damaged hearts.” Data from a healthy captive population will make it possible to more accurately assess the health of rehabbed animals before release, upping their chances for survival back in the wild.There is one last argument in support of the Pangolin Consortium’s captive pangolin program, which brings us back to where this story began: nobody is likely to care about conserving pangolins if they’ve never heard of them, and can’t even keep pangolins straight from penguins.When it comes to conservation, public education, recognition and awareness matters. That’s clearly why the Eastern mountain gorilla is receiving significant amounts of conservation funding today, while the Bornean white-bearded gibbon is not.Gramieri points out that while only one pangolin is on exhibit right now, when it becomes possible to display more, the combined consortium zoos could potentially expose more than seven million visitors per year to this amazing keritan-armored animal.“We think this is a very important way of getting the American people involved in the plight of the pangolin,” Gramieri says.Put that potential for education together with the financial and research support for in situ conservation, and the Pangolin Consortium can be seen as a bold innovator: offering a proactive conservation model by which zoos support in situ species survival. Says Gramieri, “This is exactly what zoos are supposed to do.”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.Note: A number of Mongabay readers have asked for a complete list of the Pangolin Consortium partners. They are the Brookfield Zoo, Gladys Porter Zoo, Columbus Zoo, Pittsburgh Zoo, Turtle Back Zoo, Memphis Zoo, and Pangolin Conservation.Response to Mongabay Pangolin Article (Posted Feb 9, 2018)By Lisa Hywood, CEO & Founder of Tikki Hywood Foundation, Zimbabwe and Thai Van Nguyen, Executive Director, Save Vietnam’s Wildlife, VietnamWe are writing in response to the Jan. 5 article in Mongabay entitled “U.S. Zoos Learn How to Keep Captive Pangolins Alive, Helping Wild Ones.”The article, which excluded insights from any pangolin conservation groups, asserts that the “Pangolin Consortium” – a partnership between six U.S. zoos and a non-profit organization – is saving pangolins by taking them from the wild in Togo and keeping them in U.S. zoos.One of the main problems with this rationale – that we can save pangolins by transitioning them to captive environments – is that pangolins have a very high mortality rate during capture and in captivity. As such, displaying them in zoos might require a constant flow of wild pangolins into captivity. This is something we can’t risk given pangolins are threatened with extinction and are the most trafficked mammal on earth, with over one million poached for their scales (used in traditional Asian medicine) and meat over the past decade. Indeed, pangolins are in such grave danger that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Pangolin Specialist Group – the world’s foremost experts on pangolins – expressed serious concern with the Consortium’s actions in a recent letter to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).Fortunately, at a recent meeting between organizations working on pangolin conservation and the Consortium, the zoos committed to stop importing pangolins from the wild. In other words, even if those they have die; they will not be replaced with wild-caught pangolins. While we remain concerned about the way in which the Consortium acquired its original 45 pangolins, this is an extremely positive step.We are hopeful that the Consortium will now adhere to global conservation action plans developed for pangolins by the IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group, which outline the top priorities for saving such species, such as reducing consumer demand and stopping illegal trafficking. Indeed, zoos can and should be involved in saving these species – as they have other threatened animals – through actions like supporting rescue, rehabilitation and release facilities in countries that make up the pangolins’ habitat like Zimbabwe’s Tikki Hywood Foundation and Save Vietnam’s Wildlife; launching initiatives in consumer nations to help reduce the demand for pangolins; and developing digital media and awareness raising campaigns to raise the profile of pangolins globally.Pangolin populations have undergone such massive declines that we need all hands on deck to prevent the extinction of these unique animals. This means working together to carry out the conservation plans developed by pangolin experts, which prioritize protecting wild populations and their habitat and cracking down on trade—not removing pangolins from their habitat.The general public currently knows little about pangolins and their plight. Zoos can help educate people to the dangers pangolins face from wildlife trafficking. Photo by Jim Schulz courtesy of the Chicago Zoological Society Article published by Glenn Scherer Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Bushmeat, Captive Breeding, Conservation, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Featured, Green, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Hunting, Mammals, Mass Extinction, Over-hunting, Overconsumption, Pangolins, Restoration, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking, Zoos center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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

first_imgAgriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon Mining, Amazon People, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Climate Change And Forests, Controversial, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corruption, Deforestation, Disasters, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, environmental justice, Environmental Politics, Ethnocide, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forests, Green, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mining, Monitoring, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Ranching, satellite data, Satellite Imagery, Saving The Amazon, Social Conflict, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_img As of September 2017, Brazil’s Pará state in the Amazon had seen a 229 percent increase in fires over 2016; in a single week in December the state saw 26,000 fire alerts. By year’s end, the Brazilian Amazon was on track for an all-time record fire season.But 2017 was not a record drought year, so experts have sought other causes. Analysts say most of the wildfires were human-caused, set by people seeking to convert forests to crop or grazing lands. Forest degradation by mining companies, logging and agribusiness added to the problem.Huge cuts made by the Temer administration in the budgets of Brazilian regulatory and enforcement agencies, such as FUNAI, the nation’s indigenous protection agency, and IBAMA, its environmental agency, which fights fires, added to the problem in 2017.The dramatic rise in wildfires has put indigenous communities and their territories at risk. For example, an area covering 24,000 hectares (59,305 acres), lost tree cover within the Kayapó Indigenous Territory from October to December, while the nearby Xikrin Indigenous Territory lost roughly 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) over the same period. An area nearly double the size of San Francisco, 24,000 hectares (59,305), lost tree cover within the Kayapó Indigenous Territory from October to December 2017 due to fires, while the nearby Xikrin Indigenous Territory lost roughly 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) over the same period. Photo courtesy of IBAMAThere were nearly 26,000 fire alerts in the Brazilian Amazon state of Pará over a single week in December of last year, according to Global Forest Fires Watch. And as of September, Pará had seen a stunning 229 percent increase in fires over 2016, as reported by the Guardian newspaper, with 2017 on track to be Brazil´s worst ever fire year, according the World Resources Institute (WRI).But statistics tell only part of the story: Brazil’s likely record wildfire season last year incinerated vast swathes of valuable trees, habitat and wildlife, sometimes within indigenous territories, natural resources which native communities rely on for their survival.WRI estimates that an area nearly double the size of San Francisco, 24,000 hectares (59,305 acres), lost tree cover within the Kayapó Indigenous Territory from October to December 2017 due to fires, while the nearby Xikrin Indigenous Territory lost roughly 10,000 hectares (24,710 acres) over the same period.Xikrin Kayapó leaders in Altamira demonstration. Photo credit: International Rivers on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SAThe World Resources Institute´s Places to Watch report notes that these particular fires were not completely natural, but likely exacerbated by “previous degradation. In the 1990s, a logging company exploited an agreement with Xikrin and left the territory over-logged and severely degraded.” Timber removal not properly carried out leaves heaps of slash behind, waste limbs and branches that dry in a drought and serve as tinder for forest fires.Importantly, say experts, while the Amazon in general, and Pará state in particular, suffered drought last autumn, this dry spell did not set a record or explain the remarkably high number of fires. The director of Brazil´s National Institute for Space Research, Alberto Setzer, told the Guardian that there is another explanation for the record blazes: “It is fundamental to understand that these are not natural fires. They are manmade.”Fire in the Brazilian Amazon, according to analysts, is often being used as a tool to convert the region’s forests into pasture and cropland; often fire is even employed as a means of settling land conflicts.Fire hotspots in Brazil, 6/1998-9/2017. Source: INPEThe revised Brazilian forestry code introduced in 2012 may be partly to blame; it gave amnesty to those guilty of illegal deforestation. In fact, deforestation has risen steadily across the Amazon region since then, with a 29 percent increase between 2015 and 2016.The many wildfires threatening the Xikrin indigenous community on the Cateté River last fall weren’t only catalyzed by the lingering degradation of over-eager loggers twenty years ago. In mid-September, a federal court ordered Brazilian mining giant Vale to shut down its Onça Puma nickel mine near the indigenous territory and to suspend operations until the company complies with the terms of its environmental license and pays some 50 million Reals (US$ 15 million) in damages to the Xikrin and Kayapó communities.A report filed by Brazil´s investigative news outlet, Agencia Publica, at the start of December, told how Vale mines nickel on hills near the Xikrin territory and described its mill, located a mere six kilometers (3.7 miles) from the indigenous territory’s boundary. The Xikrin´s land is surrounded by mineral wealth, including the world’s largest iron deposit (and the gigantic Carajás iron mine); along with Brazil´s largest copper reserve; plus an exceptionally pure nickel deposit. The area is also known for its biodiverse rainforest, with towering Brazil nut trees that produce bumper crops of the popular nut.Mining – both legal and not – and illegal logging, along with hunting, all vitiate forest integrity, says Eric de Belém Oliveira, a former regional coordinator for Brazil´s indigenous policy and protection service, FUNAI. And that forest degradation, can make fires more intense and wide ranging once they start.Satellite image showing the Carajás iron mine and its deforestation. Mines also cause forest degradation in surrounding areas, which can increase the likelihood and intensity of wildfires. A recent report found that nearly 10 percent of Amazon deforestation in Brazil is caused by mining and its ancillary supporting services. Photo courtesy of NASA“The flexibility that Brazilian law has introduced into its environmental regulations [since 2012] show that its [regulatory and enforcement] agencies don’t represent institutional power anymore,” Oliveira told Mongabay. “Now it’s [global] capital that calls the shots.”Oliveira worked his way up in FUNAI, starting ten years ago as an intern. But he was laid off last March from his position as the Marabá regional coordinator, a victim of massive draconian budget cuts occurring under the President Michel Temer. Oliveira’s position is still empty nearly a year after his departure. The regional office serves some 7,000 indigenous people in 120 different villages.“We had 20 people, and we lost seven to retirement,” Oliveira told Mongabay. None of these vacancies have been filled. “Since there isn’t anyone to handle situations, this has worsened [conditions] for indigenous communities. In reality, the indigenous villages where we work are suffering serious impacts.” The FUNAI office serving the populations affected by the Belo Monte mega-dam are likewise reportedly understaffed, with similar adverse impacts to the wellbeing of indigenous communities.IBAMA, whose duties include fighting Brazil’s forest fires, has had its budget slashed by 43 percent, from 977 to 446 million Reals (US$ 302.9 million to US$ 138.3 million). Photo courtesy of IBAMAAmazon wildfires seen from space. Photo courtesy of NASAThe Temer administration has been starving FUNAI’s budget. A May statement from the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies said that the agency had suffered a 50 percent reduction in its discretionary budget, dropping from 110.6 million Reals to 49.9 million Reals. The Ministry of the Environment, which houses Brazil’s environmental agency, IBAMA, saw cuts of 43 percent. IBAMA´s many duties include fighting the nation’s forest fires. IBAMA´s budget decreased from 977 to 446 million Reals (US$ 302.9 million to US$ 138.3 million). The cuts left the agency without funds to pay for transportation, electricity and Internet.Oliveira pointed to the Fundão mining tailings dam collapse in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s worst environmental disaster ever, as an indicator of what he says is happening across his nation: “You can see an overall lack of monitoring. And instead of adopting stricter legislation, you see the opposite happening. We see that the advance of [transnational and Brazilian] companies hasn’t just caused environmental impacts, but also [done] damage to relationships among indigenous people because they’ve contributed to internal conflicts.”FUNAI said that it did not have the capacity to respond to questions from Mongabay about its staffing levels or forest degradation on indigenous lands.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.Brazilian indigenous caciques, leaders of the Kayapó group, during a collective interview. Photo by Valter Campanato / Agência Brasillast_img read more

To Counter Wildlife Trafficking, Local Enforcement, Not En-Route Interdiction, Is Key (commentary)

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Animals, Anti-poaching, Commentary, Editorials, Environment, Law Enforcement, Poaching, Researcher Perspective Series, Wildlife, Wildlife Crime, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking center_img The global poaching crisis has induced large segments of the conservation community to call for far tougher law enforcement. Many look to policing lessons from decades of counter-narcotics efforts for solutions.Boosting enforcement of wildlife regulations is overdue, as they have long been accorded the least priority by many enforcement authorities and corruption has further eviscerated their enforcement in many critical wildlife supply, transshipment, and demand countries.But better and tougher law enforcement is not a silver bullet. In fact, some designs of interdiction modeled on counter-narcotics efforts, including the current conservation community emphasis on greater en-route seizures of smuggled wildlife, can be outright counterproductive.The point in the smuggling chain at which enforcement and interdiction take place matters enormously. In the case of drugs — a non-depletable resource than can be produced in very large volumes indefinitely — seizing drugs close to production, such as in Colombia, Afghanistan, or Myanmar, is not very effective in terms of the cost of their replacement and knock-on effects on retail prices. Seizing drugs close to consumption and retail markets, such as in the United States or Europe, boosts prices much more, thus discouraging some users.However, for political, social, and justice reasons, interdiction in Colombia or Afghanistan that targets drug smuggling organizations and focuses on semi-processed or processed drugs, destruction of processing labs, and arrests of traffickers is still preferable to eradicating the drug crops of poor farmers. Hundreds of thousands of farmers in drug-cultivating countries depend on drug cultivation for their livelihoods. They will mobilize to oppose eradication, and may thus support militant groups, such as the Taliban, that provide them with protection. Moreover, in addition to prioritizing interdiction over eradication, in the case of drugs, it’s important that interdiction be designed to reduce smugglers’ proclivity toward violence and their capacity to corrupt institutions and penetrate political systems. It should also seek to limit the access of militant groups to drug revenues.Like drug crop eradication, preventing poor, marginalized indigenous communities from subsistence hunting or even participating in global wildlife trafficking is ethically questionable and can become politically unsustainable.But, unlike with drugs, focusing interdiction on en-route transshipment is highly problematic. All traffickers, whether in wildlife or drugs, assume they will lose a certain percentage of contraband to enforcement efforts, and therefore will simply pay for the production of larger volumes to cover their predicted losses. They even welcome eradication and seizures since enforcement boosts prices and makes stockpiles more profitable. The traffickers’ ability to increase and adjust supply to offset losses is one of the reasons why prices of drugs have not gone up high enough to reduce the capacity and motivation of consumers to purchase them. Seizures are thus highly unlikely to bankrupt traffickers of drugs or wildlife.Yet increasing the volume of animals poached in order to maintain supply despite law enforcement is a most undesirable and counterproductive side-effect of combating the illegal wildlife trade. Traffickers of rare parrots from Indonesia, whom I encountered during my research, for example, fully expected a 90 to 95 percent mortality rate as a result of their smuggling methods. To evade law-enforcement agencies, they stuffed the parrots into plastic bottles with GPS trackers and threw them into the sea so as to retrieve them on open waters outside the reach of naval interdiction. The fact that less than 10 percent of the parrots survived was not a deterrent to this appalling method, as profits on the remaining specimens were more than sufficient.In fact, prices can be boosted by scarcity so much that absorbing huge losses and driving a species close to extinction can be profitable and attractive for traffickers. The rarer the species, the greater its value. Law enforcement must avoid creating those transshipment inefficiencies that motivate smugglers to organize the poaching of many more animals so as to deliver even a few to the market.Rather than focusing on en-route interdiction, shutting down the retailers of illegal wildlife commodities is critical. Although retail may merely be driven underground, reducing the visibility, accessibility, and advertisement of retail markets helps drive demand down. Shutting down online and social media websites of illegal wildlife products is equally imperative.But the single most effective form of law enforcement in countering wildlife trafficking and poaching is enforcement within areas where the species occur to prevent animals from being killed or removed from the wild in the first place.Such in situ enforcement, however, often runs into the challenge that local populations can be willing participants in poaching for global smuggling networks. If local populations have not internalized laws and consider them an illegitimate imposition of Western values that hamper their socioeconomic survival and advancement, enforcement becomes costly both politically and morally, as well as in terms of resources.Despite claims that today’s wildlife trafficking is all about organized crime groups, in situ law enforcement must be accompanied by socioeconomic aid policies, such as ecotourism, financial transfers, or sustainable trophy hunting, in order to motivate local communities to comply with and internalize wildlife conservation.The White Rhinoceros was on the brink of extinction at the end of the 19th century, but the species has rebounded since then, with approximately 20,000 White Rhinos in Africa today. However, this conservation success story “is being undone by the high levels of rhino poaching since the mid-2000s,” according to TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. Photo by Rhett Butler.Dr. Vanda Felbab-Brown is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of The Extinction Market: Wildlife Trafficking and How to Counter It (Hurst-Oxford University Press, 2017).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Restoration optimism: Bringing nature back (commentary)

first_imgBiodiversity, Commentary, Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Ecosystem Restoration, Ecosystems, Editorials, Environment, Habitat, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Researcher Perspective Series, Restoration, Rewilding Article published by Mike Gaworecki As we hear tales of environmental destruction from across the world, some conservationists are working not just to conserve what is left, but to put back what has been lost.A new website, www.restorationevidence.org, is working to gather the evidence for what works (and what doesn’t) to restore habitats and biodiversity globally. Run by the Endangered Landscape Programme and the Conservation Evidence project (where I work), the website aims to support decision-making by conservationists by providing them with concise summaries of scientific work.This will help those planning and implementing restoration projects globally to make the best possible decisions about how to spend restoration funds.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. I sit huddled in the hide, the sharp winter air stinging my cheeks and making my eyes tear up. Blinking, I catch sight of movement in the reeds. Out steps a bittern — a strange, heavy brown heron, once extinct in these parts. Cameras click excitedly around me as the bird slowly walks out of a patch of reeds, crosses bare ground, and then disappears again, swallowed by the swaying vegetation.Grinning from ear to ear, I am exhilarated by this close sighting. But the best part is knowing that, a little over 20 years ago, there were no hides, no reeds, and no bitterns; this was a carrot field, the peat soils drained and plowed. But, thanks to clever restoration efforts, nature has come back to Lakenheath Fen in the east of England.It gives me a huge sense of optimism to know that habitat loss is not the only possible direction of travel — habitat gain is also possible, even in manicured, intensively farmed Europe.Habitat restoration is a hot topic right now. Robin Chazdon, Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, gave a plenary talk at at the International Congress for Conservation Biology entitled ‘Is Restoration the New Conservation?’ (A similar talk can be viewed here.) She is one of the leaders of PARTNERS, People and Reforestation in the Tropics, which aims to research the human and environmental impacts of restoration. ‘Rewilding’ is also big news, from Europe to South America, with ‘Feral’ by George Monbiot sparking debates on what bits of nature we want to restore, where, and how. And the Endangered Landscapes Programme, as part of its aim to support large-scale landscape restoration, has launched a website gathering the evidence on what works to restore lost habitats and species.Work to replant forest in Anamalais, India. Photo Credit: Claire Wordley.Restoration is firmly on the global environmental policy agenda, as well. Target 15 in the Strategic Plan of the Convention on Biological Diversity promotes the restoration of at least 15 percent of degraded ecosystems; countries around the world are getting behind this agenda, including through the Bonn Challenge, a global aspiration to restore 150 million hectares (more than 370 million acres) of degraded and deforested lands by 2020. Billions of dollars are being spent on efforts to restore degraded land, so how can we spend this money most effectively?Restoration Evidence is a subsection of www.conservationevidence.com that deals solely with habitat restoration. The website splits restoration efforts into what works for habitats (e.g., the vegetation), and what works for taxa (e.g., birds). Aiming to eventually cover restoration for all habitats and taxa globally, the main completed sections on Restoration Evidence so far cover forests, peatland vegetation such as bogs and peat swamp forests, and shrublands and heathlands, with information on how well restoration efforts work for target taxa including birds, bees, and amphibians. This website aims to reach new audiences by providing a resource for those specifically involved in habitat restoration projects.What is restoration?Restoration can mean many things to many different people. For the Restoration Evidence project, it means enriching habitats with biodiversity and restoring ecosystem processes — whether that means getting habitats closer to how we think they were, or, where conditions have changed or the ‘baseline’ is unknown, creating new biodiverse habitats. This flexible definition aims to ensure that the Restoration Evidence website has value for a range of potential users.For example, a forest restoration program may report on the five-year results of natural regeneration of forest at one site and a tree planting program at another site. Neither of these sites will look like a forest after five years, but it can be useful for other people to know whether the trees were larger, or survived better, in naturally regenerated versus planted areas.Equally, in some places we may not know what the habitat was ‘originally’ — this may have changed many times over millennia — but it may be that creating a wetland in this area is thought to be a good idea to help migrating birds, so this ‘restoration’ project may really be habitat creation.What is evidence, and why does it matter?The evidence collected on www.restorationevidence.org comes from academic scientists, NGOs, and government agencies around the world. All evidence has to meet two criteria to be included: that it tests a conservation intervention experimentally, and that it measures the results quantitatively (using numbers). The emphasis on an experimental approach includes only the evidence that best examines the causal relationships between an action and the results.Forest in Anamalais, India. Photo Credit: Claire Wordley.Do we really need more evidence? Don’t we know what to do already? Well, as the Conservation Effectiveness series here on Mongabay found, it can be quite hard to tell how well even widely used conservation interventions, such as protected areas and payments for ecosystem services (PES), actually work. Before we plow huge amounts of time, money, and effort into a strategy, it seems like a good idea to sit down and try to learn from the experiences of others.As more projects use well-designed trials to test whether their approach actually produced the desired outcomes, we can start to combine these experiments to get an overall picture of whether or not an intervention worked, and under what circumstances. Some of the actions explored on restorationevidence.org worked fairly reliably, like re-wetting peat; others worked well in some places, but not in others, such as spreading moss fragments; and others seemed not to work very well at all, such as adding root-associated fungi to peat swamp seedlings.As well as learning what works and what might not work, we can start to see what we don’t know. For some important restoration interventions, the effectiveness is still unknown, as they have not yet been tested. Furthermore, some areas (such as the tropics) are underrepresented in the number of published studies testing restoration efforts. Examining the impact of more interventions, especially in the tropics – and publishing the results — could help make future restoration efforts more successful.Restoring natural habitats can be challenging, but having the best available evidence for different restoration practices to hand should make it easier for those involved in bringing nature back to pick winning strategies. As more interventions are tested — and across more parts of the world — habitat restoration can become even more effective, and we can get better at bringing nature back.Evening at Lakenheath Fen in the UK. Photo Credit: Claire Wordley.Dr. Claire Wordley is a researcher with the Conservation Evidence group at the University of Cambridge. Her background includes working on the responses of tropical bats to forest fragmentation and agricultural activity. This led to an interest in researching how to make conservation change happen, and she now works at Conservation Evidence working with NGOs and government agencies to see how they can best use and produce scientific evidence.The Endangered Landscapes Programme is funded by Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, and is managed by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Brazilian Supreme Court ruling protects Quilombola land rights for now

first_imgBrazil’s Supreme Court has soundly rejected a lawsuit filed in 2003 by a right wing political party that would have drastically limit the ability of quilombolas (former slave communities) to legitimize claims to their traditional lands.There are 2,962 quilombolas in Brazil today, but just 219 have land titles, while 1,673 are pursuing the process of acquiring legal title. Titled quilombola territories include 767,596 hectares (1.9 million acres); these settlements have a good record of protecting their forests. Brazil’s total quilombola population includes some 16 million people.While advocates for quilombola rights cheered the Supreme Court decision, major threats to the communities loom: successive administrations have drastically slashed the budget for titling quilombola lands, almost completely stalling the demarcation process. Also, a constitutional amendment, PEC 215 is moving through Brazil’s Congress.PEC 215 would shift authority from the Executive branch to Congress for giving out land titles to quilombolas, recognizing indigenous claims to ancestral lands, and creating protected areas. With Congress dominated by the ruralist caucus and agribusiness, PEC 215 threatens Brazilian forests and indigenous and traditional communities. Children dancing at a quilombola. There are nearly 3,000 quilombola communities in Brazil, but only 219 have received legal title of their lands from the Brazilian government. Photo courtesy of ISAAfter long consideration, Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) ruled on 8 February by an overwhelming majority to reject a legal action initiated in 2003 by a right-wing political party to declare invalid a presidential decree (Decreto 4.887/2003), passed by President Lula in the same year. The action, had it succeeded, would have made it much harder for quilombolas (communities of former slaves) to gain rights to their traditional land claims and could have led to the dismantling of quilombola territories already created.Ten of the eleven STF ministers voted that Lula’s presidential decree was constitutional, as Quilombola communities and those working with them breathed a collective sigh of relief. The NGO Socioenvironmental Institute (ISA) called it “an important defeat” of “the Temer government, the rural caucuses (bancada ruralista) and the National Confederation of industry [a powerful business lobby].”The case has been in limbo since 2015. A ruling was scheduled three times last year but postponed each time. In April 2017, the Temer administration suspended all new land demarcations until a ruling was made, which was seen as a clear message that his government endorsed the legal action.Quilombola community members celebrate the Brazilian Supreme Court decision. Photo by Carlos MouraDemildo Biko Rodrigues, from the National Coordination of Rural Black Communities (CONAQ), told BBC Brasil that “the Brazilian state has taken a step forward in the process of redressing everything that has happened to our people.” He was pleased but surprised by overwhelming majority decision by the STF, “given the dark times in which we live.”The Liberal Front Party (PFL), which changed its name to the Democrats Party (DEM) in 2007, originally filed the suit. The party wanted to overturn a presidential decree, issued by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2003 that gave the Executive the authority to establish the procedure for creating quilombola territories. Since then, INCRA (The National institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform), an independent federal body, has been responsible for giving titles to quilombos and marking out their boundaries.If successful, the DEM’s suit would have transferred this power to Congress, where the right-wing rural caucus is very strong. Rodrigo Oliveira, an adviser to the Public Federal Ministry (MPF), an independent body of federal prosecutors, told Mongabay that if the STF ruling had gone the other way, “even quilombola land that had already been titled would have been at risk.” Put simply, if the STF had favored the suit, land titles already received by 219 quilombola territories from INCRA could have been cancelled, depriving 17,000 Brazilian families of their lands, making them vulnerable to eviction by land thieves.Brazilian forest, too, would have likely suffered. Ricardo Folhes, from the Federal University of Pará, said: “The quilombola territories are among the country’s best-preserved land, like indigenous territory and protected areas. If the judgement had gone against them, it could have meant another 800,00 hectares of forest at risk.”According to a variety of sources, including INCRA, Repórter Brasil, and Comissão Pro-Índio, the number of quilombola communities in Brazil today stands at almost 3,000, but just 219 have land titles, while 1,673 are pursuing the process of acquiring titles. The quilombola population on titled and non-titled land totals some 16 million Brazilians.French painter Jean-Baptiste Debret (1768-1848) was one of the few artists to portray the cruel reality of slavery in Brazil. That reality caused runaway slaves to hide in remote forests and avoid any association with government. Image courtesy of WikipediaWhen is a quilombola a quilombola?The Supreme Court, while confirming the constitutionality of the decree, also had the power to introduce significant changes to it. Here there was more dissent among the ministers.In particular, the quilombolas had feared that the court would introduce a much tougher, more limited legal definition of a quilombola community. Such settlements had typically been defined as being “set up by runaway slaves,” but in recent decades, following the 1988 Constitution and the advice of the Brazilian Association of Anthropology (ABA), authorities had adopted a broader definition, characterizing quilombolas as black communities “that have developed practices of resistance for the maintenance and reproduction of their characteristic way of life.”The 2003 DEM legal action, had it been approved, would likely have ended “self-identification,” by which a community can decide for itself whether or not it is a quilombola. Arguing that this process allowed widespread fraud, the DEM and rural caucus maintained that the community should only be able to call itself a quilombola if it had the backing of historical documents, proving its founding by runaway slaves.Anthropologists point out that such a narrow definition would exclude many legitimate quilombolas. Brazil only ended slavery in 1888, by which time roughly four million had been transported from Africa. Many runaways, fearing recapture, lived in remote areas, so didn’t find out slavery had been abolished until many years after emancipation. They were also extremely reluctant to have any government contact, meaning that their settlements lacked official records.The quilombolas — communities of descendants of runaway slaves — are fiercely proud of their African culture and tradition. Photo by Antônio Cruz / Agencia BrasilThe family of Josefa Bezerra de Matos, president of the Association of Quilombolas and their Descendants in Mundo Novo, a hamlet in the interior of Pernambuco state, is a case in point. She said: “My father and grandfather didn’t want documents, because they were frightened of them. As children, we were brought up to be fearful of white people. My father only got himself [a legally obligatory Brazilian] identity card at the end of his life.”Josefa has just one small photo of her grandfather, who was born a slave and ran away to gain his freedom. Josefa keeps this photo, taken when her grandfather was more than 100-years-old, in a matchbox which she carries everywhere. “I’m sure he protects us and looks out for us,” she said. “And he helps us when we have to talk to authority.”In the end, the Supreme Court decided by a comfortable majority that “self-identification” of quilombolas is permissible.Traditional inhabitants in the Quilombola of Paracatu in Minas Gerais state. Inhabitants of these former slave communities are known for preserving forests on their claimed lands. Photo courtesy of WikipediaThreats to quilombolas still loomIn its suit, the DEM also sought to impose a marco temporal, a timeframe requiring that those claiming title would have to prove they were occupying the land when Brazil’s new constitution was approved in 1988, unless they could demonstrate that they had been thrown off their land by “illicit acts.”Edson Fachin, an STF minister, said that many communities would have difficulty proving pre-1988 occupation, given that “quilombolas were absolutely invisible until very recently.” This was the position taken by most of his colleagues, though several voted against.Times have changed since 2003, when the DEM launched its suit. Quilombolas have become far more visible and political, and enjoy considerable popular support. Approval of the DEM’s legal action might well have provoked widespread public protests. Many in the rural caucus understood this shift in public opinion, and thought it warranted a change in tactics. The current DEM president, José Agripino Maia, told BBC Brasil that the party had changed its mind regarding the 2003 suit and believed it to have been “a mistake” to launch it. However, as the case was already in process, it was not possible to withdraw it.Although clearly delighted by the STF decision, Demildo Biko Rodriges sees the ruling as only “a first step,” to protecting the former slave communities, as “there is still a long road ahead before we achieve our rights.” Despite last week’s success, analysts agree that the future for quilombolas looks perilous.INCRA’s budget has been slashed in recent years, with funding to provide quilombola land titles falling from R$64 million (US$19.4 million) in 2010, to R$4 million (US$1.2 million) in 2017. Demildo Biko Rodigues said that the communities’ key challenge now is “to dialogue with the [Temer administration] so that more resources can be found to accelerate the demarcation process.”Lúcia M.M.Andrade, executive coordinator of the Comissão Pro-Índio in São Paulo, who has worked with quilombola communities for almost 30 years, said that the lack of resources is a huge problem. “It means that INCRA won’t be able to push ahead with the more than 1,500 requests for land title,” she said. “Of these, INCRA has not yet carried out the first phase – the identification of territory report (RTID) – for 84 percent of them. So there is little chance of changing the current situation in which just 9 percent have titles to their land.”A further danger looms. For 17 years the rural lobby has pressed for passage of a sweeping constitutional amendment – PEC 215. If approved, it would shift from the Executive branch to the Congress the authority for giving out land titles to quilombolas, recognizing indigenous lands, and creating protected areas. Given the power wielded in Congress by land-hungry rural elites and agribusiness, passage of the amendment would likely deal an enormous blow to environmentalists, social movements and NGOs — not to mention Brazil’s biodiversity and forests.According to many experts, risk of the passage of PEC 215 by Congress grows by the day.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.The future of these children, and others living in quilombola communities across Brazil, may depend on whether tor not the Brazilian Congress passes PEC 215. If approved, the amendment would shift from the Executive branch to the Congress the authority for giving out land titles to quilombolas, recognizing indigenous lands, and creating protected areas. Photo by Carol Gayao under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license Article published by Glenn Scherer Agriculture, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Controversial, Corporate Responsibility, Corruption, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, environmental justice, Environmental Politics, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forests, Green, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Slavery, Social Conflict, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

On an island of plenty, a community tempered by waves braces for rising seas

first_imgFor generations, the indigenous Papuans on Indonesia’s Auki Island have depended on rich coastal ecosystem around them for sustenance and livelihoods.But when an earthquake and a tsunami struck the area in 1996, they realized they needed to do more to protect these resources to sustain their way of life.A decade later, they enshrined practices such as sustainable fishing in a local regulation, which to date has already shown positive results for the islanders and the environment.But the threat of another disaster — rising sea levels as a result of global warming — looms over the community. This time, they’re preparing through mitigation programs, including protecting mangroves. AUKI, Indonesia — “We ladies have eyes on our feet,” Susanti Maryen says after a morning spent collecting saltwater clams and snails at a beach in Auki, an islet off the northern coast of Papua, in Indonesia’s far east.She’s only half joking: clamming here, a way of life for generations, involves traipsing the beach and finding, just by feel, the small crustaceans hidden in the sand underfoot.While the women of Auki forage for the community’s food along the shore, the men are taught to fish from a young age. What they don’t eat, they sell; Susanti says a plate of saltwater clams can fetch 50,000 rupiah ($3.70), or double that during the off-season.In this sense, the Papuans of Auki are like the myriad other coastal communities spread out across the thousands of islands that make up Indonesia, each hewing to age-old traditions of subsistence that revolve around the bounty of the sea. The waters and coasts of Cenderawasih Bay, where Auki is located, are home to 95 species of coral, 155 fish species and seven types of mangrove.The inhabitants of Auki Island in Indonesia’s Papua province have for generations depended on the rich resources of the sea and coastal ecosystem around them. They have a regulation in place to manage these resources in a sustainable way. Photo by Ridzki R. Sigit/Mongabay-Indonesia.But foraging for clams hasn’t always been easy for the women of Auki. Susanti, now 50, remembers when a magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck the region on Feb. 17, 1996. It was followed by a tsunami that washed over parts of Auki and nearby islands.The twin disaster not only destroyed many houses there, but also laid waste to the coastlines the residents had always been able to depend on; for a period after the quake and tsunami, there were no shellfish of any kind to be found on the devastated beaches.“The earthquake and tsunami caused erosion; the coastlines changed, and even new coral islands emerged,” says Matheus Rumbraibab, the chief of the indigenous council in Auki.But the disaster also brought with it a valuable lesson for the people of Auki: that they needed to better protect the natural resources, in the sea and on the coast, that were so central to their lives.In the years since, they learned how to adapt to the new conditions wrought by the quake and tsunami. In 2006, 10 years after the disaster, they decided to formalize those practices in a regulation governing the protection of Auki’s coastal ecosystems, which today covers mangroves, seagrass and coral reefs, among others.In Auki, it is forbidden to cut mangrove trees, which the islanders realize are crucial to help mitigate the rising sea levels spurred by global warming. Photo by Ridzki R. Sigit/Mongabay-Indonesia.The regulation includes prohibitions on fishing in certain areas of the sea around Auki, to allow fish stocks to replenish; in other areas, fishing is permitted, but catches are capped. Beyond these zones, Auki’s fishermen can operate freely, but may not use destructive methods such as blast fishing or poison fishing.The system in force here is a miniature of the Indonesian government’s own policy of staking out and managing marine conservation zones, but with a key difference: here in Auki, the people get to discuss and decide on the zones.The women, for instance, are responsible for monitoring the population of marine animals along and just off the coast every six months. They submit the figures to local authorities, who use them to compile routine reports. These reports, in turn, serve to warn the fishermen of any decline in the population of a particular species.“We wanted the population of saltwater clams, snails and reef fish to recover, that’s why we decided to regulate fishing and collecting,” says Frans Wandosa, the Auki village chief.A magnitude-8.2 earthquake 22 years ago devastated the islands in Papua’s Cenderawasih Bay, including Auki. Image courtesy of the USGS.Faithfully practicing this sustainable way of life for the past two decades has borne fruit for the people of Auki, particularly over the last three years, when saltwater clams have bloomed beyond the restricted zones.Residents of nearby islands have also adopted similar regulations, Frans says. But he’s also aware that despite the success in protecting local marine resources, the people of Auki and the other islands face a threat more relentless than a one-off earthquake and tsunami: rising sea levels as a result of global warming.“I think a portion of Auki’s coast will end up underwater,” Frans says. “That’s why we’ve established a program to gradually move people’s houses to higher parts of the island.” The villagers have gone along with the program; many still remember losing their homes to the tsunami.They also have plans in place to protect the coastal vegetation to mitigate the impact from rising sea levels or tsunami waves. The 2006 regulation bans the felling of mangroves, and also requires residents to report first before cutting any other trees on the island.“We keep asking the village authorities, representatives of indigenous communities and religious leaders to remind the people not to cut down trees,” Frans says.Susanti Maryen is one of the women on Auki who depend on the natural resources from its coastal ecosystems. Photo by Ridzki R. Sigit/Mongabay-Indonesia.At her home on a January evening, Susanti cooks the saltwater clams gathered earlier that day. A small portion will be for dinner; the rest she will sell at the local market the next day.Even here, on the stovetop of her kitchen, the sea is ever-present.“The trick to getting the clams to open up,” Susanti says, “is to cook them in seawater.”This story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and was first published here, here and here on our Indonesian site on Jan. 28, Feb. 9 and Feb. 10, 2018.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. Adaptation To Climate Change, Climate Change, Coastal Ecosystems, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Environment, Fisheries, Global Warming Mitigation, Indigenous Communities, Mangroves, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Mitigation, Seagrass 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 Article published by Basten Gokkonlast_img read more

Ecuador: Sarayaku leader Patricia Gualinga defends territory despite threats

first_imgGualinga was cornered and threatened by an intruder at her home in Puyo, in the Ecuadorean Amazon, after the man broke one of her windows with a stone.Amnesty International issued an urgent appeal to Ecuador’s Ministry of Internal Affairs about the threat in a plea for Gualinga’s protection.The investigation is still underway, with no word on any suspects or leads. The struggle to protect the land and the environment in Latin America often costs lives. In 2017 alone, 116 environmental defenders were killed in the region, most of them for protecting their territories from activities such as industrial agriculture, mining, poaching and logging, according to the latest report by Global Witness. So when threats were made against land defender and Sarayaku indigenous leader Patricia Gualinga at her home in the city of Puyo, north of the Ecuadorean Amazon, it raised a red flag.This is the kind of dangerous situation that community leaders face every day.It was dawn on Jan. 5 when Gualinga was surprised by a man who broke the window of her room with a stone and threatened her.“‘The next time I will kill you,’ he told me several times,” Gualinga said in an interview with Mongabay. Her husband and parents were also there. “I was shocked, nobody had threatened me during my leadership.”A policeman passing by her house chased the attacker but never returned. The next day, Gualinga went to the provincial prosecutor’s office to file a complaint. It took some time, but eventually the crime report was registered.In an exclusive interview, Gualinga spoke recently with Mongabay about that day.The Sarayaku defender Patricia Gualinga at the press conference where she reported the threats she received on January 5, 2018. Photo courtesy Patricia Gualinga.“I realized that it was a direct attempt,” said the indigenous leader, who over the past 20 years has focused her efforts on fighting against violations of Amazonian people’s rights — people who are against the operation of extractive projects in their territories. In the past six months, Gualinga has settled in Puyo to take care of her father, and in November 2017 she joined the Climate Change Summit COP23 in Germany to talk about the situation for Amazonian communities.According to the Attorney General’s Office, the crime was registered as “intimidation” under the law, punishable by up to three years in prison. The judicial office told Mongabay in a written response that it had proceeded “To take witness testimonies, a recognition of the place of events, and a delegation for the operational investigation to the Criminal Investigation Unit of the National Police, directed by the prosecutor of the case.”Gualinga and her husband are now required to be part of Ecuador’s witness protection program, which will give them semi-permanent police protection and psychological support.“What the government has achieved is that the police are now watching me in Puyo,” Gualinga said. “But the investigation has [shown] no results.”Patricia Gualinga participated in the Climate Change Summit COP23, in Bonn, Germany. Photo courtesy of Patricia Gualinga.On the same day of the attack, Amnesty International issued an urgent appeal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to publicly acknowledge the work done by Gualinga and all territorial and environmental rights defenders. It also urged authorities to carry out an immediate investigation and make the results public.“I believe that this is a key element to figure out the reasons behind this attack, a quick, immediate, exhaustive investigation,” said María José Veramendi, Amnesty International’s Americas researcher. “These people must have a safe and propitious environment to carry out their work.”Gualinga’s name has been added to the list of threatened defenders called Speak out for Defenders project.An emblematic struggleThe Sarayaku people live on the banks of the Bobonaza River, in the center of the Ecuadorean province of Pastaza. Their seven communities make up a population of around 1,400 people concentrated in the urban center. That center only corresponds to 5 percent of the 1,350 square kilometers (520 square miles) that their territory covers.Seen from above, Sarayaku looks like a green carpet of forest connected to winding rivers, said Mario Melo, the community’s defense lawyer. The community lives in the middle of the jungle, Melo said. “People are always friendly, they serve chicha [a purple corn drink] as an homage when you arrive,” he said.For Gualinga, it’s the area outside the urban center, closer to the primary forest, that she loves. Here there are small ranches where the Sarayaku usually go to pass the time with family.“They are beautiful,” Gualinga said. “The forest is not being deforested, you can listen to the singing of the birds, and have medicinal plants at your fingertips.” The trips she made with her paternal grandparents to the banks of the Rotuno River are particularly fond memories.Aerial view of the Sarayaku territory, located in the Ecuadorian province of Pastaza. Photo by Carlos Mazabanda.The depths of the living forest are home to many sacred spaces for the Sarayaku. These are the places where no human intervention is allowed.“There you can feel the presence of nature and the ecosystem,” Gualinga said. There are lagoons that are home to a variety of lizards, fish and anacondas. The Andayacu, Ishpingo, Rotuno and Capahuari rivers also flow here.But the community has struggled to keep its territory free of extractive activities, ever since the Argentine oil firm Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC) obtained a concession in 1993 of what was then called Block 23. In 2002, CGC entered the community with the objective of beginning exploration activities and buried 1,433 kilograms (3,160 pounds) of high-power dynamite, known as pentolite, to determine how much crude lay underground.“They were very tense moments, the people of Sarayaku went into a state of threat,” Melo said.Ultimately, everyone came together to fight back, and in 2012 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled in favor of the Sarayaku in a case that the community filed against the Ecuadorean government, and that today is in the process of being monitored for compliance.“The people of Sarayaku have understood that this promise of development does not exist, it is false,” said Tatiana Roa, of the Colombian environmental organization CENSAT Agua Viva. “They recognize themselves as indigenous peoples who do not need to follow this promise of development and progress.”Roa described this struggle as emblematic of the Sarayaku people: through discourse, they managed to unite their entire community. Gualinga’s role in this has been fundamental, according to Roa. “I think she has been a woman who has inspired many of these battles in Latin America today in the face of this extractive logic,” she said.She added that the interesting thing about Gualinga and her work was that it had not crystallized in individual terms, but in the representation of a group of people through her vocation as a Saramanta Warmikuna, or messenger of the Amazonian fight.Now the community must protect its territory from the possible exploitation of Blocks 74, 75 and 79, granted to PetroAmazonas and Andes Petroleum during the 11th oil round that divided the southern center of the Amazon into 13 blocks, according to Melo.“The government has a moral and legal obligation to comply,” he said.Ancestral trees of the Sarayaku community, located in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo courtesy of Patricia Gualinga.Gualinga is saddened, though, by what has been lost already.“We are no longer the peaceful community we were before, we are always on the defensive,” she said. She added that it was not a fair match for them to face large, wealthy companies that were often protected by the government. Defending the territory has taken many years of her people’s lives, she said.“We have not claimed our lives back,” she said.The Sarayaku people have proposed to Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, that effective measures need to be taken to comply with the ruling. They have outlined a roadmap to involve the ministries of justice, the environment, hydrocarbons, the interior, defense and the treasury for this purpose. But according to Melo, this isn’t a high priority for the government.The work continues“I did not know I had this vocation,” Gualinga said. “I was dedicated to working and achieving success as a woman, on the radio and later as director of a tourism project.”But once the Argentine company CGC entered her people’s territory, she remembers feeling that she had no choice but to join the fight at the insistence of her people. She decided to take the risk without knowing the possible consequences.“At that time fighting against an oil company was impossible,” she said. “I got into Sarayaku’s issues and I never left.”Patricia Gualinga was threatened with death at her house in Puyo, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, after a man broke a window. Photo courtesy of Amazon Watch/Caroline Bennett.She said the threats she faced earlier this year had revived her struggle and allowed people to become aware of what was happening with the oil blocks that interfered with her people’s territory.“They can’t intimidate us, what I did is what I had to do, defend what was right, that gives me strength, the indignation that makes us fight again,” she said.Her strength, she added, also comes from her father, Sabino, one of the yachak or sages of Sarayaku; her mother, Corina Montalvo, and the many people who showed solidarity with her after the attack.Gualinga said she was inspired to file a report about the death threat by many other women leaders in her community.“The Amazonian women have activated their fight again, they have begun to report their threats,” she said.This was the also case with Miriam Cisneros, elected president of the Sarayaku village in 2017, who spoke about the threats she has received and the theft of hard drives from her computers. José Gualinga, the oldest of Patricia’s four brothers, was also threatened when he presided over the community and now also advises the new authorities. His wife also received threatening messages at the time they were fighting the CGC. Other threatened leaders included Franco Viteri and Marlon Santi, two of the most visible authorities in the community.The Sarayaku people are still waiting for the Ecuadorian Government to comply with the judgment of the IACHR. Photo by Carlos Mazabanda.Gualinga recalled that another decisive moment in her life was when lawyers for the community asked her to be a witness during the case presented before the IACHR, and to be a translator before the court. She also made the final petition for the case and prepared the witnesses that the defense chose.“I felt the weight of responsibility on me,” Gualinga said. “I felt the weight of Sarayaku in me.”Now the focus is on presenting a campaign that rescues the ancestral concept and the larger vision of this community, which seeks to show the rainforest as a living being and at the same time as the habitat of other human beings. For the community, this allows the balance between the elements of the universe.“They require special consideration, and activities such as those by the oil companies showed that these beings can perish or leave the territory,” Melo said.The community in Puyo seeks to promote a public policy proposal that respects this sacred nature of the forest and that can be included in the national constitution, which already recognizes the rights of nature.Gualinga said that in a few months she would leave Puyo to return to the sacred forests that fill her community with the necessary energy for their fight to continue.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and was first published in Spanish on our Latam site on March 1, 2018.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. Amazon, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Amazon Rainforest, Endangered Environmentalists, Featured, Forests, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests Article published by Genevieve Belmakercenter_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

Indonesia’s dying timber concessions, invaded by oil palms, top deforestation table

first_imgBanner image: A logging road cuts through a tropical forest in Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler. Deforestation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Indonesia, Logging, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Selective Logging, Timber, timber trade, Tropical Forests Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong A study shows that selective-logging leases accounted for the highest rate of deforestation in three provinces studied from 2013 to 2016.While the discovery came as a surprise, the researchers attributed part of that deforestation to the illegal encroachment of oil palm plantations into many of these timber concessions. Another factor is the cutting of more trees than permitted by logging operators.Environmentalists warn the problem could get even worse if the government follows through on plans to lift a ban on exports of unprocessed logs, which has been in place since 1985 (with a brief hiatus from 1997 to 2001). JAKARTA — The rate of deforestation in selective-logging concessions in parts of Indonesia has unexpectedly overtaken those of pulpwood and oil palm concessions, a new study shows.A study by the NGO Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) in the provinces of North Sumatra, East Kalimantan and North Maluku showed a combined loss of 7,180 square kilometers (2,770 square miles) of these forests between 2013 and 2016. Seventy-two percent of that deforestation occurred in areas under one of four types of concessions: selective logging (for timber); pulpwood (typically acacia, to make paper); oil palm; and mining.Selective logging, which the researchers believed to be a declining industry relative to the booming oil palm and pulpwood industries, experienced the highest rate of deforestation over the study period, losing 838 square kilometers (323 square miles) of natural forest. This was followed closely by mining concessions (833 square kilometers), palm oil concessions (760 square kilometers) and pulpwood concessions (370 square kilometers).“We considered the selective-logging industry to be comatose … largely replaced by acacia plantations and then oil palm plantations,” FWI campaigner Agung Ady Setiawan told Mongabay. But the study, he said, showed otherwise — and the culprit was the latter industry.Selective-logging concessions, known by the Indonesian acronym HPH (Hak Pengusahaan Hutan), are the backbone of Indonesia’s historically important timber industry. But that industry has been on a steady decline due to competition from other countries across Southeast Asia and an export ban on unprocessed logs imposed by the government since 1985. (The ban was briefly lifted from 1997 to 2001, but has remained in place ever since.)In 2000, selective-logging concessions occupied 640,000 square kilometers (247,100 square miles) of forested area in Indonesia, contributing $9 billion a year to the economy. By 2015, the concessions had shrunk by less than a third, to 206,200 square kilometers (79,600 square miles). Of the 269 selective-logging companies registered in the country, only 178 are still active.Palm oil plantations, meanwhile, have experienced a boom in the past four decades, from just 3,000 square kilometers (1,160 square miles) of concessions in 1980 to 116,000 square kilometers (44,800 square miles) in 2016, according to the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI).Unlike acacia and oil palm plantations, the cutting of trees in HPH concessions is selective, with only commercially valuable trees larger than a certain diameter allowed to be felled. This leaves other trees standing for long-term generation. Between two and 20 trees are typically removed from each hectare of forest once every few decades.This generally leaves more than 90 percent of the trees standing, and the remaining vegetation recognizably constitutes a forest.That, said FWI’s Agung, was what made the discovery of the high rate of deforestation in selective-logging concessions such a surprise.Upon closer inspection, FWI found that in many cases, the selective-logging concessions had been illegally converted into oil palm plantations, with the operators relying on a dearth or, in the case of abandoned concessions, complete lack of monitoring by the authorities.This was the case in at least one of the selective-logging concessions studied in the district of South Tapanuli, in North Sumatra, said FWI researcher Mufti Fathul Barri.“We assume that this is the cause of deforestation in some HPH concessions,” he said. “There are many HPH concessions that are left unmonitored and unmanaged by the owners, and so they’re converted into oil palm plantations by locals or other companies.”The takeover by the oil palm plantations has also triggered conflicts with residents, the study found.In other cases, the deforestation in HPH concessions was due to more trees being cut down than were permitted. FWI said this was the case in two selective-logging concessions in Obi Island, North Maluku. One of the concessions lost 48 square kilometers (18 square miles) of natural forest in the three-year study period, while the other lost 41 square kilometers (15 square miles).“Based on our analysis, deforestation is shifting to the eastern part of the country,” which includes North Maluku, Agung said. “This pattern [of deforestation in HPH concessions] used to happen in Sumatra and Kalimantan [Indonesian Borneo] 10 to 20 years ago. Now it’s happening in HPH concessions in eastern Indonesia because this part of the country still has thick and lush forests.”The government is considering once again lifting the ban on exports of unprocessed logs from HPH concessions, as a means of reviving the timber industry. It argues that with low domestic prices for timber, the industry needs access to the overseas market.Environmental activists, however, warn that this will only speed up the rate of deforestation in selective-logging concessions.“It’ll become deforestation permitted by law,” Even Sembiring, the policy assessment manager at Walhi, Indonesia’s largest environmental NGO, told Mongabay. “The protection of HPH concessions is still weak, as we can see from many former concessions being converted into oil palm plantations, because the managers don’t bother to reforest their concessions.” 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